Andrew Laming
Andrew Laming (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Incarceration of speech Yesterday, News Corp journalist Eliza Barr tweeted: "Earlier this year I published a tweet about Andrew Laming MP. I accept that the claim made about Mr Laming in that tweet was false and defamatory. I unconditionally withdraw that claim and apologise to Andrew Laming for the hurt and offends caused to him by reason of my conduct".

The heartfelt and spontaneous apology is now her pinned tweet. And thank god for that -- after all, it's been established that Laming's only offense is being TOO full of empathy. And nothing will rehabilitate his reputation like a tweet that, to the untrained eye, looks suspiciously like a lawyer wrote it with a gun to their head.

But of course this appears to be a new weapon in every politician's arsenal. Peter Dutton, so concerned about freedom of speech during the marriage equality debate, is attempting to sue refugee activist Shane Bazzi back for tweeting that Dutton was "a rape apologist". Christian Porter sued the ABC for its report on historical rape allegations against a then-anonymous minister, leading to a slightly anti-climactic resolution,