Monday 28 April 2014

Andrew Bolt still incorrectly insisting his articles found to have breached Australia's Racial Discrimination Act were banned.

In September 2011 News Corp journalist Andrew Bolt was found to have contravened section 18C of the Australian Racial Discrimination Act in two published articles and, these articles were not exempt under section 18D of the same act.

Subsequently both Mr. Bolt and the Abbott Government have sought to characterise the judgement in Eatock v Bolt as an attack on a citizen’s right to freedom of speech:

Both are intent on repealing sections 18b, 18c, 18d and 18e of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

This is Andrew Bolt in 2014 furthering the notion that his published words were banned by the Federal Court of Australia.

In the Herald Sun, 12 March 2014:

I could prove that my banned articles argued against racism and racial division by republishing them - but the Federal Court has ruled that I may not. Mein Kampf can be published, but my articles fighting racism cannot.

In The Australian, 2 April 2014:

I should add that in banning two of my articles, the judge ruled my argument to be factually wrong in the case of those I mentioned.

In the Herald Sun, 20 April 2014:

But it’s not just global warming. Brandis said he was then horrified by “an act of political censorship” — a judge’s banning of two articles in which I questioned why certain fair-skinned Aborigines identified solely as Aboriginal.

The truth of the matter is that the original articles in question were neither banned nor their contents censored by the court.

In fact the court specifically allowed those two articles to remain online:

Both 2009 articles are still available in their entirety on the Herald Sun website – here and here. The newspaper proprietor has now prefaced both with the court-ordered statement.

Andrew Bolt has used the strike key to alter the first online article, It’s so hip to be black (also titled White is the new black), so that the original despite looking almost as German as her father has turned into despite looking almost as German as her father name and had an English father has been altered to had an English a Scottish father.

However, in neither online article does it appear he has attempted to alter gross errors of fact identified in the judgment summary of Eatock v Bolt [2011] FCA 1103 (28 September 2011).

Therefore, Andrew Bolt’s articles dated 15 April and 21 August 2009 were never censored or banned.

Anyone with an Internet connection almost anywhere in the world can still read the ugly tripe he wrote.

The Abbott Government's response to the Federal Court judgment is a massive over-reaction not supported by a majority of the general public.

Bolt's freedom of speech is intact. His right to use words to publicly offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people1 based on race, colour or national or ethnic origin2 and, to employ untruthful facts and the distortion of the truth3 in order to do so, is not.

1. & 2. Wording found in Racial Discrimination Act 1975
3. The statement untruthful facts and the distortion of the truth is taken from the judgment summary of Eatock v Bolt [2011].

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