On Sunday evening the former NT Chief Secretary Adam Giles interviewed Blair Cottrell on Sky News Australia.
Here's an excerpt:
It was a train crash. But what Sky did next is even worse.
Blair Cottrell is not my cup of tea. He's a convicted felon who's done serious jail time.
Here's some of his background - this piece is from The Age in October 2015:
Blair Cottrell, rising anti-Islam movement leader, wanted Hitler in the classroom
But none of that happened on Sky last night. It was a disaster for Sky, for Cottrell and for Australia.
Social media "lit up" after Cottrell's appearance.
Blair Cottrell is a far right-wing fascist who’s a self confessed Hitler fan. He’s boasted about using “violence and terror” to manipulate women. His rap sheet includes arson, burglary, racial vilification.— Laura Jayes (@ljayes) August 5, 2018
He’s not an activist. He’s just an arsehole.
Blair Cottrell should not be described as an activist but for what he truly is - a convicted criminal with a dangerous record. His offenses are too long to list on Twitter but should be included in any introduction to him.— Janine Perrett (@PerrettReport) August 5, 2018
Well done, Sky. Your agenda is now clear. You have promoted an actual violent neo-nazi who wants a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf in every classroom and did prison time for arson as part of terrorising an ex-girlfriend. https://t.co/MjyrjXedSz— Comrade Weez (@weezmgk) August 5, 2018
But what happened next should be cause for some very sober non-Sunday night review.
Within an hour or so of The Left lighting up with outrage on Twitter, Sky's News Director issued a statement that fixed nothing and made everything a whole lot worse.
It was wrong to have Blair Cottrell on Sky News Australia. His views do not reflect ours. The interview has been removed from repeat timeslots and online platforms.— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 5, 2018
- Greg Byrnes, News Director
It was "wrong' to have Cottrell on....his views do not reflect those of Sky News. All traces of what he said have been located and destroyed.
It's a chilling proposition - that views that reflect Sky News Australia's views are right and people holding those views qualify for appearance. Views that do not reflect Sky's view are wrong and disqualify subjects for appearance.
Cottrell was a guest on Sky. Sky broadcast his stuff. What a horrible insight into the way Sky operates to see Cottrell - not the things he said on Sky - denounced with all traces of the event removed.