Channel Seven has copped intense backlash after interviewing a convicted racist and arsonist for his thoughts on Victoria’s so-called African gangs crisis.
On Sunday, Seven News Melbourne aired an “exclusive” story about “right-wing activists” meeting in response to a series of recent crimes carried out by young men.
Journalist Jodi Lee said she had been given exclusive access to the meeting, before crossing to a pre-recorded interview with United Patriots leader Blair Cottrell. Cottrell has previously spent time in prison for property damage and last year became one of the first Victorians to be convicted under the state’s new racial vilification laws.
The United Patriots leader has previously called for a picture of Hitler to be hung in every classroom. The Seven News report did not disclose Cottrell’s past convictions.
“Nothing is being done,” he told Seven News. “The government could be doing a lot more to combat this crime. But police aren’t being given the powers they need to combat this problem we have in this country.”
Dr Dvir Abramovich from the Anti-Defamation Commission told Fairfax Media the Seven Network had “crossed a line”.
“This is somebody who should never be given a platform,” he said. “They are legitimising and normalising his agenda.
“White-supremacists and neo-Nazis are feeling emboldened and energised, and are searching for every opportunity to insert themselves into the public square. On that front, Channel Seven has failed us all.”
Numerous people have taken to social media to slam the network, including comedian and TV personality Charlie Pickering.
“Hey Seven News Melbourne, did you broadcast the expert local opinion of a guy who says Jews are parasites?” he asked. “Good job. Great newsing. Or… maybe… Get your shit together.” Hey @7NewsMelbourne did you broadcast the expert local opinion of a guy who says Jews are parasites? Good job. Great newsing. Or…maybe…Get your shit together. https://t苏州夜场招聘/mJPxieuqZp??? Charlie Pickering (@charliepick) January 14, 2018In World War 2 over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population. Hitler & Nazism was responsible for most of that. You might want to think about that Channel Seven Melbourne when you give oxygen to Nazis who glorify Hitler.??? Andrew Catsaras (@AndrewCatsaras) January 15, 2018Some journalists might try to infiltrate a dangerous gang to expose them. Channel Seven prefers to ask politely if they can please come in and gaze admiringly at them.??? Ben Pobjie (@benpobjie) January 15, 2018