Ok, let me be clear here right from the start! I’m talking about Lachlan, not Rupert. And I haven’t spoken directly to Mr Bolt but I’m presuming that he holds a consistent position on matters…
Which, given human nature, may be a lot to expect.
But, in case you have forgotten, young Andrew was treated appallingly a few years ago. He was told by a judge that he shouldn’t be writing things that were factually incorrect. This shocking attack on free speech meant that Mr Bolt was forced to spend some time writing an opinion piece where he complained about the death of free speech which, because of his lack of free speech wasn’t published on his usual page, but was on the front page of the paper.
This, you might remember, led Tony Abbott to opine about the loss of the “sacred principle of free speech” and to promise to remove 18C because well, people have a right to offend. and if you find what they’re saying upsetting, well, suck it up, princess… Or something like that.
For years, Bolt has argued that he has a right to free speech without the terrible restrictions that someone disagreeing with him might place on his freedom. We should reject political correctness and all that it entails.
So, I’m presuming that he must be very upset that Lachlan Murdoch should take Crikey to court because of what they printed and that he doesn’t feel that the idea that Lachlan has “has suffered and will continue to suffer substantial hurt, distress and embarrassment” should be a reason for him to sue them.
Sure, I think that if someone has been hurt, embarrassed or distressed over something that they believe to be untrue, then they should have the right to sue. But then I also believe that when someone is offended by a racial slur then they should have the right to some form of legal redress. I’m consistent in believing that free speech is not an absolute right and that there need to be limits to protect the vulnerable. Actually, free speech in Australia isn’t protected by anything other than an implied right which isn’t much protection at all.
As for Andrew Bolt, I’m left presuming his opinion on the Lachlan Murdoch situation because he hasn’t made his views as clear as he normally does. Of course, this would have nothing to do with who his employer is, because that would lead some to draw the inference that he doesn’t really think his paper supports his free speech on all subjects.
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