tip off

Andrew Bolt does not support “Amazon bombing” critics’ books, and he wishes his readers would stop following the link he gave them

Pure Poison IconWhat’s it called when someone tries to get a mob of supporters to run across to the Amazon entry for an opponent’s book and leave negative reviews? Amazon bombing?

We hope no-one suggests that that is exactly what Andrew Bolt was doing with this post today:

Nor may you safely say no to Heiss, not publicly, if you live in Australia.

But the United States, unlike Australia, has a constitutional protection of free speech – and a cultural predisposition towards it.

So it will be interesting to see what Heiss, her publisher or her supporters will do to stop the US-based Amazon site from publishing the kind of comments that have been removed in Australia by the ABC and Random House.

See? He’s just ASKING QUESTIONS. He’s very definitely not doing anything more than that. And if you’re confused – or you’d already clicked on his Amazon link to race across and give Heiss’ book a negative review under the misunderstanding that that is what he was advocating – Andrew tries to set the record straight:

Note: I am not trying to incite anyone into attacking Heiss’s book. She is entitled to express her point of view. I am simply pointing out that I am not entitled to express my own, and nor is anyone of like mind who disagrees with Heiss. This is not a hate-Heiss session, but a protest against limits to free speech in debating an issue I believe is of significant public importance.

And that’s why I doubt there was a sudden stampede of WHERE IS MR BOLT’S FREE SPEECH? one-star reviews after the Southbank Martyr’s post went up. If there was, I’d be as surprised as I’m sure he would be.

115
  • 1
    Coldsnacks
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Of course, what Mr Free Speech is forgetting (he wouldn’t *intentionally* leave this out, surely) is that the US Constitutional right to free speech only applies to government.

    Last I checked, Amazon is a private company. Hence, the First Amendment doesn’t apply. So, those comments may very well be deleted.

    “Nor may you safely say no to Heiss, not publicly, if you live in Australia.”

    Is there a column of his I missed in regards to this?

    Oh wait, she’s Aboriginal. But with a German name. NOW I see his problem

  • 2
    Angra
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    This is the standard MO for Mr Wonderful. Especially as he is becoming an artist of redirecting “no comment” comments.

    I’m surprised that we are surprised.

    “If you build it they will come.”

  • 3
    Trippi Taka
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    There is a link near Amazon reviews titled “Report Abuse”

    Perhaps if everyone who reads this PP thread reports these “bombs” as abuse opposed to legitimate criticism (most of the critique are vague one liners opposed to actual critique of the book content ) hopefully Amazon will act in deleting some of these. You would hope they would check if the users who left the criticisms would have actually purchased the book – which I doubt they have, although obviously I have no evidence of this.

    There is no option to enter why you consider the review as “Abuse” however if enough people report it perhaps they will investigate.

    I have not read the book and have no opinion on it. However it strikes me as completely unfair the overwhelming majority of feedback on a book (49 negative – 2 positive) which to me makes a difference when I purchase based on trolling.

    So much for free speech.

    And to reiterate one of my earlier posts: News Ltd, and to that matter our laws and courts trust Caroline Overington to write on the issue of racial identity. It only appears it’s News Ltd Lawyers that are not allowing Andrew Bolt to write on this issue. Yet he seems to maintain its the broader system that is broken and silencing him?

  • 4
    Paul.Christiansen
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear. Bolt’s troll monkeys have been unleashed. 49 reviews on the Amazon page and only 2 are not attacking Anita for being black or free speech/the Bolt case. I’ve started reporting the inappropriate reviews. Hopefully enough of us will do the same to get them removed.

  • 5
    Fran Barlow
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s called “freeping”.

    His “defence” is {EDIT}. Blot remains every bit as entitled to express his “POV” as when he first published it. A counterclaim has been published which in no way impinges on any right of Blot’s. All of his nonsense is in its original form. To quote Shelley …

    The moving finger writes; and having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your tears wash out a Word of it.

    An apology has been published for Blot’s willful {EDIT}. His tantrum and tears notwithstanding.

    The Tea Party has form for this … they boast about it.

  • 6
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    He been definitely not condoning that sort of thing all week

    And that’s consistent with his previous position on worrying suggestions

    Oh, and if anyone wants to go and “like” something, here’s a post I probably have no connection with:

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R33UORVRR5DW2I/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B007C6VAK4&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

  • 7
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I just hope that “GFB” character isn’t from around here. He’s very disruptive.

  • 8
    special.task
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    There has been too much violence, too much pain.
    None here are without sin.
    I am gravely disappointed.
    Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war.
    Look at what remains of your gallant scouts.
    Why? Because you’re selfish!
    You hoard your free speech.

    Now, my prisoners say you plan to take your free speech out of the Wasteland.
    You sent them out this morning to find a vehicle.
    A rig big enough to haul that fat tank of free speech.
    What a puny plan!
    Look around you.
    This is the Valley of Death.
    See!
    Nothing can escape! The Humungus rules the Wasteland!

    But I have an honorable compromise.
    Just walk away.
    Give me the free speech and I’ll spare your lives.

    Just walk away. I will give you safe passage in the Wasteland.
    Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.
    I await your answer.

  • 9
    Captain Col
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m with Bolt on this one.

    Surprising, isn’t it, that lefties can’t see the wood for the trees? They can’t see that freedom of speech is the one and only human right that should be in our constitution.

    Oh they say they support free speech … except for that prick Bolt … and Blair … and Henderson … and Albrechtsen … turds don’t deserve to draw breath let alone speak freely.

  • 10
    Brizben
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Some of these people seem to think leaving nasty comments has something to do with freedom of speech – they should try writing a book. My head hurts.

    5.0 out of 5 stars Wot I fink, April 9, 2012
    By Hazizi "Hazizi" (Ballarat, VIC, AU)
    This review is from: Am I Black Enough For You? (Kindle Edition)
    I fink sum of yoo peeple are iliterate and I fink wot andrew bolt says is tha rite fing and dis sheela is not even proppa black or nuffin.

    Lol I think Michael Munna left a comment over at amazon :-)

  • 11
    Wood Mal
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Sadly the monsters from the blog goon seem to have had a bit of a field day on Amazon. Tried to respond as did a few others. Very very embarrassing.

  • 12
    mr. peabody
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    We didn’t receive any messages, and Captain Bolt definitely did not shoot this delicious plump-breasted pigeon!

  • 13
    Al
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    While America has freedom of speech provisions, it also has lawyers willing to try any case. I don’t see there’s much to stop Random House from at least attempting to show that an entity was causing financial damage to them by “Amazon-bombing”.

  • 14
    Michael Miller
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    So judging by the comments and reviews I am not the only one flaging abuse on most of the reviews.

  • 15
    Phil Vee
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    I estimate there were approx 10 posts before Bolt’s plea and now there are 59. Well Done Team Andrew. 10 posts in 3 days and then 49 in less than 24 hours.
    They are very good at agreeing with each other too because nearly everyone is 100% “helpful”. (170 of 179 people found the following review helpful) although by this morning the averages are starting to slip. C’mon Team Andrew you can do better than that!

    I started to pull out some quotes but it is not worth it really. For the sake of the argument…….

    the title of this book poses a question that, in Australia, is actually illegal to answer in the negative.
    Nonsense repeat of Bolt quote.

    When you claim to be a member of a particular minority group and therefore claim the financial and career advancement advantages…..”
    precisely what the Court found Heiss did not do.
    The judgement found
    a) Heiss is Aboriginal (this was uncontested by Bolt)
    b) Bolt’s statements about her financial benefits was factually wrong.

    Another says……
    What people object to is your claiming the right to be permanently aggrieved because one of your great-grandparents was black.
    Again factually wrong. Her mother, grandmother & great grand mother were all Aboriginal, according to the Court.

    Someone else blames the Frankfurt school and claims Heiss is Jewish and dishonours both Jewish and Aboriginal heritages. Another says it has the literary merit of Mein Kampf.

    Post #55 is from an American who repeats the familiar crap and calls her a race baiter of the Al Sharpton camp. His only other review was last year when he condemned a sci fi book because it was an Explicit attack on Palin and center right, March 21, 2011
    That must have been a helluva book. How do you attack Palin and the centre right at the same time?

    2 posts out of 59 are positive ones from “Mal” and a lovely one fro an American who says he doesn’t care because he is American and he does not have a view on the subject.

  • 16
    Michael Miller
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I’m Somewhat hazy on the constitutional protection of free speech but I thought it only applied that the government could not censor speech not private corporation such as Amazon or Individuals.

  • 17
    Ronson Dalby
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    $18.61 for a Kindle book?

    One thing Amazon needs to do for all book reviews is to limit the writing of them to customers who’ve actually bought the book.

  • 18
    Ronson Dalby
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I have just gone through every review and not one of them is an “Amazon Verified Purchase”.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/community-help/amazon-verified-purchase

  • 19
    Eric Sykes
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Over at Amazon the viciousness in the review comments proves conclusively that the court case was needed and did the right thing. It is often denied that Australia has this inherent racism at the core of its’ culture, over there in Amazon land I am sure that anyone of colour visiting the site would actually see things for what they are. Ugly, twisted and condoned and encouraged by Australian mainstream media.

  • 20
    mr. peabody
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    @Captain Col

    It’s a bit rich for Mr. Bolt to bitch about the lack of free speech on the blogs of others such as Random House, while limiting free speech on his own blog.

    Don’t you think?

  • 21
    mr. peabody
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    @Captain Col

    One more think. Here’s my post from yesterday.

    I went over to the Amazon site and posted a positive comment about Anita Heiss and pointed out that just about all the other comments were part of a troll attack.

    Guess what? After 12 or so abusive replies to my post, the post with all its relies was removed. I assume that Andy’s minions all clicked on the report abuse button to get it removed.

    I wonder what Andy with say about that attack on my freedom speech?

    I’ve email Amazon to find out what happened. When I get a response I’ll let Andy know all about it.

    —-

    I have now received a reply from Amazon. My post with relies has now been restored.

  • 22
    savemejeebus
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I went to Amazon to read some of the reviews, and the vast majority were hate filled, vile and abusive. Most hadn’t read the book. For most of those this was the first book they’d reviewed. I haven’t read the book but I read the first few pages that were available on Amazon, and I have searched the internet for some reviews. I found the bit that I read fascinating and well written and I will search out the book when I am in town today. Her thesis, that we should retain the fundamental right to define ourselves, is important and should be respected.
    But it is not Heiss’ book and the topic of race relations which intrigues me. It is the relationship of Andrew Bolt to his subjects, and the way he portrays himself. Does he contain a psychological or intellectual void that he needs to collect followers? Does it bother him that those he collects are of lesser intelligence, or is that the attraction? Does he see himself as a tragic hero like Lucas Jackson or Sydney Carton, or even Aeschylus’ Cassandra? I think that he has this innate need to be worshipped, but an intellectual laziness that doesn’t allow him to be respected for anything worthwhile.

  • 23
    Andrew McIntosh
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Bigots taken the concept of, and the term “freedom of speech” and are trying to turn it into a worthless joke. And it’s a good tactic because intelligent people who feel strongly about it will try to defend it, therefore defending the bigots. What you end up with is not free speech but white noise.

  • 24
    narc
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    “I am simply pointing out that I am not entitled to express my own,”

    The irony that he is pointing this out IN HIS OWN COLUMN is apparently lost on him.

    “and nor is anyone of like mind who disagrees with Heiss”
    Wrong again – what people aren’t allowed to do is lie, defame or villify people without any basis for that. Bolt was wrong. An objective court invested with power from the very Constitution to which we draw our freedom to political speech, with no other agenda (unlike Bolt), considered both sides to the dispute and found Bolt’s case lacking.

    So if of ‘like mind’ Bolt means people that would like to make up shit about others and not have to pay any consequences, then why would he sue others for defamation? Is not he also silencing anyone who opposes his views?

  • 25
    Holden Back
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Hmm, let’s do some internet math!

    Protested innocence and “high principles” + vicious underlings with predictable responses = Plausible deniability! FTW!

  • 26
    Aliar Jones
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    turds don’t deserve to draw breath let alone speak freely.

    Never seems to stop you Col.

  • 27
    Aliar Jones
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    They can’t see that freedom of speech is the one and only human right that should be in our constitution.

    ‘freedom of speech’…rightard codified doublethink for ‘freedom to be a racist, idiotic twat’

  • 28
    Coldsnacks
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Oh they say they support free speech … except for that prick Bolt … and Blair … and Henderson … and Albrechtsen … turds don’t deserve to draw breath let alone speak freely.

    Not wishing to speak for everyone here, but I do support free speech. He do, RT all are all free to write about whatever they wish.

    Its the lying, distortion of facts to suit their agenda and hypocrisy I have truck with.

  • 29
    Phil Vee
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Nobody should bomb Amazon! It is not worth it and it will be exactly what Bolt wants. It will feed his paranoia and he will be able to rail against the Stalinist fairies again. If you have a committment to free speech then you have to allow this sort of thing to happen. The last thing we need is for Amazon to start deleting comments.

    Just noticed Mr Peabody had his post deletedand restored so that is a good thing.

  • 30
    Brown Bob
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    LOL – On ya Jonesy ! Pure poison’s very own premature ejaculator. So keen to blurt out some lame ass remark that you always have to follow up a few minutes later with another highly insightful and well thought out nugget of wisdom that didn’t make the first post :-)

  • 31
    Fran Barlow
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Wrong again – what people aren’t allowed to do is lie, defame or villify people without any basis for that.

    Not quite. The are alowed to lie, defame and vilify people — just not without any comeback. In this case the comeback was a public slap on the wrist and apparently, a determination by the lawyers, not for the state, but of News Ltd, to curb Bolt’s most egregious lying in violation of the anti-Discrimination laws.

    There is, as Blot has pointed out often enough on his own blog, freedom to speak on someone else’s platform. He uses that very thing to can comments he doesn’t like. It turns out his employer’s lawyers have the same view. Oh dear … what goes around …

    Of course, Blot can’t have his tantrum at the expense of his paymaster — no no no as Jim from Dibley would say … he has to vent his spleen at Heiss and the government by misrepresenting reality, again.

  • 32
    mondo rock
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The irony that he is pointing this out IN HIS OWN COLUMN is apparently lost on him.

    Hi Narc

    It’s true that Bolt has his own column, but it’s also true that his freedom to freely express his opinion has been legally curtailed. He is most certainly prevented under law from expressing his view that Heiss chooses to identify as an Aboriginal when other racial/cultural options are available to her, and that her choice to so identify has benefited her career.

    That particular view can no longer be published by Bolt (or presumably anyone else) without the likelihood of legal sanction.

    Wrong again – what people aren’t allowed to do is lie, defame or villify people without any basis for that.

    Well to be fair, people are perfectly entitled to lie – with or without basis – it happens all the time. Similarly people are allowed to villify to their heart’s content – Aliar does it here in almost every post. We can’t defame – that’s true enough – but then Bolt wasn’t actually prosecuted for defamation as I’m sure you know.

    The truth is that Bolt was not censored for doing any of the things you list above – he was censored for causing racial offence to a group of people (including Heiss) in circumstances that an individual judge found to be unreasonable.

  • 33
    Wood Mal
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Apparently at Amazon I’m spamming on behalf of Bolt now, and posting as a number of different identities – none of which is true of course. So this is how right wing conspiracy theories get started!

  • 34
    peter de mambla
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    To paraphrase Captain Col …

    Well, I’m with Bolt on this one.

    Surprising, isn’t it, that neocons/likudniks can’t see the wood for the trees? They can’t see that freedom of speech is the one and only human right that should be in our constitution.

    Oh they say they support free speech … except for that prick Brendon O’Connell… and Fredrick Toben … and Ernst Zundel… and David Irving… turds don’t deserve to draw breath let alone speak freely.

  • 35
    GaryM
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “Well to be fair, people are perfectly entitled to lie – with or without basis – it happens all the time. Similarly people are allowed to vilify to their heart’s content – Aliar does it here in almost every post.”

    SO true. But unlike you Mondo he doesn’t need to hide behind your (transparent as a fine crystal glass) attempt at passing yourself off as a lefty, when it is clear you are a conservative. No vilification, slander, name calling there, just an honest observation of most who read your stuff.

  • 36
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Bolt is free to express his opinion – he just has to get his facts right.

    The vilification laws have a fair comment clause. Bolt blew his case by filling his articles with his usual poorly researched strawman arguments and lost his employers a bucketload of money. As a result, HWT are the ones restricting him. Bolt’s articles are so poorly researched and contain so many snide, racially charged, veiled insinuations that you can’t blame them.

    Assuming these racial vilification laws were revoked, Bolt would then still be open for defamation actions.

    Should Bolt be allowed to accuse Aboriginals of identifying as such in order to receive petty grants? Of course he should – however, this also comes with the responsibility that, if you are taken to court, you can prove it.

    In the recent case Bolt admitted on the stand the nine were Aboriginal, and HWT offered a settlement before the case went to trial – they completely capitulated! That doesn’t suggest to me that he had a particularly strong case.

    (And as an aside, Bolt’s appeal to the US Bill Of Rights is fascinating, because he’s frequently campaigned against Australia obtaining one.)

    It’s quite ironic that Bolt argues that he should be allowed to defame at will, as the editors of this blog have to regularly snip comments to avoid legal action from Bolt.

    Well, I’m with Bolt on this one.

    A first, Col.

  • 37
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the droogs will keep being sent to comment about the leader?

    I think a few normal people have done a reasonable job debunking the (quite astonishingly misinformed) claims from the supporters. Honestly, I don’t think most of them actually have the foggiest idea what that case was about. I don’t think they’ve read the articles and haven’t read anything that the judge wrote. They’re just factually wrong about most of the things they believe (or at least post). It’s almost like they get all their information from a very unreliable source …

    So, the price for siccing the monkeys onto unsuspecting comment pages is that us tin woodsmen will turn up and spill the facts.

  • 38
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear. It appears this little episode has ended with Greens candidate, Michael Quall, calling for Bolt’s death, his readership’s suicide and advocating people ‘hunt’ Bolt down and viciously beat him (though the latter seems a bit redundant given he’s already calling for his death).

    For all the talk of bigotry, thuggishness and viciousness regarding this incident, it appears the most bigoted, thuggish and vicious was not one of Bolt’s minions, but a Greens party member. Nay, a Greens party candidate.
    I love the smell of irony in the evening.

    Putting that all aside, like all parties, The Greens should perhaps pay a little more attention to the quality and calibre of their candidates.

  • 39
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that rhetorically calling for bolt or his readers to eat cyanide is “bigotry”, but it’s clearly violent and indefensible and the Greens need to promptly declare that they do not support those words. They can’t retrospectively disendorse him, since it looks like he was a candidate in the Qld election that’s over already. But they should distance themselves and take the opportunity to make sure that candidates and members know that this sort of thing is wrong and also harms the party.

  • 40
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Howard,B. @37, JS @38

    Yeah, I saw that comment and I responded to it that we didn’t need that sort of thing. My first thought was that it was a moby, but apparently not.

    I think you’ve missed the real irony, though – the post was taken down. In america, the land of free speech and all, the reason why the moaning was shifted offshore in the first place.

  • 41
    Aliar Jones
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    that you always have to follow up a few minutes later with another highly insightful and well thought out nugget of wisdom that didn’t make the first post :-)

    It’s called an afterthought Bob…i have thoughts and then i have other ones.

    Which will always create contrast with you.

  • 42
    Fran Barlow
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Howard, B commented:

    For all the talk of bigotry, thuggishness and viciousness regarding this incident, it appears the most bigoted, thuggish and vicious was not one of Bolt’s minions, but a Greens party member. Nay, a Greens party candidate.

    While the remarks are certainly indefensible fom the point of view of anyone with a respect for humanity and ought never to have been made, they are no worse than comments one sees regularly on the Blot/Akerman sites. The difference is here that Greens supporters would simply regard these sentiments as deeply offensive, whereas more than a few supporters of Akerman/Blot would regard this as something of a wet dream if directed against the Greens.

  • 43
    mondo rock
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    What’s happened to us as thinking adults – have we all jumped so comprehensively on the ‘righteous indignation’ bandwagon that we can’t even recognise (and chuckle at) a bit of spleen venting when we see it?

    I find Michael Quall’s comments amusing (and heartfelt). He’s clearly not in any sort of position that could incite genuine violence and his comments were obviously tongue in cheek. He’s not whipping up hatred against a persecuted minority or endangering anyone’s rights – he’s just blowing off steam.

    So what if he calls for Bolt and his winged monkeys’ untimely ends? I’ll admit to occasionally fantasising that the world would be better off without them and I’ll wager many here have done the same. That’s not an endorsement of real violence or the slander of a vulnerable group of people – hell it’s not even close.

    What a bunch of namby pambys we’ve all become.

  • 44
    Brizben
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Maybe indigenous people are just getting fed up with the constant racial attacks. The internet has provided an haven to those who want to launch anonymous racial attacks. I don’t think I will ever understand what it is like to be living as a black person in Australia today. If I had to face racism every day then I would probably be angry too.

    Meanwhile George Megalogenis gets a serve from the flying monkeys:

    But I won’t allow my readers to abuse him, let alone tell him to go back to his mother country, because it’s not my style.You should have another look at your moderating policy. This sort of stuff does you and the Herald Sun no credit at all.

    Surprise surprise – He gets racist abuse.

    blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/mega_response/

  • 45
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “So what if he calls for Bolt and his winged monkeys’ untimely ends?”

    For precisely the reasons you see happening in its wake. It flips the “bozo” bit and distracts detractors and their fellow travelers from looking at the real subject at hand.

    Also, joking about somebody’s death is never cool. At least, not if they’re still alive. Joking about dead people, well, I think that’s a case-by-case thing.

  • 46
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I will conclude that non-moderation of my comment proves my point.

  • 47
    Howard,B.
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy

    I’m not sure that rhetorically calling for bolt or his readers to eat cyanide is “bigotry”…

    Coupled with his statement that Bolt should be ‘put down’ like a dog and his endorsement of seeking out Bolt and beating him, it is quite clear that Mr Quall does not merely intellectually disagree with Bolt et al but is viscerally intolerant of his, and others’, mere existence.

    This meets the definition of bigotry, ergo Michael Quall is a bigot.

    Matty of Canberra

    I think you’ve missed the real irony, though – the post was taken down. In america, the land of free speech and all, the reason why the moaning was shifted offshore in the first place.

    It is you who has missed something fundamental, Matty. Mr Quall’s post was one post taken down not because it was merely offensive or rude or not ‘nice’, but because it was explicitly violent.

    Now contrast this to the threads on the ABC and Random House that removed all posts on the grounds that some were merely offensive, or not ‘nice’. I posted on the second Random House thread; I was not rude or offensive, I merely posited a logical question relevant to the topic of the thread (Ms Heiss’s Deadly award), yet it, and many other rational and reasonable posts, were removed.

    Violent sentiment is where free-speech ends, Matty, for obvious reasons, whilst merely offensive speech, however unsavoury, is within this limit. Even then, the ABC and Random House took down comments that were neither.

    For precisely the reasons you see happening in its wake. It flips the “bozo” bit and distracts detractors and their fellow travelers from looking at the real subject at hand.

    Good to see you’ve got your priorities straight, Matty. A representative of a political party making explicitly violent statements is a mere distraction, whilst members of the public making merely ‘offensive’ comments is ‘the real subject at hand’.

    Mondo

    Assuming you’re serious, you’ve clearly lost the plot.

    I find Michael Quall’s comments amusing (and heartfelt)

    I’m sure bigots of all stripes find violent comments directed at the objects of their respective bigotry ‘amusing and heartfelt’.

    He’s clearly not in any sort of position that could incite genuine violence

    Sorry? Mr Quall is a public representative (a candidate) for the nation’s third political party. Even so, the idea that violent speech isn’t violent unless you’re somebody is ridiculous. Violent speech is violent regardless of who said it.

    He’s not whipping up hatred against a persecuted minority or endangering anyone’s rights – he’s just blowing off steam

    Violent sentiment isn’t really violent unless it’s directed at a minority, otherwise it’s just ‘blowing of steam’, Mondo? This is highly facile. Violent speech is violent speech regardless of who it is directed at.

    So what if he calls for Bolt and his winged monkeys’ untimely ends?

    So what if some One Nation fringe dweller calls for the untimely end of any number of progressive opinion writers and their audience? Or suggests that people should ‘hunt’ down Bob Brown and viciously beat him?
    Once you start making excuses for violent speech, Mondo, where do you stop?

    I’ll admit to occasionally fantasising that the world would be better off without them and I’ll wager many here have done the same. That’s not an endorsement of real violence or the slander of a vulnerable group of people – hell it’s not even close.

    Indeed, but that is not what has happened here, Mondo. Mr Quall did not suggest he was merely sharing with us his fantasies: he made explicit and unqualified statements.
    Again, whether the targets one’s violent statements are deemed ‘vulnerable’ is irrelevant for judging the statement.

    Once you start making excuses for violent sentiment, where do you stop?

  • 48
    ShaunHC
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m with Bolt on this one.

    You’re with Bolt on this one Col? That’s a surprise. When was the last time you weren’t with Bolt? Now there’s a question for the ages.

    So you’re with Bolt when he give subtle hints to his mindless followers to go to a website and write negative reviews for a book they haven’t even read based on their own ideological leanings.

    Do you even question the ethics of that? And here’s me thinking that book reviews were all about reading the book in question and then critiquing it. Silly me.

    The fact that you are with Bolt on this on in particular says a lot about the type of person you are. But then most regular readers already knew that.

    Personally if I feel that someone like that who I follow does something like that I kind of disown their behaviour. I guess you just think differently.

  • 49
    ShaunHC
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Its the lying, distortion of facts to suit their agenda and hypocrisy I have truck with.

    Problem is that’s what these wingnuts are all about. They want freedom to make the shit up as they go along..

    Herald Sun’s “Stories Start Here” says it all. How did they settle on that one? Who thought of it? Because it says plain as day that they just make stuff up.

  • 50
    Fran Barlow
    Posted April 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I posted on the second Random House thread; I was not rude or offensive, I merely posited a logical question relevant to the topic of the thread (Ms Heiss’s Deadly award), yet it, and many other rational and reasonable posts, were removed.

    The rights of property trump rights to exercise speech when that speech is on private property. Random House can decide what appears on its website. Presumably, it found the remarks offensive or trolling.

    It’s a clear paradox that earnest defenders of the primacy of the rights of private property are insistent that the owners of it — in the case Random House — are bound to serve the wishes of non-stakeholders in their property.

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