SBS football reporter fired for Anzac tweets
Contributed by on April 26, 2015 at 12:16 am
In a statement released today, SBS said soccer reporter Scott McIntyre was dismissed for the tweets, which it says went against the network’s values.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid on Sunday labelled the remarks inappropriate and disrespectful, saying they breached the broadcaster’s code of conduct and social media policy.
“It’s not tenable to remain on air if your audience doesn’t respect or trust you,” he said.
Mr McIntyre’s rant on social media late on Anzac Day has been drawn outrage from Australian leaders, including Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull who labelled his comments “despicable”.
“Difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments,” Mr Turnbull tweeted.
“Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned.”
While the minister was unavailable for comment following McIntyre’s sacking, his Liberal colleague Jamie Briggs applauded the decision, saying the comments went beyond being offensive. However, some criticised SBS for firing McIntyre, including journalist Hugh Riminton, who is also a board member of Soldier On, an organisation that supports injured soldiers.
Riminton said the tweets were untimely, immature and in one case offensively wrong.
“But lest we forget, Our Diggers also died for free speech,” he said.
Human rights commissioner Tim Wilson said McIntyre’s freedom of speech was not being curtailed.
“We’re talking about political interpretations of history and that is open for debate,” Mr Wilson said.
“And he will be judged very harshly.”
Writing to over 30,000 followers, the experienced football presenter and reporter labeled Australians celebrating Anzac day as “poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers”.
He began his tirade about 5pm yesterday, calling Australia’s involvement in the World Wars an “imperialist invasion of a foreign nation”.
Later tweets read: “Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.”
“Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan,” said another post.
Followed by: “Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki.”
SBS journalist sacked for Anzac tweet