Sky News, a television network that PEDESTRIAN.TV only really mentions when they apologise for letting some aggrieved wingnut spout abhorrent bullshit on the air, has copped to doing the exact same thing. Again.
In a tweet, Sky News’ news director Greg Byrnes said “it was wrong” to allow self-described Adolf Hitler fanboy and legitimate neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell airtime on the Adam Giles Show over the weekend.
Byrnes also said Cottrell’s segment will not be re-broadcast on the network and has been removed from Sky News’ online outlets.
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.
– Greg Byrnes, News Director
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 5, 2018
Cottrell, who was once leader of the far-right group United Patriots Front, appeared on the show to give his views on immigration and “foreign ideologies”.
Of course, his views are somewhat biased by the fact he once advocated for portraits of Hitler hung in every Australian classroom, and suggested every student should be handed a copy of Mein Kampf.
In addition to very openly supporting a racist, fascist political ideology the world decided was toxic in 1939, Cottrell was also sentenced to four months in prison in 2012 for charges including stalking and recklessly causing serious injury.
Cottrell detailed his criminal history in a video intended to be shown in schools to discourage youth crime. In it, he said he stalked a man who had sex with his then-girlfriend and hurled molotov cocktails at his home.
There’s also the matter of the YouTube comment in which he admitted to using “violence and terror” against women.
Those factors didn’t escape those unlucky enough to catch Cottrell’s interview segment, and social media was quickly filled with criticism of Sky News’ decision to broadcast his hateful bullshit in the first place.
Sky News reporter Laura Jayes and the channel’s political editor David Speers also commented on Cottrell’s appearance, with Jayes going as far as calling him an “arsehole.”
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.
He’s not an activist. He’s just an arsehole.
— Laura Jayes (@ljayes) August 5, 2018
I have just arrived back in the country tonight to be met with the understandable outrage over this. 100% agree with @ljayes. As News Director Greg Byrnes says it was wrong to have this guy on Sky News. https://t.co/QQF4ESRmbJ
— David Speers (@David_Speers) August 5, 2018
Of course, this isn’t even the first time an Australian television network has been called out for allowing Cottrell airtime. Good going, everyone.Image: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images