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The white nationalists are unleashed. We must now confront them and their trolling

Brian McNair writes in The Conversation (28.11.16):

‘It’s been a long time coming, but hey, it’s well worth the wait.

‘We Australian journalism academics compete to see who will get denounced next by the News Corp hack pack. Matthew Ricketson at Canberra, Meg Simons at Melbourne, and David McKnight (formerly UTS and UNSW) have led the field thus far. David’s critical biography of the emperor Murdoch produced a wave of smears in The Australian.

‘I had a brief shot at glory when the Finkelstein report was published (and Ricketson’s service on the Finkelstein committee is the main reason why he has been trolled by News Corp ever since). The Australian’s associate editor Cameron Stewart denounced me for allegedly supporting Finkelstein’s recommendations:

Brian McNair from the Queensland University of Technology … enthusiastically embraced Ray Finkelstein’s central recommendation for a new government-funded regulatory body to sit in judgment of news reporting.

‘Long before post-truth culture became a thing, this was complete and total tosh, since I had explicitly declared in The Conversation that I disagreed with any such regulatory body being established. I also made similar comments on radio at the time. I wrote privately and politely to Cameron pointing this out, but there was no concession of error on his part.

‘But now I’ve struck gold. News Corp’s controversialist-in-chief Andrew Bolt has denounced me as a “hard left” journalism professor, and a “comrade” (the Herald Sun changed it to “far left” the next day, but it’s the thought that counts), for pointing out the disturbing parallels between the rise of Donald Trump in 2016 and that of fascism in the 1930s.

‘In The Conversation a while back I defended the courageous Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her writing on the need for a reformation within Islam, and the University of Western Australia’s proposed appointment of environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg as a research professor.

‘My article provoked accusations of Islamophobia, climate change denialism and worse from some readers, although my point was the need for frank and fearless debate of these difficult issues if we don’t want to see the rise of the likes of Trump and, in Australia, One Nation.

‘That horse has bolted (sorry, Andrew, couldn’t resist it!), and the white nationalists are unleashed. We must now confront them and their trolling. We are in a new culture war, comrades, and this time it’s personal.’

What about free speech? Reddit CEO caught trolling Trump supporters

‘Steve Huffman, the CEO and co-founder of Reddit has admitted to secretly editing comments on the r/The_Donald subreddit, a forum devoted to President-elect Donald Trump.

‘He fessed up to using his admin powers to swap all mentions of his own username with the names of r/The_Donald leaders, so that insulting posts directed at him ended up targeting their creators.’

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