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David Marr on Trad vs 2GB

From the SMH:

No victor in fight over inflammatory talkback

Alan Jones’s legal case over anti-Lebanese comments has been lost, but inflammatory jocks might not change their tune, writes David Marr.

Though a good deal less than a day’s pay for Alan Jones, the $10,000 he and 2GB were ordered to pay last week for vilifying Lebanese in Australia is the first punishment inflicted on either the talkback king or his station for attacks on Lebanese Muslims that reached their depths in the days before the Cronulla riots in the summer of 2005.

Jones and 2GB have been ordered to mend their ways in the past but never punished until a few days before Christmas, when the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW upheld a complaint of racial vilification brought by the Sydney Lebanese identity Keysar Trad. The three-member tribunal ordered Jones and his station to pay damages of $10,000 within 21 days and to prepare over summer a form of apology acceptable to Trad.

Trad has promised the cheque to a Muslim charity: the respite centre run by the Australian Council for Women’s Affairs. It has yet to arrive. Negotiations on the apology have not begun. On past form, Jones seems someone not happy to admit he’s in the wrong. Saying sorry isn’t easy for Alan Belford Jones.

News brief · 28 December 2009

Jury Finds Bill White Guilty on Four Counts

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports…

A federal jury today agreed with some but not all of the government’s allegations that former neo-Nazi leader Bill White made threats against various people with whom he disagreed.

White was found guilty of threatening a Citibank employee, intimidating tenants of a Virginia Beach, Va., apartment complex, threatening a University of Delaware administrator and threatening a Canadian human rights lawyer, according to The Roanoke Times. He was acquitted of threatening the Citibank employee with the intent to extort, threatening Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts and threatening a New Jersey mayor.

The jury reached its verdict late this afternoon after deliberating for less than four hours. During the eight-day trial in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Va., the jurors heard testimony from victims who said they were terrified by the blog posts, telephone calls and E-mails that White used to target them. The defense, which did not call any witnesses, argued that White’s communications were protected free speech under the First Amendment.

White, 32, was the self-described commander of the American National Socialist Workers Party, a neo-Nazi group, and ran the hate website until his arrest last fall. He could be sent to prison for up to 40 years.

As our American comrades, the One Peoples Project, like to say, “Hate has its consequences”.

News brief · 23 December 2009

Jones, 2GB ordered to pay Keysar Trad $10,000 for racial vilification

From the ABC:

Jones, 2GB ordered to pay Trad $10k

The radio broadcaster Alan Jones and his employer 2GB have been ordered to pay $10,000 in damages to the Muslim leader Keysar Trad.

Mr Trad, who was born in Lebanon but now lives in Sydney, complained to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal in New South Wales over a series of broadcasts in which he said that Alan Jones had racially vilified Muslims and Lebanese people.

The tribunal says a number of themes emerged during the broadcasts, which took place at the end of April 2005.

They included Mr Jones’ view that Australia is not a mutli-racial but a monocultural society and this monoculture was under threat from the “enemies within.”

News brief · 22 December 2009

Stolen Auschwitz death camp sign recovered

From the ABC:

Police recover stolen Auschwitz sign

Cut in three: the original sign above the entrance
to Auschwitz ( peuplier)

* Video: Auschwitz sign stolen

Polish police say they have recovered the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign stolen on Friday from the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in southern Poland.

“We have arrested five men aged from 20 to 39 in the north of Poland. The recovered sign has been cut up,” Dariusz Nowak, spokesman for the police in southern Krakow, said.

Police had offered a reward to anyone who could help track down the thieves who stole the infamous sign from the arch at the entrance to the Nazi German death camp.

The sign, which translates as “Work sets you free”, came to symbolise the horror of the camp where some 1.1 million mainly Jewish prisoners died during World War II, some from overwork and starvation, but most in the gas chambers.

News brief · 21 December 2009