News National SBS journo sacked for ‘despicable’ Anzac tweets
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SBS journo sacked for ‘despicable’ Anzac tweets

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SBS says a sports presenter who made highly inappropriate comments about diggers was fired because audiences could no longer respect or trust him.

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The multicultural broadcaster on Sunday sacked football journalist Scott McIntyre for a series of tweets on Anzac Day that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull described as “despicable”.

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.

Besides causing outrage on social media, the tweets also caught the eye of the minister, who said it was difficult to think of anything more offensive or inappropriate.

“Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned,” Mr Turnbull tweeted.

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.”

-AAP

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