Junkee’s Osman Faruqi sues Mark Latham for defamation over ‘anti-white racism’comments
The news and political editor of pop culture website Junkee has launched defamation proceedings against Mark Latham over the former Labor leader’s claims he promotes “anti-white racism” and encourages terrorism.
Osman Faruqi, a former Greens staffer and candidate, filed documents in the Federal Court on Tuesday seeking damages and legal costs from Latham over comments made on his OutsidersYouTube program.
The Junkee editor joins a roll-call of political and media figures who have threatened to take, or in fact taken, legal action against the controversial former Labor leader for defamation.
Latham set up the Outsiders program after he was sacked by Sky News in March following weeks of controversy involving his description of a Sydney Boys High School student as “gay”, and feuds with other Sky News presenters including former Labor premier Kristina Keneally.
In an Outsiders episode uploaded on August 2, titled “The Rise of Anti-White Racism and Terrorist Plots in Australia”, Latham took aim at Faruqi for tweeting about the citizenship saga that led Greens Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters to quit Parliament.
HOW GREENS TREAT FREE SPEECH
A journalist with access to a popular news site suing a commentator for defamation, rather than meet argument with argument? This lawfare is really off:
Mark Latham is in hot water over a provocative video in which he accused left-wing journalist Osman Faruqi of “white racism”.
Faruqi, a former Greens staffer and candidate who is Junkee’s news and political editor, is suing Latham for defamation over comments made on his Outsiders video channel, in which he singled out Faruqi over a tweet in which he appeared to celebrate the downfall of white Australian politicians.
“The white people are getting f****d Yas, it’s happening,” the journalist said in the tweet, directed at his friend Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
The comment was made in a Twitter a conversation about then Greens Senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, the first of a string of politicians caught up in the dual citizenship crisis that has embroiled the Parliament.
“He is celebrating anti-white racism in Australia,” Latham said in the video, a transcript of which has been filed in court.
“These people are fomenting hatred of white people. And as such, they are effectively encouraging the terrorists in this political environment, to do their worst.”
“If you are generating hatred of white people, have a good look at yourself because it is not the Australian way, we shouldn’t have racial hatred of any kind in this country. And the rise of anti-white racism is just phenomenally unacceptable.”
Unacceptable yes. But its worldwide.
“Dude wtf is happening…?” Muslim activist and television host Yassmin Abdel-Magied tweeted at Faruqi in July 27.
“The white people are getting f—ed Yas, it’s happening,” Faruqi replied.
Abdel-Magied replied: “Hahahaha. Look, they wanted people to go back to where they came from … and didn’t realise it included them too?”
Latham said of Faruqi’s tweets: “He is celebrating anti-white racism in Australia.”
The former Labor leader said “this type of anti-white racism is totally unacceptable” and the comments fomented “hatred of white people”.
“As such, they are effectively encouraging the terrorists in this political environment to do their worst,” he said.
Wait a minute – Muslims like Waleed Aly & Anne Aly always accuse normal Australians of assisting terrorism, by disliking Islam!
In a statement of claim, Faruqi said the program conveyed three defamatory meanings, including that he “knowingly assists terrorist fanatics who want to kill innocent people in Australia” and “condones the murder of innocent people by Islamic terrorists”.
He also claims the program conveys that he “encourages and facilitates terrorism”.
Ms Keneally considered taking legal action against Latham after he called her an “Obeid protege” on air, in a reference to jailed former Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid.
Veteran broadcaster and presenter Wendy Harmer also considered legal action after Latham labelled her a “commercial failure” and implied she was given a job at the “sheltered” ABC because she was a woman with a disability.
Harmer, who is the host of ABC Radio Sydney’s morning program, has previously spoken about being born with a double cleft lip and palate. The condition was operated on when she was 15, but as a child she endured years of bullying.
In March last year, author and journalist Lisa Pryor settled her defamation action against Latham over a column he penned in The Australian Financial Review entitled “Why left feminists don’t like kids”.
Faruqi’s lawyer Josh Bornstein, head of Maurice Blackburn’s Employment and Industrial Law team, said: “The statements made with reference to our client we believe are of a very serious and defamatory nature, and we have now filed proceedings on our client’s behalf in seeking to have this matter addressed and resolved as soon as possible.”
Fairfax Media contacted Latham for comment.
Here’s Mark Latham on the Alan Jones show.