SkyNews Australia has apologised for airing an interview with controversial far-right nationalist Blair Cottrell and deleted the interview from its online platforms.
We at Sky News can't attack other outlets for letting themselves be platforms for Left-wing extremists and jihadism apologists, and then ourselves give a platform to a thug, bully and anti-Semite like Blair Cottrell. "His views do not reflect ours".
Within hours of the interview going to air and being shared on various Sky News social media platforms, the channel removed the interview from their repeat timeslots and online platforms.
He regularly tweets about Hitler and executing his "enemies" and has previously called for a picture of Hitler to be hung in every Australian classroom.
Former Labor politician Craig Emerson quit as a Sky News commentator in the wake of the scandal, telling the public his father fought Nazis in World War II and was interred in a German prisoner of war camp.
The former United Patriots Front leader was invited onto the Adam Giles Show for a studio interview and spoke with the former Northern Territory chief minister about winding back on immigration and protecting countries against foreign ideologies.
The interview also aired across Virgin Australia's airport lounge network, drawing fire from users on Twitter, who called for the carrier to end their broadcast deal.
Sky News presenter Laura Jayes said Mr Cottrell was "just an a*sehole" while political editor David Speers tweeted he "100%" agreed with Ms Jayes.
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"The decision to allow Cottrell onto the channel was another step in a journey to normalising racism and bigotry in our country", Emerson said. "He's boasted about using "violence and terror" to manipulate women".
Sky News has now banned Cottrell from the channel and is investigating the editorial processes which enabled it to happen in the first place.
"Blair Cottrell is a far right-wing fascist who's a self confessed Hitler fan".
Viewers pointed out that Cottrell was past year convicted of inciting contempt of Muslims, and that he has previously called for schools to display pictures of Adolf Hitler.
Mr Cottrell, a self-employed Melbourne builder, also said he believed Australians lacked national pride.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said the interview was a "shameful low".
David Shoebridge, a Greens party MP, said he would refuse all offers to go on Sky "until it gives a full apology and clear commitment to never again air this man's hateful views".
"I suppose my ideas are so irrefutable, that the only recourse is to silence me", he tweeted.
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