Australian Sports presenter/journalist Scott Mcintyre recently got sacked by his Television Network SBS for making some “offensive remarks” about ANZAC soldiers and general comments about World Wars 1 and 2. The Journalist took to his Twitter account to make a series of tweets that were Anti-War, Anti Anzac Day and Anti glorification- voicing an opinion that is controversially “different” to the general take on the Australian and New Zealand war Veterans and their roles not only in Gallipoli, Turkey but numerous other locations during International war campaigns.

The Australian Channel SBS is known for its “diverse” and “alternative” take on news and current affairs and it is a channel that prides itself from presenting –other than– mainstream views on a variety of topics. Some people saw his sacking as justified whilst others have pulled into question the supposed freedoms of “Freedom Of Speech”.

People that know me might notice that every year during ANZAC day (April 25th) all of my social media outlets are silent. As our Television stations, radio channels and workplaces inundate people with the remembrance of our fallen soldiers and the hard work put forward by Australian and New Zealand service men and women we see that our social media outlets are flooded with comments, memes, pictures and memoirs commemorating the day – except that i do not say a word.

Anzac Day- April 25th- Is an important day in Australias History.

Anzac Day- April 25th- Is an important day in Australias History.

There are a few reasons for this, first of all War is a complex thing. It is easy to put forward a romanticized narrative about Wars, especially when Nationalism comes into play, yet once we look past the facade of the ever so simplistic views of Anzac day and if we dig deep into the wars and our involvement within them we see that not only is war ugly, it actually holds to it two different sides and two different perspectives and once we take a moment to view the war from another perspective it must put into question exactly what we are glorifying and why.?

The same goes for Australia Day- many of us are so caught up in our modern day nationalistic pride that we forget, for some people- the Aboriginals- or the “other perspective” such a day is not a day of celebration, glory or honour but a day of regret, hostility and pain. That is why i also fail to make commentary about Australia Day because i actually think about the other side, i precisely question if i celebrate such an occasion, may i be hurting others? The exact same thing goes for ANZAC day, if i glorify such a day, may i be hurting those that saw the occasion as something else? Something like an invasion or aggressive attempt at war? It’s not my place to make such a compelling stand and statement.

This is where people need to understand, just as the case of Scott Mcintyre- failing to acknowledge such days the same ways as other people acknowledges them doesn’t mean i disrespect our history, neither does it mean i hate my beautiful country or all that we stand for. It doesn’t make us an enemy or disrespectful mongrels that spit on the graves of fallen soldiers. I am absolutely sure i have friends that have had relatives involved in such occasions and i refuse to belittle their efforts or bravery in the face of war, yet i respond to complex issues with a complex mind. I cannot “simplify” war and i cannot dumb down the details of such intense and scattered battles where many individuals stories and narratives contradict the “perfect” storyboard of events that is given to us.

Australia Day: A day of celebration for some and a day of dismay for others.

Australia Day: A day of celebration for some and a day of dismay for others.

There is no Orthodoxy on how an Australian should view ANZAC day or Australia day yet the fact of the matter is people are cast as treacherous villains for having outside opinions of such events that are fed to us by our Politicians and the Media. I cannot help but think as we intensify in such remembrance year after year we are coming a step closer to not only glorifying a past war but unintentionally and subconsciously preparing to glorify our involvement in future wars– most of which are not sanctioned by us but our Allies overseas.

I do not believe Scott Mcintyre should have been fired for his opinions, even if they were poorly expressed. His Employer could have easily “distanced themselves” from his statements on his personal Twitter by distinctively stating his words are not an expression of their views or beliefs- but they should have stood by his right to say what he did without losing his livelihood. Our Nanny State antics are hitting the roof if even a person that works for Australias most “diverse” channel cannot voice his own controversial opinion without getting fired for it or being forced to apologize for offending others.

SBS Sports Journalist Scott Mcintyre fired for

SBS Sports Journalist Scott Mcintyre fired for “offensive” comments about ANZAC day.

Besides, many of the Murdoch Run Newspapers across Australia run articles by “pop up journalists” all the time that are full of racist, homophobic, ignorant and offensive statements in the form of “blogs” and they all manage to keep their jobs, in fact their presence becomes more highlighted, just as the case with out of the Blue “journalists” Rita Panahi or Tim Blair who constantly makes offensive jibes at Muslims in the form of News Corporated “blog” articles. The truth of the matter is i don’t expect any better from such rubbish press, yet i did and still do expect better from SBS who pride themselves in supposed diversity to be able to handle a “diverse” opinion.

At the end of the day Freedom Of Speech is paramount in any civilized society. My lack of speech indicates that i am not confident enough to celebrate, glorify or amplify such days on our calender. I acknowledge the history of it, i acknowledge the Peoples bravery and spirit in the face of war- yet i cannot commemorate something i cannot relate to. There are far too many dissenting opinions and there is more than one perspective we must look through. I look at such days as lessons at most- perhaps such days could make us think more about the value of human life and the tragedy of war and perhaps such days could encourage us to not send more troops abroad so we can avoid the risk of allowing history to repeat itself- again.

Peace, Salam.

Ramey

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Comments
  1. earleydaysyet says:

    I have relatives on both sides of my family who have been in the military – grandfather, uncles, cousins. My father and my cousin even flew in the same Squadron a generation apart (Vietnam & Timor, respectively), and marched together on Anzac Day this year.

    I hate war and what it stands for, I hate that my dad has suffered for 45 years with (until recently, undiagnosed) PTSD, and the effect that’s had on our family. I despise the jingoistic talk of Anzac/Australia Days, and I greatly fear we are approaching a situation where – as in the U.S. – “support the troops!” becomes less a slogan than a litmus test akin to “love it or leave it”.

  2. astrostevo says:

    This song that I posted on Anzac day is (I think) historically true, powerfully moving and questioning :

    Eric Bogle’s “And the band played Waltzing Matilda’ with a youtube intro that’s well worth reading too.

    The Gallipoli campaign was a stupid unsuccessful waste of young lives and potential.

    I don’t think that’s in doubt or at least it shouldn’t be and yet we’ve repeated its mistakes time and again from Vietnam to Iraq. as the the song puts it “We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs then we started all over again”. I went to the Dawn Service with my family this year as most other years. There were more people this year than I recall seeing any earlier year. Anzac day has changed and grown over time – and back in the (?) 1960’s-1980’s it was in danger of fading away and out with many wondering how much longer it would go on.

    There should be questioning of Anzac day – symbolising and standing for the wider World War I period – and its role in “making our nation” too. I seem to recall an excellent ‘Lateline’ segment one year (last year?) on the people we lost and what they hoped us to be and an argument that far from making our nation it set us back and warped our development badly.

    Anzac day is complex and multi-faceted and I agree it should not be a glorification of war and not become an unquestioning, mythologised patriotic glorification of national pride and xenophobia.

    As far as Scott Mcintyre’s comments and sacking goes – I think they were inappropriate especially on the day and did cause a lot of upset and it was up to SBS as his employer to decide how to react. Some of his comments were at least arguably classist and pretty nasty sweeping generalisations and freedom of speech does NOT mean freedom from consequences for poorly chosen and offensive speech. If his words had been racist or sexist he would’ve deserved firing. His badly timed and chosen and hyperbolic words, well, I don’t know but I can understand why they sacked him. Because I think he did hurt and upset a lot of people who didn’t deserve it.

    But I don’t really know.

  3. PUBLISHED UNDER THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH LAW

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