Neil Mitchell says the removal of a podcast interview with Pauline Hanson less than 24 hours after it was published is “suppressing and abusing a basic freedom” which underpins our society.
Journalist Jessica Rowe interviewed Pauline Hanson’s on her life outside of politics for The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show podcast.
The interview was pulled less than 24 hours after being published earlier this week after backlash on social media.
Neil Mitchell says the removal of the podcast threatens a basic freedom which our society is based on.
“It’s been taken down because of pressure from a number of groups … they said Pauline Hanson had no right to be heard,” the 3AW Mornings presenter said.
“That, to me, reeks of the … Chinese Communist philosophy.
“I think Pauline Hanson should be allowed to talk. I certainly disagree with a lot of what she says but it seems she’s being censored.
“She has views – many of them are wrong – but have we really got the right to deny her the right to express them or to try and pressure the media out of reporting them?
“It’s suppressing and abusing a pretty basic freedom, and it’s a freedom on which our society is based – freedom to an opinion and freedom for that to be reported by a free press.
“To me it looks like political bullying and thuggery.”
In a heated interview, Neil Mitchell clashed with Network 10 senior journalist Antoinette Lattouf over the pulling of the podcast.
Antoinette Lattouf: “It was a really soft-ball interview and I think for someone who is that divisive and contentious and offends so many people with her rhetoric … I just don’t think you can be asking what your favourite sourdough bakery recipe is and humanising her. That isn’t the role of the media – it’s not to do fluff pieces on someone who is divisive and dangerous.
Neil Mitchell: “What right does Antoinette Lattouf, or Neil Mitchell, or anybody else have to tell that journalist how to conduct that interview? What right does Antoinette Lattouf, or Neil Mitchell, or anybody else have to say that interview isn’t satisfactory to our standards, it can’t be published? That’s not how it works.”
Antoinette Lattouf: “But there was no journalistic standard.”
Neil Mitchell: “But that’s in your judgement!“
Press PLAY below to hear Neil Mitchell and Antoinette Lattouf clash over the podcast
Image: Sam Mooy/Getty Images