By Marcus Honesta.
Thank God for sanity finally prevailing.
Showing just how out of touch that sanctimonious, blowhard and windbag the former Race Discrimination Commissioner Mr Soutphommasane really was when he said. “I take no pleasure in saying this, but, right now, it feels like there has never been a more exciting time to be a dog-whistling politician or race-baiting commentator in Australia”.
In a direct slap in the face him and his ilk, the Australian Press Council has ruled that a controversial cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams’s dummy spit during the US Open final by the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight did not breach media standards.
The cartoon of Williams jumping in the air above a broken tennis racquet during the final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka last year in September drew accusations of racism and sexism around the world.
Knight strenuously denied the allegations when made.
In a statement, the Press Council said it “accepts that the cartoon was illustrated in response to the events” that took place at the US Open final last year on September 9, which attracted global attention.
“The Council considers that the cartoon uses exaggeration and absurdity to make its point but accepts the publisher’s claim that it does not depict Ms Williams as an ape, rather showing her as ‘spitting the dummy’, a non-racist caricature familiar to most Australian readers.”
The Press Council acknowledged that some readers found the cartoon offensive, but also accepted that there was a “sufficient public interest in commenting on behaviour and sportsmanship during a significant dispute between a tennis player with a globally high profile and an umpire at the US Open final.”
“As such, the Council does not consider that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing substantial offence, distress or prejudice, without sufficient justification in the public interest. Accordingly the Council concludes that its Standards of Practice were not breached.”
To use and expression much used by a well-known radio broadcaster, “Soutphommasane and your scaly mates just get out of our lives”.