ABC apologises to Andrew Bolt
The ABC has apologised to commentator Andrew Bolt for comments made about him by indigenous academic Marcia Langton on Q&A.PT2M7S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-34yps 620 349 March 18, 2014
Aboriginal academic Marcia Langton has written a 19-page essay clarifying "the nature of her apology" to controversial columnist Andrew Bolt, and again raising the spectre of his views on race.
The statement, which runs close to 5000 words, was published on the ABC's Q&A website after host Tony Jones issued an apology on Monday night for broadcasting comments made by Professor Langton during the previous week's program.
[Andrew Bolt's] singling out of 'fair skinned' Aboriginal people goes to the issue of 'race' and could be construed as racist
Last Monday, Langton said Bolt had heaped "foul abuse" on indigenous woman Misty Jenkins, which had led to her withdrawal from public life.
Marcia Langton has clarified her apology to Andrew Bolt. Photo: John Woudstra
Langton later backed down from her comments in an interview with Bolt and radio broadcaster Steve Price on 2GB on Wednesday.
She told Bolt that while she didn't think he was racist, "he's playing with racist ideas. He goes too far to the line".
"I will apologise to you," she said.
Not satisfied with ABC's apology: Andrew Bolt. Photo: Justin McManus
During Monday's Q&A, Jones then apologised on behalf of the ABC for broadcasting Langton's remarks.
Meanwhile, Langton was busy retweeting at least 30 posts from people on Twitter, some which supported either her or Bolt, and others that criticised the ABC for issuing an apology.
Some retweets included comments that labelled Mr Bolt as "racist".
Bolt has since criticised the ABC for its apology by posting a brief blog post on Tuesday morning saying that the broadcaster “did not got far enough”.
Media Watch host Paul Barry commented in his show immediately prior to Q&A that because Langton had apologised, the ABC was potentially legally vulnerable to action by Bolt, who had demanded the ABC also say sorry.
However, in her written statement published on the ABC website, Langton asserted that her apology was not an indication that she was backing down from her initial comments.
“I apologised for causing offence to him, because he stated that I should apologise to him because I had 'hurt his feelings' and offended him. I did not apologise for my beliefs or my intention of trying to explain my beliefs,” Langton wrote.
She reiterated her sentiments saying that Bolt's “singling out of 'fair skinned' Aboriginal people goes to the issue of 'race' and could be construed as racist”.
"I believe that his obsessive writing about the colour of the skin of particular Aboriginal people is malicious and cowardly. The question should also be asked as to whether, by publishing photographs and personal details about these people, he is drawing attention to them for the benefit of his followers, who regularly demonstrate in the social media their extremist racist views," Langton wrote.
Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act in 2011 after he suggested in a series of blog posts that "fair-skinned" indigenous people took advantage of their heritage to make political or career gains.
In her essay about her apology, Langton wrote: “He believes that he is not racist, and I believe that he is sincere in this belief. Nevertheless, I am particularly concerned about the harm that his attacks do to these young people, the impact on their self esteem, and the harm to other young Aboriginal people.”
The essay includes quotes from sources ranging from news articles to research about the impact of racism on the health of Aboriginal people.
Langton said Bolt had twice refused to allow her to explain her concerns that racial abuse indirectly contributes to high rates of suicide among indigenous youths.