Indigenous TV reporter Brooke Boney has unleashed on Pauline Hanson for a controversial rant which got the politician banned from the Today show.
The One Nation senator and frequent Today show guest was banned by Nine after she called locked-down housing commission residents ‘drug addicts and alcoholics’ and said those unable to understand government advice should learn English in an extraordinary interview on Monday morning.
Boney – herself an entertainment reporter for Today – said there was a difference in using free speech to drive public debate forward and doing so ‘to be deliberately mean-spirited’.
‘I’m all for free speech, and I think that people, when they have different perspectives and different opinions, that most of the time it does help drive argument forward or debate forward,’ she said on Q&A on Monday evening.
Boney – herself an entertainment reporter for Today – said there was a difference in using free speech to drive public debate forward and doing so ‘to be deliberately mean-spirited’
‘But when you use it to vilify people, or to be deliberately mean and mean-spirited, it’s… that, to me, is disgusting.’
Nine executives said the comments by the divisive senator were ‘ill-informed and divisive’, while the network’s director of morning television Steven Burling called them ‘unacceptable’.
‘I am so happy to see her gone,’ Boney told Q&A host Hamish Macdonald. ‘She says hurtful things about Aboriginal people as well that upset me.
‘It’s not about me being upset – it’s about someone being intentionally divisive. And they’re ill-informed, they’re just not true – the things that she says.
‘That’s what’s really upsetting because, as a journalist, you try your very best to make sure that what you say is factual and even when you do give your opinion, you don’t say things that aren’t true.’
Boney added Ms Hanson’s controversial interview earlier in the day had left her ‘completely heartbroken’ – especially considering the Aboriginal presenter herself grew up in a housing commission home.
The journalist spoke earlier this year about growing up ‘poor’ in a Muswellbrook housing commission in NSW’s Hunter Valley – with her single mother Leonie struggling financially to support her and her five siblings.
Residents of the Flemington Towers Government Housing complex are tested for COVID-19 in Melbourne on Monday. Pauline Hanson has been banned from appearing on Channel Nine’s Today show after she said refugees should be accustomed to tough conditions inside locked-down tower blocks having experienced life in the war-torn countries they came from
‘I was thinking about all of those kids sitting at home watching, all of those people trapped in their apartments thinking ”This is what Australia thinks of us. This is what the rest of our country thinks – is that we’re alcoholics and drug addicts”,’ Boney said.
Nine executives decided the ever-outspoken One Nation senator had crossed a line with her comments to Today host Allison Langdon and said she would not appear on the show again.
‘Come on Ally, we’ve seen food being delivered there [the locked-down housing commission towers,’ Hanson said.
‘A lot of them are drug addicts as well, they are getting their medication, they are alcoholics so they’re being looked after in that way.’
‘I am so happy to see her gone,’ Boney told Q+A host Hamish Macdonald when asked if she was pleased Channel Nine gave Hanson the boot. ‘She says hurtful things about Aboriginal people as well that upset me.’
Boney said Hanson’s controversial interview earlier in the day had left her ‘completely heartbroken’ given her own upbringing in a Housing Commission home
Pauline Hanson (left) was banned from her regular appearance on the Today show after a shocking rant about residents in Melbourne’s public housing towers on Monday that led host Allison Langdon to ask: ‘Do you have a heart Pauline?’
Police patrol the housing commission flats at 120 Racecourse Road in Flemington on Monday
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8,586
New South Wales: 3,429
Western Australia: 621
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 108
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8,586
Hanson said refugees should be accustomed to tough conditions having experienced life in the war-torn home countries.
Speaking to Sky News’ Andrew Bolt while wearing a shirt emblazoned with the Australian flag on Monday evening, Ms Hanson denied claims her comments were ‘ill-informed’ and said they were not racist.
‘As long as I’m a member of parliament, I’m going to keep speaking out and saying what I feel, what needs to be said if we’re going to have a cohesive society,’ she said as she revealed she ‘didn’t regret’ her comments.
‘I couldn’t care less about whether I go on Channel 9 or not.
‘I have my Facebook page, I connect with people. I don’t really care about Channel 9 or Channel 7.’
She claimed she was only being called racist because people disagreed with her point of view.
‘I’m up for election in two years time – if they don’t want me, good. Don’t vote for me. That’s as simple as that. Until then, they’ve got me for the next two years and if you don’t like its stiff biccies,’ she said.
‘I’m not disrespectful to people but I will call out the way I see it which is in tune with a lot of Australians.
‘Having criticism is not racism. I’m not racist and people misuse that word when they disagree with what you have to say.’
Hanson denied claims her comments on the Today show about Melbourne’s locked down public housing residents were ‘ill-informed’ and that they constituted racism.