Reporter Fired by National Public Broadcaster for Anti-Semitic Remarks

A radio presenter at ABC has been terminated after facing backlash from the Jewish community over a series of pro-Palestine social media posts. Antoinette Lattouf was let go after hosting ABC Sydney’s morning radio program for just three days. The Australian journalist had been scheduled to host the program for five days before being sacked on December 20, just hours after her program.

According to reports, Ms. Lattouf’s termination came after she co-wrote an article questioning claims that pro-Palestine protesters shouted “gas the Jews” at a rally outside the Sydney Opera House. The complaint against Ms. Lattouf was raised by a Jewish woman to ABC Managing Director David Anderson. She claimed that the journalist was biased and expressed concerns about her stance on opposing the authenticity of the ‘gas the Jews’ chants at the Sydney Opera House.

Furthermore, the complaints over her presenter role were allegedly raised with ABC Chair Ita Buttrose, who was reportedly “furious” about the decision to hire the casual fill-in role. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry applauded ABC’s decision to sack Ms. Lattouf, stating that she has “consistently” used her platform to “spread disinformation about ­Israel and to gaslight the Jewish community.”

In response to her termination, Lattouf stated on social media that she was “disappointed by the ABC’s decision” and believed she was “terminated unlawfully.” Additionally, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) called the sacking “incredibly disturbing” and expressed concern over the ABC’s alleged interference in editorial independence. The ABC MEAA House Committee also extended support to diverse colleagues, stating “you are not alone, we have your back.”

Ms. Lattouf’s posts on various social media platforms are said to have violated the ABC’s social media policies. In one of her posts, she expressed that it is “dangerous to, and ­disingenuous, to discuss Hamas using rape as a tool of war without acknowledging that ­Israeli forces do too.” Additionally, she criticized the video that purported to show pro-Palestine protesters chanting anti-Semitic comments as being edited. Former ABC Sydney presenter Josh Szeps supported Lattouf on Instagram while disparaging the broadcaster.

It is noteworthy that Ms. Lattouf had joined hundreds of journalists in signing an open letter calling for Australian newsrooms to exercise “professional skepticism when prioritizing or relying on uncorroborated Israeli government and military sources to shape coverage as is applied to Hamas.” This demonstrates her firm stance on topics related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and her termination could be viewed as a form of silencing dissenting voices within the media.

The controversy surrounding Antoinette Lattouf’s dismissal raises broader questions about the freedom of speech and the responsibility of journalists to uphold the policies and values of their employers. The termination has sparked a debate over ABC’s editorial independence and the protection of journalists from diverse backgrounds against public attacks. This case serves as a reminder of the complexities that arise when media organizations confront issues of bias, impartiality, and the societal and political implications of their coverage.


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