Far-right nationalist‘s sick rape tweet
MANY Australians had never heard of far-right nationalist and Hitler sympathiser Blair Cottrell before this week.
But a controversial Sky News interview with the convicted arsonist and neo-Nazi - which led to a massive backlash from viewers - has sent the outspoken critic of multiculturalism into a frenzied attack mode.
In a desperate attempt to capitalise on his 15 minutes of fame, the self-employed Melbourne builder has launched several scathing tweets directed the "mainstream media" since Sky News admitted it was "wrong" to air an interview with him on Sunday night.
"I am so hated by the Left and their corporate masters that if you're a presenter for mainstream media in Australia, you'll literally lose your job if you interview me," he claimed in one such tweet this morning.
However, buried among the digital attacks on "leftists" was a particularly disturbing message, which he has now deleted.
The Sky News reporter it was directed at, however, took a screenshot of the vile message - in which the former United Patriots Front leader talked about raping her on air.
"Sky News invited me on, then within 2 hours: Deletes the interview, sacks the presenter & cancels his show, bans me from ever coming back on," he wrote.
"I might as well have raped @ljayes (Sky News political reporter Laura Jayes) on the air, not only would she have been happier with that but the reaction would've been the same."
It came after Ms Jayes - an outspoken critic of the decision to air the interview - attacked the far-right mouthpiece in an earlier tweet.
" Blair Cottrell is a far right-wing fascist who's a self confessed Hitler fan," she wrote. "He's boasted about using 'violence and terror' to manipulate women.
"His rap sheet includes arson, burglary, racial vilification. He's not an activist. He's just an arsehole."
She tweeted out Mr Cottrell's "rape" message last night - saying it proved her original character assessment was correct.
"He's not just a fascist," she added. "He's down right dangerous."
It all comes after an interview with the controversial figure conducted on Sunday evening by Sky host and former Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles.
The footage sparked outrage cross social media and it was criticised by two high profile Sky hosts, David Speers and Jayes.
"We deeply regret featuring the interview on our channel," Sky News Australia chief executive Angelo Frangopoulos said in a statement on Monday.
He said Sky features guests from across the political spectrum, but it was an "error of judgment" to have Mr Cottrell on air.
"(Guests) must be held to account in the context of respectful discourse that meets community and our own expectations," Mr Frangopoulos said. "Blair Cottrell will not be back on the channel."
Sky News has moved Greg Byrnes from news director to the newly-created position of acting program director, and Kaycie Bradford as acting news director, to oversee the guests and content of weekend programs.
Former federal Labor MP Craig Emerson, whose father was interred in a German prisoner of war camp in WWII, quit the broadcaster in protest.
During the interview, the former United Patriots Front leader called for immigration cutbacks and warned against "foreign ideologies" in Australia.
Mr Cottrell was convicted last year of inciting contempt and ridicule of Muslims. He also has convictions for other matters, including arson.
He regularly tweets about Hitler and executing his "enemies" and has previously called for a picture of Hitler to be hung in every Australian classroom.
He has also previously appeared on other radio networks including 3AW and the ABC.
- with wires