Nothing to see here, by Nick Tabakoff.
A highly-critical Sunday Telegraph column from April last year about controversial social media activist and former ABC personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied has been cleared of any breach after a complaint to the Press Council.
The Piers Akerman column — titled “What genius gave this Islam idiot a soapbox” — could never have been accused of pulling its punches. It variously dubbed Ms Abdel-Magied as a “silly Muslim woman”, “stupid”, someone who “was always bound to utter great inanities”, “a fool”, “nonentity” and “halfwit”. The column also referenced her headline-making Facebook comments about Anzac Day last year, which Akerman described as “ridiculous”. The council said Akerman’s opinions were “likely to offend many”.
But the ruling went on to state: “It is in the public interest in freedom of speech that vigorous public debate be permitted, even when expressed in extreme terms, as is the case here. Accordingly, the Council considered that there had been no breach of its Standards of Practice.”
Free speech upheld, hooray!