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People Are Mad Sky News Got The Guy Who Wants Hitler's Photo In Every Classroom On For A Friendly Chat

Blair Cottrell has been found guilty of inciting serious contempt for Muslims and was jailed in 2012 for stalking his ex-girlfriend's new partner with an axe.

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Sky News Australia has removed an interview with far right nationalist Blair Cottrell from repeat timeslots and online platforms just hours after the interview with the former United Patriots Front leader aired.

It was wrong to have Blair Cottrell on Sky News Australia. His views do not reflect ours. The interview has been removed from repeat timeslots and online platforms. - Greg Byrnes, News Director

Cottrell, who once said a photo of Adolf Hitler and copies of Mein Kampf should be in every Australian school, was invited onto The Adam Giles Show for a studio interview on Sunday night. Giles is a former Country Liberal chief minister for the Northern Territory.

During the interview, Cottrell, who was last year found guilty of inciting serious contempt for Muslims, said Australia should stop immigration from every other country in the world except South Africa.

Politicians and pundits, including those who work for Sky News, tweeted in protest about the interview.

Journalist Laura Jayes, who hosts The Latest With Laura Jayes on Sky News Australia, called Cottrell a "self-confessed Hitler fan" and an "arsehole".

Blair Cottrell is a far right-wing fascist who’s a self confessed Hitler fan. 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.

Laura Jayes/Twitter

Sky News political editor David Speers said the outrage over Cottrell's appearance on the channel was "understandable".

I have just arrived back in the country tonight to be met with the understandable outrage over this. 100% agree with @ljayes. As News Director Greg Byrnes says it was wrong to have this guy on Sky News. https://t.co/QQF4ESRmbJ

Sky News Australia presenter Janine Perrett said Cottrell was a "convicted criminal with a dangerous record".

Blair Cottrell should not be described as an activist but for what he truly is - a convicted criminal with a dangerous record. His offenses are too long to list on Twitter but should be included in any introduction to him.

Janine Perrett/Twitter

Perrett was one of many online who slammed her own station for promoting Cottrell as an "activist" before the interview aired.

Sky News/Twitter

Cottrell, who has convictions for violent assaults and trafficking testosterone, has called Sky News Australia's decision to delete the interview "pathetic" and accused the station of caving to "Lefist [sic] abuse".

Lol so Sky News caved already to Lefist abuse. I suppose my ideas are so irrefutable, that the only recourse is to silence me. How pathetic. https://t.co/vI0k4nNxlq

Cottrell was sentenced to four months in prison in May 2012 after being convicted of 13 charges, including seven counts of intentionally damaging property after he chased his ex-girlfriend's new partner with a tomahawk and torched his garage.

Twitter

The discussion about Cottrell's past behaviour has led to screenshots of his past online activity resurfacing, including a YouTube comment in which he wrote: "Women have manipulated me using sex and emotion; demoralization, and I have manipulated them using violence and terror."

Cottrell is currently fundraising for a High Court challenge to fight his conviction for inciting serious contempt for Muslims, after he uploaded a video on the United Patriots Front Facebook page of a mock beheading to protest the building of a mosque in Bendigo.

Blair Cottrell is going to be absolutely thrilled that he got legitimised with a Sky News interview AND now gets to claim that he's being censored by the mainstream media, this is the best possible outcome for him

Former Labor minister Craig Emerson quit his gig as a commentator for Sky News Australia on Monday morning after the Cottrell interview, which he said was "another step in a journey to normalising racism & bigotry in our country".

“My father fought Nazis in WWII and was interred in a German POW camp,” he wrote on Twitter.

Update: Sky News Australia chief executive Angelos Frangopoulos has revealed the Adam Giles Show is in "recess" while an investigation into editorial processes in relation to the Cottrell interview is underway.

A statement from Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO Australian News Channel, regarding the Sunday night broadcast of The Adam Giles Show. https://t.co/KLS9AEgXhM

"Blair Cottrell will not be back on the channel," Frangopoulos said in a statement.


Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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