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Malcolm Turnbull Admits Dobbing In SBS Reporter Over "Offensive" Tweets

People have slammed SBS's decision to sack a reporter for criticising Anzac Day on Twitter.

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Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has admitted he contacted SBS Managing Director Michael Ebeid over "offensive" tweets sent by an SBS reporter.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

The reporter, Scott McIntyre, sent a barrage of tweets that questioned the validity of the Anzac narrative, describing Anzac Day commemorations “against all ideals of modern society”.

Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.

Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan.

In a statement on Turnbull's website, where he responds to questions from the website Crikey, he says he condemned the comments on Twitter because McIntyre was clearly connected to SBS.

"The tweets by Mr McIntyre were made on his Twitter account which clearly identified him as an SBS reporter and which he used as part of his work at SBS to report on football," he said.

"The comments were so offensive that they deserved the widespread condemnation that they received."

Difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments than those by @mcintinhos. Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned.

Turnbull clarified that he was not responsible for the decision to sack McIntyre, announced on Sunday by Ebeid and SBS Sports Director Ken Shipp.

"As soon as I was made aware of the tweets by Mr McIntyre I drew them to the attention of the Managing Director Mr Ebeid who then investigated the matter," Turnbull said.

"The management of SBS however, not the Government, is responsible for staffing decisions at SBS."

While some agreed with the decision to sack McIntyre, others have accused SBS of curtailing free speech and solidifying the heroic Anzac narrative as something that must not be questioned.

Twitter: Where people think being punished by bad censorious laws for being offensive is the same as losing your job for breach of contract

Freedom of speech means the right to speak/write without breaking the law, not the right to keep your job when giving offence #ScottMcIntyre

.@michaelebeid Actually, @mcintinhos deserves support for being the only one in the media daring to critique the dominant narrative.

The public lynching @mcintinhos is having to endure says volumes of how Anzackery has been elevated to a national religion, above reproach.

Writer and historian Geoff Lemon called for more nuance in the Anzac debate in a series of tweets.

Scott McIntyre's comments are partly generalisations showing poor historical grasp, and partly reflect historical truth.

As a historian who specialised in Australia's World Wars, it's alarming that I could cop the same vitriol for making verifiable statements.

The abuse poured on him is alarming: politicians and shock jocks sensing an easy target, rousing people who have very partial information.

Stray from the national heroic narrative and be cast forever into the fire.

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance has issued a statement expressing concern about the sacking of Scott McIntyre and describing social media policies as "inflexible" and restrictive.

"Increasingly, media employees are being required to use social media platforms to promote their work and those accounts are then being used as a marketing tool benefitting media employers," the statement read.

"The policies have begun to infringe on the private lives of media professionals, dictating what they can and can't say in a private capacity, outside of their work."

"MEAA believes that employers must recognise that their employees are entitled to a private life, with their own beliefs and opinions; opinions that should be able to be expressed without heavy-handed retribution by the employer."

Scott McIntyre has been contacted for comment.