Australian Journalist Tells Readers To “F—k Off” Over Gaza Column, Then Quits

“I told a few people to f—k off. We do that in this country occasionally.”

1. Veteran journalist Mike Carlton resigned from The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday, after being told he was to be suspended for sending abusive emails to the newspaper’s readers.

2. The drama surrounding Mr Carlton, known for his years as a radio shock jock, reached a peak when one of his columns on the Israel-Hamas conflict was accompanied by this controversial cartoon.

The Sydney Morning Herald / Via

The cartoon sparked controversy in the Jewish community for the use of the Kippah, Star of David and the “hook nose” leading to the Sydney Morning Herald to retract it and issue an apology.

“It was wrong to publish the cartoon in its original form. We apologise unreservedly for this lapse, and the anguish and distress that has been caused,” wrote Sydney Morning Herald Editor Darren Goodsir in an editorial published on Monday.

3. Mr Carlton stood by the cartoon and the contents of the column which was titled, “Israel’s rank and rotten fruit is being called fascism”.

4. It emerged Mr Carlton not only was telling people to “fuck off” to critics on Twitter, but the Herald Sun reported he was also serving abuse to those who contacted him via email.

Mr Goodsir confirmed there were multiple instances where Mr Carlton sent correspondence containing abusive language.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable. I have asked Mike to apologise for these actions. Mike regrets his behaviour and will be contacting affected readers to apologise,” Mr Goodsir wrote on Tuesday.

5. Mr Carlton quit Wednesday and took several parting shots at the News Corp media outlets who were reporting his departure as lead news and the readers who disagreed with him.

6. One of Mr Carlton’s good friends and Sydney Morning Herald investigative journalist Kate McClymont felt it was a sad day for journalism.

I am so upset by @MikeCarlton01 resigning from @smh. This is a grim day for our profession.

— Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont)

7. Mr Carlton is the latest high-profile departure from the Sydney Morning Herald following several rounds of cost cutting and redundancies. There is no word yet whether he’ll continue to report and write for another Australian publication.

Radnom House

Huge thanks to Fairfax colleagues, media and other mates - and most of all you fair-minded Australians. Moved by your support.

— Mike Carlton (@MikeCarlton01)

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Mark Di Stefano is a political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
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