This Bill Leak Tribute Was Criticised, Then Vanished, And Now It's Back Heavily Edited

    A tweet from the author calling critics "triggered" has also been deleted.

    Conservative outlet Spectator Australia has republished a tribute to late cartoonist and free speech advocate Bill Leak, however this time with portions of the original story removed. Without explanation.

    Spectator Australia

    The tribute to Leak, who died last week, by freelance writer Daisy Cousens was published on Tuesday afternoon under the headline "My Bill". It detailed an encounter with Bill Leak at a dinner, and a later phone conversation.

    This is just a staggeringly bad piece of writing. (And before you make assumptions, I speak as a friend of Bill's f… https://t.co/6kNe63bkHk

    Hours later the story vanished from the website.

    Spectator Australia

    Cousens' tweets about the story, including one that asked if critics were "triggered", were also deleted.

    On Wednesday morningthe story reappeared. A cached version (below right) reveals what's been changed, including details of a dinner where Leak and Cousens apparently met.

    An entire encounter — where Cousens recalled Leak and conservative commentator Nick Cater describing her as "beautiful Daisy" during a car trip — was also removed.

    Spectator Australia

    There was no note at the end of the story to acknowledge it had been significantly altered.

    Spectator Australia

    BuzzFeed News has made repeated attempts to contact Cousens and Spectator Australia's Rowan Dean about the changes.

    Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Mark Di Stefano at mark.distefano@buzzfeed.com.

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