An ABC staffer has allegedly cheered on the headbutting attack on former prime minister Tony Abbott in Tasmania by a man wearing a ‘yes’ badge.
Replying to an email from ABC News 24 producer and reporter Jason Om titled ‘Abbott headbutted’, colleague Jonathon Lee appeared to applaud the news.
‘Tony Abbott has told 2GB he was subjected to a ‘Liverpool kiss’ in Hobart by a man who supported same sex marriage,’ wrote Mr Om in an email obtained by The Daily Telegraph.
In less than a minute Mr Lee allegedly wrote back ‘good’, provoking a scathing reaction from Mr Abbott.
An ABC staffer has cheered the alleged headbutting of former prime minister Tony Abbott (pictured is an email sent between ABC employees)
Replying to an email from ABC News 24 producer and reporter Jason Om titled ‘Abbott headbutted’, colleague Jonathon Lee appeared to applaud the news (pictured is Mr Abbott)
‘It’s a symptom of an ugly mindset, an ugly and partisan mindset which should have no place in ‘our’ ABC,’ Mr Abbott told The Daily Telegraph.
‘It’s not ‘our’ ABC if some of its staff are oblivious to violence against people they don’t like. It’s pretty hard for the ‘love is love’ brigade to be taken seriously when there’s not much love shown to people who don’t agree with them.’
While he said he did not want to see Mr Lee get the sack over the email, Mr Abbott said the public broadcaster should be professional and impartial.
In less than a minute Mr Lee had written back ‘Good’, provoking a scathing reaction from Mr Abbott (pictured is Mr Abbott’s lip after the alleged headbutting in Hobart)
Tasmania Police arrested a 38-year-old man and charged him with one count of common assault over the alleged incident.
Mr Abbott claimed he was approached by a man asking for a handshake on the Hobart waterfront on Thursday afternoon.
He claimed the man – who Abbott says was wearing a ‘Yes’ badge – then headbutted him, leaving him with a slightly swollen lip.
The taxpayer-funded ABC issued a directive to employees in early August telling staff not to take sides on the issue of gay marriage.
‘It’s [the email comment] a symptom of an ugly mindset, an ugly and partisan mindset which should have no place in ‘our’ ABC,’ said Mr Abbott (pictured)
‘Advocating for one side or the other will make it more difficult for the ABC to be seen as impartial. The more high-profile you are the more important discretion is,’ wrote the ABC’s editorial policy manager Mark Maley in an email to all staff.
An ABC spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘The email was unacceptable and the staff member in question who is a technical operator and not a journalist, has been counselled.’
‘It was a one-word lapse in judgment by one person rather than a general reflection of the entire ABC.’
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