BROADCASTER Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) have dismissed sports reporter Scott McIntyre after he made "despicable" comments about Anzac Day on Twitter.
Marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, the day commemorates those who lost their lives in the conflict.
McIntyre greeted the centenary of the Gallipoli landings by criticising what he said was the 'cultification [sic] of an imperialist invasion'.
However, Michael Ebeid, managing director of SBS, labelled the remarks as 'inappropriate and disrespectful' before adding that they breached the broadcaster's code of conduct and social media policy.
The cultification of an imperialist invasion of a foreign nation that Australia had no quarrel with is against all ideals of modern society.— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015
"SBS supports our Anzacs and has devoted unprecedented resources to coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings."
Some media commentators have since criticised the station for dismissing McIntyre, with journalist Hugh Riminton reminding SBS that free speech is a right which was defended during the war.
Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered.— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015
"But lest we forget, our diggers also died for free speech," he added.
The Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, on the other hand, said McIntyre's freedom of speech was not being infringed.
Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki— Scott McIntyre (@mcintinhos) April 25, 2015
"We're talking about political interpretations of history and that is open for debate," he said. "And he will be judged very harshly."
Australian communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, also waded in on the debate, describing the tweets as 'despicable'.
Having spent the day commemorating the Anzacs at several major events in Sydney, the 60-year-old politician published a strong reply to McIntyre's posts on the social media site.
"Difficult to think of more offensive or inappropriate comments than those by @mcintinhos. Despicable remarks which deserve to be condemned," Turnbull said.
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