Radio host David Penberthy lashes out at colleague over comments on far-right rally
High-profile commentator and radio presenter David Penberthy has lashed out at fellow radio announcer Andrew Reimer for his comments on a far-right rally in Melbourne.
- David Penberthy has called for his colleague Andrew Reimer to be sacked
- Mr Reimer hosted senator Fraser Anning on his program
- Senator Anning was defending his attendance at a far-right protest in Melbourne
On Saturday, police made three arrests after hundreds of far-right and anti-fascist protesters faced off at Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach.
Mr Reimer said the rally was about “gangs of people new to this country attacking innocent individuals”.
Mr Penberthy, who is married to Labor MP Kate Ellis, accused the weekend nights presenter of being “a weirdo” who was “too stupid to realise the swastika is a symbol of hatred”.
Mr Penberthy, who hosts the breakfast program on commercial station FiveAA alongside Will Goodings, called for Mr Reimer to be sacked from the station.
“Sadly his continued employment isn’t my decision,” Mr Penberthy said.
David Penberthy tweets: Last time I looked @AndrewReimer01 wasn’t a 5AA spokesman but simply a weirdo who’s too stupid to realise the swastika is a symbol of hatred, end of story. Sadly his continued employment isn’t my decision
Mr Reimer hosted controversial Queensland senator Fraser Anning on his program to respond to criticism about his attendance at the rally.
“The truth is of no interest for far too many. The issue was the rally. The focus of the media was beating up the story to make Fraser scapegoat (sic),” he tweeted.
He later tweeted that he abhorred “anything to do with Nazis” and the atrocities committed against millions but continued to engage in discussions online, including with South Australian Labor MPs Tom Koutsantonis and Chris Picton.
“Things I have learn’t (sic) in my 54 years on this earth… Lesson No1. I can’t argue with stupid. Thanks to all who been (sic) reinforcing this lesson. Especially those who attack under anonymity,” he tweeted.
The tweet prompted a furious reply from Mr Penberthy, who writes columns for News Corp Australia papers and previously edited The Daily Telegraph.
“Mate I’ll argue directly with stupid right now. You’re an idiot. You’ve embarrassed yourself and the station. And before you play the free speech card there’s a commercial argument for sacking you, as your numbers prove there is no audience for Nazi apologists in Australia,” Mr Penberthy tweeted.
South Australian Labor MP Chris Picton also accused Mr Reimer of “defending the indefensible”.
“This is a blight on the many serious journalists and presenters at the station,” he said.
Senator Anning defended his decision to attend the rally at taxpayers’ expense after it emerged he flew business class at a cost of $3,000.
Andrew Reimer tweets: I had @fraser_anning on last night explaining what occurred. The truth is of no interest for far too many. The issue was the rally. The focus of the media was beating up the story to make Fraser scapegoat.
“My job is to represent the people of Queensland and that’s exactly what I did,” he said.
“The people that I talked to were quite happy for people to gather, and show their displeasure at this Government for allowing these thugs to enter this country.”
Senator Anning also denied the people he was with were responsible for the Nazi salutes.
“The group I was with — there were no Nazi salutes,” he said.
“There was another group up the road … the left-wing lunatics, and they were doing the Nazi salutes.”
Footage from the rally depicted far-right protesters performing Nazi salutes.
Some of the demonstrators were well-known Nazi sympathisers, including event organiser Blair Cottrell — a “self-confessed Hitler fan”.
FiveAA declined to comment to the ABC.