Can dish it but not take it

Janet Albrechtsen’s defence of press freedom (“The friction of freedom comes with open debate”, The Australian, 22/9) would be quite apposite if the press inquiry proposed to restrict content, or even bias. As it does not, her portrayal of News Ltd, which controls 70% of this country’s press, as a brave freedom-fighter besieged by an oppressive “orthodoxy” is more than faintly ridiculous.

Even sillier is her description of various public statements criticising News Ltd as showing “disregard for open debate” and “totalitarianism”, and even as “fascist”, as if merely criticising the press is to muzzle it. Surely she is aware such statements are just more free speech, or is it just that she can dish but not take it?

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