A cartoon published in a News Corp newspaper which conveyed offensive stereotypes about Middle Eastern and asylum seeker men did not breach press standards because it was justified in the public interest, the press watchdog has ruled. The Australian Press Council investigated a cartoon by Warren Brown, published in the Daily Telegraph in February 2019 during the medevac debate, which portrayed a bearded man with a head covering, long tunic and sandals, chasing a female nurse or doctor. The man, who was drawn with pointed teeth, was chasing the fleeing woman around the then member for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps, who put up the medevac bill. The cartoon accompanied a news story about an asylum-seeking man who had been transferred to Australia for medical treatment and had been charged with allegedly touching two nurses on the buttocks. It was published during the debate over the medevac procedures, which give clinicians a greater say in medical transfers of asylum seekers, which were eventually legislated with the support of crossbenchers, Labor and the Greens. The press council accepted the newspaper’s argument that the cartoon brought a real-life example of issues raised in the medevac debate to life and found there was sufficient public… Read full this story
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