@1 and @2. In reply to Graeme Sumner and Ralph …

Comment on Sporting identity lashes out at real estate figure over boycott of children’s charity. by Erwin Chlanda.

@1 and @2. In reply to Graeme Sumner and Ralph Folds:
You are accusing me of conducting an “unseemly personal vendetta” (Mr Folds’ words) by allowing Murray Stewart to air his views in the Alice Springs News Online – the same privilege we’re providing to you.
We did not solicit Mr Stewart’s comments. He provided them to us as have thousands of others in our nearly 20 years of publication. We regard it as our function and our privilege to provide the democratic opportunity of putting views to the public. Your comments suggest I should have denied that to Mr Stewart. No way.
Who is Murray Stewart? He is one of the town’s most outstanding people. Not daunted by his significant disability of being blind, he is a great family man, provides valuable professional skills to the community, is an ardent and irrepressibly optimistic promoter of the town, a top athlete, community worker and has the trust of at least a significant portion of the population, those who elected him to the Town Council for two terms.
As we always do, we put his comments for response to the person under attack, in this case Andrew Doyle from Framptons Real Estate.
In fact we emailed him a complete early story draft.
We had several responses from Mr Doyle: The first was a denial of Mr Stewart’s allegations, and a blunt threat: “It’s not true, publish at your own peril.” Mr Doyle copied that email to his solicitor.
We put that reply to Mr Stewart who then spoke again to Mr Doyle, after which Mr Stewart told us Mr Doyle had confirmed the withdrawal of the teams.
That was the direct opposite of what Mr Dolyle seemed to have been telling us.
Then in a further message to us Mr Doyle confirmed the withdrawal (in his version it was just one team).
Mr Doyle runs a major real estate firm. He confirms having withdrawn a company team from a charity event in response to Mr Stewart expressing his views. The story is about free speech, one of the many issues we look forward to give continuing coverage.
Erwin Chlanda, Editor, Alice Springs News Online.

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