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Stan Grant lashes The Australian for racist reporting, defends himself from 'smears'

Dechlan Brennan -

Veteran journalist Stan Grant has attacked The Australian, accusing them of acting like "a racist hit squad" after the national broadsheet ran an article revealing he was the subject of a bullying complaint.

Grant, a Kamilaroi and Wiradjuri man, said Tuesday's front page article was an outrageous slur, according to Guardian Australia.

"They've targeted Marcia Langton, they've targeted Noel Pearson – he's been depicted as some sort of raving bully in the past," Grant said.

"They've done it to Larissa Behrendt, they've done it to Bruce Pascoe, it's hunting season for Aboriginal people, that's what it is."

The Australian alleged Grant "erupted in a lengthy, expletive-laden tirade" against a longstanding colleague.

It can be confirmed that the senior colleague did not make an official complaint about the incident, which took place on 29 January, the first day of Q+A for 2023.

Citing documents that it had obtained under Freedom of Information, The Australian said it was "not suggesting Grant committed any wrongdoing, only that a complaint was lodged and investigated".

Grant said the original article misinterpreted what had happened, and that there had been no complaint and no finding.

In a lengthy post on his Linkedin, Grant acknowledged an event had taken place, stating "I should have behaved better," but argued that it occurred during an emotional time in his life.

"Earlier this year I was involved in an unfortunate disagreement with a respected colleague. I was deep in conversation in the ABC foyer with a friend and colleague who was consoling me over the sudden death of my niece 24 hours earlier," he said.

"A colleague approached me in what I and the witness felt was a confrontational manner. Things escalated in a way they should not and things were said that were not acceptable. I accept responsibility for this."

He stated that in hindsight he shouldn't have been at work, but felt an obligation to the show.

"...I felt an obligation to host Q+A before driving to be with my family and deliver the eulogy at my niece's funeral. This incident was resolved and no finding or sanction against any party."

Guardian Australia reported that Grant said the reporting was from a "racist hit squad" who had been targeting him for a long time.

"...I am sick to death of me and my family being smeared constantly," he said.

"Do they care that my kids are gonna get abused today? Do they care that I'm gonna get abused today? Do they care that I am going to get death threats? Do they care?"

Without naming The Australian directly - who have been a consistent critic of the award winning journalist - Grant said they "smear people's names constantly."

"I don't know why this was even a story," he said. "It's running a story utterly unsubstantiated of no complaint, no finding: accusing me of something with no understanding of what led up to it. No talking to the individual, nothing."

He also criticised his former employer, the ABC, arguing they "failed to tell the truth."

"The ABC crafted a statement which I rejected. I believe the truth is more important. My family this year has been subject to horrendous racial abuse and violent threat. The ABC failed to adequately defend me," he said in a statement.

"This past year I have felt used by the ABC and abused by others. This is destroying my family. I left the ABC because trust is broken."

In May, Grant said he would be standing down from the programme, citing "grotesque racist abuse" which was only exacerbated after he hosted the King's coronation.

His hosting of the programme led to a significant amount of negative coverage from the News Corp newspapers, and he criticised the ABC for not defending him more during the resulting backlash.

His statement ended with an apology and a wish that everyone in the media should improve.

"I am so sorry my colleague has been dragged into this. No one deserves this. This was an awful misunderstanding at an emotionally fraught time. This is the truth."

"We should all expect better from the media. We should all expect the truth."


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