Peter FitzSimons, Jacinta Price fight: Mike Carlton lashes Sydney Morning Herald, Indigenous senator
The war of words between columnist Peter FitzSimons and Senator Jacinta Price has taken on a new lease of life – with the writer’s companion wading into the fray.
Writer and journalist Peter FitzSimons interviewed new Senator and Warlpiri wife Jacinta Price last week about her opposition to an Indigenous vote in parliament, accusing him of being “rude and aggressive” – a claim FitzSimons vehemently denies.
“I don’t know if I’d do another interview with that guy. He accused me of giving racists a voice, but it was not printed,” the Country Liberal Party senator wrote in a since-deleted social media post.
Media identity Mike Carlton – who attended Sydney’s exclusive Barker College and is a devoted fan of rugby unions and a supporter of left-wing politics – has now joined the fray, siding with FitzSimons.
“Three days in a row Australian and publicity-hungry Jacinta Price attacked my friend (Peter FitzSimons),” he tweeted.
Author and journalist Peter FitzSimons (aka Pirate Pete for his signature bandana) is pictured with his wife, television host Lisa Wilkinson
Mike Carlton (pictured) defended his good friend Peter FitzSimons amid his battle of words with Aboriginal Senator Jacinta Price
Carlton, who co-hosted a 2UE radio show with FitzSimons and is a former colleague of his at the Sydney Morning Herald, also targeted another Aboriginal leader.
“Inevitably that bastard Warren Mundine will join in,” he wrote.
Carlton also took the opportunity to wave goodbye to the paper where he was a star columnist, until he left in controversial circumstances in 2014.
But deafening silence, from (the Sydney Morning Herald). Which is of course notorious for his refusal to support his columnists,” he added.
Carlton resigned when the newspaper launched disciplinary action against him for using abusive language in replies to readers’ emails after he wrote a column critical of Israel.
Mike Carlton’s tweet defending his friend and former colleague Peter FitzSimons
The battle between the Northern Territory senator and the multi-millionaire author, who lives on Sydney’s posh north coast, also includes their views on an Indigenous vote to parliament, which she opposes and he supports.
In her now-deleted Facebook post, Ms Price said the interview with FitzSimons, who is married to TV host Lisa Wilkinson, started off well, but that he became “aggressive…condescending and rude” to her.
She said it was ‘like talking to a brick wall’ and she felt ‘offended’.
“I’m not a wilting pansy, but he’s a very aggressive guy. His interview style is damn aggressive, he doesn’t have to shoot at it,” she said.
“To accuse me of somehow empowering racists because the issues I am raising are confrontational – he completely loses the point,” said Ms Price, who was born to a Warlpiri mother and Anglo-Celtic father. .
She said FitzSimons had accused her “of somehow empowering racists because the issues I’m raising are confrontational — he’s completely losing the point.”
“I said to him, ‘Get down from the bloody ivory tower and come to one of my communities.'”
FitzSimons denied Ms Price’s description of how the interview went, saying her claims were “complete and utter…nonsense.”
The interview was a “professional exchange,” he said.
Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields also weighed in on Wednesday evening after listening to the interview.
“I’ve listened to the audio of the full interview between Peter FitzSimons and Senator Price. There was no yelling and no yelling by either participant. This was an interesting interview that tested the Senator’s views and positions. The Australian really needs to move on,” Shields wrote.
It is worth noting that Peter provided Senator Price with a transcript of what he proposed to publish in his column and she approved it. She also deleted her first Facebook post about the interview.”
Country Liberal Party Senator Jacinta Price is pictured making her maiden speech in the Senate Chamber at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, July 27, 2022
What is the native voice to parliament?
Anthony Albanese wants a constitutional body that will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to advise Parliament on policies and projects that affect their lives.
A referendum is required to change the constitution. TThe vote will require the support of the majority of Australians in most states to be successful.
The question that might be asked to Australians is, ‘Do you support an amendment to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote?’
“Every word is recorded, as I told her,” FitzSimons told The Australian’s media diary.
He said the interview was conducted without a raised voice and that Ms Price approved of the last story.
“This is not even remotely a matter of interpretation. Friendly interview, nice text exchange at the end,” he said.
Jacinta Price and Peter FitzSimons both furiously claimed they had witnesses their phone conversation in a heated text exchange (pictured) after she accused him of being ‘aggressive’
Ms Price said she was shocked by FitzSimons’ stance on Indigenous issues.
“I was really surprised and exhausted by the energy it took to defend myself,” she said.
“I got the feeling that what I was trying to do wrong, and my vote is not as legitimate as those who claim to suffer under 250 years of colonization.”
Daily Mail Australia has received a series of text messages between Ms Price and FitzSimons as the debate over who said what continues.
Ms Price has urged FitzSimons to release the band from their phone interview claiming he was aggressive towards her.
Above is the beginning of the explosive text exchange between Peter FitzSimons (words in gray) and Jacinta Price (words in blue)