ABC “dogf—er” defamation case to proceed

The NSW Supreme Court will allow a jury to decide whether the ABC’s “Chaser Boys” defamed political commentator Chris Kenny by displaying a photoshopped image of him having sex with a dog. The comedians claim the segment was satire, and was a legitimate response to Kenny’s frequent criticism of the ABC. Justice Beech-Jones did not accept that anyone would believe that Kenny had actually engaged in the act, but he did accept that “the image was such a massively disproportionate response … that it is capable of conveying that Mr Kenny is, in a general sense, a contemptible and disgusting person.” It will now be for a jury to decide whether that was actually conveyed. The Prime Minister has suggested the ABC should apologise and settle the case, but human rights professor Sarah Joseph believes it is an important test case to determine the legal boundaries of satire.