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John-Michael Howson taunts Julian Assange's Mum with Nazi slogan
3AW management has suspended John-Michael Howson from broadcasting for four weeks after he chanted a Nazi slogan at Julian Assange’s mother during the Sunday Morning program.
“We’ve told him in no uncertain terms that it was completely unacceptable behaviour and we don’t condone it in any way,” 3AW General Manager Shane Healy said.
Mr Howson has accepted the sanction and issued this apology:
"Yesterday on the Sunday Morning program we discussed the matter of Julian Assange and his decision to seek sanctuary in the embassy of Ecuador in London."
"During that discussion I made offensive comments by citing the Nazi salute.
"I unreservedly apologise for saying what I said.
"I understand that many listeners took offence to these comments and I sincerely regret having uttered them.
"I did not intend to imply that our guests or anyone shares the views of the Nazi party or seeks to control free speech.
"And I again offer my sincere apologies."
SUNDAY: 3AW Sunday Morning contributor John-Michael Howson embroiled himself in controversy yesterday when he used a Nazi slogan after Julian Assange's Mother backed out of an interview.
Christine Assange was waiting on hold while Darren James, Nick McCallum and Howson interviewed Sam Castro from the Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance regarding Ecuador's decision to grant political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
Howson called Castro a hypocrite for supporting Assange's decision to seek political asylum in Ecuador, a country Howson claims has a 'poor' human rights record.
"You people are so full of it, you make me want to spew up," Howson said.
"You support free speech yet you're going on about a country that restricts free speech," he added.
Christine Assange was put to air after Castro's interview concluded and she immediately condemned John-Michael Howson's treatment of the previous guest.
"I won't be doing an interview with you because you're acting like a pig,'' Ms Assange said.
Howson responded by screaming on air: "Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!''
Ms Assange then hung up the phone.
Howson claims he was censored by Ms. Assange because she denied him the chance to state his opinion:
"These people just want to come on air and give us their propaganda and they don't want any tough questions."
Callers were polarised on the appropriateness of his outburst, and Nick McCallum referred to John-Michael Howson as an 'equal opportunity abuser.'
LISTEN: John-Michael Howson's exchange with Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance spokesperson Sam Castro and Assange's Mother, Christine Assange
John-Michael Howson is a writer of hit stage musicals, an author, journalist and commentator who covered the international film scene for 25 years interviewing scores of top names, including those who rarely consent to interviews.
Howson is a frustrated right wing old queen. His only claim to fame is the Victor Venture ads and The Magic Circle Club. Send him back to America.M Thursday 6 September, 2012 - 12:30 AM
I have just found out that Clown from the early 70's is a shock jock in Melbourne. That is so funny. Surely he can't be taken seriously?David Thursday 30 August, 2012 - 12:34 PM
John Michael Howson is a show-pony who can dance badly and sounds like a fool. He is definitely not a person that anyone should refer to on international political debate relating to free-speech or anything intellectual. He is an old fart with a chip on his shoulder. Retire and hand your microphone over to someone with ethics and an a decent education.Leonie Tuesday 28 August, 2012 - 9:36 PM
Chris. Thats because EVERY time a green opens their mouth it,s OFFENSIVE !Darrell Wednesday 22 August, 2012 - 3:44 PM
@Ursula, you obviously listen to Howson with a prejudiced mind, he IS a bombastic, self opiniated, rude and overbearing commentator who talks over his co-hosts and abuses everyone who does not agree with him. He gives no added value to Sunday Morning and I for one will boycott Sunday Morning when/if he is brought back.GIW Wednesday 22 August, 2012 - 11:03 AM
Shame shame shame on 3aw, Mitchell and Hinch. John Michael is a level headed honest and wise gentleman. I won't turn on 3aw until he returnes. Who cares about Julian Assard anyway...he is a traitor and a coward. His mother isn't up to a decent debate with a person of John Michael's intellect.
Bring him Bach we love and miss him.Ursula Tuesday 21 August, 2012 - 6:46 PM