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Tom Elliott apologises for 'poor choice of words'

Posted by: 3AW Radio | 2 March, 2012 - 12:47 PM
Tom Elliott

In the past week, the Neil Mitchell Program received multiple complaints from listeners regarding comments Tom Elliott made about the Australian Army on The Weekend Break.

This latest controversy development comes just days after Yumi Stynes and George Negus were at the centre of outrage after making insensitive comments about Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith.

During the 2pm 'Right on the tip of my tongue' quiz on Sunday afternoon, Tom attempted to give a clue to a caller: 

"The song was popular...back when being in the Australian army actually meant something, not just handing out water to starving people and things like that."

Today, Neil confronted Tom about his comment, to which Tom admitted a 'poor choice of words.'

"What I meant was the ads for the army.  Back in the day if you joined the army you were taught to drive a tank, fire a gun, at the end of the day do the things we need the army to do," Tom Elliott told Neil Mitchell.

"Whereas today we focus on the humanitarian side of the army, possibly at the expense of what it should do, which is have a war-fighting capability."

Tom concluded his defence by saying: "If I said the wrong thing I apologise."

Listen to the Weekend Break audio clip and Neil confronting Tom below.


PLAY: Tom Elliott's Australian Army comment on the Weekend Break and his subsequent explanation on the Mornings Program

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith replies

VC UPDATE: A caller to Neil Mitchell was so moved by the comments surrounding Ben Roberts-Smith that he & his family sent the Victoria Cross recipient a letter detailing what the defence force means to them. Early Friday morning they received a reply. Listen here.

Blog comments Your Say

  • Does that special person you love in the army have a right to bail you up half pie-eyed in apub and think he is something special, by being in the army.I DONT THINK SO. He nearly had a broken jaw. Jingoism goes and comes with different generations but just because I was lucky not be drafted, for national service, does not mean my courage is les than anyone else.As it stands CURENTLY, I think the services are just a fill-in for some who cannot get work..Next time the loudmouth army kid might get what he wants.WATCH OUT ON ANZAC DAY..with the current crop of drips in the services with little life experience,there is trouble brewing.

    can'tdrink, can't mouth off Thursday 17 January, 2013 - 12:01 PM
  • The hollow apology of someone who actually doesn't understand or believe they have done/said anything wrong...

    Tom concluded his defence by saying: "If I said the wrong thing I apologise."

    Maybe it is because Tom has had everything handed to him in his life that he can't come to terms that he actually may have got something wrong.

    What's wrong with "Yes, it wasn't right of me to say that. I can see how people would have been offended by by words. I apologise."

    His apology is shallow and not worth a cracker.

    TomsALoser Tuesday 6 March, 2012 - 7:21 PM
  • @Steve you got me, proving you are so intelligent again, "leftie", bwahaha I love it when you call me names. By the way did you hear what the idiot said or is it O.K. because he is a right wing apologist? Well is it? By the way I have lost 2 Uncles from WW11 and a Grandfather from mustard gas in the Great War, so I love my army and wont have them insulted by anyone let a lone a nancy like Tom.

    Cheryl Monday 5 March, 2012 - 3:26 PM
  • As an ex serviceman I believe soldiers specially when sent to places like afganistan just like vietnam before should be there to kill the enemy and not embrace them. Otherwise just train a bunch of gays and send them to peace making parties. Not a problem.

    Laurie Monday 5 March, 2012 - 11:52 AM
  • typical tom bring back abbott,workchoices comment.

    garry Sunday 4 March, 2012 - 8:14 PM
  • Tom ,At least you are on the right side of politics?????and you do not lie,unlike another pollie which I will not "NAME".

    IAN BARKER Sunday 4 March, 2012 - 5:22 PM

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