Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hillbilly blog identities exposed is a good thing

The self-proclaimed 'satirical analysis' Hillbilly Watch blog, that cites itself a watchdog of 4CA Radio host John Mackenzie, has outed in Federal Parliament by the Member for Leichhardt Warren Entch.

Local blogger and Facebook political moderator Ross Parisi said, the toothless tiger ACMA, will now be called upon to investigate and scrutinise whether HillbillyWatch has breached the law.

It's headline crys...
  • "Cairns bigot and loudmouth John Cueball (formerly the worst toupee in the business) MacKenzie, washed-up radio lout, and his cronies like the former Cairns Post, now LNP MP (Misogynist Prick) for Cairns Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King."
HillbillyWatch started up just over two years ago and has always published under the curtain of anonymity, all the time firing at anyone they wished. The often childish and vile name-calling has been it's hallmark, instead of mature and strong public debate.

Warren Entsch used his parliamentary privilege to out one of those behind Hillbilly Watch...
  • "I rise to name and shame Brian Lawrence McCarty, the main blogger behind hillbillywatch.com," Warren Entch said in the federal Parliament on Monday.

    McCarty is a 58-year-old American who lives at 7 Whitehaven Court in Clifton Beach. Information accessible online shows McCarty worked as a sound engineer in Hollywood but moved to Cairns in 1998. He attempted two web ventures, coralseastudios.com and webjazz.com, and I am told both turned out badly.

    I have received written advice from a former associate that McCarty, desperate to refinance Coral Sea Studios, attempted investment fraud using fa
    ke website content and stolen identities. Since 2008, he has been working at the Baskin Robbins ice-cream franchise on Cairns Esplanade, describing himself as guest relations manager. This associate identifies McCarty as having a severe personality disorder, with a dark side driven to, 'defame strangers and damage their businesses'
Besides McCarty, there are others involved covertly with HillbillyWatch.


Deryck Thompson, of the Machans Beach Community Association, a supporter of Val Schier and the Labor Party.

McCarty gave a small donation to Cr Linda Cooper's successful re-election bid on Cairns Regional Council, without disclosing his address, a breach of the Local Government Act.

Deryck Thompson donated $1,150. It's odd that Schier would be associated with such people, especially McCarty.  There are other identities involved with contributing to Hillbilly Watch.

Brian McCarty and his cohorts have been going by the alias of 'Mick Glennie' of Edgehill.

There is a wealth of critical attacks about McCarty's dodgy business dealings online.

Whilst I was the community relations officer at the Red Cross Blood Service, I had some ugly run ins with Brian McCarty. His Baskin Robbins ice cream business on the Esplanade wanted to offer some vouchers to blood donors, but his demands were outrageous and I was warned by other staff to avoid dealing with him. He became aggressive and verbally violent on the phone. He then wrote to the Australia chief of the Red Cross venting his anger and threatening all in sundry.

I then went down to the Cairns Esplanade and asked neighbouring business what they knew of McCarty. A tour agent said he had a history of yelling at people, and would often lock up cycles that were packed near his store so the owners couldn't retrieve them. In another ugly incident, McCarty stormed in to McDonalds one Monday morning after an violent stabbing that left the victim's blood along the footpath, and demanded that they clean it up.

Of course it's been no secret that Warren Entsch has been on a mission for sometime to curtail or close down Blogs and online discussions that are critical of himself and others.

Last year I wrote two pieces critical of Entsch, and he was on a mission thereafter to attack me.

In March last year I wrote about Warren's new Parliamentary website that he got a Brisbane business to do, to the outcry of local web developers and designers. In October 2010 I wrote about Entsch's media advisor whose business owed more than $250,000 to a raft of media business in Cairns, an ironic and compromising position to be in I cited. These two stories enraged Warren and he told many that he would be making it his priority to outlaw and close down blogs.

Of course, prior to this I had interviewed Warren on many occasions as Labor's tenure in Cairns was appalling and worth throwing out. These are many stories and video interviews still on CairnsBlog of Entsch supporting the access that I extended to his point of views.

Another local identity who has been attacked by Hillbilly is local author and marketing consultant Andrew Griffiths. Andrew is a strong advocate for social media, however has detested the anonymous carry of like HillbillyWatch.

"As for Hillbilly Watch – the only things he has left out [about me] is that I A) eat babies B) cause cancer and C) was responsible for 911," Andrew Griffiths told CairnsBlog. "To be honest I just laugh at this crap. Anyone who knows me – knows me. But he will get his day. I assume it is Brian McCarty – who is a lunatic as you know. I also love the fact that he writes like a little spoilt brat. The only thing he didn't do was threaten to give me a wedgie. But as always, I hate bullies – and I hate people that are too gutless to speak up and confront someone head on."

"I have always respected you for doing that Mike – I haven't respected a lot of your contributors though I have to say," Andrew Griffiths said.

Local activist Bryan Law has also welcome McCarty's name being published.

"I'm happy to see Mr McCarty exposed. Some of the abuse he writes and incites is of a very low calibre and if he tires of abusing public figures he has a go at their spouses and children... often with all the sophistication of a disordered sex pervert. I'm glad he's been named," Bryan Law said. "The issue isn't defamation, it's accountability and it cuts both ways. [CairnsBlog owner] Michael Moore has been sued and harassed by former Councillor Alan Blake because he published openly. Hillbilly Hack is vile but safe because he hides."

Here's the video from Colin Riddell of Entsch's speech in the Federal Parliament.

Warren Entsch has called the antics of HillbillyWatch "cyberbullying" and says there's a "disgusting lack of accountability in social media." There's a case to answer there, but there is a distinct right by any citizen to publicly criticise politicians in a manner that is open and transparent.

"In Cairns, public figures have become the target of an American-registered website called Hillbillywatch.com, which claims to be a satirical pro-Cairns blog but in reality is a forum for trashing
reputations and fuelling obscenities," Warren Entsch told the Federal Parliament on Monday night. "Much of what is posted is too vulgar to mention in this place. The
site focuses on a local radio host, describing him as a 'caustic, divisive, destructive, and cancerous plague on Cairns'."

"A local Member [Gavin King] is referred to as 'the MP (misogynist prick) for Cairns, the 'don't rape me' paid local liar for the LNP," Entsch said. "A council candidate [Barry Neall] is labelled as a 'bitter old bigot who runs a website known euphemistically as 'Residents against Aboriginals?', and vocal conservationist Colin Riddell, who has just successfully campaigned to have a cruelty provision, particularly in relation to turtles and dugongs, enacted in the State Parliament, is advised to 'take it right up the keister from his LNP mates … do you like it this way Colon?"

"Dangerously, this site is not afraid to insinuate sexual misconduct, and the articles generate spiteful remarks with no fear of reprisals, let alone consideration of their target's mental health," Warren Entsch said. "One local resident who is frequently targeted heard I was going to tackle this issue. She told me, 'Freedom of speech does not come with a carte blanche licence to ridicule, defame and publish blatant untruths about others under the cowardice of anonymity. The vitriol exhibited is unacceptable to those who try to live by a code of decency and respect for all. Its originator must be made accountable.' "

"This is a site that targets individuals, and while it may not be physical violence it can easily take the form of these written attacks. I am often vilified, but my policy is to simply ignore it as these people thrive on acknowledgement. In this case, while I do not want to offer it any promotion, I am speaking out because I will
not be left with blood on my hands if this harassment gets to be too much for one of its victims'" Entsch says.

"The major problem with these social forums is that while complaints can be lodged with the relevant authorities, the task of revealing their identities, or prosecuting, is extremely difficult," Entsch said. "These people, and I understand that there are a number of contributors to Hillbillywatch, are hiding behind anonymity."

"Well, no more. If they want to publish on Twitter, Facebook or online forums, they should be transparent and accountable for the impact their comments may have."

"Free speech is one thing, and I have nothing against clever satire. But I strongly support any moves by this House to put better processes," Warren Entsch says.

Entsch is right to expose Brian McCarty.

Whilst the Blogsphere is big enough for everyone with a view, when people hide behind fake or invisible identities and take aim at anyone without revealing themselves, it's a cowardly way to contribute to the public or political debate.

I believe there is a place for all kinds of exposure and strong criticism of public officials and politicians. In fact that is where social media and blogs have over-taken mainstream media and newspapers by far. However this doesn't allow for disgusting name-calling, outright abuse and cheap shots, all whilst hiding anonymously behind a fake name and website.

POSTSCRIPT  &  APPOLOGY

I have amended the story above after a complaint from Todd Hartley, CEO of Choice Australia Management, to remove his name from any connection with Hillbilly Watch. I unconditionally appologise for any harm caused by this.

"Your erroneous comments have caused significant concern to me.  I request you note the error on your blog and apologise to me for the damage caused by this error," Todd Hartley wrote to CairnsBlog.

25 comments:

Muzza said...

Darren Hunt, you may notice Todd Hartley has been removed from the blog...I would suggest Michael has made a correction.

Maybe you should revise you comments likewise.

Wendy said...

Parliamentary privilege used by our esteemable Mr "Wazza" Entsch who has himself been associated with many questionable practices. We won't mention or even hint at native bird smuggling in the same sentence as the word Entsch. We won't mention or even hint about sexual pestering of female staff in the same sentence as the word Entsch either.

Because without parliamentary privilege we can't say what we choose like Mr "Good Old Boy Wazza" Entsch is able to do. And we all know that "Our Good Mate Old Wazza" is a pure as driven snow. That's how he can criticise others.

We will mention though his outright lying and the resulting bullying and threatening when said lying was to be "Outed".

What an all time thorough hypocrite this person is.

Murray Daniel said...

DJ

Where is the reference to Choice?

Muzz

Ed in Edge Hill said...

I'm happy to go find this guy and shake his hand. What you and Entsch claim is vile is in fact insightful exposure of the untouchables.

Michael Weitzmann said...

My thanks to Warren Entsch MP for exposing this individual and to Cairnsblog.net for sharing this story. To those who would defend McCarty I say this: in a minor way I was attacked too for posting my mind on his blog, I was likened to a "dengue mosquito", with the addeed comment that he had sprayed some bug spray & I was gone. Well, I was gone because my posts were deleated by himself, this was not a person who was open to scrutiny or criticism, despite his annonymity. This act by Mr. Entsch is a streangthening of free speech, which is much more valid and powerful when coming from a real person and, I hope, more considered.
-Michael Weitzmann

Al said...

Sounds like sour grapes to me. What this guy is doing is what you used to do, until Blakey came after you and you capitulated. HBW is only the counterbalance, the opposite side of the news misinformation spectrum which operates in Cairns. You should support it.

Peter Senior said...

Good on you, Warren!
Whilst I fully support the principles of free speech, as an ex General Manager of a major NZ metropolitan newspaper, I also support the application of sound editorial standards, including not knowingly publishing incorrect information or character assassination.
Standards suited to Australian culture are regularly ignored in Hill Billy blog.
Hopefully the moderator of this often inarticulate and malicious blog will now apply standards more appropriate to Cairns as well as Australia.

Tony Hill Kuranda said...

I enjoyed your comments, Peter Senior, but you're ignoring one thing -there would be no reason for "citizen journalism" if your precious Australian news professionals were doing there job. Hillbilly watcher has exposed many stories including the Gavin King secret emails that were eventually picked up by the Cairns Post. It is unreasonable to expect a blog to have professional standards. And inarticulate and vile is still protected speech. You yourself have benefitted from this standard, and your "piling on" when you know full well many have been writers on this blog is the unprofessional act. And as to the anecdotes you site, they sound like the actions of any business owner concerned about their business and community. Lets have more fighters for Cairns..

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Before we begin, this character is at a loss.
He's American, therefore he cannot read, cannot spell, cannot write and most definitely can be proven to have cheated on his exams, both mid-term and final.
I have the proof!

Peter Senior said...

Tony, I think we're more or less on the same 'side'. I'm appalled at the standards of some Australian journalists and publications.
I still remember when the ABC, SMH and Age provided excellent, balanced and professional journalism.
I also think weblogs provide an essential counterbalance to some of the dismayingly poor journalism in many current media.
I'm also all for 'fighters' for Cairns - I try to do my bit, usually in the Cairns Post (see last week's Businessweek My View).
But, and it's an important 'but', every publication in every media should apply some degree of professional standards. Otherwise they soon lose their credibility.

Bryan Law said...

Hillbilly blog HAS no credibility. Brian McCarty often just makes up his "inside" knowledge, and appears to be motivated solely by malice.

Coward who doesn't want to be named said...


Warren Entch makes his own far share of defamatory remarks about people ,although not done in hiding it is often impossible have the matter brought to court because of the expense and the supposed good standing of an MP. So what does he do he makes his remarks under parliamentary privilege - funny that!! Weather McCarty has dodgy business dealings has nothing to do with the blog - this is just an excuse by Entch to try and fling as much mud as possible so some of it sticks and he hopes to bring someone down that he happens to not agree with. Would it really matter if we knew who McCarty was before? The reality is that despite some so called "vile" remarks about various MPs the HillBilly blog is a counter to the often blatant lies and attacks made on radio 4CA by Mackenzie, Entch, King and others. King himself has published a lot of "rubbish" during his time at the Cairns Post. I can not begin to think what he would be saying about himself and his performance if he was commenting on

Wendy Davie said...

What an absolute coward Entsch is. He has so much of his own garbage, not mentioning bird smuggling, not mentioning sexual pestering of his female staff and associates. We can't mention such rumours because we don't have parliamentary privilege. I have proven however that Entsch is an outright liar, a bully and one who threatens those he perceives as weak. He is a disgrace to the human race.

Carole Ford said...

I read HillbillyWatch blog maybe two or three times, but even though it was at times revealing, I did not particularly like the nature of the material included and preferred other critiques. I'm not sure that the rather vindictive character assassination of those 'outed' as the perpetrators isn't just another case of the pot calling the kettle black. That is, don't malign us, but we will malign you. However, my most substantive argument involves the hypocrisy from Mr Entsch. As with all federal MPs he has been receiving the most repulsive and demeaning material relating to the Prime Minister on a very regular basis, and he could not have avoided knowledge of the abusive, sexist signs & comments in the media & electronic sites. As one of the senior people in the House, I would have expected him to be critical of this horribly inappropriate use of electronic media, and the viciousness of its affront to the status of Prime Minister (whatever the persuasion). Even the damning Human Rights address by Ann Summers did not move Mr Entsch, or any MP in the Liberal/National Coalition to comment. Their silence validates the garbage and those who peddled it - but then they are all Conservative supporters. Occasionally, a more balanced voice berated the media, blogs & twitters, for the sexist abuse, to be told that if 'Juliar' couldn't take the heat she should stay out of the kitchen. And besides, there was nothing sexist about the comments!

Michael Weitzmann said...

My thanks to Warren Entsch MP for exposing this individual and to CairnsBlog and Mr. Gavin King MP for sharing this story. To those who, like Wendy and Carole, would defend McCarty I say this: in a minor way I was attacked too for posting my mind on his (McCarty's) blog, I was likened to a "dengue mosquito", with the added comment that he had sprayed some bug spray & I was gone. Well, I was gone because my posts were deleated by McCarty, this is not a person who is open to scrutiny or criticism, despite his annonymity. This act by Mr. Entsch is a streangthening of free speech, which is much more valid and powerful when coming from a real person and, I hope, more considered. But, in the light of your comments above Wendy Davie, perhaps I hope in vain.

Carole Ford said...

I'm sorry you have not read my comment carefully Michael: I do not in any way condone the use of electronic media for vilification of others, which is why I didn't read the Hillbilly stuff or defend the writers. I was merely commenting that Mr Entsch, as a senior politician, could have shown leadership in the House. Did he share those stories with you? If the disgusting filth that is peddled about the present PM, whether you like her or not, is inconsequential, then we are setting a slippery slope precedent. (think eg Pickering cartoons). Perhaps Mr King would also share his story of what he called some previous MPs in a very public forum. From memory one was something about a man who was less value than excrement from a mollusc. My husband and I actually asked the Press Council for a ruling, and they suggested it was 'just the writer's opinion". In fact it was very difficult to pin them down to define the difference between 'opinion' and 'abuse'. Recently Ann Summers made a Human Rights/Social Justice address at Newcastle University. When publishing her paper from that talk, she actually made 'a vanilla copy" as well as the actual copy, as she felt the material might be too confronting for some people. And all the confrontational material was quoted and sourced from what people had publicly written, said or drawn.

Michael Weitzmann said...

Carole, whilst I was not critising the whole content of your post, I think that the comment you have made is not entirely appropriate and doesn't unequivocally condemn the Hillbilly blogger, which is what he deserves. As I, and others, have rep[eatedly said, this is not an attack on free speech, it is exposing someone who made his comments from behind the viel of annonymity. This leave little chance of redress. Comparing this to Larry Pickering, to use your example, is highly inappropriate. Mr. Pickering, even if you don't agree with him, has the courage of his convictions to publish his material under his own name and as incorrect as it may be, that is a world of difference. So Carole, to make the point clearly again, whilst there is no doubt that this person McCarty has made odious comments (as do others), it is the manner in which he did it (ie annonymously) that has caused greatest offense and which Mr. Entsch has now rectified. Now, if people feel as you do, they know who they can take action against if their legal advise is that there is a case.

Carole Ford said...

Thank you Michael. Of course the capacity to hide behind anonymity is one of the many negative features of electronic media - it tends to be attractive for those without the courage or integrity to put their name to their opinions. I heard Tony Windsor interviewed yesterday on Radio National, and that was one point he made about the incredibly aggressive attacks on him and his family. It is also the reason I have withdrawn from particular Facebook discussion groups - the faceless troll. I support freedom of speech but am not convinced that bullying, aggression, intimidation, homophobia, racism, sexism - and all the other isms - are any less damaging if you know the identity of the perpetrator. I realise that knowing 'who' makes legal redress possible, but this is not feasible for most people. Addressing the whole issue of hate-speech is rather over-whelming: my thoughts revolved around the concept that it has to start somewhere! I thought perhaps in the Federal House and the Senate, might be a good place, for politicians of all persuasions.

Wendy Davie said...

If you read my comment Michael Weitzmann you will see not one word in support of Hillbilly Watch. A strong criticism, and a well earned one, of Warren Entsch definitely is there however.

Luigi said...

Bryan Law said... I agree with Hillbilly blog HAS no credibility. Anyone with a bit of common sense would have realised that. We do need blogging as our media is not existent and without doubt, the most vapid, vague, doublethink-riddled, self-contradictory unless of course your only interests in life is the weather report
Thank Mike for the opportunity to voice our opinions

Bryan Law said...

Carole Ford, we ought have a conversation about political culture in Cairns. We're in a position now where personal abuse, misdirection, and low politics is the default method of public discourse.

We ALL know people and have friends who engage in it. Hate-mongering cuts across every type of human being, no matter race, gender, class or circumstance. I'd argue that we each have a responsibility:

First to eliminate personal aggression from our selves; then to work on our friends; followed by a refusal to condone the behaviour in anyone at all.

I'm interested in the way those people who express an opinion ARE attacked, often brutally. Alan Blake has just about done for Mike Moore. Col McKenzie cost me a job and $30,000 via criminal proceedings. Threats of lawsuits fly around the ethernet in great numbers.

There's a case for the protection of anonymity.

Hillbilly Watch has had two years of unaccountable and unattributed hate speech.

Why is it I think the development of nonviolent culture is the basis upon which community development is optimised?

CBD Warrior said...

Funny, but not one person can step forward and say "I've met this guy and he's this or that". I've seen him around, spoken to him a handful of times over the years, and he seems perfectly fine. Yet you're now engaged in a witch hunt without a scintilla of proof. Has Entsch brought the AFP into a little domestic spying operation? I for one wouldn't believe word one from Entschy. Letting our elected pollies get away with destroying our alternative media, whether Michael Moore or HBW can't be a good thing for the community. HBW is irreverent, diabolical, great fun, and has useful observations about our community.

Bryan Law said...

"CBD Warrior", you're part of the problem. There's quite a lot of evidence on McCarty, and he hasn't denied it. BTW, who are you?

Farro Montajes said...


Brian L. McCarty, NAB, National Association of Broadcasters, WorldJAZZ scam (tv) - Mombu the HDTV Au

Endy Anderson said...

Holy cow, you did not vilify this man in parliament based on this troll nonsense. Google him and he has a high up chair position in the industry so is at odds with the troll gossip. Looks more and more like Enscht may have abused absolute privilege. Tsk tsk.