Saturday, April 7, 2012

Black Out At Random House

UPDATE: As noted below, some Random House nerd has been obliged to visit the office on this holiday-weekend morning and take down the critical comments beneath Anita Heiss' publicly funded memoir of her crusade against free speech. Let us oblige that techie to make a return trip. Another of the publisher's pages devoted to Heiss' achievements is here and comments are open.

Make use of that forum until it, too, is silenced. They don't like the cold steel of honest words up 'em, that's for sure.

And here is an extra thought: The next time you buy a book, check the publisher. It is a work from Random House or one of its imprints, put the book back on the shelf! And if you are feeling particularly energetic, contact the author and tell him or her why a sale and a royalty have been lost.

For your guidance, the full list of Random House imprints: Ballantine Books, Bantam Dell, Delacorte Press, Del Rey/Spectra, The Dial Press, ESPN Books, The Modern Library, One World, Presidio Press, Random House, Spiegel & Grau, and Villard.

WELL that didn't last long. Those champions of free speech at Random House have now taken down the comments thread beneath the promo for Anita Heiss' new book.

Did somebody copy them before they vanished? Let us hope so. They deserve a website of their own.

Ms Heiss' next book: Am I Blacking Out Enough Free Speech For You?

For the curious, and the moment, the comments are still available here in the cached version of the page.


  1. Here they are, cached in Google -

  2. Here is a screencap from when there were 145 comments, taken a few hours ago:

  3. And here is the screencap as a .png (portable net graphic):
    Just right-click on the graphic if you want to download a copy.

    Because it is so long and narrow you may have to hit the "magnifying glass" to grow it to original screen size for reading.


  4. Many thanks, Spot. I have updated the post to include a list of Random House imprints, should readers decide they would rather not support a publisher which does not support free spech.

  5. I copied and pasted the complete page of comments into a Word document for safe keeping about 2 hours ago

  6. Prof I think I managed to make comment, will just see if it makes it into print.

    1. Mother, you're comment is there, as are others.

      I am rather looking forward to Heiss becoming the one author Random House dare not expose to public comment. An enforced silence -- and an eloquent one.

  7. Bless cache.

    Those comments are grouse.

  8. "The only thing worse than being talked about is being talked about."

  9. All those negative and even hostile comments about Heiss's self indulgent treatise, prove once again that something needs to be done about the internet's unfettered licence. Especially so, when they appear on an ABC website as well. Even Mordy's Star Chamber did not escape veiled criticism. Not to mention the free kicks awarded to Andrew Bolt. The Fink Clink should be up and running as soon as possible to restore discipline and order in what people may say and read.

  10. last week’s Australia Council’s National Indigenous Arts Awards.
    Dr Anita Heiss received a major award for literature, and a $45,000 grant over two years to research and produce her next two works, including her memoirs.
    “It will be called Am I Black Enough For You and will unpack a lot of issues about Indigenous identity in the 21st century,” she said.

    You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
    So, lets get this straight. For years and years we are told its racist to treat people differently because of race, and taught to treat people as people, irrespective of race. So we do that.
    Now, we are told its somehow racist to treat people just as people and not give enough attention to their race.
    And we have people writing books (and getting paid by whom, shall we ask?) crying about how they are not treated enough based on race. Poor you. Of course, we didn't realise that double standards are allowed for you, because it's all about you, isn't it.
    If people are genuinely against racist, why are they so desperate for everyone to treat them according to race? I guess it's so hip to be black right now.
    So what if you're black? Get over it. I'm part German, but sometimes people treat me like I'm not (I don't look German, but that's not my problem!) and make negative comments about Germany. Shall I sue them? Shall I have them silenced forever more? Or shall I be grateful that we live in a place where I can get judged on my merits and enjoy freedom of speech?
    Posted by: Paul |05/04/2012 at 11:27 AM
    I await the day when the desire for unity overcomes the desire for tribalism in all its forms. The fact that Andrew Bolt, cannot reply to your article means that you have shutdown the debate about this topic. Rather than grandstanding on the courts appalling decision to read between the lines and infer racist intent to Andrew Bolt's articles on race; you should be ashamed of joining that long list of freedom of speech haters with Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro, Pol Pot and others who limited discussion to "approved" topics.
    You must realise that one day, conservative forces in society will repeal this foolish law, or that they may use it to oppress you and your self-identified people. Viz "I take offence at the use of white colonisation as a description of genocide by European settlement" - see I should be able to take Aboriginal activists to court using the same law for the same alleged hate mongering against a race. We must read between the lines of the that statement according to J Bromberg and thus I can read racist intent within such a statement.

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.", Martin Luther King
    What is your dream Ms Heiss?
    Posted by: David |05/04/2012 at 11:03 AM
    Don't care what you are, where you were born, what language you speak, who you sleep with or any other personal choice you make or personal history you have experienced.
    However I detest the fact that you have used race to destroy freedom of speech in this country.
    Posted by: Dean |05/04/2012 at 11:02 AM
    If you agree with the statement "if I have one drop of aboriginal blood, I am aboriginal" then logic dictates that "if I have one drop of white blood, I am white" unless of course, hypocrisy rules.
    Posted by: Michael |05/04/2012 at 10:57 AM
    By your logic, I may also claim to Irish, or Scots, or German, depending on whichever I fancy myself as, simply on account of having one or more grandparents of such ancestry.
    But I just choose to identify myself as Australian.
    Posted by: Clownfish |05/04/2012 at 10:49 AM

  11. PhillipGeorge(c)2012April 7, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    someone made the comment the other day about "noble savage meme"

    Perhaps Ms Heiss could spend a few balmy nights walking around Port Morseby on her own; what a stereotypical thought that might evince.

    All those impromptu book signings on Morseby's Champs-Élysées I mean.

    1. She wouldn't leave the airport, it takes a firm act of will to even go out of the security area, let alone into town.

      And I can't see her sailing there, because I think she hasn't many cousins in the Torres Strait who can put her in touch with the right people in the port.

      But, hey, she's indigenous of somewhere, as are we all. In fact, someone on a blog today coined the term "anglo-indigenous". I thought that was 24 carat. Mr Bolt might like it, if only he was allowed to comment.

  12. When Random House closes off all portals (or even now) you can go to Amazon and add your comments here:

    1. I just looked at those Amazon links. You naughty people. Good work though. The yanks won't delete those comments.

    2. Walter Plinge of TulkaApril 7, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      You beat me to it. I was going to suggest Amazon. Amazon doesn't bow to political correctness.

      And while you're at it keep a copy of your Amazon review and post it to Fishpond.

  13. I cut and pasted them into a word doc at 144 comments.

    If anyone's interested.

    1. Are you on scribd, Kae? You can upload them there, or email me and I'll upload them to scribd.

      It's so remarkably orwellian, and people like Anita Heiss are so mired in the doublethink they honestly don't see any issue with their stances.

      In the case of her book, I guess I'd better buy a copy since nobody else will. I hope it's better than the Talitubby's turgid drivel. I couldn't get past about chapter 3, and need to reattempt it.

    2. It's better to capture a web page in a screencap than in an easily-editable word processing document - in a word processing document, someone who doesn't like what you've captured is bound to make the accusation that you edited it.

  14. Aboriginal tokenism by a token aboriginal.

    1. You left out"living off the public teat"

  15. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.April 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    That Fink Clink (love that name!) is going to fill up fast at this rate of commenting.

    The Irish Ape just asked if he was Irish enough for me. I told him 120% was just about OK.

  16. In a similar vein, the comments at a similar discussion at ABC Newcastle were first closed prematurely and now have also disappeared. For the moment, they can be found at google cache

  17. Thanks Prof and all these smart people who were able to save these comments for us to read. I am gobsmacked and cheered at the support Andrew Bolt is receiving and it truly made me proud to read the intelligent and pointed remarks. My only problem is that I cannot add my own remarks and wonder at just how many people were also denied that pleasure.

    Thanks again Spot!

  18. Thanks for the links to the comments on the Heiss book.

    She is a piece of work.

  19. Got the whole thing. It will make an appearance on the blog at some point in the future.

    The most damaging comments on Random House's attempt at a love-in were those from actual aborigines, strongly critical of Heiss and her fellow fauxboriginals.

  20. 130 odd comments (my mistake, it was up to 144 when I refreshed it and noticed that they'd gone AWL).

    Oh, Bunyip, are you sure it's not racist to use the "B" word you've used in the headline of this post?

  21. Thanks to those who are sufficiently skilled at these things and managed to save those wonderful comments on the Random Book Site,

    Was wonderful to see so many people tell this hypocritical author just what they felt she has done to our freedom of speech laws. What a Wanker!

  22. well done spot! And brilliant work professor!!

  23. Maybe we should ask Chip Gibson to fight this censorship:

  24. When the Random House comments were available, there were only two posts praising Ms. Heiss. One chap was critical of the other posters for calling Ms. Heiss a "Coon" (no one had used that word), and the other pro-Heiss poster said the anti-Heiss posters were attempting to steer Australia back into a 1950's White Australia Policy.

    There were no racist comments posted apart from the two pro-Heiss posters.

    Some time ago, I think on one of Andrew Bolt's blogs, it was mentioned that Government expenditure on indigenous Australians was the equivalent of $100,000 per head per annum. It appears that a very large portion of these funds goes to the indigenous industry folks, and in awards and scholarships etc. which primarily benefit the faux aboriginals.

    There was a comment on that blog which I can't forget; a woman living in a remote aboriginal settlement wrote to say she wished she had enough money to buy a door for her house so she could sleep more securely at night.

    The entitlements industry should be told to go away, there's a lot of need out there which isn't being addressed, and that includes white families living in cars.

    We are all Australians, some are in need and their needs aren't being met. That should be our focus, not whether they are indigenous, anglo or a combination thereof.

  25. You can still comment or capture he comments at


    Google Anita Heiss Wins at the Deadly Awards - Random House.

    Go for it while you've stil got the chance. I've done a copy and paste to read at my leisure
    because ther's nearly enough there for Random House to publish a paper-back.

  26. Yes Anita, you are black enough to claim your aboriginal heritage as you are white enough to accept the same blame, responsibility and vilification that you heap on those who care more for aboriginals living in poverty than those living in a privilidged vacuum.

  27. Looks like randomhouse have just taken down the comments at that "deadly" page. The comments aren't in Google's cache, unfortunately. But it was fun while it lasted! Or would be if it wasn't so serious.

    1. The first 170 comments are in Google cache for now. See:
      I've saved my four posts as they appeared Monday morning into .jpgs and uploaded them onto the US image hosting site ImageShack: