George Christensen condemned for appearance on US conspiracy theorist show

The Coalition backbencher has been reprimanded by his own party for supporting comments likening Australia's COVID-19 measures to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz and the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Liberal Nationals MP George Christensen makes a statement in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra.

Liberal Nationals MP George Christensen makes a statement in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra. Source: AAP

Coalition backbencher George Christensen has been condemned for his appearance on a far-right American conspiracy theorist’s online show.

The Nationals MP appeared on Alex Jones’ web program last week, where he did not challenge comments likening Australia’s COVID-19 health measures to the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz and the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The American commentator’s program has been banned by Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, citing policies against hate speech and abusive behaviour. 


Deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud said Mr Christensen had made an “error of judgement” by appearing on the show, which had a "chequered history" of sharing "conspiracy theories.”

“I have to say we as the National party have to condemn [this],” he told reporters in Canberra.

“We respect his right to freedom of speech - we respect every Australian's right to freedom of speech but with that comes responsibility.”

Mr Littleproud - who is heading the party while leader Barnaby Joyce is overseas - said he had attempted to contact Mr Christensen to ask him to reflect on his decision to appear on the program.

“I’ve asked him to reflect on that and understand some of the comments,” he said.

“There are limits and there are boundaries that we as federal politicians have to adhere to.”

Mr Christensen has been a vocal critic of restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdowns and vaccine mandates. 

Appearing on Mr Jones’ program, which has a history of spreading false claims including about Australia’s COVID-19 response - Mr Christensen described the American host of a “beacon.” 

He went on to complain about COVID-19 controls in Australia, declaring that the country was heading towards a “form of medical apartheid” that “has got to stop.”

During the 35-minute show, Mr Christensen also urged viewers to protest outside Australian embassies.

"The rest of the free world, please stand with us, please support us, and every time we see people out there protesting, whether it be in front of an embassy or elsewhere,” he said.

“Protesting for our rights in Australia, it really does embolden the patriots, the people who are for freedom in our country to stand up.”

Mr Christensen laughed at one point during the program when Mr Jones compared Australian COVID-19 quarantine facilities with a Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.

Mr Littleproud described Mr Christensen's response of "agreeing" with the commentator on this point as a “step too far.”

In another incident, Mr Jones also described footage of the police presence at anti-vaccination protests around the country as the “Australian version of Tiananmen Square”.

The comment is a reference to the 1989 massacre where the People’s Liberation Army of China opened fire on unarmed protesters, reportedly killing hundreds of students.

Mr Christensen replied: “Yeah I think the good news is though we have that many citizen journalists out there at the moment … getting the truth out to people.” 

The Coalition backbencher also repeated his call for "civil disobedience" against what he described as "bad laws" but said he did not support "violence in any way, shape or form". 

Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher said Mr Christensen's continued public interventions demonstrated a failure of leadership by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"It has got to the point that the prime minister should be taking action," she told reporters in Canberra.

"Why is he remaining silent - is it in his political interests to let that sit out in the fringe."

In a statement, Mr Morrison said he denounced: "the comments in the strongest possible terms" shared during the interview.

"The Holocaust was an evil abomination. Respect for the victims requires that it never be referenced in such a trivial and insensitive manner,” he said.

A spokesperson for Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce also said: "While the Deputy Prime Minister doesn't agree with the comments made, Mr Christensen has the right to say what he believes." 

Mr Christensen also  last month for likening the actions of state premiers to decrees undertaken by Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin.

The Coalition backbencher - who is retiring at the next election - later said he regretted his comments.

Mr Jones has been heavily criticised for spreading conspiracy theories, including claiming the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting - which saw 20 primary school children and six staff killed - was a “hoax”.

4 min read
Published 7 December 2021 at 11:39am
By Tom Stayner
Source: SBS News