The Australian‘s War on Science IX

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote how the Australian had misrepresented Rajendra Pachauri (IPCC head), falsely claiming that he supported the Australian government’s policy of delay. Media Watch has the latest developments. Pachauri wrote to the Australian:

I am writing to convey my deep disappointment at the news report in your newspaper of August 9 with the headline, “Climate expert backs Canberra”. Nothing that I said in my telephone interview with Mr Matthew Warren implied or even remotely conveyed that I supported or opposed the Australian Government’s policies on climate change.

I am surprised that a very general opinion that I expressed without reference to any country was twisted around to create the impression that I supported the current government’s stance on climate change. That was a total distortion of my comments. I would not put myself in the position of passing judgement on the policies of any sovereign government. The public and voters of Australia will do so in the coming months, as indeed they must.


I merely stated the obvious that in a democracy action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change must necessarily follow analysis and public debate at a serious level. What I said about “macroeconomic effects” was in response to a question from Mr Warren, whereby I stated the obvious that naturally economic implications have to be part of the analysis of options. He conveniently omitted what I said about the low cost of action even for a stringent level of mitigation as brought out in the report of Working Group 3 of the IPCC. I also highlighted the co-benefits at the local level, such as higher energy security and health benefits from lower air pollution, etc.

The Australian did not print Pachauri’s letter. Instead, this weekend they repeated their misrepresentation:

… the head of the world’s leading climate change organisation, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, recently backed Canberra’s decision to defer setting a long-term target for reducing greenhouse emissions …

The initial story that the Australian published may have been an unintential error on their part, but refusing to print Pachauri’s correction and reprinting a story that they surely knew to be untrue, looks like a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Comments

  1. #1 jre
    August 21, 2007

    Holy crap! That is some spectacularly sleazy journalism!

    In this part of the world, the very worst examples of hackery to be found are among the editorials of the Wall Street Journal, where every statement of fact is strained through a filter of neo-pluto-loonism before it is allowed to see the printed page. But even the WSJ editorial board at its demented, shameless worst, would never deliberately suppress a substantive response from the primary subject of a story, then repeat a misquote they already know to be a lie.

    So who owns this Australian publication of which you speak?

  2. #2 agricola
    August 21, 2007

    Astonishing, and no doubt to be used by denialists everywhere for some time.

  3. #3 frankis
    August 21, 2007

    Shameless.

  4. #4 Chris C
    August 21, 2007

    The Government Gazette strikes again!

  5. #5 AB
    August 21, 2007

    That wouldn’t happen to be the “I used to work for the coal lobby, but that hasn’t effected my environment reporting in any way” Matthew Warren would it?? (Rhetorical question…)
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Matthew_Warren

  6. #6 Steve Bloom
    August 21, 2007

    Oh, I don’t know, jre. Who owns the WSJ? :(

  7. #7 dhogaza
    August 22, 2007

    Oh, I don’t know, jre. Who owns the WSJ? :(

    Well, “Dow Jones”, and Murdoch (and this hurts a lot), might be better.

  8. #8 markg
    August 22, 2007

    It’s a sad reflection of the media in Australia that even attempts to deliberately mislead the public are hopelessly amateurish.

    Elsewhere, while much the same thing takes place, at least their deceptions are more subtle. Ugh. The regard The Australian has for both truth and the Australian public is quite clear.

  9. #9 Boris
    August 22, 2007

    Standard.

  10. #10 jre
    August 22, 2007

    Thanks, Steve. At least somebody noticed.

  11. #11 Steve
    August 22, 2007

    Don’t miss today’s editorial in the Australian!

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22290476-16741,00.html

  12. #12 Tim Lambert
    August 22, 2007

    Wow. A paper published by three-year olds.

  13. #13 Tim Lambert
    August 22, 2007

    Would you believe that as well as 1400 words whining about how Media Watch are meanies, the Australian had [another piece](http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22290492-7582,00.html) attacking Media Watch? What a bunch of cry babies.

  14. #14 cows say moo!
    August 23, 2007

    These are very strange times indeed with The Australian. Their opinion and editorial writers ( Mitchell, Sheridan et al) display levels of buffoonery (indeed outright lies) which beggar belief yet dare pick them up on it and they carry on like a kid who dropped his icecream. Where is this all going one wonders?

  15. #15 C
    August 23, 2007

    It’s not the worst thing that the Australian have printed over the last few months. But, newscorp columnists have often had a problem with media watch, and particularly David Marr. Their response doesn’t surprise me one bit.

  16. #16 Tim Lambert
    August 23, 2007

    Correction: in today’s paper they have an editorial, an op-ed, and *two* news stories criticising Media Watch, for a total of 4672 words.

    4672 words.

  17. #17 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    Tim

    Maybe they are not sympathietic to the idea that Media conducts it’s politically biased campaigns on the public dime. That’s worth discussing and bringing to our, don’t you think?

    If people thought The OZ was boring they would buy the SMH. It doesn’t look like it is happening.

  18. #18 Tim Lambert
    August 23, 2007

    Err no, JC. It’s because they are cry babies who can’t handle criticism. And the SMH has a bigger circulation than the Australian.

  19. #19 Ian Gould
    August 23, 2007

    Really Tim,

    Pointing out that the SMH outsells the Australian (which is distributed nationally rather than just in one city) by around 20% is just one of those trivial insignificant facts JC can’t be expected to waste time with.

    http://www.bandt.com.au/news/26/0c02ed26.asp

  20. #20 Ian Gould
    August 23, 2007

    The Australian (Monday to Friday) – 129,000

    http://newsmedianet.com.au/home/titles/title/index.jsp?titleid=5

    SMH Monday to Friday – 212,000

    http://heraldadcentre.fairfax.com.au/adcentre/newspapers/smh/audcirc.html

    At this point I expect JC to announce that every competent media commentator knows The Australian actually sells several thousand times as many copies as the SMH which only survives because of the secret payments it gets from Moscow.

    Then he’ll call me a Trot and toss around a few more insults.

  21. #21 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    Gouldie

    Settle down dude, you’re getting ahead of yourself here. I never mentioned circulation, Mr. straw man central.

    —————–

    Tim

    I can’t see (if the fight is with Oz vs Media Watch) why you have transmogrified this into a battle between the Oz the SMH and (righ wing) Media Watch. How does the SMH come into it?

    Now I despise Media Watch, as any red-blooded person should who thinks their money is being wasted forcibly funding a bunch of leftist head kickers living of the public tit. However I wouldn’t in a million years include the SMH in the crowd. Fairfax is a dying slow, painful and unnatural death as any private firm should that cannot service its customers. They have every right to say what they like.

  22. #22 Chris O'Neill
    August 23, 2007

    “Maybe they are not sympathietic to the idea that Media conducts it’s politically biased campaigns on the public dime.”

    At least we know The Australian is a political organization.

  23. #23 SG
    August 23, 2007

    JC 1:

    If people thought The OZ was boring they would buy the SMH. It doesn’t look like it is happening.

    JC 2:

    I never mentioned circulation, Mr. straw man central.

    Is it adhominem to point out that you are a lying fool?

    Has it occurred to you JC that the reason Media Watch focus on the Australian is the same reason that Australians don’t buy the Australian – because its journalism is shoddy?

  24. #24 SG
    August 23, 2007

    I’m happy for my tax dollars to fund Media Watch. If the Australian and all the whingeing JCs in the world aren’t happy about it, I suggest they compete in the open marketplace to have tax payer funding for Media Watch removed.

    Only you can’t compete in that marketplace can you, because you have no competitive power to convince other people that your suggestion is right. Maybe if you could get your story straight from one comment to the next, JC, learn to spell, understand what other people write, stop opening and closing your comments with insults, and cease referring to people the rest of the world currently supports as “head kickers” living off “the public tit”, you might have more luck convincing those same people to agree with you.

  25. #25 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    Chris O says:

    “At least we know The Australian is a political organization.”

    Chris, of course it isn’t otherwise they couldn’t make the sort of money they are as an organization. It’s a media group with a right wing slant. Every media group has a political slant it can’t be helped. It is impossible not to have a poltical bias.

    that’s why the ABC should be sold off or shut down. It’s wrong.

  26. #26 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    SG says:
    “Has it occurred to you JC that the reason Media Watch focus on the Australian is the same reason that Australians don’t buy the Australian – because its journalism is shoddy?”

    I actually think it is a good newspaper compared to the 3rd rate farleftfax publication I would otherw ise be forced to contend with. Its too disgusting to read as it would put me off my breakfast each money.

  27. #27 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    SG says
    “I’m happy for my tax dollars to fund Media Watch”.

    Believe me when I say this, I am too SG. I am happy your tax dollars are wasted. Personally I couldn’t give a toss about your money and what happens to it, but I am concerned mine goes towards funding leftheadkicker central each Monday night.
    “If the Australian and all the whingeing JCs in the world aren’t happy about it, I suggest they compete in the open marketplace to have tax payer funding for Media Watch removed.”
    Don’t be silly, SG. You have no concept of markets do you? I am forced to fund programming I don’t want to fund. I would like the choice of doing so, but I don’t have that choice because I am compelled to do so. It’s theft. Pure theft.

    ————————-
    “Only you can’t compete in that marketplace can you, because you have no competitive power to convince other people that your suggestion is right.”

    SG, please sit down. A market is a place or an ephemeral spot where people make voluntary exchange for goods and services. It has nothing to do with the silly example you have brought up. Why would I have to convince others about the unfairness of what is happening when it is unfair? It’s a form of discrimination in a way. Where is the justice? It’s a stupid analogy. I think you have to attend the remedial economics class with Ian G. Trot next time there is room. Hurry, it’s filling up.
    ————————–
    “Maybe if you could get your story straight from one comment to the next, JC, learn to spell, understand what other people write, stop opening and closing your comments with insults, and cease referring to people the rest of the world currently supports as “head kickers” living off “the public tit”, you might have more luck convincing those same people to agree with you.”

    Why? I am not going to convince you in any way. You r pretty hardened criminal when it come to poltics, SG.

    On second thoughts tell me exactly how you can be convinced we shouldn’t be funding headkickers on the public tit?

  28. #28 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    #27
    breakfast each morning……..

  29. #29 JB
    August 23, 2007

    “In this part of the world, the very worst examples of hackery to be found are among the editorials of the Wall Street Journal, where every statement of fact is strained through a filter of neo-pluto-loonism before it is allowed to see the printed page.”

    While the WSJ Editorial page may be the worst example, the problem is not confined to them, unfortunately.

    It is far more prevalent. Witness the fact that nearly every mainstream news media outlet in the US got the reporting wrong on WMD in Iraq. That’s no accident.

    The NY Times and Washington Post were then certainly also straining their stories through a “filter of neo-pluto-loonism” — and still are.

    I don’t believe a word I read in the NY Times or Washington Post (don’t read them at all any more, actually). They have lost all credibility. They are little better than tabloids like the National Enquirer (with its Bigfoot and alien abduction stories), the primary difference being that the Enquirer’s pieces are meant to be funny — and don’t lead to the death of thousands of people.

    The real problem, of course is that money/ideology is driving these newspapers (right into the ground) and journalism is an afterthought.

  30. #30 SG
    August 23, 2007

    sorry Jc, did I confuse you with my oblique reference to that common idea, the “marketplace of ideas”?

    The reason you have to convince others of the unfairness of the situation has to do with the definition of fairness (which you have already shown you don’t understand). If it is in mine and J Smith’s mutual interest that we fund a lefty headkicker, and we agree on that, we consider it fair. Just because you don’t think it’s fair doesn’t mean it’s unfair. You have to show us how it is not in our mutual interest. So yes, you can convince me that my money shouldn’t fund media watch if you can show me how it is in my interest to have no objective organisation criticising the media on all sides.

    There are people out there, Jc, who probably think it’s unfair that they can’t have sex with children. They have to do more than say it’s unfair – they have to explain how its in everyone’s mutual interest that they be able to do that.

    Oh, and saying “that’s a load of bullshit, what crap, you’re a commie, nyah!” does not count as convincing.

  31. #31 ChrisD
    August 23, 2007

    Someone clear something up for me: is the Australian right wing anything like the American right wing or is it switched due to the Coriolis effect?

  32. #32 Silmarillion
    August 23, 2007

    ChrisD – you might be on to something there. That’s probably why the Liberal Party is anything but!

  33. #33 Jc
    August 23, 2007

    “sorry Jc, did I confuse you with my oblique reference to that common idea, the “marketplace of ideas”?

    LOL. A statist is talking about a market place of ideas! I just chocked on my tea.

  34. #34 Chris O'Neill
    August 24, 2007

    It’s unfortunate that governments spend money on things that some people don’t want their money spent on but at least when it’s spent on showing up crap in The Australian it’s not completely wasted, unlike the governments own advertising.

  35. #35 Jc
    August 24, 2007

    Chris O

    Sure, but please point to me where you have criticised the state labor goverments about their level of self promotion ads and that way I will not tick you as another insincere lefty.

    links please.

  36. #36 JB
    August 24, 2007

    The Washington Post (an ideological rag, basically) is still printing their Neocon BS:

    According to Ray McGovern (who spent 27 years as a CIA analyst, and who chaired NIEs) and now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS):

    Bush League War Drums Beating Louder on Iran

    “The lead editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post regurgitates the allegations that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is “supplying the weapons that are killing a growing number of American soldiers in Iraq;” that it is “waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible.”
    It’s as though Dick Cheney and friends are again writing the Post’s editorials.”

    McGovern knows what he is talking about. He basically predicted everything that has transpired on the Iraq war– including the intelligence cherry-picking that was used to justify the invasion.

  37. #37 Chris O'Neill
    August 24, 2007

    Jc: “point to me where you have criticised the state labor goverments about their level of self promotion ads”

    Try “Greenhouse denial and delay from the CIS”

    BTW, please point to me the last time you have criticised the federal goverment compared with state governments in general about their level of self promotion ads and that way I will not tick you as another insincere righty.

    Also BTW, I live in Victoria so maybe that’s why I don’t know about the state government ads you have mentioned. However, the Vic state government has run ads and I’m annoyed about them too.

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