The Australian delenda est

The Australian sure can’t take criticism. Tim Dunlop gently mocks them for their latest temper tantrum where they outed an pseudonymous blogger who dared to criticize the media. See also John Quiggin.

Note to excitable journalists working for The Australian reading this – the title is a reference to the The Australian‘s editorial stating that The Greens “should be destroyed”.


  1. #1 Paul UK
    September 30, 2010

    The journalists of The Australian are gay.

  2. #2 Damian
    September 30, 2010

    @Paul UK: I suppose you mean Cartman-gay.

    /Yeah, I watch South Park. You should too.

  3. #3 Rattus Norvegicus
    September 30, 2010

    Eh, more like Mr. Slave gay!

  4. #4 Jeremy C
    September 30, 2010

    I reckon both the Australian and denialists (hmmmm should I separate the two) will go ape over [this]( film from the 10:10 carbon reduction campaign. Have a look at it, it is extremely funny… a sick sort of way which is why people are gonna go ape.

  5. #5 Paul UK
    September 30, 2010

    The trouble is, someone who takes science seriously can’t possibly be insulting and controversial. I failed.

    Thank goodness I haven’t gone over to the dark side, or I might start outing bloggers.

  6. #6 Observer
    September 30, 2010

    Tim Dunlop is being very naughty and deliberately provocative. He knows as well as I do that The Australian is owned by Rupert Murdoch, a person who’s views are somewhat to the right of Messrs Abbott and Joyce. Yes, dear reader, The Australian provides written proof that this is possible.

    Mr Murdoch has every right to expect his employees at The Australian to honestly and assiduously reflect his views. After all, he pays them and he expects them to do his bidding. And they do, to the very best of their ability.

    Enough of this carping criticism! No one is obliged to read The Australian or agree with the views it publishes, particularly views which reflect the sentiments of a foreigner who, in the interests of mammon, willingly threw away the citizenship of his birth.

    If nothing else, The Australian and its owner provide us with daily evidence of the power of the foreign press. Fortunately, Australia puts such a high price on freedom of expression that it would never consider limiting foreign ownership of its media, not should it – should it?

  7. #7 jakerman
    September 30, 2010

    Observer makes a very good point.

    70% of newspapers read in Australia (including practical monopoly in most states) are controlled by a foreign owner who is a political campaigner trying to influence our government.

  8. #8 gliese
    October 1, 2010

    Q&A will host Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Australian on Monday 4 October.

    Get your questions in to Q&A at

  9. #9 Bernard J.
    October 1, 2010

    No one is obliged to read The Australian or agree with the views it publishes…

    I, for one, do not read the Australian, nor do I agree with the anti-science views that it is wont to espouse.

    I do, however, find it appalling that it is able to promulgate its unenlightened clap-trap through gullible portions of the Australian public, and thus to lower the overall level of scientific understanding of our society and to delay action on matters that will affect humanity and the biosphere for millenia to come.

    Fortunately, I suspect that it’s influence will wither as it retreats behind a paywall, and as other more immediate and centre-of-action forms of journalism appear, unfettered in their objectivity by the political interests of proprietors, advertisers, or staff.

    I just hope that the rag hasn’t done too much irrepairable damage before that day comes.

  10. #10 Wow
    October 1, 2010

    > No one is obliged to read The Australian or agree with the views it publishes…

    And no one is obliged to forbear from disagreeing about what The Australian writes or from criticising it.

  11. #11 Shirley
    October 1, 2010

    The Australian has many faults not least of which is the predisposition of the editor to rail against certain lefty or greeny type individuals from the editorial column. Tim Flannery, Robert Mann and David Williamson have been disparaged in the past as have many others. It didn’t surprise me that they would self righteously out an anonymous blogger.

    On another note, I would be interested to know why The Australian displays such a strong bias towards conservative Catholicism. I have read that Chris Mitchell is agnostic but perhaps the venerated George Pell and he share similar views on climate change.

  12. #12 JasonW
    October 1, 2010

    [Jeremy C]( Somehow I fail to see the humour in the 10:10 film. It’s going to alienate people, sends the wrong message and is in general not helpful at all. I’m all for unusual methods for communication, but the underlying message can be VERY easily misinterpreted and is oh-so-welcome fodder for delayers. I’m going to have to award a big fat “FAIL” to that one.

    ps.: Bonus minus points for blowing up Gillian Anderson! That is just not on!

  13. #13 BenSix
    October 1, 2010

    Oh dear Lord, have you seen the journalist’s rationale?

    As a prolific blogger and tweeter, Jericho was putting information in the public domain to provoke discussion and debate. It might have been a hobby, but by engaging directly via Twitter with dozens of journalists, Jericho and his views became part of the public debate – and in an age in which the dissemination of information has been democratised, his scribblings had an influence.

    Oh, sure, and I go to the bogs each day in homage to James Joyce.

  14. #14 stopmurdoch
    October 1, 2010

    There are a number of problems with Murdoch.

    His outlets don’t do journalism, they do fabrication and propaganda.

    In Australia we have laws against foreign ownership of our media (those laws specifically exempt Murdoch) so real journalism funded from outside Australia is effectively banned.

    His operatives have taken over control of the public broadcaster, the ABC.

    Of course nobody is forced to read or click on News Ltd, but he crosses the line from biased, fake journalism to policy influence and even control.

    In essence, he loves the free market just as long as he is guaranteed an unfair advantage and an unassailable position of power and influence.

  15. #15 Fran Barlow
    October 1, 2010

    I’m running a #pwnNewsLtd campaign from Twitter. If anyone wants to know about it, follow the link here:

    Basically I think we should cut/poison their revenue stream by attacking their advertisers.

    Let me know via Twitter ( @fran_b__ )how your end is going and I will retweet it. Hashtag = #pwnNewsLtd


  16. #16 Fran Barlow
    October 1, 2010

    Oops: TwitterID came out wrong. Check at the link

  17. #17 Andrew Dodds
    October 1, 2010

    Jeremy C:

    I wrote this for a different messageboard, may as well repeat (if that isn’t too off-topic, which it is, but anyway..)

    My view..

    Global warming is real and has the potential to cause some serious problems in the next few decades. There is an ongoing disinformation campaign to try and discredit this in the media (orchestrated by some of the same people who claimed that cigarettes are harmless, but there you go).

    Dealing with global warming is not particularly hard, involving as it does a large shift towards nuclear power and the electrification of the economy. Strangely enough you won’t hear this from either the coal/oil lobbyists or the environmentalists.

    Trying to deal with the problem by changing people’s behavior is never going to work. You either have stupid tokenism (hello 10/10) which annoys many people whilst achieving f**k-all, or you have to force people into dramatic changes in lifestyle.. (what? you want the lights to come on when you flick the switch? off to the gulag with you!)

    In the light of this, a video which portrays the instant execution of people for failing to implement largely token measures manages to fail on every level imaginable. Enthusiasts will laugh and continue doing too little to make a difference. Many non-committed/agnostic will be appalled and convinced not to take the problem seriously. And the skeptics will have a field day.

    Or to summarize:




  18. #18 Jeremy C
    October 1, 2010

    But JasonW Gillian Anderson allowing herself to be blown up underlines the humour in the whole film.

  19. #19 Lance
    October 1, 2010


    “But…Gillian Anderson allowing herself to be blown up underlines…”

    Yes, the mark of truly effective humor is having to explain why its funny.

    There is a reason that 10:10 pulled the video less than 24 hours after posting it.

    Nice job morons.

  20. #20 JasonW
    October 1, 2010

    The point is that the 10/10 people thought to employ classic black English humour (and classic it is – look at a random episode of Monty Python) on a sensitive, and most of all global matter; a public debate in which one side is small-minded and boorish, and will take ANY opportunity to spin, to spread vitriol, to disinform. And once again – the way this video can be so easily misunderstood is perfect fodder.

    But this is not about the Austrialian – maybe an own thread on the matter is in order? Everyone else seems to be doing it.

  21. #21 James Haughton
    October 3, 2010

    Gliebe @ 8, this is my question to the Q&A panel:

    “The Australian recently editorialised that “the Greens should be destroyed” and that they wore the accusation that they are “trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor” through biased reporting “with pride”. Is it ever appropriate for a foreign-owned media organisation to attempt to destabilise parliament or bring down a major political party by slanting its coverage? Should the Greens press for tighter media foreign-ownership laws in response to this political interference?”

    Let’s get see if we can some questions in about the Australian’s attitude to climate science in particular and any policy made without consulting Cardinal Pell in general.

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    October 6, 2010

    > His outlets don’t do journalism, they do fabrication and propaganda.

    Or as Republican David Frum said, just before he was fired (criticism of Fox often seems to have consequences):

    > “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox”

    Krugman [noted recently](

    > A note to Tea Party activists: … you’re actually just extras in a remake of “Citizen Kane.” … In the original, Kane tried to buy high political office for himself. In the new version, he just puts politicians on his payroll. … I mean that literally. … every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney is now a paid contributor to Fox News.

    He also notes that News Ltd made $1 million donations to the Republican Governers Association and “the rabidly anti-Obama United States Chamber of Commerce”. It’s getting pretty blatant.


    > So think of those paychecks to Sarah Palin and others as smart investments. After all, if you’re a media mogul, it’s always good to have friends in high places. And the most reliable friends are the ones who know they owe it all to you.

    Read the whole thing.

  23. #23 Donald Oats
    October 7, 2010

    Sadly, the same technique has been applied in Australia, by Murdoch Media companies. Australia is easily affected because we have only one newspaper of national reach – a Murdoch rag with chief editor selected from the anti-eco-anything school of thought – and most of the capital city newspapers are also of Murdoch ownership. The few that aren’t, eg Sydney Morning Herald or The Age (Melbourne) were once much more left leaning and at least willing to entertain a couple of stories on ecological and environmental interest. Now they are pale husks of their original selves; this is probably an outcome of trying to compete with web/internet markets as broadband finally allowed Aussies to read something on the internet in finite human lifetime. Walsh Bay couldn’t in early 2000-2005, but that’s another rich Sydney-side story for another time.

    Anyway, the upshot is that the national paper presents a disproportionately high level of anti-AGW opinion pieces or anonymous op-eds, usually by the self-proclaimed sceptics who harbour visions of a society run by neo-theo-cons or classic-cons at the very worst case, and even the letters pages have the same people miraculously published on the same day as the anti-AGW rant they lend support to, a trick they learnt some time ago. They have an email network and distribution lists and blam, they all get into the newspaper on the same day.

    I oppose Rupert Murdoch and his malevolent impositions upon my freedoms, my liberties. His mother has had much to offer the world, and is a clear thinker on many topics she has dug into. Her son, Rupert, unfortunately has been singularly unable to stay his potential to quite unfairly influence the politics of several countries around the world. His mother, on the other hand, deals with her social and political concerns quite directly and above all, ethically. If she wrote a letter to a politician then clearly her famous name would see it at least read and responded to, whereas a letter from me probably wouldn’t get past the gatekeeper to the ministerial mail of the day. But, she is playing fair and ethically, which is far more than can be said for someone else who buys politicians and gives unreal quantities of newsprint space for their lickspittle underlings to fill with rants about evil climate scientists and the like.

    One can only hope that the Fox-Reality eventually falls to pieces, along with the national rag. Even the government media – the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) – has made an overt move to use pre-packaged AAP news stories and others, which of course means that Murdoch gets his fingers into the pie even on government TV and Radio. Whatever happened to the nice, neutral, factual, historical, actual news stories from the field? Instead, it is either a cutesy piece about some animal or child, or it is a news copy so shortened and edited that it bears little resemblance to the reporter/journalist’s original work. So many journalists work on a pay-per-word basis that they either tailor the story themselves (to suit the chief editor’s biases, and Rupert’s by extension), or they simply accept any rampant post-post-modern re-de-construction by the Chief, and take the money.

    The one thing that comes through loud and clear on Fox is that every news story must either attack the enemy – no matter how feeble the evidence is – or attack their policies, or attack them personally. The counter they employ to those offended by this tactic is “freedom of speech”, etc.

    I hope that Rupert Murdoch either leaves the world of print media and sets up some genuine attempt at a quiet life;
    or does some travel for a few months, not with Carter or Plimer but with Peter Ward, Bill McKibben, and a few others with fieldwork and reasoned conclusions from that work.

  24. #24 Lotharsson
    October 7, 2010

    > …no matter how feeble the evidence is…

    Indeed. “Fair and balanced” apparently means [never having to fact-check a good story](

  25. #25 Wow
    October 7, 2010

    > His mother has had much to offer the world, and is a clear thinker on many topics she has dug into. Her son, Rupert, unfortunately has been singularly unable to stay his potential

    One reason why I would completely support a 100% inheritance tax (after the first, say, 10 grand per person, or to charity w/o strings) is that the children of the rich and powerful often do not deserve the power the money gives them.

    (See Paris Hilton for the eponymous example)

    The child of rich parents already have many advantages (and SHOULD: if you want your children to do better, help them WHILE YOU’RE ALIVE, don’t wait until you’re dead), such as the network of other powerful people who are friends of your parents. Good (expensive) schooling and the extra opportunities it gives (e.g. tell me how many state run schools have pole vaulting or tobogganing on sports day).

    And yet, if they need their parents money to get ahead when grown up, they have, actually, failed to make use of that advantage. And to make money hand over fist, all you need is pots of money.

    So tax it all.

    The money will go to shcools that will educate the poorer children and they will find that they have a skill for something that they otherwise would not know. With the better schooling and the evident skill they will get a better job and with a better job, the enrich the society and create a better opportunity for THEIR children.

    Meanwhile, if the rich decide that they don’t want to pay the tax, they will SPEND their money, NOT hoard it. Spent money gives you the trickle down that economists insist happens (in contrary to the evidence of the trickle-up we have now). The economy grows because moving money is how that is done, not how much is hoarded. And that means higher taxes on the goods and services bought and sold.

    And so we still get better inner city schools.

    Only if you know your children cannot make use of the advantages given to them by their accident of birth would you be worried by a 100% inheritance tax. If your children *could* but *won’t*, then they will be spurred to actually work and maybe do better than their parents did.

  26. #26 Tom R
    October 9, 2010

    Oh oh, the oo is in more trouble with its war on disinformation. (Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but I couldn’t see a reference to it anywhere)

    I have linked back through the blog I often comment at, mainly as this is a gathering place for many who used to comment at Tim Dunlop’s old blog with ltdnews, blogocracy, so thought that might be relevant considering the post.

    “UK body says News Ltd misrepresented it on climate ”

    I also would like to add that Tim Lambert’s ‘Australia’s war on Science’ is a fantastic series (as sad as it is that anyone would need to run a series like that in the first place), and that I have been reading many articles lately that are directly referencing it.

    Well done Tim.

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