THE ABC has posted the audio of Åsa Wahlquist’s remarks at the conference, proving that Posetti’s tweets accurately quoted her. The two five minute audios are well worth listening to for an insider’s take on the toxic work environmnet that is The Australian. Look carefully at what Wahlquist has said since:
Mitchell rejects the allegation and Walhquist has also denied it, saying she has never spoken to Mitchell about climate change.
Wahlquist has not retracted or contradicted any of the things she said at the conference. I hope she expands on them at book length. Anyone know any publishers?
Meanwhile, Mitchell’s minions continue to harrass twitterers:
The Australian newspaper’s campaign against Twitter took a bizarre turn today when the paper threatened to refer a joke tweet to the police. The editor of the paper’s media section, Geoff Elliott, rang ANU academic, Jonathan Powles this afternoon to say the paper would be referring a tweet he posted on Friday to the police because it constituted a threat to the newspaper.
However, it appears that the paper was unaware that Powles’ tweet was in fact a parody of a now infamous tweet sweeping Britain. In that message Paul Chambers threatens to blow up a UK airport because it is closed and he might miss his flight. He was charged over the tweet, and lost his appeal a fortnight ago and was fined. But thousands of people responded by sending “I am Spartacus” tweets to show their support for what they understood was clearly a joke message.
I don’t know whether Elliot didn’t get the joke or thinks that jokes against The Australian are illegal.
This Twitter exchange between Jay Rosen and Mitchell Minion Sally Jackson reveals more about the way she slants her coverage to curry favour with her boss.
@jayrosen_nyu BTW I also left out another interviewee who was PRO defo action. Because comment wasn’t relevant to story. Conspiracy?
Clive Hamilton reveals how Mitchell threatened to sue him, but failed to follow through.
Tim Dick at the SMH weighs in:
For what it’s worth – if anyone hasn’t guessed yet, I write for a competing news company – here’s my view: The Australian sprinkles some fantastic journalism with unfortunate episodes of self-obsession, over-sensitivity and over-reaction. It’s difficult to see what could be gained from a defamation suit that could not be gained from a flat denial or letting the offending sets of 140 characters slide into the obscurity of the Twitter-ether, noticed only by the academic’s followers who happened to be reading her tweets at the time. And journalists suing themselves is rarely a good look.
Her Tweets are a fair summary of what Wahlquist said
But Jonathon Holmes explains that even the slighest inaccuracy gives an opening for Mitchell to sue. His last paragraph nails it:
At Media Watch, we’re well aware that The Australian reacts to criticism or challenge with a vitriol unmatched elsewhere in the Australia media. But surely Chris Mitchell – who whatever else he is, is no fool – will realise that pursuing Ms Posetti through the courts (and incidentally risking some devastating evidence from Asa Wahlquist and, perhaps, other former and current staffers at The Oz, if they chose to risk speaking out) will not be in his interest, or The Australian’s; and it certainly won’t foster “freedom of speech and a vigorous and open marketplace of ideas” which, as The Australian argued in an editorial in 2004, “are essential to a democratic society”.