Kudos to John Quiggin, not for winning the 2011 Distinguished Fellow Award from The Economic Society of Australia (even though that’s pretty impressive), but for winning the 2011 Distinguished glass jaw punching award, for his posts on the “mistakes, misleading headlines and outright lies” from The Australian. His prize is this lengthy article in The Australian by Michael Stutchbury on how Quiggin is a big commie. My favourite bit is this, where Stutchbury (who is economics editor at The Australian) denies that The Australian has been conducting a campaign against climate science
On climate change, Murdoch has backed giving the planet the benefit of the doubt.
Paddy Manning, who was working for The Australian at the time describes Stutchbury’s reaction to Murdoch’s announcement:
Then on May 9, 2007, apparently at the urging of son James, Murdoch announced News Corp would go carbon neutral by 2010. …
This put The Australian in a quandary. Mitchell’s then 2IC, Michael Stutchbury, was still freely describing climate change as “bullshit” and joked after the announcement, “What would the Murdochs know?”
If you choose to comment at Stutchbury’s piece, copy it here as well so we can see what gets blocked by the moderators at the glass jaw of the nation.
Update John Quiggin:
It has a bit of a phoned-in feel, and obviously wasn’t a spontaneous outburst – Stutchbury told me had been directed to write it. That’s part of the price of working for the Empire these days
The argument that “Quiggin is fine when he does his academic stuff but throws it all away when it comes to public discourse” is complete and utter crap. John is the most ruthlessly neoclassical economist I have ever met. He uses the tools of modern economics religiously in ALL of this work. And his point is that those tools can support government intervention as much as they are often used in naive, textbook form to support deregulation and market-based agendas. That is why he is so powerful in public debates. He argues on the terms of those who exploit economics as an ideology.
Update 2: Tim Dunlop:
Once again, The Australian’s self-obsession, their complete inability to engage in debate and instead resort to ad hominem, all-guns-blazing personal attack has seen them score a spectacular own goal.
Plainly, Stutchbury, even if he was directed to prepare an attack on Quiggin (the now-standard self-defence for News Ltd journalists writing rubbish), is proud of working for an “agenda-setting newspaper”. The newspaper’s agenda happens to be one of rank partisanship against the party in office. In launching an attack on Quiggin’s credibility, Stutchbury has brought a water pistol to a gunfight.
Update 3 Paul Krugman:
The author of Zombie Economics has received a full sliming from the Murdoch empire. That’s a badge of honor.
He now joins a select and impressive group–Emmanuel Saez down the hall and my ex-boss Alicia Munnell come to mind. Congratulations! This is indeed a great honor for John.