UPDATE: Bishop Hill reports here.
Just when you think things cannot get any more bizarre, the ABC quietly updates its latest story on the ANU death threats with the following extraordinary statement:
UPDATE (May 21): The release of these emails under Freedom of Information followed reports last year (see related stories above) that ANU scientists had received death threats. Climate change sceptics have claimed that the released emails contradict suggestions that any death threats were received, but a spokesperson for the ANU says the university is standing by its claims that death threats were received. Questions have also been raised about whether one of the released emails did, in fact, constitute a threat to use a gun, with a person involved in the kangaroo culling program claiming the comments were made by him, and were in no way intended as a threat.
So is the ABC seriously suggesting that Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim himself is a “climate change sceptic”? Here’s what he said in the FoI decision:
“10. Having inspected the documents, I have determined that 10 of the documents, in the form of emails, do not contain threats to kill or threats of harm. These documents contain abuse in the sense that they contain insulting and offensive language.”
And the 11th, the ABC concedes, was nothing but an innocent discussion about kangaroo culling. The question remains, however: if death threats were received by ANU at any time, why were they not reported to the police? More and more questions, fewer and fewer answers.
My follow-up FoI request (already submitted to ANU) will definitively answer all of these questions – although no doubt they will refuse to release them, and it will require another appeal to the Information Commissioner.
See? According to the ABC, like any challenge to the consensus, it’s all an evil plot by the sceptics! Hilarious!
Media Watch will be a hoot.