BREAKING: Media Watch

UPDATE: Marc Hendrickx finds links to Canberra Times articles which make the same claim as the ABC regarding the ANU.

ABC1’s Media Watch covered the ANU FOI story in detail tonight. I’m not going to post in detail yet, but in summary, the ABC and the Australian take a bit of a beating, and the Canberra Times gets off lightly.

In respect of the ABC, Media Watch rightly criticises the organisation for not correcting further and/or clarifying the original reports of death threats at ANU in the six months prior to the original report.

In respect of The Australian, Media Watch appears to believe that Christian Kerr’s articles were claiming to debunk ALL the death threat claims. This was never the case, and clearly only related to the ANU FOI request.

As for the Canberra Times, I would still like to see what evidence there was of death threats. Everything that Media Watch showed on air was abuse and unpleasant, yes, but NOT a death threat. Media Watch enjoyed showing those, I can tell. But they aren’t death threats.

Clearly MW loathes News Limited and the Australian, so it’s little surprise that they get a shellacking. All good stuff!

More to follow.

You’ll eventually be able to see it here.


  1. On tonight’s Mediawatch program Jonathan Holmes seemed to suggest the Canberra Times did not report that ANU scientists were subject to death threats. As a result it suggested that The Australian’s recent article on the issue was wrong. However these articles from the Canberra Times from last year suggest otherwise. It seems that the researchers in the Media watch office are unfamiliar with Google.

    Links to articles from Canberra times at ABC NEWS WATCH…

    [REPLY – Great catch, Marc – I hope you let MW know…]

  2. Oh, for pete’s sake. You’ve found an AAP article with canberra times branding. Brilliant work. I can pull up that same article with any fairfax layout I want – it’s the same basic URL on every one of their sites. Here’s the same article on the herald sun site:

    That’s NOT the article by rosslyn beeby that started this whole derp-storm. What you’re seeing is the same story getting fed back through the mistake machine and finding its way back to the fairfax web site. That wasn’t “reported” by the canberra times, and everyone knows which article we’re really talking about. But that was a decent attempt to shift the goal posts.

    The original canberra times article didn’t say anything about email death threats to ANU, but that’s beside the point. In the real world, the world of objective facts and real people, away from the ideological war between NEWS and reality, actual people were receiving abuse and threats that they did not deserve, that they’re not paid enough to put up with, simply for doing their job. The Australian is an actual, grown-up newspaper. It doesn’t have to just take the word of another newspaper, it can actually investigate for itself. If it had done so, it might have known that its “expose” was a load of bunk. All it took was to contact a few of the known names for some leads, and to promise unbiased coverage, and it would have found the same evidence that the ABC did.

    Although, given the Aus’ current form, anyone who HAD received threats would be insane to pass along their personal details. It’s not even pretending any more. NEWS is flat-out campaigning, and doesn’t appear to care what impact that campaign has on ordinary bystanders.

    In no universe has the original claim that climate researchers have received threats been debunked. That’s the point of the media watch episode. Squint at it all you like.

    [REPLY – And you can squint at it all you like as well, and you won’t find a SINGLE DEATH THREAT, either among the ANU emails or the emails Media Watch posted on its web site. Abuse is not death threats. Death threats are a serious criminal offence. And so far, I haven’t seen ONE. And lumping threats and abuse together just muddies the water. The original FoI was only to ANU, so why MW chose to read the coverage in the Australian as claiming to debunk the entire story is bizarre.]

    • One article is by AAP the other by Fairfax reporter Eamonn Duff is titled “Death Threats to scientists” dated 5 June 2011 from The Canberra Times Website-seems like the ABC they now need to make a correction.

      As to the other so called “Death Threats” I await the results of police inquiries. But I don’t know that there are any. Perhaps MOC, you can provide some details.

  3. Imagine Craig Thompson delivering this…. I am a humble climate scientist (pause… Take a drink of water) I have just tried to save the world from Certain doom (take drink… Pause… Swap hands… Drink again…. Shuffle papers… Lower lip quiver)… I expect praise for my research (pause… Drink…. Quiver) but I never expected somebody question me on the veracity of my claims ( pause drink quiver…. Cry……. Point) YOU…. YOU…. Please!

  4. Baldrick says:

    So what was the total number of death threats as reported by climate scientists?

  5. Prof. Will Steffen, for Media Watch, is an authoritative source; as with all his climate-related deceptions, Media Watch accepts everything he says as true. We know, however, that what Prof. Steffen considers a threat may be anything uttered by a sceptic, or reported to have been uttered—from a less than adequately polite greeting to a devout wish that he’d stop lying. Meanwhile, real threats of harm to heretical non-believers from, say, maniacal professors of ethics, go unnoticed by the ABC.

    • The Loaded Dog says:

      “Meanwhile, real threats of harm to heretical non-believers from, say, maniacal professors of ethics, go unnoticed by the ABC.”

      EXACTLY..and what a creep that guy is.

      (legal disclaimer for “members” of the left: use of the word “creep” in this context is in no manner intended to be interpreted or applied as a death threat)

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