The Australian roasts Media Watch – again

Media Watch

Your humble correspondent gets another mention in an editorial in The Australian today:

IT’S no surprise that the ABC’s Media Watch has no bite when it comes to scrutinising the national broadcaster’s own news coverage. On Monday night it lost its bark as well. Host Jonathan Holmes fell silent over an issue that he bungled badly the week before — the ABC’s erroneous report in June last year that: “Several of Australia’s top climate change scientists at the Australian National University have been subjected to a campaign of death threats, forcing the university to tighten security.”

The sensationalised story, which followed up a report in The Canberra Times, gained such wide airplay on radio, on television and online that it was picked up internationally by The Guardian and the scientific journal Nature, fuelling a perception that climate sceptics are dangerous fanatics.

The problem was that a crucial element of the story was wrong, which the ABC now concedes — sort of — in a “clarification” buried deep on its website.

But, curiously, most of [Holmes’] wrath was directed at The Australian — for factual news stories that revealed that FOI requests by climate change blogger Simon Turnill had uncovered 11 emails at odds with last year’s ABC report. 

Read the rest here.

And, no, there is still no response from ANU to my questions seeking clarification regarding their claim (in the ABC correction) that they did receive death threats, but just not within the scope of the original FoI…


  1. Sean McHugh says:


  2. Anthony Watts says:

    Still no corrections posted on this story

    Might throw that into your regular communications with ABC and ask when they’ll be fixing that.

  3. [snipped – please keep comments relevant, thanks]

  4. Wow, always fun to find a circlejerk for nut bags,

    [REPLY – have you been over at Skeptical Science…?]

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