#Ozfail #6 and #7: Outsourced to Ken Parish and Irfan Yusuf

With a big staff of crack journalists, opinionators headline writers and sub-editors, led by the energetic Chris Mitchell, The Australian produces mistakes, misleading headlines and outright lies much faster than one blogger can possibly document them. So, I’m forced to do some outsourcing, and I’m happy to say, fellow bloggers are eager to help.

Ken Parish writes

I thought I’d draw JQ’s attention to another and equally egregious Oz misinformation campaign, namely to mischaracterise the report of the recent ALP review team of Wise Old Owls Carr, Bracks and Faulkner as recommending entrenching and enhancing trade union power. It’s a theme running through several recent Oz stories, including this one by Ben Packham and James Massola:

Ken focuses on the bizarre claim that recent changes to the internal structure of the ALP give unions power over preselections for the first time. As Ken points out, unions have played a central role in the ALP (including preselections) pretty much since the party was founded. I’m of the view that breaking this nexus would be good for unions, and probably also for Labor, but it had not occurred to me that even the Oz would deny its existence,

And here’s Irfan Yusuf on the paper’s advice to Muslim Australians

Writing editorials that sound like something authored by Glenn Beck doesn’t do much to improve your poor circulation.

Both Ken and Irfan point out that the Fairfax alternative is hardly flawless. In particular, the relentless tabloidisation produced by lists of the 5 most-read stories is highly damaging. Who’s going to read an informed analysis of carbon pricing when something like “AFL sex scandal ‘did not involve goats'” is clamouring for our attention at the bottom of the webpage. Even if you want to avert your eyes, you can’t.

Update #Ozfail #8 And they keep on coming! In comments, SJ points to this amazing beatup in which routine deletion of a tasteless blog comment is turned into “Crikey forced to remove fake Abbott story”. The story apparent started with some ego-Googling by Matthew Franklin (admit it, we all do it), but the task of writing the beatup was handed to Caroline Overington, who seems to be on permanent punishment duty at the Oz, presumably for having once been a real journalist.

10 thoughts on “#Ozfail #6 and #7: Outsourced to Ken Parish and Irfan Yusuf

  1. “AFL sex scandal ‘did not involve goats’”

    If you can write headlines about what was not involved in a ‘news’ story the possibilities are endless. Why, you could have a whole publication devoted to “What was not involved”. Great idea for boosting circulation and avoiding having your ‘scoop’ scooped!

  2. Who’s going to read an informed analysis of carbon pricing when something like “AFL sex scandal ‘did not involve goats’” is clamouring for our attention at the bottom of the webpage. Even if you want to avert your eyes, you can’t.

    Call me cynical but I suspect that an “informed analysis of carbon pricing” is always going to be a hard sell, AFL sex scandals or not. Especially given that even true believers in carbon pricing appear to have given up on it in favour of the much more practicable carbon taxing.

    But yes, Fairfax is as trivial as Murdoch is venal. Together they form a perfect storm of Left- and Right-liberal folly and knavery.

    Deleted. You’re flirting with a ban here Jack. To be clear, I want nothing from you related in any way to Islam, or loonies like Pipes

  3. Yeah that Overington beatup is another shocker.

    It’s not that hard to avoid the most-read list, it doesn’t guide my clickthroughs. Though the Age website layout is pretty poor, you can know a story is there and it can be very hard to find.

  4. John, I can’t believe you didn’t include a link to that fascinating story that did not include goats.

  5. Here’s another recent example of dishonesty by the Oz.


    My comment (refused):

    I’m surprised to read your claim that the O’Donnell paper refutes the earlier work of Steig et al given O’Donnell specifically says it does not.

    To quote Ryan O’Donnell: “Overall, we find that the Steig reconstruction overestimated the continental trends and underestimated the Peninsula – though our analysis found that the trend in West Antarctica was, indeed, statistically significant. I would hope that our paper is not seen as a repudiation of Steig’s results, but rather as an improvement.”
    “In my opinion, the Steig reconstruction was quite clever, and the general concept was sound. A few of the choices made during implementation were incorrect; a few were suboptimal. Importantly, if those are corrected, some of the results change. Also importantly, some do not.”

    The O’Donnell paper found more warming of the West Antarctic, not less. In addition, there is an informative discussion between O’Donnell and Steig available online with an in-depth discussion of methodologies. I assert that the reason the O’Donnell paper was not covered at the ABC is because it added nothing new to the debate and agreed with the conclusions of the first paper.

    CC denialism framed inside of an attack on the ABC. There’s a good boy.

  6. Realclimate, Deltoid and many others have covered the paper but I’ve not seen the Oz peice mentioned. I simply mention it here as another example of the OZ using a blog comment to spread disinformation.

  7. Yep, they really are horrible people, the Oz folk.
    Like those cretins Jonathon Holmes identified as a new shockwave the other Monday.
    But am reminded of an old saying I heard as a young man working in a factory back in the time of industrialisation, from an old Bedouin herdsman who ran the engineering design accounts computing section at a particular shop.
    “for children, women”
    For pleasure, a boy.
    for paradise
    a goat”.

  8. @paul walter

    ay!! waht!!

    old bedouin?

    i suppose there is a connection seeing there are reports of the morlock empire joining the saudis or is it dubiees or something.

    but words like “popular uprising”,”Stalinist” ,”broken core promise” have caught my mayfly attention at the mo.


    hells bells where does he think he is ? the DLP?
    i suppose you could say he’s qualified though.
    he could take it over and have the kenneally lass as his cup bearer.

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