“We got it wrong”, says Oz, but they’re still wrong

Along with many others, I pointed out the absurdity of Graham Lloyd’s piece in the Oz, headlined “We got it wrong, says IPCC”. The Oz has printed a “correction”
https://twitter.com/MeddlesomPriest/status/381258223413510145/photo/1/large

blaming their absurd error on “the production process”. In the sense that the processes of the Oz, from the hiring of general editor Chris Mitchell and environment “reporter” Graham Lloyd, combined with uncritical reproduction of claims by discredited sources like David Rose “produced” the error. I guess this is true. But, this is part of a consistent pattern. Errors like this have been produced routinely in the past, and will continue to be produced in the future. Regular, but inadequate, retractions are part of this process.

42 thoughts on ““We got it wrong”, says Oz, but they’re still wrong

  1. One of the problems with this article is that everyone heard of the ‘lie’, but how many people will hear/read about this appology or correction? The damage has been done to fuel the sceptics.

  2. Those who discount the ABC as useless should have a look at Mediawatch tonight. (Monday 23 Sept.). It repeats most of the objections to Murdoch lies discussed above. How lucky we are to have Paul Barry back in the chair rather than the previous nit pickers and trivia merchants. Be glad that the number of MW viewers is much greater than the cogniscenti who visit here.

  3. Neil Chenoweth is one of Australia’s few real journalists.

    In today’s AFR he writes a piece about how Murdoch blew about $2 Billion on destroying Australian journalism (that’s my view, not his).

    In addition News reported another $US374 million in tax benefits, lifting net profit less minority interests to $US506 million.

    Without the New Zealand sale and the revaluations, News reported an $8 million pre-tax loss. To that can be added back the “restructuring costs”, on the basis that these should not be recurring.

    That puts underlying earnings around the $300 million mark.

    The difficulty this poses for News Corp CEO Robert Thomson and executive chairman Rupert Murdoch is that News has three papers – the New York Post, The Times and The Australian, which together lose reportedly more than $US250 million.

    Closing them could nearly double News Corp’s earnings and put a rocket under its share price. But this is anathema to Murdoch.

    Wall Street Journal revenues were also down $US76 million but it wasn’t all bad news for the newspaper division – it saved $US96 million from lower printing and distribution costs for selling less papers, and $US87 million from cost cutting.

  4. Lacking any health information, Rupert Murdoch´s life expectancy is about 7 years. Say 5 years working, for a fit workaholic. Roger Ailes is 73; he´s a haemophiliac and overweight, so you would need specialist knowledge to estimate his life expectancy. Suppose it´s 5 working years too, which looks generous. Then the joint expectancy of one of them stopping their malign work on health grounds must be under 3 years. The period is further reduced by non-health risks, mainly a palace coup by the Murdoch heirs. It´s unlikely they would keep Ailes, another domineering patriarch to whom they are not related. Any ideas what they would do editorially with the Oz properties?
    I realize that Ailes is irrelevant to Oz media and politics so the calulation reverts to the simple Rupert case.

  5. Kevin1,

    The ABC have done their damage in turning enough of their viewer base to see the pathic Abbott as being a “good” leadership option with their endless unchallenged hours of prime time coverage of Abbott’s gross missinformation campaign.

    Abbott through the last three years demolished good leadership on the environment and through the next 6 years is set to exacerbate global warming simply to satisfy his own ego, personal ideology, and be part of some conservative stupidity cult.

    The eleven years of Howard were damaging enough, the brief Abbott diminished advancement of Climate Action in the Gillard period was hardly enough to make any difference and now another extensively damaging period of Climate Inaction with the environmentally blocked mind of Abbott and followers certainly guarantees the failure of any chance of retarding Global Warming. And to those ratbags who pipe up with “well we could hardly make a difference we’re just a small country”, we are responsible for our share of the problem regardless of what every other country does.

    Australia’s share of this failure will squarely be laid at the feet of Murdoch, Abbott and the ABC management and staff. One good little ABC talkfest programme cannot wipe away the ABC’s responsibility for the disasters that will unfold in coming years.

    If it was just the economy at risk then you could shrug and say “we will recover in the next period”, but this is about a one shot chance at stabilising the environment that we all have to live with. The Global Economy will go down in a screaming heap permanently for getting this wrong.

  6. @BilB
    I have to admit to seeing their timidity manifest itself usually as trivialisation, if not betrayal, of the political analysis it purports to be. Are ABC viewers substantially influenced towards Abbott as a result? I wouldn’t think so. Even the Murdoch influence on vote-changing generally may be over-stated by those who won’t face the long term Labor decline. Dr Tad claims at national LNP vote up only 1.7% in Reps and down in Senate, as well as PUP rise despite a 14 negative front pages in Oz attacking him shows their weakness. http://overland.org.au/2013/09/the-greens-and-labors-crisis/ What do you think?

    Their The Drum show at 6 pm gives a platform to a range of interesting people who don’t otherwise get much mainstream attention, and 10 mins or so interviewing an expert, last night an IPPC author. But little interrogation of the panel members, who just ventilate running commentary, often outrageous yet unchallenged. It might be said it’s in the eye of the beholder, but the idea that Lib commentators eg. Vanstone, Reith, Chikarovski (Helen Coonan is a notable exception) are shallow and more partisan advocates for their side is confirmed, compared to the Labor or ex Labor lot. (Although B Cassidy continues his obsessive vendetta against Rudd, extended now to those who didn’t fight sufficiently hard against him.)

    Yet The Drum website has a range of substantive commentators, today Will Steffen, Jonathan Green, Kohler – maybe airtime for Reith, Ross Cameron etc. is the price that has to be paid.

  7. @BilB

    I just heard an ABC news report on the IPCC.

    Hunt said “we’re going to easily reach 5% with our scheme”. Milne said “it’s not nearly enough, we need to cut more and do it more quickly”. Bowen said “5% is plenty, we shouldn’t aim for more”. I think we’re doomed.

  8. Kevin1,
    Australia’s share of this failure will squarely be laid at the feet of Murdoch, Abbott and the ABC management and staff. One good little ABC talkfest programme cannot wipe away the ABC’s responsibility for the disasters that will unfold in coming years.

    Really? The Australian people have no role at all? They’re passive agents of the Mads Monk & Murdoch?

    Surely much of the point of a democracy is that all the blame for what happens is not to be borne by leaders.

    The Australian people have been sold a pup (comfort + cheap goods as the sine qua non of a good life) by the corporatcracy, certainly. But they bought it.

  9. @Crispin Bennett

    In an absolute sense, you’re right. In theory the populace could have sat up and realised they were being sold a pup (we even had a party with that name!) and figuratively torn the spivs’ politics into tiny pieces and relieved themselves all over it.

    They didn’t for the same reason they don’t actively defend their best interests in any other area of policy — they don’t apprehend what they are. The reasons are complex — far too complex for the kind of post that can be composed here — but the inability to speak its many wishes in public through either a major party or major media organ certainly is one key factor — and that in turn reflects the continuing reality that the ruling ideas in any age are ever the ideas of its ruling class. In the present age, the ruling media reflect the diversity of the ruling class rather than the ruled class.

    To what extent can one hold prisoners responsible for the conduct of their gaolers? A bit, surely, but not entirely, and not even mostly. Until the gaolers are frightened of their prisoners, we are not going to see qualitative progress. It’s as simple as that.

  10. @Fran Barlow
    If I had leisure and ability to spare, I might quibble with the notion of ‘best interests’ (as I doubt there’s a defensible value-free construal of it to be made). But mostly I agree.

    I point the finger of blame at the Volk in the spirit of feigning the generally-held respect for the superiority of liberal democracy. I take that as assumed in most conversation. If what you say is true (and insofar as I have thought about it, I more or less agree), then it’s clear that LD doesn’t have the conative resources to deal with crises that ultimately threaten those in power. That’s more-or-less where we are now.

  11. Crispin Bennet,

    In this last election the public was fed a massive dose of the blatantly false……as in totally untrue….as in bare faced lies, in multitude…. from all media sources. This was not reality slightly massaged to seem different, this was falsity to the point of fraudulence.

    Such blatant missinformation is not the territory of democratic choice of direction based on a fair assessment of the national situation, this was coersion of the public for the sole purpose of electing someone who normally was totally unpalatable to all except the few. This was high pressure sales in the extreme. And for this class of “sale” the cooling off period should apply and the public should have the opportunity to dump the product.

    As I said, if this were just about the economy we might be able to live with it, but this is about the future of the environment and has consequences far beyond the interests of political parties.

  12. Agreed. But you and I can see through this, no? So does this somehow give us agency, while the Great Aussie Public has none at all? The corporatocracy has moral/causal agency because of its power, we have it because of our–what? our superior intelligence? the fidelity of our information sources?–and the GAP is just a kind of tabula rasa, which somehow only Abbot-Murdoch can scrawl on? I don’t buy it.

    When I hear the cashed-up bogans next door dismiss climate change as a con from the comfort of their lavishly-appointed pool, I don’t think I’m hearing the consequences of a paucity of accurate information. I’m hearing people believing what suits their current vision of the world. They may not be entirely responsible for *having* that vision (the marketing industry spends 500 billion a year implanting that), but once it’s there, I’m damned sure it’s a far more powerful creator of beliefs than is the informational content of anything they read, hear, or see in “the media”.

  13. @Crispin Bennett

    When I hear the cashed-up bogans next door dismiss climate change as a con from the comfort of their lavishly-appointed pool, I don’t think I’m hearing the consequences of a paucity of accurate information. I’m hearing people believing what suits their current vision of the world.

    Doubtless that’s true. Cognitive dissonance is a common human attribute. Of course, they are still placing far more emphasis on their short term interests over their medium and long term ones, and trading their possibility of connection with others for the accoutrements of middle class existence. They may well be bankrupt of fighting over the loot in five years’ time* and it’s unlikely that climate change is the only matter on which they are making this error.

    * Two separate pairs of such folk I know, who used to try lecturing me as ‘puritanical’ wound up this way. One pair was suckered by a financial scam and lost their business and the other pair both turned out to be “playing away from home” resulting in a very messy and expensive separation which left them both seriously cash strapped but their respective lawyers much to the good. Ironically, one of the lawyers had been a respondent in one of their cases!

    There was far less hubris from the woman in the latter case next time I saw her, though I did ask how her philosophy of life was working out for her and whether she was still feeling fulfilled. She scurried away.

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