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Conspiracy Theories in the Australian: Not by me though?

It’s nice to know Christian Kerr of The Australian reads my site and wants to quote me, but really Christian, where’s the conspiracy?

“Science broadcaster turned climate-sceptic blogger and convoy backer, Jo Nova, let loose. “The ABC coverage is so shamefully biased, a government PR agency could hardly have done a better job,” she claimed.

“They carefully avoided selecting any of the key messages in the speeches or petition (but they put in any odd unconnected grievance they could find). They didn’t interview the organisers, instead just showing a snippet of a song and a truckie tooting.” But the opponents of the rally were no less inclined to conspiracy.”

When the media coverage of the Convoy was so dismally biased, I wasn’t suggesting a conspiracy. No one needs a conspiracy when good old fashioned incompetence will do. I have documented some of the poor media coverage of climate science, and especially ABC coverage, at length.

ABC logo

Indeed, Mark Scott, director of the ABC himself admitted that the ABC is there to help the government. The fact that he thought it was OK to admit that publicly tells you how far the ABC has come from any notion that it is there  to serve-the-people.

Who needs a conspiracy?

My issue with the ABC, and some other outlets, is their culture  and their dismal standards. No one has to issue an order from above, or conspire to get mostly left-learning journo’s to pull the punches or ignore stories that threaten their favorite party. As I said, ABC radio in Perth found time in its 6pm bulletin to talk about back-burning in Broome, but not to mention that some 600 vehicles, some that had actually driven from Broome, were protesting in Canberra that day. What issue do you suppose West Australian citizens would find more interesting? Fire control, or a historic protest asking for an election?

If 600 vehicles from all over the country had turned up to protest against the Howard Work Choices policy, would the ABC ignore it? Would news headlines readNo confidence convoy suffers small numbers”. If a disparate group of farmers, miners, road freight workers and business people were protesting about Industrial Relations, would the ABC have dismissed them as grumpy “truckies”? (Louise Maher even complained that the Convoy caused no traffic delays, which was an “unexpected inconvenience”, people got to work early, or had to make up other excuses if they slept in. The travesty!). Where were the thanks that the Convoy had taken so much trouble to consider the people of Canberra? Where was the admiration that the Convoy was so well organized?

Would they have repeated the denigrating claim that it was a convoy of no consequence (sometimes without even quoting it as an Albanese special, but rather adopting it as their own home-made-scorn?)  Maybe they were disappointed they didn’t think of it first?

That’s what’s so interesting about the Convoy. The ABC, and the Labor Party used to pretend to be considerate about working Australia. They paid lip-service to “respecting” their views. Not any more. They detest, show contempt and look down on them, and they don’t even bother to hide it anymore.

Bob Hawke would have handled it very differently.

Everybody knows a journalist ought to keep their voting intentions out of their reporting — in theory — but they aren’t even trying anymore. And go on, name the ABC journalists who are conservative, or libertarian…

Welcome to the Land of the Endless Conspiracy

At least Christian Kerr acknowledges the real conspiracy theories tossed by the other side. Though he missed that this particular one he quoted backs up my point to the hilt.

Ramon Glazov, ABC “Contributor’

“The ABC’s The Drum website published a 1300-word dissertation hinting at dark links between the rally organizers and US industrialists David and Charles Koch, the alleged bankrollers of the Tea Party movement.”

Dissertation is a flattering word for the Ramon Glazov unresearched speculation, based on desperately tenuous links, no cause and effect connection, and nothing resembling evidence. Christian missed that Glazov can’t substantiate almost everything he says — sure he was at the Convoy launch in Perth that I was at (at least, he has photos). But what kind of “journalist” attends an event in a carpark where he has easy access to the two people he then writes about at length yet doesn’t bother to “interview” either of them (that would be myself and Janet Thompson by the way). Then — with a straight face — he headlines his story…  “Unanswered Questions”?

Figure that if you never ask the questions, you’ll never get any answers. (I guess he can reuse this theme every time he wants a “dark” insinuation.)

“Glazov was watching us — it’s a creepy kind of stalkerville piece. We were wandering in a car park. He had 30 minutes to say hello.”

In another lengthy piece (please give him an editor) Glazov even writes about where Janet and I stood, and what we did, while we chatted casually to anyone approaching us — he was watching us — it’s a creepy kind of stalkerville piece. We were wandering in a car park. He had 30 minutes to say hello.

Glazov pronounces all kinds of things about “the people” at the Convoy, but they’re not the people I met at the Convoy, Glazov doesn’t quote anyone directly, and doesn’t name them either. This is what the ABC drum is reduced too… helping the national debate by posting, er, conspiracy theories about people they can’t name and don’t quote, and smearing people they didn’t talk to.

On his EXile US site, Ramon, obsessively lists the clothes these nameless people in Perth were wearing, as well as their age, and what was in their CD collection.  As far as I can tell, he could have made the encounters up. Who would know? He met freaks, but off the top of my head, I talked to farmers, a lawyer, the head of the Sydney Mining Club, and an electrical engineer. (Respectively, the Thompsons, James Doogue, Julian Malnic, David Evans). University degrees and self employed were the norm.

Is he paid to write for that extreme leftie US site? He’s come armed with the same anti-Tea-Party ritual points that proved to be fake in the US.

The US government gave blank checks for trillions  of dollars to financial institutions with no questions asked. Faced with record setting corruption on a national scale over the last decade, the huge transfer of wealth to insiders by illegal means, with not a single indictment or jail sentence, it’s not surprising that millions of citizens would rise up in protest. Actually, it would be shocking if they didn’t protest. Yet somehow Ramon zips it up in his head, that the Tea-Party are paid astroturfers. Riiiight. Something like a million people marched on Washington (and there are photos to prove it). The idea that any group could pay for that is as wildly wacko conspiratorial as it gets.

But our tax dollars give Glazov full defamatory room to insinuate his comical conspiracies, and whip up hate-speech type material against his enemies. He drags in Koch and Exxon, as if they might have funded the Convoy, but you know, when you have no evidence, anyone can do that.

As it happens, Glazov, and the ABC wouldn’t know a genuine community movement if they were surrounded by one, which in a sense, they both are.

Here’s what a real grassroots team looks like:

Far from being Exxon or Koch funded, I work pro bono. I wrote the Skeptics Handbook with no funding, and received no money or royalty from the Heartland Foundation for it. Why do I do it? It’s like a patriotic duty. Together with most people I’ve met from the Convoy: we can see a trainwreck coming. And given that this government is at record low polls, scraped into government by the thinnest margin ever with the help of what turned out to be a lie, and is trying to bring in the transformative economic change it specifically said it would not do, who needs any conspiracy to suggest the people might not like this?

The only question about the Convoy is to ask: What took you guys so long?

Glazov just needs his medication checked, and some treatment for his compulsive namecalling (it’s spelled “Tea Party”, Ramon) but the ABC editors of The Drum have to answer some hard questions. Did they not notice Glazov smeared people he could have talked too, but didn’t, and yet apparently “interviewed” people he can’t name? Even Green Left Weekly usually do better than that. It’s name-calling graffiti. This is not journalism, it’s vandalism.

I want my tax dollars used in better ways.

So do thousands of mainstream Australians.

Related Posts:

ABC admits it’s a propaganda arm of the government

The ABC — protecting big government from awkward questions

UPDATE: The ABC are running an opinion poll.

“The Australian media tend to be biased to a/ the right (57%), b/ the left 36%), c/ unbiased (8%). 4849 votes.

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