tip off

And Miranda has a go

Even I am getting sick of writing about this Greens vs News Ltd story more quickly than the latter’s stable of fanatic polemicists.

Here’s another one, from today’s Herald Sun, with Miranda Devine attacking them over bats (the literal, flying variety):

The activists fighting the eviction of protected bats destroying Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, and the shire council in Victoria’s Yarra Valley boycotting locally made paper, are all part of the same human wrecking ball that threatens our health and happiness far more than carbon dioxide.

Contrary to the picture the paper chose to use to illustrate the story – Bob Brown with malfunctioning cogs in his head – neither, if you read the story, are to do with the Australian Greens. (There’s a councillor from the state Greens related to the second one, but it’s not a Greens-run council.) Not that such an elementary detail would bother the “free and sceptical press” at News Ltd…

But even Miranda’s claims about the bats appear to be dubious. An anonymous tipster (who knows more about flying rodents than we do) sent us through a few links highlighting the absurdity:

Even a cursory review will highlight a series of problems with the story that should make the most junior journalism student blush. She claims that NSW Labor banned shooting of flying foxes before they were kicked out of office. Wrong. They didn’t; they committed $5m to the netting of orchards in the Sydney region with a commitment to phase shooting out over 3 seasons. The Liberal election promise was for the same funding but with a 2 year phase out of shooting.

She says that farmers can’t shoot flying foxes. Wrong, they can still apply for an be issued licenses to shoot and the NSW Dept of Industry and Investment has made it easier for them to do so. She says that the eviction of bats from Royal Botanic Gardens was postponed because of the actions of the Humane Society. Wrong, the Botanic Gardens Trust media release makes it clear that the decision was taken by the Trust itself.

She chooses to demonise the bats a bit more by highlighting the risk of contracting lyssavirus but fails to mention that since the introdution of a vaccine, there’s not been a single death caused by the disease. Still, her blog got the reaction she probably wanted out of her readers so perhaps she’ll just consider it mission accomplished and feel the misinformation to be justified.

How embarrassing for her.

I wonder who they’ll wheel out tomorrow?

ELSEWHERE: Obviously the Southbank Jester doesn’t count, since he never takes a day off. Take this stupid one from today:

Who upset Saint Bob?

Hands up, the ABC staffer who dared to upset Bob Brown with a mean question at the last election… Was it you, Kerry? Mr Jones? Mr Adams? Confess, Ms Trioli! Well, how about you, then, Robyn?

“Saint Bob”, lol.

Pity Blot didn’t read the Australian article he linked to, which makes explicit the Greens’ complaint:

Only five complaints were lodged about the national broadcaster’s treatment of the Greens – alleging insufficient time had been assigned by the ABC to the minor party.

So the answer to his question is… no staffer. The Greens’ objected to being refused scrutiny. Although to point that out might make his confused readers’ heads explode, so maybe it’s best he doesn’t.

7
  • 1
    quantize
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Dumb & Dumber…good movie

  • 2
    Lee Harvey Oddworld
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Bolt was onto the bats (then in Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens) more than ten years ago. The bats, he claimed, had turned the gardens into “a seething batropolis”. He evinced great heartbreak over the potential death of a couple of the Garden’s trees (never mind the deforestation upstate that had forced the bats into the city in the first place) and claimed the only way to solve the problem was to shoot the buggers (never mind that they were eventually relocated harmlessly). It was then that I first became introduced to a central tenet of Bolt’s philosophy (and one that he would later apply to Arabs): If it’s a problem, shoot it.

  • 3
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know but it seems the Terror has lost it’s stomach for refugee caning.

  • 4
    The Pav
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Jeremy,

    Bolt & others are either dishonest or incompetent. There is no third option. What they write is not reporting or even opinion pieces but propaganda. Nothing wrong with that per se but it is dressed in a false cloak of impartiality.

    If I purchase a newspaper and it is represented to me as a fair and balanced journal produced by honest and competent journalists and it isn’t doesn’t that mean I’ve been misled.

    If any other product was so misleadingly marketed then they would be hammered under the Trade Practices Act.

    Why are these papers immune to prosecution?

  • 5
    Barry 09
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Pav , Both Dishonest and incompetent. Is there a law about Undermining the govt.??? Treason ?

  • 6
    SHV
    Posted May 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Pav: The Trade Practices Act doesn’t exist anymore. Don’t worry, even Julian Burnside QC was talking about it last weekend as if it is still with us.

    In yet another pointless exercise in legislating for the sake of it, Gillard has bundled it up and mashed it and re-named it The Australian Consumer Law. It’s tucked away in a schedule to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. “If it ain’t broke…stuff around with it until it is!”

    “Why are these papers immune to prosecution?”

    Mostly, because “in Australia the Government is a fully-owned subsidiary of News Corporation”, forgot who said that but I think it was in ‘The Murdoch Archipelago’.

    PS: Bats/Flying Foxes are not rodents.

    PPS: Rupert hates Flying foxes, Rupert hates Pee-Wees, Rupert hates Magpies and Rupert hates seagulls. I’m pretty sure Rupert hates Ibis too. (These were all based on recent News Ltd stories in Qld.) Rupert is probably a dominionist.

  • 7
    The Pav
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks SHV @ #6

    Nice to know I’m as ignorant of the law as a QC

    Question. If the Australian Govt is a fully owned subsidiary of News Corp why are they trashing their own brand by bagging the govt incessantly?

    Perhaps it argues to incompetence rather than bias. Given the performance of News Corp (Thank god I sold out years ago) that would give a certain constency to their behaviour

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