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Insiders Finally Call The Australian’s Biased Reporting on Climate Change

February 21, 2010

Australia’s national news paper The Australian – a News Ltd paper has been ideologically campaigning against the Australian Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme for over a year now.

But it is finally being called on it, big time!

First off, here’s Australia’s Media Watch program nailing The Australian’s front page editorialising dressed up as reporting on climate science.

But wait up, maybe you’re not yet convinced The Australian is biased and dishonest. In that case see, for example, this outrageous opinion piece it published by a coal industry lobbyist last year in November. Or, what about this warped ideological editorial from last November, which absurdly concluded with the following paragraph:

African nations boycotted part of the pre-Copenhagen meeting in Barcelona this week, demanding that developed nations cut emissions by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – far deeper than the cuts on offer. They have been egged on by anti-capitalist organisations whose policies would plunge much of the world into far greater poverty and destroy hope by eroding commerce and trade. Such agendas must not be allowed to hijack climate negotiations. After years of inflated expectations of what can be achieved in curbing carbon, it is clear that any deal that would make an appreciable difference in emissions levels will be costly. As a responsible global citizen, Australia should play its part. But we have no obligation to join any push to use climate change to redistribute global wealth to assuage the consciences of climate change billionaire Al Gore and social campaigners such as Bono, whose carbon footprints far exceed those of the ordinary Australian taxpayers they expect to foot the bill.

…!!!

Or, maybe consider this very typical piece of ‘reporting’ from The Australian last December. Here, unedited, is how the article began:

WHEN Keith De Lacy was treasurer of Queensland, a certain K. Rudd [Kevin Rudd is now Australian Prime Minister  – TCE] was the other can-do man in the then state government.

Now that the Prime Minister has come up in the world, Mr De Lacy has a message for him: the Australian coal industry was sold out in Copenhagen, and Kevin Rudd needs to drastically revise his climate change response.

These days, Mr De Lacy’s main job is with miner Macarthur Coal, which he chairs. His concern after the failure of the summit in Denmark to secure binding international action on global warming is that the Rudd government’s decision to persist with emissions trading will do more harm than good to export-exposed industries such as coal. “It (an ETS) will erode our competitive position, while it does absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse emissions,” he told The Australian.

The non-binding Copenhagen deal, which has been on the end of criticism from both Europe and the developing world, was done between the US and the so-called “BASIC” alliance of Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

It has not been lost on a largely dismayed resource sector that South Africa is one of our principal coal export competitors.

The failure to achieve binding targets has strengthened the arguments of those who oppose the government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and will make it harder to get the scheme through parliament…

…Bla bla bla…delay delay delay, and the article goes on like that without any counter-claim or analysis.

In a word: Insipid. Obstructionalist. Reporting. (And if you still don’t believe me, just see the list of all this year’s climate articles here and look how many run in the direction of discrediting the current options for action now, or advocating some other option than an ETS later on, when things are different…)

As Australia’s only national broadsheet paper, if anyone can understand the issues, or why action is neccessary now, it will be the readers of The Australian. So the biased reporting is disturbing.

But the pendulum swings both ways. Media Watch started it. But then, yesterday, other Australian journalists started, finally, publically calling its bad and biased reporting on the issue!

The Australian is a dishonest paper. Full stop.

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