Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tom Harris, Free Speech and Disinformation

Sou | 6:35 PM Go to the first of 65 comments. Add a comment
WUWT is in the doldrums still. For want of anything better, Anthony Watts has published a puff piece by someone called Russell Cook, who is moaning about Tom Harris' free speech being "prohibited" at DailyKos (archived here). This is exactly in line with what the DailyKos article stated was a PR strategy of Tom Harris:
The clever ploy in this PR strategy is a claim that climate change deniers are being frightened into silence.

Russell's article isn't very clear at all. The gist of it can be summarised as follows:
  1. Daily Kos published an article by Judah Freed about a chap called Tom Harris trying to get lots of papers to publish a denier op-ed he wrote.
  2. When Tom Harris attempted to get DailyKos to publish an article he wrote about the DailyKos article, he couldn't, so he asked Russell Cook to comment instead.
  3. Russell Cook couldn't get DailyKos to publish Tom's article either.
  4. Russell posted an article at WUWT describing 1 to 3 above, in a very roundabout manner, and claiming that DailyKos "prohibited free speech".
You might remember Tom Harris. He's the bloke in charge of one of those tiny denier offshoot organisations that have an "office" in several nations, but who share the same "advisers" as the Heartland Institute, like Bob Carter. They go by the name of the Climate Science Coalition. They are shop fronts with no substance, and operate out of a web address. Tom Harris' shop front has nothing but a phone number and a PO Box.

Tom Harris on Bible Science and the most expensive hoax in history

Tom opts for bible science rather than physical scientific evidence of past climate. That is, he draws on passages which were written in the Old Testament several centuries after the events took place, to claim whatever it is he claims about climate.

Then he denies doing so, even though his words are there in black and white.

Tom also denies saying climate science is a hoax, despite his own words: "In the long run, the climate scare will be revealed as the most expensive hoax in the history of science. "

Frightening deniers into silence?

Russell Cook and WUWT are arguing that DailyKos' refusal to publish their denial and outright lies means it is "prohibiting free speech". While the DailyKos article states:
The clever ploy in this PR strategy is a claim that climate change deniers are being frightened into silence.

So are Russell Cook and WUWT and Tom Harris being "frightened into silence"? It doesn't look like it to me. All that's happened is that they've found that more and more publications are refusing to publish nonsense. There are still plenty of outlets for them, like anti-science blogs such as WUWT, and newspapers that don't have any standards.

What does "free speech" mean anyway? Does it mean that, for example, I cannot delete comments that are false and misleading? Does it mean Anthony Watts can't ban a "clueless female eco-nut" from commenting on his blog, because she sent a mildly sarcastic tweet? Does it mean that a nation cannot refuse entry to a person known for inciting violence?

In deniersville, all except one of the above would constitute an infringement of "free speech" (you can guess which one would be acceptable). In the normal world it wouldn't. Most people accept that there are limits to "free speech". That with the right to speak your mind comes responsibility. Those limits include curtailing defamatory remarks, curtailing the spreading of disinformation, and curtailing incitement to violence or hatred of sectors of society on the basis of a person's race, ethnic origin or faith.

In addition, newspapers and media outlets have the right to set their own policies. If they choose not to publish disinformation, that is their right.

Tom Harris, PR and Communications Consulting, denies being involved in public relations

Back to Tom Harris' article that he claims the DailyKos refused to publish. It was full of contradictions. For example, Tom Harris claims:
I am not now, nor have I ever been involved in a “public relations campaign,” paid or otherwise. (link

Which is contradicted by a sentence just above it in the very same article:
ICSC averages more than one significant media hit a day now (link)

And by this plea for donations to promote denial, prominently displayed on his home page:
And by his directory listing as "Harris Tom, PR and Communication Consulting" which has the same phone number in the same city as Tom Harris, Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition (archived here) (I've also archived the directory listing for posterity - here.)

Tom "climate scare" Harris denies his denial of science

In his supposed "rebuttal" to DailyKos, Tom Harris claims:
We are not climate change deniers. (link)
Yet on the same page he refers to "climate alarmist science", a "highly dubious cause" and a "climate scare". And on previous occasions he has alleged that
"the climate scare will be revealed as the most expensive hoax in the history of science".

When the DailyKos article stated "at least part of ICSC’s funding and most of its key staff members come directly from the Heartland Institute", Tom's rebuttal is: "ICSC funding has been 100% confidential" - ha! What is he hiding? (See also this article in the Sydney Morning Herald on their Australian "operation" and its funding. That article also shows how these organisations all share the same few people. A tiny number of deniers making a lot of noise.

From the WUWT comments

Most, but not all, of the commenters are oblivious to the number of people Anthony has banned over the years, on the grounds they supported science:

Gandhi draws on Denial101 MOOC's denier tactics, dismissing the DailyKos as promoting fascism therefore it's not to be taken notice of, writing:
May 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm
The Daily Kos only believes in freedom of speech if they agree with it politically. So instead of liberty, they promote fascism. The Huffinton Post and Yahool News seem to be of the same “Speech Police” ilk. A little U.S. Constitution anyone? 

ossqss wails about being oppressed - and it looks as if he lives in the USA! He ought to try living in Egypt today.
May 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm
When the POTUS condones the same behavior, “fair” is no longer in the equation. Oppression is.
Just sayin, bullies, blowhards, and lies, right before your eyes.

MarkW rationalises all the ridiculous reasons for a person being banned from WUWT, saying it's because they are offensive and have nothing to offer (except science). Offence is in the eye of the beholder.
May 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm
WUWT only bans people who are offensive and offer nothing to the conversation.
DailyKos bans anyone who disagrees with them.
Only a total nincompoop would declare that there is no difference between the two positions.

Alan Robertson points out that there is one person who hasn't been banned from WUWT (yet). Anthony needs to keep one or two people for his fans to dump on. Otherwise the comments peter out too quickly. Having 98.4% of fake sceptics is about the right ratio for WUWT, in his mind.
May 18, 2015 at 8:32 pm
warrenlb- you attempt to justify the censorship at such sites as that reprehensible KOS, by equating them with actions at WUWT. The fact that you are still here after all this time, disproves your claim.


  1. And this hot on the heels of posts being deleted for using the wrong data sets. How do they cope with all the cognitive dissonance?

  2. I always find it amusing how not being able to publish something at some specific site inhibits free speech. Makes those particular sites seem incredibly powerful; as if they are somehow preventing your from saying it anywhere else. I guess it makes for good, strong rhetoric. If he'd just said "they won't let me publish a rebuttal" it would just sound whiny and pathetic. "Inhiting free speech" on the other hand sounds impressive and strong .... well, until you give it a moments thoughts, that is.

  3. Of all the climate science deniers that I am familiar with, Tom Harris seems the most adept at sticking his foot in it in his articles, and then denying he did so in the comments.

    Get a clue, Tom. We rational types tend to be pretty good at the ol' readin', writin', and 'rithmetic :-) And we read for comprehension, unlike the army of 8% dismissives that Anthony has amassed at LOL, WHUT?!

  4. Comments and replies by Tom Harris on some media websites can be found at https://disqus.com/by/TomHarrisICSC/

    In one recent exchange with Christopher Keating, Mr. Harris insinuates that a post-doctoral researcher who led a critical inquiry into a climate change course taught by Harris was fired ("Interestingly, he is no longer employed by Carleton.")

    A look at that report (covered by Skeptical Science at http://www.skepticalscience.com/tom-harris-carleton-university-climate-misinformation-class.html) shows its lead author was Dr. Christopher Hassall, a biologist who is currently a Lecturer at the University of Leeds.

    A great number of Mr. Harris's comments appear to be marked by similar prevarication and evasiveness.

  5. In "freedom of speech" discussions, it's important to remember that the term (and the constitutional protection, where it exists) refers to governmental interference with speech. There's no legal requirement that Daily Kos or any other private entity post/publish every article they receive or make their comment pages available to everyone who wants to post. This is so glaringly obvious I'm almost embarrassed to mention it. Complaining about "freedom of speech" in these circumstances is just whining and misdirection. Are we surprised?

    1. I don't really buy that freedom of speech is only freedom from governmental obstruction. The government is only one of many major powers that should be constrained from imposing itself on the people.

      Kos is not a major power, so the point is moot. But Facebook and Google probably count, so they should be watched closely. In facebook's case, about 10k people are handling the communications of about 1 billion people. That's a level of control over speech that only one government can match.

    2. There's nothing to "buy." Neither the Daily Kos nor any other private publisher has any obligation whatsoever to publish everything submitted to it. This is editorial control. Editorial control is not censorship, nor it is a freedom of speech issue. Period.

    3. Thank you for the detailed rebuttal.

    4. This might interest you, numerobis. It's got some interesting points about filtering etc - and some criticisms:


  6. There's an excellent XKCD cartoon discussing just this free speech issue - I highly recommend it.

    Tom Harris is a PR man and a lobbyist - and based on how contradictory his statements are, he's not very good at it...

    1. One of the ways that pollutocrats deny people free speech is by employing PR men and lobbyists to drown out the voices of those who speak out against them.

    2. 'pollutocrats'... Thanks for that one.

      My cynical take on what 'they' mean with 'free speech', in Holland where free speech is a given those clamouring for it are trying to get the freedom to bash muslims and to shut up all those who take issue with that; in climate revisionist country it means the freedom to say anthropogenic climate change is one big NWO complot and to shut up all those who differ. Free speech in revisionist country involves the censoring of perfectly normal verbs like 'to deny'.
      Protofascists, these people, who try to use free speech as a means to destroy it to fit their needs and whims.

    3. I love the 'hover' text for that cartoon:

      ...someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is the sort of the ultimate concession; you're saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it's not literally illegal to express.

  7. Oh, brother. One of the hallmarks of AGW believers is their enslavement to misinformation through leaving out half the details of the story, while crowing about so-called "deniers" being 'paid to misinform' the public.

    Seems you-all left out two critical points from your dinky li'l 4 point list about me. Let me fill those in for you and correct #s 2, 3 & 4:

    2. When Tom Harris attempted to get DailyKos to accept a detailed rebuttal in comment form at Freed's DailyKos article, he couldn't, so he asked Russell Cook to place that same lengthy comment there instead.

    3. DailyKos did not allow Cook's verbatim copy of Tom's comment to appear at Freed's article either, which also included Cook's own addition view that DailyKos apparently favors tyranny, "suppress criticism, lest any in their midst take time to read it and then question what DailyKos says."

    3.1 Although a registered user, Russell Cook placed two comments at the hit piece against Tom Harris, and when those did not appear, he asked why at DailyKos' HelpDesk, and was given obtuse and incorrect answers, with the moderator claiming he could not see Cook's comments or that he was a registered user

    3.2 For experiment's sake, Russell Cook used his registered user status to place a diary post and captured his efforts in screencaptures and an archive link to illustrate how his diary was eliminated within minutes.

    Notice, too, just like in DailyKos prior hit piece against me, you can't bring yourself to link straight to my own GelbspanFiles.com blog. Plus, what's up with the use of an archive link to my WUWT guest post when you could link directly to it? Are you afraid loyal followers of yours will stray off your path and start rummaging around in the rest of WUWT just to see what is said there? Or do you believe Watts will be so ashamed of my piece that he will delete it? I've seen this sort of bizarre use of archive linking among other AGW blogs, but where this exercise is truly necessary is among skeptic people, since AGW site owners have such an annoying tendency to delete criticism. Believe all you want that such deletions are to protect AGW believers from reading 'lies and misinformation', but isn't it entertaining how the final arbiter of that is not the end reader. So when those end readers actually do see for themselves what was deleted, how many of them lose all faith if what has been filter-fed to them?

    WUWT is anti-science? Two words: prove it. And keep whistling past the graveyard about the certainty of AGW as more and more of the public starts to ask rough questions about every aspect of it, discovering for themselves that the real anti-science people are those who declared AGW settled science without ever proving a genuine debate happened first in conjunction with doing everything possible to dismiss an entire scientific consideration about the issue out-of-hand though anti-intellectual character assassination tactics.

    Meanwhile, feel free to bar this comment from being seen. But remember, what has been seen on the internet cannot be unseen.

    1. Two words: prove it

      If the above article (ie Anthony promoting Tom Harris' nonsense) isn't enough proof for you, then you can take your pick from oodles of articles from the blog archive.

      Not that you have to strain yourself that far - there is all the proof you need at WUWT :(

      PS Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. Google thought it was spam :D

    2. 'Plus, what's up with the use of an archive link to my WUWT guest post when you could link directly to it?' - spares decent people the shame of giving the tripesite hits.

    3. They tend not to like new comers who create an account and then post long trolly diaries first thing. Harris has a history of bad behavior, there is no reason to allow him any space in that community.

    4. "DailyKos apparently favors tyranny"

      That right there made it worth reading his entire post.

    5. I thought the third last sentence was wonderful, as was the last :)

    6. Russell,
      WUWT is anti-science? Two words: prove it.
      That you say this is probably sufficient. That you probably won't understand why, makes it stronger.

    7. ".... you probably won't understand why ..." Good ol' Ben Lawson. Still unable to refute a word I say about the baseless smear of skeptics. And can't lift a finger to explain in detail how, say the WUWT piece on river delta sediment buildup vs sea level rise is anti-science fabrication, or how disputes over the placement of weather stations in unnaturally hot locales is concocted in the boardrooms of Exxon.

      Friends, we are similar in one way: we point to scientific assessments in this issue. The difference is you-all only point to one side, I point to both sides and ask why there are contradictions, you-all then fail to point out where skeptics are dead wrong while telling me they are industry-corrupted, whereupon I ask you to show your proof that they are paid and instructed to lie, and you-all fold like cheap suits on that wipeout. Every time, everywhere I go.

    8. What an unusual mixed up comment. Russell Cook is lost. He's not asked any of these questions he thought he's asked. In fact AFAIK, he's never been to HW before his first comment above that one. I wonder where he thinks he is?

      Russell - try this - If you can remember where you are and where you want to be.

      (All these "sides" that he keeps seeing. Does anyone else wonder if he's spent a lot of time stuck in a tiny room staring first at one wall then another?)

    9. "WUWT is anti-science? Two words: prove it."

      Well, aside from it being an obvious cavalcade of total incompetence wrapped in a mantle of indignant certitude, I suppose it's just, like totally pro-science.

    10. Quotes ATTP, immediately proceeds to ramble on about (and, what supposedly 'out'?) 'Ben Lawson'? Has Mr. Cook sustained a concussion lately? That might also explain his rather endearing perception that he's, um, winning, 'everywhere [he] goes'...

      Thanks for the amusement, but if you're not a Poe, you really ought to be...

    11. It was the "ben lawson" that first made me wonder if Russell thought he was somewhere else. Then I figured it might have been an actor that I'd not heard of, or a cultural expressions I wasn't familiar with.

    12. Russel Cook obviously understands how to poison the well.

    13. Just to be clear, I'm not Ben Lawson. I can see why Russell Cook might be confused, but it's not that complicated.


    14. There always seem to be these themes that crop up repeatedly in denier contributions here. (Vis a vis Russell Cook's ramblings).

      The first is the idea that whoever contributes here is a "loyal follower" who blindly accepts everything here and does not read any more widely.

      Secondly the idea that comments here are automatically barred if they are off message.

      The first idea is just laughable. The second is strange, because though people are eventually shut down when they get too boring and repetitive, they are always given a hearing. (To the best of my knowledge, anyway. I suppose Sou could be operating a draconian censorship policy that I am unaware of).

      I can only think it is some form of projection from their own world outlook.

    15. I thought the third last sentence was wonderful, as was the last :)

      The second last sentence is a hoot as well.

    16. With deniers it's always projection. Can you imagine what it must be like to live in a head like this?

    17. "With deniers it's always projection."

      My mantra at Deltoid has escaped to the wider world! ;-)

    18. "What an unusual mixed up comment. …" Pure psychological projection on Sou's part, while going off on some vague tangent about 'questions not being asked' and bizarrely linking to a Google map for the place where I know full well is your location. What on Earth does that have to do with anything in my prior comment?

      And do I really have to hand-walk every enviro-activist through what the issue is all about?

      - AGW believers (that's you guys) point only to one side, the IPCC side, heartily endorsed by Al Gore, Naomi Oreskes, SkS, Stephan Lewandowsky, etc

      - I and skeptic scientists point to both sides, the IPCC and the NIPCC Reports along with other skeptic material, comparing them against each other.

      - AGW believers (again, that's you guys) fail to point out where skeptics are dead wrong while saying they are industry-corrupted (recheck the point of your Tom Harris diatribe above)

      - I ask AGW believers (again, you guys) to show proof that skeptics are paid & instructed to lie

      - AGW believers fold like cheap suits, sidestepping my challenge, responding with mixed-up comments and irrelevant tangents, calling me a denier when I don't deny climate change, etc, etc, etc.

      Exactly what part of those bits above involve 'rocket science expertise' to comprehend??

      Regarding "andthentheresphysics", a blog clearly stating it was formerly known as "WottsUpWithThatBlog". The site where I repeatedly challenged proprietor Ben Lawson to provide evidence proving skeptics are crooks clearly says it was run by Ben Lawson. http://wottsupwiththat.com/author/benlawson/ I happened to spot the "andthentheresphysics" blog in August 2013 at the same time as when Ben's blog went seemingly dormant, that's why I connected the two together. Do I really have to hand-walk everyone through that as well? But tell me, was the former version of the ATTP blog a ripoff of Ben Lawson's blog?

      Regarding "bill" & "Lotharsson" on psychological projection, stop and analyze just how well-organized and well-funded your own side is when it comes to spreading outright misinformation. By way of pathetic example, check out how this fervent believer in an overheated Arctic thinks a pair of lost explorers were so warm that they had to strip down to near nakedness in their travels: http://schatziesearthproject.com/2015/05/04/murdered-by-climate-change-deniers/ Skim on down to the comment section there and compare it to the version I archived here https://archive.is/1BdhJ and you'll see why I speak about constructive criticism comments being deleted. Do I really need to hand-walk you guys through the disinformation she believes on extreme Arctic warming and 'paid industry shills'?

    19. ' I and skeptic scientists point to both sides, the IPCC and the NIPCC Reports along with other skeptic material, comparing them against each other.' What a joke! After that: tl;dr

      You people really are the Creationists of the 21st Century. To the Hot Whoppery with him!(?)

    20. "- I and skeptic scientists point to both sides, the IPCC and the NIPCC Reports ..."

      And there you have it. The paucity of thinking that there are only two sides to any question when there are many "sides". Strangely deniers think this is being skeptical and open-minded. They just cannot handle any complexity but only think in black and white.

    21. "[...] a blog clearly stating it was formerly known as "WottsUpWithThatBlog". The site where I repeatedly challenged proprietor Ben Lawson to provide evidence proving skeptics are crooks clearly says it was run by Ben Lawson. http://wottsupwiththat.com/author/benlawson/"


      Spot the difference?

      Or do we need to... well... to hand-walk you through this?

    22. Yes, Jammy. Creationists are a good comparison.

      I think Russell must not find anything wrong with using the Bible rather than paleo evidence to claim something or other about past climates.Russell also apparently thinks that a reasonable rebuttal to 200 years of science is "it's a hoax".

      He's also immune to evidence - either doesn't recognise it or is blind to it. For example, he claims that "you people" and HotWhopper don't discuss facts or point out denier nonsense and explain why it is nonsense. He's a showing double or triple denial. Even a cursory glance over the articles here shows that HW is all about evidence and showing why denier nonsense is nonsense.

    23. I and Creation scientists point to both sides, biology textbooks and Answers in Genesis along with other Creationist material, comparing them against each other.

      It's the same freaking thing! The glib smugness of buffoons congratulating themselves on their 'open mindedness' never ceases to amaze. But, Russell, your brain fell out.

  8. I gave up posting at Watts anti-science site when I found my comments being moderated out of existence. Regardless of what I said. WUWT does not like criticism and anyone taking on the crowds delusions quickly finds themselves getting snipped for no reason.

    1. Really? But I've [snip]

      No, actually I've been banned and selectively snipped or blocked in under a dozen comments I've ever tried posting there. Watts and his crew like their echo chamber clear of discordant notes.

    2. Watts tried to out me when I became critical.

      I'm not going back there. He's a slimy little bastard.

    3. WUWT's dishonesty is staggering. I wonder sometimes how those people feel about themselves, do they get job satisfaction out of running a disinformation blog?

      I have not been blocked from WUWT yet, have been snipped a few times. Any comment that does not suit the website's agenda soon attracts the attack-dogs and insults.

    4. The aim of the insults is to get you to react so that the mods/Anthony have a better excuse to ban you. They are pretty transparent in that regard.

      Smokey used to do that all the time. He's post multiple flames (as Smokey), then delete or ban you as "mod". That was before his sockpuppet was revealed. He probably still does it.

      It's not a necessary pre-requisite BTW. You can be banned despite being very polite and restrained. (You can be banned just for tweeting about something you read there.)

      The other day, Nick Stokes so incensed Smokey, by posting some temp data or links to it, that Smokey disappeared his entire comment - not even a remnant left. And Nick almost never allows himself to get ruffled.

      (That's pretty well the tactic an Australian forum, HotCopper, used with me, too. It took them a few years - I behaved much like Nick Stokes most of the time. The mods/manager finally got me to react to their ugly misogyny, which wasn't my usual topic - climate.)

    5. Yeah, it is harassment pure and simple. I worked out the "tag team" approach of censorship early on.

      On one group I worked out a primary account had a dozen sock puppets. They appeared to be associated with a Julia Gillard/Carbon Tax hate group, they moved on to climate change denial after that.

      I just wonder how they look at themselves, it is incredibly pathological behaviour.

  9. People using free-speech to claim persecution, oh boy. That is rich. The free speak ideal basically keeps you out of prison (mostly), that is all that free speech guarantees.

    I argue that free speech also means the freedom NOT to publish people ie you cannot be forced to publish certain speech.

    1. Yes, the old saying is that "freedom of the press belongs to those that own one". Of course these days anyone can own one if they want to start a blog. I don't begrudge Willard his right to censor, I don't like the fact that he so often claims not to censor.

  10. There is far more free speech available than is desirable, at least in some fora, and there's no excuse for anyone feeling that they are 'suppressed'. As an example allow me to offer this little tidbit...


    The example below is why we advise our postgraduate students and early career researchers to exercise discretion in where they publish, especially when they seek to go the open access route. The journal sounds credible enough at a casual glance, and they say the right things about review, but...


    1. The subjects of the above article would fit right in :)

    2. Indeed.

      I was in fact worried that by raising it here some of the WUWTians who are closet HotWhopper fans might get the idea to chase one of these dodgy 'journals' in which to publish, but I couldn't resist.

      I should also credit Jeff Bealle for raising this example in the first place:


      and point out that the over-achieving, finger-on-the-pulse John Mashey got there before I did.

    3. And I can't resist pointing out that the last paragraph would serve as a suitbale thank you for just about any denialist dog astrology piece:

      "Most of the data collected and new concepts presented in this article are based on case study from internet web-site through Google search. Author considers Google search mechanism as GOD or SUPER NATURE acting as a mediator to derive wisdom and intelligence from the global web link. Further heart felt thanks also ex-tended to WIKIPEDIA, NASA’S administration for providing valuable information about prehistoric DARK CONTINENT EZHEM (INDO) (so called MARS RED PLANET) and in modern time and dedicated assistance extended by my office team. The prehistoric dark continent MARS planet might have become RED PLANET during the course of the expanding universe (space and time) (Ref. [1,2]).

    4. It can't possibly be for real, can it?

    5. Fair play to John Mashey for dredging that one up from the depths. In my humble estimation, that even beats the dog astrology paper 'gold standard' for pseudoscience attempting to imitate science.

    6. Hell's teeth gott im himmel oh my giddy aunt ... the references!

      5) M. Arulmani and V. R. Hemalatha, “First Music and First Music Alphabet,” Annai Publications, Cholapuram, 2012.
      6) King James Version, “Holy Bible,” 2004.

      The keywords!
      Akkie Code, Crop Circles, True Transformation, Strategy, Etymology of Word Manage, Manuscript, Philosophy of Theory, Philosophy of Victory, Bankruptcy, Logos, Amulet. CROP CIRCLES??!!?

      I honestly tried to read the abstract - never was text so well described. Word salad on steroids.

    7. These same two authors have published well over 50 similar stories (it's not science, that's for sure), sometimes with several published in the same journal. And since those are Open Access journals, they will even have paid to get it published.

      My favorite title is this one:
      "Barack Obama is Tamil based Indian?"

      It is really odd. It looks like one big joke, with many of the papers having the exact same 23 references, and many pictures the same (just different words in there). But at the same time, as I noted, they will have paid for this to get published, spending likely several thousands of dollars.

    8. One of my colleagues has pointed out that this nonsense is basically the Tamil version of Aryanism. The worry here is how easily pay-to-publish outlets can be turned to political (and nutjob) ends.

  11. Once again the good Lord Monckton demonstrates why he deserves his very own website. A magic of juxtaposition, just after the faux protest about freedom of speech he pops up with a screed in which he threatens legal action against some student who has tricked up a 'Lest we forget' headstone commemorating him and his brother disinformers. This, naturally is a serious and credible death threat, and the artist is a Nazi and he is instructing lawyers with a view to getting the artwork removed.

    Just brilliant. What he lacks in credibility he makes up for in entertainment value.

  12. Lest any Australian here is labouring (boom-tish) under the apprehension that the ABC is an objective broadcaster, let me remove all doubt. It seems that the creeping tendrils of political pressure from the conservative federal government have turned the notion of balanced reporting into a caricature of impartiality, with tonight's episode of "Between the Lines" being a puff piece of airtime made available for Nigel Lawson to lie, misrepresent and libel his way through one of the most spectacular Gish gallops I've heard in a long while.


    The pseudoscience memes came too thick and fast to log whilst I journeyed home, and to add insult to injury the interviewer, Tom Switzer, revealed himself to be a denialist fluffer of almost Boltish proportions.

    Something is seriously wrong in our national broadcaster.

    1. I thought I'd heard that name before. Tom Switzer is yet another in the lengthening parade of IPA folks infesting every corner of ABC news and current affairs. He was also once a senior adviser to Brendan Nelson when he was Leader of the Opposition.

    2. Well I do respect the ABC's right to broadcast stuff that it considers it's viewers will find interesting, in my opinion they are in the entertainment business.

    3. Blimey! That Nigel Lawson interview is bad. Tom Switzer is sounding like a shock-jock. Pity there is no way to make comments.

    4. I left a comment on Twitter. Honestly, where can you begin with an interview like that? A Gish Gallop like Bernard says.

    5. Try Media Watch, and ABC complaints and ACMA and your local politician.

    6. My local politician is a dinosaur. :D


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