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John Howard criticises the media for failing to challenge received wisdom on climate change

HOWARD JOHN GREY SUIT The former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, gave a lecture to the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Advanced Journalism this week about politics and the media.

He covered a variety of themes, some of which will be of interest to a British audience:

  • How the Daily Telegraph's coverage of MPs' expenses suggests that newspapers have not been entirely supplanted by the electronic media;
  • Why he believes most journalists are of a centre-left disposition;
  • The importance of talk radio for opposition parties;
  • His belief that Australia voted against becoming a republic in 1999 because most of the media were pushing for it.   

He also went on to attack the media - in particular the Australian state broadcaster, ABC - for failing to challenge received wisdom on climate change:

"I do think that there is a complete unwillingness to accept that there is really any room for any suggestion that there could be some doubt or some scepticism about climate change. I still remember that extraordinary moment on the Lateline program in the middle of 2007 when that British program, I forget the exact title of it – the Great Climate Change Swindle (sic)* was shown. And the presenter of the program actually said that the views expressed in the program were not the views of the ABC, which I thought was quite an extraordinary thing to do, because, I mean, of course, they’re not, nobody suggests that, but there are plenty of other programs of equal prejudice on other issues that do not carry with them the dignity of that kind of disclaimer."

Click here to download a transcript of the entire lecture as a PDF, 

Jonathan Isaby

* He meant The Great Global Warming Scandal 


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