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Death-threat reports are indicative of the ABC's one-sidedness
letter published in The Australian, 25 May 2012

THE incorrect reporting by the ABC on supposed death threats to climate scientists at the Australian National University reflects the one-sidedness of that organisation, notwithstanding its national responsibilities ("The science is in: we were right on death threat emails", 24/5).

Other recent examples include the failure of ABC radio to refer on the day to either the complaint by BHP chairman Jac Nasser about the Fair Work Australia system or the failure by FWA itself to take legal action against former Health Services Union secretary Craig Thomson while taking action against other officials.

More generally, when the federal government is experiencing political difficulties or unions are undermining the economy, it runs first with reports of car accidents, overseas fighting or Liberal Party problems.

Which union controls the ABC?

Des Moore, South Yarra, Vic

ABC 'evidence' of climate threats old, and wrong
letter by Ean Higgins published in The Australian, 25 May 2012

AN email relied on by ABC Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes on Monday as proof that climate change scientists had received death threats is more than two years old and was referred to in an article by Clive Hamilton as having been sent to a female climate campaigner, not a scientist.

Holmes tried to undermine reports by The Australian that revealed emails released under Freedom of Information laws had debunked some specific claims aired on the ABC stating that leading climate change scientists had received death threats.

Holmes said in Monday's broadcast: "The Australian could have checked the hard copy of The Canberra Times's original article in June last year: 'You will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f..king neck, until you are dead, dead, dead!"'

In fact, The Canberra Times did not say in its report that this email had gone to a climate change scientist.

It was only used as a display tool, and not referred to in the main text of the story.

The first reference to this email can be found in an article written by Professor Hamilton, a left-leaning public ethics academic, in the ABC online magazine The Drum, in February 2010.

In that article, Professor Hamilton wrote that, apart from scientists, climate change campaigners had "also" been targeted by cyber-bullying.

Professor Hamilton wrote: "Another campaigner opened her inbox to read this: 'F..k off!!! Or you will be chased down the street with burning stakes and hung from your f ..king neck, until you are dead, dead, dead!"'

Media Watch executive producer Lin Buckfield said in response to questions from The Australian: "In researching this item, Media Watch was satisfied that the email you refer to was sent to a climate change scientist."

Ms Buckfield provided no explanation for the discrepancy between Media Watch's reference to the threat as being to a climate scientist and the fact that the first reference to the email had appeared more than two years ago in an article describing it as a threat to a campaigner, not a scientist.

Ms Buckfield also declined to say who the climate scientist in question was.

Professor Hamilton did not return calls or emails.

The Canberra Times said yesterday that it stood by its story.

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