As a minister who claims to be evidence-driven, Jenny Macklin's use of data is extremely suss. Her latest effort in justifying policy is her gross over-promoting of the results of a very small and dicey survey of 76 income-managed residents in four communities in the Northern Territory. Her sin is making unsubstantiated claims for the "findings", which run counter to those reported by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The results? The Australian ran the following article, which was then picked up by other media, including the ABC, fairly mindlessly. Macklin's media release came out much later, as did access to the AIHW report. She obviously chose to brief The Australian as the medium most likely to share her paternalistic views. The article says it all her way: