The Australian’s Economics editor Michael Stutchbury has used an award to John Quiggin by the University of Queensland to launch an extraordinary personal attack on the economist. In a piece today, Stutchbury accused Quiggin -- an "unedited blogger" -- of "Green Left Weekly polemics" and, while being careful to say Quiggin "no doubt deserves his distinguished fellowship for his theoretical work", suggested it was a "puzzle" that the Economics Society chose to award him a distinguished fellowship. Quiggin responded briefly on his blog, including noting that Stutchbury had told him he had been directed to write the piece. Joshua Gans weighed in against Stutchbury at his blog.

What appears to stick in the News Ltd craw is that Quiggin has been vocal in pointing out its partisan and deceitful coverage of public policy on issues such as climate change. "The Australian supports putting a price on carbon over Tony Abbott's direct action," claimed Stutchbury. "But the journalistic default should include some scepticism over whether scientists can accurately predict the climate decades ahead." This is the too-cute-for-words figleaf employed to cover The Australian’s long war on climate science and its systematic promotion of climate denialism and rent-seeker media releases.