Finally, some rational reporting

Coralie Le Nevez writes: Re. “Rundle: Abetz and the sleazy switch from moral campaign to scientific irrationalism” (Friday). As someone who has worked in the data analysis field for many years, I have become very used to commentators/ journalists making a hash of reporting on research findings and how data works. So it bordered on astonishment to see that Guy Rundle has written a piece that does justice to the issues, in particular the ability to distinguish between a single significant correlation in a study where many comparisons are being made (and therefore a significant association is more likely, particularly in large epidemiological studies) and the same finding being made in repeated studies. Because of this lack of understanding, journalists can end up reporting shonky claims that purport to show causal links between A and B.

The attempt to extrapolate human-centred research issues to the quite separate field of climate science in order to discredit it is a different form of inappropriateness.

Peter Matters writes: Crikey is paying a special compliment to Senator Abetz — one caricature and one learned attempt to prove that science is superior to pseudo-religious hang-ups — that’s a lot of words. The facts can be stated briefly: somebody with Abetz’s blinkers should never have been elected and far less appointed to a responsible position. Of course he should be sacked, but that is not the point — enumerating all the Abbott government’s blunders will keep us busy till Judgement Day.

If they stay in power till September 2016, they will be doing untold damage to our country and beyond. Instead of forever grizzling about the government, we, the people, must  convince the Senate as forcefully and urgently as we can to force a double dissolution and save us from further harm.

Something stinks in the Abbattoir

Alan Baird write:  Re. “Rundle: Team Australia would love to have free speech, but there’s a war on” (Thursday). Quality dissection by Rundle of the Abbottoir’s (where great ideas go to be slaughtered) increasingly hysterical merry-go-round of ticking news boxes. The more I stare at this spectacle, the more it resembles the Rudd debacle, Oz behind the stage curtain, frantically spinning for column space, gratefully provided by News (VERY) Limited.

Matthew Cummins writes: Surely Rundle’s Thursday paragraph needs repeating. He may not be always on the money but this summation of our current political and commercial leaders has to be the best I have seen in recent journalism.

“They are, by and large, cowardly and sycophantic people, eager to huddle in corporate-funded lobby group/think tanks, conformists who holler about individuality, market fanboys who have never gained an income in it, people who get more inspiration from Ronald McDonald than from William Wallace.”

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.