Quantum bias. It’s official! We have gone beyond peak bias at the ABC, to quantum bias, where the more ludicrous the charge, the better. Here’s the Bolter:

“ABC balance on Q&A, under Leftist host Tony Jones:

Let’s be generous and count Vanstone, from the Liberal Left, as a conservative. Even then it will be one against five, including Jones.

Not even a pretence any more.”

Got that? When you have a panel, on which the only politician present is John Howard’s former immigration minister, and another panelist is Noel Pearson, it remains five against one? Is this trolling or is the Bolter’s Dutch Calvinist paranoia catching up with him? I guess we’ll find out. — Guy Rundle

He’s baaaaaaaack. Lord Christopher Monckton, failed mathematical entrepreneur and climate change denialist lunatic, is back in Australia in what his (hahaha) “Foundation” calls a “low-key, loyal” visit. With unerring accuracy, he has offered his support to the fascist, paranoid RiseUp Party. He’s in good company of course- in a break with liberal tradition of putting fascists last on the ticket, the Napthine Liberal Party has preferenced RiseUp above the Greens in the forthcoming state election.

Last time he was here, Monckton got wide support — i.e. Gina Rinehart — for his crackpot views in which climate scientists were the equivalent of the Gestapo. Parrot Jones, the Bolter and Planet Janet all lined up to defend him. Now, not so much. Why? (hint: it’s not the fascism). In the interim, Monckton became a Barack Obama birth certificate truther. In 2012, he told the Dennis Miller radio show (Miller is a US Bill Leak type figure, a libertarian who had a midlife collapse into lickspittle reaction) that Obama was “definitely not American” and that the long-form birth certificate was “definitely a forgery”. The issue was “more important than the fraud of global warming”. Since that little episode, Monckton’s high-profile supporters have melted away like snow in summer (snow in summer! Global warming is a fraud). Hizz lordship appears to have gone quiet on the birther stuff. Thank God lunatic fascists came along to save him from a lapse into sanity. — Guy Rundle

Murdochs iron grip shaken. While James Murdoch was easily re-elected to the Sky board in London on Friday night (our time) the 39%-owned Murdoch European pay TV giant didn’t escape shareholder wrath completely. More than half the non-Murdoch shareholders in Sky voted against the company’s remuneration report.

Media reports said about 995 million votes were voted in support of the remuneration report, with 159 million against and 271 million abstaining.

Seeing 21st Century Fox (the Murdoch clan’s master company based in the US) has a stake of 639 million shares, the majority of shareholders said no to the report. Stripping out the Fox holding, 55% of independent investors either voted against or abstained from backing the remuneration report resolution when it was put to Friday’s AGM in London.

With the inclusion of Fox’s votes, a total 30% of shareholders either voted against the remuneration resolution or abstained. “Independent investors used Friday’s AGM vote to show their concern about the secrecy of performance targets that top executives have to hit in order to achieve bonus payouts and share awards,” The Guardian reported. Sounds familiar; a lot like what happened at the News Corp meeting in Hollywood the week before.

And in London on Friday more good news for News with media reports that Andy Coulson, ex-editor of News of the World and Prime Minister David Cameron’s former communications boss, was released from jail late last week after serving just on five months of his 18-month sentence, imposed in July, after Coulson was found guilty of conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now closed Sunday paper. — Glenn Dyer

Fool me once. An embarrassing correction for The New York Times. Still, we can see how the Grey Lady was fooled — Kanye West is fond of grandiose comparisons.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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