Feb 13, 2018

The ABC gets a Wankley Award for promoting pseudoscience

ABC News has thoroughly earned a Wankley Award for shoddy contribution to journalism for a story promoting the unproven and absolutely bonkers pseudoscientific practice of 'earthing'.

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

From time to time, a journalist makes such a shoddy contribution to their noble profession that we at Crikey feel it cannot go unmarked and unrewarded. And so it is that ABC News gets its very own Wankley Award for a report from Alice Springs that aired on Sunday night's 7pm bulletins.

As the colour story kicker at the end of the bulletin, reporter James Dean brought viewers the story of an international delegation from the UAE visiting Alice Springs to promote the practice of "earthing". Earthing, or grounding, is a pseudoscience practised by chef Pete Evans and mocked by the ABC's comedy The Weekly last year, and described by the delegation's doctor Mohamad Asmin from the Euro Arabian Hospital in the ABC story like this:

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8 thoughts on “The ABC gets a Wankley Award for promoting pseudoscience

  1. 124C4U

    We should “Earth” a few of our Politicians. Or “Ground” them, either way.
    Although they are not short of “negative electrons” grounding them would remove the main source of exaggerated and unproven claims.

  2. Desmond Graham

    The most helpful way to re-align your electrons is to have a MRI-But it is usually done when there is something wrong in your head !!!

    1. PaulM

      Not right, Desmond. An MRI re-aligns your protons. However, seeing that they have a positive charge, and electrons a negative charge, one (perhaps a National Party politician) could argue that protons actually are negative electrons (two negatives make a positive). In which case, the pseudo science might have found a cheap alternative to all those $400+, not rebatable by Medicare, MRI scans.

  3. Jay Lawson

    I seem to recall an important scientist, at the advent of railways, explaining that humans could not survive at 60 mph. And I recall reading that the head of the US Patents Office, at the end of the 19th century declared that there was nothing left to invent.
    But these days I always believe what scientists say.

    1. Matt Hardin

      Just because people were wrong in the past does not mean people are wrong now nor does the fact that one of a group of people saying something stupid preclude others of the same group being right. But well done trotting out that old logical fallacy.

    2. Arky

      It’s worth being skeptical, and the skepticism should be directed at people making grandiose claims without a skerrick of evidence – whether it is “humans can’t survive at 60 miles per hour” (although if that story is even true, it is literally centuries ago) or some mumbo jumbo about “earthing” electrons from the body.

      Too often, unsupported claims are accepted as true and people are skeptical of demands for proof! The entire dietary supplements industry seems to rely on this.

  4. AR

    So glad that I don’t have a TV and nobody I know reports having seen such a piece of crap.
    How long before Guthrie returns to the cold fish hands of mudorc, having destroyed Aunty?
    Has anyone tried listening to RN this month?
    It makes Edge FM96.1 seem deep.

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