From the Crikey grapevine, it’s the latest tips and rumours…

Joyce to the world. The New Daily reports on a Facebook rant from former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce decrying the idea of Australia acting on climate change as “barking mad”. The 760-word post, which may as well get redder in the face and develop bulging temple veins as it goes on, hits a lot of the classic denialist talking points: Australia can’t impact climate change; he knows he’ll be accused of “heresy” for daring to talk outside the “predetermined paradigm”, etc. Then he jumps headfirst into full deep-state conspiracy: “Private property rights are removed, by the implementation of vegetation laws, because of ‘climate action’. The state will limit your access to electricity because of ‘climate action’.”

It put us in mind of a few of Joyce’s greatest social media hits. There are old classics, like when Joyce tweeted

Dear @roboakeshott I’m leaving today. Went swimming and I should lose some weight then I thought what you would say, ‘beautiful in its ugliness’. So many memories Rob; picnics, sunblock, you supporting the Green/Labor/Independent alliance. Now a future of electric cars. Cheers.

(It’s worth noting that’s not the Twitter handle of former Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, but just some bloke with the same name.)

There are deep cuts, like, last December’s overlooked gem. After Bob Hawke declared he was in “terrible health”, Joyce tweeted a pixelated image of the former PM captioned:

Hope Bob is not calling it an innings. The honesty of being to the top is something treasured when honestly given. Like Bob said we should go to nuclear power.

Then there’s his masterpiece, his “Bohemian Rhapsody”. During the election he tweeted a screen cap of advocacy group Women Vote’s election score card:

Golly gosh wow wee ABC’s Vote Compass rates Labor as ‘provide detailed polices likely to make meaningful progress against issues’ on? Everything!!! We are all so lucky that they are so balanced and funded by? All of us!!! Thank you ABC Vote Labor Compass.

And then, a little later on, he conceded that he had been informed by “Matthew Kozal” (a mangling, we presume, of journalist Michael Koziol) that “it was not ABC Vote Compass, it was on ABC’s The Drum“.

What’s a little disclosure between friends? Scott Morrison is only the latest in a long line of devout Australian prime ministers. Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd were both strongly religious. So, too, was Bob Hawke (although in his case Bob was the deity and others were expected to worship him). Morrison’s harmless enthusiasm for public prayer appears to irrationally infuriate many progressives on social media. But our eye was drawn to some fulsome support in the evermore pro-Coalition Nine newspapers for Morrison’s happy clapping this week by one Stephen Fogarty. Who he? All we were told by Nine is that he “is the president of Alphacrucis College”. What a shame that Nine neglected to explain that Alphacrucis College is a Pentecostal theological college with deep links to Morrison’s Hillsong corporation Church. How deep? Here’s Fogarty presenting an honourary doctorate to Hillsong’s Brian Houston last year.

By the way, that presentation happened right after Nine’s own Sixty Minutes had explored Houston’s role in relation to his father’s sexual abuse of children in the Assemblies of God church. Strange that Nine didn’t think any of that was worth sharing when it ran Fogarty’s op-ed.

Fact off. Let’s hope this doesn’t give our government any ideas… The Mexican government has established an “independent” “fact” “checking” unit, to compete with the several actual independent fact checking services that the country already has. The government service is called “Verificado Notimex,” inviting confusion (accidental, we’re sure) with the existing fact checkers VerificadoMX.

From Poynter: 

For several months, president López Obrador has spent two hours every morning talking to Mexicans live on social media. Every day, from 7 to 8:30 a.m., he gives long speeches about his government and answers a handful of questions from selected journalists. VerificadoMX follows him closely and has concluded that about 50% of what he says in his Youtube appearances is false. 

On July 2, López Obrador celebrated his first year in power with a long speech at a live morning event. Animal Político, one of the International Fact-Checking Network’s signatories in Mexico, published a detailed article pointing out six false claims he made throughout his speech. Throughout the course of 90 minutes, the president had twisted information about employment, gas prices and foreign investments, to name a few. By comparing the president’s comments to official data, Animal Politico was able to point out to Mexican audiences exactly where and how López Obrador had manipulated his facts.

‘Verificado Notimex,’ on the other hand, didn’t publish a word about that speech.

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Peter Fray

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