Ray Martin in the ABC's At Home Alone Together (Image: iView)

Today: what the New York Times considers a serious breach, nature is not really healing (sorry), and who actually called Australia a dog?

Unity ticket

Yesterday The Guardian live updates announced in a headline that “Chinese state media mocks Australia as ‘giant kangaroo that serves as the dog of the US'”.

The Australian led their coverage with the same point, with the phrase attributed to the paper:

And why wouldn’t there be some media attention for the CCP propaganda organ’s deliciously weird slam against Australia? Well there’s a key detail from the original piece missing in this. See if you can spot it:

By following the steps of some US hawks who harshly attack China over coronavirus, ‘it seems that Australia, this giant kangaroo that serves as a dog of the US, will hit a deadlock with China on trade disputes in sectors like coal and beef. Hopefully, the US will compensate it!’ one netizen said in a Weibo post on Tuesday.  

There is no good news anymore

Something to bear in mind the next time you see someone tweet “nature is healing”: It is not.

New data published this week suggests that the COVID-19 lockdown — the greatest accidental experiment ever conducted on what an individual can achieve in lowering pollution — will, in the long run, barely scratch the surface of climate change.

“Population confinement has led to drastic changes in energy use and CO2 emissions,” scientist Corinne Le Quéré, a lead author of the first peer-reviewed analysis of this year’s drop in carbon emissions told Nature Climate Change. “These extreme decreases are likely to be temporary though, as they do not reflect structural changes in the economic, transport, or energy systems.”

Anyway, how’s that new energy plan coming along, Angus?

That was then, this is now

December, 2019: New York Times columnist, climate change “agnostic” and prominent voice in favour of the Iraq war Bret Stephens pens a piece entitled “The Secrets of Jewish Genius”, which suggests Ashkenazi Jews are “smarter than other races”, citing a discredited paper co-authored by white supremacist favourite Henry Harpending.

After accusations that the piece espouses eugenics, it is edited to remove the offending citation.

May, 2020: NYT food columnist Alison Roman gives an interview in which she criticises celebrities who cash-in on fame with books and other products — notably food blogger and model Chrissy Teigen. After a social media backlash, she offers a detailed apology which Teigen accepts. The paper places her column “on temporary leave” and offers no information on why, nor how long this will last.

Where are the app-spruikers?

Many prominent commentators quickly made their mind up: the COVIDSafe app was just crucial to Australia’s speedy recovery from coronavirus.

Peter FitzSimons compared people refusing to download the app to terrorists. The famously pro-science Chris Kenny argued they were like anti-vaxxers. Chip Le Grand called them “Twitter cranks and contrarians”.

Since then, The Guardian‘s Josh Taylor has reported that NSW couldn’t access the data, and that no Australian state had reported using data for contact tracing coronavirus cases. The next day, it was revealed Victoria had accessed the info of a single coronavirus patient.

You’d think these same commentators would be furious. We’re yet to hear from them on the subject.

ABC (Always Be Culture-warring)

Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson clearly does not have enough on her plate as the country and world suffers through an unprecedented crisis.

Proving there’s always time for a swipe at the ABC, last night she took a moment to offer a free review of the new comedy series At Home Alone Together:

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