October 01, 2003


(LATEST: I've been contacted by The Age following the post below and an email to the editor. The Age will tomorrow publish a letter from me containing more detail of Broinowski's creative misinterpretation.)

Michael Gawenda, the editor of The Age, had this to say during a 1997 interview with the ABC:

I think that the future of the print media will very much depend on the quality of information that we give our readers.

Can’t disagree with that. And from the same interview:

If we've made factual mistakes we'll correct them.

As one should. But yesterday The Age published something worse than factual mistakes, which are inevitable in any form of journalism; it published obvious and deliberate distortions of fact. And The Age’s response hasn’t been to correct these distortions. It has merely run a single letter of opposition, from a reader of this website:

Does Alison Broinowski (Opinion, 30/9) have trouble with simple English comprehension, or is it that she is being mendacious? Anyone who reads what Richard Armitage actually said will see that his speech contained no suggestion of the United States abandoning Australia.

Having said that, I congratulate you for publishing Miss Broinowski's piece, as it provides yet more evidence of the crude anti-Americanism that is the real animus behind so much of what, on the left, passes for debate in this country. If this is the best that the "anti-war" crowd can do, it is quite clear that they have lost the argument.
Peter Laverick, Bondi Beach, NSW

The Age, no doubt now aware that the quotes within Broinowski’s twisted article do not reflect the opinions of Richard Armitage, has chosen to leave her article intact at the newspaper’s website, perhaps as a kind of post-modern tribute to The Age’s dishonesty. What has Michael Gawenda had to say lately about his highbrow broadsheet?

We remain committed to quality journalism.

Nice words, Michael. Prove it.

(Please feel free to send more emails to The Age on this subject. It'll give them something to read while they ponder their ongoing circulation decline.)

Posted by Tim Blair at October 1, 2003 02:41 AM

Ah that Mr Laverick is obviously a man of great erudition and savoir faire.

Posted by: Toryhere at October 1, 2003 at 08:43 AM

Dear Editor,

I am amazed that The Age has failed to correct Alison Broinowski's deliberate distortion of the words of a high ranking US official, Richard Armitage.

Many of Tim Blair's readers have pointed this lapse out to you - you have no excuse.

Carrying opinion and comment in your newspaper is one thing - I can only hope that The Age will do its best to cover the field - but deliberately distorting and misrepresenting the words of anyone, let alone a major figure in international affairs speaking about issues of major importance to Australia, is unforgivable. The Age must print a prominent retraction to salvage its credibility.

Posted by: Bob Bunnett at October 1, 2003 at 09:30 AM


I agree about the erudition of the letter-writer but am worried about references in it to Alison Broinowski's "animus". Tim is trying to run a family site here so let's keep it "above the belt".

Let's just stick to exposing her inherent malicious bias and her flaky comprehension skills.

And let's keep up pressure on the Age for running her dishonest rantings then committing the greater sin of silence in the face of the truth.


Posted by: The_GOP_Elephant at October 1, 2003 at 10:24 AM

i just sent em another one. i managed to slip in the phrases "post menopausal decline" and "endearing spastic flake". i wouldnt hold out much hope of any action or retraction by the aGe tards tho..

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at October 1, 2003 at 10:48 AM

GOP Elephant

Maybe the letter writer should have to referred to Miss Broinowski as an "anus", of course in the latin sense of the word, ie. "old woman". That would also apply to Margo (bloody pain in the backside) Kingston.

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Posted by: JohnViagra at October 2, 2003 at 07:39 PM

I can just see the Fairfax share price taking a tumble over this one. Strike one up for the meeja watch of blogmires, that defender of Truth, and Inside Sport, and Weekly World News... cut-and-paste tim.

So dishonest, the Age. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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