Here we go, here we go.
Only three days into the new year and the barking mad reptiles suddenly seem to have noticed that some people have discovered that they're barking mad.
Here then is their apologia in full, in all its dissembling and rhetorical nonsense:
We've been here before of course:
What's interesting about the reptiles is the way they genuinely think they're providing a stimulating newspaper, as opposed to a haven for the barking mad.
Take the excuse for printing Gary Johns' piece:
Others tweeted about our “peak hateful idiocy’’ for running an article by Gary Johns, who argued contraception should be compulsory for those wholly dependent on taxpayers. We do not necessarily agree with Johns. But the response from our readers and elsewhere showed the column had sparked an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.
Yes, there it is, the nonsense about provoking an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.
This is the sort of logical position that would have justified a German newspaper during the Weimar republic days publishing a piece by Herr Hitler on the problem of the Jews as a way of sparking an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.
But what's really remarkable is the way that weasel word "necessarily" crept into that line We do not necessarily agree with Johns.
It should be simple enough to say.
Did they agree with Johns, or didn't they? There's nothing "necessarily" about it ...
Weasel words from weasel thinkers ...
As for the rest, it's the standard excuses of the dog whistlers, and the hounds running with useful fools. Like this:
This may come as a surprise to @JohnQuiggin but we love a contest of ideas. And we’d love to see the same ethos alive at other media outlets. We’d take great delight if controversial, unorthodox views were to be found on a regular basis on, say, Fairfax websites or the ABC. Sadly, with few exceptions, the editorial policy appears to be more about co-opting readers into groupthink, the enemy of rigorous, informative and productive public debate. Memo to the ABC’s Mark Scott and Greg Hywood at Fairfax Media: Journalism is not sociology.
This from the most ideologically rabid rag in the country, the home of Dame Slap, "Prattling Polonius" Henderson, a whole host of climate deniers, and assorted other ratbags, forelock tuggers and supine servers of tosh ...
And what's the point if the contest of ideas involves a lot of uninformed hogwash from ideological zealots? Merely holding a controversial, unorthodox view is enough to get you published in ratbag weasel land?
Can we look forward to many pieces explaining how Wilhelm Reich was right about orgonomy, with plans so folks at home can build their very own orgone accumulator?
Note how the weasel words keep rolling out, as if to the manner born:
We’re not climate deniers because we publish a couple of contributors who dare to scrutinise the scientific consensus. (For two decades we have accepted the probability of man-made climate change.)
A couple of contributors? That's how they rate an ongoing stream of pieces by absolutely unqualified climate denialists of the Maurice Newman kind, who contribute nothing to the science and absolutely nothing to the debate?
A couple of bloody contributors? More like a torrent of Lomborg gushings ...
And then the weasel words "we have accepted the probability" ...
Then why is the rag and its contributors singularly incapable of writing an informed commentary? Why the relentless, non-stop focus on as many improbabilities as can be drummed up, with Graham Lloyd doing the drumming on an almost daily basis?
No doubt the weasels thought they were being canny in trotting out "accepted", but then out popped the hoppy toad of "belief":
We’re not creationists because we run a writer making the case for a higher power. (Do we really have to defend this? Must we declare our belief in evolution?)
No, you don't have to declare a belief in evolution. Evolution isn't a religion. And you don't have to prove your stupidity by recycling stupid pieces from the WSJ.
As usual, it's the few token fellow travellers that get trotted out on this kind of occasion, proving that the Swiss bank accounts man is worth his weight in unmarked currency:
And we’re not campaigning against the Coalition government because Graham Richardson uses his regular position in our pages to criticise an unfair and badly sold budget (his words). Surely even Quiggin would accept that.
Bugger the pond dead. Richo trotted out as an indication of balance again ... in much the same way that Johns is presented as a former Labor MP (their words).
The 'whatever it takes' man used as an excuse for a rag going about the business of 'whatever it takes' ...
But above all there's the quaint fear of the new media, and the rag's dawning realisation that it now only provides fodder for the amusement of vast swathes of former readers. With this sort of tripe:
A few even mistakenly assumed the views of Johns — a former Labor MP — were official Abbott government policy. For goodness sake. Then again, mistaking columnists’ opinions for those of the newspaper is perhaps an easy error for those who only want their own views reinforced rather than challenged. If that’s what you expect from your journalism, you’ve come to the wrong place. Perhaps it’s better you stay in the dark Twitter echo chamber.
The dark Twitter echo chamber? You mean the echo chamber infested by Chairman Rupert blathering about everything under the sun?
But then that's all to be expected of a rag that campaigned so strongly against an NBN, and full of paranoia, fear and loathing about the present and the future.
Those who misinterpreted both articles as The Australian’s position seem to have forgotten that a serious newspaper should present a variety of opinions. Of course, as is the way in the social media universe, some had not even read the pieces but simply wanted to amplify the faux outrage. Their apparent dictum: I share therefore I am.
If ever you wanted an indication that the reptiles of Oz consisted of a bunch of angry old white men, you could start by dissecting their hostility to those who make use of social media.
And yet the position that the paper mocks - I share therefore I am - is just the reptiles' position in drag: We share lots of interesting, confronting and challenging pieces of raving rightwing ratbaggery, therefore we are ... (oh and please subscribe so we can charge like wounded bulls for the pleasure).
And then there's that concluding twaddle:
Professor, if you ever want to know what the paper thinks or where it stands on any issue, there is only one place you’ll find out. Right here in these two columns.
Actually any reader can know what a paper thinks, editorially, and where it stands on any issue editorially, by the contributors and the columns it choses to publish, both its regulars and its irregulars ...
And at that point, from the tragic case of the fallen Bill Leak to the Shanahans - Angela Shanahan is the Shanahan out and about in today's weekend issue - it's clear enough that the rag is a right wing talk fest of the rabid kind.
The fact that the rag could have run Johns piece, rather than spiking it, says all that needs to be said.
As for the other piece that Quiggins and others mocked on Twitter?
Well actually 140 characters was more than enough to tell the full story:
Yes, they really did smuggle a piece of rationalising nonsense about god, or gods, into a section allegedly dedicated to a review of business.
As for the arguments Metaxas presented, it was just more of the usual theist sophistry, and it ended up this feeble way:
Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really?
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology ... The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.”
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator ... gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.”
The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something — or Someone — beyond itself.
Something or Someone? And the reptiles recycled this blather from the WSJ?
Why that says more than anyone needs to know about what the editor thinks and how he goes about his wretched job ...
But what fun that John Quiggin has tweaked the snout of the reptiles. These creatures can be dangerous as they thrash about with their tails and snap their savage teeth.
It turns out that Quiggin, who runs a Twitter page here, is also a contributor to an epic Twitter account, #Ozfail, which can be viewed here, and which shows a great sensa huma:
It's moments like this that the pond realises that there are many people out there vastly amused by the dinosaurs as they go about their business ... berating Fairfax and the ABC, and watching their business model fall apart in the new world of the intertubes ...
Oh it's going to be a great year for reptile watching. Here you go, here's your choice of entertainment today:
But please, do remember it's better to google than to subscribe. It's better not to encourage the reptiles, or you never know what might happen ...
Oh and we almost left out an excellent piece of paranoia and fear-mongering from the Murdoch school of Islamic hysteria (well the Terror can't do it alone, though the Terror is at it again today):
So the west has capitulated to Islamist ideology?
Much like the way the reptiles have capitulated to half-baked delusions of "Something" or "Somebody"?
Ah dear, the angry old white man's burden of onerous duties never ends, but curiously, talk of the burden brings the pond to the latest cartoonist running in lieu of David Pope in The Canberra Times, and more Pope here.
First, for those who came in late to the story:
Oh and don't forget the horse:
Now read on:
Christopher Pyne as faithful unicorn companion Hero to a lycra-clad Phantom with big ears!
Oh it's going to be a good year ...
And reading the reptile editorials is going to be a big part of the fun. Why the pond is almost starting to believe in Santa Claus, in much the same way as others believe in creationism, "Somebody or Something" and Maurice Newman and Cardinal Pell as world's cutting edge climate scientists worth publication ... hmm, must get busy on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy ... The Real Story, because there are always two sides to the story for the gullible and the zealots and the rabidly ideological ... that should spark an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate ...