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Chris Kenny vs Paul Barry and the ABC

Kenny is very upset by Paul Barry’s presentation of Media Watch (Feb 3 this year) in which Barry discussed the views of several well-known right wing journalists and had videos of them stating their views. No doubt he would also be upset by the Four Corners program on the ABC the same night, by the way Jim Molan was exposed on Qand A, and by the film and panel discussions on Nine’s 60 Minutes last night (Feb 9).

Kenny is writing under the heading: “Media Watch host Paul Barry fans flames, dodges climate change facts.” (The Australian, pay-walled)

“Fans flames.” A poetic touch.

“The ABC’s Media Watch, hosted by Paul Barry, claims the high moral ground, declaring it exposes “conflicts of interest, journalistic deceit, misrepresentation, manipulation and plagiarism”. But the problem is it is full of journalistic deceit, misrepresentation and manipulation itself.

“Rather than measure reporting against facts, the program weighs journalism he does not like against the opinions that dominate the left-green Zeitgeist.

“…it misrepresented people and facts in order to promote global warming alarmism and denounce News Corp journalism.

“…my repeated position… based on public scientific and expert documents was only that activists were grossly exaggerating the role of climate change.”

And here we come to the crux of the matter: there is News Corp climate change and there is “activist” alarmist, exaggerated climate change. And not just one News Corp climate change; there are many of them, as Kenny explains:

“Barry said we “all sing from the same song sheet on climate change”, when clearly we have differing views (perhaps from the groupthink of the ABC this diversity is hard to comprehend). What we have in common is a thirst for the facts, which we inject into the debate. But Barry’s critique avoids facts.”

So, in Barry’s presentation in which the people he was critiquing and who spoke for themselves on sound bites, there were no facts?

And of course, having no single coherent climate science is the major characteristic of sceptics/deniers.

Ian Plimer says CO2 has nothing to do with climate change; Bob Carter said CO2 is a greenhouse gas; Richard Lindzen says there has been no global warming in the past 20 years; Jennifer Marohasy says we need to keep assembling data more so we see the cycles which drive our weather events; Judith Curry says we will not see the really bad effects of climate change until the end of the C21st or into the C22nd; some people say volcanoes drive climate change; someone said climate is being driven by stream of photons coming from an exploded sun deep in the universe…

James, younger son of Rupert Murdoch, says that the Murdoch media is not doing enough on climate change.

In the WE Australian 8-9 Feb, Kenny said this:

“The climate election [May 2018] should have settled all this but, alas, the climate saga is alive again.

“[The climate saga] is “the ridiculous conscription of belief into science.”

That is, it is as Ian Plimer claims, just a primitive religion filling in a spiritual emptiness.

Kenny goes on:

“There is nothing about the climate debate in Australia that is normal. The level of misinformation is disturbing and deliberate. The amplification of the issue’s significance in this country by environmental, media and political activists is inversely proportional to the nation’s global role in the solution.

“Paul Barry also misrepresented Rowan Dean [Spectator Aust. Editor] ‘who says climate policy in Australia could only have a small (1,3 percent) effect on bushfire intensity’.”

Kenny tried to defend his position, of not being in denial, by quoting himself from the past:

(Dec 14, 2019) “The expert analysis shows that if there is a long term influence from either of these blights [bushfires and drought], it will be to make each of them slightly more common in a land where they are common already. Whatever Australia does on carbon emissions can have no impact on any of this, at least for decades to come as global emissions continue to rise.

(Jan 18, 2020) “The reason these climate changes should be relatively marginal in the discussion is that they relate to making an existing catastrophe slightly more common.”

“Slightly.” “Slightly more.”

So what is all this chatter and palaver all about. It is really about the word “unprecedented.” Kenny refuses to acknowledge what so many people are saying, people who were there, that they had never seen anything like the fires we saw recently. Kenny is not reminding us about this in detail or what he said in defiance of this common exclamation, that there is nothing “unprecedented” about these latest fires.

Back in Jan 18, 2020, Kenny listed three fires which he claimed were “even worse” because more people tragically died in these fires than in the recent fires. That was the extent of his research and attention to verifiable information.

See what he says back then:

“Media Watch focused on how some of us challenged and exposed claims made as far back as November that this season’s fires were unprecedented.

“We did this through diligent attention to verifiable detail and historical records.

“Barry dismisses these assessments, not based on facts, but based on opinions he prefers.

“Some of his preferred opinions were from authoritative voices but were still but opinions – what matters are facts.

“Clearly his [Barry’s] thesis, his whole show, is not about facts, fairness and reality, it is about distorting reality so he can share the vibe of the climate activists.”

So we are told here that there are the facts of the News Corp journalists and there are the mere opinions of climate alarmists and other people of opinion. There is the balanced science of the journalists, and there is the beat-up exaggerations of the climate activists. Fires over the past 6 months or so, over most states, are only “slightly” different from fires in the past. Only Murdoch Media people know the truth, the “real” truth, not just opinions.

Then of course we could go to other news sources and see the real facts about the recent fires: the number of people who tragically died, the number of houses and property destroyed or damaged, the extent of the burnings across most states, the destruction of livestock and wild animals, destruction of the environment, the insurance costs, the costs of lost income, the cost of time and energy taken up with fighting the fires, the on-going costs…

You will not find anything like it by looking into the past 200 years in Wikipedia or somewhere. These fires are unprecedented!

And what of the future?

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  1. Phil Pryor

    The local right wing ratbag rubbish is fuelled by a core of perverted scribblers, the Murdoch media maggots. They are paid sluts for money, notice, pose, career, and ignorant objects of derision. Some are better trained than others, being romanist absorbers from youth, of fantasy, lies, myth, fears, speculations, dogma, all things mentally corroding and distorting. The modern roles of advertising, media opinioneering, movie fantasy, stating any blurted bullshit, all this has ruined intellectual decency and actual capacity. Most people most of the time cannot, will not and do not think things out and through, based on science, sense, logic, the known facts, the likely outcomes. This rotten putrid government is loaded with romanist rubbish in particular, fascist fraudulent fantasy and it is sickening that talking turds like Joyce, Abetz, Andrews, the former Pyne, Canavan, Kelly and hosts of others get to LIE for a LIVING.

  2. Baby Jewels

    Kenny is a deliberate, filthy liar, most likely in the pocket of coal, as are most so-called “climate deniers.” I can see no other reason anyone in their right mind would deny science. What else is there, if you don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists? Money – vested interests – can be the only possible reason. And forsaking the future of the next generation for money is traitorous and deserving of the most severe punishment.

  3. Henry Rodrigues

    Here’s a challenge for this ignoramus Kenny, one of Murdoch’s arse lickers, If he can demonstrate that he is more knowledge than thousands of climate scientists, has a scientific background on climate matters, is technically more qualified to analyse the evidence than NASA, has more hands on experience than David Attenborough, in observing the natural world and the effect of the changing climate on it, is not beholden to Murdoch and the IPA and the Minerals Council and that oversize blob of putresence who resides in the west and whose only purpose in life is the longevity of her coal business, we’ll might just pay him some attention. Until then he can ply his bullshit with the like minded dickheads he associates with.

    In short, Chris Kenny, F*CK OFF.

  4. Keith

    Kenny is part of the problem, it is a case of not understanding, or studiously ignoring nuanced information. Also, more likely than not his ideological views getting in the way of any sensible acknowledgement of science. Deniers such as Kenny do not follow the science of climate change and loath being called out. Kenny, Jones and Dean etc need to be challenged hard requesting data that fits their views. A few years ago studies by sceptical scientists disputing climate change tried to be replicated, they were found not to be replicible. They would be hard pressed to provide any science to fit into their views. Only a fool tries to dispute scientists with PhDs which have taken years to gain.

    I suppose if you have worked with professional people holding a code of ethics, then you understand that not everybody is a liar, cheat, or breaker of acknowledged codes.

  5. Roland Flickett

    Your featuring this plonkers views give him a wider audience than his articles would usually get. I don’t imagine ANY Murdoch rag would feature an article by – say – David Marr or another writer who does not reflect the views of the readership of The Australian, which its Letters to the Editor consistently show.
    I am old enough to remember when The Australian was launched. It was a mainstream version of the National Times and the Nation Review, with articles by thinking non-aligned writers. Gough apparently insulted the now-wrinkled Yank by suggesting he didn’t enjoy the conversation at a dinner they both attended, and Rupert the Red ( which he was called in his early days) turned into a kardonnay shunt.
    Many of the journalists on The Australian resigned in protest at Murdoch’s virulent anti-Labor stance after 1972. That sort of integrity disappeared from Newscorp, never to return.
    Owners of media have every right to display a political point of view, but deliberate bias and news manipulation is not a acceptable.
    Having said that, the latest Essential polling suggests that despite the appalling behaviour of the Nationals and blatant incompetence of the liar from the Shire, the LNP still has the support of the overwhelming majority of Coalition voters. So maybe it’s us who are out of line.

  6. New England Cocky

    Uhm ….. what is SKY News?? I that a commercial channel?? I am sure that it is NOT part of the ABC yet.

    Perhaps the optimum solution for Kenny & Co is to join the 97% of Australian television viewers who DO NOT watch Sky.

  7. Pingback: Chris Kenny vs Paul Barry and the ABC #auspol - News Oz

  8. Ken Fabian

    Viewed from within an organisation for whom “facts” are whatever they choose to say are facts anyone else’s “facts” begin looking no more nor less than the product of amoral promotion by some other organisations, just more succesfully. The presumption is others are no more ethical about it than they are.

    It looks, if not Orwellian MiniTruthish, then a very post-modernist view of “facts” and something right out of a group-think bubble… all the very things they see in – or just accuse of – in others.

    I don’t think those within that bubble are capable of conceiving of the institutions and practices science as anything substantially different from an amoral PR and Advertising organistion that uses “news and current affairs” as clickbait – which says rather too much about their lack of ethics and their inability to do genuine, independent journalistic investigation as well as saying too much about their contempt for their readership.

    Perhaps a bit of jealousy in the undercurrents as well? Why should ordinary people trust scientists in taxpayer funded research organisations for their “facts” and not the world’s largest commercial media organisation, that tailors their content to the innermost hopes and fears of an uninformed public?

    News Corp is an organisation who’s owner and commander can declare “no climate change denial” without any hesitation or shame, which is either a blatant lie or an example of disingenuous ambiguity… “Oh, you thought I was talking about anthropogenic climate change instead of ‘but the climate is always changing’?” Which, if you parse it, is a lie too.

    If you really believe the science is wrong (climate science being right being unacceptable within the bubble) then it really does require extraordinary explanations. Thus a “global climate cult” and Environmentalist/Socialist/Globalist/Scientistist conspiracy to rule the world to explain it. Then the very success of that conspiracy justifies going on a war footing – where lying and deception, including politicians saying they don’t dispute the science when they absolutely do become justifiable tactics that are not a choice but something forced on them by this imaginary rising ecofascist dictatorship.

    And if they can think like that, climate activists’ playing loose with “facts” have to be worse, right?

  9. Terence Mills

    Media Watch did a forensic analysis of Newscorp and the Sky-after-dark (SaD) presenters and their constant climate change denial and Kenny doesn’t like it.

    Whenever the ABC say anything about Newscorp or Sky they know it will be ruthlessly critiqued by the talking heads on SaD . But on this occasion the exposed the Sky spruikers one after another.

    Things are not going well at SaD even with their free to air link-up with WIN together with their pay TV subscribers, they were only able to musters 62,000 viewers for their Outsiders show which they set up to challenge Insiders (617,000) on Sunday mornings.

    Good to see David Speers who decamped from Sky doing a good job at the ABC !

  10. Kaye Lee

    “Kenny is a staunchly neo-conservative, anti-progress, anti-worker defender of the status quo. He is an unrelenting apologist for the Liberal Party. He was one of Alexander Downer’s senior advisers at the time of the Iraq War. He’s been known to argue for stubborn, sightless inaction on climate change. He spits at anyone concerned with such trivialities as gender equality, environmental issues or labour rights from his Twitter account on a daily basis. Recently, he characterised criticism of the lack of women in Tony Abbott’s Cabinet as a continuation of the Left’s “gender wars”. He is a regular and fervent participant in The Australian’s numerous ongoing bully campaigns against those who question its editorial practices and ideological biases. The profoundly irresponsible, dishonest, hate-filled anti-multiculturalist Andrew Bolt has recently referred to Kenny on his blog as “a friend”.” – Liam Kenny, Chris’s son

    In Defence Of The Chaser’s False Depiction Of My Dad Having Sex With Dog

  11. guest

    The deception is very easy to do. All that needs to happen is for someone to make a very simple but false statement and then people can use it even if they do not really know what it means. We have seen unlosable elections lost through such tactics.

    More recently we have seen accusations made that some 183 people have been charged for arson – and it becomes viral and made into a political weapon. The truth is far away from the piddly lie, when it is revealed that the numbers (yes, they are police numbers) referred to times people were spoken to but not necessarily even fined for some infringement of a local law. And the numbers came from Queensland in the year before September 2019. Police have denied the false numbers of arsonists, but still it persists.

    Similarly, the claim there has always been climate change is a useless generality without any nuance. So the Mediaeval Warming is dragged out as some kind of proof of similar global warming – but current warming is 20X faster.

    So also, Ian Plimer claims there were no tipping points or runaway warmings when CO2 levels were100X than now. Which is rather a useless comment when it is hard to believe there were any humans living in such an environment to suffer the tipping points and runaway warmings. No human catastrophe there, if there are no people.

    Plimer is notorious for asking silly questions directed at school children, in which the falsehood is embedded in the question, which makes the answer difficult to make because first of all the question must be unraveled. The tactic can be seen in interviews when the interviewee has to point out the stupidity of the question and the interviewer becomes more aggressive in requiring a simple answer.

    The first thing the deceiver assumes is that other people are suckers. And sometimes they are right.

  12. John O"Callaghan

    These two bit Murdoch whores like Kenny and Co do not have an ounce of integrity or scruples in them, and accept large sums of money and copious amounts of Ruperts appendage right up the old Kyber Pass to keep the old reprobate and his Pacemaker happy.

    I’ll bet my left leg that if James and his wife suddenly took over the organisation and pushed and promoted the science of climate change,these vile putrid stinkin maggot infested swamp dwellers would suddenly start singing the praises of climate scientist and climate change and would denounce Plimer and other deniers as heritics.

  13. TuffGuy

    What was it that Rupert was saying about there being no climate change deniers in Newscorpse???

  14. Henry Johnston

    A recent article in the New Daily, documented the financial losses of Murdoch’s Australian media outlets including the stable of red tops So my question is:- why does the Dirty Digger continue to bankroll the likes of Kenny, Bolt, Miranda Devine etc? The ridiculous nonsense they, the Sky After Dark drongos and the red top oped writers peddle, are clearly turning off advertisers. If a company lives by market forces, it can also die by those same forces.

  15. RosemaryJ36

    I would be interested to know what – if any – scientific qualifications Kenny might have which enable him to put false and biased political statements ahead of factual, well established information.
    Has anyone ever pointed out for his benefit that there has only ever been one Industrial Revolution, to trigger off unprecedented events?

  16. Matters Not

    RosemaryJ36, Industrial Revolutions are to some extent dependent on the definition employed. Here’s but one example.

    Like the First Industrial Revolution’s steam-powered factories, the Second Industrial Revolution’s application of science to mass production and manufacturing, and the Third Industrial Revolution’s start into digitization, the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s technologies, such as artificial intelligence, genome editing …

    There are other possibilities. As for Kenny – he goes under the moniker of ‘journalist’ without portfolio but he dabbles in politics. Was Downer’s presser for far too long.…2.0..0.386.5086.2-16j4……0….1..gws-wiz…..10..35i362i39j35i39j0i131i67j0j0i131j0i67j0i20i263j0i22i30.jXbm6B0vMgE#spf=1581405483350

  17. Matters Not

    Recently, Gore and others forecast the possible features of a fifth Industrial Revolution.

    is the rise of the Fifth Industrial Revolution. In contrast to trends in the Fourth Revolution toward dehumanization, technology and innovation best practices are being bent back toward the service of humanity by the champions of the Fifth.

    What the Fifth Industrial Revolution is and why it matters

    Seems to me that the linked article is being somewhat optimistic.

  18. Jexpat

    Not sure what the point of regurgitating their rubbish word for word is.

  19. Roswell

    I disagree, Jexpat. Most of the Chris Kenny comments are behind a paywall. It’s interesting to see what he has said, even if his words do belong in the rubbish bin.

  20. Brozza

    New England Cocky – sky news, o.k.a. news corpse or faux news, is apparently broadcast on channel 83, (at least in Tassie), and is deleted on all tv’s in my household along with 64 (the bullshit, brainwash, give me all your money coz god said greed is good and you want to be just like scummo channel), 68 (horseshit gambling channel), and the advertorial channels of worthless crap to buy.
    There’s only one channel that gives you less fiction than ANY of the other channels ‘news’ services, and that’s Channel 32, SBS world movies.

  21. Spindoctor

    Why does Mordorc continue to prop up the dying shrinking Oystrayan, Crap Mail and other propaganda outlets? He will do everything to keep his monopoly intact, his plans to control the narrative and further his empires spread and profits. And keep on pre$$titutes like Dolt, Kunny and the rest to try to influence, bias, and limit the public debate ..The KillBill campaign was a perfect campaign to smear Shorten from day one and successfully, as we’ve seen, prevent him/Labor implementing pro active innovative policies on renewables, energy, environment, wages, conditions and tackling corporate tax evasion. Media Watch has taken a long overdue swipe against an implacable foe working with the IPA/LNP to the ABC’s destruction. We need more firebombs from MW, nationwide social media boycotts of these rags and advertisers to inflict a body blow on Newscorpse, (and the other IPA simpering right wing media. If that means more News Of the World closures so be it. There are new independents like the Guardian, providing fair and balanced news and debate in the public interest. We will see more bias, lies, smear and falsehoods trotted out by MSM up to and after the next election and its going to take an angry public
    and empowered politicians before the disinfo apparatus is dismantled for good.

  22. Max Gross

    What Merde Orc and his barking media whores know, what the corrupt, self-entitled LNP knows, what the insidious IPA knows, is that hoary truism: you CAN fool some of the people ALL of the time.

  23. leefe

    Henry Johnston “So my question is:- why does the Dirty Digger continue to bankroll the likes of Kenny, Bolt, Miranda Devine etc?”

    Because by controlling the public discussion, he controls public opinion and thus wields political power, which also helps to increase his wealth. The (un)Oz and similar products are loss leaders, no more. And very effective ones.

  24. Nade

    I had to google “Chris Kenny” to see who he is and works for..
    Is it worth suing him for the 5secs of time I wasted?
    asking for a friend 🙂

  25. guest

    I came across It is a well-known sceptic/denier site. It has some suspicious statistics which are supposed to represent what has happened in wildfires in Australia according to satellite data compiled by Louis Giglio et al available at

    I am very suspicious of the data.

    “[A graph] provides the total burned area for each year between 1997-2016. Area burned every year was between 18.2Mha (2010) and 94.6Mha (2001). On average, the area burned during this time period was 52.9Mha.”

    For comparison, Wikipedia says that in 2019-2020 some 18.9Mha were burnt – and still burning.

    Wattsup provides a map for 2001. It is a map with a pixellated area showing fires.
    * the majority of the fires were within the Australian northern and western territories
    * fires in many remote areas are not reported and can be properly reported only with means of satellite observations
    *during 2019-2020 the burned area ‘as quoted by by several sources’ is ~20% of average area burned in Australia annually

    Does anyone really believe any of that?

    I looked up wildfires in Oz for 2001, and the only one I found was the Black Christmas fire near Sydney and in the Blue Mountains (753,314ha).

    Some of the summary of this article is as follows:
    * All-in-all the bushfire season in Australia is not abnormal
    * The only way to manage the fire hazard in Australia is to manage the fuel loads
    * Natural Indian Ocean Dipole Events (and ENSO events) have and will have the effects on drought in Australia
    * Hazardous volume of fuel loads together with abnormally positive Indian Ocean Dipole and the associated drought is the prime reason for extreme bushfire season in south-east Australia…
    * Some of the studies have tried to link pIOD to Climate Change, but so far the climate model’s ability to predict the pIOD has been less than optimal (refer W. Cai and T. Cowan, 2013)

    But Eggleton (also 2013) says it can (pp. 45, 88)

    Further to tracking data, the Wikipedia article on Bushfires in Australia was edited on February 11, 2020.

    The old article had a large chart listing bushfires separately in chronlogical order, with the state where the fire occurred, with the extent of the fire in hectares, damage incurred and fatalities.

    Now the names of fires with some information only – not all the details such as area burned – seem to be embedded in heavy text, which made it difficult, for me at least, to make easy comparisons in order to compare present fires with fires of the past.

    Perhaps I am paranoid, but I am suspicious when I am told that there is nothing unprecedented about the recent fires and I cannot make clear comparisons.

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