Twelve months after they first covered purported death threats to climate scientists at ANU, the ABC get around to making an editorial comment on that article...(preserved here just it case it disappears)
UPDATE (June 4 2012): Following the release of specific emails under Freedom of Information request, climate change sceptics have claimed that the released emails contradict suggestions that any death threats were received, but a spokesperson for the ANU says the university is standing by its claims that death threats were received. Questions have also been raised about whether one of the released emails did, in fact, constitute a threat to use a gun, with a person involved in the kangaroo culling program claiming the comments were made by him, and were in no way intended as a threat. The specific emails released under FOI were found by the Privacy Commissioner to contain abuse, but not overt threats.
We raised the issue of the wording with ABC's Alan Sunderland who offered this response:
I note that it was an update, not a correction.
The reference to "climate change sceptics" was not specifically a reference to you at all, but to the response from a range of sources.
I think the broad term is accurate in its use. I am aware of the sensitivity and level of contest around the use of terms like "climate change deniers", but I have always considered "sceptic" to be a neutral and accurate description to cover the broad range of views among those who question what they see as the "consensus" view. The Macquarie defines a sceptic as " someone who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be knowledge.", which I think is appropriate in the circumstances.
Score one for the climate sceptics, who it seems include the Privacy Commissioner. ABC News yet to formally report on the Commissioners findings. All reference to the Privacy Commissions findings on documents requested by ACM's Simon Turnill contained in corrections, editorial comments or in Mediawatch waffle. As Harry Hoo says "Amazing".
Simon at ACM points out that those ANU death threats are yet to be released.