What James Packer once described as a “bankrupt email newsletter” is of course guilty of being taken in by similar editorial frauds all the time. Arguably, everything written about “peace” by its violent anarchist contributor Jeff Sparrow would fit in that category.
It happens at Crikey all the time, mainly because their sources have dried up and its curmudgeonly leftard owner Eric Beecher won’t adequately resource fact-checking. An email correspondent not in any way linked with this publication just let us know about the ruse. Half way through last week Crikey claimed:
The fallout from the collapse of ABC continues with Pitcher Partners’ Melbourne office shedding one fifth of its audit division before Christmas.
Turns out that every single element of the fraudulent account was incorrect as the firm’s managing director pointed out:
There have been no redundancies in the audit division at Pitcher Partners Melbourne. Our staff numbers are on plan and ahead of forecast.
Furthermore, Pitcher Partners is an association of large accounting firms. Only its Brisbane firm was involved in the audit of ABC Learning Centres, and this was resigned in 2007. Pitcher Partners Melbourne is not impacted by the ABC Learning Centres issue, nor are its other firms around the country.
It shows of course how easy it is for any publication to be conned by people up to no good. Crikey used to be fall of half-truthful gossip and smear. Now it’s just left-wing pap with them seemingly grateful for any bit of information how ever fabricated and easily verified it could be.
It’s easy to get it wrong of course. And easy to be conned.
The vindictive nature of the attack on Quadrant was pretty obvious and was as sagely argued by Graham Young:
No one would be interested in the hoax if Keith Windschuttle hadnâ€™t exposed errors in the work of some prominent historians, and wasnâ€™t a protagonist in the so-called â€œculture warsâ€.
The hoax is a counter-blow from the other side. But instead of being effective, it shows many of Windschuttleâ€™s critics to be more interested in playing group politics, than dealing with real intellectual issues.
The Quadrant fraud really marks Crikey’s descent from being irreverent and cheeky to all and having a political outlook that was predominantly source-driven to what it is now, a very low-ranking foot-soldier for the extreme left forces in the cultures wars.
And a very easily taken in one at that.