Prediction: Melbourne Talk Radio will poison the climate debate

Deniers capturing the airwaves

On April 19 2010 Melbourne gets a new radio station, Melbourne Talk Radio.

It will broadcast on the 1377  kHz, taking over the old 3MP, a station once devoted to light entertainment and music. It will be exclusively focused on talk back with a “right-of-centre” outlook:

“The relaunched 3MP promises to be that if Price and one of his contributors, Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, are unable to agree on whether the station would be right-wing.

“The most successful talk stations do occupy the right-of-centre opinion on politics in particular but life in general,” Price said yesterday. “I don’t know that there’s a successful left-wing radio station in the country.”

– The Australian, April 8 2010

One of Australia’s most prominent climate change deniers, Andrew Bolt – from the HUN, a paper at war with science – will have a slot. It takes little foresight to imagine what Bolt will attempt to do to the debate around climate change. His blog is already one of the major clearing houses of denialist propaganda in Australia.

However, Bolt does not like the moniker “right wing”, preferring the term “conservative:

Bolt protested. “I’m not right-wing, and I think you’re wrong to suggest this will be a right-wing station. I think conservative is more the go.”

OK Andrew, conservative then.

How about we actually get our terminology correct, and call you out for being a “leader” of a prominent anti-science movement. What is the term I’m looking for?

Oh, that’s right.

An ideologue.

Still, I’ll be curious to see how the rest of Melbourne Talk Radio’s line up will treat climate change in their programs. Crikey.com sums up the new station nicely, calling it a “bloke fest”:

“But it was Wednesday afternoon’s icky schlong-laden launch that really drew our ire. In the radio game, male presenters are favoured because they apparently instill some kind of Law of the Father edict over the airwaves…”

The line up is white, middle-aged, conservative and “opinionated”. Yes, very diverse. I think we can guess the tenor of Melbourne Talk Radio. Fair and balanced in the tradition of Fox News:

Fair and balanced, my arse...

We will watch Melbourne Talk Radio with interest, however I will confidently make the following predictions:

  • Discussion around climate change will lean heavily towards “scepticism” (or to translate from the Orwellian denial speak, lying)
  • Deniers will be given fawning treatment  on MTR. Perhaps such luminaries of the denial movement as Ian Pilmer, Lord Monckton, Steve McIntrye, Ross McKitrick etc. will rear their heads
  • Callers to the station will be allowed to make the most outrageous conspiracy claims, slander scientists etc.
  • If their website allows presenters to blog and listeners to interact on forums, we’ll have yet another source of denialist propoganda infecting our media.

One more media outlet that will be waging war on science for the sake of advertising dollars.

“Coming up after the break, the world is flat… scientists have been lying… news at eleven…”

According to Price’s knob jockey sidekick Andrew Bolt, the station is not right-wing, but is in fact “conservative” — although presumably not of the type favoured by Waleed Ali in his recent Quarterly Essay.

2 thoughts on “Prediction: Melbourne Talk Radio will poison the climate debate

  1. Sou says:

    Oh no! not another blight on the airwaves. Thanks for letting us know.

  2. Alex Brown says:

    Orwellian?

    You are the Big Brother types you freaks

    Steve McIntyre is not a “denier”. He declares himself as a “believer” in AGW and thinks we should listen to the IPCC

    Why don’t you freaks stick to gassing Jews like you always did?

    [A few more comments like that and your banned. I’ve let this one pass as an example of just how nasty the denial movement can be. Have a nice day!]

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