Monthly Archives: September 2012

Is Deveney loud?

Did Catherine Deveny “shout down” Archbishop Jensen on Q&A as The Australian’s editorial (“Questions and mockery”, 12/9) and several letter-writers would have it? Or is that an illusion caused by antipathy for her message?

An analysis of the transcript¹ shows that Deveny spoke 1,259 words to Jensen’s 2,592, and that both interrupted other panellists three times each. It may be that Deveny has the louder voice, but it is not possible to tell from TV audio, which is compressed to eliminate volume differences.

It seems that when someone we disagree with speaks even half as much as someone we support, it’s still too much for some.


Muslim smile

Of all the many unsubstantiated generalisations about Muslims which have been selected for publication by The Australian in place of reasoned debate over the past week, the most ludicrous would have to be from Andrea Wright (Letters, 20/9), who adds to their supposed endemic flaws her observation that “They also appear to be humourless. Do you ever see them smile?”. I personally often see Muslims smile, just as all human beings do. Maybe there’s something about Ms Wright’s attitude that stops them doing it when she’s around.

Looking the wrong way

Paul Kelly is rightly protective of our secular polity (“Islam should accept a secular state”, The Australian, 19/9), and no doubt there are some small Muslim groups that would like to change it. But they are few in number and have no chance of success. Meanwhile, there are already Christian political groups that hold parliamentary power and have influence in major parties. Kelly’s vigilance may be topical, but he is looking the wrong way.


By casting climate change deniers as Galileo (Editorial, 1/8), The Australian turns history on its head. Galileo followed the same scientific method as today’s scientists, and was similarly confronted by vested interests which would suppress the truth rather than face the changes it would bring. Then, it was the Church, today it is the fossil fuel industry. The editorial gives a sly wink to astroturf denial organisations like the so-called “Galileo Movement”, and does a grave injustice to the scientist whose name they have hijacked.