Smh concedes

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Last updated on June 10th, 2017 at 09:26 am

Following yesterday’s Ramsey debacle, the SMH has published a correction:

In his column yesterday, Alan Ramsey quoted from a speech made by American journalist Bill Moyers, which alleged that James Watt, a former American secretary of the interior, told the US Congress: “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.” Moyers has conceded that Watt never made that comment.

Moyers conceded (and apologised) more than a month ago. Does Ramsey have an editor?

Posted by Tim B. on 03/09/2005 at 10:32 PM
    1. Aside from recycling the James Watt lie, the funniest thing about the column was that only 68 of 729 words were actually Ramseys own work (including the words “Moyers continued”). Why didn’t the SMH just reproduce Moyers speech (minus the Watt reference) under its own by-line? What the hell do they pay Ramsay for? As for the correction –  It doesn’t matter. He got to pander to a few Fairfax prejudices and that’s the main thing. I won’t hold my breath for waiting for Media Watch to report this.

      Posted by Adam B on 2005 03 10 at 12:28 AM • permalink


    1. I wonder whether there is any purpose in dreging other dis-facts AR wrote,…..probably a lifetime job I suspect….and life is too short, so bad idea.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 03 10 at 12:32 AM • permalink


    1. Philip Adams quoted the same story last night. How long to wait until HE issues a retraction?

      Let’s all turn a nice shade of blue while we hold our breath.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2005 03 10 at 01:01 AM • permalink


    1. Ramsey has now gone from being a vicious Howard hating journo to being a sad figure of derision, now there are plenty of lefty figures of derision, but this is different, Ramsey is obviously getting to the point in life that we are all going to reach sooner or later, where our mind isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be but we haven’t quite accepted it yet.
      As much as conservatives might hate to admit it, in his time he was relatively well respected journalist, but now its clear that his time has past, his columns are becoming increasingly mistake ridden and emotional.
      Shame on the SMH for not taking him gently aside and letting him know that maybe there are other pursuits that might suit him better now, or at the very least insisting on having someone fact check the columns before they went to print, shame on them for not caring that his past work is being diminished by these undignified foul-up that are happening all to often are will almost certainly jsut get worse.

      Posted by Michael42 on 2005 03 10 at 03:08 AM • permalink


    1. shame on me for not being able to tell the difference between “submit” and “preview”

      Posted by Michael42 on 2005 03 10 at 03:09 AM • permalink


    1. Journalists who go for Player but only achieve Plagiarist, and mistakenly at that, also become Targets.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 03 10 at 06:00 AM • permalink


    1. Pompous Ass also repeated the disinformation? Why am I not surprised. Never read the dribble anyway, so my comment has to be seen as superfluous.

      Oh off topic, between senior moments, but I am going to throw a cat amongst the climate pigeons this weekend re ice caps and “how long does it take a snowflake to travel from the centre of Antartica to the, err, Ross Sea as part of an iceberg?

      Visit climateaudit for some simple statistics 🙂 and yo, you have to look for it.

      Posted by Louis on 2005 03 10 at 06:35 AM • permalink


    1. You know, lost in all this is the fact that whether Watt said it or not, after the last tree is felled Christ is, in fact, coming back.

      And he is PISSED and looking for some payback for that whole crucifixion thing.

      Posted by Dan N. on 2005 03 10 at 10:56 AM • permalink


    1. Dan N — Or as Robin Williams once said — “Jesus is coming… and this time, it’s personal!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 10 at 11:43 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, I was under the impression that NONE of these clowns have editors.

      If they do, the “editors” should be sacked along with the “writers” for taking the papers’ money under false pretenses.

      Posted by Barbara Skolaut on 2005 03 10 at 12:26 PM • permalink


  1. Paddy McGuinness has a column on this in today’s Australian. This site gets a mention.

    The best of our local independent bloggers, Tim Blair (who happily has an institutional base and income from The Bulletin) put up on his website ( at 10.49am on the Wednesday (on which Ramsey’s column appeared) a piece pointing out that Moyers had got it wrong – that Watts never said: “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back” – and had apologised to Watts.

    Ramsey, if he were not now incurably lazy and unwilling to cross-check his own prejudices, would have found that out in a few minutes’ search. Yesterday’s Herald, thanks to Blair, carried a mini-correction far from the opinion page on which the Ramsey column appeared in which it admitted the error, but did not admit the reason for the error – Ramsey himself.

    Posted by Adam B on 2005 03 10 at 05:48 PM • permalink