catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

At last, a really good reason to bash the ABC!

with 61 comments

As those of you familiar with my writing history would know, I’ve had a fair bit to do with the Australian Skeptics. And, as someone with a strong but amateur interest in science, I’m reasonably cheesed off that the ABC is pulling this stunt:

FANS of ABC television’s science program Catalyst may be in for a
surprise when they tune in tomorrow night. Not only is the program off
the air until February 11, its timeslot is being minded by psychics.
Yes, there are 15 weeks of Psychic Investigators ahead.

Here’s a sample of what to expect: “At any given time there are well
over 20,000 women missing in the US. Margie Calciano was just another
statistic. And for 20 years she didn’t even have a name. Were it not
for the collaboration of Detective Robert Wanner and professional
psychic (emphasis added) Dr Lauren Thibodeau, the chances are Margie
would have faded into history as an unidentified victim.” That’s
straight from the ABC website. Worse, it’s listed as a documentary.

Unfortunately for the ABC’s Ian Taylor, head of programming Marena
Manzoufas is “away from the office until Christmas”. As her
second-in-command, Taylor got stuck with queries about the
science-to-psychic decision.

“With all our timeslots, when the (ratings) survey period is over and
we enter into the summer schedule, everything goes out the window,” he
says with good humour. “(Psychic Investigators) may not be
scientific,” Taylor says, acknowledging the obvious, “but I do think
it will be of interest to many of the people who are used to watching
at that time.”

He may think so, but I don’t. My psychic powers tell me the
switchboard will light up with complaints from Catalyst viewers such
as Barry Williams, chief executive of Australian Skeptics.

For once, the MSM came to the party and covered our irritation at a quality science show being ditched for the sort of stuff that normally wins the Bent Spoon Award. Hop onto that link and all will be revealed – about the Bent Spoon, Psychic Investigators and sundry other skeptical goodies.

I don’t like ABC bias. I also dislike the ABC’s tendency to view science in such, ahem, wide terms. I thought science was about evidence, and that any speculation had to serve the evidence. I’m also aware – because of my day job – where unprovable speculation can lead. Lindy Chamberlain, anyone?

UPDATE: The full text of the article in The Australian I quoted is here. Information about the Skeptics’ annual ‘Bent Spoon’ Award is here.

UPDATE II: A fellow skeptic who sent a letter of complaint received this response from the ABC:

Dear Mr *******

Thank you for your email regarding ‘Psychic Investigators’.

The ABC regrets that you are unhappy about the decision to broadcast
this series. Psychic Investigators is a series in which police involved
in investigating crimes, in the absence of evidence indicating the guilt
of a particular perpetrator, have called upon the services of psychics
as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case. These are
actual documented police investigations and the police involved are
interviewed in the series, along with the psychic employed. Many of the
police involved state that they were initially sceptical that a psychic
would be of any help and that they were astounded by the information
they learned. The cases covered in the series took place in the UK and
North America and cover a range of crimes.

Catalyst recesses every year over the summer. Thursday nights at 8.00pm
is not a dedicated science timeslot, in fact last year over the summer
the ABC showed Creature Comforts and Nigel’s Place in France in this
timeslot.

As the national broadcaster, the ABC has an obligation to appeal to a
diverse range of tastes. Nonetheless, your comments about this series
are noted and have been conveyed to ABC Television.

Thank you for taking the time to contact the ABC.

Yours sincerely

Cathy Brown
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

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Written by Admin

November 29, 2006 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

61 Responses

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  1. Finally, a skeptics post.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 8:46 pm

  2. that is appalling …

    Jason Soon

    November 29, 2006 at 9:00 pm

  3. Impressive, eh? And who says the ABC doesn’t care about ratings…

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 10:15 pm

  4. They used to run that apalling second opinion show pushing alternative therapies as well. Which made sure I registered a complaint about at the time. Particularly galling though to replace a science show with this crap.

    Steve Edney

    November 29, 2006 at 10:23 pm

  5. Second Opinion actually won last year’s ‘Bent Spoon’ Award. If the ABC keeps this up, it’ll be in the running for another gong. Go here for a nice pic of the trophy and some background to the award.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 10:28 pm

  6. While you are at it complain for me about that ‘new age” show they run on radio over xmas break – New Dimensions
    http://www.newdimensions.org/

    Francis X Holden

    November 29, 2006 at 10:31 pm

  7. Hop over to the Skeptics’ site and nominate them for the Bent Spoon, FXH. Truly classic!

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 10:44 pm

  8. so what’s the implicit assumption here? That only morons don’t go on long X’mas breaks?

    Jason Soon

    November 29, 2006 at 10:49 pm

  9. Why is it that so many usually solid programmes disappear for so long in the Australian summer? I mean, OK, people are entitled to a holiday etc but in this day and age what is the excuse for a programme like Lateline going AWOL for two whole months?

    C.L.

    November 29, 2006 at 11:17 pm

  10. Journos are like lawyers, CL. They like their ‘recess’.

    skepticlawyer

    November 29, 2006 at 11:31 pm

  11. I am surprised you call it a sceptic post. Sceptics, I thought, are people who question general wisdom, entrenched dogmas and maybe even “scientific consensus”. In my view you do not need to be a sceptic (in the ideological sense of the word) to be sceptical about such rubbish.

    Boris

    November 29, 2006 at 11:47 pm

  12. I only hear New Dimensions because I’m a late late or allnight listener mostly to RN.
    I can’t do just music when trying to sleep.

    Sometimes when feckin’ cricket or soccer is on BBC radio and ABC local AM or that idiot Trevor Chappell is on overnight my only option is RN and New Dimensions.

    My estimation is that about 10% of their interviews are actually OK on say, philosophy, but an amazing amount is shyster mumbo jumbo, I’ve even heard people doing a loud dog whistle that they could cure cancer with “positive thinking”

    Francis X Holden

    November 29, 2006 at 11:54 pm

  13. “Lateline going AWOL for two whole months? ”

    1. it’s the public service
    2. it gives right wingers a breather from incessant left wing drivel

    The thing that gets me is that every time we have a post on the ABC someone comes in and tells us how great the ABC is compared to commerical TV.

    I thought about that and came to the conclusion these people are smokng something or they are too lazy to get their facts straight.

    Commenrcial TV is infinitely superior to the ABC. The knack is to know figure what to look for.

    Ther best fictional pragramming by far comes out of the US HBO. HBO has put together some fantastic shows.

    Curb your enthusiasm
    Deadwood
    Six Feet under
    Sex and the City
    Sopranos
    All sorts of HBO documentaries

    And most recently

    The Entourage… One of the best shows I have ever seen on TV

    We have to look around for these porgrams as HBO here is not the same as HBO America but they are there if you look for them spread out across the sprectrum and cable.

    Even Sky news is good and very interactive.

    If you want science stuff there always the Discovery channel and others.

    The Abc costs us about $800 million and more if we could put a cost on the grief it causes to those who don’t hold a far left/green party view of the world. Full Cable costs about $800. Sell the ABC and give us the tax break whereby an additional 1,000,000 housholds could buy cable service.

    JC.

    November 29, 2006 at 11:55 pm

  14. I’m more a radio person but I reckon TV improves over the non-ratings period with more obscure docos and fillers of quality.

    Francis X Holden

    November 29, 2006 at 11:56 pm

  15. back to the original post – I have done no research but I am not aware that any police department has ever paid a psychic to work on a case, despite all the claims.

    Francis X Holden

    November 29, 2006 at 11:58 pm

  16. No argument from me on HBO, JC. It’s the best.

    C.L.

    November 30, 2006 at 12:54 am

  17. I think when talking about Australian ABC we should compare it with Australian commercial channels not the US. Is there anyone who watches Channel 7, 9 or 10 regularly? Big brother, australian idol, dancing with the stars etc.?

    I only watch SBS. Saw a good movie “talk to her” just the other day.

    Boris

    November 30, 2006 at 2:07 am

  18. privatise the ABC & SBS 🙂

    John Humphreys

    November 30, 2006 at 4:27 am

  19. Boris: You’re wrong. You should compare it to the pay TV stations, because channel 7, 9, and 10 are advertiser supported, whereas the ABC is a (forced) subscription service.

    I don’t watch “free-to-air” TV at all – I exclusively watch Foxtel for the small amount of TV I do watch (soon to be a little bit more when the 24-hour sci-fi channel starts on Friday).

    yobbo

    November 30, 2006 at 4:45 am

  20. My nephew calls SBS the ‘international porn channel’. Mind you, they did a good job of the Ashes last year after Ch 9 bugged out.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 9:00 am

  21. No they did a great job of covering the Ashes.Much better than 9 could ever do.

    Much the same could be said for football and the World cup.

    If either were privatised they would end up as bad as 7,9 or 10!

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 10:04 am

  22. Sorry dudes.

    You can’t complain about this shit – it’s the DIRECT result of pressure put on the ABC to rate, and to dumb down.

    This is what you wanted – a competitive ABC. Competing for the hearts and tiny minds of the lowest common denominator.

    You win. I give up. Might as well privatise it now.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 10:11 am

  23. “You can’t complain about this shit – it’s the DIRECT result of pressure put on the ABC to rate, and to dumb down. ”

    You mean the pressure to stop towing the hard green left line on our dime. Is that what you mean? I hope they trash the useless place.
    It was never any good. Even when it was conservative it ran with a high Tory snooty attitude.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 12:18 pm

  24. No JC, there are twofold pressures on the ABC. On the one hand, to tow (sic) the Government line, the other to rate well (i.e. dumb down).

    This piece-of-shit fluff program is a result of the latter.

    “Even when it was conservative”

    You mean like 2 weeks back when 7:30 ran an extended piece on how state ALP govts were on the nose right across the country, giving detailed investigative reports (you know, like 7 and 9 do on welfare mums and bacteria living in your s-bend) into their dodgy business dealings, personal scandals and inconsistent/uncosted policies?

    Those blinkers are a perfect fit, JC. Who’s your optometrist?

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 12:27 pm

  25. FDB
    Read what Yobbo said. He makes the point that the ABC ought to be compared to cable stations and not free to air as we are forced to pay a subscription whereas free to air survives off advertising dollars.

    The ABC fails miserably in terms of its content compared to the wealth of great programming you will find on cable. you just need to look for it.

    Anyway, I’m not buying into the argument whether the ABC is biased. it is, but that’s not the point. I shouldn’t be compelled to pay for a radio or TV station that caters to the inner suburban set. If they want it they ought to pay it themselves.

    Moreover, the nonsense that the ABC has superior programming doesn’t hold either. that’s just bullshit when you’ve witnssed what comes out of HBO America.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 1:05 pm

  26. compared to cable channels?

    How is that. They get a completely different revenue stream for a start.

    Ever heard of comparing apples with apples

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 1:32 pm

  27. “the ABC ought to be compared to cable stations”

    Ones without advertising only would be a fairer comparison.

    Fairer still to look at ones FROM AUSTRALIA without advertising, unless you think it’s appropriate to get all our culture/news from another country with such a huge market that a 0.5% share constitutes a massive business opportunity.

    So then, ABC versus Channel 31 is it?

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 2:20 pm

  28. FDB says:
    “You mean like 2 weeks back when 7:30 ran an extended piece on how state ALP govts were on the nose right across the country, giving detailed investigative reports (you know, like 7 and 9 do on welfare mums and bacteria living in your s-bend) into their dodgy business dealings, personal scandals and inconsistent/uncosted policies?”

    This shit just goes right over your head doesn’t it FDB. The investigation you breathlessly bring up has all to do with good governance. It’s the ideological aspect we have a problem with.

    Leftists can govern effectively when acting on their mandate….like Hawke and Homer’s favourite foul mouth, Keating. They appeared to demonstrate good governance.

    That’s quite different when talking about the hard green left ideology “My ABC” espouses whenever they get the chance.

    In other words you can still be a inner city, tree hugging, gaia worshiping lefty skank and still hold to governance.

    Try to understand the difference, FDB, that way you can keep up with the conversation.

    Homer,
    Stop dumbing this discussion down. it’s most unlike you.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 2:45 pm

  29. “That’s quite different when talking about the hard green left ideology “My ABC” espouses whenever they get the chance.
    In other words you can still be a inner city, tree hugging, gaia worshiping lefty skank and still hold to governance.”

    Ah, so this is a conversation about the straw-ABC. Not sure I’m that interested any more then.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 2:50 pm

  30. FDB
    Get your head round this. good governance and ideology are two entirely different things. there is not surprise “My ABC” would bring up the shitty way labor governments are behaving.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 2:54 pm

  31. Ah, so you’re saying that regardless of their ‘ideology’ the ABC does a good job of governing itself.

    This would seem inconsistent with your assertions of bias, no?

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 3:03 pm

  32. And here’s me thinking I was going to get people to hop over to the Skeptics’ site and come up with some good nominations for the Bent Spoon. Alas, not to be.

    Why is this kind of pseudoscience so appealing, I wonder.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 3:08 pm

  33. No FDB

    I am responding to that pathetic attempt of yours breathlessly trying to explain to us that yes, “My ABC” has set a historic precedent by investigating shfity, dishonest labor governments in between having Pliger, Chomsky and Fisk provide us their unbiased views. They weren’t around that day, obviously.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 3:16 pm

  34. “Why is this kind of pseudoscience so appealing, I wonder.”

    Because it is easy to understand…. meaning you don’t have to think too hard. I actually think it suits the ABC audience down to a T.

    If you can have Pliger and Fisk as middle east experts voicing opinion why would the same audience not believe in ghosts and creepy things that are around at night.

    Yes, they did their home work and are targeting their client base accurately it seems.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 3:21 pm

  35. “Why is this kind of pseudoscience so appealing, I wonder.”

    I think it’s really perverse. The appeal to supernatural belief comes (these days, mostly) from the percieved failure of science to ‘explain everything’. Yet they want their paranormal oddities dressed up as science. There’s this desire to believe that science will some day “prove” the existence of supernatural phenomena. Thereby somehow undermining itself, and justifying the grasping superstition of people who think that any unanswered question necessitates faith in something or other.

    A true scientist, skeptic or simply rational thinker regards unanswered questions as either:

    a) Badly or wrongly formulated questions

    b) Interesting avenues of empirical investigation

    c) Topics for theoretical speculation on the basis of existing knowledge and mathematics

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 3:40 pm

  36. what is the problem of the ABC having a series on this.

    Hasn’t anyone here ever watched ACA or TDT?

    What a bunch of elitists you lot are.

    I have not watched Pilger Chomsky or Fisk on TV or heard them on radio but I would like Fisk to be on a lot more.

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 3:45 pm

  37. SL

    FDB and Homer types are “My Abc’s” target audience.

    They’re lefties, they believe in supernatural economics and FDB thinks Gaia is a little ill at the moment.

    In other words their audience is the well educated, self satisfied economic ignormanus lefty.

    I wouldn’t add homer to this group normally but he kind of demanded it by his last comment

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 4:13 pm

  38. JC,

    Fisk is one of the better corresponents on the Middle East.

    your problem with him is thast he isn’t pro-Israeli

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 4:17 pm

  39. “what is the problem of the ABC having a series on this?
    Hasn’t anyone here ever watched ACA or TDT?”

    1) The problem is it’s stupid.
    2) Yes, and they are stupid.

    JC:

    “well educated, self satisfied economic ignormanus lefty.”

    One the last count, you’re right. I’ve never claimed to be a good economist though, just tend to assume that the usual rules of cause/effect, complex modelling, self-interest, etc will apply. As opposed to the strange assumption that seems to pervade your thinking, whereby all we need is growth: more trade, more everything. Seems nihilist to me, and doesn’t seem to be very good for the environment. Common-sense economist at best.

    But no, not well-educated and certainly not self-satisfied.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 4:47 pm

  40. “As opposed to the strange assumption that seems to pervade your thinking, whereby all we need is growth: more trade, more everything. Seems nihilist to me, and doesn’t seem to be very good for the environment.”

    You’ve got the gist but economics can be counter-intuitive. Liberal markets lead to efficient resource use, see the effects of subsidised sugar and cotton on the environment. The role of technology increasing productivity in farming has seen forestation in the US increase in the last 80 years. Liberal trade policies see specialisation and therefore efficient use of arable land. What’s not to love?

    Mark Hill

    November 30, 2006 at 5:11 pm

  41. FDB Says:
    “As opposed to the strange assumption that seems to pervade your thinking, whereby all we need is growth: more trade, more everything. Seems nihilist to me, and doesn’t seem to be very good for the environment. Common-sense economist at best.”

    Wasn’t I right people?

    Homer, why are you hanging with this crowd. As a Christian you ought to feel ashamed of yourself. Redeem yourself now before it’s too late.

    FDB

    One last thing stop hijacking terms. “Nihilism” is a terms that decribes a very special place in hell for all those self satisfied lefties that watch the abc expecting the poor to finance their entertainment. Like you, FDB.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 5:15 pm

  42. What ABL elegently describes is what we were taught in high school economics. What were you doing behind during those times FDB?

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 5:20 pm

  43. Yeah Mark – I’m already on the record as saying that protectionist agriculture is bad for the environment. Stands to reason, it’s not at all counter-intuitive. Grow shit where it grows best, provided it stores well enough for transport by sea. Stuff you need to eat fresh – grow it near where you live and eat it in season.

    Labour is the only resource I’m interested in protecting in an interventionist fashion, and even then only such that minimum conditions of fairness and safety are met. Couldn’t give a rat’s about farming out production overseas as long as the quality is good (contra Bangalore call centres) and the workers are safe and well-payed (contra Nike et al, or *some* 457 work visas for local labour).

    Anyway, my pointless wrangling with the semi-literate JC has taken this thread WAY off-topic, for which I apologise.

    ABC=good, but getting worse thanks to interference. I don’t understand why youse all feel the need to compare it to anything – it does you no favours because the comparisons are either ridiculous (ABC vs HBO) or unflattering (ABC vs anything from Australia). Why not accept it on its considerable merits (after fairly evaluating them ROFWL).

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 5:36 pm

  44. ABL = Mark Hill?

    Anyhoo, why single out the ABC for such vehement criticism? A lot more of your tax goes on much stupider things.

    Oh wait, maybe the strategy here is to make the ABC so completely shit that it really IS the worst possible waste of taxpayer money, and all opposition to selling or scrapping it will disappear. Machiavellian genius!

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 5:42 pm

  45. Alright, I’m sorry to clog this shit up, but I just noticed the title of this post.

    Very telling.

    Finally we ideologues have an actual reason to bash the ABC.”

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 5:44 pm

  46. A great marker for telling leftiods from normal people. They’re the ones most concerned with typos and not allowing for a comma.

    Works like a dream.

    FDB says:
    Yeah Mark – I’m already on the record as saying that protectionist agriculture is bad for the environment.

    But then he has just said:

    As opposed to the strange assumption that seems to pervade your thinking, whereby all we need is growth: more trade, more everything. Seems nihilist to me.

    That’s the quickest 180 I have ever seen. We still don’t know what he supports. He is certinly lying though.

    “Labour is the only resource I’m interested in protecting in an interventionist fashion, and even then only such that minimum conditions of fairness and safety are met.”

    Meaning he needs a panel of self satisfied idiots to tell people how they conduct their economic lives while leaving a trail of unemployed at the dole office and blaming free enterprise as a result. All the while watching…. government supported TV station.

    “ABC=good, but getting worse thanks to interference”

    How so? Explain. Not because they have been told to be more even handed with our money.

    “I don’t understand why youse all feel the need to compare it to anything – it does you no favours because the comparisons are either ridiculous”

    that’s how people select entertainment, you idiot. They comparison shop. Tell us you never look at a TV guide.

    What a dope.

    JC.

    November 30, 2006 at 5:49 pm

  47. Oh FFS.

    I’m not going to bother explaining AGAIN to you how my economic ideas come about. It’s NOT ideology though, and there is nothing contradictory in what I’ve said. Subtlety is clearly beyond you.

    On topic though…

    “Tell us you never look at a TV guide.”

    I look at the programs JC. I don’t go on ideological crusades against channels, just because they cost me $40 per annum*. Some programs are interesting to me. I watch them. Some are not. I don’t watch them.

    *Actually, if the ABC keeps getting shitter, I might have to revise this. But not just because I hate government services in principle.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 6:03 pm

  48. A letter to gladden skeptics’ hearts. After his complaint, a member received this respose from the ABC:

    Dear Mr ********

    Thank you for your email regarding ‘Psychic Investigators’.

    The ABC regrets that you are unhappy about the decision to broadcast this series. Psychic Investigators is a series in which police involved in investigating crimes, in the absence of evidence indicating the guilt of a particular perpetrator, have called upon the services of psychics as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case. These are actual documented police investigations and the police involved are interviewed in the series, along with the psychic employed. Many of the
    police involved state that they were initially sceptical that a psychic would be of any help and that they were astounded by the information
    they learned. The cases covered in the series took place in the UK and North America and cover a range of crimes.

    Catalyst recesses every year over the summer. Thursday nights at 8.00pm is not a dedicated science timeslot, in fact last year over the summer the ABC showed Creature Comforts and Nigel’s Place in France in this
    timeslot.

    As the national broadcaster, the ABC has an obligation to appeal to a diverse range of tastes. Nonetheless, your comments about this series
    are noted and have been conveyed to ABC Television.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact the ABC.

    Yours sincerely

    Cathy Brown
    ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

    Well well well… I think I want my 8 cents back!

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 7:58 pm

  49. what because they show a series about loopy pscyhics.

    Gimme a break

    Bring Back CL's Blog

    November 30, 2006 at 8:32 pm

  50. Who cares what the ABC is doing? The Scifi channel starts at midnight.

    http://www.scifitv.com.au/home/

    Sinclair Davidson

    November 30, 2006 at 8:33 pm

  51. As I said on another thread, if Foxtel stops trying to sell me some dumb ‘package’, and lets me buy the channels I want (for which I’m willing to pay extra), then I’ll sign up, but not until. Home Shopping Network does not interest me in the slightest, and I refuse to receive it in order to watch the cricket and sf.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 8:47 pm

  52. Now SL.

    What is your explanation of the post title. See #45.

    Is this an admission that only accusations of poor quality programming are legitimate criticisms of the ABC?

    If so, why “at last”? Why have you been hanging out for an excuse to ‘bash’ them?

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 10:02 pm

  53. I think the ABC is biased, FDB, but I don’t particularly care. My personal experiences with the media have made me almost completely cynical about everything they report (ABC and commercial both).

    Lack of accuracy – and in my experience, the ABC was just as bad as the commercials in this respect, along with lack of accountability – means I think all media is crap. I’ve blogged on the accountability issues elsewhere – I think there should be some comeback on the press in a legal sense when they fuck up so badly people are damaged – either in a civil or criminal sense. Otherwise, I don’t care. The media are stuffed, and the sooner their advertising revenue goes down the toilet because they can’t make the online thing work for them, the better.

    That said, as an amateur science buff, I really dislike deliberate horseshit. The stuff the media did about me amounted to the media class believing its own bullshit. Psychic Investigators involves a highly deliberate untruth. There is a difference.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 10:13 pm

  54. Okay, so why the post?

    You’ve got DAILY ammunition against the commercial outlets on all the above criteria.

    Don’t be evasive. This was a deliberate crusade on the basis of your pre-exisisting ideological opposition to the ABC, in celebration of finally having a genuine complaint that none of the ABC’s defenders would go in to bat for.

    In other words, a cheap shot.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 10:21 pm

  55. For a self-professed enthusiast for the nobility of the hunt, you seem very keen on shooting fish in a barrel.

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 10:23 pm

  56. Yes, but I don’t pay for them in my taxes, FDB.

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 10:24 pm

  57. No, you pay for them by:

    a) wasting 1/6 of your viewing time looking at ads

    and b) having your information distorted according to commercial interests (see a)

    FDB

    November 30, 2006 at 10:29 pm

  58. That’s what tivos are for… and mute buttons between overs and during drinks, FDB 🙂

    skepticlawyer

    November 30, 2006 at 10:48 pm

  59. FDB,

    You are not obliged to pay for commercial television. ie you can just not watch it and not waste anytime watching adds. While I’ll be appalled when channel 10 runs psychic investigators, I don’t have to pay for it. I do with the ABC, and I threfore expect them not to be pushing bullshit.

    Overall I’m quite happy paying for the ABC in my taxes. I think they produce a number of shows that are beneficial and wouldn’t otherwise be support. They are producing public goods increasing knowledge of science etc with catalyst. They are taking away these goods by running quackery.

    Steve Edney

    November 30, 2006 at 10:49 pm

  60. For some reason I found this whole episode really annoying. Even worse, the show was lame as well. Sensing Murder was better, which isn’t saying much.

    skepticlawyer

    December 1, 2006 at 12:33 am

  61. I had a bad nightmare, when I was a kid, of a scary car crash. I woke up my mum and dad and told them about it. The next morning as mum drove us to school we had a head on collision.

    My sister got up one morning and insisted (to my mum) that she was going to break her leg that day. Latter while riding her horse a friends horse kicked her in the leg and snapped the bone.

    True stories. Proving of course that I am from a family of psychics.

    I predict that the ABC will not be privatised before the next election.

    🙂

    terjepetersen

    December 1, 2006 at 1:07 am


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