Because its opinion page was once again used to promote misinformation about opinion polls to promote the cultural cringe so beloved of the elites, I sent this letter to the Herald on Saturday, 28 January, 2006.
If it is published , I shall send the editor a free copy of my book, "Malice in Media Land" .
The Sydney Morning Herald has still not corrected Gerard Henderson’s monumental error on 24 January about the Newspoll finding on the level of support for a republic on the succession of Prince Charles. He said it found that this would push support for a republic from the current 46% to a remarkable 66%.
Actually it was 52%, falling rapidly, and indicating any referendum would be well and truly defeated.
The Herald wrote an editorial a few days later on Australia Day, a big part of which was based on the effect of Prince Charles on support for a republic. Still no correction, although I wrote twice, and News poll had drawn the author’s attention to the fact he was a massive 14% out.
Leaving this to run for one week until Gerard Henderson finally corrects it in his weekly article is not what readers expect from the Herald.
On Saturday, 28 January the Herald featured an opinion piece from a director of the flag changing organization, Ausflag. In his piece, Brendan Jones claims “Australia has the world’s most unpopular flag”. He says half the population has expressed “no confidence” in the flag, whose popularity he wrongly says peaked in the sixties at about seventy percent.
This is not so. According to a survey commissioned by the National Australia Day Council, those who support the Australian flag, complete with the Union Jack, outnumber those who want to change it by eight to one. (Daily Telegraph, 27 January, 2006 http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story/0,20281,17947066-5001030,00.html)
Must readers conclude that the Herald, when it has a barrow to push, prefers fiction over fact.
In the meantime, it seems the flag changers will never forgive you if you change your mind. Just because Malcolm Turnbull saw the light over our Flag, Ausflag has decided to launch an attack on him: http://www.ausflag.com.au/debate/turnbull.html
I suppose this takes their minds off the ghastly alternatives they propose for our wonderful, beloved flag.
Apparently , their view is once a flag changer, always a flag changer.