Yes ladies and gentlemen. It is that time of the week again. Brought to you by I Am Spartacus is Van Onselen Watch – VOW.
As Cats know, Spartacus does not have a $5 million budget or a team of 15 like ABC’s Media Watch. Nor does Spartacus have the dry wit and rhetorical skills of Gerard Henderson of They Sydney Institute’s Media Watch Dog. But we’ll give it that old college try.
Writing last Saturday in the Australian, on the subject of polls (as in the things conducted by Newspoll and not the people coming from Poland), Van Onselen wrote:
Some commentators have pledged not to write about the polls because of their distorting influence on politics, challenging others to do the same. I see this as the equivalent of ignoring data that fills in blanks when trying to piece together what’s going on. The academic in me can’t do that.
The academic in him can’t do that. Hmmm. But in being the academic he is, Van Onselen does not bother to actually analyse the data, but rather goes on a long winded and methane emitting gossip session including this insightful and evidence supported statement:
By the time of the 2007 election, having trailed in the polls consistently during that term, Howard couldn’t manage a fifth comeback. That was partly because the polls became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Rudd’s momentum was unstoppable.
Unstoppable eh. Hows that for academic rigor from Van Onselen the academic.
But Van Onselen’s evidence and data driven academic mindset and wisdom is not limited to the dear students at the University of Western Australia and Griffith University. Professor Van Onselen, for a Professor he is, also shares his academic research on Twitter; as he did earlier today:
Strong assertions. No evidence. Sting in the tail. You’d think with that kind of academic rigor he would qualify for the Australian of the Year award in the Tim Flannery division. Good thing there is the academic in him.
PS – does anyone have a Dutch-English dictionary out there? What is the translation of Van Onselen? Spartacus threw in “peter van onselen” into Google Translate and it came back with “godfather of usen”. That seems imply leadership and usefulness, but clearly that can’t be the case here.
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