The condemnation is coming largely from people who continue to be part of a relentless scare campaign over the pandemic, exacerbating fear rather than reassuring the public. The same cohort habitually underestimate the intelligence of the public, preferring to shield them from contrary views rather than trusting them to be discerning.
Politicians and journalists have almost unequalled access to platforms for debate and discussion. Instead of cancelling people they should contest them, instead of de-platforming them they should debate them.
I’m quoting from an article just published by Chris Kenny. He writes:
The efforts of the Left and the media pack to cancel Craig Kelly are at once pathetic and frightening. They are pretending he is an anti-vaxxer, pretending he is issuing dangerous medical advice and pretending he is wrong.
This is a classic example of how the green Left narrative and the general media, journalist narrative usually run in parallel. They work together pushing the same line but the very basis of their attack is seldom tested or scrutinised.
If you are a journalist or a politician and you really believe these things about Craig Kelly, then it is easy; detail the facts, show us what he has said, and demonstrate that it is wrong.
But they fail to do this. We have seen Kelly mocked in interviews on breakfast television, in the hallways of parliament and in countless pieces of commentary. There is plenty of heat but not much light.
It spilt into the hallways of parliament on Wednesday morning when Tanya Plibersek had a go at Kelly and he had a go back. It was unseemly but the most telling point came from Kelly, urging Plibersek to read the medical research. Predictably, the media called it for the Labor antagonist.
Kelly should not have shared a platform with loopy anti-vaxxer Pete Evans, but beyond that he has done little more than contribute to a sensible, open and well-referenced debate about research and trials into potential COVID-19 treatments.
He is not an anti-vaxxer. After those ugly corridor scenes, the prime minister called Kelly in to tell him to settle down, which is rather unfortunate, because this means giving in to the bullies.
It is better to accept the assessment from leading immunologist Professor Robert Clancy, as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, hardly barrackers for a conservative like Kelly.
Professor Clancy said he didn’t know Craig Kelly or agree with everything he has said but that he was “absolutely right” about hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
“Early treatment is highly effective,” he said, “Vaccines are critically important. They should not be seen as mutually exclusive. You need them both.”
Yet, Labor, the Greens and most of the press gallery continue to bay for Kelly’s blood, demand that he be silenced, and they do this without making their case, without detailing errors, and without showing the basic qualities of research, scepticism and objectivity they are supposed to practice.
Tanya Plibersek clashes with Craig Kelly in halls of press gallery
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek has clashed with Liberal MP Craig Kelly accusing him of peddling quack COVID-19 cures in the halls of the press gallery.
And for all this, Kelly is now under real threat because he is providing a political distraction. This is a ridiculous way to conduct a searching discussion about a many-pronged attack against a global pandemic.
Written by Chris Kenny, and just now published at The Australian.
The feature image is Craig with me at Bob Carter’s funeral in Townsville.