Article – Astonishing lack of self-awareness at The Age

August 25, 2013
Sinclair Davidson
Catallaxy Files
The Age has a hit piece on the IPA this morning.

Some of the world’s largest companies have dropped financial support and membership of free-market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs amid concern at its vociferous campaign against action on climate change.

Sounds shocking, but …

Despite the loss of this support The Sunday Age can reveal the IPA is now Australia’s wealthiest private think tank after a surge in donations and fund-raising from individuals that helped it double its revenue in just four years.

The bolding is mine.
There is an interesting dichotomy there – “private” think tank. To differentiate from all the government sponsored and bank-rolled organisations that pass themselves off as think tanks I suppose.
So while trying to smear the IPA as the mouth piece for big business (read: rent seekers) The Age exposes the IPA as an organisation with broad grass roots.
What really intrigued me was this:

But the IPA, which this year celebrated its 70th anniversary as a research agency, has also drawn criticism for the corporate funding it receives; which it has always refused to disclose.
Mr Roskam confirmed it had received money from a Gina Rinehart-backed organisation, Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision. The IPA collaborated with Mrs Rinehart to promote northern development through special cuts to taxes and regulation.
Both major parties now broadly support that policy.
Mrs Rinehart, the major shareholder in Fairfax Media (owner of The Sunday Age), did not respond to requests for comment.

That last sentence coming at the very end of the article is actually the most important. Gina Rinehart is the single largest shareholder in Fairfax. So The Age invites us to believe that the IPA should be criticised for receiving some funding from the same person who makes the single largest contribution to funding The Age itself. Really?

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