How ‘brain-sex’ with Robert Doyle led to the Quadrant hoax

Yesterday I went along to a Melbourne Writers Festival session on Australian hoaxes, from Ern Malley to Quadrant (one of the panel was my friend Simon Caterson, whose book on hoaxes is out later this year).

Session chair and Meanjin editor Sophie Cunningham began by quoting from an article she had published by Quadrant hoaxer Katherine Wilson, an article I had missed (perhaps because I miss everything that is published in Meanjin).

Wilson briefly rejects a point I made at the time, that this wasn’t a good hoax because it didn’t attack a position associated with Quadrant. In her article as ‘Sharon Gould’, Wilson used her own obsession with GM foods, rather than Quadrant‘s obsession with climate change scepticism.

But another point I made is supported by Wilson’s Meanjin piece. I said that

she wants to discredit Quadrant and Windschuttle in particular not by directly taking issue with what they publish, but by making them look foolish by publishing an article she had booby-trapped with errors and false statements

The real surprise in Wilson’s article is the bizarre source for her political strategy – the English classes of former schoolteacher and Victorian Opposition leader and current Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
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