Vacuous ravings in the Herald | The Jackal

28 Jul 2014

Vacuous ravings in the Herald

You know it's a slow news day with nothing in particular to attack the Labour party over when journalists in New Zealand undertake a bit of navel gazing. Much like their biased political opinions, most reporters are invariably prejudiced in favour of their peers and themselves when trying to analyse their own belief system.

With so much opinion passed off as fact these days and an inevitable backlash in the form of complaint letters and negative online commentary, it's little wonder that the press is trying to make themselves feel a bit better. A good example of this egotistical reporting is in the NZ Herald today, with Audrey Young writing:

Policies, plans, people all part of campaign coverage

Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate form the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury.

We'll also be working with our cousins from NewstalkZB, Mike Hosking and Rachel Smalley will have occasional columns.

What Audrey Young is basically saying is that we can either expect a total absence of any left wing guest writers in the Herald or she simply thought they weren't worth mentioning at all. Instead we can expect some badly written delusions from one of the most right wing spin doctors out there, Cathy Odgers, some biased opinions from a failed Labour candidate now turned National party attack dog, Josie Pagani, and Mark Sainsbury who will probably tow the line. Together they will likely regurgitate National's political messaging verbatim.

Then we have National's most loyal propagandist's from NewstalkZB including Mike Hosking buddying up with the Herald, the sometimes moderate but usually biased Rachel Smalley giving government MP's a hospital pass and the rest of the Herald "team" who is predominated by those clearly in support of National. You can bet your bottom dollar that they will be working hard throughout the election campaign to get John Key re-elected.

After glowing praises for her right wing colleges, Audrey Young also decides to write about just how wonderful a few hand picked Herald journalists are, including John Armstrong:

John has a special place in NZ political journalism. He is the most respected commentator in the Press Gallery, among both peers and politicians.

What he says matters a great deal to politicians but he doesn't write with them or their acolytes in mind. He is always focused on ordinary readers and voters and providing them with insightful commentary to understand politics better.

The first campaign he covered was in 1987, the middle of the fourth Labour Government. Last year, he was the Canon Columnist of the Year.

Considering the hate merchant Cameron Slater also won a Media Award, Canon's recognition for Armstrong really means very little at all. What the Heralds most senior journalist thinks often doesn't matter either, because he's basically a senile old fool! John Armstrong is clearly past his used by date and should do democracy a favour and retire.

Considering the amount of baseless attacks on left wing politicians the NZ Herald has been running lately while ignoring anything to do with their socially progressive policy announcements, perhaps a few more resignations are in order as well.

How else can they hope to restore any semblance of balance to their reporting? Because without the publication changing it's obviously pro-National tune, we the general public should view it for what it really is; government propaganda dressed up as campaign coverage.