Lopsided journalism | The Jackal

8 Apr 2013

Lopsided journalism

There's recently been some talk about the media being biased towards the left, with well known propagandist Karl du Fresne writing in the Nelson Mail:

So what might the new RNZ chief executive do to enhance the organisation’s standing in a political climate that is less than favourable? One obvious step is to take a tougher line against the editorial bias that still permeates some RNZ programmes.

The topic of Karl du Fresne's article's were covered by The Nation, here's the video:

Karl du Fresne's idiotic scribbling’s have also been well countered by Chris Trotter, who writes:

Not for him the healthy contest of ideas or the testing questioning of a critical intelligence. No. To Mr du Fresne, Kim Hill, Chris Laidlaw, Jeremy Rose and (Lord spare us!) Kathryn Ryan, are voices without legitimacy: wilful heretics who dare to challenge the majesty of neoliberal thought.

The question is whether such testing so to speak is justified? Consider how woeful the National government is performing to reduce things like childhood poverty for instance, and there's your answer. But to undermine that justified line of questioning we have claims by polemicists that public broadcasting organisations tend to be left leaning, and things therefore need to change to favour the right.

It's a tactic oft employed by the devious, to attack their opponents on something they're doing themselves. Who to believe when the left says right-wing journalists are being biased and vice versa... Well look no further than this weekends Q+A, in which Susan Wood interviews Labour leader David Shearer:

DAVID When you sell a state-owned asset like Mighty River Power you forego the income that that brings in.

SUSAN I understand that.

DAVID So what you're effectively doing- It's like selling your business, putting an extension on your house - you feel much better for that, but you lose the income from the sale.

SUSAN OK, but they [National] are getting the books back into surplus. They are getting their house in order.

Shows how much Wood knows about the state of the nation and the loss of revenue from selling our most profitable assets.

It should also be highlighted that National and Treasury have failed to meet all of their previous predictions concerning surpluses since National came to power, so why does Wood think their latest imaginings are going to be accurate?

To any reasonable journalist the highest rate of government borrowing we've ever seen coupled with substantial underemployment shouldn't be considered "getting their house in order". Only a true "believer" in neoliberal ideology would spout such inanities with the certainty Susan Wood does.

But the bit that really shows Susan's true colours is when she says:

SUSAN And it's his right. It is his right to select whoever he wants for that job.

Wrong! There's an appointment process that if properly followed wouldn't allow anybody to simply be shoulder tapped for such a high level position. That process includes a call for nominees and ensuring that they have the skills required before any shortlist is presented for consideration. In all cases the most qualified and most skilled person should be chosen... With the GCSB appointment, that clearly hasn't been the case.

But after such a monumental cognitive fail by Susan Wood, she then goes on the attack about David Shearer's brain fade concerning him only recently putting an overseas bank account on the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests.

SUSAN Didn't you lose your right for privacy around it when you forgot to declare it? When you broke the rules and did not declare it?

DAVID No, I absolutely did not. I said that I made an error. I myself came forward and corrected that error. I took it on the chin and said 'here it is'. And I expect that to be the standard by which all politicians operate if they do make a mistake.

SUSAN That's what John Key did this week. He said he'd made a mistake and he fessed up. Exactly the same scenario.

Clearly Susan Wood hasn't kept abreast of what has occurred... John Key is obviously friends with Ian Fletcher and that's why he was chosen to be the boss of the GCSB. We have seen that friendship displayed in numerous ways but most prominently by the GCSB protecting Key from the fallout surrounding the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom, which National has tried to cover up.

It's highly unlikely that the Prime Minister simply forgot that he'd called up his mate about the job, dismissed the other candidates in favour of Ian Fletcher or that they'd recently met on three separate occasions, which means he's once again misled the House of Representatives with his evasive answers to straight forward questions. There's no comparison to be made, because Shearer hasn't misled the House.

To think that John Key appointing his mate Ian Fletcher to be the head of the GCSB isn't a case of outright cronyism is quite frankly delusional! To then try and justify that improper appointment because of Shearers' bran fade is somewhat pathetic!

What this all really shows is that like the majority of journalists in New Zealand, Susan Wood is entirely biased towards the right. This is often the case because their funding depends on governmental decisions and as National has shown on many occasions, they're not averse to closing down media outlets that don't tow the party line. However journalists are also sometimes biased because they're appointed as a result of the exact cronyism Wood is trying (and failing) to defend.

The only positive thing about that Q+A interview is despite Susan Wood being highly disrespectful, argumentative and at times downright acidic towards David Shearer, he did pretty well to counter her right wing delusions! But really, why should he have to while John Key and his cronies are given a free ride by our mainstream media?