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Spot the difference

May 27, 2011
Same newspaper, same reporter, same week, similar story
 
So, why was Clayton Cosgrove immediately plastered across the top of page two with a bold headline, while Paul Quin gets tucked away at the bottom of page two, two days after the event, and layered in National Party spin?
 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5062221/MP-regrets-rape-comment

I’m pretty sure we all know the answer; while Opposition MP’s are seen as fair game , with Fairfax refusing to let the truth get in the way of an attack, National MP’s are given the courtesy of a couple of days to get their story sorted before it gets printed, generally from their preferred point of view. Indeed, while the intro to Wednesday’s story has Labour’s Cosgrove “forced to defend himself after calling an MP ‘old sooty’ during a parliamentary debate”, today’s story simply has National’s Quinn “apologising for his remark” before immediately giving the story over to him to explain a “misunderstanding” in the second paragraph. Contrast this with the EIGHT paragraphs Fairfax take to get around to Cosgrove’s version of events on Wednesday, and a pretty clear picture of ongoing bias emerges.

This could of course be put down to coincidence…if it was a one off, but as documented on this page, these ‘coincidences’ occur most days in the Dom Post. In fact, Quinn made his comments, that “there is a real problem with young ladies getting drunk” during a debate about rape, live on TVNZ 7’s Backbenchers on Wednesday night, well before 10pm. Yet, the story didn’t appear in the Dom until Friday, once Quinn – and presumably Crosby Textor – had had plenty of time to spin their way out of it.

Fairness, accuracy, balance? Not at Fairfax folks!

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One Comment
  1. Oh, and with a “slut walk” planned in Wellington, which of these two stories is really the most newsworthy to any independent newspaper?

    It’s a no brainer innit!

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