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Polarising “left-leaning” blog more about marginalisation than balance

June 9, 2011

 Bad Blog blues + more dirt heaped on Hughes

Oh goodie! Look!!
Those nice balanced people at Fairfax have introduced a new blogger, just to show how ‘balanced’ they really are.
They’ve even been kind enough to ensure that it’s a polarising pundit who will alienate centrist, swinging voters.  And, just to make sure we understand, there’s a cute little sub-heading saying “Left leaning”. Brilliant!
Can we assume that their other columnists, political editors and editorial writers will now be tagged “Right leaning”…just so we all know?

No disrespect to John Pagani – who I’ll admit I know very little about – but, this blog lacks clarity, balance and control, and looks to me like a deliberate attempt by Fairfax to marginalise ALL Centre-Left thought. Like Chris Trotter’s ‘From the left’, the rediculous subheading not only implies that this is “some loony lefty rant” but, also implies that everything else Fairfax publishes is of the Centre. Of course, we know that this simply isn’t the case, and just a snapshot of the evidence documented here over the past 18 months clearly illustrates Fairfax’s ongoing Rightwing bias.

Meanwhile, today’s Dom Post took the opportunity to once again haul the Labour Party across the coals over the Darren Hughes’ charges. And, they weren’t going to let a little thing like the charges being thrown out get in the way of their continued muck-raking of the Opposition.

Rather than accept any responsibility for their enormous part in the whole messy saga, Fairfax simply used the dropping of charges against Hughes as another opportunity to run throught the lurid allegations they had originally taken great delight in inflaming. Not shy of using leading statements and grossly inflamatory language, commentator Tracy Watkins tells us on the front page that Hughes was guilty of “taking a pupil fresh out of high school back to the house of Labour deputy leader Annette King after a night drinking”. It’s an appalling sentence with diabolical implications and illustrates the extreme nature of Fairfax’s ongoing bias.

It seems that Fairfax’s only genuine concern here is for the complainant, with Watkins waxing that “Labour needs to remember there is another casualty in this story – an 18-year-old who doesn’t have the full weight of the Labour PR machine behind him.” I wonder if this ‘concern’ betrays something I’ve suspected from the start; that this ‘perfect storm’ may have in fact brewed from within the shadowy offices of Crosby Textor and Fairfax themselves. Far be it from me to advocate conspiracy theory, but if I was an unscrupulous National Party PR guru, or a strongly partisan media company with equally questionable scruples, this would be one hell of a way to kick the Opposition where it hurts at the worst possible time. Just saying…

I don’t believe for one moment that we have reached the bottom of this story, but when we do, you can be sure I’ll be happy to publish all the nasty details right here.


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