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ACC’s “miraculous recovery” goes unquestioned by Dom

July 12, 2011

Fairax give gospel treatment  to National’s ACC spin

The “manufactured crisis” at ACC has been comletely ignored by the National Party’s favourite newspaper, The Dominion Post.  Today’s page two finally made some attempt at balance over the capital gains tax debate – perhaps acknowledging that the public aren’t simply going to hate an Opposition policy just because John Key and Fairfax want us to – but it was business as usual for the rest of the politics page, which was whole-heartedly devoted to National Party propaganda.

Is political reporter Tracy Watkins on the Prime Minister’s staff, or just incredibly naive?  How else to explain her story on cuts to ACC levies today, which avoids any mention of the Opposition’s observation that this proves the ACC crisis was manufactured by the National Party all along.  Journalistic integrity, not to mention a healthy sense of cynicism, should have prompted questions about the convenient timing of these cuts, just months before an election.  If Watkins doesn’t possess either of these journalistic attributes, she could have maybe called someone from the Opposition for a balancing comment.  Or, she might have simply read the Labour Party’s press release, issued by their ACC spokesman Chris Hipkins at 4.56pm yesterday.

Whatever happened at Fairfax’s Wellington office, it is clear that the Dom had no intention of reporting this story with any kind of balance, and the result – under the headline “ACC levy cuts will save firms, households $587m” – is a blatent piece of National Party propaganda that could have simply been copied and pasted from the Government’s own press release.

After two-years of forcing patients to make miraculous recoveries, it seems that the good Doctor Nick Smith has now found the cure for all ACC’s financial woes too!  Who knew bitter pills could taste so sickly sweet in an election year?

Meanwhile, John Key is given free reign to distance himself and his party from the ACT crisis in another carefully managed piece of page two propaganda, thanks to Vernon Small and Danya Levy.  Perhaps it was one of them who “filed” the Labour Party’s ACC press release before it got to Tracy Watkins…

Also today, the Dom follows up yesterday’s page two Labour bashing, devoting their editorial to prolonging Monday’s beat up over a clerical error in the party’s advertising.  This non-story barely even registered in more moderate and independent media, but the Dom being the Dom, made sure they got plenty of mileage out of it for their mates in the National Party.

As I pointed out on this blog yesterday, it is nothing short of gross hypocrisy for the Dom to labour this point, considering the level of outrageous behaviour they consistently allow their National Party buddies to get away with on the pages of this one-sided propaganda sheet.  Names like Bill English and Paula Bennett spring to mind!


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