Dom sticks with Johnokeyo through slick and thin
It doesn’t matter that he told a bare-faced lie, and then had his personal credibility downgraded by Standard and Poor. Never mind that his Government took almost five days to respond to an ecological disaster off our pristine coastline. No worries that his first term as Prime Minister has left a legacy of broken and failed promises. According to the Dominion Post, John Key is the man, and today they promoted unofficial National Party spin-doctor Tracy Watkins to the front page to help the Prime Minister spin his way out of some woeful Treasury figures that – without the propaganda – point to a terrible financial record from this National Government.
While other parties – from ACT to The Greens and just about everyone else inbetween – were pointing to the release of Treasury’s Pre-Election Fiscal Update as concrete evidence that National had failed to deliver on a raft of 2008 election promises, National’s cheerleaders at Fairfax called the figures “upbeat”, containing “good news” and “even more good news” with the Government deserving of “a big tick for its economic management”.
Can these outrageously positive statements seriously apply to the same Fiscal Update that has Radio New Zealand announcing “Government has failed, say opponents”, or The New Zealand Herald noting in its intro that: “The state of the economy report shows National’s policies are failing to address New Zealand’s long-term economic challenges”? TV3’s headline takes up the Green’s and CTU’s argument that “the results of the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) bring the Government’s economic management into doubt”. But, once again, it’s all roses in The Dom. Surely Fairfax are having a laugh.
Sadly, such staggeringly one-sided “coverage” is par for the course in the capital’s Dominion Post newspaper. Their continual lack of balance has seen recent policy announcements from the Labour Party – such as a $15 minimum wage – relegated to page five, while National Party initiatives are given the lead on the politics page, page two . Labour Party policy statements are often treated to reverse angles, so that the reader enters the story from the Right’s point of view before the Opposition even gets the chance to introduce the policy. Typically biased editorials follow this up, providing readers with a one-eyed Rightwing argument against the policy.
The Dom have also been going out of their way to ensure that the Opposition are seen in the worst possible light, with Labour’s Charles Chauvel falling victim to some malicious reporting in the last couple of weeks. The paper has all but ignored any of the positive work Chauvel has done on matters legal and environmental, but give them a whiff of a marginal story that reflects poorly on Chauvel, and The Dom are all over it. Could their sudden interest in Labour’s Ohariu candidate have anything to do with him leading polls in the electorate, effectively endangering yet another of National’s shaky support parties? If United Future’s Peter Dunne loses the Ohariu seat – as he is being increasingly picked to do – National will have only the Maori Party on-side if – as is expected – the rediculous farce that is the ACT Party lose Epsom. A coalition of the Left is suddenly looming as a very real prospect, and it appears that Fairfax are pulling out all the stops to help their chums in the National Party with some shameless propaganda.
So, John Key doesn’t get called a “liar” despite all the evidence, and this eye opening report from TV3 http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=2533705023045. And, Finance Minister Bill English continues to live a charmed life on the pages of the Dom, where the Dipton Double Dipper’s latest dodgy dealings and underhand practices have once again been ignored. Mr English was in trouble last week for placing election advertising in school newsletters within his electorate, but not a word of this made it to Wellington’s daily rag. Just imagine if it had been David Cunliffe!
Ultimately, making any kind of political decison based on the National Party mouthpiece that is the Dominion Post, is like making a lunch decision based on a MacDonald’s flyer. Ignore it, source your news elsewhere, and tell everyone you know to do the same. If they ask for details, and research based evidence, just send ’em right here!
Just compare the coverage below. It’s hard to believe Tracy Watkins is writing about the same report. And remember, this is on the front page.