Did John Key edit today’s Dom Post himself?
Did the Prime Minister only agree to last night’s public debate – hosted by Fairfax’s Christchurch Press – if his hosts promised to fill their pages with National Party spin? Or, is it that Mr Key ekchooilly took the time to edit today’s editions while he was hob-knobbing with the pro-National sycophants at Fairfax Media last night?
A quick glance at today’s Dominion Post could easily lead informed readers to either of these conclusions.
Page two is a barrage of National Party propaganda, with Fairfax’s “finest” laying it all on for the Prime Minster, and calling last night’s debate “a rout” by John Key. Even Fairfax’s own website, Stuff.co.nz has respondents calling the debate a draw, with an online poll showing about a 50/50 split in reader opinion.
So, how do Fairfax justify headlines like “Goff stumbles headfirst into a $14b-sized hole” from unofficial National spin doctor Tracy Watkins, or “Key knocks ’em dead with ‘show me the money’ routine” from Rightwing apologist Vernon Small? Well, they can’t and they don’t. While neautral commentators have the debate evenly matched, Goff scoring points on the Christchurch earthquake response and state asset sales, with Key fairing better on the economy, Fairfax’s one-eyed commentators cut straight to the few positives Key landed in the debate, and ignored Goff’s successes.
The politics lead is angled with an attack on Goff’s honesty, despite Fairfax going out of their way to avoid the ‘L’ word around their man John Key, as documented on this page. Goff’s big-hit quotes are defused, taking the sting out of them, while Key is given free reign to attack his opponent over yet-to-be-released costings on policy. According to Goff, the full costings will be available by the weekend, but neither Key nor Fairfax have let this get in the way of their attacks. On the proposed $15 minumum wage, Goff shot down Key’s argument about minimum wages, with “That’s the worst argument I have ever heard; that someone should get less than a living wage so you pay a few cents less for your muffins.” However, the version that made it to today’s Dom was much weaker, as readers were presented with the wishy-washy, less memorable and lower impact “Mr Goff hit back by saying Key’s argument that the cost of a muffin and coffee would go up ‘was the worst argument’ he’d heard against the plan”.
Fairfax even manage to put a positive, pro-National spin on the influence of huge corporate money on New Zealand’s democracy, with an article on political donations under the headline “Rich pickings for the Right, but little for Labour”. This appalling situation whereby influence and power is “bought” by unscrupulous corporations, is exactly why ordinary people are protesting from Wall Street to Wellington under the ‘Occupy’ banner.
Flick over to page four, and we get the latest “results” from Fairfax Media’s “brainfart” political poll, which has been heavily criticised on this page, and by other commentators including Martyn Bradbury, for attempting to manipulate rather than document public opinion. The flawed methodology of this poll, like the one conducted by National Party spin-meister David Farrar for the New Zealand Herald, involves calling comfortable, middle class homes on their landlines and asking them how much they love the Government. Predictably, the poll shows National comfortbly ahead, just like similar polls showed Banks and Brown neck and neck in Auckland (ahem), and Hone Harawira risking defeat in Te Tai Tokerau (erm, right). Fairfax also ignore the latest Radiolive Horizon Poll, which shows the Opposition well “within striking distance” and has a coalition of the Left heading into this election evenly matched with the Right, in terms of voter intention.
Finally, today’s Dom presents the National Party’s exact spin on it’s welfare reforms in an editorial that once again points the finger at lazy beneficieries for not getting off their lazy arses and getting themselves a job. There’s no mention of the fact that THERE ARE NO JOBS. And, the 170,000 new jobs promised by this year’s budget have about as much chance of appearing as the 170,000 new jobs promised in last year’s budget; another fact completely ignored by Fairfax. Come on guys, we all know that no-one can do John Key’s “ghost jobs” unless they actually materialize.
Benefit-bashing from the National Party and its Rightwing media allies – there must be an elction coming!