Nats’ spin-doctors at Dom trumpet latest “Ronald McDonald” brainfart poll
Another day, another dodgy poll result in the Dominion Post. As the election campaign intensifies, Fairfax Media have cast aside any pretence of balance, and assured readers that those good guys from the National Party will without any doubt be forming the next government on November 27. They know this because their Fairfax Media International Political Poll says so.
But, Fairfax have been about as fair, accurate and balanced as Fox News in their political coverage, ever since their mate John Key became leader of the National Party, so there are several reasons why intelligent New Zealanders should be more than a little sceptical of their poll “results”.
Fairfax political editor Tracy Watkins is simply John Key’s press secretary in drag, and a quick analysis of her “reporting” will show the outrageous level of bias she shows towards the National Party, who, in her one-sided copy, can do no wrong. In fact, when the Prime Minister made his latest tour of the United States earlier this year, guess which “journalist” accompanied him. When Watkins writes on today’s front page that “nothing so far has dislodged National’s barnacle-like support over the past three years”, she is essentially providing an insight into her own loyalty, and that of her employers, rather than of the electorate in general.
Let’s also remember that Fairfax’s poll is a new, untested forum, which only began in the lead-up to the election, presumably to help influence rather than reflect public opinion, and thereby deliver the result Fairfax and the National Party want in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. The poll’s methodology – as I have discussed previously here – is highly flawed, with pollsters calling only landlines in the evening, and therefore missing an enormously influential section of the electorate who are naturally left-leaning; those who don’t have landlines, or who are working evenings, or simply don’t answer the phone. And, with Fairfax’s exceptionally biased history – clearly documented on this page over the past two years – how can we even be sure that they aren’t using more overtly dubious methods to collate their data? Are there checks and balances in place? Is the information peer-reviewed, or independently srutinised? You can bet your arse it isn’t!
Such is the level of one-sidedness in Fairfax’s coverage, that the Opposition leader’s headline-grabbing list of John Key’s top ten failures, didn’t even get a mention in The Denial Post, and only made it onto stuffed.co.nz once their chum John Key had made a retort to Phil Goff’s list. While Fairfax’s rivals at The New Zealand Herald at least gave the Labour leader’s points a fair hearing, Fairfax – where they did bother to mention the list – did so only in providing the National Party’s spin on them.
Meanwhile, the Opposition’s campaign is given really balanced, grown-up coverage with headlines like “Mr Farty steals Labour’s thunder”. Enough said.
So, while Fairfax have gone out of their way to avoid the Horizon Poll, which shows quite a contrasting picture, The New Zealand Herald’s polling came in much closer to Horizon, and essentially leaves the Fairfax Poll completely at odds with what is probably, actually, happening on the streets, as Anthony Robins points out on The Standard today. http://thestandard.org.nz/mixed-polls/
Fairfax election coverage: it’s like making a lunch decision based on a McDonald’s flyer.