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PM’s “cheap shot” ignored by Fairfax

November 16, 2011

Unswerving loyalty to John Key keeps the leading news out of the newspaper, once again.

Fairfax Media have again made a mockery of journalism by avoiding the most newsworthy development in the teapot tape scandal, and avoiding  further embarrassment to their man, John Key.

Other media, from The New Zealand Herald, to TV3 and Radio New Zealand, were today leading with the extraordinary news that the lawyer representing phone-hacking victims in Britain, says the two cases are “in no way comparable”.  But, the National Party’s chums at Fairfax have made no mention at all of this poignant development. 

Barrister Mark Lewis, who is acting on behalf of News of the World phone-hacking victims,  including the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, has shot down Key’s claims that the teapot tape is just like the “tabloid tactics” employed by News of the World.  Mr Lewis has called Key’s comparison – used by yesterday’s Dominion Post as its headline – a “cheap shot”, and said that the tape should be released. 

So, while it appears that Fairfax are happy to effectively let the Prime Minister write his own headlines and present his over-the-top case in their publications, they have no intention of following this up with the rest of the story, or balancing it with contradictory revelations from an expert who has more than a little experience and interest in the two cases.   If this doesn’t point to the outrageous level of National Party bias at Fairfax, I honestly wonder what does.

Fairfax Media have once again been caught with their pants around their ankles, acting as shameless propagandists for the Prime Minister and his Government.  They have, in the face of further developments that don’t suit their spin, dropped the ‘News of the World’ angle altogether, and shown us exactly how far they are prepared to turn journalism into farce to keep John Key in office.  ‘Anti-democratic’ doesn’t even begin to cover it.

And, speaking of turning democracy into a farce, TV3 also today had news that the National Party’s Epsom candidate  Paul Goldsmith has been photographed removing signs advertising his candidacy from within his electorate.  While National have stood a strong candidate in Epsom, and are leading in the polls, John Key has signalled that he’d prefer National voters to rescue it’s numerically irrelevant support partner ACT, by voting for its candidate John Banks.  Hence, the whole teapot shananigans in the first place.  Oops!

It will be interesting to see if this is reported in tomorrow’s Dom.  I’m also looking forward to seeing how the teapot tapes scandal is now treated, with TV3 just revealing that “Media reject Key’s ‘News of the World’ claim”.  According to the 3 News story, (former) Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst agrees that the tapes are legitimate news, but Fairfax political editor and unofficial spin doctor for John Key, Tracy Watkins,  has been busy proposing that the Prime Minister’s hasty exit from a media conference today – because of questions about the tape – was actually a smoothly choreographed political tactic.  Um, yeah right Tracy.  It may be difficult for her one-eye to believe, much less bring herself to write about, but John Key isn’t the messiah, does make mistakes, gets easily rattled by real questions – not that Watkins has ever asked him any – and is prone to having meltdowns when confronted by inconvenient truths, as shown in BBC footage of Key’s “100% pure” claims, or recent TV3 footage or him being asked about lying to the House.

If you don’t want your friends to pay for propaganda, please share this page, and join us in boycotting Fairfax publications until they provide readers with basic journalistic principles like fairness, accuracy and balance.  Many thanks.


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