Stuff’s spin takes sting out of Govt in turmoil
It’s been a horrible week for John Key’s Government. The National Party are in turmoil, with evidence of dodgy dealings left, right and centre, and now John Banks’ political future is in serious doubt.
Aside from the implications of a possible by-election in Epsom, the country is sinking because of Key and English’s immoral and incompetent handling of the economy. More evidence has emerged of dodgy backroom deals with Warner Brothers, as well as the ongoing farce over the Sky City deal. None of the Budget forecasts presented by National have come to pass, and the tax-switch has come back to haunt New Zealand, plunging the economy into further defecit with no apparent end in sight. Add to all of this the fact that 100 per cent of the submissions made on asset sales were in opposition to what is clearly becoming a universally hated idea outside of cabinet, and things are looking pretty rough for the Prime Minister.
So, step up Fairfax Media and unofficial National Party spin doctor Tracy Watkins, with yet another conveniently timed red herring. Making two plus two into five with some wild speculations over the Labour Party leadership, while brushing the Government’s woes under the carpet, tells informed readers more about Fairfax Media than about David Shearer. Watkins is a disgrace to the journalistic profession, and Fairfax Media’s shameful pro-National partisanship is an ongoing threat to real democracy in New Zealand.
Take yesterday’s revelations that the Warner Brothers’ deal, which resulted in sovereign law changes, was neck deep in cronyism and corruption (ring any bells?). After finally being forced by the Ombusdman to release further details of just how deeply cynical, anti-democratic, and apparently uneccessary this whole debacle was, Radio New Zealand gave listeners the facts on Morning Report yesterday, as well as speaking to Gerry Brownlee and Helen Kelly.
But, once the National Party spin had been applied, the version that appeared on stuff.co.nz was barely recognisable as the same story.
Granted, Fairfax have begun to make an attempt to report on some of the things their mates in the National Party don’t want us to know, but this appears to be in response to plummetting profits and credibility, rather than a genuine attempt at fairness, accuracy and balance, as reported by this blog in recent months. But, when the lead political story on stuff.co.nz today is Watkins speculating on the Labour Party leadership, one is forced to ask why, in the context of everything else that is happening, is this the top political story on Fairfax Media’s New Zealand website?
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