Key’s budget spin gets another free ride on stuff.co.nz
As European citizens reject governments of the hard-Right, New Zealand’s own version manages to turn the whole Euro-election story on it’s head, with a little help from their friends at Fairfax Media.
Despite the rapid removal of Key’s philosophical ally in France, Key claims that the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy after just one term is, in fact, an electoral endorsement for his free-market dogma, rather than a rejection. It’s astounding doublethink from the Prime Minister, but that didn’t stop his chums at Fairfax running an uninterrupted account of his waffle at the top of today’s political news, without any hint of analysis or Opposition comment. And, just for good measure, they chucked in a rediculous survey with the leading question: “Do you want a borrow and spend budget or a frugal budget?”. Honestly, if it wasn’t such a threat to our democracy, this outrageous propaganda would be hilarious.
As usual, Fairfax allow John Key to effectively write the headline, which reads: “Key: Europe shows zero budget wisdom”. For the few readers who bother to go further, things don’t get any more balanced. Key offers some very odd accounting on unemployment figures, which of course, Fairfax lap up graciously, going so far as to quote him saying “the unemployment rate was a very weird one at the moment”.
Um, righto John. And, great reporting there Fairfax. But, I’m sure the 160,000 New Zealanders who are currently out of work are using slightly different adjectives, though they probably have less propaganda value.
Ironically, on the very day Fairfax have published this piece, they also published the first of a new blog entitled “The inside story” which Dominion Post editor Joanna Norris says is to help explain their editorial decisions. It looks to me like an excuses forum, and I fully expect it be used to defend bias and marginalise critics. I’m sure the timing has nothing to do with the difficult questions asked on the Dom Post’s Facebook page last week. Initially these comments were deleted, then when several readers queried them about the removal, Norris claimed that “some people commenting do not have an understanding of defamation law.” Well, that sounds impressive, even a little scary, but it should be noted that under the New Zealand Defamation Act 1992, it is not defamatory to make a fair comment or to express an honest opinion.
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