Key attacks media for doing its job
Poor old John Key. His Government is neck-deep in corruption. Unemployment is rising through the roof. The economy is in freefall because consumers have nothing left to spend. There’s an exodus to Australia. He “has” to sell state assets, to pay for the tax-cuts he gave himself and his rich buddies. And now, after four years of this, some of the media are starting to ask him some difficult questions. Well, diddums.
Never mind John, just keep doing those interviews with Woman’s Weekly and Radio Sport, then you can pretend that you haven’t ripped the heart out of our beautiful country. And, when it all turns to shit, you can go back to your mansion in Hawaii and live off the hospitality of the corporations you’ve worked so hard for as Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Interestingly – though not surprisingly – his buddies at The Dom Post escaped any criticism. Key had a little moan about a single front-page headline in the Sunday Star Times, but otherwise, it seems that Fairfax Media are still playing the game, and providing a version of the news that the National-led Government are perfectly happy with. Well, what a surprise. Anyone who cares about democracy, and the important role the media should play in holding those in power to account, will be rightly concerned about this seemingly cosy relationship between a New Zealand Government and New Zealand’s largest print and online news media corporation.
The fact that Key made such a staggering attack on the Herald, after enjoying a four-year media honeymoon, is astounding in itself. As Martyn Bradbury put it on Tumeke today: “John Key accusing the NZ Herald of bias against him is like George W. Bush attacking Fox News for being left wing pinkos pushing the gay liberal agenda”.
But, it gets worse, because, just hours after making this attack – live on air – Key denied making it. This is a whole new level of doublethink from our dear leader, and frankly, it sends a cold shiver up my back.
Meanwhile, back at Fairfax Media, today provided the usual examples of highly newsworthy stories that are damaging to the Key Government, published by other media outlets, but completely ignored by Fairfax.
First, there’s the lastest release of credit card reciepts, which show that a Government preaching austerity, cuts and savings, doesn’t apply the same hardline to it’s big-spending ministers. The New Zealand Herald had this major story as front page news. But at Fairfax Media, where reporters once chased Chris Carter around Parliament, and where pages and pages of receipts were published online when they were damaging to the Labour Party, the story has been ignored completely. Staggering hypocrisy and bias illustrated, once again.
According to the front page of today’s NZ Herald:
“The screws may be tightening on the diplomats’ budget, but the ministers who go overseas most frequently aren’t feeling the pinch, judging from the most recent credit card releases.
The latest release of ministerial credit card details – covering the first three months of this year – show taxpayers have paid to wash Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman’s underwear in Brussels, for Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s party at Trader Jacks in the Cook Islands, and for $300 cabin bags and $490 laundry bills for Trade Minister Tim Groser’s staff.
Mr McCully, Mr Groser and Dr Coleman had the highest ministerial international travel bills for the first three months of the year.
Mr McCully spent a total of $110,637, Mr Groser $87,970 and Dr Coleman $42,012.”
But, it seems that such damaging revelations were all too much for the National Party’s mates at Fairfax Media, and not a word has been written about the expenses on stuff.c0.nz today, or in the Dominion Post.
As if that wasn’t enough, Fairfax have also dodged reporting the latest odorous details in the deeply damaging John Banks-Kim Dotcom farce. New revelations – also published by the NZ Herald but ignored by Fairfax today – include damning emails showing that:
“Kim Dotcom’s head of security told his boss that John Banks asked for a political donation and said he would be a “very good friend” once he was back in Parliament.”
A further story in the NZ Herald, headlined ” Hong Kong hospitality warmly received”, tells readers how:
“Act leader John Banks sent internet tycoon Kim Dotcom a personal note thanking him for his “hospitality” after staying in Hong Kong.
The note has emerged with details of a sumptuous gift hamper left for Mr Banks at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong.”
Again, nothing what-so-ever from Fairfax about any of this. Hmmm.
Perhaps as telling as all of this is the way the latest controversial initiatives on education have been reported, with Fairfax’s “journalists” rushing off to get comment from Business NZ chief executive Phil O’Reilly about increasing class sizes, but not a single word from anyone in the Labour Party. Furthermore, following a barrage of comments on the online forum – which largely ripped into the Government’s cost-cutting initiative – the forum was closed, and readers were simply given the message: “Comments on this story have been closed”.
In the context of the way the education sector has been consistently attacked by Fairfax Media, this should come as no surprise to informed readers. Fairfax have provided the National-led Government with a free platform to promote their unresearched, unproven, un-peer reviewed “solutions” on state education over the years, and their one-sided coverage appears to be promoting ignorance as well as being based on ignorance. This media corporation are an on-going disgrace, and the sooner they are forced to start doing their job properly, the better.
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