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Economist gives damning assessment of Nat’s economic management

May 22, 2012

And Fairfax dutifully ignore it.

As reported by The New Zealand Herald today, Opposition Parties have made sustained attacks on the National-led Government’s economic mismanagement in the lead up to their fourth budget.  Pointing to National’s legacy of four years of poor choices, a lack of any plan, and a reliance on dogmatic Rightwing theory over pragmatic solutions, Opposition parties have come out swinging.

As Martyn Bradbury noted on the Tumeke blog, the Greens hiring an economist to critique the budget is a real “stroke of genius”.  But, as usual, there isn’t a word about it from Fairfax Media, who are once again starving New Zealanders of our right to balanced and accurate democratic debate.  Stuff.co.nz and newspapers like the Dominon Post have once again steered well clear of any genuine criticism of John Key’s Government, and completely avoided giving the Opposition a voice to challenge this Government’s clear lack of economic progress.   The fact that the National Party and their freinds at Fairfax Media are so scared of factual economic anylsis, tells us all we need to know about four years of abject failure on the economy; the one thing the National Party are supposed to be good at.

So, while even Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron joins US President Obama in advocating for stimulating economic growth, John Key continues to play the broken record of austerity, without any analysis.  Fairfax continue to provide Key with an unchallenged platform, free from expert opinion, or from the pesky views of domestic Opposition. 

Today on stuff.co.nz, Fairfax published more of their dodgy survey results, with political editor and unofficial National Party spin doctor Tracy Watkins claiming: “Kiwi’s split over cutbacks”.  Watkins’ point was that New Zealanders were divided in half over whether her buddies in the National Party had got the ” balance about right in terms of public-service job cuts”.  Even her phrasing here betrays her bias, but let’s take a moment to consider the actual figures.  Apparently Fairfax surveyed about 2000 of their own readers, and the result was that over 50 per cent thought the cuts had gone too far, while only 43 per cent agreed that the balance was about right.  And, let’d be very clear about this; we are talking about 2000 New Zealanders who have been fed a daily diet of biased coverage and Rightwing propaganda by Fairfax Media.  So, not only is Watkins midleading us with her 50/50 claims, she’s also basing her figures on the section of New Zealanders who get their political “news” from Fairfax Media, and we all know how balanced that is.  So, for Fairfax to claim in bold letters that their survey represents the view of “Kiwis” isn’t just disingenuous propaganda, it is actually straight bullshit.  As I pointed out on this blog yesterday, it’s about as accurate as Fox News claiming a survey of their viewers represents the voice of America.  In fact, if Fox were to survey 2000 of their audience about whether George W. Bush was right to invade Iraq, we’d probably see a very similar result to the Fairfax readership “surveys” published in the last two days.

On the subject of yesterday’s equally misleading tripe, stuff.co.nz finally got around to publishing more comments to the story late this afternoon.  You’ll recall that Fairfax asked their readers whether National or Labour were to blame for New Zealand’s debt.  And, surprise surprise, there were many more than the 20 comments they’d published while readers were actually paying attention.  Most of them are completely at odds with Fairfax’s claims, and many of the comments berate this media company for their ongoing bias.  Little wonder they elected not to add a comments forum to today’s survey story.

Sick and tired of propaganda posing as news?  Please share this blog, join us on facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/fearfacts/, and tell your friends to boycott everything that this National Party spin corporation publish.  Only a strong public backlash will bring the biased corporate media into line, so let’s bloody have one!

http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/asset_sales_the_govt_accounts_and_the_nz_economy.pdf

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10807416

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6961532/Kiwis-split-over-cutbacks-poll

http://www.tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/when-will-greens-become-second-major.html

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6 Comments
  1. That story about the Green’s economist declaring asset sales to be reckless was on the main page of Stuff for 4 hours, and then gone. One of the stories which bumped it was about Kimbra. Say no more.

  2. Woah, that’s very odd Alex. Even by Fairfax’s bold standards of doublethink.

    Maybe they got a call from The Beehive to “take that shit down!”

    Whatever the reason, it’s yet another gaping chasm in their credibility. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Hamish Cardwell permalink

    I am confused. There were five pages on analysis and critique of the budget in the dompst on Friday. There was one whole page of analysis from mainly left of the spectrum commentators including: an ex green mp and a former labour party president. The lone overt right wing voice of David Farrar was less than glowing about the budget, so i think it is a little specious to say that the dompost has “completely avoided giving the Opposition a voice to challenge this Government’s clear lack of economic progress.”

    The dompost editorial on the same specifically bemoans the governments lack of economic vision.

  4. Sure Hamish, and it was great to see.
    But, the day after the budget, one wouldn’t expect the sort of overt partisanship we’ve seen over the past five years.
    An array of columnists writing opinions is one thing, but the placement, treatment and frequent omission of “news” on the front two pages of the Dom have been consistently and quite blatently pro-National, and I’m confident that the weight of the data gathered by this blog suggests this is not simply coincidence.
    One swallow does not a summer make.

  5. Hamish Cardwell permalink

    I often have discussions with people in which they assert there is some sort of bias in either the dom post or the herald to either side of the political spectrum. My right wing friends assure me that the dom post is pinko to the core.

    If you can provide hard, statistical evidence there is some sort of collusion or bias towards the national party then I would be very very interested, as well as appalled of course. The omission or strategic placement of news items would be difficult to prove no doubt, but I don’t think it would be impossible given the amount of data (news articles) generated every day.

    Analysis of this sort is very convincing. Accusatory bluster and outrage is not.

  6. I take your point, though it would be just as easy to analyse the data I’ve collected numerically, using angles and column inches, or even paragraphs. It’d be a pretty dull read though, and not an effective protest.
    Perhaps when I get around to that PHD…
    In the meantime, I’ll give some thought to a simple breakdown of this data, and present it as a summary. Cheers.

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