‘Tricky’ media…how biased are NZ newspapers?



NZ Herald - if you think, the bolsheviks win


In case anyone finds it hard to believe that some in  the msm (mainstream media) are politically partisan, the screen-shot below – of a recent NZ Herald story – should help  dispel such doubts;


NZ Herald - Key on Liu-Labour link - More to come - David Cunliffe


Notice the two disparate images.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

On the left, Key’s image portrays him as smiling and obviously confident and relaxed.His authority is not under threat.

The image on the right, depicting David Cunliffe, shows him scowling; mouth open in mid-retort; obviously in a defensive and angry position. His leadership authority is shown to be in question in that image.  (Hence the old expression, “if you become angry, you have lost the argument“.)

It is a subtle piece of visual propaganda; one is calm, poised, confident. The other is emotional, upset, obviously responding to an attack.

So this is supposedly  an example of an impartial, non-partisan media?

And journos wonder why a large sector of  society view them with disdain and suspicion?

If the Reader’s Digest  Most Trusted Professions for 2013 is any indication, journalists need to work on their integrity;

1. Paramedics
2. Firefighters
3. Rescue volunteers
4. Nurses
5. Pilots
6. Doctors
7. Pharmacists
8. Veterinarians
9. Police
10. Armed Forces personnel
11. Scientists
12. Teachers
13. Childcare workers
14. Dentists
15. Farmers
16. Bus/train/tram drivers
17. Flight attendants
18. Architects
19. Chefs
20. Electricians
21. Miners
22. Computer technicians
23. Postal workers
24. Hairdressers
25. Builders
26. Plumbers
27. Mechanics
28. Accountants
29. Truck drivers
30. Waiters
31. Bankers
32. Charity collectors
33. Shop assistants
34. Clergy (all religions)
35. Cleaners
36. Personal trainers
37. Lawyers
38. Taxi drivers
39. Financial planners
40. CEOs
41. Call centre staff
42. Airport baggage handlers
43. Journalists
44. Real estate agents
45. Insurance salespeople
46. Politicians
47. Sex workers
48. Car salespeople
49. Door-to-door salespeople
50. Telemarketers

Lumped in with politicians, car salespeople, etc, is not a desirable place, one would think. (Unfair to sex-workers, though.)

This will be a dirty election as the Right (National and ACT) with their media allies (NZ Herald, NBR, and rantback radio hosts) pull out the stops to destroy a resurgent Left. Those who hold power will not give it up easily.


Rich people paying rich people to tell the news





NZ Herald:  Key on Liu-Labour link: More to come

Reader’s Digest: New Zealand’s Most Trusted Professions 2013



john key is scared of your vote

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. Thanks for recognising the not-so-subtle choice of candidate photos constantly posted in the MSM. David Cunliffe smiles a lot, but the chance of seeing that in print is about as likely as seeing the true face of Dr. Keyvil in full shudder.

    • “have you seen the polls lately”? You’ve got to be kidding IV. Have you seen how inaccurate those polls can be?

      • Whether they are accurate or not is largely irrelevant in this context. The trends don’t show any significant and sustained resurgence in export for the left bloc over the past few months.

      • Who’s worried?

        Labour are polling below 30%. Their leader is one of the least trusted politicians of our generation. Their policy platform is so amateurish it reads like a primary school wish list.

        Life is good!

        • Gosman and Anymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue?

          Key and English have a funny way of showing they’re “not worried” what with the incredible time and energy they’ve devoted to smearing Cunliffe with their dirty tricks campaign.

          And for someone “not worried”, Key promises more of the same!

          Now, I ask you. If they’re really, really, reallllly, “not worried” – they have a strange way of showing it.

          Or, as Key and Woodhouse have been telling us, it’s a matter of “utu”?

          Whichever – the more time, energy, and money the Nats spend on these dirty tricks, the better. The public will pick up what’s going on pretty smartly if this carries on…

          • You expect Labour to start picking up support in the next few polls at the expense of National then do you?

    • Just as you are paid to spread your bilious propaganda and filthy right-wing smears here at TDB Intrinsic Value Anonymous Act Paid Troll, so are the media?

      Did you think in your wildest dreams that you were the only one being paid? $5,000 a head meals at Antoine’s, Cabinet Clubs and donations from wealthy Chinese goes a long way towards buying overt campaigns and underhanded, biased (corrupt) MSM.

      FFS go back and spread your vile views among the tea-baggers and syrupers on ACT and National sites. You know it makes sense.

  2. I was talking to a car salesman the other day and he was saying that it is the public that is always trying to rip the car dealers off. They pretty much lie all the time about the condition of the vehicles they are trying to sell to sell to dealers. Because customers far outweigh the number of dealers, it is the car dealers who get tainted instead (of course there are bound to be a few dodgy businesses in any industry.

    Agree about the photos. The print media has been pretty much showing negative images of Cunliffe for ages.

  3. Yes, excellent to draw peoples’ attention to the use of images. Thanks Frank.

    I would also like to draw peoples’ attention to …(and this is going to have a double -meaning so watch out for it)…the difference in exposure of the two photos.

    I notice Cunliffe’s photos are often under-exposed leaving them looking dingy. Key’s photo above is over-exposed, which isn’t excellent either – however at least there is a brightness to them. This provides subconscious messages pertaining to dark/light and all that jazz, does it not?

    Considering the accessibility of photo enhancing computer programs I fail to understand how photos of such poor quality are being regularly chosen for printing.

    Of course, there is the factor that under-exposure is harder to fix and perhaps the most likely times to snap Cunliffe is when he is in the parliament buildings working, whereas, excuse me if I am left with an incorrect perception, but Key seems to be out and about on endless ‘jollies’ – so perhaps that is the reason for the differences in exposure of the two leaders’ photos?

    Just the same I suggest to members of the media that next time you are having lunch shouted…I mean… talking to those cabinet club types (for want of a better word), you should ask them to throw in a bit of dosh so that you can buy a flash for your cameras and a photo-enhancing program for your computers. You could simply explain that your bosses aren’t providing you with enough equipment and regularly printing crappy photos of Cunliffe just makes you look very unprofessional (in more ways than on). I’m sure these types would be more than happy to oblige if you keep doing your jobs in the way you have been to date.

    • I hadn’t noticed the lighting, Blue Leopard, but yes, I concur. That adds to the overall subliminal impressions being created. The overall effect, as you put it, is a different between “bright and positive” and “gloomy and negative”.

      As for changing the under-exposure; yup, photo-shop can achieve that. Certain internet-based companies employ that technique, such as ‘Open To View’, when showing images of properties for sale. It changes a cloudy day to a sunny day, quite easily.

      • It’s not just the lighting – Cunliffe’s photo has incorrect white balance, which leaves his skin looking jaundiced. Notice how blurry it is too? Press photographers don’t use shitty lenses. That’s the result of cropping in way too close and losing resolution. The photographer was a long way back, hence the lack of flash highlights. They were using a wider lens from further back, and the picture editor has zoomed in on a specific portion, detracting from the clarity, in order to use a specific out-of-context expression. Key’s, however, with the overblown flash highlights, is a result of close range shooting, and a staged shot. Any decent photographer should have set their flash to ETTL or been fast enough to drop the manual settings, but there you are – They work for the Herald, not Magnum.

        • Brilliant, Richarquis (&Cagey), that is really very interesting (and informed) analysis. Thanks heaps for sharing your knowledge.

          Considering there have been plenty of photos of Cunliffe displaying this ‘dingy’ quality – and not any of such ‘quality’ of Key and considering these are avoidable effects; I believe the two pictures speak volumes of the attitudes contained in the media toward these two leaders (and of their attitudes toward the art of photography too).

          • My pleasure – Although I prefer to spend my time photographing spiders, wasps, cockroaches, and such. They are so much more loveable than politicians.

      • I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure David’s ‘photo’ is actually a still of video footage. Shjonkey’s is a posed at an event.

  4. Herald has done this for years. I recall old unionists Jim Knox, Bill Andersen and many others all had “666” type images published for years. And awful ones of Helen Clark too until a brief relent during the early 2000s, by Electoral Finance bill time they showed placards with Helen Clark’s image next to a swastika!

    A dirty filthy tory rag.

  5. Amazes me how everyone on here when once in a blue moon the Lefty MSM do a balanced story its suddenly the MSM are bias and in bed with National.
    Really you people need to a grip, with TV3 News Hack Patty Gower and John from Ramble Live, the NZ Herald, and fairhacks media all infested with left sympathisers. To say MSm are in bed with the Nats is complete nonsense.

  6. New Zealand’s MSM policy summed up in a couple of sentences: Whatever John Key does or says is good, whatever his opponents do or say is bad. If John Key ever says or does anything wrong, then we make it right. (and we keep collecting our bonuses at National HQ every week)

    • “4 legs good two legs bad” “4 legs good two legs bad” “National good, Labour bad” “National good, Labour bad” “National good, Labour bad” “4 legs good two legs bad” “4 legs good two legs bad” “4 legs good two legs bad” “4 legs good two legs bad”

      It’s classic propaganda, from the MSM and NACT-leaning propaganda machine. Orwell got it right in ‘Animal Farm’. I loved the last few lines of the book which read:

      “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” November 1943-February 1944

      “The kiwis outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      I took the liberty of re-writing the last few lines for June 2014 – 70 years haven’t taught the voting creatures of Aotearoa much.

    • I’ve heard some of these political jornalists that they don’t vote as they don’t want to be politically biased but shouldn’t they be not socializing with them? Not flying on the same plane on junkets? Embedding themselves with politician – and then taking jobs from them? I mean either side????

  7. I would love to see an election placard featuring John Key doing his Homer Simpson impersonations.

  8. The polls are twisted, if we could only record the different journalist’s/reporters’ expressions when they are speaking about Key or Cunliffe. It’s like night and day, they smile when they mention Key, but scowl when mentioning Cunliffe. Just like the photos.

    The feeding frenzy over this latest hiccup from Cunliffe is ludicrous.
    AS for the trolls in here, doesn’t baksheesh go a long way?????

  9. Can’t wait for a copy of National’s Support Letters for Dong Liu to be printed in the Herald will make Cunliffe’s letter look like kitten’s piss.

    Fascinating organised beat up by MSM on Cunliffe’s Letter

  10. WOBH, a far more popular blog (and award winning too), bangs on about how “leftie” the MSM is and how infiltrated it is with Labour Party hacks.

    This website (less popular, less recently award winning), bangs on about how biased MSM is AGAINST the left.

    I suspect if both blogs are accusing the MSM of the same thing…

    …then the MSM sound like they have got the balance about right.

  11. Forget letters,…think 200k children in poverty , families living in caravans,tents, garages , low and minimum wage economy , surveillance society , poverty of not only the unemployed, the working poor, the elderly, but also of the middle classes , foreign ownership of our banks and assets , breakdown of social values ie: marriages , child abuse , inability to attain upwards mobility , housing crisis with unrealistic rental prices and people forced out of first home ownership , appearance of third world communicable and preventable diseases, growth of food banks due to inability to earn enough to feed a family, massive student debt , obscene disparity between top earners and low earners , and so and so …

    No …this is not a snapshot of some third world banana republic….it is our country….New Zealand.

    Once among the most per capita wealthiest nations…now behind Mexico ..ranking around many eastern bloc nations economically…

    Perhaps then the photo of Key is therefore totally inappropriate…and the photo of Mr Cunliffe is the one far more reflective of current conditions.

    People..I think we have something to be angry about ,…not some gormless smiling idiot who announces a hot economy with a surplus …then dismisses like Mary Antoinette the real time conditions in the community.

    Let them eat cake.

    • ABSOLUTELY! These are the things everyone on the left should be talking about all the time. Don’t be distracted by infighting, backbiting or smear tactics! If we keep talking TO those who are missing out, and show them that the Left is interested in them, not all the other bullshit, then those who were nonvoters at the last election might be inspired to get out and vote Left this time round.

  12. This is tit for tat bullshit to distract the public from the real issues that matter. Who gives a toss who gave what to who 11 years since.
    The things that matter, the economy, the increasing gap from rich to poor, criminal gangs tolerated in our society, the terrible way our children are abused and murdered , the lack of direction some of our young adults are given and the heavy use of illegal and legal drugs that blight our communities ,these are the issues that need attention, how about the Media getting highly concerned on these issues and whoever
    gains the political power likewise.
    This country is one of the best places on the planet to live irrespective of the above let’s concentrate on things that matter and not this hopeless point scoring that ultimately achives didly squat.

  13. The Murdoch press in Australia makes the NZ media look innocent, but if we are talking about appearances, both Labour and National are going to lose votes over this issue.
    Have I got this right: Kim Dotcom was granted residency in NZ by National under the ruling that any immigrant with enough money can get in despite the opposition of officers in Immigration. In a very short tim Kim Dotcom is underwriting John Banks Mayoral campaign to the tune of $50,000.
    Similarly Mr Lui using the same backdoor is granted residency by a Labour MP and then later again by National MPs despite opposition once more from Immigration staff. He then makes donations to both Labour and National. The pot calls the kettle black and vice versa. Laughably both claim to be corruption free and deny offering any special concessions to Mr Lui. So if his donations are not bribes and are simply donations to a party of his choice, why did he choose both? Surely the whole point of this preferential treatment for rich immigrants is to tap them for a ‘donation’ at the first opportunity.
    The public wont like this. Perhaps they will decide not to support either party…. and we still have three more months of this rubbish.

  14. […] As well as politicians, national and local, I often take the media to task. For someone that would like media coverage occasionally when I’m involved with protests and campaigns and hope the newspaper publicises them, it does me no favours. Last I heard the Waikato Times Chief of Staff affectionately refers to me as ‘Hamilton’s Biggest Cunt’. Well it takes dealing with a lot of dicks to try and speak some truth to power so perhaps there’s some beauty in that analogy. Someone has to do it, and all power to those of us that do. Consistently both APN (The Herald) and Fairfax (Stuff) set a tone, both with their editorials and choice of headlines, stories, photos of politicians etc which leaves a lot to be desired. […]

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