The joke here is that the mainstream media must pretend to be balanced so that their facade of objectivity can remain in place.
It’s a facade that has become harder and harder to believe. Since the killing off of all progressive voices in the media landscape and the Dirty Politics revelations of how close that mainstream media worked with the PMs Office via far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater to smear and attack progressive voices, the role of the biased corporate media in NZ politics since National took power 7 years ago is a text book study of why we need a properly funded public broadcaster.
The reality is that most thinking NZers know the corporate media are fronted by Broadcasters who are there because they are idealogical acolytes. Sure they might ask the odd hard question here or there, but Paul Henry, Mike Hosking, Leighton Smith, Sean Plunkett, Duncan Garner and Patrick Gower have their roles because they are trusted to keep the discussion within the parameters of the hard right.
Anything that seriously challenges the myths of neoliberalism are simply not allowed on or are mocked. This vast right wing corporate echo chamber means it’s this narrow public space of permitted debate that gets amplified. Why Duncs and Heather are allowed columns to push their tedious thoughts, why Hosking gets cross over media deals, why Henry is on TV, Radio and the Internet simultaneously – it’s a control mechanism for our attention so a seamless narrative of neoliberal thought can smoother and shut down any oxygen challenging those voices.
We have 305 000 children in poverty, state houses so cold they are freezing people to death, corrupt private prisons, charter school failures, a Government that is abusing political power in a way never seen in this country before, growing inequality and the rich getting richer while the poor line up outside food banks and a mass surveillance system run amok. Yet the hand picked pundits and broadcasters tell us that Key is a ‘moderate’ and that his supposed ‘moderation’ is the secret to his success.
We no longer have 4th estate watchdogs, we have propaganda lap dogs.
National Party Stooge David Farrar has attempted to twist all of this into an example of the Left not wanting diverse opinion.
The opposition parties are showing their true colours.
When TV3 made a commercial decision to change Campbell Live, resulting in the departure of John Campbell, MPs from Labourand Greens decried this as terrible. They said the media needs strong voices. They said it was appalling that John Campbell would no longer be on the air.
However yesterday we saw the opposition parties effectively demand that Mike Hosking be taken off the air, because – well he doesn’t always agree with them.
…so says the biggest National Party stooge in NZ. Farrar is a paid consultant/pollster for the National Party so anything he has to say is as unbiased as anything Sky City VIP gold card member Mike Hosking has to say about Sky City.
1 – TV3 did not make a ‘commercial decision’ they made a political decision to kill off Campbell Live.
2- Mike Hosking is a National Party stooge who is on the last remaining public broadcast TV station, that’s the difference. Add to this the fact that Seven Sharp is a bastardised current affairs lite fluff show where ideas go to die, and criticism as to how this show operates is completely legitimate.
If people don’t like what Hosking says, they can choose not to watch him, listen to him or read him.
Sure David, but he’s on a taxpayer funded TV station, so actually they do have a right to demand more than just ‘I’ll switch off’ as a solution.
If you think he really is biased, then you can complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Press Council or the Online Media Standards Authority.
Many of us have, but we’ve all soon how toothless those organisations are.
Instead we have a Muldoon like attack on the media, because basically Little says Hosking doesn’t agree with Labour enough.
Pfft, look it’s not that Mike has ridiculous right wing opinions, that’s fine, but there is never any counter weight to those ridiculous right wing opinions. News producers only put people on who agree with him, or they put weak progressive voices (like Jose Pagani) who you can’t tell if she’s arguing for the right half the time.
Professor Jane Kelsey destroyed Hosking in under 10 minutes, you can bet she won’t be allowed on the show ever again.
But back to Farrar…
Here is the true hypocrisy. John Campbell had plenty of opinions. Does Andrew Little think John Campbell should not have had a prime slot? Of, course not. Little is just against media who don’t agree with him.
…BUT HOSKING IS ON A PUBLIC BROADCASTER – for the millionth time Farrar, TV3 is a private company, if they want to kill of a true public broadcaster like John Campbell for political reasons, that’s their right (just as it is our right to boycott them for doing that), but TVNZ has wider obligations to take on board. Farrar is ignoring this so he can make his spiteful little point.
Back to Farrar…
The vast majority of editorials and opinion columns in Fairfax and APN publications are critical of the Government.
On Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon show, you can go all week without hearing anyone say anything vaguely supportive of the Government.
Anyway it is a good thing that Labour and Greens have shown their true feelings. They want a media that agrees with them and they will publicly attack and denigrate people in the media who don’t agree with them.
Who will be next on their hitlist?
…this is ridiculous. The sudden spike in mildly critical editorials is more market dynamics of those media outlets needing to pretend to be balanced in the face of liberal and educated readers walking away in droves than genuine criticism of the Government.
As for Farrar’s last point, seeing as he was donkey deep in the Dirty Politics scandals and is an apologist for a Government who have done more to intimidate and denigrate real investigative journalism in this country than any before it, trying to manufacture the opposition into a thought crime big brother state is ludicrous because he’s already helped National build it.