Fair and balanced

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, April 8th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: election 2008, Media, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

The Herald could barely contain its self-satisfaction when National’s David Farrar complained to the Electoral Commission that the country’s largest private sector union, the EPMU, which comprises 50,000 working New Zealanders, should not be allowed to register as a third party under the Electoral Finance ACT. ‘ Law gags friend as well as foe‘ proclaimed an editorial (would the Herald have been OK with the law if only foes were gagged?), which saw ‘delicious irony in the fact that one of the first victims of the Electoral Finance Act is a labour union’ and repeated Farrar’s lines nearly verbatim while not once mentioning that Farrar is a National activist.

In total, the Herald devoted four articles with 3452 words to Farrar’s attempt to muzzle the EPMU’s 50,000 members, as the Herald continued its campaign against a law that ensures New Zealanders know who is directing political propaganda at them.

Of course, Farrar’s inept complaint was rejected by the Electoral Commission on the most basic of grounds.

Did the Herald then retract its stance? Did it reveal the petty political nature of Farrar’s complaint? Of course not. It ran a 48 word article ‘EPMU a ‘third party’‘ that made no reference to Farrar’s compliant or the Herald‘s editorial position.

How far our largest newspaper has fallen.

16 comments on “Fair and balanced”

  1. andy 1

    The travel section is the best and most in depth section today, the rest is cut and paste!

    Also very, very thin today.

  2. mike 2

    So you guys have added shooting the messenger to the arsenal along with personal attacks eh. Looking pretty desperate and counting the words is OTT. Funny how the media is only balanced wheb it says what you what to hear.

  3. r0b 3

    Great post Steve – a pathetic display by The Herald. They need to take a long hard look at themselves.

  4. dave 4

    It appears, Steve that you dont understand news values. Balance is not valued or judged on size, but news values. It is worth noting theat The Standard was quick to post when the EPMU was allowed to register as a Third Party, but failed to post as quickly when Farrar made his complaint _ actually did you even do a post….

    IrishBill says: yes we posted on the complaint and we linked back to that post in the update about the registration decision. I suggest you try reading posts before criticising them. I know that sounds like a novel idea but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    dave. we are a political blog of the left. our coverage is partisan, as is Farrar’s and every other political blog’s. Are you really saying the bloody Herald should be held to the same standards? and if you so are you saying the Herald should openly declare itself a rightwing publication?

    mike. Word counted the words for me, took 10 seconds. Ther aren’t personal attacks in the piece. And we have long criticised bad reporting, and will continue to do so. If you have a problem with the substantive argument of the post, you’re welcome to elucidate it but I reckon you’ll just nibble at the edges instead.

  6. Frank 6

    “dave. we are a political blog of the left. our coverage is partisan,”

    Biggest crock of shit I’ve ever read on this site bar none!

  7. Frank 7

    wait… so quick to judge was I

  8. Steve Pierson 8

    It’s ok Frank. We tend to expect the worst from the other side.

  9. r0b 9

    “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

  10. Steve Pierson 10

    Awesome r0b, that means I won the bet.

    I bet Tane you were Yoda. He thought you were the ghost of Grace Kelly.

  11. r0b 11

    Hey – Frank started the whole Yoda thing! For the record, I’m not Yoda. Although there are similarities, I think you’ll find that I’m not quite as old as Yoda, and I’m not quite as ruggedly handsome.

  12. ” mike
    Apr 8th, 2008 at 11:52 am
    So you guys have added shooting the messenger to the arsenal along with personal attacks eh. Looking pretty desperate and counting the words is OTT. Funny how the media is only balanced wheb it says what you what to hear.”

    Sorry mike, this isnt shooting the messenger, messenger implies they are objectivly reporting the facts of what happened, this is opinion / adver-torial, the hearld is a joke.

  13. Draco TB 13

    “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’

    Man fears that which he does not understand and destroys that which he fears.

  14. Ruth 14

    I hope the Herald are embarrassed.

    Massaging the ego of a blogger who caters to the most dim-witted partisans in NZ is not a good look – and has the potential to seriously backfire on them re advertising etc.

  15. randal 15

    well farrar himself has stooped to slagging off individuals in trademe opinions so I guess nothing is beneath his dignity now

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Messengers should certainly be shot when they can’t even show basic professionalism.

    For example, today on Newstalk ZB (owned by APN, like the Herald) Larry Williams interviewed David Farrar. You can decide for yourselves if Williams serves his listeners as a professional broadcaster should, with the relevant information about the interviewee. Or indeed, any information at all.

    Audio here:


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