Wednesday, March 09, 2005

murdoch and his lying bastards.

Ok, I know this is sort of old news. And I know that Murdoch press deliberately misleading the general public is not really notable these days — you just expect it, don’t you.

Nevertheless, it is good to see that the Press Council upheld Bob Brown’s complaint that the mob at the Herald Sun are a lying bunch of fucks “a disgrace to the profession of journalism” and “manifestly wrong”.

I know that this still means nothing — the Press Council are a toothless self-regulatory body — but it is still good to have some semi-formal recognition that Murdoch and co are blatantly deceptive large scale mouthpieces for the Howard government.

Of course that is why JWH appointed Janet Albrechtsen to the board of the ABC. But that is another story.

The complaint is with regards to the representation of the Green policy in the Herald Sun, by Gerald McManus.

These claims are ludicrous, as evidenced in the Press Council adjudication on Bob Brown's claim. The adjudication is quite short and worth reading, but if you can’t be bothered, here are some of the claims:
“Sen. Brown said a number of claims made by the paper in the article or graphic were wrong, including:
- an alleged policy of a 33 per cent hike in company tax to at least 49 cents in the dollar (which did not reflect current Greens policy);
- suggestions that people would be forced to ride bicycles more often and eat less meat and business people to use alternatives such as rail, boat and teleconferencing (no coercion is advocated in the policies);
- existence of policies to keep out business immigrants, introduce taxes on family homes, drive farmers from their land and reduce infrastructure to 1995 levels (no such policies exists, Sen. Brown says); and
- a desire to cut the population by 2 million (Sen. Brown says there is no such policy and the claim is based on a Liberal Party paper)”.

This is pre-election “coverage” of a The Green’s party platform — outright misinformation, with no attempt to redress it. You are going to have to ride bikes and eat less meat if the Greens are elected? I love it.

As the judgement goes on to say:
“The claims made in the original article were seriously inaccurate and breached the Council's guiding principles of checking the accuracy of what is reported, taking prompt measures to counter the effects of harmfully inaccurate reporting, ensuring that the facts are not distorted, and being fair and balanced in reports on matters of public concern”.

As both Anon Lefty and the SMH argue, the scale of this deception and systematic misrepresentation is orders of magnitude greater than anything what the right argues about with regards to the ABC.

Anyway, this is still not over, as the Press Council's judgement is being appealed. And it won't matter what the outcome is anyway — we know that Murdoch readers won't hear about it.

(Note: if anyone has the actual graphic in which these claims were presented, I would like to see it/post it)

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