Media watch – Thursday

2 February 2017

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

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37 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  February 2, 2017

  2. Gezza

     /  February 2, 2017

    “António Guterres, the new UN secretary general, said on Wednesday, in a clear response to the Trump administration’s refugee ban, that border policies based on religion, ethnicity or race were ‘against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based’.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/01/un-antonio-guterres-trump-travel-ban

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 2, 2017

      Religion, ethnicity or race do not figure in the travel ban order other than to protect persecuted minority religious beliefs. I don’t suppose that trivial fact matters to the likes of the Guardian.

      • Gezza

         /  February 2, 2017

        Did you read the article or just go off half-cocked after the first paragraph?

        That was just the teaser. Guterres is also reported in there as saying: ““Countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations” … “This cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality because … that is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based.”

  3. I hope you lot are subscribing to The Guardian. I’m doing my bit (this means you Missy 😉 )

    “Heavy losses feared as The Guardian forecasts it will burn £90m in cash this year”

    https://goo.gl/MTHs9U

    • Missy

       /  February 2, 2017

      Sorry Traveller, I have reviewed my potential ability and decided it is better for my blood pressure not to subscribe to The Guardian, but remain an occasional visitor.

      • Missy

         /  February 2, 2017

        oops, that should read: I have reviewed my potential ability to subscribe……

  4. A political movement or a charitable foundation?

    Can Gareth Morgan and his charitable foundation make up their mind. Putting a full time “charitable foundation” employee of said foundation on “Live of Absence” to pursue political advancement in an electorate is at odds with the nature of a charitable foundation.

    So much of Gareth Morgan’s raison d’être is political. I’d go as far as to say I see him as an entirely political animal. This sort of chicanery seems on the face of it, to be at odds with his “fear deal for the common taxpayer, let’s even up this playing field” meme.

    Yep, looking to little old moi as a rich man can rort the system, but wants to make the rules kind of thing.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 2, 2017

      Simmons has authored a series of silly Lefty pieces for NBR.

  5. Gezza

     /  February 2, 2017

    Aljazeera TV News: An independent report from The United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has advised the Trump administration the government has lost control of 15% of Afghanistan in one year.

    http://www.khaama.com/sigars-afghanistan-report-to-trump-admin-offers-bleak-progress-statistics-02781

  6. MaureenW

     /  February 2, 2017

    Bad frock choice Paula, brings to mind Colin Craig’s poem – Two of Me
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11793405

    Yes, miaoooow – it’s not a Deputy PM look.

    • Gezza

       /  February 2, 2017

      Girls eh?

      From a strictly male mechanical perspective, she looks very well sprung.

      • Gezza

         /  February 2, 2017

        Well really ! 😡 I can’t see why that qualifies for downticks.

        You don’t see the boys here bothering to comment on what a politician is wearing as if that’s somehow relevant to their role and position !

        Donald Trump was wearing a black & white obliquely slanted horizontally striped black & white tie with a black suit yesterday. He was wearing a similar blue & white striped tie he other day. He shouldn’t wear ties with horizontal stripes because they make his face look wide & jowly & could convey a lazy impression.

        A couple of days ago he wore a grey suit. The red or blue tie did its best to compensate, but the grey suit made his normally ruddy complexion look quite pallid & just wasn’t a good look.

        But these are not the sort of things us boys would normally bother to comment on when tearing politicians to shreds. That’s a girl thing.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 2, 2017

          You’re over thinking it. ‘Well Sprung’ = FAT got you your downticks. (not that I gave you one, but I nearly did).

          • Gezza

             /  February 2, 2017

            They must be fattists if they think that. Don’t you think they look like springs?
            As a pollie she’s not my cup of tea but as a woman, I think she actually looks quite nice in that. I would be very happy to walk alongside her & proudly introduce her as my deputy in that outfit.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  February 2, 2017

              I see what you mean now. Personally it looks like stacks of polystyrene cups.

            • Gezza

               /  February 2, 2017

              It’s possible I misspoke, or was mis-reported.

        • MaureenW

           /  February 2, 2017

          Its absolutely a girl thing Gazza, I even outed myself in my own post with “miaow”.

          Your remark about well sprung was very good, in fact it made me rethink the other bitchy comment I made about the poem Two of Me because I hadn’t made that particular connection.

  7. PDB

     /  February 2, 2017

    More nonsense regarding Peter Thiel and Trump;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/89010957/backing-peter-thiel-actions-speak-louder-than-words-in-business

    I look forward to the moral police coming to the conclusion that nobody can do business with anybody due to some perceived fault, or that ‘friendship’ can only be kept if all parties are 100% in agreement at all times.

  8. PDB

     /  February 2, 2017

    Free speech takes another hit on campus unless you’re a left-winger………

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/

    Not a fan of Milo Yiannopoulos myself but no reason to stop someone speaking just because I might not like what he says.

    • PDB

       /  February 2, 2017

      Wikipedia: “The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a student protest which took place during the 1964–65 academic year on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley under the informal leadership of students Mario Savio,[1] Jack Weinberg, Michael Rossman, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve Weissman, Art Goldberg, Jackie Goldberg, and others. In protests unprecedented in scope, students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students’ right to free speech and academic freedom”.

      The irony is somewhat lost on Berkeley at the moment……

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  February 2, 2017

      Isn’t protesting against a misogynist white supemicist ‘free speech’ and a ‘political activity’?
      I mean it’s not like someone complained to the admins and got the speech cancelled in advance (which has been happening a lot in US universities over the last 8 or so years).

      Side note: Have you heard about universities “Free-Speech Zones”? If not, look it up, Kids have been reprimanded for handing out the constitution, and talking outside their allotted time.

      • PDB

         /  February 2, 2017

        “Isn’t protesting against a misogynist white supemicist ‘free speech’”

        What about setting fires, throwing rocks, damaging property and stopping people going to the event safely which has occurred in this case? Protest should be peaceful and not stop law-abiding citizens going about their everyday business.

        Ironically the more these hypocrites continue to do such stuff the more it hurts their cause.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  February 2, 2017

          That’s almost a seperate issue. Google: Black Bloc.
          It’s a sort of anarchist movement; shit stirrers basically.
          Sort of like the Alt Left.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  February 2, 2017

      And one of his supporters shot a protester in Seattle on Friday, that could get people motivated.

  9. Gezza,I notice you quote Aljazeera a lot as a source of news. I would not put them on my list of reliable commentators given the basis of their funding. How accurate have you found them to be? Do they have a noticeable slant, or ideological basis to their reporting?

    • PDB

       /  February 2, 2017

      Wikipedia: “Al Jazeera has been criticized for being state media owned by Qatar.[1][12][13][14][15][16] Al Jazeera has been accused of being pro-Wahabi as well as being pro-political Islam (Including the Muslim Brotherhood), and having a strong anti-Iranian and anti-Shia bias. Compared to all the other networks, Al Jazeera seldom broadcasts extremist Salafi’s attacks on the cultural heritage in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, which can be attributed to the Salafi beliefs of its owners and executives. The network also downplays atrocities committed by the extremist groups, and instead highlights actions taken by the Western governments. It also never broadcasts anything even remotely critical of Qatar’s ruling family, including human right violations or the abuse of immigrant workers in Qatar. Al Jazeera can be recognized as an apparatus of the Qatari elites to exert influence over the region via propagation of political Islam combined with Salafism, hence being accused of supporting terrorism. In 2010, United States Department of State internal communications, released by WikiLeaks as part of the 2010 diplomatic cables leak, claim that the Qatar government manipulates Al Jazeera coverage to suit political interest.

      • Very relevant PDB, thanks.

        • PDB

           /  February 2, 2017

          Would be very hard to find any media outlet that isn’t biased in some way.

          • Yes, and that is a very real problem now, particularly with the lack of ethics in our journalists. You don’t know what to believe any more, other than your own commonsense logic and reasoning. There has to be big money out there for an organisation that can produce the real news and facts, including professional assessments of the plausibility index of the report (like we use for Intelligence reporting when lives are at stake)!

    • Gezza

       /  February 2, 2017

      @ Bj, re Aljazeera

      I wonder if I can answer your request for my assessment by including & expanding on my reply to a similar sort of query from David yesterday.

      Aljaz is pro-Islam of course, but it hasn’t had a particularly strong anti-US position. It tends imo to be neutral on them generally, to just report factually what they are up to around the world in the current events & news sense, & I always exercise my judgement, & sometimes other research, after watching it if I want another perspective or alternative facts. 


      If anything it’s mostly tended follow the US line, & has given Obama, Kerry & Powell supportive-to-neutral coverage. 
Many of its reporters & newsreaders are British or American, and the females are gorgeous & often very elegantly dressed, as well as intelligent, although that’s neither here nor there overall. Some of their reporters are gnarly old pros & others excited young things.

      Running the odd documentary or discussion that highlights the Arab side of regional history, the duplicity of the GW Bush administration, the Palestinian side of their oppression, the real toll of innocent casualties in the bombings & dronings by the Yanquis & Russkis, & the other horrors going on there that don’t get reported here or in the West generally doesn’t make them anti-American, imo.


      I watch it because it’s free-to-air, gives wider coverage of significant international events than the dribble shown by TV news stations here, hosts regular, good debates, by intelligent external commentators with some background expertise, on important contemporary issues, and often does live telecasts of important happenings because it has reporters & freelance reporting contacts everywhere – it also uses Skype & I think even Facetime etc to get news & interviews on air straight away. They have live interviews with people on cellphones trapped in the middle of sudden ISIS attacks and so on, sometimes.

      If the Pope suddenly called a press conference accusing Trump’s advisors of practicing withcraft, they would interrupt normal programming & show it immediately, with a running translation in English.

      It also means of course that they will often pick up & report rumours when something big is going down but there is, as yet, no official version of events or completely clear picture of who is involved, exactly what is happening etc.

      They run full hour-long news programmes every 2 – 3 hours, usually followed by a half-hour summary – useful if you want to see something again to double-check what you think they said. Also useful because they also then update big events & correct incorrect initial reports as events unfold & better facts become available. They run these 24/7, alternating between Doha & London newsrooms.

      My assessment of their objectivity or otherwise is that they are, generally, balanced & neutral on left / right political & economic matters, pro Christian, pro-Judaism & pro-‘moderate’ Islam, neutral to non-critical of Gulf states, Iran, Saudi Arabia, anti-Taliban, anti-IS & Al Qaeda, pro-American or at least neutral on American & Western involvement in the war against Assad & IS, anti-Russian involvement in Syria on Assad’s side, pro-moderate opposition, without defining it, pro-FSA, pro-Kurd, neutral to Turkey, pro-any Western government taking Refugees, anti-Islamic terrorism anywhere, neutral-to-critical of Saudi involvement in Yemen, but slightly anti-Houthi (always ‘Houthi rebels’, a term not otherwise normally used), neutral on Europe, America, South America, Central & Southern Africa, Asia/Indo-China, & the Indian Subcontinent, Neutral on China, Russia & Eastern Europe.

      They are sort of neutral on Israel. They report neutrally on terrorist incidents & attacks on Israelis by Palestinians, but they also often report on Israeli unlawful killings, detentions, provocations, house destructions, ongoing illegal settlements & frequent incidents of settler-violence & provocations where the IDF either ignores it or supports it, which we of the Western persuasion rarely see, & this tends to give the impression to those who don’t believe it, or who don’t care because they’re only bloody wogs anyway, the impression that they’re anti-semitic or anti-Israel.


      There’s no doubt they’re anti-Trump though. Blatantly. And if I have any other major complaints they would be that the in-depth quality of much of their reporting is notably dropping, & it has recently adopted much more of a ‘whoopee! bells & whistles’ Entertainment Tonight-style, like so many other msm tv outlets.


      As a general observation on the item from Wikipedia cited above, I would note that, as with many Wikipedia items, it is heavily slanted itself, in my view towards a somewhat pro-CIA style of assessment, which may or not reflect the persistence & dedication of certain authors or editors who might object to Aljaz’s tendency to report on casualties among innocents during attacks by & the now well-documented unreliability of US politicians, & US intelligence assessments & military reports, as to the whole truth, or even the real truth.

    • Gezza

       /  February 3, 2017

      @ Bj. Just as addional comment, before I hit the hay, they are pro-.First Nations & indigenous peoples in documentary-style programmes, & critical of bad behaviour by global corporates e.g. oil pollution in Nigeria, Sale of useless Chinese remedies & tobacco selling & growing practices in Africa etc.

      As regards their reporting in written articles on their website, I don’t usually rate those very highly: many tend to be very brief, polemical & not particularly well-sourced. Opinion pieces are often similarly polemical & written by academics or journalists of Middle Eastern descent or perspective, although they may be based in the US or UK or elsewhere, but there are still many good articles & opinion pieces & sometimes they link to other sources.

      Their site is easy to navigate & find documentaries & regular weekly feature in-depth news features, interviews with world leaders etc. They are re-showing a one hour 4 part doco series on the Caliphs at the moment, which I have seen before. It is probably available there to view on computer too. They’ve not long ago shown an interesting one on the Crusades, from the Arab perspective.

      Their regular daily in depth news analysis programs can be very good. They’ll get someone qualified in the field who strongly represents Russia & someone who represents Ukraine or the US & someone else who has expertise on whatever contemporary topic is being discussed for 30 minutes on the daily repeated showings of Inside Story, for example, and manage what can be quite firey debates. We don’t get anything like that here.

  10. Gezza

     /  February 2, 2017

    PS: I know there are some other regular or semi-regular watchers of Aljaz. Zedd, I think is one. I’d actually be interested to hear their assessment(s)?