There’s objective journalism, and then there’s the Daily Telegraph

There are days when I pull a muscle in my eyes from rolling them so much. Today is one of those days. Check out this fine example of “objective” headline writing from the Daily Telegraph: Just who’s going to pay our bills now that the carbon tax has passed.

Um, that would be the Government. You know, the generous compensation package that your own newspaper reported on during June.

Of course, the reporting by Gemma “302 words on how Gillard is a hypocrite because we’ve calculated the emissions from flying a single pair of shoes from China” Jones is just as, ahem, balanced and objective:

But as the carbon tax Julia Gillard vowed never to impose was passed into law, yesterday marked a dark day for the majority of Australians opposed to it.

Oh, puh-lease. Anyone with half a brain knows that minority governments involve compromise in order to work.

Liberal MPs seized on a handshake between Mr Brown and Labor Senate leader Chris Evans.

“That handshake between the leader of the government and the leader of the Australian Greens says it all about the betrayal and the sellout of traditional Australia Labor Party values to the Greens,” Liberal senate leader Eric Abetz said.

OH NOES! A handshake! I shook hands with a charity collector this morning, so clearly I have sold out to ChildFund Australia.

Later, Jones “objectively” writes that Bob Brown was “crowing” over the victory. (It is possible that the story was changed in subbing, but it’s unlikely given her prior form.)

Now to another “objective” story in the Daily Telegraph, this one from Andrew Carswell: Hot to Trot on Karl Marx’s dogma at the federal government’s media inquiry:

THE first academic chosen to appear at the federal government’s media inquiry yesterday is a Marxist who once claimed Western democracy was a charade.

A fine example of playing the man, not the ball.

Martin Hirst, an associate professor of journalism at Melbourne’s Deakin University, joined three other prominent critics of News Limited, publisher of The Daily Telegraph, in speaking at the opening day of the inquiry, claiming there were not enough strong left-wing opinions in the mainstream media.

It’s easy enough to test whether this is just a lefty-pinko claim. Let’s name the regular mainstream media columnists, shall we? The ones who write each day/week and feature on the MSM’s websites as regular contributors. On the right we have Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Gerard Henderson, Paul Sheehan, Janet Albrechtsen, and pretty much everyone who writes for The Punch. Plus there’s an increasing number of Liberal politicians, both current and former, who write for Fairfax. On the left we have John Birmingham, Ross Gittins, Jessica Irvine. That can’t be right.

While they may not be mainstream, Professor Hirst’s views are certainly strong, and considerably left.

He holds views that are “considerably left”? Quick! Someone arrest that man for being in possession of opinions not shared by the Right.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the professor and prolific blogger has been a contributor to the Marxist Interventions web portal, on which claims are made he has been “the only Trotskyist to ever work in the federal press gallery as a journalist”.

Yeah, that isn’t a scoop. It’s publicly available information on the Marxist Interventions website, where it states: Martin Hirst has been active in socialist politics since 1975 and claims to have been the only Trotskyist to ever work in the federal press gallery as a journalist. To suggest that it is top secret information that you have dug up is to lie to your audience. And it’s just as ridiculous as writing “The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Peter Costello was a former federal treasurer”.

In his submission yesterday, Professor Hirst attacked News Limited for slanting stories in a way that was against the government, saying: “If they can find a way of attacking Julia Gillard … They will do so.”

Uh, Carswell, this post begins with Exhibit A.

15 responses to “There’s objective journalism, and then there’s the Daily Telegraph

  1. Love your work! I do not read the telly for obvious reasons, it is scary and amusing to see their work. The article “just who’s going to pay our bills” had the usual comments section. One man, who tells us he is 58 years old makes this comment. “Please can someone tell me how you weigh 1 tonne of carbon? a clear and odourless gas.” How anyone can get to the be 60 years old and not understand that gas has a weight is beyond me, and seems to show an almost breathtaking lack of curiosity about the world But to have a university educated leader of the LOYAL:opposition say such things is beyond the pale. Personally I find this lie to be insulting, and much worse than the ‘lie’ the the Prime Minister said.

    http://sansscience.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/tony-abbott-wins-sans-science-comment-of-the-month-on-co2-emissions/

    Science has a lot to answer for, and can be used in all many of vile and wicked ways. However this lie, which is constantly repeated without a mummer from the press, is a clear attack not just on science, but rather an attack on rational thought, on the very idea that the external world can be knowable.

    There is a quote from a Greek philosopher Alexander of Aphrodisias which I think fits well, and has become my motto for our present age. If someone were to say that ignorance is a lack of understanding, they would be mistaken. Ignorance is the condition [of being] wretched and beguiled.

    Anyway keep up fighting the good fight!

    • Thanks Tomsk, and welcome to the News with Nipples. (Sorry it took me so long to publish your comment – was offline for a few days.)

      Tony Abbott is the worst thing to happen to public discussion in a very long time. He has deliberately dumbed down the debate and the media has gone along with it because the quips are headline-worthy, and we are all poorer as a result.

  2. Yep, from now on we definitely need to make sure that only people with *weak* opinions appear before the media inquiry.

  3. Thanks for your robust defence of my free speech, it has not been so forthcoming in other quarters, I am attempting to post comments on Andrew Bolt’s blog and on the Telegraph story you mentioned, but so far – 12 hours later they are still in ‘moderation’.
    I’m glad I found you. If your readers want more of my strong, but hardly ever noticed commentary, they can head over to Ethical Martini

    • Ethicalmartini, welcome to the News with Nipples. Sorry for the delay in moderation – I haven’t been near the computer in two days (I work two very long days on Thursdays and Fridays. Yesterday was 7am-7pm). I hope you didn’t think I was just as bad as the Tele! Your comment won’t get published there. Moderators generally work 9am-5pm and if your comment isn’t published by the end of the day, it won’t be, because the next day they have new comments to get to. It’s a failing of online news sites that they only pretend to care about reader comments. They want them so they can point and say “look at how many comments we get”, but there are often shifts with no-one rostered on to moderate, or someone (uni students) only rostered on for a few hours in the middle of the day.

  4. To be fair the media inquiry itself is an exercise in playing the man not the ball (the man being Rupert Murdoch) Oh and we are not getting compensation just for the record.

  5. Pingback: A new broom for News Limited and an interesting couple of days « Ethical Martini

  6. The Murdoch press is bloody terrible and truth seems to always be the first casualty when it comes to the bullshit they spray around. Do you reckon that hartigans exit will improve the standards(mind you, anything that wasn’t dressed up as commentary and “factual reporting” from a wingnut would improve the standards so they are coming off a base so low that they could collectively crawl under a snake)?

    • I don’t think it will change anything. Too many editors and managers who don’t care about quality, and have been promoted to their roles because they are News Ltd People. I worked there for a while and it was a terrible ideological match. I worked with some great journos, but for some incompetent/arsehole editors. And never has so little been required of me professionally.

  7. “THE first academic chosen to appear at the federal government’s media inquiry yesterday is a Marxist…”

    Well I’m sure that Andrew Carswell likes being entitled to sick leave, annual leave and a work day that is shorter than 16 hours. He can thank Marx for that.

    “…who once claimed Western democracy was a charade.”

    It is a fucking charade. What’s his point?

    • *throws hands up in horror at the implication that Western Democracy is not the pure shining beacon of truth and hope that the media would like us to believe*

      That said there are worse systems, but it doesn’t seem like a damning implication of someone’s moral lack-of-fibre to me!

  8. Is Mr Carswell unaware that P P Macguinness and Keith Windschuttle both started out as commie Lefties at university?

  9. The proudest moment of my professional life was being cited by a blog called ‘News With Nipples’.

    My work here is done.

    Thank you.

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