Tag: Bias

Why isn’t the Coalition’s election campaign being called a disaster?

Scott Morrison on Day 17 of the 2022 federal election campaign (Image: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Albo’s campaign is being called a gaffe-filled disaster but not Morrison’s?

With only three weeks until election day, Scott Morrison and the Coalition remain behind in the polls and aren’t making up much ground.

Source: Why isn’t the Coalition’s election campaign being called a disaster?

Australian climate change policy: What Liberal Party, Labor Party are offering

The climate policies of both major parties fall short, according to experts.

The Age claims it’s not biased. But, if it hasn’t overstated Albanese gaffe for over a week and continued to understate Morrison’s several as simply slips or supported the proposition Albanese,a once Deputy PM and politician for 25 years, is “unknown” and therefore somehow a darker figure to back than warts, and all Morrison they now suggest falsely there’s an equivalency between the ALP and the LNP on Climate. The ALP for a start wouldn’t have had us be unsigned participants in a world agreed emissions target. Australia would today not be regarded as a global pariah on Climate and wouldn’t be threatened with trade sanctions.

To what extent did LNP attitudes bring about ease with which China has now gained a presence in the Pacific?

One only needs to compare Team ALP with Team NLP and one doesn’t need to be a genius to consider which is a Team and the other a discordant self seeking set of individuals who don’t trust each other.

The disconnect is jarring when you look closely. After years of drought, fire and flood – and in the wake of a series of United Nations reports spelling out in terrible detail the catastrophic costs of inaction – Australia’s major political parties are running cold on climate action.

Source: Australian climate change policy: What Liberal Party, Labor Party are offering

Capitol Rioter Admits False Statements to FBI

Far-right extremists leave Portland, Ore., after clashing with antifascists on Aug. 7, 2021.

No question that different treatment is being handed out by investigators had the rioters been Black ,Muslim or LGBTQis

“There is no question that the FBI and federal prosecutors have treated white supremacist and far-right violence far more leniently than Muslims they accuse of supporting terrorism.”

Source: Capitol Rioter Admits False Statements to FBI

Neoliberal principles guide journalism in Australia

I was under the impression that no matter which government was in power the ABC’s charter was to critically test the truth and validity of what they claimed to be doing against what they were actually doing. Basically, fact-checking, for and on behalf of the electorate, not simply the mouth piece of the government. Abbot’s promise to both Murdoch and the IPA was to rid us of the ABC. The LNP seems to refuse and accept this. Rather, claiming any revelation not supporting what it is they are doing, is in opposition and therefore biased. As a consequence, they prefer to work with the private. A media which they feel they can control with promises of “cash for comment” in exchange for what it is they want. Now that is biased.

Journalists have the power to frame reality for audiences, because they set the standards for what is considered “good”, “bad”, “normal” or “controversial”.

Source: Neoliberal principles guide journalism in Australia

Fox Pushes For Rittenhouse To Sue Biden, Media, For Defamation | Crooks and Liars

Fox Pushes For Rittenhouse To Sue Biden, Media, For Defamation

Murdoch and the IPA want to rid us of the ABC because it interrupts their business model and the LNP want to be the tool that Americanises Australia. Rids us of the ABC, Introduces Voter suppression laws, dilutes Universal Franchisement, reforms and relaxes our gun laws, and really wants to rid us of compulsory voting. Every body knows you don’t rig elections by adding extra votes they’re rigged by vote reduction and the voter ID laws proposed are there to do that in a election process that has never seen widespread fraud. The LNP simply want the indigeneous, migrant, aged, homeless and marginalised filtered because they are the most likely not to vote for them.

The next biggest crime against democracy in America was passing a law that allowed corporations to be regarded as persons but not convicted as such.They could act openly as political entities and openly fund those they support. Coupled with Capitalist Corporate Consolidation of the 4th Estate. Cash for comment” is now largely in control of America’s opinion echosystem. Murdoch Media is the largest practitioner and does it in plain sight. Rupert Murdoch learned and finessed it in 70s Australia and applied it against Whitlam.

Payola was banned in the American music industry in 1960s. Without a trusted Independent Public Broadcaster, America was ripe to suffer the biases of those who can pay. Generally concentrated at the top it flowed at election time. However, with the rise of billionaires and trillion dollar wealth and that corporations are legally regarded as persons, it’s now constant and permanent investment in their bottom line. A cycle of mutual support unable to be offered by Democrats. Yes, Democracy has been knobbled. The constant messaging is there to attract that flow of money when it counts. We saw Trump using it and turn to the internet a tent shows for the smaller dollars fed not into the Republican coffers but his own and he used it loudly and proudly without censure. His Presidency was one constant campaigning a constant rating exercise dangling sticks or dollars to the media.  Money rarely is a 2 way street when messaging counts, particularly if it gushes from the top down like oil polluting the once democratic experiment America.

The pundits on Fox “news” seem to have a bad case of selective amnesia if they really believe Rittenhouse has grounds to sue for being called a white supremacist. The network has been running one segment after another similar to the one above, and articles on their website such as this one ever since Rittenhouse was acquitted: Rittenhouse could have potential defamation case against Biden over White supremacist tweet, expert says. Missing from any of their commentary… the fact that Rittenhouse was caught palling around with white supremacists at a Kenosha County tavern and photographed flashing the white power sign while posing with them. Somehow that little tidbit never manages to make its way into the hyperbolic commentary on Fox, insisting that Rittenhouse has been smeared by Biden, CNN and MSNBC, and as Cheri Jacobus noted on Twitter:

Fox Pushes For Rittenhouse To Sue Biden, Media, For Defamation | Crooks and Liars

Canadian Journalists Fear Retaliation After Israel Open Letter

Toronto, ON- May 15  -  Thousands fill Nathan Phillips Squareas  the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) hold a demonstration against the Israel/Gaza Strip clashes.  Ontario tightens restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. May 15, 2021.        (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

While Israel launched strikes against Gaza last week after Palestinians protested planned evictions in Jerusalem, a group chat of journalists in Canada was lighting up with notifications. They were frustrated with Canadian media coverage that painted the strikes without context and with a glaring absence of Palestinian voices. Some in the group, which included several Muslim journalists, shared frustrating experiences of advocating for nuanced coverage of international issues in their newsrooms. Some asked for advice on how to approach their editors about concerns with coverage, or lack thereof, of what was really going on in the region. So they drafted an open letter. “‘The Middle East is complicated. We need to hear both sides. Everyone has a lot of emotions about this.’ [sic] These are just some of the excuses news editors have provided to Canadian journalists trying to cover the escalating violence against Palestinians,” the letter read. “The lack of nuanced Canadian media coverage of forced expulsions and indiscriminate airstrikes over the last three days, which have so far killed at least 137 Palestinians, including 36 children, has been disappointing.” At the time of publ

Source: Canadian Journalists Fear Retaliation After Israel Open Letter

Law And Order Takes Over The Speaker’s Chair! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Law And Order Takes Over The Speaker’s Chair! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I felt that I should make sure that I didn’t resort to the echo chambers of my own like minds, so I did the unthinkable and I watched Fox News for a while.

Law And Order Takes Over The Speaker’s Chair! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Incredible Shrinking Prime Minister – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Yes, confirmation bias is hard to overcome. If I use Gladys Berejiklian as my final example, I have to ask myself would I be upset if the premier of my state had kept their relationship with a corrupt politician a secret, failed to declare various conflicts of interest, shredded documents and removed computer files that gave information about pork-barrelling, failed to make masks mandatory because well, it’s just more rules, isn’t it, told us that there’s no real concerns about behaviour that some consider corrupt because everybody is and failed to protect koalas? Somehow I don’t think I’d be saying that they’re only human.

The Incredible Shrinking Prime Minister – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Great Works Of Sharri Markson: Abbott Is Not Pig-Headed. The Greens Are Lunatics. I’m not Biased. – New Matilda

Markson is one of those News Corporation journalists who’s drunk so much company Kool-Aid, its entirely possible she actually believes everything she says, and writes. Which explains this staggering exchange on the Daily Tele earlier today, where entertainment reporter Jonathon Moran engages in a lively discussion with Markson on politics in Canberra, in which Markson tries to school him on ‘bias’.

via The Great Works Of Sharri Markson: Abbott Is Not Pig-Headed. The Greens Are Lunatics. I’m not Biased. – New Matilda

Ali Fahour, former AFL diversity manager, charged over hit at suburban football match – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The AFL’s former diversity manager is charged with intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault following an incident at a suburban football match in Melbourne.

Source: Ali Fahour, former AFL diversity manager, charged over hit at suburban football match – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Special Investigations Archives – New Matilda

The first article in this ongoing New Matilda investigation was published on January 21, 2016. Our reporting so far has revealed that• In 2013, in the lead-up to the federal election, former ABC Games and Technology Editor, Nick Ross was told by the Head of the ABC’s Current Affairs Division, Bruce Belsham to find a story – any story – that attacked Labor’s roll-out of the National Broadband Network;• This was in order to provide “insurance” against attacks from the Coalition, and to prevent “the Turnbull camp” coming down on Belsham “like a tonne of bricks” for publishing stories critical of Tony Abbott’s alternative NBN Plan.This New Matilda special investigation is currently ongoing.

Source: Special Investigations Archives – New Matilda

Atiaf Zaid Alwazir: The flawed media narrative on Yemen – Your Middle East

Imagine the following: after weeks of convincing his editors that it is safe to travel to the US, a journalist from Landistan arrived in Kentucky state. Before his a

Source: Atiaf Zaid Alwazir: The flawed media narrative on Yemen – Your Middle East

Bill Shorten’s office rejects royal commission apology for ‘unacceptable’ late-night clearing – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Bill Shorten’s office rejects an apology from the trade union royal commission for its decision to clear him of wrongdoing late on a Friday night.

Source: Bill Shorten’s office rejects royal commission apology for ‘unacceptable’ late-night clearing – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

10 Compelling Reasons You Can Never Trust The Mainstream Media

By Sophie McAdam / trueactivist.com

poll in 2012 showed that trust in the mainstream media is increasing, which should worry all of us who value truth, integrity and press freedom.

However, a recently released analysis by PunditFact revealed that out of every statement made by a Fox News host or guest, over half of them were completely false. What’s more, only 8% percent could even be considered “completely true.”

But for anyone who regularly tunes into the conservative news show, such revelation is nothing new. PunditFact only confirmed what many have been aware of for a while now: Fox News lies – like, a lot.

But keep in mind it’s not just Fox that tends to weave more tales than truth…

Why? Here are 10 disturbing things everyone needs to know about the global media giants who control our supply of information, wielding immense power over the people- and even over the government.

1. Mainstream media exists solely to make profit

What´s the purpose of the mainstream media? Saying that the press exists to inform, educate or entertain is like saying Apple corporation´s primary function is to make technology which will enrich our lives. Actually, the mass media industry is the same as any other in a capitalist society: it exists to make profit.Medialens, a British campaigning site which critiques mainstream (or corporate) journalism, quoted business journalist Marjorie Kelly as saying that all corporations, including those dealing with media, exist only to maximize returns to their shareholders. This is, she said,  ´the law of the land…universally accepted as a kind of divine, unchallengeable truth´. Without pleasing shareholders and a board of directors, mass media enterprises simply would not exist. And once you understand this, you´ll never watch the news in the same way again.

2. Advertisers dictate content

So how does the pursuit of profit affect the news we consume? Media corporations make the vast majority (typically around 75%) of their profit from advertising, meaning it´s advertisers themselves that dictate content- not journalists, and certainly not consumers. Imagine you are editor of a successful newspaper or TV channel with high circulation or viewing figures. You attract revenue from big brands and multinational corporations such as BP, Monsanto and UAE airlines. How could you then tackle important topics such as climate change, GM food or disastrous oil spills in a way that is both honest to your audience and favorable to your clients? The simple answer is you can´t. This might explain why Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times-  sponsored by Goldman Sachs-  is so keen to defend the crooked corporation. Andrew Marr, a political correspondent for the BBC, sums up the dilemma in his autobiography: ´The biggest question is whether advertising limits and reshapes the news agenda. It does, of course. It’s hard to make the sums add up when you are kicking the people who write the cheques.´ Enough said…

3. Billionaire tycoons & media monopolies threaten real journalism

The monopolization of the press (fewer individuals or organizations controlling increasing shares of the mass media) is growing year by year, and this is a grave danger to press ethics and diversity. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch´s  neo-liberal personal politics are reflected in his 175 newspapers and endorsed by pundits (see Fox news) on the 123 TV channels he owns in the USA alone. Anyone who isn´t worried by this one man´s view of the world being consumed by millions of people across the globe- from the USA to the UK, New Zealand to Asia, Europe to Australia- isn´t thinking hard enough about the consequences. It´s a grotesquely all-encompassing monopoly, leaving no doubt that Murdoch is one of the most powerful men in the world. But as the News International phone hacking scandal  showed, he´s certainly not the most honorable or ethical. Neither is Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB spy and politician who bought British newspaper The Independent  in 2010.  With Lebedev´s fingers in so many pies (the billionaire oligarch is into everything from investment banking to airlines), can we really expect news coverage from this once well-respected publication to continue in the same vein? Obviously not: the paper had always carried a banner on its front page declaring itself  ´free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence´, but interestingly this was dropped in September 2011.

4. Corporate press is in bed with the government

Aside from the obvious, one of the most disturbing facts to emerge from Murdoch´s News International phone hacking scandal (background information here ) was the exposure of shady connections  between top government officials and press tycoons. During the scandal, and throughout the subsequent Levesoninquiry into British press ethics (or lack of them), we learned of secret meetingsthreats by Murdoch to politicians who didn´t do as he wanted, and that Prime Minister David Cameron has a very close friendship with The Sun´s then editor-in-chief (and CEO of News International) Rebekah Brooks. How can journalists do their job of holding politicians to account when they are vacationing together or rubbing shoulders at private dinner parties? Clearly, they don´t intend to. But the support works both ways- Cameron´s government tried to help Murdoch´s son win a bid for BSkyB, while bizarrely,  warmongering ex Prime Minister Tony Blair is godfather to Murdoch´s daughter Grace. As well as ensuring an overwhelming bias in news coverage and election campaigns, flooding newspapers with cheap and easy articles from unquestioned government sources, and gagging writers from criticizing those in power, these secret connections also account for much of the corporate media´s incessant peddling of the patriotism lie–  especially in the lead-up to attacks on other countries. Here´s an interesting analysis of The New York Times´s coverage of the current Syria situation for example, demonstrating how corporate journalists are failing to reflect public feeling on the issue of a full-scale attack on Assad by the US and its allies.

5. Important stories are overshadowed by trivia

You could be forgiven for assuming that the most interesting part of Edward Snowden´s status as a whistleblower was his plane ride from Hong Kong to Russia, or his lengthy stint waiting in Moscow airport for someone- anyone– to offer him asylum. Because with the exception of The Guardian who published the leaks (read them in full here), the media has generally preferred not to focus on Snowden´s damning revelations about freedom and tyranny, but rather on banal trivia – his personality and background, whether his girlfriend misses him, whether he is actually a Chinese spy, and ahhh, didn´t he remind us all of Where´s Waldo as he flitted across the globe as a wanted fugitive? The same could be said of Bradley Manning´s gender re-assignment, which conveniently overshadowed the enormous injustice of his sentence. And what of Julian Assange? His profile on the globally-respected BBC is dedicated almost entirely to a subtle smearing of character, rather than detailing Wikileaks´s profound impact on our view of the world. In every case, the principal stories are forgotten as our attention, lost in a sea of trivia, is expertly diverted from the real issues at hand: those which invariably, the government wants us to forget.

6. Mainstream media doesn´t ask questions

´Check your sources, check your facts´ are golden rules in journalism 101, but you wouldn´t guess that from reading the mainstream press or watching corporate TV channels. At the time of writing, Obama is beating the war drums over Syria. Following accusations by the US and Britain that Assad was responsible for a nerve gas attack on his own civilians last month, most mainstream newspapers- like the afore-mentioned New York Times– have failed to demand evidence or call for restraint on a full-scale attack. But there are several good reasons why journalists should question the official story. Firstly, British right-wing newspaperThe Daily Mail actually ran a news piece back in January this year, publishing leaked emails from a British arms company showing the US was planning a false flag chemical attack on Syria´s civilians. They would then blame it on Assad to gain public support for a subsequent full-scale invasion. The article was hastily deleted but a cached version still exists. Other recent evidence lends support to the unthinkable. It has emerged that the chemicals used to make the nerve gas were indeed shipped from Britain, and German intelligence insists Assad was not responsible for the chemical attack. Meanwhile, a hacktivist has come forward with alleged evidence of US intelligence agencies´ involvement in the massacre (download it for yourself here ), with a growing body of evidence suggesting this vile plot was hatched by Western powers. Never overlook the corporate media´s ties to big business and big government before accepting what you are told- because if journalism is dead, you have a right and a duty to ask your own questions.

7. Corporate journalists hate real journalists

Michael Grunwald, senior national correspondent of Timetweeted that he ´can´t wait to write a defense of the drone that takes out Julian Assange.´ Salon writer David Sirota rightly points out the irony of this: ´Here we have a reporter expressing excitement at the prospect of the government executing the publisher of information that became the basis for some of the most important journalism in the last decade.´ Sirota goes on to note various examples of what he calls the ´Journalists against Journalism club´, and gives several examples of how The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has been attacked by the corporate press for publishing Snowden´s leaks. The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin called for Greenwald’s arrest, while NBC’s David Gregory´s declared that Greenwald has ´aided and abetted Snowden´. As for the question of whether journalists can indeed be outspoken, Sirota accurately notes that it all depends on whether their opinions serve or challenge the status quo, and goes on to list the hypocrisy of Greenwald´s critics in depth: ´Grunwald has saber-rattling opinions that proudly support the government’s drone strikes and surveillance. Sorkin’s opinions promote Wall Street’s interests. (The Washington Post´s David) Broder had opinions that supported, among other things, the government’s corporate-serving “free” trade agenda. (The Washington Post´s Bob) Woodward has opinions backing an ever-bigger Pentagon budget that enriches defense contractors. (The Atlantic´s Jeffrey) Goldberg promotes the Military-Industrial Complex’s generally pro-war opinions. (The New York Times´s Thomas) Friedman is all of them combined, promoting both “free” trade and “suck on this” militarism. Because these voices loyally promote the unstated assumptions that serve the power structure and that dominate American politics, all of their particular opinions aren’t even typically portrayed as opinions; they are usually portrayed as noncontroversial objectivity.


8. Bad news sells, good news is censored, and celebrity gossip trumps important issues

It´s sad but true: bad news really does sell more newspapers. But why? Are we really so pessimistic? Do we relish the suffering of others? Are we secretly glad that something terrible happened to someone else, not us? Reading the corporate press as an alien visiting Earth you might assume so. Generally, news coverage is sensationalist and depressing as hell, with so many pages dedicated to murder, rape and pedophilia and yet none to the billions of good deeds and amazingly inspirational movements taking place every minute of every day all over the planet. But the reasons we consume bad news are perfectly logical. In times of harmony and peace, people simply don´t feel the need to educate themselves as much as they do in times of crises. That´s good news for anyone beginning to despair that humans are apathetic, hateful and dumb, and it could even be argued that this sobering and simple fact is a great incentive for the mass media industry to do something worthwhile. They could start offering the positive and hopeful angle for a change. They could use dark periods of increased public interest to convey a message of peace and justice. They could reflect humanity´s desire for solutions and our urgent concerns for the environment. They could act as the voice of a global population who has had enough of violence and lies to campaign for transparency, equality, freedom, truth, and real democracy. Would that sell newspapers? I think so. They could even hold a few politicians to account on behalf of the people, wouldn´t that be something? But for the foreseeable future, it´s likely the corporate press will just distract our attention with another picture of Rhianna´s butt, another rumor about Justin Bieber´s coke habit, or another article about Kim Kardashian (who is she again?) wearing perspex heels with swollen ankles while pregnant. Who cares about the missing $21 trillion, what was she thinking?

9. Whoever controls language controls the population

Have you read George Orwell´s classic novel 1984 yet? It´s become a clichéd reference in today´s dystopia, that´s true, but with good reason. There are many- too many- parallels between Orwell´s dark imaginary future and our current reality, but one important part of his vision concerned language. Orwell coined the word ´Newspeak´  to describe a simplistic version of the English language with the aim of limiting free thought on issues that would challenge the status quo (creativity, peace, and individualism for example). The concept of Newspeak includes what Orwell called ´DoubleThink´-  how language is made ambiguous or even inverted to convey the opposite of what is true. In his book, the Ministry of War is known as the Ministry of Love, for example, while the Ministry of Truth deals with propaganda and entertainment. Sound familiar yet? Another book that delves into this topic deeper is Unspeak, a must-read for anyone interested in language and power and specifically how words are distorted for political ends. Terms such as ´peace keeping missiles´, ´extremists´ and ´no-fly zones´, weapons being referred to as ´assets´, or misleading business euphemisms such as ´downsizing´ for redundancy and ´sunset´ for termination- these, and hundreds of other examples, demonstrate how powerful language can be. In a world of growing corporate media monopolization, those who wield this power can manipulate words and therefore public reaction, to encourage compliance, uphold the status quo, or provoke fear.

10. Freedom of the press no longer exists

The only press that is currently free (at least for now) is the independent publication with no corporate advertisers, board of directors, shareholders or CEOs. Details of how the state has redefined journalism are noted here and are mentioned in #7, but the best recent example would be the government´s treatment of The Guardian over its publication of the Snowden leaks. As a side note, it´s possible this paper plays us as well as any other- The Guardian Media Group isn´t small fry, after all. But on the other hand- bearing in mind points 1 to 9- why should we find it hard to believe that after the NSA files were published, editor Alan Rusbridge was told by the powers that be ´you´ve had your fun, now return the files´, that government officials stormed his newsroom and smashed up hard drives, or that Greenwald´s partner David Miranda was detained for 9 hours in a London airport under the Terrorism Act as he delivered documents related to the columnist´s story? Journalism, Alan Rusbridge lamented, ´may be facing a kind of existential threat.´ As CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather wrote: ‘We have few princes and earls today, but we surely have their modern-day equivalents in the very wealthy who seek to manage the news, make unsavory facts disappear and elect representatives who are in service to their own economic and social agenda… The “free press” is no longer a check on power. It has instead become part of the power apparatus itself.’