10 September 2013

It wasn't the Tele that won it

But don't tell Paul Barry that, in his latest epistle he provides a mock-up of the famous Sun headline from 1992 (again)

Now, aside from the issue that Barry has now twice used a 20-year old story from another country to beat Murdoch with, which suggests an obsession rather than contemporary media analysis, the idea that we'll never know if the Murdoch papers won it is a fantasy

The Telegraph, who according to Barry, are the worst of the Murdoch press only 'won' 4 seats in NSW, they may yet gain another 3 in unconfirmed results - while they've taken 2 (out of 4) in Tasmania, 3 in Victoria and potentially only one from Queensland (which has the second naughtiest Murdoch paper)

They could've won without NSW, although it would've been pretty strange to not pick up anything in the nation's biggest state - in fact the swing against Labour was below the national average, at a meagre 2.99%

The states where Labor really crashed were Victoria, the only state which had a Fairfax paper actually support it (not that you would know that if you listened to Barry), Tasmania and South Australia, all traditional Labor strongholds

Any simple analysis would show that the impact of Murdoch's papers was limited at best, in fact there seems to have been a negative correlation - with the Labor supporting Age creating the biggest mainland swing, and the single paper state of Queensland barely losing a seat

This is, to be honest, extremely poor from the ABC - while you might be able to attempt to justify Barry's weekly commentary on the bias of a populist daily tabloid as a fair cop, but boring, the suggestion that the Telegraph had a significant impact on the federal result just doesn't stack up with the facts, it's lazy and quite clearly biased

Arguably it's evidence of ABC 'group-think', where they decide that people must surely agree with them and Murdoch and his tabloids are trashing the awesome Labor government - no need to actually review their assertion that the Tele could've won it when three other states had bigger results

They also don't seem to have been able to stop the woeful Western Sydney Liberal candidate Jayme Diaz providing Labor with one of their only swings towards them, odd that...

For the sake of balance Barry also mentioned an anti-Murdoch 'GetUp' ad that went 'huge' on social media (the importance of which is contestable, and another weird ABC obsession) that the commercial broadcasters refused to air

I'm sure they refuse to run all kinds of things, but GetUp say that this is an outrageous breach of their free speech (why?) and Barry again twists the story to suit himself, saying that the non-Murdoch channels don't want to make an enemy, his view, not anyone else's

It couldn't just be that they felt it was in their commercial interests not to run the ad? It couldn't just be that commercial networks aren't a platform for free speech that they can actually use their own networks to act in their own interests? It couldn't be that Fairfax also refused to accept it as a paid ad?

Arguably there is a media story in this case - the commercial networks (and Fairfax) once again not running a far-left political ad*, but it's very convenient that the Media Watch subject matter was Murdoch, after a whole episode..about Murdoch

My thanks to Andrew Bolt for the screen grab of the dummy front page, he has effectively written the same article as me and I probably just should've saved time and read that before making my own post - but as an aside he points out that 6 (of 10, I think) have been focused on News corp - we should start making those graphs that Barry uses every week to judge the Tele

From memory, I think the others have only focused on vested commercial interests in tabloid television and beating up 'shock jocks' - how many have focused on Fairfax or the ABC...or are they just that good?

*The ad was a strange one, featuring a man criticising the Courier Mail's editorial stance against Labor and using it to clean up his dog's mess, saying that we're all entitled to our opinions, you know free speech and all, but then saying it's not on for Murdoch to put one in his papers

It doesn't make a lot of sense - to me, the ad seems to imply you must receive the Courier Mail and it must provide objective 'news' - yet in reality you choose to subscribe to it, does that man think it's some form of state funded newspaper he has to receive?

He's wasting his money on expensive doggy bags, difference is we don't have to with Media Watch...

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