Monday, January 24, 2011

Media Stranglehold

Switched on the telly this morning to catch the 7.30 am news on TV One. I would usually listen to such a news headline update on National Radio, but I had an idea that there might be some footage of yesterday's storms and floods in the North Island, so preferred to see the moving pictures.

Oh but I was sadly disappointed. Didn't they used to have news updates on the half hour? I was subjected to the cringe making sight and sound of our Prime Minister John Key being toadily interviewed in a soft happy friendly way. Pure PR. Cringe. Now I remember why I hardly watch TV One news any more. They are so clearly not just in the pocket of the right wing spin mongers, they ARE the right wing spin mongers.

Shudder. So I switch over quickly, quickly to National Radio. They'll be having a 7.30 news update. Surely it's in the charter?

But, Noooooooo! Simultaneously, also at half past the hour, the National Radio is playing a RECORDED INTERVIEW with John Key!! Noooooooo! I really have very little tolerance for yet more patsy interviewing of the Smiling Assassin, and it is sounding sickeningly sycophantic. So quickly, third resort: Channel 7 TV News update. Yes! They are having a news report.

But it is about the meeting at Ratana. And they are making it all about John Key! They are saying the Ratana Church has in the past had a big influence on the way their people vote, and that they used to lean towards Labour but now there is a swing to National. At least, the journalists think we will believe that Maori have suddenly opted for the right wing, if we are told it often enough. There's no mention of the fact that maybe there was a good reason for Maori to prefer Labour governments, then and now, because the Labour Government's policies were more beneficial for a wider range of people, not just pitched to enrich the already rich and to bolster the small and already powerful elites.

Then I wonder. 7.30 am on three major news broadcasters, and the same message is being beamed out. Nice Mr Key, everyone loves him, he's the most popular PM ever, and won't it be nice to elect him again this year, even the Maori people love him, and you know they used to mindlessly vote the way they were told to, but now they have a choice they'll go to the pro-National right wing Maori Party...

Is this an evil plot? Or just a coincidence? Are the docile news hacks just playing along with the strings being pulled by the big money PR strategists - or are they actively engaged in their own pro-right wing political campaign?

I've had similar experiences flicking around TV channels during ad breaks, finding the same jingle for a major product airing at the same time, so the poor viewer can't escape hive mind even if they attempt to avoid it by channel surfing. So now are the same tactics being beamed out at us masquerading as "news"?

No wonder so many of us cobble our news together online these days instead of "trusting" the "impartiality" of the national broadcaster. The "National" broadcaster really seems to be that, these days, sadly.

Funny thing is though, whether this was a deliberate attempt to flood the news media with positive feel-goods about the money marketeer-turned PM, or just a nauseating coincidence, it won't work.

It won't work. They're desperate, you see, and their edge of desperation is starting to show. The gap between what they are saying and what they are doing to poor old NZ all over again - selling us off, running us down, and throwing people out of work - is becoming apparent to more and more people.

Maybe not to the small carefully chosen over-polled portion of the populace, but to the rest of us. We are seeing through the hype, and, no, we are not going to vote National.

1 comment:

Claire Beynon said...

Well said, PC.

wv herobsch