tip off

Press Council picking on News Ltd for the terrible things it does

This is why we usually have a #LOLBolt thread, to keep Andrew Bolt’s witterings from flooding the rest of the blog.

But we forgot to do that this week, so let’s have a very quick look at Andrew’s explanation for all the adverse Press Council rulings against News Ltd papers caught misleading readers:

The Left turns the Press Council into a playground

The list of recent Press Council adjudications shows that articles offending the Left are indeed more likely to draw complaints for faults – real or imagined. Or that the Left is more censorious, of course.

Alternatively, it might show that News Ltd breaks the rules and indefensibly smears people more often. You’d need to look at the specifics of the complaints in question (not just Bolt’s excerpts) to get a fair idea which it is. (If you have any doubts which interpretation matches the facts, seriously do that.)

And there’s something missing from Andrew’s reference to his northern colleague in a post complaining about Press Council:

Ludicrously, Tim Blair had to defend the words: “Quite so.”

The relevant words from that link?

On balance, [The Press Council] does not consider that the latter interpretation is so clear as to justify upholding the complaint.

That would be the Press Council siding with Blair against the complainant. Of course, if you don’t click the link, you might infer the opposite…

TL;DR Any regulatory authority that holds News Ltd to account for the things it does is biased and corrupt and probably “of the Left”. Boo, hiss.

  • 1
    Trippi Taka
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    People read something and complain. Bolt complains about them complaining.

    Left 1 vs Bolt…also 1

  • 2
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    “(If you have any doubts which interpretation matches the facts, seriously do that.)”

    No need. I’ve been there before. As for “the Left is more censorious, of course” … no, I think the problem is that “the left” doesn’t have the control of the levers of journalistic power, so the crap that gets written tends to make the right happier in the first place. The left appeals to the arbiters because it has no choice. If the left was rich and powerful, it would simply sue, or withdraw advertising revenue, or buy enough of a stake in the relevant paper to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    I doubt there’s any shortage of the right making complaints. I bet the email-readers at the ABC would be able to share a view on that. The trouble is that the complaints coming from the right might just be a little bit, well, let’s say “less in line with objective facts”.

    Like the complaint that andy shared with us a couple of weeks ago, from somebody who complained (apparently) that the ABC doesn’t air debate about whether climate change is real. As I posted back then, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the opinonsphere who disagrees that climate change is real. Monckton doesn’t deny it. Andy doesn’t deny it. Roy spencer doesn’t deny it. That really isn’t the point of contention. The disagreement is over what the change looks like, what will happen and what (if anything) we should do about it. So … complaining about the ABC moving on from that point is a bit like complaining about its persistent heliocentric bias – i.e completely nuts.

  • 3
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Matthew of Canberra – I really like your contributions and your posts over at the last bastion of free speech, Amazon.com, helped to pass away a cold, wet Easter Monday. But seriously, are you independently wealthy or something? How can you spend so much time on this stuff?

  • 4
    Muddy Waters
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    So many things on Andrew Bolt’s post that I never actually realised were political left vs right issues:

    Adjudication No. 1522: HDD Drug over-prescription
    I thought that this was a medical issue to be debated by medical practitioners rather than socialist vs capitalist debate. NO – POLITICAL.

    Adjudication No. 1521: School principal says he wasn’t ripped of by the BER spending
    School principal defend facilities that were built on his school premises with his consultation? POLITICAL

    Adjudication No. 1514: a complaint about a headline “Can Women be Taught to Lead?”
    I’m guessing that Gail Kelly would take offense to that comment and I certainly don’t consider the CEO of Westpac to be a raging socialist. NO – POLITCAL

    Adjudication No. 1510: Climate Scientists don’t like articles about death threats.
    I know, I know, we’ll never be able to convince Andrew Bolt that Climate Science is not part of some bizarre global conspiracy theory that has nothing to do with LEFT VS RIGHT (It’s science Andrew…), but if Andrew Bolt was at the receiving end of a similar article we would be reading about it for years to come….

    Adjudication No. 1509: A complaint about an inflamatory article on Islam
    Apparently the LEFT VS RIGHT debate for Andrew is translated into a MUSLIMS VS CHRISTIANS debate according to Andrew Bolt here.

    Apaprently anything where there is two sides in a debate can be boiled down to LEFT VS RIGHT. And the side of the debate that Andrew Bolt disagrees with is by default the EVIL LEFT!!!!

  • 5
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    “People read something and complain. Bolt complains about them complaining.”

    Yeah, but it pisses him off a LOT more

  • 6
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Any regulatory authority that attempts to hold News Ltd and/or Fairfax Media to account for the things it does is biased and corrupt and probably “of the Left”. Boo, hiss.


    By extension, anyone who attempts to get the APC to even bother bothering some “journalists” for an explanation is perforce a communistic greenie zealot.

    MSM in this country – print, online or TV – is beyond redemption.

  • 7
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    “How can you spend so much time on this stuff?”

    You could ask the same question of any number of other people who posted there.

  • 8
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    By the time lawyer Mark Lewis has finished with News Ltd., the Australian Press Council effort will seem like a mild bout of heavy petting. One cannot foresee the eventual ramifications of this, but it could feasibly result in the breakup of much of News’ hegemony in Australia.