Completely Biased

Monday, October 11, 2004

I found this in today's Daily Telegraph. A beautiful letter, a tribute to the quality of News Ltd, reproduced with the permission of nobody.
For me, the most exquisite aspect of John Howard's election victory was how it urinated from a great height on the blatant and at times quite vicious bias towards Labor in the political coverage of the ABC and my old alma mater, the Sydney Morning Herald.

I'm not anti-Labor, but I am anti-partisan journalism that professes to be unbiased.

It used to be the case with the Sydney Morning Herald that a journalist strove to be objective in his or her reporting and commentary on political events. But one needed only to observe how in recent times it is so consistently selected, where there was a choice, an anti-Government pitch on a story to become aware of a deliberate policy that lay behind it. This policy was reflected in the endless smearing of the Government by its gallery chief, Mike Seccombe, and the quite scurrilous rantings of its columnist, Alan Ramsey. Similarly, the ABC's coverage has been reglarly slanted by its reporter, Jim Middleton.

Please don't tell me I'm imagining things. I was too long in the business not to recognise bias when I see it, and know when a journalist is gunning for someone (and just look at the plethora of anti-Government letters in the Herald letters columns).

The ultimate responsibility in the case of the Herald must rest with its CEO, Fred Hilmer. Since he will be leaving shortly, one might hope the paper will return to its former even-handedness in political coverage.

One thing's for sure, as the election outcome demonstrates: because of their so easily identifiable political partisanship, the Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC have utterly bankrupted their capacity to materially influence public outcome.
- John O'Hara, Lindfield

This letter appeared in The Daily Telegraph of all places. Either it's satire that has gone over the heads of everyone, or this man truly is an idiot.