Neck-and-neck bias…

… or just plain ignorance?

MEDIA:

The big question out of the federal election outcome is this: if 20 or so Coalition pollies have lost their jobs, why haven’t a similar number of mainstream media politics writers lost theirs?

There are many in the MSM who should have done the decent thing by now and tendered their resignations, or at the very least asked to be reassigned to duties more suited to their talents: fruit and vegetable markets reporter or the shipping news desk.

Let’s just look at two aspects of their election reporting that exposed their bias or their basic lack of understanding of politics – the alleged “gaffes” by Anthony Albanese and the absurd notion that if the two main contenders for government – the LNP and Labor – were roughly even in primary support in the polls during the campaign then the election was neck-and-neck.

Let’s take the “too close to call” rubbish first. It was an absolute nonsense from day one of the campaign. And while we can understand that the likes of Chris Uhlmann and Phillip Coorey who have been right-wingers from conception loved to peddle this “the election’s anyone’s on these figures” nonsense in the hope of forcing swinging voters to their cause, others joined in. Far too many.

Maybe these “journalists” thought they were commenting on NRL matches and that their job was to build excitement to the very end. A team can be leading by 14 with only minutes to go but the other side is still in it!

Here are the simple facts: if the last Newspoll had proved accurate – Labor on 37 primary ; the LNP on 36 – Albanese’s mob would have won in a landslide. If they had been level on primaries, Labor would have won in a landslide. And that was always the case, given most polls had The Greens on around 12 to 14 primary.

As it is, Labor has won an outright majority with 32.8 per cent of the vote and 52.12 percent two-party preferred.

And anyone with any political nous and knowledge at all would know that Labor came pretty close in 2019 with 33.34 per cent of the primary vote compared with the LNP’s 41.44. Isn’t it amazing what you can deduce if you add the bulk of The Green’s primary vote to Labor’s tally?

It’s so very, very, easy to either be ignorant of the fact that politics is a numbers game and the reality of that is explained clearly enough above, or to wilfully misrepresent the state of play for partisan purposes.

Either case is grounds for any decent journalist to pack up their desk or at the very least ask to be reassigned.

Let’s dissect Albanese’s “gaffes”, especially the day-one “gaffe” when Albanese had a brain fade and couldn’t remember a bullshit, meaningless, concocted jobless figure.

All those MSM “journos” who crowed that the jobless “gaffe” had ended Albanese’s run for The Lodge should, right now, be at home looking through the job vacancy columns online or in the hardcopy papers while they still exist.

Okay, we have to be realistic. The News Corp Australia “journalists” were only doing what was expected of them to keep their jobs. You can be angry with them, for sure, but there needs to be also a tinge of pity there as well.

But what’s the excuse of those we expected much more from?

The ABC’s Andrew Probyn joined in the chorus, declaring that “gaffe” could be the defining moment of the whole campaign. Pretty big call, given there was almost six weeks to go.

Others at Aunty also banged on about it for far too long, including Michael Rowland who was still talking about that gaffe in week four. We won’t even get started on Fran Kelly or Leigh Sales or Lisa Millar or Greg Jennett.

The bottom line is that the Australian voters through polling showed what they thought of that “gaffe” almost from the get-go, with the Newspoll taken during that first week showing both the LNP and Labor slipping a percentage point in primary support.

The sad reality is that first “gaffe” by Albanese was more than matched by Morrison’s missteps in week one. His stumbles over Alan Tudge’s ministerial status that very same day; a whole world of pain late in the week with internal divisions.

It is to the MSM’s total discredit that The Bug cannot remember one single politics scribe – be it at News Corp, the Nine mastheads, at Aunty, anywhere for that matter – using a comment piece to call out that “gaffe” for what it was, or who was prepared to look at the campaign with both eyes open and make the fair observation that Morrison had a shit week each and every week of the campaign.

And that there were too few MSM scribes who knew enough about the basic numbers of politics and how compulsory preferential voting works to openly and honestly report what the polls were constantly telling us. And too many, sadly, who perhaps knew too much about the internal politics at their workplaces to do their job properly.

Don Gordon-Brown

PS: And don’t get me started about how this pathetic, shitty MSM of ours is now banging on about Labor’s low primary vote and how dare Albanese take Scott’s plane to Japan on those figures!!!!!!