Shame on these partisan left-wing journalists!


by Sunny
20th September, 2009 at 5:45 am    

OMG! James Macintyre from the New Statesman is left-wing and doesn’t like the Conservative Party that much! Tory blogger Iain Dale is absolutely shocked. Apparently James once also wrote something nice about Ed Balls and Douglas Alexander. Obviously that requires execution by death squad. The once proud reputation of the New Statesman has been tarnished (yada yada).

I have to laugh when I see right-whingers shout like this. I’ll briefly recount the background here. James wrote a blogpost (it’s back up now) saying he believed the Conservative Party was institutionally racist, given its long history of defending or playing down racists among their ranks. Enoch Powell is the obvious one, who once again Iain Dale thinks isn’t objectionable at all.

Daniel Hannan MEP, who kicked this round off, is another case in point. This time he says most of the anger aimed at Obama isn’t racist. I find this objectionable not only because of the huge number of racist banners on display, but because the organiser of the recent protests himself got caught out calling the US president an “Indonesian Muslim welfare thug”. Furthermore, around 50% of Republicans are “birthers” This isn’t a fringe this is a whole movement! Of course the Tories don’t want to admit this but a large percentage of their ideological allies across the pond haven’t quite got the post-racial vibes yet.

And this is my problem with Dan Hannan – he isn’t racist, but he’s quite ready to play down racism in the States as well as pretend there’s nothing at all wrong with praising Enoch Powell. There’s a difference between having some racist people in your party (all do) and actively eulogising racists. Iain Dale himself of course is no stranger to playing the race card… or the sex card… as do his mates. So this idea that only lefties do this is quite ludicrous.

Right-whingers not only play the race card when it suits them, but they also repeatedly play down racism. When challenged, they then accuse that person of being racist! (see the comments on Iain Dale’s post – they’re comical).

Partisanship
But I actually wanted to make a broader point here. Well done to James Macintyre for saying it how he thinks it, because I’m sick of left-wing journalists being tied to false equivalence. The right-wing media is full of biased and partisan reporting but as soon as anyone on the left holds them to account, they get hysterical and accuse them of being partisan (see above).

There’s a similar point made here on Gawker about Time magazine’s front page article on Glenn Beck. Let’s be clear about this: Glenn Beck is a whacko. There aren’t that many ways to spin it and any journalist that tries to play it ‘balanced’ is as idiotic as offering one side of a debate to 9/11 troofers or climate change deniers.

I made the same point to Michael Savage (political journalist, Independent) this week, who let Tory MP Nadine Dorries off the hook on the TUC high-heels saga. He replied:

it’s up to reader to make mind up on dorries from the context. Lets not pretend it’s only the right guilty of this…

But what’s the point of journalism if you aren’t holding politicians to account if they misrepresent something? Why are left-wing journos so goddamn scared? If politicians lie, then they should be confronted. Is that so hard? If Nadine Dorries is going around pretending that the TUC is trying to stop her from wearing high-heels, then the least someone could do is point out to her this wasn’t the case and then get her response.

Back to the point – it’s pretty obvious the New Statesman comes with a left-wing bias. That’s the whole damn point. Leave the ‘balance’ rubbish to the BBC. To get hysterical just because James Macintyre hates the Tories and has said a few nice things about Labour politicians is laughable. He’s not there to appease right-whingers like Iain Dale or the Tory party.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Shame on these partisan left-wing journalists! http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5944


  2. Tim Phillips-White

    RT @pickledpolitics: New blog post: Shame on these partisan left-wing journalists! http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5944


  3. Kurt

    Pickled Politics » Shame on these partisan left-wing journalists! http://bit.ly/gnf83




  1. Robert — on 20th September, 2009 at 8:59 am  

    Perhaps it needs to be restated that journalism is actually quite hard. The balance between analysis an opinion is not always easy to achieve, and the fact that the same people are expected to do factual reporting as well as make political/philosophical arguments complicates things further.

    It’s fine for The NS to have a left-wing bias, just as it’s ine for the Speccy to be right-wing. The problem is that I’d thus badge is to proudly worn, then the publication becomes deliegitimise in the eyes of their political opponents. The reverse is also true – When someone like Martin Bright leaves The New Statesman for the Spectator the latter magazib gains credibility, and probably hosts better political argumen as a result.

    But yeah, there’s no reason why journos can’t call out the facts, without being labelled partisan.

  2. Pam Nash — on 20th September, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    Sunny, in the interests of truth and transparency, you forgot (??) to say that the McIntyre piece was only up for a few hours, during which time Mc was roundly condemned by posters in response. He made hysterical and sneering rejoinders to them (VERY professional for a journalist) and then the whole piece was summarily removed. McIntyre was asked, by Iain Dale, why it was removed and said ‘No comment’; I suspect that the owners of NS knew it was libellous. If, according to you, it was so praiseworthy, why was it consigned to the bin so very quickly. It is almost unprecedented for a MSM organ to remove a full article.

    You are confusing bloggers with journalists – the first are, by their very nature, partisan (you as much as, and probably more, than most); the second group are (or should be) reporters, reporting facts. Beneath all your froth and bile, let’s have the truth: McIntyre said the Conservatives are ‘institutionally racist’. Setting aside the obvious lie, to even say it makes political opponents reek of desperation. The death rattle of dying parties??

  3. JuliaM — on 20th September, 2009 at 11:39 am  

    “The death rattle of dying parties??”

    Let’s hope so.

  4. Rumbold — on 20th September, 2009 at 12:15 pm  

    I find it difficult to tell the difference between most left and right wing Westminster-focused journalists/bloggers anyway now. If a left-wing politician is found to have done something wrong, the left-wing blogs don’t criticise that person, but devote their energies to attacking the right. If a right-wing politician is found to have done somethigng wrong, the right do the same (only vice versa). So much of Westminister journalism today seems less about facts and more about whose side you are on.

    This is why although I class myself as right of centre, I don’t care for either side, and hardly ever write about Westminister politics.

  5. dave bones — on 20th September, 2009 at 2:40 pm  

    How can you not like the Glen Beck? He is hilarious. Don’t be dissing the Glen Beck now. If Fox let a journalist sniff a like of Ketamine, put a camera on him and say “Go” this should be encouraged. This is art man. Don’t dis the Glen Beck. He is one of my favourite people on TV.

  6. Leon — on 20th September, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

    So much of Westminister journalism today seems less about facts and more about whose side you are on.

    Welcome to politics…

  7. Sunny — on 20th September, 2009 at 2:55 pm  

    The problem is that I’d thus badge is to proudly worn, then the publication becomes deliegitimise in the eyes of their political opponents.

    Not necessarily. You can still be a respected publication or at least widely read despite being partisan. It’s only liberals who think that they need to have ‘balance’ for its own sake. You could still have a range of opinion in a biased publication… as well as good reporting and editorials.

    ) to say that the McIntyre piece was only up for a few hours, during which time Mc was roundly condemned by posters in response

    It wasn’t libellous – it was opinion. I suspect they took it down because of the trolling.

    the second group are (or should be) reporters, reporting facts

    That’s also naive. Fox News says it reports the facts and lets people decide – the opposite is actually the case. How you present facts, and what you choose to say is also a form of bias. It’s about time people accepted it.

    So much of Westminister journalism today seems less about facts and more about whose side you are on.

    Maybe, but that’s because each side feels they’re under siege and thus more time should be spending attacking the other than your own. It’s called discipline.

    It’s not entirely a bad thing because it means that you do have at least one side being very vigilant about the other. This is why we want several parties instead of just one consensual party, remember? I think a partisan blogosphere works on the same principle.

  8. Pam Nash — on 20th September, 2009 at 4:06 pm  

    ‘It wasn’t libellous – it was opinion. I suspect they took it down because of the trolling.’

    Seems you’re wrong, Sunny, because it’s now back up with a statement disassociating it from the NS – if it was ‘trolling’ (or disagreeing, in non-leftie speak), the article wouldn’t have been put back. It was obviously taken down whilst the NS made it clear to Mc that he was on his own if legal action ensues.

    Disclaimer: ‘For the record, I stand by the original post, which represents my own views and not those of the New Statesman.’

    The NS is DEFINITELY not backing him on this – funny, that.

  9. Rumbold — on 20th September, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

    Sunny:

    I support a system of non-consensual politics because I believe that people should have choice. It is also a way to ensure that ideas and polcies are challenged and sharpened. What I object to is the mindless defence of people simply because they are on ‘a side’.

  10. Sunny — on 20th September, 2009 at 4:43 pm  

    It was obviously taken down whilst the NS made it clear to Mc that he was on his own if legal action ensues.

    Don’t think you understand the law. The disclaimer wouldn’t save the NS from legal action if something were libellous.

    What I object to is the mindless defence of people simply because they are on ‘a side’.

    The alternative is to let the media dictate the agenda. People can read the partisanship and make up their own minds. After all, we still have a (relatively) independent media org.

  11. Rumbold — on 20th September, 2009 at 4:54 pm  

    The alternative is to defend those whose actions you support and criticise those who actions you oppose. I can be a bit rabid sometimes but I try and avoid the trap of defending libertarians and classical liberals just because they are on ‘my side’. I either agree with what they say/do, disagree, or am not sure.

  12. Shatterface — on 20th September, 2009 at 5:23 pm  

    Agree with Rumbold. I have a lot of contempt for people in politics in general, but even more despiriting is when bloggers attempt to defend ‘their side’ by attacking those who uncover their dirty dealing, e.g. endless flame wars against Dale and Staines rather than face up to the fact Draper and McBride were the main story when they attempted to smear Dorries.

    Whatever your views on Dale, Staines or Dorries, that’s the kind of partisanship that makes blogging look amateur.

  13. Sunny — on 20th September, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

    endless flame wars against Dale and Staines rather than face up to the fact Draper and McBride were the main story when they attempted to smear Dorries.

    shatterface you’re either deliberately disingenuous, or can’t read, or possibly both.

    During the McBride affair we all said what those two did was contemptible. Repeatedly. But when the Tories play hypocritically people like you start whining that we’re playing politics, but when they do it, it’s ok.

    Let me be clear here. I’m partisan. I’m left-wing. I’ll point out where Tories are hypocritical and why I don’t like their policies, ideas or way of doing things. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    But don’t whinge to me about bias and pretend as if Dale and Fawkes are above it. We’re all biased towards are cause. Get over it already.

    Rumbold: The alternative is to defend those whose actions you support and criticise those who actions you oppose

    I don’t defend what I don’t agree with. That would come back to bite me.

    But it is amazing that Tories are let off the hook, but when we on the left point out that hypocrisy then people like shatterface, cjcjc etc start getting hysterical. I don’t have time for it.

  14. cjcjc — on 21st September, 2009 at 8:18 am  

    I hope I never become “hysterical”.
    And I have no objection to partisanship.

    Though that NS blog does read like
    “The left-wing diary of James Macintyre, aged 14 and a half”!

    “I have an unusual name and an exotic background, but my values are essentially American values, Mr. Obama said.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/18/us/as-quickly-as-overnight-a-democratic-star-is-born.html

  15. Rumbold — on 21st September, 2009 at 9:59 am  

    Sunny:

    No one should be let off the hook. Exactly. We should criticise those who have done wrong (in our eyes) and only then make the point about double standards.

  16. George Causer — on 21st September, 2009 at 10:28 pm  

    Did anyone actually read what he said, he commented some of the opinion was racism as shown by this comment

    ‘As the amiable Jimmy Carter says, there is an element of racism in some of the hostility to Obama.’

    Some people are so blinded by hatred they attac them for the sake of it ignoring facts

  17. ukliberty — on 21st September, 2009 at 11:01 pm  

    There have been some comments of late in immigration-related discussions blaming the right wing press for immigration legislation over the past eleven years. It is a bit difficult for me not to blame the legislators instead – after all it is they, not the right wing press, who draft the legislation and walk through the Aye lobby.

    It’s that sort of comment that makes partisanship look ridiculous. YMMV.

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