Monday, September 19, 2011

misleading is not unfair

I don't miss many of the misinformations they put out about Hone Harawira and the Mana Party, even though I don't have a TV or read the paper - i check the news on the net and that is pretty similar but better because you can often go to the source and read differing views, if you want to. and sometimes a story pops up that you can't remember and before you know it, you know it. That is the case about this story where TV1 presented an item which said that Hone had “racked up a $35,000 travel bill... that’s almost $4000 more than the Māori Party’s total travel bill”. They didn't mention that the Māori Party received money from more than one source and when added together, made their statement 'misleading'.

The BSA have ruled that the item was misleading

we consider that viewers would have been left with the impression that the figures reported constituted total travel expenditure for the period specified, and not just expenditure administered by one agency,'' 
The misleading item created a negative attitude towards Hone for some, and reinforced and validated others who already held those views - and for some supporters, it may have created doubt. The misleading item was designed to discredit Hone and to reduce his mana. It has ended up doing the opposite of course. The second part of the judgement is disconcerting - it relates to whether the TV item was 'unfair'.

Now in view of the fact that the BSA has said that the item was misleading I expected that the item would also be ruled unfair simply because it was misleading. But I was wrong. Unfair is breached when an item strays into 'abusively personal territory', it is not based on whether it was misleading or not. So this misleading item was deemed not unfair and the additional rationale seems strange to me too,
The BSA said that because he was a high profile and often controversial politician, "he should expect to face robust criticism, especially with regard to the expenditure of public money''.
Is airing a misleading item robust criticism, especially in regard to expenditure of public money? I would say no! How can it be when the item was misleading - by definition it was not fair.

Maybe it is the definition of fairness that needs to be changed. We have an election coming up and that is why we need to be especially careful in exposing their dirty tricks.

Hone and Mana are working hard and there is lots going on and this is the quiet before the storm and oh what a memory Mana will create - from us, to the generations to come.

Kim at He Hōaka has written some awesome posts about Mana and other interesting areas.

and another favorite blog at the moment The Archdruid Report - I just love the way John writes and what he writes about - he absolutley gets it and can explain it so that you just want to read more.

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