Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fox News Lite - all the slant you could ever hope for.

(I thought this link from that post was particularly enlightening.)

I watched a wee bit of 18 Tory Street last night and it wasn't an enjoyable experience (quite apart from the fact that the "live stream" stuttered like Arkwright replying to a request for discount). They were talking about multiculturalism. Fox News Lite was exactly what it looked like.


Bill said...

Granted that Iain Dale is not by any stretch completely impartial himself (and I don't think he has ever pretended otherwise) and that you may not like his politics, what factual statements in his report do you find fault with? It is quite clear that Brown and Co are desperately keen for the affairs of the Smith Institute not to be investigated too closely; the attemp at bizarre intimidation of Guido by the Charity Commissioners is very obviously an attempt to shut him up. Fat chance!

CuriousHamster said...

It's not the accuracy or otherwise of the report itself that I have a problem with, it's the way that 18 Doughty Street pretends to be "anti-establishment". If that was true, they'd be interested in running similar pieces on Tory thinks tanks which do similar things but I won't be holding my breath. All five directors have close links to the Conservative Party. They do and will criticise the Tories but only to try to move the party in the direction they want. I very much doubt they'll be running many exposes on Conservative Party links to their "independent" think tanks.

I have a similar problem with "Guido". He's not interested in Policy Exchange. He is not the impartial hater of politician that he claims to be and his agenda is not quite what he says it is.

I should add that I don't have quite the same problem with Iain Dale himself. He is, as you say, more open about where he's coming from. But to attack the Smith Institute when he's a trustee of the Conservative dominated Policy Exchange does rather dent any credibility he might have on this issue.

The report may be true, but if, at the same time, it ignores very similar activities by the Tories, is indeed presented by a trustee of a similar conservative organisation, then it's pedalling one agenda while claiming to be following another. It's spin and that's what I wanted to highlight

There is a problem with the way that that both main parties exploit the rules around "independent" think tanks. "Guido" and 18 Doughty Street are trying to present this as an exclusively Labour problem to further their own agendas.

Bill said...

So in other words, to cut out all the fluff, you have no fault to find with what is actually in the 18 Doughty Street report - have I got that right? The rest of your post, and your comment reply, is no more than a 'gripe'. Nuf sed. This Government is big enough (far too big, actually) and certainly ugly enough to defend itself. I think it is healthy to have the government of the day held to account in its activities. Personally I would be glad, too, if someone wrote credible criticism of the activities of right of centre people such as Dale, but your post and comment don't qualify (in my humble opinion). Now, as I'm in Spain, I must go and have a glass of an excellent Manzanilla I got yesterday. Cheers!

CuriousHamster said...

You lucky man. It was apparently fifteen degrees in Aberdeen today. I'd still rather be in Spain though.

I would like to stress that I'm not defending the government. The very thought fills me with horror and that's absolutely not what this is about. I do have a problem with the report in that the criticisms of the government in it come from people who are doing pretty much exactly the same thing with Policy Exchange. That's hardly a credible or indeed honest position to take.

Now that the Tories are in the position where they might be elected, it's time to start scrutinising them too and this reeks of hypocrisy to me.

Anyhoo, enjoy your wine.

FlyingRodent said...

I took a quick look at that show, it looks like another triumph for bloggers in a "This news sucks, let's make up our own news!" way.

I'm as cynical as its possible to be about the claims for the revolutionary power of blogs.

I've said before that basing your worldview on the ramblings of internet propagandists is like a sprinter warming up for a race by nailing his dick to the starting line.