Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sky News and the art of the 'dog whistle'

Yesterday I blogged on Amnesty International's attempts to hose down the dog whistling of the media on refugees. It is being whipped up again in the most irresponsible of ways by commercial media outlets and, of course. the Liberal Party.

Sky news is running a poll today on whose border protection policies are more effective?

O Howard government (currently running at 87%)
O Rudd government (currently running at 13%)

Does anyone else agree that this is dog whistling, encouraging voters to get anxious about refugees to achieve a political outcome?

I have sent a comment to Sky News, suggesting they desist from trying to run dog whistle agendas, doing the bidding of the Coalition, and report the news with integrity and responsibility. Sky frequently utilizes these nasty little polls, that have no credibility in terms of voter opinion, to whip up anxiety and fear for political purposes. I understand the motivation behind their editorial posture on many of these issues - it inflames a political debate and feeds to the prejudices of a political demographic that are attuned to these issues. Fox News has adopted a tabloid pampleteering strategy in the US to feed and reinforce right wing prejudices/opinion and thereby guaranteeing a captive share of a cashed up demographic for marketing purposes.

It is always wise to follow the money trail I find!

I am happy to be dissuaded that Sky News are not doing this, but as President Obama famously said, 'you can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig!'.

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