In yet another blast at the credibility of both The SpinOff and radical abortion group ALRANZ, the Media Council have hidden behind the label “opinion bordering on advocacy” and not upheld a complaint against yet another misleading and bias piece on abortion in the media.
In this latest decision, the complaint was brought by Bernard Moran, who said
The Spinoff had accepted Ms Bellamak’s “damaging allegations” without questioning her or anti-abortion groups about whether this had actually happened in New Zealand, Mr Moran said.
The Media Council pulled no punches:
While the Media Council is prepared to allow a lot of leeway on articles that are clearly opinion, the principles require comment to be based on accurate material facts and The Spinoff and author have provided no evidence that the most extreme acts described in the piece occurred at New Zealand clinics….. The piece comes very close to relying on claims that cannot be substantiated.
Despite this obvious shoddiness, the Media Council didn’t uphold the complaint because:
the article made it clear this piece was written by someone who was a pro-choice campaigner. It was opinion bordering on advocacy, and readers would realise that a robust piece such as this would choose to present facts in a way that backed up its point of view.
American activist Terri Ballamak gets out of jail – just.
Interestingly, this is not the first time. In a similar hit-piece lacking fact in 2019, Bernard Moran simply asked for a right-of-reply to unsubstantiated claims made by Ballamak (she seems good at this).
He emailed The Spinoff saying the allegations were false and asking for a right of rebuttal.The Spinoff declined his request.
Remember this next time you’re reading The SpinOff.
Check who’s bottom of this chart.