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April 30, 2018 | by  | in *News* |
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Allegations of Media Bias in Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars (DWTS), the New Zealand reality TV show, is already embroiled in controversy, after allegations of widespread media bias.

An in-depth investigation has revealed that nearly 90% of preliminary coverage has been positively slanted in favour of newly announced contestant Suzy Cato.  When pressed, 93% of journalists polled admitted to “strongly favouring” the former children’s show host.

The investigation has revealed that even Salient has been compromised, with multiple confidential sources confirming that “up to three” of the editorial staff have “at least one” tattoo of her likeness or name somewhere on their skin.

Ms Cato is being perceived as the establishment candidate in a contest that looks set to divide the nation. Political scientists have cited her broad voter appeal and good relations with young and old voters as being key indicators of a decisive victory in the reality show.

Not all are happy with the volume of positive coverage that surrounds the mother of two, who is a woman. Media liberty advocate Savid Deymour has criticised the relentlessly positive coverage, saying that it constitutes “fake news” and interferes with the principles of a free democracy. “It’s utterly destructive to positive debate and voter choice,” Mr Deymour said to Salient, all the while trying to reattach a suspiciously false-looking moustache. “Alsotaxationistheft,” he added.

The New Zealand Press Council and New Zealand Broadcasting Authority have firmly rejected Mr Deymour’s complaints. A joint report concluded that the New Zealand media is “fully justified” in its deification of Suzy Cato and that “also, we <3 Suzy too”.

Despite this, Mr Deymour is not alone in his criticism.  Prominent media figure Mike Hosking has questioned whether Ms Cato has the “moral authority” to be a Dancing With The Stars champion, and AM Show host Mark Richardson asked whether it was appropriate for a woman to represent the best of our nation’s dancing abilities.  An exhaustive investigation by Salient has revealed no reason as to why anybody still gives two shits as to what these people think.

These allegations of media bias come hot on the heels of scandal surrounding Ms Cato’s main dancing rival, ACT party leader and walking meme David “Daddy” Seymour.  Although New Zealand Security and Intelligence investigations into foreign political meddling came up blank, last week Minister for National Security and Intelligence Jacinda Ardern revealed damning evidence of Russian interference with Mediaworks’ voting algorithms for Dancing With The Stars.

While no link has yet been proven, it is believed that Russia is actively trying to assist Mr Seymour’s campaign against Ms Cato in an effort to sow discord among New Zealanders. Parallels have been drawn to the attempted hacking of the Bird of the Year competition last year in favour of the far-right White Faced Heron. Although the more mainstream kea prevailed, fears of similar attacks on our democratic institutions remain.

Political scientists are warning that the forthcoming battle between the mother of the nation and the nation’s weird big cousin could be one of the most divisive events in New Zealand history.  “Forget female suffrage, forget the Springbok Tour, forget that chick who farted on The Bachelor,” warned eminent Victoria University professor Jack Vowles. “This shit just got real.”

*Disclaimer: This is shit news*

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this