Never mind the facts, just feel the headline
ECONOMISTS, SOCIOLOGIST POSITIVE ON BUDGET – Times of Malta, today: so I read the story to learn something from these economists and this sociologist.
Anybody reading just the headline, which is what most people do, would have said to themselves, ‘Wow, economists and sociologists are positive about the budget. So it must be good and who am I to gainsay them.’
And that’s when I found out that the headline was a gross piece of mis-selling. The story quoted THREE PEOPLE:
1. Karm Farrugia, who is now well into his 80s and who was one of Dom Mintoff’s closest friends, allies and supporters;
2. Michael Briguglio, former chairman of the political party Alternattiva Demokratika, who by his own admission voted Labour despite ‘being AD';
3. Gordon Cordina, whose father Peter Cordina is standing for election on the Labour Party ticket in the EP elections this June.
But did Times of Malta give its readers any of this context? Did it hell.
Karm Farrugia and Gordon Cordina were interviewed as economists and Michael Briguglio as a sociologist. And if you didn’t know the ins and outs of who is who, where they’re coming from and just how political they or their nearest and dearest are, you would actually believe that these are the independent, unbiased views of two economists and one sociologist.
Perhaps Times of Malta couldn’t find anybody else willing to speak about the budget from a professional point of view. In that case, it should have interviewed nobody at all. Or interviewed those three and put them in their political context.