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The Standard

Dear John Armstrong

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, democracy under attack, john key, labour, Media, national, newspapers - Tags:

Dear John

I read your column this morning in the New Zealand Herald and I must admit that I was surprised.  Yesterday’s revelation that Donghua Liu had confirmed  that he never actually bought a bottle of wine for $100,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser and that most if not all of the donations he made were not actually to the Labour Party I thought was significant and damning news.  But your only reference to this in your article was to the letter that Cunliffe signed 11 years ago and suggested that his supposed mistake about this was significant.  You did not mention John Key’s much more significant mistake about who Donghua Liu actually donated money to and how much and I thought this would be considered important because it was an attempted unjustified smear by the Prime Minister on the Leader of the opposition.

I personally do not blame Mr Liu for what has occurred.  He is obviously an energetic businessman who has sought to engage with the powers that be in his new country of New Zealand and clearly his english is poor.

But something extraordinary has gone on here.  Someone has taken a written statement from him and then leaked out information that was clearly wrong.  Then your paper received leaks of this information and printed the rumours apparently without even seeing the statement.  And after you received the statement your paper then reinforced the message while allowing Labour little chance to respond.  And even after doubts were raised about the nature and veracity of the donations this your paper has tried to reinforce the perception that Labour had received a donation by the use of headlines such as this one:

herald article liu donation confirmed

The basic problem John is that it looks like National has played the Herald like a puppet on this issue.  Even worse it seems that the Herald has been complicit in the manufacturing of a scandal that with the benefit of hindsight has no substance.

Is this what politics has sunk to?  Winning by smearing using baseless innuendo where the result is more important than the truth?  And don’t you think it is clear that the Herald has been used to peddle what essentially is a lie?

But you then chose to use your column to suggest that John Key had it all over David Cunliffe in Parliament yesterday.  I watched a replay and thought that the opposite occurred.  You were right to say that Cunliffe and Key threw different statistics at each other.  But you could have said that Cunliffe was talking about the median wage, Key talked about the average wage, and the median wage is a much more effective measurement of what is happening with the poor because every time a rich person gets a huge wage increase the average wage goes up but the median wage does not.  Instead of this you presented this as a victory for Key using your perception of body language.

I am sorry if you feel that lefties keep beating up on you and the Herald.  It is just that many of us campaign actively and there is nothing worse than talking to someone who may otherwise be a supporter but they are affected by rumour and innuendo reinforced by the articles your paper publishes.  There are not many of them but this election will be very close and every vote will count.

So how about it?  How about the Herald reports on the background to the manufacturing of an attack on Labour, reports more news and has less gushing homilies on how great John Key and National are?

82 comments on “Dear John Armstrong”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Armstrong is in love with Mr Key,

    I hate to think of the despair that poor Mr Armstrong will be filled with when he is unceremoniously dumped once he is no longer of any use.

  2. Saarbo 2

    Hear, hear.

  3. DS 3

    Dear John,

    You are a shameless Tory hack.

    Yours Sincerely,

    -DS.

    • Tom Gould 3.1

      Let’s not forget Tim Murphy. John Roughan. Shayne Currie. The National Herald dream team. And Rachel and Cameron too?

  4. Tom Jackson 4

    Why bother trying to reason with the Herald? They’ve declared their side and should be treated accordingly.

  5. swordfish 5

    All Power and No Responsibility.

    Influential agenda-setters like Armstrong need to be thoroughly Shamed into doing the right thing.
    He needs to know that his reputation’s at stake. Same goes for a number of other journos who haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory over the last 2 weeks.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Those without a conscience don’t feel shame.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        In fact they peer upon those with a conscience, those whose morals and principles hold them back, as being weaker and foolish, mere prey to the predator.

  6. Karl Sinclair 6

    Alternative Media and Monitory Democracy
    How odd Mr Armstrong does not want to write an update on the Key Liu bow without an arrow smear campaign.
    It’s great to see The Standard countering the mainstream media and its associated government spin machines and there overabundance of fake news.
    However, are we not just small sparks of illumination in the infinite vacuum of corporate/government driven media?
    How best to harness these sparks, bring together a consistent ‘flow or Flux’ of content that evolves and grows stronger like the sun? That gains coverage to new audiences illuminates them, gives people counter arguments (or if you like a counter education).

    The problem we face maybe one off illumination. Like the moon, if it didn’t spin at all, then eventually it would show its far side (dark side) to the Earth while moving around our planet in orbit. How do you get to this audience?

    What sites like The Standard are performing can be described by termed by the author John Keanes who wrote the book “The Life and Death of Democracy” as MONITORY DEMOCRACY. This Monitory democracy might provide the illumination?

    Keane provides a succinct summary statement about MONITORY DEMOCRACY in the introductory chapter of his book (2009; chapter titled “Bad Moons, Little Dreams”):

    “[T]he years since 1945 have seen the invention of about a hundred different types of power-monitoring devices that never before existed within the world of democracy. These watchdog and guide-dog and barking-dog inventions are changing both the political geography and the political dynamics of many democracies, which no longer bear much resemblance to textbook models of representative democracy, which supposed that citizens’ needs are best championed through elected parliamentary representatives chosen by political parties.

    From the perspective of this book, the emerging historical form of ‘monitory’ democracy is a ‘post-Westminster’ form of democracy in which power-monitoring and power-controlling devices have begun to extend sideways and downwards through the whole political order. They penetrate the corridors of government and occupy the nooks and crannies of civil society, and in so doing they greatly complicate, and sometimes wrong-foot, the lives of politicians, parties, legislatures and governments.

    These extra-parliamentary power-monitoring institutions include — to mention at random just a few — public integrity commissions, judicial activism, local courts, workplace tribunals, consensus conferences, parliaments for minorities, public interest litigation, citizens’ juries, citizens’ assemblies, independent public inquiries, think-tanks, experts’ reports, participatory budgeting, vigils, ‘blogging’ and other novel forms of media scrutiny.” (p. 14; online here and here)

    http://twotheories.blogspot.in/2012/03/praise-for-monitory-democracy-concept.html
    Another example of this Media Monitory Democracy is given by

    Media Lens
    http://medialens.org/index.php/about-us/what-is-our-objective.html
    “Quote: Our aim is to raise awareness of the systemic failure of the corporate media to report the world honestly and accurately. We encourage readers to challenge the journalists, editors and media managers who set news agendas that traditionally reflect elite interests. Any improved performance resulting from this public pressure, while important, is always likely to be marginal. So we also hope to encourage the creation of non-corporate media – good examples are Democracy Now!, The Real News Network and ZNet – that offer genuine alternatives to the corporate mainstream.”

    The question then, is how do you bring together these sparks of light, to create a sun that is cohesive, will illuminate people (I am not saying persuade) as to what is really going on rather than just hiding the dark side of the moon. How do you produce and coordinate alternative news that can reach the hundreds of thousands of voters who could potentially change this election. With all these opposition parties etc shouting something different, maybe its time to get a clear message together that is, No to National.

    The Standard and other sites are doing this. I Just wonder though, are we not preaching to the converted. How do you cross the void to greater audiences. What mechanisims in terms of Monitory Decmocracy can be used?

    Another Quote from Media Lens:

    “When corporations own the news and advertisers ‘sponsor’ the shows, journalists know they are above all answerable to the company managers and allied interests who pay their salaries. The mere public, especially voices of dissent, can be treated with indifference, even contempt. Journalists have power without responsibility, and they know it.”

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/766-the-great-white-nope.html

    If this is the status quo in NZ, we are in trouble, particularly when it seeps into TVNZ and RNZ

    The Standard, Mickey Savage, keep the lights shinning please. Cover Mr Armstrong in garlic, expose to the light, then saute.

    “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

    “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

    C.S. Lewis,The Screwtape Letters

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Thanks Karl for your comments. I like the phrase “Monitory democracy” it has a real resonance to it.

      And you are right it is a matter of preserving our democracy and trying to present an alternative, non corporate view of the world.

      If you want a cogent description of the effect of social media on the MSM I can recommend Jim Parkers post at http://failedestate.com/stuck-inside-of-mobile/

      In particular this passage:

      “What is starting to dawn on traditional media executives now is that digital advertising dollars are shrinking both in absolute and relative terms. The advertisers won’t pay print rates for digital. But not only that – the money being spent on digital ads is overwhelmingly going to Google and Facebook, not the old intermediaries.

      The fact is the “audience” is not passively consuming the SMH or The Australian as it once did. Instead, they are on their phones, actively engaging with Twitter or Facebook feeds and sharing and riffing on what they see. And, naturally enough, the advertisers will go where the audiences are.

      Stepping back from it all, media companies for 15 years have mistaken the information revolution as purely a technological change. We were switching platforms, so that just meant shifting the journalism from print to desktop to tablet.

      But this revolution is as much a cultural one. The media has been disintermediated, which means a journalist’s role shifts from institutionalised “Voice of God” handing down tablets of stone to freelance curator and explainer, working with the community to do what journalism has always done – to get to the truth of things.

      The mistake people make out of all this is to conclude that the destruction of the media’s business model destroys journalism. In fact, it merely destroys an institutionalised and industrialised concept of journalism formed in the 20th century.”

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        we already have a monEtory democracy. 😉

        Fascinating how quickly the right harnessed blogging for propaganda purposes.

  7. jaymam 7

    Dear NZ Herald,
    Please make your website subscrber-only, so that nobody will read it any more. We have plenty of blogs to get news from, and we can even post messages on those blogs whether we agree or disagree with them.

    • weka 7.1

      lol, nice one jaymam. Bring on the paywall!

    • Jenny 7.2

      LOL

    • Well my wife and I accepted a free ‘couple of weeks Herald. We both agree that it is most likely the worst morning newspaper we have ever had.. My East -End London born wife is just waiting for the phone call asking her if she has enjoyed the paper and if she wants to buy it. Oh dear !!
      that poor sap has no idea what he is in for.

  8. Tautoko Viper 8

    Great column, MickeySavage.
    The challenge to John Armstrong and the Herald is for them to examine their consciences and ADMIT to themselves that their role as the Fourth Estate is to report the truth to the citizens and that they have fallen short.

    Is it right for the Fourth Estate, upholders of the truth, to allow themselves to
    become complicit in deliberate acts of misrepresentation of the facts (which appears to be the case in their continued handling of the Donghua Liu Labour donations- for which there is NO confirmed evidence).

    Assuming that they were sucked in by whoever supplied the “evidence”, the Herald and John have had the opportunity to clarify the actual evidence but instead have chosen to save their own faces instead of highlighting the fact that Labour have been accused without solid evidence and that the PM had propagated these rumours.

    I say SHAME!

    • weka 8.1

      Shame is right.

      I think we need to consider the possibility that Armstrong has no shame. Key certainly doesn’t as a general rule. If Armstrong has no shame, then what next?

  9. Mike the Savage One 9

    “But something extraordinary has gone on here. Someone has taken a written statement from him and then leaked out information that was clearly wrong. Then your paper received leaks of this information and printed the rumours apparently without even seeing the statement.”

    I am afraid this is a flawed comment and post and does not deliver much argument.

    This is not about “leaked” documents, it is about blatant intentional manipulation and mischievous lying and worse. It is something John Key knew about for weeks, so he cannot be excused out of this equation, and the fact is, it was based on FALSE, MADE UP, INCORRECT, information, that was then spread throughout the whole mainstream media!

    John Armstrong may have some responsibility, but given his past recored, where he has been wrong at many times, but also correct at other times, perhaps he was MISLEAD, and relied on false info, that was “fed” to him and others?

    So do not make this a vendetta against one journalist, it is the WHOLE JOURNALISTIC PROFESSION in New Zealand that must take heed, that must rethink, that must reconsider, that have a DUTY, to be honest, fact based, reliable and BALANCED.

    We have NOT got much of the latter, so while the MSM are so dependent on advertising, and also public “appeal”, perhaps this is a totally timely reminder, that MONEY and INFLUENCE should NEVER be allowed to set the tone in reporting, and analysing what goes on. Otherwise we may as well abolish democracy, be honest about it, and let the PLUTOCRATS run the show here.

    So, dear MEDIA, we are WAITING and WATCHING, to see whether you finally get the message.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      Well …

      1. I agree that a story should not have been written without a copy of the statement. The fact that it was speaks volumes.
      2. It seems almost inevitable that the person who supplied the Herald with the info about what was in the statement also supplied it to Key.
      3. The Herald broke it. Key amplified it.
      4. The Herald continued the story when the statement was provided to it even though the contents of the statement were clearly nonsensical.
      5. You criticise me but I get the impression you are agreeing with my post.
      • Linz 9.1.1

        Below is a transcript of the interview with Tim Murphy the day after the Donghua Liu story broke in the Herald on Sunday. “New Zealand Herald stands by its story” From Morning Report on 23 Jun 2014. Murphy was obviously feeling very cocky about it and let it be known they didn’t bother to check any facts:

        Labour issued a statement yesterday rejecting claims about donations from Donghua Liu published in the Herald on Sunday newspaper saying it hasn’t found any record of them and challenging anyone with evidence to put it into the public domain. The paper reported on Sunday that the millionaire businessman donated more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to Labour including a hundred thousand dollar bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a Hawkes Bay fundraising event. The paper’s followed up this morning with comments from former Labour Party minister Rick Barker . The New Zealand Herald editor is Tim Murphy. Good morning.
        Good morning, Susie.

        Do you stand by your story?

        Well, what’s not to stand by? Donghua Liu made this claim, he signed it, we have the document, now whether he is correct is yet to be seen, but he certainly – this was an affidavit or a statement that people have been talking about, seeking, we found it, verified that it was from him, that he made those statements so we published them.

        Now, you are saying it’s a statement or an affidavit; which one is it?

        Ah, It’s a statement, sorry, people have been talking about it all week and it’s some signed statement.

        And the difference between the two is what in meaning?

        Immaterial in some ways. One’s for obviously in front of a solicitor or someone like that but ah this is..

        Is a statement no less reliable ultimately?

        Well, no, we’ve done it over that he wrote this and he’s made those claims.

        The timing of this. You got this signed statement and it’s signed the third of May, We’re getting on for the end of June now Why are you running it now?

        Well, because this issue’s been boiling all week. Ah and there’ve been talk of this statement ummm

        But why’s this not got into the public domain sooner?

        Well, because we obtained it on Saturday. We obtained it on Saturday, contacted the Labour Party as they say, and published Sunday. That was something that we’d been seeking ummm we had a statement on Friday for Saturday from Donhua Liu himself which he wouldn’t discuss numbers. This is not from him direct umm and ahh it that took til Saturday to get it.

        So hang on a minute, if you got this statement just in the last few days, why has Donhua Liu been making these statements and getting them signed and getting this all sorted out some weeks before?

        Well, that’s for him, but our understanding is …

        So where did you get it from? Did you get it directly from him?

        No. And we’re not going into where we got it from obviously but the, er, his reaction was in writing this I understand was in light of the Maurice Williamson affair and Labour’s claims immediately after that, that he put pen to paper, signed it, and I don’t, we don’t know where he submitted that to, or whether he did so, but um, that’s the provenance of it.

        To just try to clarify some of the dates in this statement then, Labour have said they have no record of the fund raiser on the 3rd of June, the way it’s written down is 3 slash 6. Is it the other way round? Is it the sixth of March?

        We don’t know and that’s something that they’re going to check today. We asked them yesterday whether they had somebody to check that reverse date, but we don’t know so we’re looking into that and it’s one of many things still in this statement, still to be picked over and inquired into.
        …..
        I’ll continue on another post.

        • Linz 9.1.1.1

          Continuing:
          Why have you not though shown this statement to Labour?

          For that reason, really. There’s still more to be done and there are issues of sensitivity around it for us. All these things don’t get passed over and we’ve sort of received a bit of an ultimatum from Labour saying Just provide it to us, but that’s not the way it works in these things. I imagine it will come out but it’s a matter of us working through some of them first.

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.2

          Cheeky beggars. The data from the photo clearly showed it was June 3, and it seems that it was not a Labour fundraiser at all …

          • jaymam 9.1.1.2.1

            The Herald photo of the wine bottle did have a date stamp 2007/6/3 which was cropped off by the Herald, who also cropped off the person on the left who was “unknown”. The Herald have typed the date 03 June 2007 into the metadata. The camera date may be wrong. There were no Labour fundraisers on 3 June 2007, but there was one on 30 June 2007 at the Old Sofrana House in Britomart. Here is the interior of Old Sofrana House now, after extensive alterations.
            http://i62.tinypic.com/21cbj8j.jpg
            There are brick arches in much of the building. The Herald photo also has arches in the background.
            I still think that Rick Barker or the Herald would know the details of the photo and where it was taken.

            • Kiwiri 9.1.1.2.1.1

              There is also another person who will be able to give details about the photo – the guy whose image was initially published and then subsequently very quickly cropped out.

    • Tracey 9.2

      i thought ms suggested armstrong had been used and misled. If he has written a retraction, apology or deeper analysis, and it has been refused, he should resign and sell his unpublished story to the heralds competitors.

      That is what courage looks like. That is what ethics look like. Ethics are easy to have but damned hard to live by. Heroes arent just peolle who run into burning houses, they are people who stand up tall and say “enough” even when there are personal consequences.

      This starts with armstrong and is rightly pointed in his direction. He has more power than you give him credit

  10. fisiani 10

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Find and read my previous note. ]

    • Weepu's beard 10.1

      Just ban him. He’s a troll according to the rules and by any definition for that matter.

      [lprent: Generally F does play by the rules. (S)he also responds to warnings. That is why (s)he gets the consideration when (s)he screws up and gets my gentler warnings. Past performance on the site plays some part in sentencing. ]

  11. David Shand 11

    He is just a National Party cheer leader – a clear pattern over a long time.

  12. Blue 12

    Why bother with Armstrong? He really couldn’t be stuffed any further up John Key’s arse.

  13. Visubversaviper 13

    Is his mouth all screwed up because he had left his teeth at home, or because it has spent too much time affixed to Jonkey’s butt?

  14. hoom 14

    Johns resignation may be in order

  15. Ed 15

    I still want to know why National have only shown $20,000 donation from Liu in their returns when John Key said it was hundreds of thousands. And why won’t National release the letters MPs wrote supporting Liu’s citizenship application?

    • NZ Femme 15.1

      The OIA requests for the Banks and Williamson letters are currently with the Ombudsman’s Office. In some ways, if they do take their time, providing they’re released prior to the election, it might not be such a bad thing. Particularly if they don’t paint things in a good light. A bit of mud on National and Acts faces wouldn’t go astray a bit closer to the election. Not that the two (ex)politicians are around anymore.

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    I really think the focus on Armstrong is inappropriate – yes, he’s a vile lazy prejudiced incompetent hack, but the Herald has throngs of editors and colleagues to remind him of journalistic ethics and bring him to a reasonable facsimile of his senses – this it has failed to do.

    Armstrong’s failure is of personal professionalism, but the Herald’s is the more serious: commercially motivated institutional failure. This institution needs to be regulated. Ultimately the degeneration of MSM is a proof that the neo-liberal model of foreign institutional ownership is inadequate. Foreign media institutions are insufficiently attentive to the professional responsibilities, and should incur an additional tax to support local professional media. The parasitic Faifax/Murdoch model is failing our democracy, it is appropriate to act to prevent our democracy failing with it.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      The NZ Herald has good people and not so good people associated with it but your point is sound: as an institution its a fucking rat ship of courtiers to the 1%.

  17. xtasy 17

    READ THIS JOHN ARMSTRONG:

    • xtasy 17.1

      Also absorb this, dear ARROGANT NZ media “personalities” in your screwed up, “preserved” world:

  18. Jrobin 18

    It would be interesting to know if any of the regular more fair minded writers do feel ashamed. Just saw smarmy mr Roughan of creepy psychophantic bio grovel. Reading the excerpt though was v dull but hardly appealing to average kiwi bloke. 2.4 million for a section! Oh now we can see why you have so much compassion for the poor, Mr Key. And how upset John was at the thought of losing because of the GCSB. Oh thanks that is a good hint? Lets get back to reminding him of this sore point. He obviously thought his days were numbered but didn’t factor in general amnesia and indfference. Guilty secrets maybe……..interesting.

    • xtasy 18.1

      Most of us feel ashamed about what goes on, but there is only so much most of us can do. We must be understanding and keep up the fight, thanks, best of wishes.

  19. Peter 19

    You are on to it! Both sides of the political spectrum deserve so much more from The Herald. Most of their regular writers fail miserably when it comes to honest political debate.

  20. the herald this morn has published a whining/self-justifying editorial..

    ..with not a hint of any apologies..

    ..and probably penned by roughan..

    ..(just before he popped off to the launch of his hagiography on key..)

  21. North 21

    Wow…….such commitment to fearsome journalism at the Herald this morning……so noble !

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11282539

    More aptly should read “Cries of bias will not stop bias……sorry, reporting……and anyway, we don’t give a fuck. We can and we will. That’s how we roll……(over). So fuck off !”

    I don’t have the time so could someone who does please list the falsehoods and false equivalencies the Herald invokes in this pious editorial confirming its award to itself of the Pulitzer Prize.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      The NZ Herald has fucked up in a very simple way in terms of basic journalism standards.

      It wrote up as facts which it did not cross-check, from sources that it did not carefully examine, and portrayed matters in a way which played fast and loose with the truth. It cast in printed word as fact without underscoring how uncertain many of the matters it was relating actually were.

      And now it is paying the price and I am sure that it will continue to pay the price both in terms of circulation and more importantly, credibility.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        Didnt it only publish part of the statement ot not show the whole statement to labour before going to print? Pretty sure that is a breach, unless you are the Truth

  22. North 22

    Put the Herald in pre-Mandela South Africa. Starting around Verwoed times and moving through. No prizes for guessing in whose favour the Herald would apply its ‘stellar’ journalism. None either for being able to guess to a word its pompous justification of no journalism at all.

  23. Grumpy 23

    [deleted]

    [lprent: I see you haven’t responded to my note on http://thestandard.org.nz/reverse-ferret-bites-pm-on-arse/#comment-838047. Bad idea. Banned 3 months. ]

    [lprent: Apologies. OAB pointed to the comment that I missed. Ban rescinded. ]

    • rudman @ the herald..is like campbell @ tv3..

      ..surrounded by ‘establishment-lickspittles’…

    • North 23.2

      Predictably a patently facile false equivalency there Grumpy. ‘Opinion’ expressed by Rudman. Based on fact as to the chronology but expressed as opinion. The Herald flew into this bullshit calling it ‘Fact’. Plain and simple – ‘Fact’. To restore any sort of balance Rudman’s opinion would need to be a screeching, scandalised denunciation of National’s access for cash scams and its overall corruption. Mention too of The BLiP List. It was not.

  24. Saarbo 24

    Touched a nerve at NZH. Refer to todays editorial.

  25. politikiwi 25

    I see there’s an anonymous editorial on the NZH website this morning, responding to the criticisms of bias:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11282539

    Completely ignores the issues, in my view.

    • Tracey 25.1

      john roughan is confused, he thought his last name was armstrong and thought everyone was dissing his great literat tome on the greatest living leader of the free world.

    • politikiwi 25.2

      The commentators on the NZH column are giving them a right spanking, too, which is good to see.

  26. Sable 26

    The MSM are not to be trusted. There are so many examples of misrepresentation of the truth they are legion. Time for legal reform and tougher penalties for media outlets that do not objectively report news stories.

  27. Observer (Tokoroa) 27

    Watching “The Herald” mutilate itself is not pretty. They could simply state that their political columnists and reporters exist to further the cause of Mr John Key, using any low standards to do that.

    A true mission statement like that would be at least a truthful step forward for their Rag.

    Each day the Herald printing press runs currently, it reinforces the well known and easily proven fact that reporters and columnists tend to be the true low life of all careers.

    The Herald political collection is unrelenting poison masquerading as garbage.

  28. Barnsley Bill 28

    I think you guys might be calling time on this a bit early. And I am frankly astonished that the author is not keeping his head down.
    Steven Ching has spoken at last and the links to the author, his legal practice, DC and Raymond Huo are very interesting.
    More to come no doubt as the pressure increases.

    [lprent: If you want to raise something then provide links.

    Ok he is probably talking about this stupidity at Kiwiblog. Apparently saying that you are involved with the Chinese community and work / associate with other Labour activists is a crime now according the hypocritical fuckwit Farrar. Needless to say he seems to believe that being Nationals pollster, having permanent card access to the 9th floor, and apparently largely making his living either off National means that he can be regarded as being a independent commentator. But working for a suburban law firm with a labour leaning associate does not.

    I’m tired of your silliness. If you want to say something then say it rather than pissing me off looking for it. 3 month ban. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      “More to come”.

      More of what? So far you’ve got a bunch of lies that Key and the Herald are backing away from as fast as their slimy monopods can crawl.

      • Kiwiri 28.1.1

        A heads up for the next round of smears? (And how many more to go before Sep 20?)
        Let’s guess – this upcoming one will be aimed at people associated with the Labour Leader?
        And the Auckland paper now known as the NZ Disgraced will run the story for their corporate patrons and the National Party?

        Meanwhile, Labour’s Capital Gains Tax is gaining support.

        • Wonderpup 28.1.1.1

          There was a claim that there would be a revelation from the right about the left each week for the 13 weeks until the election.

          If that was a serious strategy, I hope its being re-thought, as even my lumpen mates are starting to dislike the ‘gotcha’ b.s. They are even questioning the practicality of owning owls. Who knows, they may even vote!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1.1.2

          A heads up indeed.

          An unhealthy obsession with things,
          Connected to old Mr. Ching,
          From ten years ago,
          Are signs don’t you know,
          Of desperation and kitchen sink flings.

          • Kiwiri 28.1.1.2.1

            The initial poorly fact-checked story was … what?
            Now, it is about … erm ahh …

            In relation to the NZ Disgraced and National Government rubbish, I say to Progressive Voters – be pissed off, be very very pissed off and make that clear on Sep 20th.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1.1.2.1.1

              Attacking a 73 year old man over things that happened in 2004. After all, grieving families are fair game.

              • Kiwiri

                My suggestion to Cunliffe, Moira and the team would be to set up a small ‘Smear Response Unit’ to manage the ongoing drip-feeding nonsense.

                Cunliffe, Labour MPs and candidates should be fired up even more by these attempts to march on and campaign hard.

                • Kiwiri

                  After pointing out this link, I will sanitise my mouse:

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11281832

                  “The Herald can now reveal that the Auckland businessman [Steven Ching], who organised dinners where guests donated $1000 to sit beside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, approached the office of David Cunliffe about Liu’s residency bid.”

                  • lprent

                    And Steven Ching has denied it. I can’t find the statement and it appears that the Herald hasn’t published it

                    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/the-difference-2/

                    But failing that, the sum total of the Liu story is that we have a newspaper with right-wing editorial sympathies who published a false smear story about a left-wing political party fed to them by the government in the immediate run-up to the election. And it’s still ongoing. Yesterday they published a story about a former Labour Party fundraiser called Steven Ching, linking him with Liu and Labour. Ching issued a statement disputing all of the allegations and adding that the Herald never even bothered to contact him to check their story. At this point in the train-wreck you’d think they’d be a little more cautious.

                    Oh I hadn’t red my email from last night…

                    26/6/2014
                    To whom it may concern:
                    From: Steven Ching
                    1. Today (June 26,2014) the NZ Herald’s report regarding me was incorrect. The Journalist Jared Savage didn’t consult with me before making the story. I don’t know who had made Mr.Liu to buy the wine and book for Labour Party. I reserve my right to sue the NZ Herald.
                    2. To my best knowledge I didn’t took Mr.Liu to Labour New Lynn Office seeking support for his immigration case. It’s better to ask Mr.Henry Mao of MMW Consulting (group) who was his agent in NZ to clarify this matter. He may know who had helped Mr.Liu to donate funds to Labour Party.
                    3. After 2005 I was no longer a candidate for Labour, So It’s better to ask Mr.Raymond Huo or Ms.Susan Zhu to understand any details of Chinese community fundraising function.
                    4. In April,2007 I was invited to attend a fundraising party as a guest only. I was no longer an organizer for Labour to raise any funds after 2005 election.

                    • blue leopard

                      Accuracy is important for sound democracy, however it would seem fair to say that accuracy is not relevant when perception is considered the all important factor.

                      Ranking perceptions over everything else has got nothing to do with sound democratic process – in fact it is a massive attack on democracy.

                      Hey that reminds me of a headline the papers ran a few years back….wasn’t that the Herald? Was it an attack on democracy going on back then or was it simply another attack on Labour?

                    • Kiwiri

                      In this crucial three-month lead up to the General Election,
                      NZ Herald should re-brand itself with a slight modification of a logo it had used to now appropriately display:

                      “Attacking Democracy”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.2

      Ah, now I get it: it’s time to play the race card.

  29. Russell Belding 29

    Hello MickySavage … You do not call John Armstrong nasty names. Well done. You set a fair tone on your complaint to John A. You have a point. The Herald in its desire to be on the leading edge of breaking stories did not perform fact-checking and truth-checking in some instances. This is a flaw many have. The staff for David C. fell into this when they failed to find records of Liu’s interactions with the Labour team.

    [lprent: Possibly because there weren’t any? After all Mr Liu can only remember donations/sales on a single date and that appears to the Hawkes Bay Charity Wine Auction on the 3rd of June 2007 and nothing to do with Labour, and a single event the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club which again has nothing to do with Labour. ]

    You ask “Is this what politics has sunk to? Winning by smearing using baseless innuendo where the result is more important than the truth?” Pose this question to Trevor Mallard about his lecturing Judith Collins and see if Trevor has usual smart-arse replies.

    [lprent: Relevance to this post? ]

    Then you ask “And don’t you think it is clear that the Herald has been used to peddle what essentially is a lie?” Do you really want an answer to this silly question?

    [lprent: Yes we do. ]

    The best clue to your feelings is your comment “But you then chose to use your column to suggest that John Key had it all over David Cunliffe in Parliament yesterday.” In so many settings JK has demonstrated he has qualities DC may never have unless DC becomes more questioning and demanding of the performance of his team members.

    [lprent: An assertion without bothering to explain why. ]

    [lprent: A polite troll, but a astroturfing troll none the less. Improve your comments to something intelligent and accurate because the next one I see with so many stupidities will cause you to be banned. Read the policy. This is your warning. ]

    • Russell Belding 29.1

      So Lprent, you do not like my post because it is does not conform to your political tastes. I am not a troll of any sort. I am discussing issues raised by “MickySavage”. I will read you policy. I read it, and at the top are comment indicating this site is tolerant of robust debate which includes assertion making, such as your comment about my “stupidities”.

      “We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

      What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others….”

      [lprent: You are selectively quoting the policy (did you get past the first paragraph?). Read the other sections especially about moderators whose job it is to moderate the debate an in particular to prevent silly flamewars.

      I really couldn’t give a pigs arse about your opinion. I seldom agree with anyone here, so why should you be any different. But I’m interested in your behaviour. You made several assertions as if they were fact rather than your opinion. You didn’t link to any kind of backing for them.

      I pointed a couple of them out to you with an alternate opinion in exactly the same style as you used, with no links and confident assertions. I note that you didn’t deal with those objections. You went straight from confident assertions to pathetic whining about how you are some kind of a victim. Not a good start. About the only thing you have done right so far is to not personally attack the author.

      That style of assertion comment causes stupid flamewars that I wind up having to moderate and expend effort over. I prefer to catch lazy newcomers and to educate them first. Personally I don’t think that you are capable or ready for debate here. I’d suggest that you read some of the comments in OpenMike to get a feeling for what is required.

      But you are welcome to try to reach and acceptable standard. Just be aware that I will be watching and judging if you are contributing to the debate or if your behaviours are just being a nuisance. ]

  30. Brian 30

    Armstrong has become little more than a joke. Whatever credibility he had as a political commentator he has squandered in the last few months with his monocled witch hunt of DC.

    He looks like Victor Meldrew – without the humour.

  31. ianmac 31

    My comment to today’s Editorial (paraphrased) outlines that if I sent a letter to the Herald outlining some illicit activities carried out by John Key in a secret place, would they print it ? They could say that they asked Mr Key for comment but he would totally deny that it ever happened. But the Herald would republish the story and include a photo of a frowning John Key and alongside a photo of a well known celebrity. Aha!
    Does Mr Editor think they would print this?

    Doubt that they would print my letter because some might think it might be true.

  32. jjtam 32

    And what if it turns out that Liu did meet Cunliffe at the New Lynn office?

    It is very interesting that afaik Cunliffe hasn’t come out and said that he has never met with Liu.

    And the Herald ripped Williamson to shreds over his links to Liu, so claiming bias is simply laughable.

    • lprent 32.1

      FFS: I have ‘met’ Liu. At least I can remember being in the same large room as him once. I remember his face (not from the Herald photo, but from one in DomPost). And I’m totally antisocial. Politicians spend a lot of time in large rooms with a lot of people that they don’t remember.

      What are you? Twelve. You appear to still have the mind of child.

      And the Herald ripped Williamson to shreds over his links to Liu, so claiming bias is simply laughable.

      The difference between this one and the Williamson one is that the Herald appears to have done no checking or seeking of proof of their allegations on this story apart from what the National party has provided. The Williamson story had a lot of proof of him contacting the police and exactly what was said. This story has a confirmed 11 year old standard form style letter from an electorate office asking immigration for a timeline.

      You really are mindless fool if you think the two are in anyway comparable…..

    • Kiwiri 32.2

      If the Herald would like some more Lius (in addition to Bill, Donghua, Paul …) to fuel the story, I can find a few. No charge for accompanying statements, but no affidavits please.

    • Tracey 32.3

      ?..pointed out that williamson tried to interfere in an active police investigation into two seperate domestic assaults allegedly committed by mr liu. Mr liu was not in mr williamsons electorate and later pleaded guilty.

      When you leave facts out and just leave in your baseless supposition, you look worse than stupid.

  33. Tautoko Viper 33

    Russell Belding has made the same mistake as others; false equivalents.
    Judith Collins was deliberately not upfront about her actions on a taxpayer funded trip on events which benefitted a company of which her husband is a director. This is not equivalent to forgetting about an 11 year old letter asking for a timeframe on an application.
    A deliberate false story “on the way to the airport’, etc with continuing changes) is not the same as a genuine lack of recall of an insignificant event.
    This lack of critical thinking seems to be a prerequisite for those who support the current government because they swallow the misinformation dished out to them via the compliant media without doing any research to analyse the actual evidence.

    Russell’s statement “In so many settings JK has demonstrated he has qualities DC may never have unless DC becomes more questioning and demanding of the performance of his team members. ” should have a satire warning.

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