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How to mess up “good” news

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, December 18th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: Media, national - Tags: ,

Key is so gaffe prone at the moment that he can’t seem to get anything right.

Trying to distract attention from the increased taxes required to maybe balance the budget one day, Key was pushing supposedly good news on health. (I say “supposedly” because the Nats are very selective in what they count.) But he messed it up:

PM’s health graphic branded ‘sexist’male-doctors-female-nurses

John Key has caused a storm on Twitter by posting a graphic that portrays doctors as men and nurses as women.

The Prime Minister’s tweet was intended to demonstrate the National Government’s progress in increasing the numbers of doctors and nurses, but did so using a graphic that uses male and female icons to represent doctors and nurses respectively.

The post has quickly been retweeted by followers of the Prime Minister, with many ridiculing the message as an example of sexism and old-fashioned ideas about gender roles.

Social media own goal. Perhaps he should have posted it on Nationalmps where no one would have ever noticed it.

57 comments on “How to mess up “good” news”

  1. Ed 1

    As one of the early comments on the article asks, has it been fact checked?

    • McFliper 1.1

      It’s from john key. It must be true.

      • felixviper 1.1.1

        He only deals in facts. Well, in facts and in the speculative future value of theoretical debt instruments.
         
        But he has NEVER lied. And you can take that to the bank.

    • QoTViper 1.2

      Maryan Street has called bullshit on the doctors figure on Twitter, but sadly no citation links.

      • karol 1.2.1

        Also a guy in TV3 news called BS on the stats, as well as showing up the stereotyping.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        PRIME MINISTER FLUNKS MATHS TEST IN HOSPITAL DOCTOR CLAIMS

        “The Prime Minister should have been advised that this 800 number has been completely discredited and disproven by using official DHB and government data. Over this period of three years the number of hospital specialists increased by 373. Hospital specialist numbers have increased but not fast enough to keep up with increasing demands.” “Furthermore, in the three year period Mr Key referred to, the rate of hospital specialist increases fell by 25% from the three years immediately before his government took office.”

        • karol 1.2.2.1

          Well, I gotta wonder if Mr Key has a turncoat operating his twitter account, re-focusing attention to his/their lies.

  2. It’s simply not that hard in 2012 to figure out that gendered imagery is fucking stupid. Anyone working in graphic design in a politically-charged environment who produces crap like that is either incompetent or acting under orders.

    But I can’t see a huge advantage to National in stirring up this kind of thing, so incompetent it is.

    Was it simply too hard to find clipart of a stethoscope?

    • felixviper 2.1

      Would it be attributing them too much cunning to imagine that this was a trick to get the “3000 extra docs & nurses” bit retweeted and reblogged and shared and on the telly and that they don’t give a fuck if people think they’re sexist?

      • karol 2.1.1

        Nope, it appears the stats are wrong too.  

        • Malcolm 2.1.1.1

          Maybe it was a plan to stop people from calling out the false numbers

        • QoTViper 2.1.1.2

          Yeah, I think the gendered imagery almost made it worse. If Key (or his 100%-accountable flunkies) had just published an uncontroversial image, few people would even have seen it.

          Now, they’ve seen it because of the initial outrage (too strong a word but you know what I mean) and THEN got the “and the facts are wrong too!” message directly after.

          Whereas Key’s unaccountable Twitter account just posting some bland propaganda which turns out to be inaccurate wouldn’t have had nearly as much impact (as far as the politically-aware tweet crowd is involved.)

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Not a peep from craven, snivelling, crawling Tory apologists like Phil O’Reilly over axing an ACC levy cut and a massive rise in RUC and petrol tax? Nor Ken Shirley from the road transport crowd. Nor John Banks, the Small Business Minister. Not a peep. Looks like brain fades are catching.

  4. Jim Viperald - Once was colonised 4

    Took a quick glance earlier and thought the graphic was euphemistically pointing out the men’s and the women’s ….

    I remarked to myself – surely the government is not honestly suggesting their promise of delivering better health is going down the toilet !

    • karol 4.1

      Well they do seem to have massaged the figures – plus another ‘I dunnokeyo’ answer from the PM’s staff:
       

      Ian Powell, of the Salaried Medical Specialists’ Association, says illustrations aside, the National Party figures are inaccurate – and that the doctor figure should be halved.
       
      “They’ve misunderstood the data and we’ve advised them, but they continue to repeat this misleading mantra,” he says.
       
      The Prime Minister refused to talk to 3 News about the tweet. In fact, a spokeswoman laughed it off, saying she doubted he was even aware of it and admitting that it would be very unusual for him to know what was being tweeted by staff on his behalf.

      • David Viperious H 4.1.1

        “admitting that it would be very unusual for him to know what was being tweeted by staff on his behalf.”
         
        My god what next?? Blame Game kicks into high gear.
         
        And then this little gem slips past.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10854916
         
        The yearly payrise signed off by Key, and backdated to sometime.  Snouts deeper into the troughs.
         
         

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          I don’t know about “slipping past”.  It was on the TV3 News at 6pm tonight.  The reporter finished by saying that now is the time of year when the government dumps bad news: ie she called the government on trying to slip it past unnoticed.

      • Jim Viperald - Once was colonised 4.1.2

        Good to see at least one of the opposition MPs has not yet gone on holiday and is still keeping an eye on the government and commenting.

  5. TheContrarian 5

    Key may have blundered many things but this is straight from the PR/Comms department, not Key.

    • QoTViper 5.1

      Yes, yes, no one’s surprised that John Key doesn’t personally run his own Twitter account – but per karol’s quote above, it’s fucking farcical for his office to try to pretend that that means he doesn’t have a responsibility for the tweets put out in his name.
       
      I’m pretty sure there’s a lot that comes out of the PM’s office that the PM doesn’t read every single last word of.  Does that mean he’s not accountable for it?

      • TheContrarian 5.1.1

        “Does that mean he’s not accountable for it?”
        Maybe, depends on the circumstances. In this case – couldn’t say.

        • QoTViper 5.1.1.1

          You “couldn’t say” if a person should hold themselves accountable (much less be held accountable by others) for something they’ve empowered staff to put out under their name and their image?

          • TheContrarian 5.1.1.1.1

            No I am saying the person who approved the image, who is entrusted to make that decsion, is the one that should be held responsible.  If it I had approved this then I would feel responsible.

            • Te Reo Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              That would be John Key, TC. It’s his twitter feed, got his name, job description and a photo on it.

              • TheContrarian

                It’d be the job of the chief of staff.

                • QoTViper

                  His Chief of Staff is also called John Key?  This explains a lot.

                  • TheContrarian

                    I have run a lot a social media for different organisations in the past and if it were my job to to make sure errors aren’t made and if I let an error like this run  it’s my mistake, not the CEO.

                    • Te Reo Viper

                      “I have run a lot a social media for different organisations in the past …”
                       
                      Ha! Calling bullshit on that one, TC. Sorry, mate, but you’re not operating at a professional level.
                       
                      Quick question; am I right in thinking that you believe the person who authorised the graphic should take responsibility, but not the person who’s twitter account it is?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Fine, call bullshit. It doesn’t matter, that’s still what I do,
                      whoever authorised that image is the one who should be held accountable. It was their job to check it, approve  it, give it to an underling to post.
                       

                    • David Viperious H

                      And if it’s a serious fuck up then you lose your job, and he loses his job too.  For being such a fool as to let his name be used by someone else.  It’s just basic common sense especially in these days.

                    • Te Reo Viper

                      ” … whoever authorised that image is the one who should be held accountable. It was their job to check it, approve  it, give it to an underling to post.”
                       
                      Authorised by John Key MP, Executive Wing, Parliament, Molesworth St, Wellington.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Contrarian.

                      You know what the little blue tick on twitter means I’m sure.

                      Also. delegation, how does that work with regard to; authority, responsibility, and accountability.

                      For example, if I tell twitter that an account is verified to be mine, and twitter indicates on the account that I am the account holder, and I give authority to someone else to post on it, who is accountable for what gets posted?

                    • QoTViper

                      @PB

                      who is accountable for what gets posted?

                      Anyone except John Key, obvs.

            • QoTViper 5.1.1.1.1.2

              I get it, it’s the Hell Pizza approach to accountability, only political.
               
              You hear that, press secretaries, ministerial advisors, policy wonks of the world?  Politicians are no longer answerable for anything under their signature or on their letterhead, it’s all on you.

  6. Fisiani 7

    What a storm in a D-cup.!!!! Seriously keep banging away at this pointless crap. It’s as silly as the beatup up about 100% Pure New Zealand which ended up winning a prize as the best marketing in the world. John Key is always right.

  7. Dr Terry 8

    I presume some of you lot above are being heavily sarcastic?

    • TheContrarian 8.1

      I am not being sarcastic. Some nitwit on the PR team will be getting a dressing down I am sure.

      • McFliper 8.1.1

        and who puts nitwits on the pr team? Any responsibility there?

        • TheContrarian 8.1.1.1

          The head of PR and Comms

          • McFliper 8.1.1.1.1

            Well their arse should be fired, too. They should have systems in place so that people can trust what claims to be the word of the PM.
                  
            And Key needs to apologise. I mean, it’s not like making slit-throat gestures in the house or letting cabinet ministers get away with gross incompetence, but the words “retraction” and “apology” should pass HIS lips, just to show that the captain isn’t permanently drunk in his cabin.

            • David Viperious H 8.1.1.1.1.1

              “And Key needs to apologise. I mean, it’s not like making slit-throat gestures in the house or letting cabinet ministers get away with gross incompetence, but the words “retraction” and “apology” should pass HIS lips, just to show that the captain isn’t permanently drunk in his cabin.”
              Phrases like,  “yeah right” or “in yer dreams” come to mind,  apologise? Dunnokeyo just don’t know how to.   Sorry to say but the captain is pissed out of his tiny gourd, and has sold all the cabins furnishings for more booze.

          • QoTViper 8.1.1.1.2

            Who hires the head of PR and Comms?

            I could play this game all night.

  8. BLiP Viper 9

    .

    Another one for the list . . .

    – I’m Jewish/Christian/Agnostic

    – 1981

    – Tranzrail shares

    – Lord Ashcroft

    – National Ltd™ would have sent troops into Iraq

    – Standard & Poors

    – “I didn’t say I want wages to drop”

    – “I won’t raise GST:

    – Capping, not cutting the public service,

    – “North of $50 a week”

    – Privatisation won’t significantly help the economy

    – Wave goodbye to higher taxes, not your loved ones

    – “I never offered Brash a diplomatic job in London”

    – Kiwisaver

    – National Ltd™ is not going to radically reorganise the structure of the public sector

    – Tax cuts won’t require additional borrowing

    – National Ltd™ will tender out the government banking contract

    – “We [NZ] have grown for eight of the last nine quarters”

    – “…we will be back in surplus by 2014-15…”

    – “…unemployment is starting to fall…”

    – “…we have created 45,000 jobs…”

    – “…we are likely to create 170,000 jobs in the next 4 years…”

    – “I don’t own a vineyard”

    – The Isreali spy killed in the Christchurch quake had “only one” passport

    – The Police will not need to make savings by losing jobs

    – GCSB x 3 (that we know about)

    – “I voted to keep the drinking age at 20″

    – New Zealand is 100% Pure

    – “I’ve been prime minister for four years, and it’s really 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year”

    – Baseball in New Zealand is attracting more government support

    – the public demanded that we change the labour laws for The Hobbit

    – we have delivered 1000 extra doctors in the public service

  9. Polish Pride 10

    Yep sure if the figures are wrong call it out.
    Call out the gender stereotyping.
    Then take a step back and get a little perspective …. there are far bigger issues and the current system will solve very few of them if any at all.

  10. PlanetOrphan 11

    I can’t wait to see DunnoKeyo wearing a dress next year.
    In his attempt to deny he is a sexist bigot, dancing “Gangman Style”

    Nice Miniskirt John ….. bit short though M8! |-(

    Goodbye DunnoKeyo …. Welcome “Hairy Legs” :-D

  11. Saccharomyces 12

    This is all a bit silly, females made up 40% of working doctors in 2006, and only 7% of nurses are male.

    Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason…….

    • QoTViper 12.1

      Yes, men are just better suited to doctoring because it requires heavy lifting, and women are better suited to nursing because it’s all about being ~nurturing~ and doesn’t involve any skill or education.

      • Saccharomyces 12.1.1

        No, not at all. Nursing takes a lot of skill and education, I’ve just supported my wife through 3 years of training to be a nurse. My mother-in-law is also a nurse. My statement doesn’t say anything about the suitability of either gender to either role.

        My point is simply that as of the latest information I could find the majority of doctors ARE male, and the VAST majority of nurses ARE female, so that means that the images are correct in that regard. Hence my thinking that all this uproar is really making a mountain out of a molehill.

  12. tussock 13

    In the Dunedin public hospital, they built a new room next to the waiting room for the emergency department. It’s assigned to another department, triage or something, invented just for the purpose. So you wait there less than six hours, then they transfer you to ED and you wait another less than six hours.

    So that’s “two patients” recorded as less than six hour waits, you at triage, and you at emergency, bringing down their average. Which meets the budgetary requirements and lets government say waiting times are down. It’s like a parody, a waiting room for a waiting room like the waiting lists for the waiting lists that formed under Labour (that are all less than six months, because you get to go back to zero after five and a half as many times as is needed), only that’s what it takes to meet the requirements on the budgets available to them. So it’s really a tragedy.

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