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Not in the public interest

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, November 3rd, 2012 - 89 comments
Categories: democratic participation, greens, labour, news, nz first, spin - Tags: , , ,

Some prominent “journalists” are working to undermine a possible Labour-Green government: one that could turn against the neoliberal scam that such “journalists” feed off and promote. They particularly have their knives out for David Cunliffe in case of a Labour leadership change. The left should take heart – the time has come to support the “public interest”, as outlined by Nicky Hager in his significant Jesson lecture this week.  In his terms, the likes of Duncan Garner and Jane Clifton are more PR people than “journalists”; more spin doctors than relentless seekers after half-hidden, and many-sided truths.

Duncan Garner has been one of the most prominent MSM “journalists” to characterise David Cunliffe as not being a team-player. Garner’s position has shifted slightly since Shearer stood for the Labour Party leadership.  Initially, Garner leaned slightly towards Shearer.  He subtly reinforced the “white anting” against Cunliffe by arguing this appeared to be the majority position in the Labour caucus. He left open the possibility of putting pressure on leadership challenges in the future.

Then last August, he came out gunning for Cunliffe, because Garner was now claiming hearsay evidence that Cunliffe was hated within caucus for being lazy and untrustworthy. This week Garner’s line is that Shearer has failed, … but while he puts forward Grant Robertson and Cunliffe as being the only viable leaders, he gives reasons why they aren’t really. Garner doesn’t seem interested in doing in-depth research on Labour leadership issues, or on the public interest in their policies, only in reporting on Labour’s apparent disarray.

Hager said that a good journalist would be on the side of the public. The consequences of a couple of decades of intensive, neoliberal manipulations are that civil society has become broken and demoralised.  Critical voices amongst journalists, economists, and public servants have been marginalised, while those promoting the interests of the powerful elites have been rewarded. Hager convincingly argues that in a democracy, good journalism should take the side of the “public interest” and speak truth to power.

Columnists like Garner and Jane Clifton are too aligned with the interests of the ruling groups, and are not reporting on or in the “public interest”. For instance, they have so far failed to get the bottom of the white anting against Cunliffe.  And their main focus, apart from an occasional cursory nod to views of the public, is on the power games of the political classes.

A succinct and critical tweet doing the rounds on Thursday night, linked Hager’s speech with the “white anting” within Labour:

If Cunliffe and the Labour Party are at odds, does that mean he has more in common with the voting public than they do?

Meanwhile, Jane Clifton unwittingly exposes underlying fears, in her latest column in The NZ Listener.  Like Garner, she acknowledges that Key is on a downer.  But she responds by superficially examining a potential Labour-Green-NZ First coalition.  In the first instance, her evidence is based on seating arrangements and smiles of party leaders at a press conference: the one called to announce the joint parliamentary enquiry on the manufacturing crisis.  This leads her to discount Peters, – well kind of, but not quite.  And then she focuses on a potential Labour-Green coalition highlighting some recent policy differences, and concludes that it will be a fraught business.  Clifton makes a dire prediction:

Despite the personal equanimity of the respective leaderships, this is a relationship that can only get uglier as the election approaches.

And yet, all coalitions have inter-party tensions, and previous MMP governments have shown they can be successfully negotiated. With reference to his book The Hollow Men, Hager indicates how such strategies aim to undermine opposition parties, by endlessly repeating the mis-information of selected spin lines.

The grass roots left should take heart.  The neoliberal columnists are looking a little rattled.  For left-wing activists and others on the side of the public, there’s no problem in acknowledging the challenges. It’s important to subject potential leaders to intense, and honest scrutiny.  However, there should also be as much focus on policies that have most significance for the general public, especially those with least power.  It is public support of those policies that the neoliberal elite fear most, and they aim to mask their real agenda with endless reports of power games and faction fighting.

Cue ‘grass roots’, and concerned members of the public to seek to be better informed, and to make their views heard loud and clear.

89 comments on “Not in the public interest”

  1. PlanetOrphan 1

    Great article Karol, sums up the current circus very well indeed.

    As for leadership …. here’s one I used too tell them ugly Gang Bangers ….

    “We are all Presidents M8!” ;-)

    Worked perfectly on a bunch of anarchists ….

  2. lprent 2

    Meanwhile, Jane Clifton ….. responds by superficially examining a potential Labour-Green-NZ First coalition. In the first instance, her evidence is based on seating arrangements and smiles of party leaders at a press conference: the one called to announce the joint parliamentary enquiry on the manufacturing crisis.

    karol – You were there – do you know if Jane Clifton was? It doesn’t seem like the type of thing that she’d fly up from Wellington to attend.

    Why do I have the strange sensation that we’re developing a group of investigative “journalists” who make grand pronoucements based largely on photo’s

    • PlanetOrphan 2.1

      From Google Maps, To Google Journalism?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Why do I have the strange sensation that we’re developing a group of investigative “journalists” who make grand pronoucements based largely on photo’s

      Well, it’s exactly how you would assess the state of Katie Holme’s desperate love life in New Idea

    • karol 2.3

      That gives new meaning to “photo journalism”, Lynn.
       
      I actually wouldn’t know Clifton if I saw her.  I only know her through her writings, which are more infotainment than analysis. And she had the front to tweet:

      “Dare I say it, Bomber has resigned from The Truth = Slater has improved the MSM already”
       
       

  3. quartz 3

    Love birds on Lambton
    Walking hand-in-hand down Wellington’s Lambton Quay on Thursday were political journalist Jane Clifton and Labour bovver boy Trevor Mallard.
    Clifton, a celebrated Listener columnist, was formerly in a relationship with National’s Murray McCully. Her link to Mallard has been the subject of much tittle-tattle on the political grapevine and around the Beehive corridors. However, the pair are avoiding gossip-mongers. Clifton did not return calls and Mallard hung up on The Diary.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10836450 

  4. tc 4

    Clifton dates mccully then mallard, I wonder what does that say about her personality if she’s drawn to these types of men.

    Insecure bullies both of them but probably capable of supplying good material for her right leaning rants.

    We have such a shallow pool of biased PR driven shock jocks and camera jockeys. Loook across the Tasman to see what a real 4th estate looks like. We need a kiwi crikey badly.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    The members of the labour party need to have the biggest say as to who the next leader is not the labour caucus and certainly not the likes of garner Clifton and espiner.

  6. fatty 6

    “Garner doesn’t seem interested in doing in-depth research on Labour leadership issues, or on the public interest in their policies, only in reporting on Labour’s apparent disarray.”

    Yes, Garner only give half information when he has it. The other day when he was reporting about how Cunliffe was blocked from an interview, Garner didn’t say who it was…the result of that is it came across as the whole Labour Party hates Cunliffe.
    Sloppy reporting. Garner either needs to report the facts (he is supposedly a reporter)…or he should STFU and get another job. He needs to look in the mirror and ask himself if he’s a journalist.

  7. OneTrack 7

    Aren’t Garner and Clifton saying exactly what many say on this blog? What they wrote was probably a straight copy and paste of someones post or comment.

  8. Captain Nemo 8

    I’m struggling to see why you expect Garner and Clifton to provide balanced coverage but not the likes of Brown, Campbell or Trotter from the Left. I guess if you read them all then you’d get an overall balanced view.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      We’re not interested in bullshit ideas of “balance” (after all you can balance a pair of scales by shovelling stinking manure on to both sides).

      We’re interested in informative analysis, probing interviews and insightful critique.

      • Captain Nemo 8.1.1

        So ‘balance’ is not desirable? I don’t think many reasonable people would agree with you.

        Sounds like you just want to hear your own views reflected back at you…

        • fatty 8.1.1.1

          By ‘balanced’ do you mean they should critique the red team as much as the blue team?
          Do you hold a ‘balanced’ view of Hitler? – ie, give as much credit to his good policies as his bad…we shouldn’t give equal weight to Hitler’s good polices…no analysis should be balanced, or can be balanced

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Nemo’s being deliberately dense. Shovelling stinking shit on to both sides of the scales might be “balanced” but it adds nothing to the insight or critique of a situation.

            • Captain Nemo 8.1.1.1.1.1

              ‘Stinking shit’ were your words not mine Viper – I consider journalists of all persuasions people who I often disagree with, not excrement

              • felix

                No-one said anyone was a pile of stinking shit.

                Your comprehension is though.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And he still managed to avoid the core idea – that “balance” is over-rated and that what we need more of in NZ is in-depth journalistic critique of issues and of politicians.

          • Captain Nemo 8.1.1.1.2

            Are you really comparing either the Red team or the Blue team as you term them to Hitler? I hate think how you’d react if a Hitler like ruler really did get power in NZ

            • Chalupa Batman 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Haven’t you worked it out yet? Balance on this blog means promoting the left and attacking the right.

              • prism

                CBatman
                Where do you get your ideas from? Some form of simple comic? You have been commenting for a while but perhaps you don’t understand the broad nature of thinking that is attempted here.

                • Chalupa Batman

                  Basically the impression one gets is groups of lefties drinking coffee, sitting around tables saying how bad John Key is.

                  Also one person softly weeping saying how he/she really hates him.

                  This is a left-wing blog, by its very nature its not balanced (unbalanced?) so its amusing to read of complaints about right-wing bias

                  • fatty

                    there’s way more critique of Labour on here, than there is of National on kiwiblog and whaleoil. Even of Helen Clarke and the 5th Labour govt. But yeah, it is unbalanced to the left, cause its a left blog

                  • CB that analysis suggests that Peter Dunne is always right because he always straddles the middle …

                  • @ Chalupa Batman

                    I love the way you have ignored CV’s comment above
                    “what we need more of in NZ is in-depth journalistic critique of issues and of politicians.”

                    Journalistic critique of issues being what this thread’s topic emphasized.

                    But hey! If you frame it about “balance” I guess you can avoid talking about the real issue for long enough; and I guess that is all you are here to provide: a dull unsubstantial distraction.

            • blue leopard 8.1.1.1.2.2

              Captain Nemo & Chalupa Batman,

              If someone is lying to the public; how fair do you think this is?

              Do you think the lie should be reported clearly and an analysis provided to inform readers why it is untrue?

              Or do you think it is more fair and balanced for the media to go along with distractions provided by the liar?

              Do you think that a fair and balanced media should simply quote verbatim what the liar says?

              I guess your answer is likely to be determined as to whether you benefit from the lie or not.

              • Captain Nemo

                Blue Leopard

                Not very
                Yes
                No
                No

                • @ Captain Nemo,

                  Thats what I would like the media to provide,
                  Thats what I consider our media are not providing
                  This is why I would not consider the NZ media very fair or balanced over all.

                  • Captain Nemo

                    Blue Leopard

                    Geat – Except the media have never, and will never, provide that – there is no motivation for people working in media to behave in that manner

                    • Captain Nemo

                      “the media have never and will never provide that?”~Captain Nemo

                      No thats simply not true
                      OF course they did, perhaps not perfectly, yet certainly a hell of a lot better than they are doing so now,
                      If you can’t see a degeneration in the manner and substance of information sources over the years then I have to assume you to be a very young person, about 10 years of age, or something.

              • Chalupa Batman

                If someone is lying to the public; how fair do you think this is?
                - Its not fair

                Do you think the lie should be reported clearly and an analysis provided to inform readers why it is untrue?
                -Yes as long as this happens for all parties, to be fair (the Greens in particular get an easy rife from the media is this respect)

                Or do you think it is more fair and balanced for the media to go along with distractions provided by the liar?
                -Not fair but the medias job is not to be distracted

                Do you think that a fair and balanced media should simply quote verbatim what the liar says?
                -No

                • Thanks Chalupa,

                  See above my comment to Nemo.

                  Please note; an example: that over the lies that the P.M was clearly telling over his knowledge of Kim Dotcom, how much more was made of Mr Shearer not having “the tapes”; more so than how due to Mr Shearer mentioning that there were “tapes” pushed Mr Key to change his story and “remember” that he knew about the dude earlier.

                  I consider it of more concern when someone lies and changes his story for an unknown reason and he is the PM of our country than when someone says there is a recording and it doesn’t show up, yet he manages to get more clarity from having done so.

                  Whose agenda does it best serve that focus was placed on Mr Shearer framing him as “mistaken” and having “made a political blunder” over this matter rather than, say, focussing on the truth that his actions managed to bring out and the behaviour of our PM, who was not being straight with us?

                  n.b
                  ~One TV station news coverage was fairer over this than another over this matter.
                  ~”Tape” is unlikely to be accurate in this day and age where cameras store footage on hard drives and memory sticks etc.

                  • Chris

                    Was just thinking that same thing yesterday.There was a mad rush to pillorise Shearer leaving key to get away with all the facts that he had lied about and enabled him to be man of the moment with that stupid widely reported”show me the tape” rubbish.Same with this Beckham business. Online it is all about Beckham and his intelligence,how dumb he is yadayada, not much about key’s absolute inappropriateness(?) to speak like that on a school visit to a young girls school. The man is a menace completely enabled by MSM, Herald in particular (O’sullivan,Armstrong,Young)speaker of the House and some TV reporters. It is time someone of integrity sat down with key and did a real interview,not allowing him to obfuscate,lie and blame others for his own failings ,then we would see the stuttering stammering inarticulate fool that he is, when he is wrong footed.

                    • @Chris

                      I agree with your comments and it is a relief to read them, simply describing the things that are going on helps to take the power away from them. (which is why I like reading comments on The Standard)

                      This reporting style is really rotten, namely, because it works-manipulating opinions-especially those of people too busy to look deeper into what is being said and done to them.

                      Matthew Hooten made comments on The Standard prior to this media fiasco* pillorising Shearer, and predicted this is the way it would go. I didn’t think NZ would be daft enough to get distracted on this one, however it appears the right-wing PR guy knows more about the slant of the media and the level of control right-wing PR has over the media in this country, so his “prediction” was correct.

                      This stinks and I’ve noticed a major deterioration in reporting recently, yet am unsure whether I have only just noticed it and its been bad for a while or not, I believe it wasn’t great prior to National getting in, yet consider the bias “for” the Government has really ramped up under this Government.

                      There are very serious issues arising, and all we get are distractions that, in effect, protects this Government from criticism.

                      * Both Standard Threads Watch Campbell Live at 7pm Thread

                      Also completing the ‘spin’ the next day on The Incredibly Incurious and Forgetful Mr Key Thread

                • fatty

                  “-Yes as long as this happens for all parties, to be fair (the Greens in particular get an easy rife from the media is this respect)”

                  In what way?

                  • Chalupa Batman

                    If National or Labour said or did some of the things the Greens did the MSM would be all over them.

                    The Greens get a ride not even John Key gets (and which Labour can only dream of)

            • felix 8.1.1.1.2.3

              Don’t pretend to be so thick, Nemo. If you can figure out how to connect to the internet then you’ll have no trouble at all understanding the level of the comparison fatty made.

              You know perfectly well it has nothing to do with equating anyone to h1tler and you’re a transparent bore to pretend you don’t.

          • Te Reo Putake 8.1.1.1.3

            Spot on, fatty. It’s a misunderstanding of the principles of journalistic balance that perpetuates the myth the global warming is “controversial” and therefore requires regular appearences by ‘Lord’ Monckton to maintain impartiality. Still, it’s good that the need for balance didn’t require spokesperves from the beastiality community to be given airtime on those recent occasions when animal lover Stuart Murray Wilson was mentioned on the news. Rather grateful for that.

            edit: Nemo, NZ in 1951 was quite literally ruled in a way not at all dissimilar to Germany in the mid thirties.

            • Captain Nemo 8.1.1.1.3.1

              Wow, global warming, bestiality and hitler all in one comment…. Not seeing much evidence of the fabled reasoned analysis there sorry

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m writing for intelligent readers, Cap’n. They understand what I wrote. You’ll just have to get by as best you can, given your limitations.

                • Captain Nemo

                  But surely TRP your superior logic and communication skills should be able to cross the yawning chasm you believe exists between our intellects, otherwise what is the point of being so talented?

                  • felix

                    Oh look, now you’re all eloquent and shit.

                    So you were just pretending to be thick all along, eh?

                    Such a clever trick you played on us, Nemo, and apart from everyone, you fooled everyone. Fuckwit.

                    • Captain Nemo

                      I think I get how it works now Chalupa Batman.

                      Viper calls journalists ‘stinking shit’ and so Felix calls me a ‘fuckwit’.

                      Makes sense, I guess

                    • felix

                      Except he didn’t.

                      Learn to read, fuckwit.

  9. Huginn 9

    It’s a weird sort of neurotic sort of displacement to stop them having to think too hard about the way that Judith Collins has felt emboldened to bag her boss. Or to ask why she is positioning herself as good on governance.

  10. Stephen Doyle 10

    As a believer in the cock-up theory of history, what I don’t understand is this. If there was a cabal blocking Cunliffe from the leadership, why have they done nothing to support Shearer’s leadership? A cock-up rather than a collusion I suspect.

    • Chalupa Batman 10.1

      I suspect that certain people within the party saw Shearer as an interim leader to get past the next election with the bonus that if he does become leader he can be easily manipulated

      • PlanetOrphan 10.1.1

        I doubt that,
        I’d say they wanted a leader that was an individual.
        What we see is him not some PR machine, he is very much on his own so far.

  11. Well said Karol.  The white anting is driving me and many other activists spare.  I just wish that come within the parliamentary party would concentrate on doing their job.

    • “I just wish that some within the parliamentary party would concentrate on doing their job.”

      +1 It would be nice if some within the Government would concentrate on doing their job too.

      All I’m hearing increasingly from ministers in Government is “Its not my responsibility”, “Its not my job”, “I’m not in a position to say”…

      What’s with this? A general strike in the NZ parliamentary circles perhaps??

      Yes, that must be what it is, I don’t suppose that the NZ parliament going on general strike is “newsworthy” enough (read banal/bloodthirsty) for our media to report.

      Knock knock (on the doors of the Beehive) Hello?? Hello?? Is there anybody in there?
      Sound of a dripping tap from somewhere within

    • Pete Fraser 11.2

      Hahahaha says the man who seems to spend most of his time making approving comments about the latest Shearer-bitchfest, or conspiratorial mutterings about Robertson.

  12. Thanks Karol,

    Glad you have laid emphasis to Nicky Hagar’s speech, it is a goodie and well worth a read. As I said in another thread and repeat here, its just so nice to read something from an informed thinker and which encourages us (and our media) toward using the faculty of discernment.

    • karol 12.1

      Agree on the Hager lecture, bl. I’m sure I will use it as a touchstone in more posts in the future.  I’ve had in mind to do a post on this topic for a while and have been collecting sources and noting some ideas.  But Hager provides so much of the background for what I had in mind.

      • blue leopard 12.1.1

        @ Karol
        Sounds good; it is just so refreshing to read something that arm us with the type of knowledge that allows us to see through the dreadful barrage of games being played on us.

  13. karol 13

    On the notion of “balance” that has been debated above:  I prefer if a writer, journalist or otherwise, states the position they are coming from.  Then I can take it into account when I read or view their stuff.
     
    A good example is David Beaton.  He’s an old style conservative, from pre-neoliberal times.  I always liked watching his Beatson interviews on Stratos, and found them informative.  He was always well-informed on the issues he was interviewing about, and showed an awareness of diverse views on the topic.  It was an sincere attempt to draw ideas and information from the interviewee. 
     
    But these days there’s too much of the commercial imperative.  Too many reporters do a once-over-lightly with an eye on the ratings.  Someone like Garner presents himself as though he’s being objective, while taking a pretty slanted persepctive to the right.  And being on the TV3 evening news makes him quite influential. 
     
    There’s the same trend elsewhere in the world, but in the UK, at least people get a choice between explicitly right and left wing news organisations.  Here, they tend to pass themselves off as non-partisan, often while perpetuating neoliberal values – which have become the dominant values in the MSM.

    • +1

      The presenting of the biassed as non-biassed is the worst aspect of our media and the most prone to persuade people, influence their opinions. We are more vulnerable when we are led to believe that it is “non-biassed”, “commentary”/”analysis” that is being presented to us when, in reality, it really is entirely opinion, biassed or even worse; political party PR managed information

      • Prodigal Son 13.1.1

        Yes but what can you do about it?

        You can’t expect that commercial oganisations are going to act in a non-commercial manner, and you can’t expect that if the media was funded via some kind of central govt manner that people would be any more impartial.

        Not only are people intrinsically not impartial, it would be fanciful to expect that media would bite which ever hand feeds them.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          None of what you write makes any sense.

          Of course people can develop and write news stories which are impartial. It’s been done for hundreds of years.

          You can’t expect that commercial oganisations are going to act in a non-commercial manner

          Of course you can. You do this by making at least part of their mandate non-commercial. Eg. making the lead into 6pm and the news hour that follows 100% commercial free.

          it would be fanciful to expect that media would bite which ever hand feeds them.

          Not at all. Just pass laws making it illegal to publish misleading or untrue news.

          • Prodigal Son 13.1.1.1.1

            What, so you would solve the probblem by making the commercial organisation no longer fully commercial? Which commercial media organisation do you think would accept that? Spectaculat failure for TVNZ wasn’t it?

            And then you’d ask pollies to pass laws that insisted the media to tell the truth, whereby less power to the pollies who like to manipulate the media

            Try again sorry, it’s you who is not making any sense.

            • blue leopard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Nope, Prodigal Son,

              You fail to address CV’s first sentence.

              Of course people can develop and write news stories which are impartial. It’s been done for hundreds of years.

              In other words there is historical precedence to prove that your comments at 13.1.1 are completely fallacious.

              What advantage do you get from writing such measly views that support vested money interests?

            • xtasy 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Prodigal Son:

              “What, so you would solve the probblem by making the commercial organisation no longer fully commercial? Which commercial media organisation do you think would accept that? Spectaculat failure for TVNZ wasn’t it?”

              Come on, you must be of a “young” and “fresh” age to comment like this. TVNZ was initially intended to be a state broadcaster and did just that for many, many years. Also did TVNZ over the years, partly in co-operation with private producers, make some top rate nature and other documentaries.

              What went wrong with TVNZ was, when governments started to pull the plug and told them to operate more like “commercial” competitors, earn revenue through more advertising and so forth. That led to the total demise of TVNZ, as it has become a state owned SOE broadcaster, supposed to run at the same level of TV3, Sky and so forth. Naturally standards dropped, as others broadcast heaps of trash and repeats, lots of movies and low level entertainment, which though got enough interested to digest it, so TVNZ was forced to down scale on quality, same as the “private” competitors. This is not a NZ phenomenon by the way, it has happend world wide.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.3

              Which commercial media organisation do you think would accept that?

              well, if they don’t accept the laws of the land they can always shut down or their directors can face prosecution.

              And then you’d ask pollies to pass laws that insisted the media to tell the truth, whereby less power to the pollies who like to manipulate the media

              Uh what

            • xtasy 13.1.1.1.1.4

              Prodigal Son:
              “And then you’d ask pollies to pass laws that insisted the media to tell the truth, whereby less power to the pollies who like to manipulate the media”

              Seems to me, as if you are almost happy with the lying lot of pollies we have!? Stand up for that, yeah right!

  14. lurgee 14

    So, Garner and Clifton are doing precisely what’ been going on here – undermining Shearer and speculating about the next leader.

    Don’t you get it that if Shearer is rolled by Cunliffe, then Robertson’s faction will immediately start undermining him? And so on, and so forth?

    Tonight (hopefully for one night only) I think the Labour Party is actually doomed. It’s been colonised by professional politicians who are only interested in squabbling and scheming their way into the top job. The current lot make Phil Goff look like a man of profound socialist principle. Can. Not. Believe. I. Just. Typed. That.

    But it’s still true, isn’t it?

    • Jim Nald 14.1

      And of course Shearer does offer himself plenty of opportunities for people to undermine, erm, point out, how good, erm, poor he is.

    • PlanetOrphan 14.2

      Don’t worry,
      Qot said I’m the leader now …. it’s a 90 day trial or your other arm contract ….
      I’m a “Winner” now! :-D

      How many arms u got M8, you should sign up if u r qualified!.
      (i.e not armless)

      Become a citizen tooday, join the corps and kill some bugs today M8!

      Oh shit sorry M8, didn’t realise … here stick that between ya teeth it’s the “I’ve got legs and can walk” union pamphlet.

      Ya gotta love them pollies M8, gotta pamphlet for everyone!.

    • karol 14.3

      There is a difference, lurgee.
       
      Garner has accepted the content of Team Shearer’s white anting and repeated it uncritically.  He makes no attempt to call them on their hypocrisy of “sneakily” going to the press to smear Cunliffe as “sneaky and lazy”.  Garner made no attempt to get to the bottom of it by doing his own in-depth investigation. 
       
      This is similar to what too many reporters do these days: just repeat press releases uncritically, and without doing any further investigation.  They will off course, add in selected comments from opposition press releases, but too often it is done with a slant to the neoliberal right.  Partly this is because they have absorbed neoliberal values and are not self-critical enough to be aware of what they are doing.
       
      Meanwhile Team Cunliffe are not giving their version or sneaking to the press to smear Shearer.  And Clifton is just smearing a potential Labour-Green alliance based on very flimsy analysis and evidence.
       
      And quite a few people here are looking more deeply into the issue, wanting to know exactly what is going on with Labour and why.  And they are analysing for themselves the content of what Shearer and Cunliffe etc say.  And anlaysing the statements related to policy, or general direction the policy will take.  They are also criticially weighing up a likely Labour-Green alliance.

      • Pete Fraser 14.3.1

        This Just Isn’t True — you only need to look at Presland’s blog, for instance, to see a Cunliffe supporter merrily smearing away at Shearer, Robertson, the majority of caucus, etc etc.

        (Or this blog — how many rants about the ABC faction? I mean, look at QoT’s (quite funny) post below, right? If this blog goes a week without a hysterically pro-Cunliffe attack on Shearer, I get worried there’s been a plague in West Auckland.)

        • PlanetOrphan 14.3.1.1

          It almost sounds like you’d prefer silence to any kind of debate or critique Pete.
          You must read this and other blogs for a reason ?
          Probably the same reason everyone does.

          • Pete Fraser 14.3.1.1.1

            I don’t mind debate, and I don’t mind critique; I just don’t like sanctimony and entitlement on display here.

            • PlanetOrphan 14.3.1.1.1.1

              I inderstand, but words let most people here down, they’re just expressing their own lives.
              A lot of readers seem to think the comments here are “Political” and forget politics is about people.
              An old saying use to be “Religion is for the Heart and Politics is for the mind”
              Unfortunately in NZ politics caters to both, hence the rhetoric.

  15. xtasy 15

    I dare to say, that I can count the “good” quality journalists in NZ, that are actually still in their jobs, on ONE HAND!

    It would not be more than that. The rest are wannabes, swift journo course grad career hunters, slimers, shallow operators, swift to gain a story by whatever means, twisting the facts a bit by selective choice, and never able or willing to spend much time at all on one single news item.

    That is why you get a lot of snippets and small bites, nothing much of substance.

    Gosh, what was it just a couple of decades ago? Journalism was still a profession, they had their press club, you could meet some really interesting people there, they also went to certain watering holes in the city, it was a different world.

    Now it is all gloss, shine, slime and nothing behind! I HATE it. Mass media is like endless, all night or 24/7 mental and emotional diarrhea.

    • kousei 15.1

      And too much shallow ideologically opinionated drivel masquerading as journalism. Don’t really mind opinion per se but for fucksake back it up with some research and a solid arguement..

      • xtasy 15.1.1

        Fran O Sullivan, John Armstrong, et al, they are just some drivel feeding pseudo journalists, and they are not even the worst. Duncan Garner, Pat Gower, the silly lot at TVNZ, they all more or less fall into this category of obsolete idiots. So you must be one of the brigade of sell-out journos, am I not right? As long as the layer of butter is fat on your bread, you will write and talk as is expected, no matter what the truth is. Go to hell if you are a journo trying to defend this crap!

        • karol 15.1.1.1

          the silly lot at TVNZ,
           
          And lookee here:  big pay rises for top TVNZ people….. shame on the once-were-public-service-broadcasters!  From the Scoop Team:
           

          A sharp rise in the number of high earners at TVNZ is revealed in the crown-owned television company’s 2011-12 annual report.

          The number of employees in the $100,000-$120,000pa bracket has jumped from 73 to 87, an increase of just under 20% in a year.

          Of the 87 employees in that salary range, 56 earned $100,000-$110,000 and 31 were on $110,001-$120,000. The comparable figures in 2010-2011 were 41 and 32, hinting at a big boost in numbers and pay for the broadcaster’s middle management.

           
          Though the CEO is not earning as much as Ellis was getting by the time he left.

        • kousei 15.1.1.2

          Whoa, I’m right with you. I read the Standard because there are some knowledgable and thought provoking people on here. Dead right about sycophants Garner, Gower.

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2.1

            The thing about Garner is that he could easily do far better work. But basically he’s sold out to what is easy and helps him get along with his mates.

  16. xtasy 16

    Add: Claire Trevett, Audrey Young, Diane Clement, Paul Thomas, John Roughan, Tracey Barnett, even Kate Shuttle(un)worth, that is just a few from the Herald, mostly writing drivel and shallow nonsense, nothing much with substance and of any relevance for NZers and what this country should be concerned about. Add also: Andrea Vance, Tracey Chatterton (what a name), Nicole Pryor, and a few others from SST. There are many on TV that are under performing, rather glamouring their own profiles for future commercial interests like ever so polished Jack Tame now in USA. God, I hate that face.

    That is NZ media 2012, just a snapshot, as there are a number of others well fitting the self serving careerist mould of sell your soul to pay off you mansion on the hill kinds of types. Add the manicured, pampered, overpaid newsreaders on the prime time news channels by the way. Send them off to a farm to learn milking and cutting gorse, just to get a taste of real life for a change, perhaps. That is my rant on this topic for tonight. Do not make me more angry, and more will come!

    • karol 16.1

      There are many on TV that are under performing,
       
      Meanwhile, the TV awards for best TV news etc, were given out last night – and the competition was largely between TVNZ and TV3….. the exception is a well-deserved award for Maori TV.
       

      Best Scheduled News Programme – 3 News
      Best News or Current Affairs Presenter – Julian Wilcox, Political All In (Native Affairs, Maori TV)
      Journalist of the Year – Melanie Reid, Eye of the Storm (60 Minutes)
      Best News Reporting – Duncan Garner and Patrick Gower, Secret Tea Tapes (3 News)
      Best Current Affairs Series – 60 Minutes (TV3)
      Investigation of the Year – Melanie Reid and Eugene Bingham, The Eye of the Storm (60 Minutes)
      Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Weekly Programme or One-Off Current Affairs Special – Mark Crysell and Julie Clothier – Cherry Blossom Tragedy (Sunday)
      Best Current Affairs Reporting for a Daily Programme – Gill Higgins and Chris Lynch, Online Predators (Close Up)
      Best Breaking News Coverage – One News, Carterton Ballooning Tragedy

       
      Note all the awards for hard-hitting and critical treatment of political stories!

      • xtasy 16.1.1

        You have to put the awards into some fair and real perspective, Karol.

        When compared with One News, or worse even Prime News, there is only really 3 News left for NZ television media, apart from what else there may be on commercial pay tv Sky.

        So 3 News won easily, but that does not mean automatically it is all that great either. Sometimes, I admit, they have good news programs with interesting, vaild topics.

        We know how one-sided Duncan Garner can present news, so I am not impressed with him. The “Tea Tapes” seem to have given him and Gower some credit, but what else is there?

        ’60 minutes’ did certainly present the best documentary and expose under Melanie Reid, and she did a great job on the ACC privacy and hatchet doctor exposures. But apart from that and a few other, rare good stories on that show, I see heaps of trivial crap too, which I would not even consider current affairs in some cases. ‘Sunday’ on TVNZ’s One is about to be shut down, and so only TV3 will have something on at Sunday nights.

        As terrible and tragic the Carterton Balloon accident was, I thought there may have been other stories more deserving for ‘Best Breaking News Coverage’.

        I am thoroughly UNIMPRESSED with the television media in NZ, and the rare good stories mentioned (3 News and 60 minutes taking up most awards) do not change my views.

    • Julian Haworth 16.2

      Totally agree with Jack Tame comment. Imagine what he’ll be like when he grows up!

  17. Shaz 17

    In one sense Jane Clifton is right to allude to the likelihood that “the Relationship can only get uglier as the election approaches”. There are some fault lines between Labour and the Green Party not least of which are the approach to monetary policy (Chris Trotter has covered this) and what seems to be Labour’s reckless attitude to the so called free trade agreement in the form of the TPP. My sense on both of these is that it is Labour that needs to move away urgently from it’s remaining 1980s neo-liberal heritage. I’m also disappointed that Labour is not under-cutting NZ First by being “for New Zealand and New Zealanders and against wholesale foreign ownership and further opportunities to take profits off-shore ” in a progressive and anti-racist way. Done properly NZ First could become of historical interest by 2014.

  18. Jeez, paranoid. Much?
    You superhuman geniuses do realise that Clifton is in a public relationship with Mallard.
    When fairfax group editors get together they stop just short of burning effigies of John Key.
    It may not have occurred to you lot that when the left and right moan about media bias then they might actually be sitting somewhere in the middle.
    Which of course they aren’t because they barely scratch the surface on matters that make Labour look bad. Other than white anting Shearer of course. That has taken over from drink driving as the national past time du jour.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Forget “media bias” just trying to get journalists to ask decent interrogative questions without plastering their own BS spin on everything would be a start.

    • felix 18.2

      No Bill, that’s retarded. As CV put it, a steaming pile of shit on each side of the scale gives “balance” too, but it doesn’t give anything else.

      Of course if you’d read the post, any of the links, or any of the comments you would’ve realised that the discussion is well beyond your silly “balance” games.

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