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Outing Nats’ smear machine

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, March 29th, 2014 - 275 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democracy under attack, election 2014, news, newspapers, spin - Tags:

For a long time, many of us on the left knew it was happening. The National Party has been feeding its pet bloggers, and some tame mainstream (MSM) journalists with its smear lines. Now it has been publicly outed, and some in the MSM seem remarkably complacent about it  – at times they almost seem to celebrate the slick, and tricky success of it.

media and democracy

Standardista andy (the other one) nails it:

Two days, two articles, two different media outlets admitting that they know National use Slater/Farrar to smear and dissemble.

Both media outlets admit they are still happy to run those lines without attribution to who actually provides the source material.

Drinnan in The Herald & Watkin’s at Fairfax.

All these examples of dirty tricks, whisper campaigns and character assassination go by without comment. Our media are captured, lazy and unable to function properly.

Can’t forget the new front in the Nats media machine Gossip.

Some extracts from the linked articles:

Drinnan:

The election is nearly six months away, but National is already winning the media war.

Herald political commentator John Armstrong cannot recall an earlier start to the unofficial campaign, which has so far been notable for “frippery, sideshows and the inconsequential”.

But diversionary tactics and John Key’s popularity have worked, and Labour is not getting a chance to promote its policies.

National has developed a media network incorporating the Whale Oil website, Kiwiblog and commentators Matthew Hooton and Michelle Boag.

They have been feeding the media appetite for short, sharp crises to fill online news space.

It is Labour’s job to counter National’s influence over the news agenda. But it does not have many of its own partisans in the media; the left-leaning website The Daily Blog does not have an audience to compare with Whale Oil.

Matt McCarten was an articulate voice for the left during his time as a columnist for the Herald On Sunday, but he is now working for Labour.

Tracy Watkins:

THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN

Do smear campaigns work?

Short answer – of course.

If they didn’t, they would not be a time-honoured political tool.

But the trick is maintaining the appearance of keeping your hands clean. In 2008, when Labour was caught out trying to gather material to drop an “H-bomb” on John Key it backfired spectacularly. But that was in the days when smartphones were still new, and it was not so easy to plant an internet meme and see it spread like wildfire before it had been proved or disproved.

Would that story have played out differently in 2014?

When a senior adviser to Key was caught out earlier this year supplying photographs to shock-jock blogger Cameron Slater, it was confirmation that the major parties see blogs as an important outlet for stories they prefer to keep at arm’s length or don’t want their fingerprints on.

The fact that Jason Ede supplied Whaleoil with photos of rubbish from a press gallery party was less of a revelation than the fact that feeding the blogs is officially part of his job description. Key used to give a passable impression of someone who had just noticed a bad smell under his nose whenever he was questioned about National’s links to Slater. Not so now.

Key even admits to having a direct line to the blogger.

Links between the Left-wing blog The Standard and Labour are just as scrutinised; the blog has not always been a friend to Labour, and was pivotal in destabilising David Shearer’s leadership. But the fact that a confidante of David Cunliffe’s is a chief contributor to The Standard aligns it much more closely to the current regime.

Fact check - Cunliffe has had some guest posts published on The Standard.  That does not make him “a chief contributor”.  “a confidante”?  Seems a little over-stated to me.

Gossip columnist, Rachel Glucina:

A former friend and employee of Kim Dotcom spoke exclusively to The Diary from Los Angeles yesterday about the internet tycoon as he launched his foray into New Zealand politics.

Alex Mardikian played fixer for Dotcom, bringing people together and making things happen. He was a close friend and trusted adviser, living in the Coatesville mansion and watching Dotcom first-hand. He says he was paid a monthly retainer, but left in 2012.

And Chris Trotter rightly asks how these authors are able to run similar smear lines via access to some crucial sources.

What is clear, however, is that the material currently being used to discredit Dotcom and undermine his Internet Party launch did not just descend from the clouds in the hands of blameless angels. The information being drip-fed to the news media was assembled and distributed in an organised fashion. Introductions were arranged. Phone-calls were made. “Eye-witness” testimonies were recorded.

Of course, it’s always possible that the FBI, the BKA and their Kiwi equivalents had absolutely nothing to do with the current smear campaign against Dotcom. The information about Nazi memorabilia and the damning testimony of erstwhile employees and friends may simply be the fruit of outstanding journalistic research on the part of Cameron Slater and Rachel Glucina.

Then again, they might have had help.

Where is the critical fourth estate on this?  Or are some writers just willing participants in the Nat smear machine?  A critical fourth estate, working in the public interest, would be speaking truth to power, not celebrating the success of a well orchestrated political smear machine.

shushing key

 

275 comments on “Outing Nats’ smear machine”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Karol, the “confidante” is our esteemed Micky Savage :)

    The US military attempts to control the media with embedded journalism. In this case it’s politicians embedded in the media.

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks – read it in haste – getting ready to go protest. Will amend.

    • swordfish 1.2

      Second time Watkins has alluded to Mickey in a Dominion Post Op-Ed political analysis in the last few weeks. She’s got you in her sights, Mickey.

      • Anne 1.2.1

        Yes. If you can’t keep up discrediting the boss (David Cunliffe) because you’ve got nothing else on him, then target someone in his electorate team. Spread lies and misinformation and with a bit of luck the boss gets tarred again by association. It worked well in years gone by – the Muldoon era comes to mind – so why not again.

        Anyone noticed that the comparisons of the Key government with the Muldoon government are increasing in number? The latter ended in tears (big time) so lets hope the same is going to happen to the former…

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        I’m not sure why. I am but a glorified pamphlet deliverer! Someone seems to be obsessed with the thought that I am going to be the next COS when I have never even thought about applying for the job …

        • Anne 1.2.2.1

          Someone seems to be obsessed…

          Matthew Hooton and/or Cameron Slater come to mind.

          • the pigman 1.2.2.1.1

            That particular piece of misinformation had Hooton written all over it if you ask me… well, him or Clare Curran…

  2. Ad 2

    I cannot believe that a leftie site is complaining that the rightie sites are winning.

    They are doing a better job than the left, and have better access to the PM’s office. Oh noes!

    Stop whining about your defeats – that’s pathetic. You sound like one of those people stuck in a traffic jam in the morning, complaining about the traffic jam. You are the traffic jam.

    The left has plenty of media capacity and personnel – go and marshal them.

    And for God’s sake stop reifying the themes that there’s a vast conspiracy. Course there is! They currently have a better conspiracy than we do. Pick up the phone to Matt McCarten and generate your own “smear” lines. Be the conspiracy.

    You will cheer up quickly, and you’ll probably win.

    • karol 2.1

      I’d rather we focused on speaking truth to power, highlighting crucial issues, than on running dishonest smear campaigns.

      • lurgee 2.1.1

        I think that was why smear was in quote marks. You don’t need to lie. Just expose the loathesomeness, repeatedly. Rather than bleating about the vastrightwingunfairconspiracymsmbiassounfairwhyiswhaleoilmorepopularitsnotfairness of it all.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          You think that media bias doesn’t exist, or exists but isn’t a problem?

          “Just expose the loathesomeness, repeatedly.”

          Which is exactly what karol just did.

          • lurgee 2.1.1.1.1

            It exists, and it is a problem, but not to the extent that some hereabouts seem to think.

            And whining about it will not go away.

            • geoff 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Somehow, in your mind, people simply talking about the media bias is just ‘whining’?

              • lurgee

                When it goes on and on an on and on, yeah. Because that’s what 97.3% of the comments on the Standard seem to be about.

                (Note, for the irony challenged, that statistic is entirely made up. The true figure is probably somewhat lower, at about 92.6% of comments).

      • Populuxe1 2.1.2

        What is dishonest about anything the blogs have said about Dotcom? If any of it is calumny, he is certainly rich enough to sue them into the ground.
        Perhaps you might want consider letting the public deciding what is in their interests to know on occasion, rather that the usually elitist-paternalist stance you tend to adopt. I’m all for speaking truth to power, but you seem to want to dictate which truth and to which power.

        • weka 2.1.2.1

          If the MSM was doing its job properly, Slater and Key’s smear machine wouldn’t matter. The public would have access to a range of information. The problem is that the MSM look more interested in the sensation than journalism, so that’s what is getting reported. Plus what felix says below. If Slater is to be a NACT smear outlet, let that be visible and commented upon.

    • felix 2.2

      “I cannot believe that a leftie site is complaining that the rightie sites are winning.

      They are doing a better job than the left, and have better access to the PM’s office. Oh noes!”

      Ad, this completely misses the point of the post. It’s not about blogs having access to the PM, it’s about the PM having access to a network of blogs to disseminate his stories.

      • Populuxe1 2.2.1

        And the left doesn’t? One need only look at the hefty list of left wing blogs this site links to.

        • weka 2.2.1.1

          That doesn’t even make sense Pop. Try making the actual comparable connections.

          • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.1

            My point is that there isn’t a shortage of left wing blogs in New Zealand. The right really only have two that have any impact, Failoil and the evil baby. Ergo, the left has plenty of opportunity to present compelling policy and counterarguments. Instead of wringing our hands all holier than thou and complaining it isn’t fair, perhaps we would be better off co-ordinating and Labour really needs to do something about their online communication strategies (starting with locking Clare Cullen in a broom cupboard).

            • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.1.1

              *Clare Curran

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.2

              The problem there Pop, is that most people on the left believe that independent media is better than calculated, co-ordinated smear teams. By better I mean more ethical, honest and fair. If that means having to lose the election then we have much bigger problems than is apparent today.

              You appear to be arguing for the abandonment of standards in favour of power.

              • Populuxe1

                Grub first and then ethics. The reality is another term of National will probably turn us into a third world basket case banana not-republic. If that rests more lightly on your conscience than a bit of highlighting National’s dirty washing, then your priorities are well off. More to the point National doesn’t appear to have told any actual lies – influenced the narrative, certainly, but only highlighted what concrete things they could find regardless of how trivial (or significant, depending on your priorities).
                National needs its dirty laundry aired.

                • weka

                  You are assuming that the left have to give up their ethics and standards to win. I don’t see that.

                  • Populuxe1

                    How many consecutive terms have National sat now?

                    • weka

                      Less than the previous Labour govt. What’s your point?

                    • Populuxe1

                      And in that short, short time they have done terrible things to welfare and sold our assets for a pittance. You ok with more of that then? Because they really are looking as though they’ll get another term at this rate. Try being part of the solution rather than part of the problem, eh?

                    • felix

                      From one comment to the next.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Felix, do you have a learning disability or are otherwise incapable of multi strand reasoning. National has got to go at all costs and wishful thinking ain’t going to cut it at this rate because their facility with information and spin will probably win.

                    • felix

                      The other day I said you were contradicting yourself left right and centre, and now I point out that from one comment to the next you attempted to use the same evidence to demonstrate two diametrically opposed ideas, and you say that doesn’t matter because you don’t like National.

                      See Pop, this is why I think you have problems with mania.

                    • Populuxe1

                      I have not contradicted myself – you mainly seem to be obsessed with carefully crafting your straw men. Also you constant accusations of mania are ableism and offensive to people with genuine mental illnesses.

        • lprent 2.2.1.2

          The feed is the most interesting one. The blogroll is essentially dead.

          Currently I have TDB, political parties, and scoop on tabs. The bulk of the main feed is now the unions. The actual number of active left political blogs is pretty low after that. No Right Turn, Polity, and frogblog.

          It looks larger because I have aggregated a lot of occasional blogs together and leavened it out with near daily blogs with other interests like Public Address, Transport Blog, and two climate science sites.

          But the reason for the feed is to ensure that the smaller left blogs can be seen

      • Once was Pete 2.2.2

        Oh for heavens sake! What do you think left wing blogs and politicians do? Why do you think the Collin’s story broke when it did? All this ranting about the media is juvenile. It is like sports team blaming the ref when they lose. Haven’t you got it yet? The media will go wherever there is a story and a headline, left or right. That is why they made a meal of the Collins story. Also, Cunliffe is ‘accident prone’ and his repeated gaffes make good headlines.

        • felix 2.2.2.1

          I was referring to a couple of blogs being more or less run out of the PM’s office and used by the PM’s office to spread stories that the govt can’t afford to be seen to be involved in. I know of nothing comparable on the opposition side.

          I do agree though that all your ranting about the media is juvenile.

    • greywarbler 2.3

      Ad
      There are legitimate reasons to complain or criticise. Don’t damage the left by criticising it unnecessarily. It makes you sound like a RW trial. Are you? Or are you hopeful for the left? Careful of too much sneering then.

  3. National use a compliant media to run smear campaigns. So do Labour. Winston Peters is well practiced at it. Greens are not so much into smears but use the media as much as they can to promote their agendas. It’s sometimes dirty but it’s been a part of politics for a long time.

    What’s relatively new is the use of social media including blogs. It shouldn’t be any surprise that party PR machines use blogs and bloggers any way they think they can score some points or hits. This is obviously not confined to one party either.

    And the MSM are gradually waking up to the fact that blogs have become a part of the game.

    • karol 3.1

      So do Labour.

      Citations needed – especially ones showing an equivalent scale as that reported for National and it’s use of bloggers, MSM articles, etc.

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        From the Watkins article you linked to and quoted in your post:

        But the trick is maintaining the appearance of keeping your hands clean. In 2008, when Labour was caught out trying to gather material to drop an “H-bomb” on John Key it backfired spectacularly. But that was in the days when smartphones were still new, and it was not so easy to plant an internet meme and see it spread like wildfire before it had been proved or disproved.

        Look at Trevor Mallard’s history. Judith Collins recently. Paula Bennett. Labour have been trying to smear John Key for years.

        Are you really questioning whether Labour try to smear or not?

        • newsense 3.1.1.1

          Sorry fact-checker Pete,

          A cabinet minister arranging photo opportunity and access to endorse a product for a company where her husband is director and the company is closely involved with the Party president and the PM has been involved and the compay donates $55,000 to the National party….

          and then she refuses to front, makes doubtful claims and generally acts in a haughty manner and suggests she can do what she damn well pleases

          is an example of a conflict of interest and a born-to-rule arrogance- not a smear campaign.

          Paula Bennett? What has she been smeared with?

          Put this story above next to the following- David Cunliffe declared all his assets, some were a few months late. David Cunliffe owns a nice house. David Cunliffe helped his friend buy a house. David Cunliffe has a great CV that is difficult for DPF to read.Hoot-hoot, uggg-ugg omg!

          One is a series of smears. The other is a conflict of interest in the use of government for personal benefit. Spot the difference.

          • Jimmie 3.1.1.1.1

            What about using a blind trust to hide leadership donations and forgetting to tell anyone? Was that only a smear as well?

            More one eyed to the red than a crusaders supporter…..

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Jimmie,

              And if the trust had not been used to make the donations anonymous, Cunliffe would have been in breach of his own party rules.

              And you would have been banging on about that instead.

              • Jimmie

                Well if he did nothing wrong why did DC apologize and refund some of the donations?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure you can think of some dishonest way to smear him over it.

                • lprent

                  Because there was a unresolved conflict between the rules of the party that said donations to a candidate for the leaders position could be anonymous and between the rules of parliament that said that donations above a certain size to a MP could not be anonymous – despite those donations not being used for bribery or electioneering.

                  Basically the rules of parliament haven’t caught up with the use of primaries inside political parties.

                  • alwyn

                    Is the statement here that donations
                    ” to a candidate for the leaders position could be anonymous” accurate or did you simply mistype it?
                    I thought that David Cunliffe claimed that he HAD to keep them anonymous because the party rules REQUIRED him to do so. You appear to be saying that it was only his choice not to divulge them. Is your statement correct or is DC gilding the lily a bit?
                    You also seem to be suggesting that the money wasn’t being used for electioneering. Come on, what else would you call a campaign to be elected leader but “electioneering”?

                    You also seem to be arguing that the rules of Parliament, ie the law, must be altered to fit in with whatever a party chooses to say. Would that extend to the National Party, say, recreating the Waitemata Trust and insisting that all contributions to National must be given to the Trust and that the original donor must be kept anonymous? Then you would have to argue, if you really mean what you say, that the law must be altered to fit in with their party rules.

                    I am personally of the view that the Party rules, of whatever party, must conform to the law. There is no way that a private group can make a rule that breaches the law. On second thoughts, of course, I will set up a party and make a party rule that no party member should pay income tax. The tax law will naturally be altered to conform to this rule. I am sure you will agree.

                    • lprent

                      Uh? The donors could (and did) out themselves. The party obviously didn’t bind what they did.

                      Pretty obvious. Please think first.

                      The rest of your comment shows the same lack of thought. Suffice to say that legal structures require courts to mediate conflicting laws.

                    • alwyn

                      You say again that the party didn’t require the donations to be anonymous.
                      However David Cunliffe, in a Mar 4 article in the Herald said

                      “The Labour Party rules had specified donations would be confidential, and the donors had given on that understanding.”

                      This was his justification for having a trust, it was, he said, because the party rules required it. Surely his claim is rather divergent from the facts? In fact it is more accurate to say that he took advantage of the party rule to excuse his avoidance of the Standing Orders.

                      You state that

                      “legal structures require courts to mediate conflicting laws”

                      You cannot really put the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives on the same level as the rules of a small private organisation such as the New Zealand Labour Party, and regard these party rules as being like in the nature of a “law” can you?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, it was all a conspiracy to avoid standing orders. Underpants Gnomes much?

                      1. Avoid standing orders.
                      2. ???
                      3. Profit!!!!
                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    When I make a list in a comment the numbers disappear and I have to re-renter them using the edit function.

                    Chrome :)

        • geoff 3.1.1.2

          National use a compliant media to run smear campaigns. So do Labour.

          Pete George, you asserted that Labour uses a compliant media, that is what karol questioned.

          Show your evidence that Labour uses a compliant media.

          • Pete George 3.1.1.2.1

            FFS. All politicians and parties use the media however they can, it’s a core part of the political game.

            Are you trying to claim Labour never do?

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Of course parties ‘use’ the media.

              But ‘using’ the media to disseminate lies and smears is something else.

              That you cannot tell the difference “Mr Fact Checker” Pete – somehow does not surprise me.

              • That’s a weak attempt at a smear.

                Labour, like National, use the media in any way that will help them. I think they both use it to try and smear opponents, and they have both probably deliberately lied (or at least spread deliberately inaccurate stories) at times to do this.

                Do you disagree with this? Do you think no one from Labour has ever used the media to try and smear? Do you think no one from Labour has ever spread deliberately incorrect or inaccurate information to try and discredit and smear?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “I think…”

                  Bollocks. No-one who “thinks” writes such dishonest weasel drivel as “…they have both probably deliberately lied…”

                  You are a walking smear campaign, a gossiping whispering nasty little insect. Every single comment you make oozes dishonesty like pus from a sore.

                  • @ oan..+1..

                    ..couldn’t have said it better myself..

                  • Once was Pete

                    OAB. The only one oozing pus is you. Abuse is the last refuge of those who can’t sustain a logical, unemotional argument. Really, if you think that Labour doesn’t have it’s own apparatus to jump on rumour, gossip, an innuendo and publish it to further its own goals then you are blinded by your own loyalty.
                    You just don’t need to ask for references or citations to recognise this truth.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      We keep hearing that what you say is true, but when I ask for a couple of examples for comparison, all that’s forthcoming is the H-fee, which at six years old is a pretty feeble example.

                      I note your pretence that unemotional arguments are superior to emotional ones. If you think it’s possible to conduct an argument in good faith with Pete George, I invite you to stick around and observe his behaviour.

                      In the meantime I’ll just keep on oozing pus.

                      PS: I further note that I characterised Pete as oozing dishonesty. I note your failure to note that.

                • RedLogix

                  It was you who started this by characterising Mike Williams fact-checking trip to Aus as an example of a smear.

                  Mike returned and acknowledged he had not found anything new or damning. Looking for information that discredits someone is not the same as making shit up and using it to lie about them.

                  And if you were a half-way competent ‘fact-checker’ you would uncover for yourself the blatant anomaly in Key’s CV in the 80’s.

                  I saw the raw data for myself. Key claims he was working with Andrew Kreiger at BT yet Kreiger resigns BT about six months before Key started work there.

                  Absolutely Key has fudged something to coverup for either his involvement with the H-Fee affair, or his activities at BT. Finding out exactly what he is covering up would be the work of a fact-checker.

                  You would after all be doing your hero a service if you could discover the facts and innocently explain away the anomaly.

                  • Something historic like that won’t be a priority for Politicheck but if you want to submit some facts for cross-checking and possible publication then you’re welcome to do so. The more who contribute the better.

                    “You would after all be doing your hero a service if you could discover the facts and innocently explain away the anomaly.”

                    That could be considered a false insinuation and an attempt to smear. You practice differently to how you preach.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s hard to have priorities when you’re a corpse.

                    • RedLogix

                      Colour me shocked!

                      I made some shit up about you – and now you can tell the difference!

                    • mickysavage

                      Pete the Mike Williams stuff gets brought up all the time but do you have anything more recent? And the Mike Williams example is a bad one because he did not actually find anything. And it astounded me that righties should jump up and down about it because of course it was a valid thing to check into.

                • weka

                  Pete, you need to compare what NACT and Labour are doing now. Please provide examples of Labour doing the same degree and kind of smearing that NACT are doing. Anything say since Cunliffe became leader.

                  Of course Labour have done some dodgy shit at times, just like everyone else. The problem is that NACT are taking this to a whole new level. That changes the culture, for the worse. Get that. For the worse. That’s why people complaining here that left just doesn’t like losing are completely missing the point. Irrespective of who wins the election, if the current behaviour and methods are normalised in the way you are doing, we are all the worse off.

                  • “Irrespective of who wins the election, if the current behaviour and methods are normalised in the way you are doing, we are all the worse off.”

                    Are you accusing me of being involved in taking smearing to “to a whole new level”? Very ironic. I’m promoting more openness and honesty and less smearing and I get smeared for it. Very ironic.

                    I see National activists claiming Labour is much worse at it, but I think National and Labour are approximately as bad as each other. As do many other people – a lot of people criticise all politicians jointly for poor behaviour. That’s one of the reasons why less and less people vote.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh look, here’s some weasel slime pretending butter won’t melt in his mouth. What an asshole.

                    • weka

                      ffs PG, read what I said. NACT are doing bad shit and YOU are normalising their behaviour in this very thread. Faux claims of you being smeared is just yet another example of your inability to debate the actual points.

                      “but I think National and Labour are approximately as bad as each other.”

                      Yeah, I’m just not sure why you have to go on about your thought ad nauseum here without actually contributing anything meaningful to the conversation. You’ve been asked repeatedly, put up some examples so we can compare.

                    • weka

                      “Oh look, here’s some weasel slime pretending butter won’t melt in his mouth.”

                      We knew already it was going to be a weird election, so there might be some entertainment value in trying to decide if PG is really part of the WO crew. It’s hard to explain his clusterfuck communucation behaviour otherwise.

                      ;-)

                    • I’m not normalising National behaviour. In fact while you’re busy making factless insinuations and attempts at smears I’ve been taking David Farrar to task for perpetuating what could be called a smear.

                      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/03/more_on_dotcom.html/comment-page-1#comment-1298068

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …but then he was headbutted on the toe by an ant and that was worse.

                    • weka

                      I’m not making factless insinuations, I’m stating outright that what you are doing here in this thread is normalising a new level of smear campaigns by saying oh everyone does it (as if what the other parties do is comparable. Still waiting for the comparisons btw). What you say elsewhere has no bearing on that.

                    • karol

                      weka said: Please provide examples of Labour doing the same degree and kind of smearing that NACT are doing. Anything say since Cunliffe became leader.

                      This is pretty much what I asked you up thread, pg.

                      I said: Citations needed – especially ones showing an equivalent scale as that reported for National and it’s use of bloggers, MSM articles, etc.

                      My bold – indicating the bit of my comment you avoided responding to. I haven’t fully read down the discussion yet, but so far, it seems you keep dodging this.

                      You gave an isolated example, which was pretty much rubbished by the MSM when it happened.

                      I read the discussion as it was back when I was on the demo – on my little flip phone. Some others had touched on it, but at that point, I hadn’t seen such an eg of a smear campaign from the left that was simultaneously cycled through blogs and several mainstream media reports and op eds.

                • lprent

                  About other parties? It doesn’t happen very often IMO. They really don’t have that many friendly contacts inside the media.

                  Of course if they want to do a Chris Carter for dirt inside their own party, then of course the National friendly media are happy to present that and we get weeks of speculation about who is doing it.

                  But as far as I can tell, the most common reason for smears about National party MP’s is also other National MPs. But they do dampen out pretty fast.

                  • You really don’t believe that do you?

                    It’s mostly a “National friendly media”?
                    Labour don’t have many “friendly contacts inside the media”.
                    Most smears against National MPs are against other National MPs?

                    I hear exactly the same ludicrously claims slanted the opposite way from the right. Do political activists actually believe what they spout?

                    • lprent

                      It isn’t hard to find academic studies inside nz that statistically show the preponderance of national friendly media during the election campaigns. They go Back to the 70s. Go look them up -I am on a march. There has been exactly one study I know arguing the other way. It was from that nutty prof at Massey? Her stats were very ummm selective.

                    • weka

                      Not asking PG to do some fact checking research are you Lynn?

                    • lprent []

                      Me? Why would I do that? Oh that is right.

                      He should be able to find some studies in the library at otago uni.

                    • Funny, like I should fact check lprents claims. Maybe next time he queries what I say I should tell him to go off and search. It isn’t hard to find all sorts of stuff – especially about media bias.

                      But media bias and “the National friendly media” are different things. Where’s recent research into the media being National friendly?

                      The media is doing it’s job when it it says what you want, and it’s biased when it says what you don’t want it to say or doesn’t say what you want it to say. I should add “in my opinion”, on second thoughts I won’t rely on getting lprent to research that.

                    • weka

                      PG: you don’t really believe that there is a bias in the media towards the right?

                      LP: yes, there is a whole body of research over decades to support that, go look it up.

                      PG: why should I do your research for you?

                      hint: you might learn something. But of course then you couldn’t go round spouting your ill-formed opinions as if they have some basis in reality.

                      The reason no-one else is expecting Lynn to provide the research for you is because people trust Lynn based on his actions over time and they don’t trust you based on your actions over time. Plus, someone could actually go and get that evidence for you and you still wouldn’t believe it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “It isn’t hard to find all sorts of stuff – especially about media bias.”

                      What a passive aggressive, boring, dishonest asshole.

                    • McFlock

                      You really don’t believe that do you?

                      It’s mostly a “National friendly media”?

                      It’s not hard to find evidence for that.

                      Not fucking hard at all

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A Kiwiblog commenter alleged that the media shows left wing bias all the time. Are you saying that we should just discount that evidence? Are you saying that David Farrar is a liar for not moderating it? Isn’t that just a smear?

                    • weka

                      Very generous of you McFlock. Perhaps you could apply for a job at politicheck as PG’s back up man :-)

                    • McFlock

                      I was actually tempted to get involved with them for stuff in my area.
                      Now I’m very much “wait and see”.

                    • That research is from someone referred to a few comments back as ” It was from that nutty prof at Massey? Her stats were very ummm selective.”

                      And look at the last paragraph:

                      Dr Robinson’s analysis also found a dramatic shift in image selection at the height of the teapot tape saga. “When the news media itself becomes an actor in a political controversy, things get ugly. Picture editors dusted off their most unflattering shots of John Key. In the final days of the campaign none of the papers published a negative image of Phil Goff compared with the early (pre-teapot) period where more than one in three images of Goff were negative.”

                      Negative coverage of Key in the final two weeks may have contributed to National dropping from 50+ (as polled) to their 47% and it may have made the difference in getting NZ First over the line.

                      But looking at a few newspapers only in a limited way and not at TV or radio is not proof of a general National bias in the media. It could just as easily be seen to be the opposite in the end result.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      :roll:

                    • karol

                      Yep, PG. That was around the first time that Key got fairly negative coverage across the media since being elected. The blogs, though, had nothing to do with the releasing of info about the teapot saga. And the thing that seemed to have incensed many MSM journos was that Key attacked the media.

                    • miravox

                      McFlock, McFlock… You probably don’t have he right research skills. They’re not just academic you know.

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-22032014/#comment-789012

                      We are also still to be advised of what makes the editor in chief so uniquely qualified for his post, despite him being asked directly.

                    • karol

                      Also research by Claire Robinson, as reported on TV3 News Nov 2012:

                      A study has found four of the country’s most-read newspapers were biased during last year’s election campaign, with Prime Minister John Key receiving far more coverage than then-Labour leader Phil Goff.
                      Research by Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson, a political marketing expert in the university’s College of Creative Arts, reviewed images and column widths in the New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times during the campaign.
                      She found the papers showed “substantial bias” in their use of images – most of it in favour of Mr Key, who featured in 138 photos, while Mr Goff featured in 80.
                      Mr Key also dominated the column centimetres, at a ratio of almost two to one.
                      “Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated in print during the last election campaign,” Dr Robinson said.
                      “My research suggests there could be grounds for a complaint to the New Zealand Press Council that the newspapers breached the principle of fairness and balance in their campaign coverage.”

                      Margie Comrie did research on the 2008 election that showed National got more favourable coverage than Labour – can’t look for it just now, gotta get to work.

                • kenny

                  Since when has Labour had a COMPLIANT media? That is what is being discussed here – a RELUCTANT media, one which is only too quick to change/drop the subject, now that’s a different matter!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Are you denying that there is a journalist who could be described as left wing? Do you think the Labour Party never puts out press releases? Are endless questions a simple way to look as though I’m undermining your argument without actually engaging with it?

                    Is this the way political debate can be killed? Never adopt a position and simply introduce relentless banalities?

                    Or is it just transparent dishonesty?

                • Murray Olsen

                  You, Mr George, are really quite a horrible person. You are the one who claimed that Labour has used the media to smear, then required a questioner to prove they hadn’t, then suggested that they probably had. Have you ever, by any chance, sold insurance or used cars?

                  Anyone thinking you could be a fact checker would have to spend a hell of a lot of time teaching you what a fact was before you were let lose on the public.

                  • “You are the one who claimed that Labour has used the media to smear,”

                    I wasn’t the only one, but I’m sure they have. Just as some are sure National have (including me) but haven’t provided any proof.

                    “then required a questioner to prove they hadn’t”

                    It’s impossible to prove that.

                    • weka

                      Doesn’t need proof, just evidence, and there is plenty to show what NACT are doing. Like I said earlier, by your inability or unwillingness to differentiate between what different parties are doing, you are interpreting that evidence to normalise NACT’s behaviour.

                    • karol

                      Yep, PG. That was around the first time that Key got fairly negative coverage across the media since being elected. The blogs, though, had nothing to do with the releasing of info about the teapot saga. And the thing that seemed to have incensed many MSM journos was that Key attacked the media.

                    • miravox

                      “I wasn’t the only one, but I’m sure they have”

                      But you were/are one who does claim that Labour uses the media to smear. And again you say ‘I’m sure they have’. Because you are sure, you can obviously name at least one instance of the current Labour team doing this. Otherwise, you’re not sure, you are only asserting a belief not a fact.

              • John Drinnan

                There are such cases – you probably just agreed with the outcome

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “There are such cases”. Yeah, they all leap to mind so much you need to describe them in vague unspecific terms.

                  Perhaps you can point to some of these oh-so glaringly obvious examples so that we can compare them with Cameron Slater’s daily behaviour.

                • karol

                  Can you point to any cases when several media reports, and blog posts simultaneoulsy attacked the right, especially Key’s government, on any given issue/smear? – especially with a smear that attacked a politician’s personal values/behaviour?

                  • Populuxe1

                    Pansy Wong and Aaron Gilmore come to mind.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How did the coverage of their behaviour qualify as smears? Please pay attention to the English language: the word “smear” has a definition, so twisting it to mean something else will be taken as evidence of failure.

                    • karol

                      Gilmore did a good job of smearing himself.

                    • Populuxe1

                      You didn’t ask for smears, you said “simultaneously attacked” – which I think is your way of saying “intensively covered something embarrassing or silly that they did”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “…didn’t ask for smears”????

                      Karol asked for them especially. English language comprehension difficulty or selective avoidance?

                    • Populuxe1

                      “Can you point to any cases when several media reports, and blog posts simultaneoulsy attacked the right, especially Key’s government, on any given issue/smear? – especially with a smear that attacked a politician’s personal values/behaviour?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So nothing then.

                    • Populuxe1

                      If you are just going to resort to “I know you are, you said you are, but what am I” tactics like an irritating school child, you care clearly not worth taking seriously

                    • felix

                      In case you’re wondering why you are eliciting bored responses, I would like to draw your attention to the words “You didn’t ask for smears”.

          • Jim Nald 3.1.1.2.2

            Hi Geoff

            To a particular pair of eyes, your last line reads:

            “Show your evidence that Labour uses … media.”

            But not to mine.

            • geoff 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Yep, that word ‘compliant’ must be right on PG’s blind spot. Of course he gets a lot more attention if he ignores that word and bleats on incessantly so…

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.3

          Pete. The H-Fee trip was not a smear. Legitimate questions were asked and nothing new was uncovered.

          But it was an attempt to uncover the truth about an episode in Key’s very murky CV from the 80’s. Seeking the truth is not a smear.

          (Oh and personally I remain convinced that the official Key CV is not true – it’s just so far the wrong questions have been asked.)

        • Jimmie 3.1.1.4

          PG Smears from the left aren’t smears – they’re seeking the truth – because everyone knows that John Key and National are the antichrist and the epitome of evil so everything negative that can be dreamed up is actually seeking the truth to expose this great evil.

          On the other hand anything that is negative against the messiah DC are obvious lies and smears and should be roundly mocked as such.

          Put these two factors together and its called ‘fact checking’

          Brings tears to my eyes especially when the proponents of both views are deadly serious in their belief that they are right – a pity for them that the voters don’t seem to share their mindset.

    • Weepu's beard 3.2

      I think now that blogs are part of the game then they will have to play by the rules. Broadcasting standards are broken every second post by contributors to and commentators on one particular blog I could mention.

  4. veutoviper 4

    As KDC has tweeted this morning, the Herald is in overdrive with six articles/opinion pieces today re KDC and the Internet Party.

    KDC – “6 Dotcom articles in the @NZHerald today. That’s overkill. Let’s make a deal @tmurphyNZH. One week NO Dotcom. Agreed? http://t.co/GHociBbd5c

    The articles

    Editorial – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11228383

    Armstrong – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11228272

    O’Sullivan – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11228318

    Gaynor – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11228289

    Thomas – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11228269

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11228390

    This is on top of Drinnan’s and Byce Edwards’ articles yesterday afternoon.

    I have not read today’s offerings as yet, but suspect that they will continue the ‘smear’ theme. I may be surprised, but the cynic in me …..

    • John Drinnan 4.1

      surprised if you can find a smear in the Herald media column – but ugly is in they eye of the beholder

      • weka 4.1.1

        Which is the Herald media column?

        • John Drinnan 4.1.1.1

          me Drinnan – referred to in blog

          • weka 4.1.1.1.1

            You probably don’t realise then how weird it is to read a senior journalist on a major NZ newspaper saying that it’s Labour’s responsibility to control media bias. Do you honestly not see that the MSM has serious responsibilities here?

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        While I accept that KDC is the sensation de jour – you have to impressed at all six columnists unanimously dumping on his IP at the same time.

        • John Drinnan 4.1.2.1

          I find mein Kampf attack very House Of Cards – but attack in unison is partly because it was the party launch and because of mainstream dismay at the brazen manipulation of the mana deal.
          That in the overall notion of a foreign individual buying a place in parliament and Left cheering

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1.1

            As opposed to the Warner Brothers or Sky City deals, or the National Party selling audiences with the Prime Minister, or let’s face it, the fact that the entire Party is a bought party.

            • Pete George 4.1.2.1.1.1

              It’s a newspaper. Those things were covered when they were news, which wasn’t over the last week.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                John Drinnen’s false narrative is to the effect that Kim.com is buying influence and the left is cheering him.

                Meanwhile, the National Party openly sells legislation, audiences, gongs, and the country down the river, so Drinnen’s false outrage is especially inane.

                But not as inane as you are.

                PS: fuck off.

          • lprent 4.1.2.1.2

            …foreign individual buying a place in parliament…

            Firstly he cannot. He isn’t a citizen.

            Secondly, how does that differ from a citizen buying a seat in parliament? John Key for instance.

          • RedLogix 4.1.2.1.3

            foreign individual

            Given that KDC is a New Zealand resident, and one who has become very embedded in the NZ scene, that’s a pretty devious characterisation.

            buying a place in parliament

            What no comment about Colin Craig using his wealth in exactly the same manner?

            Nor anything to be said about how much dubious business money flows into National’s coffers?

            and Left cheering

            No-one is cheering his politics. But on the other hand the left can recognise the very blatant injustice this government inflicted on him – and will cheer on his battle against it.

            And you wonder why so many people think the NZ media is lazy and biased.

          • Blue 4.1.2.1.4

            If only Kim Dotcom had thrown his support behind National, eh?

            Fran O’Sullivan would be urging us all to lie back and think of the economy, because a cash-for-no-extradition deal would benefit everyone.
            John Armstrong would be tittering with glee as he recounted Kim’s antics and mocked the left for denying the popular appeal of the loveable German.
            Claire Trevett would keep us all updated on the sparkling bromance between Kim and John.

            You have to feel for the poor guy. He went about this all wrong.

          • Murray Olsen 4.1.2.1.5

            What Left cheering? Most of the left was violently opposed to Mana doing any deals with Dotcom. Somehow, except for what Sue Bradford said, most of this was missed by the media.

    • Populuxe1 4.2

      Probably because it offers up some interesting ethical and political considerations in general – god forbid opinion columnists should write about what appeals to their interests, and, well, anything to do with H1tler will always make people interested. If I do a google news search jor “Judith Collins” and “China” I get 756 results, so obviously there must be a conspiracy to cover that. Only 756 indeed!

      • karol 4.2.1

        Why is it the op ed columnists mostly tend towards the same end of the political spectrum?

        I wouldn’t mind if there was more variety of opinions.

    • geoff 4.3

      If I were the owner of the Herald I might notice that all 6 writers banging on about the same topic makes my paper look like it’s full of partisan hacks.

      Hmm…

  5. Jimmie 5

    Karol, the only issue I have with your post is that it ignores the point of a lot of the so called ‘smearing’ against Dotcom.

    Anyone who tries to have a dab in politics is going to come under public scrutiny to see if their public persona is for real or not. It comes with the territory – no different than when Mike Williams took off to Aussie to see if he could dig stuff up on John Key.

    Now obviously the motivation of those doing the digging is pretty obvious – they want to neutralize the target as having any influence in the political scene – both sides do it and have for many years.

    Now if KDC was straight up squeaky clean then all this dirt digging would come to nought – or even blow back in the diggers faces (Again think Mike Williams) however if the reality is that KDC has skeletons in his closet then he has only himself to blame.

    KDC is a colourful character of dubious history and income sources who has sought to influence NZ politics by splashing $$$ around to anyone who is prepared to listen and support his point of view.
    He has an over riding motivation in life (Apart from making multi million $$$ from file sharing) and that is to avoid being put on a plane to LA to face the music (no pun intended) in the US.

    I think the left in general have made a strategic mistake by hitching their ponies to the KDC wagon – for all the small embarrassment that he has caused John Key with GCSB etc. – that was yesterdays story.
    All it is going to take is for a photo of a nazi flag or similar recordings/photos of KDC with nazi paraphenalia to bring him down and to stain the hands of all the opposition pollies who went to genuflect in his presence.

    The left would have been better to try and paint KDC as a grubby, no morals capitalist and attack National for allowing him to remain in NZ.

    • geoff 5.1

      Now obviously the motivation of those doing the digging is pretty obvious – they want to neutralize the target as having any influence in the political scene – both sides do it and have for many years.

      That’s probably only part of the motivation. The other part is that it keeps the media distracted from looking at National’s failings.

      I think the left in general have made a strategic mistake by hitching their ponies to the KDC wagon – for all the small embarrassment that he has caused John Key with GCSB etc. – that was yesterdays story.

      Completely false statement. Most of the Left, from what I can tell, wouldn’t trust KDC as far as they could throw him.

      Also, saying GSCB is yesterday’s story is complete and utter bullshit, if anything that particular story is only going to become more central as more and more of the snowden info comes out.

      Jimmie, I can’t help but think you’re just trying to distract from the topic at hand which is how grubby John Key and National are in their attempts to control the media.

      • Jimmie 5.1.1

        Left in general?? Hmmm so who was beating a path to the kdc shrine? Greens, labour, mana, nz first? About the only principled leftie not trying to suck the kdc money tit is sue bradford……and good on her

        • geoff 5.1.1.1

          They talked to him! OMG!

          Get some perspective.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2

          “Beating a path”?

          :lol:

          Because visiting someone means you agree with them, doesn’t it. Surely you can’t be stupid enough to actually believe that, and are simply engaging in a convenient dishonest pretence? I’d hate to think you really were mentally handicapped, but perhaps you really are simply another example of how low IQ predicts for right wing politics.

        • risildowgtn 5.1.1.3

          John Banks had already got there first.. or have you conveniently forgotten this FACT???

    • karol 5.2

      Jimmie: Anyone who tries to have a dab in politics is going to come under public scrutiny to see if their public persona is for real or not.

      Oh. I didn’t realise. Then maybe you could provide multiple citations of when John key first became leader of National, and when he became PM, of loads of media reports and op eds critically attacking him? I seem to have missed a whole raft of such reports.

      It comes with the territory – no different than when Mike Williams took off to Aussie to see if he could dig stuff up on John Key.

      Acttually the scope and extent of the attacks on KDC are not in the same league as the Williams episode. Williams was on his own, and generally got slammed for it in most media reports.

      • Jimmie 5.2.1

        John Key had plenty of attacks on him at the time – Cullen and his ‘rich prick’ comment for one.

        Perhaps the main reason why the msm didn’t attack Key so much was because he didn’t make poor political decisions and pretend to be someone he wasn’t. He was open about making money, and owning a house in Hawaii etc.

        Unfortunately David Cunliffe has been the opposite beginning to his leadership – think different messages to different audiences, pretending to be middle class, criticizing Key for living in a flash house and pretending he was only in a humble shack himself – list could go on.

        As for Dot Com he public persona is as fake as mock cream in a bun – sure a lot of dirt on him is coming out via Whale Oil who doesn’t exactly like KDC however if had acted ethically and with good character over the past several years then there would be nothing to be smeared around.

        Politicians don’t get it: Be genuine. If the image you portray in public matches how you act in private then you have nothing to fear…….if not then be very afraid as you can be sure that your sins will find you out.

        Think Graham Capil….

        • karol 5.2.1.1

          Sigh. key got attacked from some on the left. But it was not echoed by a raft of MSM journalists.

          Key was criticised by many in his early days on TS, for saying different things to different adiences. It was not a line taken up critically by the MSM journalists. Key was not actually that good in front the media in the early days, but his minders kept him away from anything too harmful. And the MSM continued to not be critical.

          Meanwhile, the MSM has slammed Cunliffe for every little error and misdemeanour.

  6. Corokia 6

    I hope National radio’s new afternoon programme dumps Ele Ludeman, she is never described as National’s Otago Southland regional chair, instead listeners are encouraged to visit her blog as if it was the quaint time filler of a rural lady, rather than the right wing site of a National party official that it really is.

    • Plus 1 So true – a snide little blog is hers

    • greywarbler 6.2

      National Radio afternoon programme presumably refers to Jim Mora. He doesn’t describe the background to most of his Panel – there is no other like it. I have a horrible feeling that Radionz is about to be dumbed down so that all those people out there that don’t want to define what they are and believe in, are encouraged to join the Radionz present listeners. They are talking about increasing their audience. Apparently there is some competition going on that Radionz wants to be involved in to encourage that attitude.

      • Bearded Git 6.2.1

        Agreed grey, Susie Ferguson is a weak questioner (possibly pro-Nats though I have no info to this effect). Espiner is way to the right. So that is Morning (mostly weather) Report sown up for the Nats for election year.

        Moving Mora to Checkpoint will result in Mary’s excellent interview style being cut in half and a pro-Nats bias inserted. Good for Nats in election year.

        There also seems to be a pro-Nats bias creeping in to Morning (weather) Report in terms of the Tweets/Emails they read out and the news headlines. Or is this just me?

        • Ergo Robertina 6.2.1.1

          Espiner is to the right, and I think most don’t realise to what extent. He did a hatchet job on Cunliffe in the Listener in 2012, and while I am not particularly enamoured of Cunliffe it was grossly unfair. Susie seemed slightly right biased as a fill-in.
          The right has TV and radio sewn up, just look at what Hosking is doing with Seven Sharp. He’s made it somewhat relevant and the ratings are up, which is really depressing.

        • greywarbler 6.2.1.2

          I am always amazed when radio gives precious air time to someone who writes in with some critical remark that is virtually saying I wish everyone did everything right just like me. Or criticises the young or some other noticeable group which bears the brunt of all the ills of the world.

          Anybody with an attack of cramps or indigestion can say that stuff and it gets read out as pearls of wisdom??

    • RedLogix 6.3

      They used Farrar for years without making reference to his tight affiliations. Why start now?

    • @ crokia..plus one..plus one..

      ..plus..she sounds so bored/is so boring..

      ..and it must take her all of five mins to find the ancient internet pieces she drags up..

      ..(she set a record a while back..a ‘fresh’/cutting-edge story i had covered @ whoar about 12 months previously..)

      ..i knew she was a far-righter..(runs in farrars’ crew)..i didn’t know of her official natty-staus..

      ..and yes..listeners should know/be told that..(part of set-piece intro?..)

    • Marksman 6.5

      I think she mentioned the fact that she was a National party supporter on her very first time on air,then nothing more was mentioned.Mora loves her though,says more about him than her.She’s just horrid.

  7. RedLogix 7

    To some extent we are also seeing the toxic fallout from a media industry that is itself shrinking and changing in ways that are well outside the comfort zone of many of it’s players. The pool of well-paid media jobs is shrinking and this means everyone in it is competing for sensation, shock-jock stories that will grab short-term eyeballs and impress their bosses.

    Journalism is no longer a career. There are no professional standards. No-one employs anyone to research and fact-check. Good writing style is no longer needed, and considered thoughtful analysis is the mark of the naive.

    And they fear KDC above all – because this man, for all his faults, is capable of the kind of internet innovation that will kill off traditional media once and for all. Of course they all instinctively loath him.

    • Ergo Robertina 7.1

      ‘To some extent we are also seeing the toxic fallout from a media industry that is itself shrinking and changing in ways that are well outside the comfort zone of many of it’s [sic] players.’

      Subverting the business model of old media brought KDC his present troubles, but it doesn’t ring true that his potential to undermine what remains of the news business model is driving the smears and media storm around him. Chris Trotter’s piece yesterday seems closer to the mark with his analysis of the elite using their favoured ones in the media to do their dirty work and smear someone they fear.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        True ER. Your point is a good one.

        At the same time I it’s (not so sic this time) true that a shrinking media industry has certainly filtered out and markedly reduced the range of voices.

        • Ergo Robertina 7.1.1.1

          Yes, it’s the Foxification of news, where the line goes out for repetition across the commercial outlets, and, increasingly under the new CEO it seems, the last bastion, RNZ.
          This media group think is even more pernicious, if a lot less raucous, in a small isolated country like New Zealand than the United States.

    • karol 7.2

      Very good comment, RL. Yes, part of the problem with the MSM, is that they run on more limited resources than in the past, and are required to do more sensationalist (and shallow) reports in a pretty short time.

      They tend to go with what’s “in the wind” without too much time for reflection. I think many journalists are probably unaware of how they repeat some strongly conservative lines – because they are all around them, within their sphere of operation, and probably just seem “natural” or “normal” to them.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1

        The MSM are a product of human discourse, not the sum of it. Political revolution was possible with a printing press and analogue distribution methods, so it is possible with memes and social media.

        Ad and Lurgee touch on this up-thread. If the right ruled none of us would be able to read, let alone organise.

  8. Quasimodo 8

    Mathew Hooton: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ..

    Thanks !

  9. captain hook 9

    the media in New Zealand is slack sloppy and at bottom infantile and lazy.
    It is riddled with juveniles who have some idiotic dream about getting a scoop or becoming the new pilger but in the meantime they are just pawns in the game.
    They’re only a pawn in the game.
    meanwhile the creep factor is going full steam ahead with fatboy and wailboil disseminating their poison with no holds barred whatsoever.
    not only that but they threaten with physical violence anyone that stands up against them.
    this country is in a verry sorry state when lowbrows and thugs are in complete control.

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      Still a better love story than FOX

    • RedLogix 9.2

      not only that but they threaten with physical violence anyone that stands up against them.

      That’s nothing new. Especially not in the light of the Ernie Abbott thread yesterday.

      A cursory examination of political violence in this country is very instructive. It’s all been a one way street.

  10. Blue 10

    A critical fourth estate, working in the public interest, would be speaking truth to power, not celebrating the success of a well orchestrated political smear machine.

    Yeah, we don’t have one of those fourth estate thingees here. Just a bunch of gossips with delusions of grandeur. Witness Armstrong this morning:

    Every day that Dotcom deprives Key’s other opponents of the oxygen of media coverage is one day closer to election day on September 20. It is one day less for the real election issues and priorities to take centre stage.

    National’s opponents can complain all they like. But the never ending Dotcom saga is a freak show of epic proportions with ever more twists and turns. The media simply finds it impossible to avert its eyes.

  11. captain hook 11

    +1 redlogix.
    Why is that?

  12. McGrath 12

    Politics is a messy business. Blogs like WO/Standard are now part of the game and I believe will become even more important over the coming years. Parties using blogs to promote/slander should therefore not be a surprise.

  13. bad12 13

    Back up the Post Pete George claims that Parliamentary Labour has used blogs to conduct smear campaigns in an obvious defense of National having admitted that they happily do so,

    When called on this George like every ‘wing-nut’ to ever make a bullshit claim here in the pages of the Standard, that’s 99.99% of them, then goes on to dance on the head of a pin citing Mike Williams flying off to Australia to dig for dirt on Slippery the Prime Minister,

    While there’s truth in Williams taking his plastic spade on that jaunt, the unresolved question that George cannot or will not answer is WHAT blog was involved in this,

    Rock-Snot as i said yesterday is a fungal organism that attaches itself to any mode of transport from gumboots to twigs to enable it to enter an untainted waterway from there multiplying to pollute the whole expanse,

    Such is Pete George…(Rock-Snot George might want to apply His ‘fact-checker’ to the above)…

    • lprent 13.1

      One of our authors put the stuff up. I removed the damn login pretty fast. If you read the comments back in 2008, you will find authors at the time attacking the use of the site

      • weka 13.1.1

        Once, six years ago, I guess Petey does have a point then.

      • bad12 13.1.2

        Lprent, yeah but did Mike Williams provide the author with info which up to the point of the Post wasn’t in the public domain with the intention of having such info included in a Post…

        • lprent 13.1.2.1

          Beats me. I still don’t know who it was. The author got added by another author without anyone else being consulted and they started to run a tease.

          Reaction by other authors was pretty swift and rather irritated. I disabled the login and added auditing systems to prevent a recurrence.

          It was early days for the site.

    • John Drinnan 13.2

      You sound like a doppelganger of Whale Oil

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1

        You sound like a slightly more widely read Pete George.

        • phillip ure 13.2.1.1

          @ oan..heh..!

          • phillip ure 13.2.1.1.1

            i wouldn’t be too hard on drinnan..

            there are far worse than him out there..

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11227808

            and in that link drinnan is promising us that the herald will go behind a paywall in the third quarter..

            ..and isn’t that hilarious..?

            ..that this supermarket-giveaway/parish-pump quality rag has such a level of self-regard..

            ..they think people will chase them behind a paywall..

            ..fucken hilarious..that one..

            ..i understand stuff are similarly self-deluded..

            ..go on then..!..off you go..!

            ..hop into yr coffins..!

            ..there’s a good m.s.m..!

            ..shall i smooth yr pillow for you..?

      • bad12 13.2.2

        You sound like right-wing scum,(now have a whine about abuse why don’t you)…

        • srylands 13.2.2.1

          I think you could lay off the abuse. Combined with a somewhat convoluted writing style, you will admit it does detract from your messaging? Why not just stay calm for a while, and try to write in succinct language? Often it is a real struggle for me to decode what you mean.

          • bad12 13.2.2.1.1

            Your right SSLands, i agree with you that John Drinnan,(why does that name make me think of drain cleaner), should lay off the abuse, and, quite frankly i did not think you had the intellectual where-with-all to have noticed the convoluted writing style of Mr Drain Cleaner,(have you got your Mummy reading the comments and providing you an interpretation tonight),

            By the way SSLands, take a deep look at the little green icon that appears with your every post, you carry the sign which marks you as SSLands…

      • karol 13.2.3

        John, your comment just seems like a diversion from the content of bad’s comment. It’s just resulting in a string of follow-up ad hominems.

        [Edit;] Bad made a good point about left wing blogs not being involved in an orchestrated smear campaign the way WO and KB have been a few times, with some MSM reports also printing similar, or picking up on the smears from right wing blogs.

        This point has been addressed above in various ways from left wingers. But responses just dance around the issue: e.g. saying blogs will be used more in this way in the future, just avoids the main criticism.

        And, the thing about The Standard, is that it tries to provide a forum for members of the public to discuss important political issues. Blogs and/or in conjunction with the media smears just make politics a PR game. It marginalises the voices or members of the public.

        Lynn has pointed out that he aims to not to let this blog be used in the way WO and Kiwiblog have been used.

        • bad12 13.2.3.1

          Karol, my bad for responding to the ‘puppet’, i assume He got the desired reaction with the usual ‘wing-nuts’ tactic of diversion or subject change…

        • Pete George 13.2.3.2

          “being involved in an orchestrated smear campaign the way WO and KB have been a few times”

          Can you back up that claim? I presume you’d ask me to if I claimed something like that.

          I often see one blog pickup on something another blog has posted on, that happens here and on The Daily Blog as well as KB and WO and others. I often do it. That doesn’t mean it’s orchestrated.

          It’s quite possible some things are orchestrated or pre-advised amongst bloggers but I presume you’re only guessing what could be arranged as opposed to spontaneous blogging.

          I doubt there’s much if any co-operation between bloggers and MSM. Whale Oil in particular doesn’t have many fans amongst MSM.

          • karol 13.2.3.2.1

            There’s the current Dotcom one. There’s the Len Brown one. They and Wishhart, the talkback shows etc, ran the “communist, lesbian, dictator” line (as written about by Lew Stoddartd).

            There’s the “democracy under attack”….. etc, etc, with the Helengrad Billboards

            As I understand it, WO and KB often float a bit of an attack on the left, then it’s picked up by the media.

            It certainly LOOKS orchestrated. But it is likely that the journalists and bloggers are being fed similar lines, separately by their “unnamed sources”.

            • Pete George 13.2.3.2.1.1

              So you’re guessing. There’s no way of knowing if any party orchestrates things with blogs.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That’s right, the Prime Minister calls his mate Cameron to discuss foreign policy, Jason Ede has considerable latitude in the boundaries between his job and personal interests, and trivial banality is a sign of credibility and good faith.

                No, wait…this just in: you’re an asshole Pete.

              • bad12

                George, if it looks like Rock-Snot it probably is, did not Slippery the Prime Minister say he has a direct line to Blubber boy over at ‘wail-oil’,

                Did not the 9th floor of the Beehive admit the picture of the aftermath of a press gallery piss up got to Blubber boys ‘wail-oil’ via them,

                Are they, they being the 9th floor of the Beehive, including the PM, going to openly admit to have been feeding the media and blogs anti-DotCom material,

                One and one is two and only a fool would do the dance of ‘i see no evil’ when considering the occurrences and their timing around the publishing of this material,

                Add one more and you have three, the Prime Minister admitted he had plenty of dirt on un-named people in His top draw, perhaps having friends in high places like at the head of the GCSB and SIS gives the PM access to such ‘dirt’…

                • srylands

                  I don’t get the outrage. What is the issue with the PM talking to a blogger? (and it is Whale Oil Beef Hooked (WOBH)). I find the “wail oil” reference very offensive.

                  Also what is wrong with spreading the word about KDC?

                  I detect all this faux outrage in you. You get more and more offended and offensive. But it is about absolutely nothing at all. You may as well say “The world offends me” “Politicians are being mean” wah.

                  I am really surprised at you Bad12.

                  • bad12

                    SSLands, read my comment below at 8.30pm, its al the answer you either deserve or are going to get other than to be told to fiuck off back to ‘wail-oink’ and share your syphillated drivel with the inmates of that particular zoo…

                  • felix

                    “I don’t get the outrage. What is the issue with the PM talking to a blogger?”

                    There are several.

                    For one, the blogger in question has, among other things:

                    publicly mocked the victim of a horrible accident and the victim’s grieving family, saying he did the world a favour by being killed.
                    thrown someone down a flight of stairs and bragged about it.
                    made and distributed child pornography.
                    knowingly and consciously published identifying details of children who are the victims of sexual violence.

                    Does this sound like someone the PM should have a close relationship with?

                    But the real issue is that the blogger pretends to be an independent critical observer of politics when in reality he is little more than an extension of the PM’s office.

                • karol

                  Maybe some regular viewing of House of Cards is in order – now that’s “orchestration”!

                  • bad12

                    Lolz have never bothered to watch that one, i have tho a sharp eye for the ‘wing-nuts’ tactics of diversion, in most Posts i have found when they enter the debate there are a few diversionary tricks they use(with some success),

                    The one that hasn’t been employed tonight appears to be that where they intimate you have said something and chastise you for saying it, even tho nothing in any comment could be construed as being anywhere near the ”i suppose you think” which is how that tactic starts in most cases,

                    Its simple diversion away from the heart of the Post that they seek…

                    • karol

                      House of Cards is all about “orchestration”. Frank Underwood, Congressman and whip, manipulates, by whispering something in one person’s ear, something else in another’s, seeding a story with a tame journalist, etc – quite the puppeteer.

          • bad12 13.2.3.2.2

            Blah,blah,blah, looks like ‘Rock-Snot’ to me, now you continue to dance upon the head of a pin with your latest little prevarication,

            There’s an element you have conveniently and i suggest deliberately missed out in this little mix which is an integral point of the original Post,

            That being the conductor of orchestration hides up on the 9th floor of the Beehive…

            • srylands 13.2.3.2.2.1

              “That being the conductor of orchestration hides up on the 9th floor of the Beehive…”

              Who do you mean?

              • bad12

                SSLands, whats with the calling me mean stuff, are you looking for a fight or something,

                Tell you what, go back to the top and read the Post slooooooowly again, then, if you still have no understanding of ‘what i mean’ i suggest you not get back to me in an attempt to waste my time upon your puerile little questions, go back to school preferably starting about year 5,(in a remedial reading class as well), the planks made from the trees in a whole forest would not begin to suffice as a measurement of your density…

            • karol 13.2.3.2.2.2

              Yes, thanks, bad. I was about to add that.

              Because it is the main point of my post, that MSM journalists are now writing about such “orchestration”.

              For instance, as Drinnan pointed out, immediately after Gower went on TV3 News about the Mein Kampf thing,

              A few minutes later the pro-National blogger Cameron Slater – an assiduous Dotcom critic – “coincidentally” posted about the Hitler book on his Whale Oil website. It appears Slater sparked the item, with his inquiries prompting Dotcom to feed the story to TV3, hoping to get in first.

              Tracy Watkins – usually a Nat fan:

              The fact that Jason Ede supplied Whaleoil with photos of rubbish from a press gallery party was less of a revelation than the fact that feeding the blogs is officially part of his job description. Key used to give a passable impression of someone who had just noticed a bad smell under his nose whenever he was questioned about National’s links to Slater. Not so now.

              Key even admits to having a direct line to the blogger.

              Trotter on the likelihood of different authors finding out some of the info at the same time as KDC is in the hot seat:

              What is clear, however, is that the material currently being used to discredit Dotcom and undermine his Internet Party launch did not just descend from the clouds in the hands of blameless angels. The information being drip-fed to the news media was assembled and distributed in an organised fashion. Introductions were arranged. Phone-calls were made. “Eye-witness” testimonies were recorded

              • My guess is that Whale Oil had that post read to go for some time, possible weeks as he’d hinted about it at the start of the month and decided to post it when 3 News broke the story. No orchestration necessary (although possible).

                The Herald and other MSM picked up on the story too, that’s Norman for them to feed off each other. They’re in competition so are unlikely to ‘orchestrate’.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Gosh yes, and since the allegation is that the orchestration is happening on the ninth floor, your comment breaks new records for trivia and banality.

              • bad12

                Karol, aha, which just leads me to the wish to only spray the likes of George,Drinnan, and now, SSLands with an increasingly acidic commentary in reply,

                Does this diversion come to George et al naturally???, i doubt they have to sit and ponder for long befor they come up with a hair splitting prevarication in my opinion deliberately designed to remove the conversation as far away from that which they are paid??/ to protect as possible,

                ‘That’ being of course where such ‘campaigns’ are being directed from, it’s pretty obvious to anyone with a slightly functioning nut that Blubber boy and the Herald columnists Rachel Glaucoma are not the sources of information and nor are they sharing such information,

                They are simply the monkeys doing the dance as the organ grinder ensconced on the Beehives 9th floor grinds out the tune…

                • Tweedle Bad and Tweedle Bloke are the monkeys trying to play diversion here.

                  Totally unsupported assertions about the ‘9th floor’.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Unsupported by none other than John Key, the lying Prime Minister.

                    It’s another one for Blip’s list: Key doesn’t talk to Slater at all, he just made up that story to cover himself in the sweet smell of Cameron.

                  • bad12

                    Utter rubbish Rock-Snot, it is you who tried to drag the conversation away from mention of the Beehives 9th floor by the pretense of discussing the Post in terms of only the media and the Blogs,

                    The ‘fact’ if you care to ‘check’ is that the Post discusses the leaking of information ‘to’ journalists and blogs by politicians, in this case it happens to be the political machine ensconced on the Beehives 9th floor at the moment that has given us every reason to suspect it is they who are the ‘leakers’,

                    By the way George you make among your spray of ‘rock-snot’ above the claim that Blubber boy over at ‘wail-oil’ was hinting about having info on DotCom a month befor he published it,

                    Check your facts and post us a link to this assertion wont you…

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.3.2.3

            Pete George, your doubts are of no more significance than your “thoughts”, suffused as they are with trivia and dishonesty.

            The reason Politicheck will be stillborn is because you aren’t qualified to be an editor’s asshole, let alone a fact checker, but more importantly, your appointment is an active deterrent to others’ involvement.

            Sacking you now might help. but the fact is your appointment in the first place did so much damage it’s doubtful anything can be salvaged.

            This will be your legacy.

  14. Jrobin 14

    If there is really no bias to the current media constellations then please explain why there was no reporting of the recent Roy Morgan Poll which had Labour,Green bloc neck and neck with National. The Leftist blogs were the only places I was made aware of this poll. I also checked the reporting of Roy Morgan polls up to the latest. The Herald does not usually report on this poll as it sees to be viewed as competition to their Digipoll. However it was normally reported on by National Radio,Dominion Post and Tv Three. So what’s going on?If not bias is it fear and compliance. Are journalists scared for their future employment? If so that is also disturbing. With the cuts to funding that have happened to such bodies as the noncompliant Problem Gambling Trust it is not surprising people feel a little nervous. However to be honest I read Drinnans article as fairly neutral and felt some relief that the issue was being raised. Tough time tobe a journalist.

    • karol 14.1

      I agree, there were some very good points in Drinnan’s article. And it was refreshing to see some mainstream journalists finally acknowledging the way Key/National’s PR machine worked.

      The thing I disagree with is the tendency to applaud Team key for having such a slick PR machine, and to blame Labour for not being as good at spinning. The sticking pint for me is i this paragraph:

      It is Labour’s job to counter National’s influence over the news agenda. But it does not have many of its own partisans in the media; the left-leaning website The Daily Blog does not have an audience to compare with Whale Oil.

      Matt McCarten was an articulate voice for the left during his time as a columnist for the Herald On Sunday, but he is now working for Labour.

      And there seems to be a judgement in favour of right wing blogs over left wing ones – not because of anything to do with quality, but to do with (alleged) “audience” share.

      This is the neoliberal driver of news media, that puts ratings over quality of analysis and debate.

  15. A VOTER 15

    One has to take serious issue with amount of propaganda the Nats issue thru the top media outlets and why are they the top money of course
    You offer anyone more money and say dont worry about the legalities its all taken care of your doing a good job weve got the money and power to back you up We can shut down anyone who gets in the way
    This is the new FACE of 1951
    A group of educated smooth selling monied bastards sucking on the gossip of the day and when you analyze it there is nothing in it except to put as many people as possible off voting
    That is the way empty people get their way
    There is a real crisis in NZ its called the Duming down of Democracy
    People are losing their future everyday to promises of increasing wealth that doesnt exist
    Wages suck Tax is over the top Research and development is on the back burner The right to protest is under threat in all areas The country is turning into another corporate dumping ground of outdated historical doctrines that are going to enslave this country further to the imperialism of China and the US so that we wont be able to control our own food resource or environment or fisheries and Govt responsibilities to the nation This is TPP coming to a town near you under the disguise of an election
    Dont forget to think and Vote in the next election so the Nats TPP Road show cant get any traction
    We could have a dollar off every litre of fuel every item in the super market and a dollar a day off the power and phone bill for those on less than the median income that might blow a hole in this govts propaganda
    Vote

  16. Jrobin 16

    You have hit the nail on the head Karol. Everything is about winning and dominance! That was my uneasiness in response to Drinnan too. It’s all about who “owned” who. So childish and simplistic. So when John Key looked more cocky than Campbell in the notorious interview instead of analysis we get stupefying comments on who looked the most confident. It is so refreshing to read The Guardian or New York Times and note the level of context and analysis that is expected of journalists. But when you have a ruling elite who dismiss intellectuals I guess it s not surprising that the level of debate drops for the majority to primary school tit for tat. It’s hard not to feel sad about New Zealand or is that New Zilln and what we are becoming on the surface. Fortunately I know there are a massive pool of discontented and intellectually curious citizens who re becoming increasingly furious with the level of debate. Great to see the people supplementing the dumbed down MSM. Well done the Standard! Keep poking the dumb and sluggish beast and it might just wake up and become a Fourth Estate again.

  17. Karol: “This is the neoliberal driver of news media, that puts ratings over quality of analysis and debate.”

    Jrobin: “Fortunately I know there are a massive pool of discontented and intellectually curious citizens who re becoming increasingly furious with the level of debate. Great to see the people supplementing the dumbed down MSM. Well done the Standard!”

    I don’t see the quality of blogs like this, Kiwiblog, Whale Oil etc as any better than MSM – in fact they have taken on some of the worst of a sick way we have of doing democracy.

    As in Parliament the “quality of analysis and debate” is frequently overshadowed by nasty attack politics. Bad behaviour is actively supported here as it is elsewhere.

    “Everything is about winning and dominance!”

    Often in some of the worst possible ways, from the top to the bottom, from the party leaders to the bitchers of blogs.

    “I know there are a massive pool of discontented and intellectually curious citizens who re becoming increasingly furious with the level of debate.”

    I agree. And it’s not getting any better, here (despite one eyed denials) or anywhere. It’s part of a wider entrenched sickness within politics.

    • karol 17.1

      sigh – I do my best to provide evidence, and not use ad hominems. No matter how much I have done that in this thread – you keep saying my post and others, as as bad as the worst in the MSM and WO etc.

      And you are resorting to blanket criticisms – can you be specific as to when and how you include my posts and comments here in this blanket condemnation of blogs and the MSM?

      • Pete George 17.1.1

        I believe you passively and actively support a culture of abuse. This whole thread is an example – your post legitimately confronts political smearing but you allow smearing in the thread and support the worst of the abusers. That’s your call, just pointing it out.

        You seem to be an intelligent, knowledgable and often thorough person, but you seem to have only one eye when it comes to political and blog behaviour.

        It’s easy to get a perception of criticising MSM and journalists when you are no better.

        • karol 17.1.1.1

          Whoa! PG, those are some allegations. I will respond later down the track when I have time. Right now work calls.

          PS: In the mean time, could you please supply some specific examples of the things you accuse me of.

          I asked for specifics – you come up with more blanket criticisms.

          • Pete George 17.1.1.1.1

            I presume you’re aware of ongoing abuse through this thread (if not read my post) – you seem to accept this sort of behaviour because you do or say nothing about it, but whatever you think of it you do nothing about it.

            A specific example is bad12’s comment at 13 which you praised, plus subsequent comments in that thread which you took part in that were repeatedly abusive. Also claims were made like “That being the conductor of orchestration hides up on the 9th floor of the Beehive…” that you accepted and appeared to support without demanding any substance.

            In comments on your post criticisng political smearing there is an ongoing political smearing campaign which you take part in passively and sometimes actively join.

            I admit I’m not without faults, but i think the differences are I recognise them and I recognise the overall toxic political environment and an determined to do something about it – and get abused for doing that.

            Do you think serial political abuse is an acceptable part of our politics?

            • bad12 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Pete George,”i am not without faults”, Ha-ha-ha-ha, the understatement of the year, your faults are as wide as a lake lying over it like a blanket of Rock-Snot blocking out the sun and turning everything below it into a dead zone…

            • RedLogix 17.1.1.1.1.2

              I dunno PG. Over the years I’ve only rarely indulged in outright abuse of other commenters. If it’s warranted because they’re being blatantly sexist, racist or just plain vile dickheads- well other people are better at it than me so I tend to leave it to them.

              Or if it’s just someone whose gotten up my nose personally – there’s not much point in letting it show because they’ll only be motivated to do more of it.

              And while not wanting to moderate The Standard to death, we wanted to nudge the standard of debate toward the ‘civilised’ end of the spectrum.

              But fuck me PG, your endless passive-aggressive hair-splitting, diversions, victim playing, fence-sitting, prevaricating and holier-than-thou hectoring sure tempts the bastard in me.

              Still I suppose we brought it on ourselves. We used to complain about the very low standard of troll that got sent over here from the rw borg. Then we got you.

              • Confronting poor behaviour tempts the bastard in you? Choose to attack the messenger rather than step back and consider the message? Perhaps you’ve been inside politics for too long to see it or to care about it – except when you think it’s against you.

                Do you not think that our democracy would serve people better if political behaviour improved?

                • miravox

                  “Confronting poor behaviour tempts the bastard in you?”

                  :roll:

                  We’re confronting your poor behaviour all the time, Pete. It hasn’t done much good in changing it. Maybe there is a lesson in there that until someone understands their own poor behaviour, confronting it is a waste of time.

                • RedLogix

                  Politics is not a game PG. It’s not a game of tiddlywinks were everyone gets to play nice and share sweetly.

                  In a world where 85 people control more wealth than the bottom 3.5 billion of all humanity, in a world where sexual, racial, economic, environmental and emotional violence is perpetrated on billions of powerless people every moment of every day – I am going to take sides.

                  I think the money changers mindset that John Key stands for, the deals, the privilege, the concentration of power and wealth that has been relentlessly sweeping over the planet, especially in the last three decades of neo-liberal political dominance is wrong.

                  Wrong at every level. It takes whatever it pleases and uses money as it’s justification. It is the negation of everything the human soul truly desires. It is a mindset that rapes everything it touches. And in opposing this evil, over and again the left has brought only a blunt knife to a gun battle, leaving many of us bruised, broken and battered.

                  So when you ask us to ‘play nice’ and walk into the fight totally unarmed – we recognise your bland words for the treachery they are.

                  And you probably feel hurt and dismayed at our vehemence. Understand why PG. It’s not because I like being mean to you. I have way better things to do with my life. It is because at some point you have to decide what you stand for – and then defend it.

                  • So why take out your anger on me? In my own way I’m trying to change things for the better.

                    There seems to be a prevalence of the Bush doctrine – if you’re not wholly and uncritically for the fight then you’re deemed an enemy. I think that’s very counter-productive. The infighting on the left also show the negatives of this mindset.

                    And isn’t nastiness hypocritical? You don’t act like you belong to the world of your ideals.

                    • RedLogix

                      In my own way I’m trying to change things for the better.

                      No I do not think you are. You argue for rational balance, fair process and bi-partisan civility. But that only works when there is a willingness on both sides for this to happen. It is only an option where there is an underlying unity of purpose and values and some form of consensus is possible around them.

                      That possibility does not exist in the modern world. The battle is entirely one-sided, the power of the banks and corporates simply mow down anything in their path. Us ordinary people are just so much used toilet paper, and equally disposable.

                      There is no commonality of values.

                      So when you think you are making things ‘better’ – I see you as just getting in the way. At best.

                    • weka

                      “So why take out your anger on me? In my own way I’m trying to change things for the better.”

                      This has been answered so many times, but once more… what you do is seen by others as counterproductive to what the broad left is trying to achieve. That you won’t even countenance that this might be true, or take the time to talk about that in an open and real way just compounds the problem.

                      “In my own way I’m trying to change things for the better.”

                      And you won’t take any notice of your peers where they are telling you you are fucking up. This isn’t about YOU, and what you think is for the best. It’s about people coming together to work together to make change. You really are on the wrong blog.

                      Awesome comment btw Red. I would just add that I think some people here do actually enjoy being mean. But this is the price we pay for putting up with fools like PG who necessitate harsher lines.

                    • I said I’m trying, I didn’t say I was making things better. But if you don’t try you won’t achieve anything, that’s guaranteed.

                      You seem to be screaming futilely on the sidelines, I’d rather dabble where I think I might change things a little.

                      It seems to funny to me that this is seen as being an enemy of the revolution.

                      We’re living in one of the most fortunate countries in the best era for humans every. Sure there are problems, but things have been improving for most people significantly over the last 50-100 years. We have more knowledge and ordinary people have more power than ever. We have to find ways of realistically and effectively harnessing that power.

                      Shutting out and shitting on anyone who doesn’t wholly fit one’s ideals seems far more likely to get in the way. At best.

                    • weka

                      “Shutting out and shitting on anyone who doesn’t wholly fit one’s ideals seems far more likely to get in the way. At best.”

                      But you are not being shat on or shut out for not wholly fitting the left’s ideals. You’re being taken to task for your behaviour. There are lots of people here who disagree, so to claim that you are being gotten at for disgreeing is stupid and disingenuous. Of all the things you do, it’s this dishonesty that undercuts any respect for you.

                      “You seem to be screaming futilely on the sidelines, I’d rather dabble where I think I might change things a little.”

                      But you’re not dabbling. You’re distrupting important political conversations and making them all about you. It’s the same shit you did before you got your last ban. If you think the standard is all about screaming futilely from the sidelines, why are you even here?

                    • RedLogix

                      We’re living in one of the most fortunate countries in the best era for humans every. Sure there are problems, but things have been improving for most people significantly over the last 50-100 years. We have more knowledge and ordinary people have more power than ever. We have to find ways of realistically and effectively harnessing that power.

                      You can be fairly sure your average Roman slave probably believed something like that narrative too.

                      And you overlook that we are well into a second major round of globalisation. The first took place between 1845 and 1914 and your exact words could well be pasted onto that era too. Look how that ended.

                      And while it is true that cheap oil and technology has been of some benefit for part of the human race – it has been a very uneven and patchy benefit. And indeed the trend in the last decade or so has seen a generation go backwards.

                      And of course you ignore the fact that a very tiny handful of people have leveraged positions of legal and economic privilege to concentrate the vast bulk of wealth and benefit to themselves. And so far they have showed precious few signs of wanting to share nice.

                    • weka

                      Not to mention that the advantages of the past 200 years could have been used entirely differently to attend to the wellbeing of all people not just those with the power. Saying that things are so much better now hides the fact that we could have done something pretty fucking amazing with all those fossil fuels and democracy. But we didn’t.

              • weka

                “Still I suppose we brought it on ourselves. We used to complain about the very low standard of troll that got sent over here from the rw borg. Then we got you.”

                lolz. The irony is that this namby-pamby leftie blog, the standard ;-), will put up with PG’s clusterfuck comments until election day, presumably out of fairness, whereas if he disrupted blogs elsewhere on the political spectrum this much he’d just get banned.

                • bad12

                  Pete George, ”forget about the Post, its intent and content, its all about Me me me me me me me me”…

                  • weka

                    Might soon be time for me to ressurect what I did before he got his last ban – start counting the % of comments by PG or about PG in response to him being a dick.

                    • bad12

                      Laugh, yeah weka, it might tho be more productive if we just default back to the ‘rolly eyes’ icon, that seemed to temper that ones comments a little…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      +1

                      Life’s too short.

            • mickysavage 17.1.1.1.1.3

              Pete robust discussion is tolerated on this site for a number of reasons one of which is that it stimulates critical analysis of issues. And failing to agree with you is not evidence of abuse.

              And you are derailing what should be the discussion about how the media is poorly serving democracy by presenting politics as a winner take all battle than a search for real solutions.

              • I’m not talking about ‘robust discussions’, I’m talking about levels of personal abuse that are allowed unchecked that you seem to be blind to (two legs bad, four legs good). This thread is about outing a smear machine while can be seen as a smear machine itself. Are you really oblivious to it?

                “the media is poorly serving democracy by presenting politics as a winner take all battle than a search for real solutions” – I agree with that, but have made the related point that criticising the media for that while supporting a social media forum that also presents politics as a winner take all battle more than searching for real solutions is unlikely to be taken very seriously.

                I’m searching for real solutions. More than that I’m putting my time into trying real solutions, despite sometimes fairly extreme criticisms that seem nothing more than petty ill-informed politics trying to discredit anything alternative to their own bubble because, that’s what some in politics seem to want to do.

                • weka

                  “This thread is about outing a smear machine while can be seen as a smear machine itself.”

                  You’ve been asked repeatedly for evidence that the standard is used by left wing parties to smear political opponents, and have failed to produce anything.

                  At the personal level of comments on ts, you seem to think that abuse = smearing. It doesn’t. The criticisms of you and what you do are able to be backed up by linking to evidence of your behaviours. The personal abuse (eg calling you rock snot), isn’t a smear, it’s just being rude. If you don’t like it (ie the robustness of the debate) then go somewhere else.

                  Or, to put it bluntly, if you can’t handle the lack of middle class nicety, you are in the wrong place. I agree that the rudeness and abuse here gets out of hand at times, but you seem to be saying that no-one should be allowed to call you names (if you had lots of money you could join the Colin Craig Club). What you don’t seem to realise is that there are debates that happen here that don’t happen elsewhere because of the moderation policy. You want the moderation policy changed, but are unwilling to look at the fact that the policy works for the intended purpose. Instead you want it to be about you and your personal levels of of comfort. Which just takes us back to what Red was saying – people like you want to tinker with the status quo, wherease most of us here see the need for radical change. Your need to tinker with the status quo and keep that within comfortable bounds hurts other people. Lots of them.

                • “I’m searching for real solutions. More than that I’m putting my time into trying real solutions…”

                  Yeah right mate – some of us remember occupy dunedin and your ‘search for real solutions’ there – funny how it all ended up as occupy pete and the pete party for petes. You have zero credibility and I like that more and more can see it.

            • karol 17.1.1.1.1.4

              PG, thanks, that’s something to work with.

              “Abuse” – others have dealt with this below, especially weka. Rudeness or abuse?

              But, I draw your attention to the blog policies, which provide the framework within which we operate:refers to “robust debate” but warns about pointless personal abuse (ie when there is no other point than the abuse), starting flame wars, and “trolling”. Censuring every bit of rudeness would keep us all busy full time.

              Lynn has explained more than once, that the general aim is to enable discussion to be free flowing. Moderation tends to deal with people diverting from the topic of the post – a kind of trolling; defamation, etc.

              The main focus of this post and discussion has been on the National Party smear campiagns as written about in at least 3 NZ Herald articles & Trotters post.

              I would define “smears” as something aimed at the behaviour and values of individuals. Others below have dealt with the difference between “smears” and critical analysis that disagrees with how something has been done, or challenges the operations of the media.

              The example of bad’s comment at 13 – yes he’s pretty rude – but he also had a strong point that is relevant to the core issue in this discussion.

              While there’s truth in Williams taking his plastic spade on that jaunt, the unresolved question that George cannot or will not answer is WHAT blog was involved in this,

              This relates to my comment at 3:

              Citations needed – especially ones showing an equivalent scale as that reported for National and it’s use of bloggers, MSM articles, etc.

              I still have not seen any evidence that Labour has conducted smear campaigns in concert with material posted on left wing blogs and the media, to the extent as indicated for National and related blogs.

              You have cited one or two examples of Labour attempts at smears, but nothing like that reported in the articles cited for the National. Tracy Watkins, lays it out:

              When a senior adviser to Key was caught out earlier this year supplying photographs to shock-jock blogger Cameron Slater, it was confirmation that the major parties see blogs as an important outlet for stories they prefer to keep at arm’s length or don’t want their fingerprints on.

              The fact that Jason Ede supplied Whaleoil with photos of rubbish from a press gallery party was less of a revelation than the fact that feeding the blogs is officially part of his job description. Key used to give a passable impression of someone who had just noticed a bad smell under his nose whenever he was questioned about National’s links to Slater. Not so now.

              Key even admits to having a direct line to the blogger.

              There is evidence cited there, which points to the “9th floor” having directly fed material to WO for a smear attempt. There is other evidence that indicates on-going personal links between WO and John key.

              I have also pointed to other smear campaigns where the MSM WO/KB seem to be acting in unison to attack the opposition. There is not direct evidence in each case, but a reasoned analysis points in that direction.

              Watkins makes a weak attempt to say therefore Labour must do that too – the only “evidence” she can point to is that micky savage, who has a connection with Cunliffe, writes for this blog – descirbing him as a “confidonte” seems like an exaggeration

              There is no similar evidence to that cited re-WO and the “9th floor” to connect the Standard, with smears and simultaneous MSM attacks/leaks against the government or the National Party.

              Trotter also does some logical deductions and asks is it reasonable to believe that a gossip columist and WO found out stuff on their own from the likes of the LA informants against KDC?

              On who I have censured on the thread for personal abuse – usually I moderate lightly, and leave most of it to the moderators. Consequaently, I don’t comment on left or rightwingers being rude to others, unless the level of abuse gets defamatory. I also have a low tolerance for racism, misogyny and homophobia – I’ve been critical in the past of some lefites for such things.

              When I do step in is when I there are noticeable diversions from the main topic of the post.

              As far as I can recall, the only time I did that on this thread was at 13.2 – my comment to John Drinnan because it had led to a back-and-forth of ad hominems. I was not happy with either JD’s comment or the responses to it. Bad seemed aware of that and did apologise.

              There’s more to be said on the topics of “smear campaigns” and media bias – I’ve written several posts on that topic and presented a lot of evedence and analysis in supporrot of my arguments. I stand by my main conclusions: on balance, the MSM tends to lean more to the left than the right. I don’t agree with your general conclusion, that, because the left does it some times, then everybody, left and right is as bad as each other. There are right and left differences in terms of values, power, campaigning style and many more things.

              There will be plenty of time in the future to revisit those debates.

              • bad12

                Karol, i admire your patience in putting together an explanation to PG, i find these days i can hardly move past derision after the first attempt or two to point out such things,

                You might be waiting for ‘links’ as proof of what he says for a while, i asked Him for a link to the assertion He made saying that Blubber boy over at ‘wail-oil’ had hinted about having something to expose regarding DotCom weeks befor the Meikampf thing hit the light of day,

                Still waiting, and, will assume by the silence such an assertion was said with a little ‘licence’…

                • There’s so much unnecessary noise it’s easy to miss genuine questions. I get to what I can but I’ve had a busy weekend and wasn’t expecting a full on issue on this.

                  http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/02/sort-person-wants-signed-copy-mein-kampf/
                  by Cameron Slater on February 28, 2014 at 5:00pm

                  • bad12

                    i stand corrected, and, withdraw the remark that the previous assertion by PG was said with a little ‘licence…

                • karol

                  Well, bad, I think my arguments stand up, and that they can be supported by evidence and analysis.

                  Of course the problem is that doing that fully requires time, while PG tends to counter criticism by taking another angle of attack – it gets time consuming – PG won’t let up no matter what evidence others produce, while his evidence and analysis often remains flimsy if existent at all.

                  I decided I’ll do what I can when I have the time. Media analysis interests me (and it is something in which I have a strong background – as I said, I’ll probably post more on it in the future.

                  I understand why some people get frustrated with PG and resort to abrupt rudeness. Who has the time to deal with each slippery sidestep?

                  And, I do think there is quite a bit of slipperiness in logic and language by PG in this thread, along with false equivalences – a critical argument about the media is equated with a personalised and well targeted smear campaign against a political figure.

                  My response to your comment at 13, in which I agreed with your focus on the blog issue – PG says that I “praised” the comment, implying that my praise includes the fairly “abusive” elements of your comment – actually I specified only the bits where you touched on the blog issue.

                  It does get tiresome.

                  In the end, PG can keep beating his own drum, but I won’t be diverted from the main issues, analysis and arguments I am making – when I have the time.

                  • You ignore persistent abuse that does nothing to contribute to discussions Karol. You’re making excuses for it. That’s your choice, you obviously don’t think it’s a problem, but it does reflect on apparent standards which has some irony in a post looking at smear machines.

                    • mickysavage

                      Hey Pete

                      Have you ever thought that you might be wrong about something? Have a look at all the comments. Many of us want you to provide specific examples of pro left media bias and also want you to differentiate between frank comments and attack comments.

                    • bad12

                      One who happily dishes out abuse Pete George and then whines about it is to be laughed at,

                      Check your comment at 8.31pm on the 29th of March, calling commenter’s monkeys is abuse so please don’t play the victim here when you have dished it out yourself…

                    • “want you to differentiate between frank comments and attack comments.”

                      Because you can’t differentiate? Maybe you’re used to ignoring, maybe you don’t think anything here is bad in a political context. If you comment at KB do you just get “frank comments”?

                      It’s not my call here but I’ve posted in detail on some of my thoughts – http://yournz.org/2014/03/30/a-sickness-within-politics/

                    • wtl

                      Well, the last time it was PROVEN that Pete George was wrong, his admission of fault was ” I may be wrong in this case, but that’s not known for sure”, and then he went on to play ‘poor me’ saying that the moderators were treating him unfairly.

                      I think the chance of Pete George properly admitting he is wrong about something is the same as Kim Dotcom becoming Prime Minister. It is simply not worth debating with someone who does so in such poor faith, as karol has quickly found out.

                    • karol

                      Another false equivalence. Orchestrated smear machines are not the same as the kinds of robust discussions going on here.

                      And you are again using this to sidestep the main issues.

                    • karol

                      PG, are you trying to tell me how to moderate my own posts?

                      Oh, of course not. You’re saying it’s my choice how I do it, …,. but that it just shows what low standards I have – so you kind of are telling me how I should be doing it.

                      Nice ad hominem, and really adds nothing to the topic under discussions due to the false equivalence.

              • srylands

                “There is other evidence that indicates on-going personal links between WO and John key.”

                You say this like everyone will think this is a bad thing. It is totally unremarkable. Whale Oil Beef Hooked (WOBH) is a popular and influential source of news and commentary. Sometimes it is a bit OTT but New Zealand would be worse off without it. (Which is why I am a financial supporter.)

                Why would the Prime Minister not have contact with its owner?

                • McFlock

                  So you give money to the taxpayers union and whaleoil.

                  How long have you had this deranged moral compass?

                • bad12

                  SSLands, we do to a woman and a man, except for the ODD one or two, and ODD is my form of being entirely pleasant when describing you…

              • Thanks Karol, I need time to go through this.

                A couple of initial points.
                “but warns about pointless personal abuse (ie when there is no other point than the abuse)”

                I understand that’s subject to moderator time and opinion but The Standard has as bad a reputation as Kiwiblog for pointless personal abuse, and this thread seems to have a significant amount (in my opinion). I’m used to it but I don’t think it reflects well on the site.

                When I asked John Drinnan why he didn’t include The Standard in his article:

                @FranOSullivan Mar 28

                @Zagzigger @PeteDGeorge Yes big omission not putting The Standard there. Widely read and not just in the beltway.

                @robhosking Mar 28

                @FranOSullivan @Zagzigger @PeteDGeorge Is it really? Heavens alone knows why. Mix of bitterness and fantasy, whenever I’ve looked.

                John Drinnan ‏@Zagzigger Mar 28

                @PeteDGeorge @robhosking @FranOSullivan The Daily Blog comments are less nutty.

                “I have also pointed to other smear campaigns where the MSM WO/KB seem to be acting in unison to attack the opposition. There is not direct evidence in each case, but a reasoned analysis points in that direction.”

                From what I see (which is quite a lot) WO and KB (and other blogs including The Standard) frequently pick up news stories and comment on them. It’s often easy to predict what’s brewing if you follow journalists on Twitter.

                Sometimes journalists pick up ‘news’ off WO and KB – they have fairly extensive political sources.

                I’d be surprised if there’s much that’s orchestrated.

                I’m sure I can find correlations between posts here and news coverage, and also between posts and Labour press releases and Labour attack lines in Parliament. As I can for WO and KB. And it’s known that people with political connections and also believed-to-be political connections post here. My guess is that much of the time they are individuals posting but it’s commonly believed that there’s some political co-ordination going on. Mike Smith’s post are an obvious example but there’s other authors too who are thought to be no acting entirely alone. No blogger does. I quite often contact politicians for information, Andrew Little gave me a good response to a question on Labour’s position on Dotcom’s extradition yesterday, Judith Collins gave me a response to a question on the same thing earlier.

                Claiming National frequently uses a smear machine and Labour is lily white is not credible to me, they both stir as much as they think they can get away with. I need more time to research this, but I doubt there will be much if any evidence – similar to accusations about National, scant evidence.

                Complaining about the other lot being mean “and we’re not” where National Labour are involved is laughable (in my opinion), they can be as bad as each other when it comes to smearing.

                • karol

                  ’m sure I can find correlations between posts here and news coverage, and also between posts and Labour press releases and Labour attack lines in Parliament.

                  But can you find any examples of when info has been leaked via the Standard before it reached the MSM or at the same time? You are again making a false equivalence here. A correlation is not the same as the evidence pointing to an orchestrated smear campaign, as addressed in the articles and Trotter post that I referred to in my post.

                  As an author I work with what’s already in the public domain – as far as I’m aware, so do the other authors here – except those occasions when there’s been some internal frictions within the Labour Party.

                  Claiming National frequently uses a smear machine and Labour is lily white is not credible to me, they both stir as much as they think they can get away with.

                  Note, I am not a member of the Labour Party, do not always agree with them, and vote Green these days.

                  My bold – another false equivalence. Using a well orchestrated smear machine is not euivalent to, not always being lily white.

                  Why did the people involved try to keep the connections between Key’s office and WO hidden, until they were rather reluctantly outed? Surely indicates something they were ashamed of?

                  Or at least, it was a way of distancing Key from the negative campaigning. I recall that Key has said in the past he doesn’t do negative the way Labour does. All the negative was cycled secretively through WO and/or KB.

                  Fran O’Sullivan, John Drinnan and yourself have had some harsh criticism on the Standard. It is because people strongly disagree with many of their/your views and/or how they were expressed. I’m sure the columnoists found it hard to take, especially when they are used to a more supportive MSM environment.

                  The things I dislike about the WO and KB blogs are to do with the blatant racisim, sexism and homophobia that is allowed on those sites. And to do with some of the other values expressed by Slater and/or on his site – the explicit stuff about the Chuang-Brown affair for instance – salacious and unnecessary.

                  Generally, there are different values underpinning left and right politcs and processes.

                  There’s also, for instance, a big difference between the 2 main right wing blogs and the two or three main left wing ones.

                  WO and KB are focused around one individual who (allegedly) do most of the posts – and they have strong links with the National Party.

                  The Daily Blog, Public Address, The Standard are all more collectively operated. Each author is responsible for their own research and writing of their posts.

                  For myself, I have no connections with major players in politIcal parties. I have never met most of the authors here – don’t know who most of them are. I don’t get inside info. I work with what’s already in the public doamin. I think the likes of Chris Trotter, Bradbury, and Russel Brown probably get some info via the various circles they move in. And they all have different takes on things. I have not seen any leaks being co-ordinated between them and the MSM in any way that could be called “orchestrated”.

                • karol

                  BTW, take your time in responding. You have taken up too much of my time today, when I have other things to attend to. I have made my main arguments on the issues. I will probably revisit them in a post on another day when I have time.

        • phillip ure 17.1.1.2

          fuck off george..

          yr abuse is of the weaseling/false-faced/passive-aggressive variety..

          ..it is the fucken oxygen you run on..

          ..you @#$%^&…

          • adam 17.1.1.2.1

            Phillip, harsh man harsh. Peter is just the system of a dying liberal class – who have very flexible (no) morals, and who (badly) have tried to hide from the working people there love of money over all things.

            They are so use to having no spine and shitting on working people, they find it difficult to understand why working folk in this country hate them. They hate there wishy washy stance, there condescending liberal sympathy and most of all the mad rush to support the 1% if it will make them a few bucks.

            Peter, your the type of liberal who sold out working people 30+ years ago, and like Phil Goff, Anite King, and Trevor Mallard – your days are numbered. Why don’t you be honest and go begs for some more scraps off your masters plate.

            • Pete George 17.1.1.2.1.1

              Adam – remarkable conclusions considering I doubt you know anything about me or my background.

              • we know enough about you..from yr incessant driveling that passes for words/thought…

                ..and yr background is irrelevant..

                ..i couldn’t give a fuck if you were raised in a shoebox on the side of the motorway..

                ..tho’ that might help explain – yr ever-barely-idling/in-neutral brain..

                ,

  18. tricledrown 18

    Pet Grovelar
    Nationals little grovelar.
    Was that you with paula bennett and slater at National BBQ.

  19. tricledrown 19

    Pathetic Grovelar.
    What we do know about you is that you are full of your own self importance.
    A delusional political candidate that got 167 votes.
    And your part of the 0% support for Ubalanced Fuckwits.

  20. rhinocrates 20

    A word of advice for anyone approaching retirement. For God’s sake, get a hobby (stamp collecting, ships in bottles, whatever), otherwise you’ll turn into a sanctimonious, cardigan-wearing, finger-wagging bore like… um, now who was it again?

    And everyone else – DNFTT. I’m tired of formerly interesting blogs turning into The Pete George Show. The man’s an idiot, he has nothing to say, he’s determined to smother anything anyone else has to say with his petulant nit-picking and waffle. Again, DNFTT.

    • greywarbler 20.1

      +1 Rhino But I fear your good advice is like leaves in the wind.

    • Anne 20.2

      It never ceases to amaze me that this sorry spectacle of a self proclaimed political commentator is so lacking in substance that he says the same thing over and over again using different phraseology but the message is still the same. I don’t actually know what the message is and my impression is no-one else does either. He seems to live in a vacuum where banality has replaced cognisant thought.

      I come here to be informed and to occasionally inform – not to spend my time trying to avoid the page upon page of nothingness that is P George.

      I reiterate Rhino’s plea. Stop feeding him everyone!

      • miravox 20.2.1

        +1 Rhino

        @ Anne his message is we don’t agree with him, and are big meanies when he points it out to us.

        By the way, this is the 50th comment from/about PGs attempt to have a go at Karol up the page a bit at 16 (excl the srylands asides). A waste of effort.

        • Anne 20.2.1.1

          Oh, so that’s the reason for his whiny, banal utterances. Guess if I’d read any of them I might have known. Thanks miravox. :)

  21. Jrobin 21

    On a different but related topic it was good to hear Mediawatch today where they discussed in some depth the reporting of polls and the polls themselves. The Morgan Poll I was complaining about earlier was discussed. And why it doesn’t get reported because it doesn’t have a specific media outlet associated with it. Pity as It seems more reliable with cell phones included in the mix. Wallace Chapmans show was good too, great on TPPA. Maybe the new National Radio will be interesting even if Mr Espiner used to be a fan of John Key he seems to enjoy debate over pure spectacle. Hate to admit it but perhaps Radio NZ was too leftist and the bias has kept the debate a bit tame. Having a mix of views might add a bit more challenge …..
    And encourage shy sensitive people such as the reluctant PM to grace the airwaves and get interviewed by someone other than his pet journalists. To be fair Paddy Gower did give JK a fright with his grilling on Judith and her cronies. A beautifully laid trap.

    • Ergo Robertina 21.1

      ‘Hate to admit it but perhaps Radio NZ was too leftist and the bias has kept the debate a bit tame.’

      Do you have any examples of this bias on Morning Report, or other programmes?
      Geoff Robinson is not a left-winger, just an old school broadcaster without much aggression; previous co-presenters include Maggie Barry, Mike Hosking, Sean Plunket, and Lindsay Perigo!
      This lefty bias tosh is an old chestnut propagated by those who call the programme ‘Moaning Report’, which speaks to their resentment and desire for control.
      The programme covers stories in a straight-bat fashion, with a non-commercial focus, that is all.

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  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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