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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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    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores US military warning of “...
    So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to...
    Hot Topic | 19-10
  • Improving AT’s Patronage Reports
    This week we should learn about the patronage results for September and with this post I want to explore whether Auckland Transport are delivering the results to the public in the best way that they can. Currently we get patronage results a...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume
    Press Release – AFTINET Mps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in CanberraMps, Public Health And Copyright Experts Condemn Possible TPP Trade-Offs as Talks Resume in Canberra When: 11 AM Monday, October 20Where: Parliament...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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