Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, March 4th, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: dpf, making shit up - Tags: david farrar, free speech coalition, jordan williams, mojo mathers, nz taxpayers union, peter shirtcliffe, shirtcliffe
Rob Salmond at Polity points to the right wing publicists who pose as independents, set up publicity shells for nutters, and who seem to make outright lying their hallmark. Perhaps it is time that journalists start describing them as they are rather than quoting them as they prefer.
The cabal of right wing activists who like to pose as independents have – yet again – overstepped the mark, bullying Mojo Mathers for being part of a disabled community radio event.
On the Twitter yesterday, Jordan Williams was full of bluster and excuses, blaming the journalist and proclaiming that any suggestion he was motivated by partisanship was “silly.” That makes him look even more like a fool.
Between them, Jordan Williams and David Farrar have more than enough ramshackle PR fiascos to justify a life sentence. Each time, their attempts at astroturfing unravel as cringeworthy moments and bungled stunts pile one on top of the next:
Strike one: The Free Speech Coalition
Hyperbole squard: compared New Zealand politicians to Frank Bainimarama, Mao Zedong, and Kim Jong Il, and acted astounded when the media thought it tacky and silly. Couldn’t even organise a billboard site without controversy. Paid for ads railing against misuse of trusts by misusing its own trust.
Strike two: The Vote for Change Coalition
Claimed to be a “grass roots movement” opposing MMP. In fact, mainly funded by a few large donations form the usual suspects. Specifically denied Peter Shitcliffe played any active roll. Turned out Shirtcliffe had a personal veto over everything the group does.
Strike three: The Taxpayers’ Union
Claims to be “a non-partisan activist group” that exists “to fight government waste.” Instead selectively targets left-leaning people over trivial sums while ignoring massive waste by the government on issues from boondoggles to witch hunts.
Three strikes – they’re out. I expect no self-respecting journalist will be citing either man as an “independent” “commentator” “representing” “a taxpayer group” any more. It is just so transparently untrue.
They should be treated just like me. I’m introduced as “analytics guy and Labour adviser,” which is fair. They should be “blogger and National’s pollster” or “part-time lawyer and ACT supporter.”