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Why I will never be a paid political commentator

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 12th, 2013 - 114 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

It’s time I face up to a harsh reality, folks.  I’m just never going to be taken seriously as a political commentator.

You’ve all tried to warn me about this for years.  You’ve desperately looked for ways to open my eyes to the fact that a sweary, nasty, unladylike blogger can never really be seen as credible on big important matters.  I ignored you.  I rebuffed you.  Sometimes I told you to go fuck yourself.

I was wrong.

The recent weeks have finally made the message sink in, and now I have to acknowledge the error of my ways.

See, I thought people would find it amusing if I parodied the way that rightwingers like to use household budgets as an analogy for Government Budgets.  But this was just me being silly and foolish.  I should have, in all sincerity, compared fiscal policy to a nasty stereotype about fat people and diabetics.  Then I might have a column in the NBR.

I thought I could bring together strands of a wider social issue and consider its implications for political activism in NZ.  I should have, instead, jumped to conclusions without doing a basic Googling of the facts and screamed that a high-profile politician was a liar and a fraud.  Then Nine to Noon might ask me to join their panel.

I thought I could foster a bit of discussion on the limitations and criticisms of poverty-line simulations.  Instead I should have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, lost my job in disgrace, and metaphorically shat on the experiences of poor people from orbit.  Then I could be on The Vote.

I thought a weekly round-up of random articles which interested me would be a fun idea.  I should have just copied-and-pasted all the articles into my own “blog”, churned out a few fact-free press releases based entirely on my own opinion, and pretended to be an organisation of concerned citizens.  Then I’d be the first person journalists call for a quote.

I thought a pseudonym would allow my ideas to stand on their own.  I should have just been born an old white male senior Herald reporter.  Then I’d get a weekly go at the anonymous editorial.

I guess my clickbait just isn’t the right kind of clickbait, and my nastiness isn’t the right kind of nastiness, and my secret identity isn’t the right kind of secret identity.  Oh well.

pinkpony

114 comments on “Why I will never be a paid political commentator”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Nice post. But god almighty how depressing is New Zealand’s commentariat.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Well I like you, even when I disagree.

  3. Anne 3

    Me too Sanct. but god, I’d hate to cross QOT.

  4. chris73 4

    Well generally people get paid what they’re worth if it makes you feel any better

    • QoT 4.1

      It’s funny, chris, because given the typical incoherent nature of your commentary, I honestly don’t know if you think you’re being helpful or trying to make a cutting remark.

    • fender 4.2

      If that were true the likes of Hooton would have starved to death a long long time ago.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        +1

      • chris73 4.2.2

        I know you all like to think thats the case but someone thinks hes worth the money they pay and no amount of jealousy will change that…

        • fender 4.2.2.1

          Yeah the same someone who pays to have that particular barrow pushed.

          It’s more disgust than jealousy from my point of view.

        • Hoots is a rubbish political commentator, but an excellent marketer. He’s marketed himself into his job by creating the illusion that he’s actually good at it.

          You can argue that he’s generated “worth” that way, the issue is, whatever he’s actually worth, it has no relation to his political commentary.

  5. Tracey 5

    Great post.

  6. Zorr 6

    This is very apt and, with it coming on the heels of a conversation I engaged in with my elderly grandmother today, helps cement my opinion that just because you currently possess a position of power and/or influence does not mean that we should respect you or your ideas.

    Every human is fallible and age is no reason to respect someone more. Should we be expected to walk around congratulating them for not being dead yet? If only they would hurry up and shuffle off this mortal coil and stop cluttering our national dialogue with their inane ramblings we might be able to have a rational discussion about the direction that the *current* generation wants to take this country.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +111

    • karol 6.2

      Actually not all the journos QoT referred to are that old – Garner for instance.

      It’s not so much that some of the older journos need to die off, but that more attention and space should be given to a wider range of views and people than currently dominates the MSM.

      • Zorr 6.2.1

        Fair enough point karol with regards the age of the journos but considering the high prevalence of jonolism, shouldn’t the new crowd also be forced to compete in a true meritocracy – the kind they keep championing but know nothing about?

        Somehow, if that were the case, either they would get a *lot* better very quickly or there would be a lot of new faces in the press gallery

        • karol 6.2.1.1

          There’s been a long process of gradually selecting neoliberal friendly journos, or at least editors and managers. So, even the young blood recrutied needs to fit the system.

          The whole MO or system needs reworking. And, yes, it should be based on merit, but work towards a diversity of voices.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1.1

            So, even the young blood recrutied needs to fit the system.

            Even to get a job picking up rubbish these days you need to fit the system. Conformity is in, individuality is long gone.

  7. just saying 7

    Actually, I think you will be a paid writer one day QoT.
    Betcha.
    (maybe not by the MSM though)

  8. fender 8

    I always enjoy your commentary QoT, you always make sense to me, and there’s never any ulterior motives behind you opinions. You don’t come across as the type to sell your soul for silver, and that’s important too.

    Plus you have a special way of giving a tune-up to anyone who needs it, priceless.

  9. Northshoreguynz 9

    Keep doing what you are doing. It’s needed.

  10. Cactus Kate 10

    Oh stop whining, the first reason being before anyone can judge if you are even good enough is that no one knows who you actually are.

    Try blogging under your real name or at least publishing it and see if that helps.

    • karol 10.1

      Or she could just not bother with a name or pseudonym and try writing editorials for a major daily.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      It’s not people’s name that has anything to do with it but it certainly has to do with who you know. Don’t know the right people, don’t get the job.

    • RedBaronCV 10.3

      Cactus kate is your real name!!?? What were your parents thinking

    • miravox 10.4

      “Try blogging under your real name or at least publishing it and see if that helps.”

      hmm… I don’t remember seeing a real world name when ‘Cactus Kate’ was writing a few years back in the Dom Post about writing about her drunken exploits in Hong Kong.

      Obviously I wasn’t in the In Crowd to be so totally unaware of who she was.

      • QoT 10.4.1

        That’s another annoying thing, isn’t it? When people say things like “Oh well it’s obvious that xyz wrote that editorial so it’s hardly anonymous” – but of course when you’re not a politics nerd with some friends on the inside, they’re anonymous enough!

        • karol 10.4.1.1

          And even when the name of the author is on an article, how many people take notice? And if they do, does the name mean anything to them?

          • miravox 10.4.1.1.1

            Oops, stray words in my sentence above, wish could I blame it on a hangover … I’m sure the Hong Kong version of Cactus Kate would go with that.

            As for reading names (or pseudonyms – it matters not) on MSM articles, it’s a little bit of a hobby. They help with deciding if the writer seems authentic, or not, whether their viewpoint is changing, or simply to decide if I want to read it given the writing style, or usual position they take.

            Anonymous editorials really annoy me, and when I think I can work out who wrote it, it annoys me even more that they didn’t put their name on it.

      • Murray Olsen 10.4.2

        Funnily enough, I doubt if she was ever in the In Crowd either. Desperate to be in it, maybe, and annoyingly persistent on the fringes, but never actually accepted.
        QOT, on the other hand, is read for what she says, not for whom she says it about. For what it’s worth, QOT (probably about $5.00 less than a flat white), I like the stuff you write. Long may you keep it up.

        • Chooky 10.4.2.1

          +1…like your comments here..always interesting about politics…and anything else

          …never read your blog …but maybe just try it from a different angle./different recipe /mix /menu ( most people fail first time around….and then they learn what works and what doesnt)

  11. Yeah the ONLY reasons why you havent been paid to write is because your not an old white male, and because you use naughty language.

    The reason I dont get paid, after five and a half years blogging is because I suck, I have no writing skills whatsoever.

    You need both, great skills as a writer and great ideas, othewise you just come across as someone ranting and raving. Its why Z grade reality tv stars are on the bottom, and broadway actors are on the top.

    As the great quote goes..

    “Blogging anit writing, its just Graffiti with punctuation.”

    Something to think about.

  12. tracey 12

    ck, you mean the way the paper’s editorials are always signed off with a real name.

    speaking of pisting real names, cactus kate? your parents must have had better foresight than nostradamus when giving you your christian name.

    qot, perhaps your mistake was not geing the daughter of the right people and developing a mental illness, then peopke would throw money at you to make much less sense than do now.

  13. tracey 13

    brett, whale must be the exception that proves your rule.

    • Brett Dale 13.1

      There’re always are exceptions to the rule!

    • toad 13.2

      Brett, maybe if QoT had been born into an influential right wing family and/or had a cock she would have had as much chance of getting into the MSM as the Oily One.

      Whale has Judith Collins pulling his strings going for him, and her media staffers’ more than occasional suggestions to the MSM that he might be a commentator to seek an “appropriate” opinion from.

      • QoT 13.2.1

        Shit, if only political parties would use me to launder their mud-raking filth for mainstream media consumption I could have had my own newspaper.

  14. BM 14

    One trick pony.

  15. tracey 15

    c’mon BM! dont put yourself down.

  16. vto 16

    don’t you give up girl, we need all of us

  17. BM 17

    Give up, you haven’t got what it takes.

  18. Ad 18

    QoT you even mote than LPrent are TONTFW.

    The One Not To Fuck With.

    There is none like you.

    And call me I will pay you money to continue being just that.

    • Brett Dale 18.1

      AD:

      Heres the problem, there a very few people who will pay someone with her particular style.

      The “she takes no shit from noone” or

      “Dont mess with qot”

      or

      “dont fuck with qot, girlfriend”

      Maybe liked by 12 year old kids, or people who love reality tv, but by the masses, its just
      considered annoying.

      • mickysavage 18.1.1

        You mean that there are people who will pay for Slater’s shyte but not for QoT’s exquisitely nuanced comments? There is something wrong here …

        • QoT 18.1.1.1

          You know what’s hilarious, mickey? It’s that Brett still doesn’t understand the point of the post, i.e. that plenty of people do have the same style as me (or even worse) and are paid to write about it.

          • mickysavage 18.1.1.1.1

            Aye. Way too nuanced.

            And he did not even understand what was happening but thought his opinion was important …

          • Brett Dale 18.1.1.1.2

            qot:

            Disagree, your style is your style, i dont think whaleoil is anything like your blog. (btw not a fan of him) and cant think of any other right wing blogs that are like yours, the only blogger that i can think that has the same style as you was boganette and she doesnt blog anymore.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.2

        RWNJs aren’t “the masses” no matter how much they like to think they are.

    • QoT 18.2

      Ta for that, Ad!

  19. Ad 19

    QoT is Bomber with grace, brains and gender. Ie Bomber has none of those.

    And unlike Bomber would have the nous not to be thrown off
    NationalRadio given the opportunity.

    • weka 19.1

      Yeah, but QoT and Jim Mora? That’s just too bizarre to contemplate.

      • QoT 19.1.1

        I’d probably be rendered speechless by the shallowness of his research. It’d work better on TV where they could just cut to me head-desking every time Hooton opened his mouth.

        • weka 19.1.1.1

          lolz.

          Nevermind Mora’s shallow research, I think you would have to get yourself banned the first time he said “yes that may well be true, but…” (so I guess that’s the first segment, sorry).

        • Rhinocrates 19.1.1.2

          Well maybe you could get a job as a desk demolisher? Is there such a job? Surely there’s a lot of old office furniture that has to be prepared for recycling???

          Anyway, keep it going!

  20. Varity 20

    it’s just a sign of the times. for every job going there are hundreds of willing and able applicants. (and of course as you’ve alluded to you have to be willing to say the right things) not unlike this joint actually.

  21. gnomic 21

    The fact checker in me feels obliged to point out that ‘The Panel’ concludes Afternoons with Jim Mora, nothing to do with Nine to Noon. But do you really want to take part in what should be called ‘Smug Airheads Babble Inanely’? Boag and Edwards? Get a room please, one with no microphones.

    Speaking of National Radio, any of the topic posters want to put up a post dealing with the recent Listener article by one David Cohen about the new CEO, Paul Thompson?

    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/business/paul-thompson-radio-head/

    ‘Radio New Zealand has chosen somebody with no broadcasting experience to lead it into an uncertain future.’

    Time to be very afraid, if that is you are one of the precious elite who turn the dial to National.

    No doubt many on the right wing would like nothing better than to pull the plug on this hotbed of liberals but that might cost votes. Plan B is the death of a thousand cuts, dumbing down, sponsorship, and so on.

  22. gnomic 22

    D’oh. Seems I have confused a panel with The Panel. A panel being the phoney right vs left weekly banter on Nine To Noon featuring the rather odd Hoots and Mike ‘I’ve got three houses’ Williams. As heard on just about all channels incessantly. However Radio NZ National remains under threat.

  23. Tracey 23

    So whale has collins and cactus … I guess women are equal afterall!

    BM

    I am genuinely sorry that you continue to think that women and brown people have achieved the same equal treatment across the board as white men. There is an abundance of evidence to the contrary, including mine.

    recently a high profile sports board ran its appointment process. The one woman who got on us outstanding. Compare her with others on the board and you see how exceptional you still have to be compared to those you are up against. All white males.

    I know of at least one woman who didnt make it past application who fit so many of their criteria. Not even an interview. I guess they had found their ONE

    • BM 23.1

      What was the make up of the selection panel.
      Was it all white dudes?

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the panel were women.

    • Murray Olsen 23.2

      My boss is a woman. She is exceptional and is the most competent person I have come across in her position. Her boss is a man and is an absolute fuckwit who is not fit to clean a real scientist’s slide rule. She inspires good people to stay and build an effective team. He disgusts the best scientists we have so much that they go elsewhere, which I almost did until she stepped in to give me an unofficial promotion. In the real world, outside politics where people like Bennett and Collins get their positions through some mysterious mechanism, I have generally found that I prefer to work with and for women.
      I am a 57 year old male with tattoos who has spent time in prison and in an outlaw motorcycle club. If I can handle it, what’s wrong with my compatriots? I doubt if I’d have a problem working with QOT at all. I have little idea whether she’d have a problem working for me, but I’m not looking for a job anyway.

  24. tricldrown 24

    Boorish Mysogynist.
    Big Mouth.
    Patheticly insecure .
    Scared of women in power.

  25. red blooded 25

    QoT, would you WANT to be a paid commentator? Someone who has to pretend expertise on all subjects, regardless of their actual level of interest or knowledge? Someone who becomes a brand, and is called upon for predictability in order to satisfy the supposed ‘balance’ requirements, or a shock jock who doesn’t believe what they are saying but is just being used to get a reaction?

    You’re well out of it. The pay might not be as good, but the integrity levels are higher right where you are.

    • QoT 25.1

      Who wouldn’t want to get paid for something I do anyway? Besides, the actual point of my post – though I appreciate the kind words from my readers – is that other people are getting paid to do it, while bloggers like myself are told we can’t be credible.

      And I also don’t agree that a political commentator has to be all the things you’ve said above. A lot of our current ones are, but again, that’s an issue with the system of “professional” political commentary we have at the moment.

  26. Rogue Trooper 26

    Comprehensive. School’s Out.
    (*stream of consciousness*; way).

  27. fender 27

    So does that mean none of the writers at The Daily Blog get any payment for their efforts, or just certain ones?

    I’m sure there used to be a QoT tab in the list of bloggers at TDB, it’s gone now for some reason, if there ever was one.

    • QoT 27.1

      As far as I am aware, no TDB blogger is paid as in salary-and-wages paid for their writing.

      There is (as of very recently) a facility for readers to donate either to TDB in general or to specific bloggers. Some of those bloggers may be crediting their donations back to the blog.

      It doesn’t apply to me as I am no longer blogging at TDB. My name has gone from the drop-down menu on the front page but my posts are still there and – I have just discovered, thanks to your comments – they have a donate link at the bottom of them …
      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/author/queen-of-thorns/

      Ironically enough, the non-payment of bloggers (after promises that it would be a paid position) was one of the reasons one other contributor left TDB.

  28. Tracey 28

    BM

    PAnel was all white dudes

  29. Rogue Trooper 29

    aaaaaaaaargh! lol.

  30. AsleepWhileWalking 30

    Where is your “donate” button?? You should have this linked in to every profile of QoT.

  31. Colonial Viper 31

    QoT. You say you wanted to be taken seriously as a professional (and paid) political commentator?

    May I therefore ask you where (ideally) you would want your writing to appear or be syndicated? I’m looking for your dream list of specific titles, publications and websites. Also who you have been consciously targeting (i.e. writing for) as the main audience for that professional paid for commentary.

    I ask, because your post doesn’t really detail who/where you were pitching at, in terms of being ‘taken seriously’ as a political commentator.

    • QoT 31.1

      This isn’t a pitch, CV. Yes, I’ve said it would be great to be paid. But the point of this post is to illustrate that there’s really no difference between what I do and what people like Matthew Hooton or Cameron Slater do.

      So really the “pitch” is that people stop offering up the bullshit criticisms of blogging vs “professional” commentary. At least until people like Hooton, Rankin and McCoskrie aren’t taken seriously.

      • Colonial Viper 31.1.1

        But the point of this post is to illustrate that there’s really no difference between what I do and what people like Matthew Hooton or Cameron Slater do.

        Are you sure?

        Hooten and Slater know exactly who their core audiences are, and they pitch to those audiences specifically. Hooten is also very careful to produce content/sound bites which can be picked up by the MSM as is, with a minimum of editing. He knows that his professional saleability relies on being able to show his clients that he is an opinion maker in the media.

        Hence my above questions to you.

        • QoT 31.1.1.1

          :roll: Yes, CV, it’s totally those aspects of their careers which I’m critiquing, well done.

          • Colonial Viper 31.1.1.1.1

            Can you answer my question, then? Are you sure that “there’s really no difference” between what you do and what those guys do. Because it appears to me that there are significant differences.

            You enjoy pouring acid on the Right. Fine. You enjoy pouring acid on the Left. Fine. You enjoy pouring acid on the weak willed Centre. Fine.

            But who remains after all that who will be willing to pay for your political commentary, as they know that they are very likely up next for an acid treatment?

            • Rogue Trooper 31.1.1.1.1.1

              now that is funny. :-D

            • QoT 31.1.1.1.1.2

              So your argument is basically “you’re too much of a bitch to be taken seriously”?

              Okay, fuck off out of my post then. And don’t come back until you’re willing to read what my post actually says, instead of what you want it to say.

              • Colonial Viper

                So your argument is basically “you’re too much of a bitch to be taken seriously”?

                That is NOT my argument, and I would appreciate you not trying to put words in my mouth. I note that you still haven’t answered any of my questions and I cannot tell if you are unable to engage, or if you are unwilling to engage.

                Of course, as author of this post I will respect your wishes and stay away from this thread.

                • QoT

                  What utter tosh. Let me explain this to you from my point of view:

                  I make a post saying “people say I can’t be taken seriously because A … but these professional, paid commentators also do A”.

                  You come along acting like you know better than I do what my post is about, and say “Well those people do B! Why don’t you try to do B if you want to be taken seriously?”

                  I say “What I actually really want is to stop the hypocritical criticisms of A.”

                  And then you get pissy because I won’t accept your assumptions about what my post is about.

                  You don’t get to tell me what my post is about. You don’t get to play the “waaaa the mean feminist won’t engage with me” card. And if you really “respected” me as the author of this post you wouldn’t have kept commenting after you were told not to.

                • Rogue Trooper

                  yeah, like me :-P

      • weka 31.1.2

        I’d like to add in Marama Davidson’s post, on who the country should be listening too.

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/10/02/nz-herald-is-shite-marama-davidson-responds-to-the-bob-jones-article

  32. Colonial Viper 32

    spambot

  33. weka 33

    lolz. Pity this isn’t the fluoro debate.

  34. Rogue Trooper 34

    even better than the real thang.

  35. Tracey 35

    QoT

    allow me to summarise the response to your post.

    there are two groups.

    1. got it
    2. whooooooooooooooosh

  36. Tracey 36

    i was a little surprised by a couple who didnt get it but surprises are how we know the heart’s still beating.

  37. finbar 37

    I have been censord on this line lately for my thoughts that according to the sensor were not helpful for the cause.Since then the leader of the cause iterated almost line by line what my thoughts on the cause hoped to achieve.Understand like me or not, don!t matter for my being just a looking understand.Yes, you may possibly make a bias T.V. presenter,wonder if this will get past the censor.

    [QoT: finbar, you're going to need to be a bit clearer what you're talking about.]

    • finbar 37.2

      Its nothing to lose sleep about.Just the direction Cunliffe was going to take a week or so back.My comment was deleted as unhelpful,i questioned were you or whoever else censors this line calling me a arsehole,for it was in the censors reply,with a come back refer to the previous word.All rather inane,the censors must have still been on a high for Cunliffe!s victory and anything said outside their opinion about Labours direction that seemed harmful to their glee was taboo.But anyway,what Cunliffe said yesterday,was much in line of what i posted at that time.No big deal really.And yes, you still may be able, to make a bias tv.reporter.

      [QoT: I haven't deleted any of your comments, finbar, as I don't have mod powers in other people's posts. So take it up with the relevant person and stop whinging about being "censored" on a privately-run blog. None of The Standard's authors are obliged to let you comment on their posts, especially if you express yourself this shittily.]

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