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Bottom feeding fish redux

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, June 18th, 2018 - 24 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, jacinda ardern, journalism, labour, Media, newspapers, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

Newsroom has just posted an article written by Sam Sachdeva based on the police release of emails relating to media enquiries over the Clarke Gayford allegations.

The timing is interesting and goes like this with some additions.

April 4 Newshub makes first formal enquiry
April 12 NZ Herald asks questions
April 18 TVNZ asks questions
April 23 Deborah Hill Cone writes in the Herald Why does Clarke Gayford bug me?
April 23 Heather du Plessis-Allan says on Newstalk ZB Gayford is Ardern’s “weakest link”
April 23 Clarke Gayford tweets about Bottom Feeding Fish
April 24 Standard post Bottom Feeding Fish posted
April 26 Dave Fisher or another Herald journalist writes to the police and says he is writing a piece about what appears to be an organised campaign to drive and spread rumours about Clarke Gayford
April 30 Newshub makes further enquiry
May 1 Stuff makes further enquiry
May 2 Radio New Zealand makes enquiry
May 2 Herald publishes story False Clarke Gayford rumours: Police and PM Jacinda Ardern respond to widely circulated fake slurs
May 2 Standard posts Police scotches dirty politics rumours about Clarke Gayford

Kudos to David Fisher who handled the matter in a completely ethical way.  Presuming he was the author of the emails referred to it is clear that he did not want to break a story for the sake of it but rather wanted to get at the truth.  This passage confirm this:

In an April 26 email to police, a New Zealand Herald reporter – possibly David Fisher, who authored the first story – told police they were writing a piece “about what appears to be an organised campaign to drive and spread rumours about Clarke Gayford”.

“These [allegations] have been a constant feature of a number of journalists’ lives over the past 4-5 months.”

The reporter said they were confident there was no truth to the rumours, and were “nearing a point where we can identify … a small group of connected people who have put a great deal of energy into driving the spread of the rumours – effectively weaponising gossip.”

While the reporter understood police would not usually comment, they said the situation was unusual as a failure to respond would allow rumour to go unchecked, while there were also allegations about “some form of collusion or corruption to have kept the alleged offending secret”.

In a follow-up email, the reporter said any statement “will absolutely not be used as a springboard to writing about the subject”, and would only be used in the context of a story about the campaign against Gayford.

The police then decided to release the statement.  Given the intensity of the media interest I am not sure they had any choice other than to respond publicly and decisively.

So big ups to most of the media for the way they handled this although Hill Cone and du Plessis Allan look like they were positioning themselves for the big expose.

And questions still arise on who were members of the troll pack of users who tried to gain partisan advantage by a campaign of innuendo.

24 comments on “Bottom feeding fish redux”

  1. Sacha 1

    “a small group of connected people who have put a great deal of energy into driving the spread of the rumours”

    Someone name and shame the arseholes.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Someone needs to map this shit out. I mean the links between all activity online (so you can see which social media and comments originate from the same sources).

  3. mary_a 4

    Only scum of the lowest order could push something as vicious as this. Politically motivated I suspect, hoping to score a hit!

  4. JanM 5

    Doesn’t anyone have a clue who they were? It’s hard to believe that’s the case

  5. David Mac 6

    I guess there are degrees of slur. A rating for the depth of bad mouthing desired.

    “Shall we paint him with ‘knows a Headhunter’, ‘been busted drink driving’ or history of ‘frequenting gay bars’?”

    When your gladiatorial opponents fight by throwing a handful of imaginary Colosseum dirt in your face you know they’re vulnerable and weak. Got nothing.

  6. Anne 7

    Look no further than the originators of the 2014 Dirty Politics expose I say. They’ve learnt a few lessons from that era… don’t put anything in writing and in particular emails!

    • David Mac 7.1

      Or say anything says Todd. We might see an upswing in those learning to sign.

      The height of cultural chic hipsterness: Signing in Te Reo.

    • James 7.2

      Were you not just today saying that of course someone did something – then that there was zero evidence of it or nothing to back it up?

      You are just as bad as the rest of them.

      • David Mac 7.2.1

        James, are you a potential lefty looking for a compelling enough reason to come out? I’ve been harbouring feelings about those wearing blue ties that hang out in here. You kind of like the idea of everyone getting a fair shake hey Jim?

        • James

          Just bringing a little ray of sunshine to the usual people who obviously need some in their lives.

    • alwyn 7.3

      “don’t put anything in writing and in particular emails”
      Off topic I know but I’ll bet that David Clark wishes he had followed this bit of advice.

      • Anne 7.3.1


      • James 7.3.2


      • Lucy 7.3.3

        Actually thought David Clark’s emails/text were OK the selective nature of the leaking/releasing with redacted bits in made me wonder about the DHB chair. Don’t think the man should be given a public service job ever again as he was obviously there as part of the cabal of people who could be trusted to implement the agenda to downgrade the public health system as per NHS.

  7. David Mac 8

    No that wasn’t me but I am as bad as all the rest of them.

  8. David Mac 9

    The information highway has so many potholes and dead ends, rather than information it has become steer towards the truth if you can.

    I think a primary driving force is the monetising of gossip.

    If paying my rent was dependent on how many clicks I generate and I’m tossing up 3 potential headlines. ‘Richie McCaw bets $50,000 in Queenstown Casino’ is looking very attractive.

  9. Ken 10

    Hopefully, National’s days of running smear campaigns from the Beehive are over.

    This particular chapter of National’s dirty politics has all the hallmarks of National’s young folk, and was most likely run from their bedrooms in Mummy and Daddy’s house.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Stop kidding yourself. This was conceived and perpetrated by adults.

    • Chris T 10.2

      Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black when you take a look at young Labour’s weekend antics

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