Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, April 24th, 2018 - 99 comments
Categories: clickbait, Dirty Politics, making shit up, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: deborah hill cone, heather du plessis-allan
National, like Rust, does not sleep.
The events of dirty politics showed a sophisticated calculated roll out of damaging news to media to willing participants who then broadcast the news in the most damaging way.
The most important aspect was the use of a compliant media.
The objective was to create media themes primarily to attack and terrify opponents. And no one was safe.
I can’t help but wonder if recent treatment of Clarke Gayford is being orchestrated. Because there has been a lot of attention paid to him recently.
A lot more than I can ever recall being paid to Bronagh Key or Mary English or even Peter Davis although I am aware that Peter was the subject of the most malicious whispering campaign.
Max Key did get a hard time. But using your father’s position to enhance your standing does attract attention.
It makes you wonder if National has some dirt on Clarke and is shopping it round.
Because he has had quite a bit of adverse media attention recently.
There was Deborah Hill-Cone’s effort in the Herald where she described him as being cringey and smug. I am not going to link on the basis that this site should not be supporting click bait.
I often like her controversial writing but the only emotions this article caused were “meh” and “what the?”.
Clarke responded with a tweet that was more humourous and gentle than the subsequent Herald treatment of it.
And welcome back to NZ – lol. Here's some other bottom feeding fish who I'd never met which feature as breaking news this weds 8pm on Prime TV, FISH OF THE DAY. – in the stunning COROMANDEL. pic.twitter.com/PV0LjWtsR2
— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) April 23, 2018
The Herald article seemed strange. Allowing someone to say something stupid about someone else, then immediately printing the other person’s response.
Then things became really weird as the Herald reported how its column had divided New Zealand.
How the clicks must have piled up.
Not to be outdone Herald columnist Heather “Ardern is just like Trump” Du Plessis-Allan weighed in. From Newstalk ZB:
[Du Plessis-Allan] says that Gayford is the ‘Prime Minister’s weakest link’ because he doesn’t know when to pull back and be in the background.
She suggests that the Labour Party should be more mindful of him.
However, she also feels that Gayford and Ardern are ‘unbelievably cute’ together.
The evidence she relied on, a single photo of him and the other spouses which I thought was very funny, is about as reliable as her evidence that Jacinda is just like Trump.
Other elements of the media performed credibly when confronted with this most stupid of issues.
Danyl McLauchlan in the Spinoff said this:
Early this morning the New Zealand Herald published a hard-hitting piece on Clarke Gayford, a fishing show reality TV star and the partner of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The story, which led the newspaper’s website and was announced with a “Breaking News” banner, was written by veteran business journalist and columnist Deborah Hill Cone. It contained a number of serious allegations that raise grave doubts about Gayford’s reputation as a likable guy who likes fishing. Instead, the story alleged, the “first bloke” is “vexing, “problematic” and “cringey”. Hill Cone further alleges that Gayford’s first name ends with the letter “e”. If the revelations in Hill Cone’s piece are true, Gayford is far from the amicable figure he seems. It raises important questions about how much Gayford actually loves fishing, and whether he is secretly kind of like Betty Draper. You know, from Mad Men.
But an extensive investigation into Hill Cone’s story conducted by the Spinoff over dozens of seconds in the early hours of this morning casts uncertainty on the story’s findings. This in-depth reporting, which involved repeatedly looking at pictures of Gayford looking dreamy and happy suggests that, far from being problematic, Gayford looks like he might be an OK guy. Furthermore, rather than engaging in “the political equivalent of manspreading” – as Hill Cone’s piece explosively claims – these inquiries reveal that Gayford looks kind of like an old friend of mine, which makes me kind of like him and feel instinctively that the Herald should leave him alone. How can Hill Cone maintain her charges against Gayford in the face of these findings?
Can’t we get back to the real news? Like how bad child poverty is and why we have to do something about climate change and environmental destruction? Or are we going to descend into click bait hell where columnists say stupid things and the paper then gets further attention by reporting the response and then the controversy?
There has to be a better way. If you want a site that deals seriously with current issues then Radio New Zealand aka Red Radio is your only choice.