web analytics

Dirty attacks on academic

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, October 3rd, 2014 - 10 comments
Categories: Ethics, making shit up, Media - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday the Tertiary Education Union (TEU) released this statement:

WHALE OIL’S DIRTY ATTACK ON OTAGO ACADEMIC

The villain of Dirty Politics, Cameron Slater, used his post-election downtime last week to attack University of Otago nutrition scientist Lisa Te Morenga, calling her a ‘trougher’ and, ironically, criticising her for being offensive on the internet.

TEU president Lesley Francey said Slater’s comments were intended to intimidate and to undermine academic freedom.

Journalist Russell Brown said the issue started with Carrick Graham, who was exposed in Dirty Politics as a lobbiest paid by big business to discredit and undermine public health advocates via Slater’s Whale Oil blog. Graham tried to intimidate Dr Te Morenga by going through her Twitter history and finding something he could quote out of context.

Graham’s friend and supporter Cameron Slater then used Whale Oil, to attack Te Morenga.

After this Brown noted there was a threatening legal letter from Jordan Williams, an official complaint to Otago University and a public warning from Carrick Graham to “be careful”.

Most of the cast of Dirty Politics is present in this hit. There’s quite a back story, which Russell Brown has gone into in detail in comments here and here.

It seems to have started with a fake Twitter account misrepresenting a conference (FIZZ-2030) aiming to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks. Jordan Williams of the “Taxpayers’ Union”* used the account as an excuse to attack Fizz and “a group of academics” (I wonder who set up the fake account?). Te Morenga responded (in unwise terms perhaps), and that triggered the full scale dirty politics hit described by the TEU above.

Russell Brown sums up:

The whole thing appears to be a carefully-constructed effort to smear a group of health and nutrition researchers on behalf of a paying client.

These people are scum.

As of yesterday Brown was still on the case…


* The “Taxpayers’ Union” is a front for right-wing spin and political attacks. “Executive Director and Co-Founder” Jordan Williams features heavily in Hager’s Dirty Politics. He’s known for extreme sexist attitudes and apparently threatening tweets. “Co-Founder” David Farrar has his own chapter in Dirty Politics, and a similarly unsavoury record. The fact that this organisation is taken seriously by any form of media is testimony to just how perverted political commentary in NZ has become.

10 comments on “Dirty attacks on academic ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Frank had a detailed story on Williams half truths and lies over Hone Harawiras trip to Mandelas funeral

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/12/18/jordan-williams-from-taxpayers-union-caught-out-spinning-to-the-public-and-media/

    The taxpayers of course funded a photographer to travel with John Keys delegation, no word from Williams over that when other leaders seem to manage with selfies!

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    So, in the midst of his whiny insincerity over the fact that some female acquaintances have discovered what a hateful loser he is, Williams was busy being a hateful loser for money.

    Jordan leaves a stain.

  3. repateet 3

    Is this the same Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Taxpayer’s Union Jordan Williams who has come out so strongly against the rort of David Seymour being plied with taxpayers’ money? Yeah, right.

  4. Tracey 4

    How is this different from Ms Price’s behaviour recently on twitter? The media called that “dirty”.

    • Chooky 4.1

      well i dont think Ms Price was paid to do it by BIG Business!….a big difference there

      …and she was defending her husband wasn’t she?.

      …from “dirty covert attacks” from inside his own Party!

      ….and undermining his leadership

      ….and the grassroots members’ democratic elected Leadership of their Labour Party!

    • Chris 4.2

      Gee, you’ll be defending Cathy Odgers next.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      Did Ms Price go through the ABC twitter histories to find something to use against them? Did she give that material to a blogger to attack them? Have the ABC faction got reputations that can be impugned? Was she paid to attack them in the interests of continuing to sell food that makes us sick?

      No doubt a few more differences if you look hard enough.

    • D'Esterre 4.4

      @ Tracey: “How is this different from Ms Price’s behaviour recently on twitter? The media called that “dirty”.”

      What Price did is nothing at all like Dirty Politics. A bit of name-calling – which is what she did – is not like the vile stuff Hager revealed. On the other hand, the story above is exactly like the sort of thing he recounted. Go read the book if you haven’t yet done so. And no, politicians don’t all do this sort of thing, however much the PM would like you to believe that they do.

  5. coaster 5

    Im not realy sure how anyone can question how bad sugary drinks are.

    If the media keep using these guys, youd have to wonder if they are just lazy, stupid or in on it.

  6. red blooded 6

    “Im not realy sure how anyone can question how bad sugary drinks are.”

    Let’s remember that paid lobbyists managed to defend the health issues surrounding smoking (& then 2nd hand smoking) for years. You’ve got to wonder how expensive those consciences were…

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional COVID-19 tests for returnees from higher risk countries
    New virus variants and ongoing high rates of diseases in some countries prompt additional border protections Extra (day zero or day one) test to be in place this week New ways of reducing risk before people embark on travel being investigated, including pre-departure testing for people leaving the United Kingdom ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago