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Forgetting what the game is for

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, January 29th, 2015 - 19 comments
Categories: brand key, journalism, Media, spin - Tags: , ,

Most politicians, in my opinion, have forgotten what politics is for. They treat it as a game to be won at all costs, never mind the impact on real lives in the real world. It is the kind of mindset exhibited by National at all levels. Disturbingly, most media buys in to this too. It is the kind of mindset exhibited by those who pronounced John Key the politician of the year 2014 because there was no end the lies he was prepared to tell, or those who arrange “awards” for the most vile blogger in the country. It’s all about smashing peoples’ faces into the ground, innit.

And so of course The Herald’s coverage of yesterday’s speeches (click the image for a larger version):


It’s all about supporting their man Key. Under Substance is listed “the most positive spin” and “propaganda par excellence”. Since when were spin and propaganda the same as substance? Under Presentation we are reminded of Key’s rich mates. Under Detail we are told that Key answered every question except those he couldn’t. It’s all a game and Key wins!!!

Fortunately it isn’t all nonsense. Someone thought to go and ask some real people what they think:

Reaction to John Key’s state housing policy: ‘He’s forgotten where he came from’

Prime Minister John Key grew up in a state house on Hollyford Ave in Bryndwr, in west Christchurch. Yesterday, many residents … were disappointed at the new housing plans. The man who answered the door at Mr Key’s old home, 19 Hollyford Ave, was evidently not a fan of Mr Key, and declined to comment.

Shelley Anderson, a 44-year-old mother and assistant manager at a bar/restaurant, is waiting for Housing New Zealand to carry out earthquake repairs to her Hollyford Ave house, more than four years after the shaking started. She said Mr Key had “forgotten where he’s come from”.

A few doors down, Jo Davies, a 26-year-old nanny, said state houses should remain under government control. “If you’re on a benefit, you can’t afford the rents. It’s hard enough if you are working,” she said. “You think he’d be a bit more on to the struggle that people are having just to pay their bills.”

New Zealand would be better served by more reporting like that second piece, on real issues and the impact on real lives. Instead the headlines are dominated by the political game and the opportunity to support a preferred team. Too much media has forgotten what the game is for.

19 comments on “Forgetting what the game is for ”

  1. Olwyn 1

    Since 2008 most of the leaders in the Western World, especially the English speaking world, could just as well be actors in a soap opera. Obama for getting the US liberal vote into the corporate fold, Cameron for drawing in the 40-something NME reading indie types (mostly professionals now). When I saw the post about Trump and Palin going for the US presidency, I thought, why not go the whole hog and bring on a cartoon character – The Silver Surfer perhaps, or maybe Spiderman – he probably has better name recognition.

    The problem is that the corporate, media and banking industries have a rather different idea of what they are for than we do.

    • Once was Tim 1.1

      ….. and the mainstream media has bought into that world (with exceptions) for much the same reasons.
      Which is why we have a public that’s lost faith (you know – all that ‘fath’ and ‘change we can believe in’ that accompanied Obama’s first term reign).

      There is hope for a shift – but I sure as hell hope Labour’s aspirational agenda recognises the damage our dysfunctional MSM is doing to democracy.
      No matter though if they don’t – I always think (and have witnessed before) the outcomes of the old saying “the harder they rise, the harder they fall”.
      Some of the natives are beginning to get restless already

  2. The Murphey 2

    The ‘power’ behind ‘the game’ is witnessed through the shop window

  3. Camryn 3

    Reading the online Herald early this morning, I got very much the opposite view on how they were presenting the two speeches. I didn’t see any link to that graphic, but the “Reaction to John Key’s state housing policy: ‘He’s forgotten where he came from’” headline in a leading position and two visible Andrew Little stories with very positive headlines and good photos.

  4. Macro 4

    It all reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984 and the “Ministry of Truth”. Our media are there now, doing it, as it was foretold. Rewriting history to satisfy the needs of the Party in power. It really is depressing, and can only lead to one conclusion.

  5. Saarbo 5

    Exactly my thoughts when I read that silly review in the NZH.

    It seems that the gallery media’s understanding of politics stems from Hollywood political programmes.

  6. Clemgeopin 6

    We have a blatantly biased RW propaganda outfit masquerading as our ‘MSM media’ and a biased ego maniacal light weight crapish idiots masquerading as our ‘political news reporters and expert commentators’!

    More often than not, NZ Herald, Gower, Slater, Garner, Vernan Small and Rudman ……shamelessly expose their bias and pretty low calibre in their reporting and comments.

  7. emergency mike 7

    Substance: his propaganda was good, decent spin.

    Dumb and dumber, but which one’s which?

    • Once was Tim 7.1

      Dumb and dumber – which one’s which?
      Doesn’t really matter – they take turns, one feeding off the other depending on who they think scored what they think is the ‘gotcha’ moment.

  8. Incognito 8

    I had not seen this online and the “rankings” are indeed ill-judged. However, I thought the “justifications” of Key’s rankings were satirical; perhaps they were written by Peter Lyons who seems to be developing a penchant for satire in his opinion pieces in the Herald. For example, Paula Bennett “butted in” surely is taking the piss.

  9. Tracey 9

    you would think they were reviewing a show at the civic theatre rather than important stuff like a nation’s future

    • tc 9.1

      They know exactly what their role is in nationals spin machine and have been at it since late 2007 by ushering in the Shonkey revolution and helping to keep it there.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Too much media has forgotten what the game is for.

    And it doesn’t help that people are calling it a game. It isn’t. This is reality and real lives, both human and non-human, are at stake.

  11. A Voter 11

    John Key is a first generation NZer heaven help us all the prick only lived ina state house until his mothers undisclosed sizable inheritance came thru and if his father was still sending support from overseas in between marriages that makes Key something other than lower income why do people even equate the bastard with identity as the real majority of state house tenants in the 60’s WORKERS .an efin dirty word to him he should be kicked as far into the pacific as possible and he can swim his way home to HAWAII
    He is the class of professional monetarist scabs who are in politics to intrench Tory shite on decent people who are honest with their fellow man about working for the integrity of the nation something he thinks is is a house of cards but in reality his party is a house of cards living on the corruption of their lies and deceit and making the mass pay for it
    God Defend NZ from shite like him

  12. Jenny Kirk 12

    Hi Voter – can you give a reference or facts behind this statement that you made :

    ” the prick only lived ina state house until his mothers undisclosed sizable inheritance came thru and if his father was still sending support from overseas in between marriages “

    • Murray Rawshark 12.1

      It’s a story I’ve come across a few times, but have never been able to track it down. It’s one that I’d like to believe but that doesn’t make it true.

  13. aerobubble 13

    Its like Hooten hard and heavy points vs Williams soft and stable, leaving us all with the impression all the progress is done by conservatives, and the left are the boring ones.

  14. saveNZ 14

    The good thing about the Herald is that it is actually gone so far to the right that it is now completely noticeable they are not a newspaper but a propaganda rag with advertising. That means there is plenty of room for a real paper to come in and take over.

    If you have a look at the TV3 Facebook comments on the Catton’s views on NZ, there is barely anyone who does not agree with her. The MSM and sadly some left blog sites are saying Kiwis don’t care, actually I think it is the opposite. There is just not an easy way for discourse to be shared in NZ on a day to day basis.

    Personally I think Labour and Greens should be utilising their websites more. By asking Joe blogs to go through hoops, be a member, donate, answer polls etc etc. They don’t even have much IT security. Yep nobody wants the Slater’s in this world getting hold of your details and political views and believe me, that seems to be what the Nats are doing.

    I’m sure a lot of Kiwi’s want to have an easier way to have their say. Personally an ‘open Mike’ approach would do a lot of good to the left. I think the parties will be surprised how much anger there is not just against the government but against the system and people supposed to be representing them. Yes, maybe political parties don’t want to hear it publicly, but essentially they need to to change. And then get to respond and put those MSM discourses to bed.

    Some might write to the Greens and call them ‘wacky economic idiots’. Perfect. The Greens then can respond back with their economic policies. Just another way to get it out there. Not a problem.

    Parties need to understand with social media the landscape has changed. People don’t write letters anymore to politicians, they DONT want an email telling their supporters some trite message “thanks so much for your support, here’s what we have to say and want you to do, and please donate too, so we can do, what we think you want’.

    Voters actually want to be listened too, especially in the climate of NZ which is turning to absolute crap for many people today, and also the next generation.

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