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Giovanni Tiso on Dirty Politics

Written By: - Date published: 3:53 pm, September 11th, 2014 - 48 comments
Categories: blogs, Deep stuff, Media - Tags: , ,

Twitter is something of a political institution now. More and more journalists use it as a medium to break and track stories. There are also a few “micro bloggers” who use Twitter very effectively as a means of communicating and developing discussions. Twitter’s character limitation requires clarity and conciseness of thought that is a joy to read when it is done properly.

Giovanni Tiso is one of the best proponents of the art. He speaks his mind and says very precisely what he thinks. He is not afraid to criticise Labour or others when he thinks they deserve it.  His blog is always a delight to read and he should have won the recent Canon blog of the year award.

In a recent series of tweets he managed to very clearly highlight important issues that arise from Dirty Politics about the relationship between the political parties and the media.  Why didn’t the media tell us about the cosy relationship between Cameron Slater and various reporters?  Why has there not been any apparent change in the existing relationships that were exposed in Nicky Hager’s book?

A number of other issues are also raised by Giovanni’s tweets.  I thought they would form a good basis for discussion.

48 comments on “Giovanni Tiso on Dirty Politics ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Nothing to add. Succinctly and well said but who is listening that can act on it?

    A commission of inquiry…

  2. Pete 2

    It’s all so overwhelming, isn’t it? Maybe we can entice The Guardian to expand to NZ as it has to Australia. It’s supported by a trust rather than the standard commercial model. As long as there an imperative for profit in the media, this kind of thing will continue because it sells. Blogs are wonderful, but they lack the imprimatur a major daily or broadcasting network provides. They also lack the resources.

    • yeshe 2.1

      Well, Glenn Greenwald will be here a week from Monday .. perhaps he is already persuaded to some degree ?

      And we do need a full Royal Commission not restricted by government; three judges and reporting back to GG, if he can be trusted.

      And I’d like Dame Sylvia Cartwright to be one of them … she was exemplary heading the Nat Womens commission.

    • greywarbler 2.2

      Venturing into using on-line APN provincial newspaper option, it’s not as easy to use as they suggest. There is a free trial period of a month. But there isn’t any archival service offered, only the current day’s copy available for turning the pages.

      What’s the use of that? Is that the standard commercial model for on-line newspapers?
      So far I have not read every bit of information provided. If I spend half an hour or more reading and following the instructions maybe I will find it provides all required.

  3. Rosie 3

    Such uncanny timing. Have just got off the phone to a friend. One of the topics of conversations was along the lines of ‘given the relationship between some journalists and Slater why has nothing changed in the way stories are reported and or framed. Where is the fall out from the revelations of Hagers book and why is it business as usual in the media?’

    We didn’t have the answers, especially in relation to points 5 and 6.

    And yes, media, third track indeed.

  4. weka 4

    One of the best summations of Slatergate I’ve seen. We know what Slater is. We also know that National can and if prodded enough will replace Key, Ede etc. But who will hold the fourth estate accountable? If we look at what will undercut the VRWC, is it not the media we we should be relying on?

    btw, for those that don’t follow twitter, there was an exchange earlier in the week where Sacha Dylan criticised a journo for their reporting (on twitter) something about Cunliffe without saying where it came from, and then got shit for it. That’s one example of the tone argument being applied here. See

    http://sachadylan.com/reporting-in-wake-of-dirty-politics/

    The other thing I noticed today was Stephen Franks’ spin attempt to normalise smearing a la WO and the VRWC. It looked like a much smoother, more considered approach than the original ‘oh everyone does it, nothing to see here’ reaction after DP came out. See Russel Brown’s response here,

    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/southerly-sign-this-petition/?p=323813#post323813

  5. Anne 5

    And where is the last dump by Rawshark? Do they plan to deny us the information contained therein BEFORE the election? Is it because that info. further entrenches the trail to the PM’s Office and John Key himself?

    And a big NO. I don’t buy the line they can’t… because the Whale Boil has continued with further litigation. A false smokescreen. Judge Fogarty has already given them the go ahead to release the political emails already in their possession.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    I now have the PROOF, in writing, that the Office of the Prime Minister is out of control, confirmed by none other than the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson:

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    MEDIA ALERT!

    Is the politically partisan Office of the Prime Minister actually ‘out of control’?

    YES according to this OIA reply, received today 11 September 2014, by Prime Minister John Key’s Chief of Staff, Wayne Eagleson: (attached)
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    3) Copies of the ‘procedure’ or ‘protocol(s)’ to be followed by all staff attached to or employed by the Office of the Prime Minister.

    There are no specific procedures or protocols to be followed by Ministerial office staff.

    4) A copy of the organisational ‘flow chart’ (or the like) which shows the clear reporting framework to be followed by all staff in your Office of the Prime Minister.

    There is no organisational chart for this Office and, accordingly, this part of your request is formally declined under section 18(e) of the Official Information Act “that the document alleged to contain the information requested does not exist or cannot be found”.

    However, I can confirm that all staff in this Office report to me as the Chief of Staff for both the Office of the Prime Minister and the Office of the Leader of the Parliamentary National Party.

    5) A copy of the budget for your Office of the Prime Minister, with a clear breakdown of monies paid by whom, for what, on an annual basis from 2008 – 2014.

    There is no separate budget for the Office of the Prime Minister.
    The Department of Internal Affairs has a budget for all Ministerial offices as a whole, but not for individual offices.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    As some one who has never been able to get a copy of my SIS file, and could not get it ‘confirmed or denied’ that I was one of the 88 New Zealanders upon whom the GCSB unlawfully spied upon, I am REALLY concerned with the revelations contained within this OIA reply.

    Is anybody else?

    If not – why not?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    ‘Investigative Activist’

    • Rosie 6.1

      Penny. Wow. Can I please confirm, Wayne Eagleson actually replied saying “There are no specific procedures or protocols to be followed by Ministerial office staff.”? Just wanted to see if I was understanding that info clearly.

      (Just for starters).

  7. Guesting 7

    Met one of my neighbours recently. We both agreed Dirty Politics was highly informative exposing the political web in NZ. Thirty years I’ve been paying attention to political media, and this is the first time I’ve had these diseased strands highlighted. Graham, Slater, Jones, Williams: these names and more should have their back histories summarised each time they are quoted in MSM.

    How does a recent immigrant – focusing on getting their business or life together – ever find time to observe and understand the back-workings of power, if “political journalists” don’t write about it?

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Tiso was spot on with this series of Tweets. Our mass media establishment is simply going on with business as usual as if nothing has happened; Slater has his radio talk show back, Hooton and Farrar still on-board as independent commentators, Key still happy to talk to Slater, Paul Henry hosting the post-debate show etc.

    This simply shows that they think they hold all the power and all the cards, still. So why change this splendid mutually beneficial arrangement even if it is little more than a highly paid circle jerk? And sadly, perhaps they are right.

  9. Tigger 9

    Thanks for highlighting this. Perfectly stated in just a few tweets.

    The media needs to know that many of us are aware of their collusion and, since nothing has changed, we will have to make changes for them. Time to expose their collusion and call them to account.

    Personally I’m trying to decide where to start – so many problem outlets and ‘journos’.

    • Anne 9.1

      Personally I’m trying to decide where to start – so many problem outlets and ‘journos’.

      So true Tigger. The frustration is immense. What can we do? We need some strong leadership who can nationally organise the fight back. A few hundred people standing around with placards is not the answer. Nobody takes any notice. But first we need the info. Will Rawshark give it to us because it looks increasingly like the lily livered. corruption loving MSM are not going to do their job.

    • karol 9.2

      Some of us were critical to Tova O’Brien last night on Twitter, about her ending her 3 News report saying “dirty politics” were happening among Pasifica in Sth Auckland – the story was about the Labour candidate being critical of the Nat candidate using a Samoan title she was not entitled to.

      O’Brien got aggressively defensive in her responses – as though she does not accept any criticism.

      I tweeted:

      Karol Scribe ‏@KarolScribe Sep 9
      Not all criticism of political opponents is “dirty politics”. Read the book @TovaOBrien. #fudgingtheissues #pacificvote #nzpol’

      Here’s what she tweeted after our first round of criticisms:

      Her tweet and our responses to it at the link. Her first tweet:

      For all you haters out there both Su’a William Sio and Misa Fia Turner agree the fight for Mangere has got dirty. They’d know and I agree.

      Some of our responses:

      Sacha Dylan ‏@kaupapa 24h
      @TovaOBrien did they say what else was dirty other than the title thing?

      dirtydeedsnz ‏@dirtydeedsnz 24h
      @kaupapa @TovaOBrien on twitter yestday – Sio said a rumour Church Minister signed ppl up as Nat members & told them they must now vote Nats

      Ben Ross ‏@BenRoss_AKL 24h
      @kaupapa @TovaOBrien seeing a few tweets going around about Nats “coercing” Pasifika members to join the Nat Party. Not sure on validity

      Karol Scribe ‏@KarolScribe 24h
      @TovaOBrien Dirty Politics wasn’t evident in the 3 News report. Just looked like a bit of editorialising at the end of the report.

      Karol Scribe ‏@KarolScribe 23h
      @TovaOBrien What do you all mean by “dirty”? Each may mean something different by it.

      Steve Parkes ‏@parkesweb 23h
      @TovaOBrien in the context of the story by itself, it seemed a bit of a leap, esp. in light of what ‘dirty’ has otherwise been applied to.

      dazza ‏@dazzabrazza 23h
      @TovaOBrien @dirtydeedsnz @KarolScribe If you don’t want NZ mocking you, then don’t patronise us with sensationalism. You’re not on Fox News

      Then O’Brien came back with this:

      @dirtydeedsnz @dazzabrazza @KarolScribe thanks I’ll be sure to call next time I say anything

      How is it that MSM journalists don’t seem to accept they can be held to account by members of the public? And especially after “Dirty Politics”

      • David H 9.2.1

        I just call her Spinna Obrien on Twitter.

      • Rosie 9.2.2

        Yes, I saw that story on 3 News. Remember what I said about her “intern ship” at Radio Active approximately 4 years ago? From where she was back then with the DJ having to educate her on NZ political history and how to pronounce politicians names, to where she is now – a manufactured media puppet. coached and groomed, all the way.

        No independent reporting, just a whisper in her ear from the boss.

        • Rosie 9.2.2.1

          Couldn’t edit the above.

          PS and as for “all you haters out there” sound like something someone would say in the stuff.co.nz comments sections. Kind of low rent for a “journalist”.

          You’re right karol, she needs to read The Book so she can understand what “Dirty Politics” really is. She can’t appropriate the term to suit her story.

      • Blue 9.2.3

        How is it that MSM journalists don’t seem to accept they can be held to account by members of the public? And especially after “Dirty Politics”

        The news media trade in being right all the time, so when they are wrong it’s professional suicide to admit it. They just have to keep pretending they were actually right all along.

        The cognitive dissonance involved would make a politician proud.

      • Tracey 9.2.4

        wow. v thinned skinned.

    • Bill 9.3

      The problem Tigger – I’m sure you’re aware of this – is that ‘exposing’ something needs a medium, and that, for us, is the very same media that we seek to expose.

      “1984? Meet Pravda.” – oh joy.

  10. Bill 10

    Why would any media organisation change its modus operandi?

    That’s a serious question.

    See, they all knew damned fine well that Slater and Farrar were part of a National Party network. The only difference now, is that we know too.

    So, is it at all far fetched to suggest that Fisher and Nippert will be allowed to say what they have to say, and that what they have to say will be widely ignored by ‘the industry’ as it simply ‘carries on, carrying on’?

    Sure, a proper state broadcaster could offer a counter balance and be held up as a source of ‘honest’ reporting. But that’s, at best, a fair way off, and may not ever eventuate.

    Meanwhile, media will obfuscate, ignore and downplay the importance of the ‘Dirty Politics’ material which, well…should be the expectation given the role they play. And at some point in the not too distant, when the heat has died down a bit, Fisher and Nippert will find their careers in a cul-de-sac, or worse, ended.

    • They won’t change unless there are consequences. When Labour is next in government there needs to be an example set, pour encourager les autres.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        a self regating press council has to go for a start… but any appointments to a regulated body wld be political? maybe appointments approved by 80% of arliament vote?

  11. Tanz 11

    Whatever our political leanings, it is scary that the New Lynn candidate for the Conservatives is having threats made etc, apparently by the media. FFS, this is a democracy. Totally scary.

  12. disturbed 12

    Corrupt MSM for sure but what do we do?

    Guardian sounds good.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    I have yet to receive either an acknowledgment or reply from Stephen Franks to yesterday’s following letter:
    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    10 September 2014

    OPEN LETTER to Stephen Franks, Principal, Franks and Ogilvie

    “Are these ‘WhaleDump’ emails true?”

    Dear Stephen,

    It is with some deep concern, that I have read the following alleged email correspondence, between Jordan Williams, then, as I understand it, employed as a Solicitor at your company, Franks and Ogilvie.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/twitter-suspends-whaledump-account

    There is significant public interest in these matters relating to ‘dirty politics’.

    I would appreciate your honest response to the following questions:

    Are these emails true?

    Yes or no?

    If yes, is the ‘Steve’ referred to in these emails by Jordan Williams, yourself?

    Yes or no?

    Is it correct that Jordan Williams now employed as a ‘consultant’ as opposed to a ‘solicitor’ by Franks and Ogilvie?

    http://www.franksogilvie.co.nz/

    http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/jordan-williams/20/b29/34

    If yes, why is Jordan Williams not currently listed as a consultant in your list of ‘people’ at Franks and Ogilvie?

    I note that in 2008, you were the National Party candidate for Wellington Central.

    http://www.stephenfranks.co.nz/wellington-central-candidate-for-the-national-party/

    Are you still connected in any way with the National Party?

    If so – how?

    Looking forward to your prompt reply.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    I understand that Jordan Williams no longer works for Franks and Ogilvie as a ‘solicitor’.

    It appears that Franks and Ogilvie are now attempting to distance themselves from Jordan Williams?

    If so – how is it that on LinkedIn – Jordan Williams purports to be a ‘consultant’ for Franks and Ogilvie?

    http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/jordan-williams/20/b29/34

    Are Franks and Ogilvie currently employing/paying Jordan Williams as a ‘consultant’ – YES or NO?

    Time for a bit of ‘transparency’?

    Given the ‘dirty and despicable politics’ in which Jordan Williams was allegedly so involved, as exposed in ‘Dirty Politics’ which so many critics thereof, have apparently still yet to read for themselves, how brainy is it for Franks and Ogilvie to maintain any formal links with one of the allegedly key players?

    If Franks and Ogilvie are still employing the services of Jordan Williams as a ‘consultant’, whilst giving the impression of having cut ties with him, then, in my considered opinion, that does not make Franks and Ogilvie appear very ‘trustworthy’?

    No disrespect – but seriously – how also are the public supposed to trust the ‘Tax Payers Union’?

    New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ ………

    Anyone heard anything lately from Transparency International about these politically explosive corruption scandals?

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/

    Most Trusted Public Sector in the World

    “New Zealand’s high trust public sector is its greatest competitive advantage”
    -Phil O’Reilly Chief Executive of Business New Zealand

    New Zealand’s public sector is consistently ranked among the least corrupt in the world. This reputation is not a coincidence. New Zealand has a long tradition of being first with legislation aimed at promoting human rights.
    Milestones include the Public Service Act 1912 and the Official Information Act 1982.

    TINZ is committed to continue this tradition through actions that increase public sector transparency and extend good governance throughout all New Zealand institutions.”

    Yeah – whatever ………

    (File under ‘You Couldn’t Make This Sh*t Up’)

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  14. His blog is always a delight to read

    You need to get out more.

  15. Tautoko Viper 15

    Here are some questions I have:

    1. What if the information that has been released by Rawshark to the media (which has not yet been released to the public) is published after the election and results in an inquiry leading to a vote of no confidence in the newly elected National government? Would this mean that another election is required at considerable expense to the taxpayer?

    2. How ethical is it for the MSM to sit on information so that voters cannot make an educated vote particularly when the suppression of the information advantages the party that has been at fault at the expense of political parties who have already been damaged politically by the deliberate misuse of political power?

    (” Perverting the course of justice can be any of three acts:
    Fabricating or disposing of evidence
    Intimidating or threatening a witness or juror
    Intimidating or threatening a judge

    Also criminal are:
    1.conspiring with another to pervert the course of justice, and
    2.intending to pervert the course of justice.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverting_the_course_of_justice

    • karol 15.1

      What information do you think they are sitting on? Where did you get the idea they are doing that?

      According to Hager, the most significant stuff was used for his book, and the media just have some extra bits and pieces.

      • weka 15.1.1

        Is that recent from Hager, karol?

        • karol 15.1.1.1

          That was what he said in the qu & a after the talk he gave at Waikato Uni earlier this week. It’s on video.

          Someone asked him specifically about whether their was any more unpublished emails to come from the media.

  16. ropata 16

    Infographic of Dirty politics, crowdsourced by twitter users

    (Via:SpinBin: This is what real journalism looks like … a hell of a good article)

    • emergency mike 16.1

      Nice article, you might like this one too ropata. A long and in two parts, I admit I kind of skimmed it. But it’s a hugely in depth first hand report of the journos behaviour at the “puffed up little shit” incident. Corkery was being kind.

  17. ropata 17

    Assiduous digging by Frank Macskasy on TDB reveals that dirty politics is steaming ahead with barely a hiccup

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/09/11/exclusive-was-the-donghua-liu-affair-another-example-of-dirty-politics/

    Also, anyone calling Bomber Bradbury an overwrought conspiracy theorist has not been paying attention. Seems that Odgers/Slater/Hooten really *were* hoping to kill Hager

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/09/08/blogwatch-why-is-whaleoil-deleting-blogs/

    • karol 17.1

      It’s a very good bit of investigation by Frank.

      however, When I readcit, I tought the same as one of the commenters. There’s no telling if the news art cles were published before or after the same stories appeared on WO and KB. The date on MSM online articles changes each time the story is updated. So, what appears on the website months after the article was published, is the last date and time it was updated.

  18. Paul 18

    Dann smearing the Greens.
    http://tvnz.co.nz/vote-2014-news/greens-eye-radical-change-days-before-election-6078465

    More corrupt media spreading dirty filthy politics.
    A long list now…
    Sabin
    O’Sullivan
    Savage
    Murphy
    Roughan
    Henry
    Dann
    Christie
    Hosking
    Garner
    Williams
    Smith
    Plunket

    The enablers of Dirty Politics.

    • David H 18.1

      You forgot:
      Armstrong
      Gower
      Espiner

    • Pete 18.2

      I will say that for all the flak the ODT gets, its political reporters – Hamish McNeilly and Dene Mackenzie serve its readership well. And its editorial line: save neurosurgery at Dunedin hospital, save Hillside, save Invermay point to a more measured – if highly parochial – outlook. It’s a pity that it publishes content from the Herald, but that was due to the end of the NZPA.

      The fact that it serves two blue seats: Waitaki and Clutha-Southland, and two red ones in Dunedin may have something to do with it.

  19. outofbed 19

    #DirtyPolitics now has chapters available free online! To read about Simon Lusk & Jason Ede, head to http://dirtypoliticsnz.com for the flipbook

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