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Gower plays a shocker

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, January 29th, 2014 - 93 comments
Categories: Media, tv - Tags: , ,

You are NOT the story

You are NOT the story

The last couple of days have been interesting.  There has been a well orchestrated media onslaught on Labour’s Best Start policy.  And when you have a look at what is being said you have to wonder about the independence of the media.

An example of this is the behaviour of TV3 and Paddy Gower.

Yesterday Gower tweeted that “David Cunliffe has just walked off on a press conference refusing to answer questions about the baby bonus”.

Here is the video.  Watch it and form your own opinion.  Count the number of questions on Best Start that Cunliffe answered.  Wonder about the phrase “walked off”.  Question also the description of the event as a “press conference”.

Clearly Cunliffe spent over 9 minutes answering questions and then politely excused himself on the basis that he had to attend a caucus meeting.

Later on Gower criticised Cunliffe and the policy because those that were on paid parental leave would not receive best start, that is the policy was not generous enough, and then criticised Cunliffe because theoretically a couple earning just short of $300,000 per annum could qualify, in other words the policy was too generous.

The paid parental leave criticism is particularly weird.  Labour and Sue Moroney have advocated for 26 weeks paid parental leave but the suggestion is that it is somehow disingenuous because both paid parental leave AND Best Start will not be paid simultaneously really makes you wonder at the degree of spin being applied.  The introduction of either will improve the plight of kiwi families.

The question of coverage always arises when new policies are proposed.  If and when the policy is introduced then these details will be worked out.  But the unnervingly negative spin that Gower and TV3 applied really makes you wonder.

Compare and contrast this with the treatment of National’s education policy announcement.  And note the lack of questioning on how that policy can be afforded.  After all it is the thick end of $400 million being spent over four years so if implemented it will have a significant effect on the country’s finances.

Gower has clearly bought into the idea that the practice of media is akin to engaging in a blood sport where success and prestige is measured by the number of scalps that you accumulate.

This year is going to be a long and important year.  As a mainstream media organisation TV3 owes it to the country to report the facts and to leave the spin out.

93 comments on “Gower plays a shocker”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    It is really scary how the media are playing this right now.

    The contrast between National’s Education policy and Labour’s Best Start policy is incredible. One is positive bull shit spin, the other is negative rubbish.

    Neither narrative is an accurate description of the actual policy or how it will effect ordinary kiwi kids.

    Don’t worry about Key this year. The biggest challenge will be the media.

    • well I never 1.1

      almost every article I read tells me more about the “journalist” than the person they are writing about these days. Trouble is, I don’t really care about what their politics are, as they are not running the country, should someone mention that to them?

  2. Lionel 2

    Paddy Gower is a typical tory reporter who can,t see past his idol Key

    • gem 2.1

      ”Paddy Gower is a typical tory reporter who can,t see past his idol Key.”
      No, he can’t see past himself.
      Oh, and why not drop the chummy beltway-esque ‘Paddy’ to refer to him.

  3. philj 3

    This looks like a media scrum. The media is a major issue in this election campaign. And is biased pro National.

  4. The Outrider 4

    This on top of Paul Henry’s outright rebuttal when Cunliffe stated his assumption he was a ‘neutral journalist’ can only mean that TV3 are rapidly turning into Fox NZ. If the rumours surrounding the future of Campbell Live’s uncertain future turn out to be true there will be little value in watching this network for news content.

    • North 4.1

      There are how many millions of dollar reasons to understand that TV3 will do as expected ?

    • Anne 4.2

      What rumours are they The Outrider?

      • idlegus 4.2.1

        there are rumours on the internet that the show is to be cancelled. i have seen nothing official so i do wonder if its a bit bs. if true it would be pretty sad as far as mainstream telly news media goes.

        • Anne 4.2.1.1

          If they dump Campbell Live then you would definitely have to wonder about interference coming from the government and John Key in particular. Not direct interference of course but coming through Mediaworks. An attempt to “get rid of John Campbell” in Election year? It wouldn’t be because Campbell is left wing because in my view he’s not. But he isn’t afraid to call out bull-shit when he sees it.

          • The Outrider 4.2.1.1.1

            Hopefully the rumours are indeed bs but we shall see. I agree Anne, Campbell’s value is that he is not partisan in his approach to political coverage and NZ needs journalists who can retain at least a modicum of professional objectivity

            • You_Fool 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Given how many people watch and thus how much advertising $$$ the show brings in, I cannot see MediaWorks dropping JC, even to please the evil overlords.

          • Geoff Lye 4.2.1.1.2

            Yeah government pressure due to the help mediaworks got from the goverments coffers at our expense.

  5. geoff 5

    Fantastic video, MS.
    Seems pretty obvious that Paddy Gower is just plain dumb! The questions he asked illustrated that he doesn’t even have a basic understanding of the policy, and DC had to talk him through it like he was a child.

    And a very confident performance from David, he’s really getting into his stride.

  6. LynWiper 6

    So how is he made accountable for his biased reporting? Certainly not what one would expect from a professional journalist. Do journalists have an ethics code? What responsibility/ accountability do National News teams have to the public? They certainly hold a very powerful position so surely there must be some professional guidelines. It appears some work on the belief ‘all’s fair in love, war and politics!’
    Mickey, love the ‘You are Not the story’ although perhaps the You should be shouted as well!

    • weka 6.1

      I love that photo caption too.

      Complaints about the broadcast can go to the BSA

      http://bsa.govt.nz/complaints/formal-complaint

      • karol 6.1.1

        I added that caption to that picture a while back for a post. I used it to make a particular point about the current MO of our infotainment media: journos report from in front of some scene that makes them look like they are on the spot and/or an authority.

        Journos like Gower, (and Garner when I created the caption), report from in front of a picture of parliament – it creates an air of political authority, as if they are in the know about what is happening in politics, and are an expert.

        After Cunliffe finished his State of the Nation speech on Monday, Gower was quick to get to the fron of the hall, in front of a camera with its lights on. Presumably he was aiming to have Cunliffe in the background behind him as he was coming down off the stage.

        All tricks of the current spin trade, that helps to mask the biases of the likes of Gower, and Garner in his time at TV3.

  7. North 7

    Gower might well have cause for career concern in the context of a change of government. He really has no choice but to go for broke given his displays of Cunliffe phobia going back some time now. Strange person. Really does seem to understand that HE is the story.

  8. greywarbler 8

    I get the black oblong for the video but no controls so all remains dark on my old computer.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      What browser are you using gw? Do youtube videos normally play properly?

      • greywarbler 8.1.1

        I use opera usually. And lately youtube videos often stop after 20 seconds or I get a message right at the beginning that the video can’t be played and come back later. My old computer may be past it, we have been monitoring noise on our line, and thinking about things I personally am not up with. So I’d have to talk to my son for the detail.

        The vid is available now. Did you do something, or do you think it was a matter of time.? I have the idea that a slower system can’t access content if a faster one is competing.
        Anyway I have to go and do some weeding before it heats up outside so will look at the vid later.

        What do you think of making use of the Labour web site to list the malinformation going out from the media, and making a statement that corrects the bumf to prevent the lies from getting set in stone? I think there is mention of the fiction-as-fact being picked up by other media and repeated.

    • ropata 8.2

      greywarbler, try this link instead: http://youtu.be/Bj7LkmwHtVc

  9. Blue 9

    Everyone knows Paddy’s a wee bit special. Political reporting is really not his forte.

    The media bias is something Labour has to live with, unfortunately. They are not going to get any favours from the MSM and because of that they have to fight harder. Lucky for us that DC is so awesome at it.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    A retraction and correction from Gower is in order, I think.

    Until that happens, just delay all press material going to TV3 by one hour. In any press conference, select and respond to TV3 questions only at the very end of the session.

    No media channel likes being behind their competitors. I’m sure Gower’s managers will quickly ensure editorial and journalistic standards are properly set.

    • greywarbler 10.1

      CV
      That’s clever thinking – we need to use strategy in this war of words and meaning and facts twisted to become factoids.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        It’s aggressive and has some risks, but considering the grilling over fuck all in the last two days, why not.

    • gem 10.2

      ‘Until that happens, just delay all press material going to TV3 by one hour. ‘
      Press releases go online when released, on websites like Scoop, TDB, and TS and others, so that’s a bit pointless.
      Carrots work better than sticks anyway.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Press releases go online when released, on websites like Scoop, TDB, and TS and others, so that’s a bit pointless.

        No, it makes a big difference.

        The result will be that TV3 can only post what other outlets post without having access to full appendices and references etc. And, they will be 10 minutes later online than everyone else even if they do a copy and paste.

        Carrots work better than sticks anyway.

        I think the combo works better than either alone.

        • lprent 10.2.1.1

          We already pick up the Green and Labour’s press releases in the feed. But I see that Labour doesn’t appear to have any at present. Be nice if someone told me when they were changing their feed URL (YET AGAIN) Bozos…. FFS – how hard is it to maintain the old URLS. It is usually just a redirect.

        • gem 10.2.1.2

          ”And, they will be 10 minutes later online than everyone else even if they do a copy and paste.”

          TV3 uses copy sourced from wire services for the website (as well as having its own online staff); will your ”aggressive” strategy halt this feed from an external source, or at least delay it by a few minutes?

          • Colonial Viper 10.2.1.2.1

            Effectiveness isn’t necessarily the point of every measure. There’s lots of ways to send the message that Labour expects solid coverage, professional and fair criticism.

            I’ve outlined just a few.

            Access is oxygen to journalists. I could keep going on detailing strategies if you like.

            • gem 10.2.1.2.1.1

              ”Effectiveness isn’t necessarily the point of every measure.”

              I see; your desired outcome is not an effective media strategy, but one that generates stories for TV3 and other news outlets about how Labour is strong-arming a network. Good one.

              ”I could keep going on detailing strategies if you like.”

              I wouldn’t if I was you; you patently know very little about how the media works.

  11. felix 11

    Fuck him.

    Cunliffe should ignore Gower’s questions until he apologises and sorts his shit out.

    Plenty of other journos to answer.

  12. BM 12

    I reckon Cunliffe should invite the media up to his Herne bay mansion for some beers and a BBQ.

    Cunliffe really needs to work on his PR, at the moment he’s about as popular as a dirty arse in an elevator.

    • felix 12.1

      You need to work on your colloquialisms. You sound like an inbred Grammar boy trying to talk working class.

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        felix
        😀 You’re like a welcome breath of fresh air – after that elevator door was opened.

      • Mainlander 12.1.2

        So you meant to say BM sounds like your latest messiah Cunliff the original Herne Bay working class man, well spotted felix

        • felix 12.1.2.1

          Nah, Cunliffe is a well educated, sophisticated, eloquent man. BM just sounds like Cameron Slater.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.2

          Yeah Cunliffe knows the working class well; he worked as a shearer when young and was in as an apartment building caretaker as a student.

          On the other hand, what the fuck as Key done, he can’t remember – or so he likes to tell the judge.

    • Rodel 12.2

      Bm You are silly..just silly. Are you 6 years old?

    • well I never 12.3

      BM stands for bowel motion in health speak

  13. captain hook 13

    sorry but I never watch TV3. They have nothing of value and now that parvenu pipsqueak gowere has made a meal out of nothing I dont think I will even bother to reconsider my decison.

  14. greywarbler 14

    There should be an official report on the Labour blog about any lies or wrong information put out by the media either claiming to quote speakers, or putting wrong inferences on anything they said – or didn’t say.

    For instance indicating firmly that silence after a question indicated a certain action or attitude, that a statement that it was up for negotiation meant more than there was an open mind to arguments about the subject.

    Labour has their own outlet where they can make their own statements with their own point of view without media spin. When there is spin in the media, this should be pointed out in a cool and clear manner with the names of the organisation stated, their political news manager and their flunkey monkey also mentioned.

  15. Philj 15

    Xox
    What better justification for Labgren establishing an independent non commercial PUBLIC broadcaster. And do it properly this time around, free from party political, or Government influence. Being challenged by a commercial media boof is a sort of payback for not doing it, I suppose.

  16. alwyn 16

    Cunliffe may want to do some of the things that people here are suggesting.
    He will however remember the remark attributed to Mark Twain “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”
    I wonder what the version for electronic media would be?

    If Cunliffe takes the view that he has been defamed (and I don’t mean that in the legal sense) the approach he should take is to demand time on their program to respond. If he is any good, and properly prepared, he can do what Key did to John Campbell regarding the GCSB bill and demolish them.

    • Francis 16.1

      I found Key incredibly arrogant during that interview, and I really cannot understand how people think that talking over the interviewer and reading out pre-scripted lines is “winning” an argument.

      However, if you say something enough times, people perceive it to be true. That’s how National gets away with most of their crap. With assistance from the bias media, they simply repeat a line of spin over an over again until people automatically think that way (eg Greens = Far Left).

      In the case of that interview, the commentators did their job for them, in consistently saying that Key “won” the interview (though how you can win an interview is beyond me. And Key certainly didn’t win the argument).

      So, while people may have a different opinion if they had watched the interview in isolation (ie without having heard any commentary about it) and if they didn’t know anything else about John Key or John Campbell, after expecting Key to have “won” it (and having predefined opinions on Key and Campbell), that’s exactly what they will think.

      If you had switched Key for Cunliffe but had exactly the same interview otherwise, I can almost guarantee people would consider that Cunliffe was incredibly arrogant during it.

    • karol 16.2

      Where has Cunliffe stated he’s been defamed? Are you confusing micky’s views in the post with Cunliffe’s

      And Cunliffe has taken up right of reply on Firstline this morning.

      • alwyn 16.2.1

        I don’t think you can possibly suggest that what I say can in any way be interpreted as saying that Cunliffe has stated such a thing. I only commented that he MAY feel like doing some of the things people have suggested but he won’t be so silly.
        If he has gone on TV3 he has done what I suggested he should do. Was he as good as Key was with John Campbell, by the way? Perhaps you aren’t the right person to ask.

  17. greywarbler 17

    alwyn
    I agree that Cunliffe should demand retraction.
    But if there is a record also of the various media miscraptions on the Labour site, with names, dates etc. that also would be there and be a weapon of fact that couldn’t be denied. It would show the continual and continuous behaviour of every offending media organisation and its flunkeys.

    It would be a silent accusation that could be referred to and checked by anyone.
    It would be like Blip’s list and that silent list could be a major factor in making the point to voters that often they are hearing bullshit, and that we need to get away from sloshing the dairy effluent around pretending that it is 100% pure quality, healthy essence of NZ life.

    • alwyn 17.1

      You are right, and it could be a permanent record of the media’s perceived sins.

      However how many people, other than the political tragics like you, me, and the other people who read this site are going to bother looking at it? After all, although there are many hits on the most popular web sites, Whale Oil, Kiwiblog and this one say, how many different people look at them and how many are from the general public?

      There isn’t much point in telling dedicated followers of one political viewpoint that the creator of the list you propose agrees with them. If you are trying to get a reaction from the general voting public, who correctly take the view that they have better things to do than read websites, I think the only way to do it is to get onto the main TV networks where most people get all their political news.

  18. incidentally, where does the $300,000 figure come from in the post? i thought it was maximum family income of $150,000?

    • weka 18.1

      Good point. Is that a mistake in the post, or was $300,000 used in the interview?

      • Seti 18.1.1

        From the TV3 link –

        If Labour wins power, all families who earn less than $150,000 will get the bonus. Mr Cunliffe says that limit would be judged when they had the baby and were down to one income.

        “It applies to income at the time they are applying for the $60-a-week benefit,” says Mr Cunliffe.

        That means a couple earning a total of up to $300,000 would get the bonus if one took leave to be with the baby and they fall under the $150,000 mark. But before this could be properly clarified, Mr Cunliffe walked off.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          Thanks.

          If a couple both earn $149,000, and the woman stops working to have a baby, why would they go for the $60/wk when they could instead get paid parental leave?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.1.1.1.1

            Because the point of the Op-Ed piece was for Paddy to attack the proposal, not to report upon it.

          • Seti 18.1.1.1.2

            So once the ppl ends they would be entitled to the $60?

            And if income is assessed only when the baby was born then is there is no limit to what the partner taking leave was earning if they were the sole income or the other partner was below the $150k threshold?

            • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1.2.1

              You shouldn’t be trying to bring successful, rich people down. It’s so sad to see this politics of envy from the Right Wing.

              • Seti

                Just trying to establish that when my partner Victoria Ransom and I have our child we will still get the baby bonus as I’m under the $150k.

                • lprent

                  Is she working?

                  • Lanthanide

                    I expect the $150k/year income includes investment returns, so unless she literally stored the cash under her mattress or invested it in something that had a 0% return, she’d very likely still be earning over the threshold.

                    Of course why we’re even pretending Seti isn’t just making shit up I’m not sure.

                • weka

                  Yes, once PPL ends, as long as your combined household income is below $150,000 and remains there, you can get the $60/wk until your child turns 1. After that the child support is income tested and abated, up to the child being 3.

                  My question to you Seti: will you claim the $60/wk for the second 6 months of your child’s life, when you patently don’t need it?

                  • Francis

                    Of course, if your partner did earn $100,000 per year (for example) which put you over the threshold, and they decided not to work for that year, you’d be earning $100,000 less anyways. The $60 per week (about $3,100 per year) wouldn’t come close to making up the difference.

                    If people who’s combined income is over $150,000 intend to have one parent stop working for the first year in order to bypass the threshold, it’s a very large sacrifice for a tiny gain…

                    Having said that, it’s probably very good for the child in the long-term, so it’s probably worth considering.

        • Lanthanide 18.1.1.2

          Or you know, actually, you could have a family income of $1.2M, then both decide to stop working and therefore be eligible for the $60/week because your income would be less than $150k.

          Or any other amount of income you choose.

          When you look at it like that, Paddy is making mountains out of molehills, because the policy quite clearly depends on your expected annual earnings for the year ahead, and it doesn’t matter what you used to earn.

    • Molly 18.2

      Gowers framing was that two income earners at $140,000/annum each, who go down to one income when the baby is born is an example of higher income earners being able to access the policy’s $60/wk.

      Cunliffe’s response could have been – “Yes, the $60/wk will go someway to addressing the $140K shortfall for the first twelve months of a child’s life” – but Gower was confusing in his questions to say the least.

      Using this analogy – a household earning just under $300K per year will be entitled to the policy IF one of those parents is no longer earning an income in the first year.

  19. Skinny 19

    The head of TV 3 needs to reign in all their staff for such bias reporting. Watching the headlines prior to the main 6pm news and then the actual news item, I was left bemused as to how this was a walk out by DC. Paddy was over dramatising things as per the norm with him.

    Let’s hope viewers saw it for what it was, trashy sensational gutter journalism. It may actually work in Labour’s best interests, Kiwi’s like backing the under dog when they feel their being stiffed.    

    • Hanswurst 19.1

      “Paddy was over dramatising things as per the norm with him.”

      He was not over-dramatising. He was lying.

    • Colonial Viper 19.2

      As I said before, simply supply TV3 with delayed media materials and impaired access to Labour MPs and news until some semblance of journalistic integrity is returned.

      • weka 19.2.1

        Like a boycott? So give access to other media but not TV3? I like the idea, although how would you decide which other media had a semblance of journalistic integrity?

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1

          No – not a boycott: you still answer all questions but say only if they are provided in advance in writing, etc.

          Plenty of different ways to make a journo’s life difficult if they insist on being pricks and making the news about themselves.

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.2

          No, not a boycott. You want to say that you ARE in fact answering all of Paddy’s questions. But only if they are submitted in advance, in writing.

          And of course you will do a live interview with TV3 News. But only if the interviewer ain’t Paddy.

          Plenty of ways to make TV3’s job less easy if they insist on letting this BS continue.

          • gem 19.2.1.2.1

            ”And of course you will do a live interview with TV3 News. But only if the interviewer ain’t Paddy.”
            You do not do this. To punish a political editor you ignore their network in favour of another network or news outlet.
            No news organisation is going to let politicians call the shots about how jobs are allocated.

      • gem 19.2.2

        That’s naive bully boy stuff that mostly backfires.
        And anyway, do you think caucus unity is sufficient that MPs are going to shun journos they probably like, and in the process risk lack of exposure for the issues they are trying to push?
        I do think it’s reasonable however to ask for a retraction, because DC did not flounce off. Deal with the issue at hand.

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.2.1

          Sorry mate, I disagree with you. It’s not David Cunliffe who is being the “bully boy” here.

          • gem 19.2.2.1.1

            You misinterpreted my post.
            My use of the phrase bully boy referred to your ham-fisted and reactionary suggestion about how to manage the media.
            I have no doubt Messrs Cunliffe, both leader and media manager, have a few more clues about how to manage the relationship.

  20. Papa Tuanuku 20

    I’m liking how people are talking about coordinated responses to reporting that is:

    – untruthful
    – partisan
    – anti-democratic

    This is about more than a shoddy report by Gower, it’s about calling out and dismantling the organised backlash by redneck media – gower, henry, hoskins, every night! A healthy media environment should have at least one non-commercial and neutral source or news and analysis.

    what’s the bigger picture strategy? what did Obama do?

  21. Naki Man 21

    Gower is just balancing out that hard left infomercial on TV3 Communist Live

    • framu 21.1

      so making shit up is some sort of balance to you?

      jesus wept, your really a rather sad caricature of what you think you are arent you

      • Lanthanide 21.1.1

        What with reality having a leftward bias, they *have* to make things up in order to create ‘balance’.

    • Arfamo 21.2

      John Campbell is a communist? Oh my lord. Lol. You really are a scream funi man.

      • Naki Man 21.2.1

        John Campbell may not be a communist but he is far left of labour.
        Gower and Campbell are both very misleading at best.
        Helen Clark called Campbell a sanctimonious little creep and I agree with her.

  22. aerobubble 22

    What changed this weak. Oh, yeah, Henry. Could this anti-labour been some response to keep attention away from Henry and so kill off his new show. And really, which are we going to remember, $60 a week, or Cunliffe rushing for a Chorus meeting.

  23. emergency mike 23

    Paddy Gower – “Why did you stop beating your wife?” journalism.

  24. rod 24

    I read somewhere that Gower used to work for the NZ herald, well, that says it all.

  25. Tracey 25

    National and act supporters understand personal responsibility and wld never rejig their finances to get a extra 60 buck.

    In the meantime heres something the public wont hear from gower

    @publicaddress @@rsalmond Agreed. Still big impact policy, nothing to be ashamed of

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