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Herald into smear mode for election year

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 pm, December 18th, 2010 - 72 comments
Categories: making shit up - Tags: , ,

It must be coming up to election year, because whenever I load Granny Herald there’s some ludicrous attack on Labour or love-piece on Key. The Herald on Sunday has some Wikileaks cables and the ones they’ve chosen to pre-release supposedly shows Labour was willing to give up the anti-nuke law  but didn’t to win votes. They show no such thing.

The title is enough to tell you this is a mixed up, petty attack:

Nuclear stance sacrificed for votes

In fact, Labour’s nuclear stance never changed and the article doesn’t even claim that. The claim is that the Herald is making Labour actually retained its anti-nuke stance for votes when it was considering giving it up. But the article itself shows that’s not true.

Helen Clark met with the US Ambassador a few months before the 2005 election:

“The meeting spanned China’s growing power and “the need for a US presence in the Pacific”, the cables state.

Swindells said the United States wanted a “quiet and frank” dialogue – with an aide saying the conversations would be “private”.

Swindells said the discussion needed to be on issues about which “we did not agree”.

“While those issues would include New Zealand’s anti-nuclear legislation, the discussions might not necessarily result in a change in the legislation or in a return by New Zealand to the ANZUS alliance.

“But we will not know about the possibilities of moving the bilateral
relationship forward unless we talk about them.”

He said the discussion would find areas where the two countries could
increase cooperation.

A US Embassy aide said the no nukes ban “was not necessarily a problem bilaterally since we have never had a pressing need to send any vessels to New Zealand”.”

Here’s what the Herald thinks is the money-quote from Clark talking to the US Ambassador

“If that’s an area of flexibility – of no need for nuclear ships in our area – then that’s perhaps an area for us to move forward.”

She added: “When I go to APEC, you can’t split a hair between the President and myself.”

Um. Do you see Clark saying that Labour could give up the anti-nuke legislation? I don’t. In fact, I see her saying ‘New Zealand and the US are inseparable on our attitude to free trade’ and ‘if the Yanks don’t want to send ships here anyway, maybe they can get over not being allowed to and we can have a free trade deal despite it’.

Think about it: why would she give up the anti-nuke legislation if the US is saying it doesn’t matter to them in any practical sense? She’s saying that because the anti-nuke sense doesn’t matter to them in a practical sense then we should be able to grow our relationship despite it.

Labour was never going to give up the anti-nuke legislation. In reality, that was National policy and the exposure of that fact damaged National’s election chances hugely.

Aldo, the notion that Labour was cuddling up to China to push the US out is stupid and also contradicted by the quote in this article: “the need for a US presence in the Pacific”.

Sure, Labour pursued a free trade deal with China but it tried at least as hard for one with the US, which wasn’t interested (this is, obviously, where Clark was hoping we could “move forward” if the US could accept the anti-nuke law doesn’t actually matter to it). But throughout the last decade Labour was begging not to pull out of the Pacific and leave a power vacuum that China filled (look at the Chinese influence in Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands). But the Bush Administration’s priority was elsewhere and Hillary Clinton is just now (too late) trying to rebuild US influence.

[update: Here are the actual passages from the cable, without the Herald and Bryce Edwards’ spin:

[Clark] added that in the New Zealand-U.S. relationship, “we have everything in common.” It is frustrating that, despite such commonality, “the relationship seems to go grumpy” by being seen through only one issue — implying, the anti-nuclear issue. She noted New Zealand’s contribution to the war and reconstruction in Afghanistan and willingness to contribute to efforts in the Pacific. “When I go to APEC, you can’t split a hair between the President and myself,” Clark said.

14. (C) While noting that the United States no longer arms its ships with nuclear weapons, Clark said her “gut feeling”
was that her government would not want to change its anti-nuclear legislation, which would continue to ban
nuclear-propelled ships. “I know how your Navy will respond,” she said. DCM Burnett said that the ban was not
necessarily a problem bilaterally since we have never had a pressing need to send any vessels to New Zealand, but had
repercussions elsewhere in the region in terms of U.S. fleet mobility. Clark said, “If that’s an area of flexibility —
of no need for nuclear ships in our area — then that’s perhaps an area for us to move forward.”]

72 comments on “Herald into smear mode for election year ”

  1. Jaghut 1

    Too early for this. Wait until the full cable is published, it should clarify things.

  2. I’m sick of seeing these bullshit media attacks on Labour. Of course, they were vital to National winning last time and the corporate media wants to repeat the trick.

    • ak 2.1

      Yep. And they will. Compare the risible EFA beat-up to “Helen/Lenin” with the deafeneing silence over the current directly Hitleresque “cut all benefits and bugger-all will starve” statement from Key.

      Independent journalism has been history here for at least 5 years. Patently, obviously and irretrievably. With very rare exceptions (watch your back Chris Trotter) even at local rag level, screened, neutered, mediocre whores to the machine.

      Only solution: as in Mining, Mt Albert, LG elections and Winnie. The street and the keyboard. Leaflets, email, and above all, hikoi. March, threaten, and dare them to ignore.

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        You guys should start stocking up on Kleenex now. If you’re crying now imagine how bad you’ll feel after November when the nats clean you up

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Does the Granny ever not smear Labour?

  4. Nick C 4

    I agree the standard of journalism in the herald has really fallen. Heres another example


    • tea 4.1

      Explain yourself.

      Not such a bad piece. Remember trying to get our AUSA club to at least reccomend to our members to vote compulsory and our stupid president got flustered because of a John Banks clone she had shagged not liking it. Wasn’t really sure that getting representation as well as services for our money was a good idea.

      Sure enough when the fees of her coursewent up, she started a chain email campaign to ineffectually protest it.

      nothing like a winning moderate.

  5. NX 5

    The ‘money quote’ might not be explicit, but you have to admit her private comments are far more pragmatic compared to what she said publicly about the anti-nuke policy.

    • lprent 5.1

      Wrong. What she said in public was pretty much the same as what she said in private, and this shows in these cables. I worked with her at the electorate level for decades. She is as much a pragmatist as an idealist. The anti-nuke legislation was never on the table, but other matters were. Things we could find common ground with the US (or China o whoever).

      That pragmatism was exactly what got her attacked from the left. The fact she was an idealist and doesn’t roll over to everyone for a belly rub like John Key does, or adjust her public policy whilst saying something different in private (like the Hollow Men) got her attacked by clowns like you from the right. What Helen was not known for was such dithering.

      Mind you, in your case with the level of hysterical attacks you have done on Helen and other woman in authority over the years, I would have to say that your public reasons for doing so don’t match with your actual actions. Have you ever had your personality defect looked at? It sounds pretty serious.

      • M 5.1.1

        Thank heavens for your post.

        I’m so sick and tired of Helen been beaten on because she is incredibly intelligent, considered in her pronouncements and gives a damn about people, what with her and Michael’s WFF. The comment about Key ready to roll over for a belly rub for whoever is so true – I believe he would do just about anything to stay in power. I’m still utterly stunned that NZers cannot see through this SOB and what a complete idiot he is – he has more rat-cunning than intelligence and probably the IQ of a dog which I believe is around 35, so I guess he has at least enough IQ to not soil the floor.

        Maybe a lot of men are threatened by an intelligent woman and find it difficult to feel manly unless they’re keeping a woman down or in her place; from some of the comments passed around about Helen it would appear so or maybe it’s ED problems.

        All the scuttlebutt about her being a lesbian really rankled because I don’t give a crap where her interests lie – and I believe this was just vicious muckraking – it’s how she ran the country and cared for its people that concerned me. Helen was modest too, in that she didn’t really seek the limelight like Key does and seemed quite shy in some ways which may have had her appear awkward but I’d rather have that than Key’s unbridled lust for the camera lens.

        If I were given the opportunity to meet any politician it would be Helen so I could thank her for contribution to this country and trying to roll back the damage done by nine years of National who are nothing but overpaid vacant lots who would piss on the poor if they thought they could get away with it.

        • RedLogix

          Helen Clark was one of the most remarkable women in all of New Zealand’s history. And a future generation will remember her for that.

          But for this same reason the narrow minded bigots and bitchy snarks that infest the bloated pale underbelly of this country could never tolerate her.

          • joe90

            Ditto RL, a remarkable woman and the attacks on her personal and otherwise by people I know and respect confirmed to me that the revolting underbelly which, through my own experiences I’d suspected was present, did indeed exist. And then I read kiwiblog and thought to myself fuck, do these people really think like that or are they characters straight out of a Morrieson novel.

        • Anne

          M said:
          “All the scuttlebutt about her being a lesbian really rankled because I don’t give a crap where her interests lie – and I believe this was just vicious muckraking – …”

          That rumour was started around 1980 by a bunch of disgruntled former Labour members who were anti-Helen Clark and annoyed she won the Mt. Albert seat instead of their preferred candidate, Malcolm Douglas – Roger Douglas’ brother. As she climbed the political ladder the stories spread, and eventually spilled over to include vicious attacks on her husband, Peter Davis. Not surprisingly, most of those responsible ended up in the ACT Party.

          • Vicky32

            Don’t forget Ian Wishart who was downright obsessed with the idea of Helen as a lesbian! (I simply have got to wonder why…) In the latest Investigate, he has admitted to “our American affiliates” which are, I gather, of the Faux News variety, so maybe it’s as simple as that!
            (I am assume ‘affiliates’ means bosses..)

            • Anne

              That nutter Wishhart would be a Fox News addict. He’s a born again Fundamentalist Christian, so it isn’t surprising he has “American affiliates”.

              I should clarify my comment at 12:27pm. The former Labour members I refer to were
              responsible for starting the lesbian – and other related – rumours. In later years it was picked up by others and spread like wild-fire both in NZ and beyond. Some of the stories I heard about Helen were so blatantly idiotic that it beggared belief anyone could believe them – if you know what I mean.

              • Vicky32

                You’re right Anne, although as a Christian, I must say, don’t lump us all in with the like of Wishart! He makes my teeth ache… 🙂

                • Anne

                  Never would do that Vicky32(Deb). I had a ‘Christian’ upbringing – now lapsed 😉 , but still have church-going friends. The fundamentalists are not true Christians. Won’t go into details – might end up being moderated with a warning from ‘you know who’…

        • Murray

          And This is your Argument?
          You are making the same kind of personal attacks against John Key, That you accuse others of making against Helen Clarke.
          Not much moral high ground here is there?

          • Colonial Viper

            You are making the same kind of personal attacks against John Key, That you accuse others of making against Helen Clarke.


            Someone accused John Key of being a closet lesbian and living in a sham marriage of convenience?

            Or maybe the personal attacks are not the same at all mate.


            • Murray

              Someone accused John Key of being a closet lesbian and living in a sham marriage of convenience?
              Did They? OH WOW! I hadn’t heard that one. Though I guess coming from you guys, being such paragons of honesty and virtue it must be true.

              • Colonial Viper

                Uh Murray, perhaps I should have made my sarcasm even more obvious?

                You claimed that the same kinds of personal attacks were being made when they are not

                lolz mate

                • Murray

                  I would doubt whether the so called type, of personal attack could ever be any justification for such an attack. Personal attacks in so called political blogs are never acceptable in any instance left or right. They say more about the poster rather then the recipient and turn the blog into hate speech rather then any informed political debate.
                  In these instances the left are equally as guilty as the right and it doesn’t say much for political blogging in this country

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah yeah you said the same kinds of personal attacks were being used and they’re not. Any more assertions?

            • Anne

              Hi CV
              I see Spud has had an influence on you 😀

      • NX 5.1.2

        “What she said in public was pretty much the same as what she said in private”

        ^ “pretty much“. It’s not much, but I’ll take it.

        “Have you ever had your personality defect looked at? It sounds pretty serious.”

        ^ steady on – think you have me mixed up with someone else. But your vicious, personal attack on me says more about you than it does me. Is this what this blog has become…

        • lprent

          You are correct, I did have you mixed up with someone else. My apologies for the latter part of my comment. I have a bit of a quick trigger when it comes to RWNJ myths about Helen and other people on the left as well as policies. That is simply because I see rather too many of the right wing smears. I decided a while back that I would respond to certain types of statement about various political figures by treating those making them in the same manner they were treating others. When people act like arseholes, then I treat them as they obviously wish to be treated.

          Obviously I screwed up this time. My apologies also for the delay getting back to this comment which is due to a recalcitrant coding bug and those damned xmas social commitments.

          BTW: Your comments tend towards the rational, which is quite pleasant after dealing with the varying types of irrationality I frequently read. You can read your comments in the search using @author NX

          Helens comments in private are the same in content as those she did in public. The ‘pretty much’ refers the difference between press releases and having time to expand on her thoughts. I seldom agree with Helen, but she is always cogent in how she thinks about things.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    The byline is David Fisher….. who is well known as their diplomatic affairs correspondent……… dont be silly , the Herald doesnt have such a beast, if it ever did.

    Hes actually some sort of consumer affairs hack

    Lights out at Auckland Airport….
    Slingshot call centre nightmare..
    .Rude Rico is cleared for takeoff

    He was probably in a baby romper suit during the Lange years

  7. higherstandard 7

    I just loaded the herald and the first article is

    Key exposed over by Dalai Lama


    The herald is cak but not particularly partisan cak, I suspect you just dislike anything critical of your team.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      “In one unusual caucus meeting, Shipley offered to educate National MPs on how to examine themselves for sexually transmitted diseases. Her embarrassed colleagues declined.”

      It’s pretty early on a sunday fer the drinkin, but needs must…


    • lprent 7.2

      Look at the timestamps. This post was written on the forward publication of the Fisher article yesterday. What you are referring to was published this morning in the HoS.

      Timing is everything in politics and journalism. That was what Eddie wrote the post about.

      Prepublishing a article with such a clear piece of lying spin in it has to be a deliberate attempt at the herald to frame the debate. What they publish afterwards is irrelevant to the heralds action yesterday.

  8. Bill 8

    To me, that piece read as an attempt to deflect from the claim that Nat policy was being written in Washington.

    That claim is wholly believable. A few years ago the US was caught with its pants down when it was revealed that the Indian government’s budget had been penned (literally) by Washington. I’m too busy to dig out the link right now, but will do.

    But if wikileaks is searchable, and Washington had it’s fingers in potential NZ policy pies, then I guess any talks between US officials and the Nats would show up? And on the nuclear front, maybe the source for that ‘Gone by lunchtime’ comment from Brash would show up too?

    It’s becoming fairly commonplace for wikileaks to be used to mis-inform….either by changing the emphasis in given cables, ascribing levels of objectivity or importance that given cables don’t actually have or making up stories and claiming they originate in the wikileaks cables.

    I think it’s absurd to think that Clark would have touched the nuclear policy. And I think it has to be borne in mind that the cables are often subjective interpretations of what others think. A US official may well interpret a reluctance to give up on nuclear as a stance being informed by electoral politics. Doen’t mean that’s the case though. Good for spinmiesters though, innit?

    There’s probably a lot of revelatory info contained in the cables. And many opportunities to obfuscate by ‘blowing up’ other, reasonably insignificant cables. Which leads to consideration of oxygen and feeding?

  9. tc 9

    Get used to this lack of objectivity from the herald…..it’s all about the bottom line and not upsetting Key/Joyce/Blinglish etc as real journalism costs money and takes bollocks to publish.

    You only have to look at the way they’ve framed Goff’s rented flat recently ignoring (or simply too lazy) to state the number of MP’s from both sides who have this quite legitimate situation under the current rules.

    The sad thing is they do have a large say in the outcome as most swinging voters rely on the msm to inform them……scary but true that the likes of garner/sainsbury etc have that influence with their focus on keeping their bosses happy rather than honouring the traditions of journalism by being objective, fair and most of all remembering the history/promises and holding NACT to account.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    I think we should re name the Granny Herald to the Fox Granny Herald seriously thats how bad it is!

    The articles are almost never balanced and when the odd balanced piece gets through it goes down the bottom of the website pretty bloody quick.

    These polls are bullshit to, just yesterday I have had two groups of people tell me they voted for Key they made a mistake and will be voting Labour next time. Interesting they voted KEY not National and also interesting Labour not Goff, which I think is preferable but also potentially problematic maybe?

    • lprent 10.1

      The herald website mostly runs on automatic software for determining the positioning of the articles. Which articles get pushed into the site is pretty much a editors decisions about timing. They get shoved in at the top and their residual position is based on viewership and age (Lyn used to work there).

      I think that what you’re seeing with the articles that drop off is from the self-selected audience that the Granny maintains. Old, affluent, male, pakeha, and unsettled by things that challenge their viewpoint.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.1.1

        Is that why the sport pages are plastered with rugby 9/10’s of the time and little else. It will be nice to read of some other sports for the next month or two, before it starts all over again.

  11. Jaghut 11

    This thread has now become ‘hate on any news sites that disagree with us’

    • lprent 11.1

      Or alternatively a part of a set of observations on the NZ Herald and Fox news that has been going on here since the site started in 2007. They are easy to find. Just use the search function setting it to posts and seeking Herald.

      This is a partisan opinion site. It is rather easy for people who read here to recognize our opinionated counterparts from the opposite side in the mainstream media. If they quack like David Farrar then they probably think like him as well.

      Incidentially, essentially you’re simply making assertions without any backing. You don’t offer any argument to support your assertions in either of your two comments to date. To me it sounds like you might be a troll. Read the policy and offer something to discuss, or I’ll start treating you as a spambot.

      • Jaghut 11.1.1

        Do you want me to quote comments that you can scroll up to see for yourself? I didn’t think linking to supporting evidence was necessary when the proof is literally a press of the ‘up arrow’ away.

        A couple of recent headlines:

        Believe it or not, the NZ Herald is bipartisan. Do you think a surge of articles with a negative view on Labour, might in fact be because Labour has things to answer for?

        The same goes for National. It may seem like your political party of choice (lol) is being constantly run down in the media, but to assume that because the vast organisations of the MSM have an inherent bias is childish.

        • lprent

          The Herald may be bipartizan. But some of it’s people clearly are not. That particular sophistry just annoys me, and you’ll find that I don’t allow it here for The Standard. People write posts. Machines and organizations are incapable of the task. The selection and promotion of people inside the herald gives quite a different mix of people to their purported audience in Auckland

          The interesting thing about this article was the timing of it’s release, and the moronic ‘interpretation’ of what was in the cable – which got released the following day. The cable directly contradicted the interpretation of the author of the article, which the author had ‘substantiated’ with selective quoting of the cable.

          In other words the news wasn’t reported in this article, it was being spun. If it wasn’t being spun o the right, then it was being spun for the headline in the general dumbing down of the media. Either are equally bad and in any case usually amount to the same thing.

          Btw: neither of your links work… Made it rather hard to look at them

        • Sanctuary

          The Herald is NOT bipartisan.

          The Herald is the mouthpiece of the Auckland business oligarchy, whose agenda usually (but not always) aligns with that of the National Party. That means on issues which don’t affect the Auckland business oligarchy, or where that oligarchy disagrees with the National Party, it may adopt a line that is critical of National government policy. Perhaps the best illustration of its role as the mouthpiece of the Auckland business oligarchy is its on-going editorial hostility to public transport, something practically every Aucklander is crying out for, something Auckland has been scandalously denied for decades, and yet is not in the best interests of the rentiers, land speculators and developers who make up the Auckland business elite – and therefore an issue that attracts a constant skeptical to downright hostile editorial stance from the Herald.

          On most issues, and most of the time, it isn’t as much the “N.Z. Herald” as it is the “Remuera Herald”.

          • Andy (the other one)

            “Democracy under Attack”, only applies wen the red team is in power.

            Also remember the glory days of the’ John Key’ hiaography. Sea bed and for shore anyone?

            Good times..

  12. Deadly_NZ 12

    Well if we all agree that the local rags are not to be trusted to at least be neutrral in the election then the least All of us can do is make sure that the voice of moderation and truth is not buried under a whole lot of Nact FUD..

    Sorry but i do think that the low and middle income earners are going to get royally screwed if the Teflon John and his mob get in

  13. Swampy 13

    You missed the point entirely. There were opportunities to have discussions until suddenly Labour started making baseless allegations against Don Brash that some American was writing the National Party’s campaign policies. That’s what this subject is about.

  14. vidiot 14

    1st we traded butter for Lada’s, now it appears we traded butter for troops.

    • Carol 14.1

      Well, at least the Clark government tried to resist the unscrupulous pressure form the US government & got something out of it for an NZ business,while also keeping NZ at a bit of a distance from Bush’s wars. OTOH, Key just wants to trade what’s left of our business, financial and military independence for a photo-opportunity with Obama.

  15. John Drinnan 15

    I take your point The Standard is an opinonated blog – and you can’t be criticised for being biased. Your correspondents don’t print real names – but it seems like trade union/EPMU/ Labour left mix – now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party – that sort of stuff. Thats who you are – which is fair enough.

    But you and one or two of your correspondents do make assertions about the Herald willy nilly. Herald journo’s often get whacked by because hating the paper is a lazy default for the left. You may well have your insiders who tell you it is a hellhole of right wing supplicants cowering ovefr the edicts of the National Party. But that notg a place that recognise. Like any workplace there is a mix of people – from the left right and centre. Wikipedia is about right The paper is slightly to the left internationally and centre right on local issues. Its a valid place to be.
    Your post say: “The Herald may be bipartizan (sic). But some of it’s people clearly are not. That particular sophistry just annoys me, and you’ll find that I don’t allow it here for The Standard. People write posts. Machines and organizations are incapable of the task. (i’m not sure that that means) “The selection and promotion of people inside the herald gives quite a different mix of people to their purported audience in Auckland. (Really? how do you mean).Don’t you think that sounds a little – well – nutty? The sort of thing you expect from student politicians knocking back troublesome factions.

    • Marty G 15.1

      several authors use their real names – lprent is short for Lynn Prentice, Rocky is Rochelle Prentice’s nickname, and there’s Mike Smith too – he was a boxer, a priest, and gensec of the Labour Party.

      When The Herald on Sunday asked for my full name to print I gave them one, and it may as well have been real for all it matters.

      As Irish says ‘I’m IrishBill, who are you?’. Names don’t matter, arguments do. This is the internet age.

      I like your work Drinnan but a simple content analysis will show you which way the political commentators at the Herald lean.

      Hell, you can get which way the Herald leans by the simple fact that the Herald ran a ‘democracy under attack’ campaign throughout election year in 2008 but barely raises a peep to the sacking of Ecan, the imposition of the Supercity, CERRA, the Hobbit Enabling Act, the Rugby World Cup Empowering Act, the new Electoral Finance Act which is basically identical to the one the Herald called an attack on democracy, and the Search and Surveillance Bill – not to mention the endless stream of government laws that come with schedule 7 reports by the Attorney-General which say they contain unjustifiable breaches of the Bill of Rights.

      face it – the herald campaigned for National in 2008 and it is turning a blind eye to its behaviour now. Pick up the herald and you’re more likely to see yet another hagiography on Key than any serious questions about whether the government he leads is delivering the brighter future it promised.

      Ironically, you provide some of the best analysis in the whole thing.

      • John Drinnan 15.1.1

        I’m not racing to the aid of the paper – the Herald can handle itself. But I get wary of throwaway lines about MSM and the implication we are all lazy idiots who don’t have a mind of our own. Commercial media is commercial media. An opnion matters more if people stand by it. I won’t even try to address your list of wrongs. Except on the Hobbit issue – to which I was a small contributor. Editorial attacking the PJ/Warner Bros position and saying the industry had to front up to recompensing actors. Derek Cheng was very solid. Along with RNZ Herald coverage was the soundest and sanest in the country. Yet it routinely the paper gets included among the appalling coverage from TVNZ and even a liberal left blogs like Public Address. I still contend that the New Zealand Left hates the Herald because that is one of the things that defines it. Its one thing you can all agree on. PS you’re very kind. And I hope approval from The Standard will not get me sacked by Tory masters (yes I’m joking).

        • r0b

          An opnion matters more if people stand by it.

          Why are Herald editorials anonymous?

          I won’t even try to address your list of wrongs.

          With respect – why not?

        • Marty G

          I would contend that the Left hates the Herald because the Herald hates the Left.

          Of course, the corporate media and the Left have never got on. Everything comes down to class interests and the corporate media is naturally aligned with the Right. – you’re familiar with Savage on the Dominion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsEx36Q0A5E

      • lprent 15.1.2

        Actually Rochelle Rees after her father rather than her mother.

    • lprent 15.2

      It means that I could write a program that would write comments and even posts that would read like a troll. However they are incapable of writing something that pass a Turing test.

      Similarly companies are just code as well – legal code with some structure wrapped around people.

      You find that humans write everything readable. The only semi automatic writing I know of that is vaguely readable is is boilerplate legalese, and the log files I spend so much time perusing. Both use components made legible by humans for humans.

  16. John Drinnan 16

    Sorry -I’m a bit confused. The version of The Standard I have in front of me has cut out my response about anonymous comments – so not sure how I can discuss something online that is privy only to myself and a moderator. In general though editorials are the voice of the institution – and are written to reflect the view institution. There is a case for signed editorials – some magazines do that. I’d suggest the danger is that it confuses the view of the writer and the paper. I’m just not sure that anonymous editorial in daily papers – with a few edirorial writers -are comparable to the anonymous snipes by hit and run correspondents to blogs.
    Any paper I have for editorial s written in its someone called leader writer – I’m sure it would not be to hard to find out who they are.

    On the second question – I won’t try to address them because it is past midnight and my wife is telling me to stop bloody tapping away upstairs and join her on the deck for a beer . The Herald is conservative – though not on Maori issues. But I don’t always agree with the Herald – but sometimes I do. I don’t always agree with Labour, but sometimes I do. I don’t always agree with John Key, but sometimes I do. That’s the nature of how a lot of us look at politics and issues. We read the Herald, the Sunday star Times, The Guardian online, The Village Voice, Matt McCarten and Deborah Coddington in the HoS. We look at the opinions – say ” he/she would say that ” or ” that makes sense” . We make up our mind up what we think on an issue.

    • r0b 16.1

      The version of The Standard I have in front of me has cut out my response about anonymous comments

      Sorry, there is no such comment in the published list, spam queue or trash. It has disappeared somewhere. I was getting brief server glitches for a while (scheduling some Open mike posts), your comment may have been lost in one of them. Apologies!

      • lprent 16.1.1

        Yeah, but the glitches we see on posts are a whole different order to a comment glitch.

        The database updates for a post are at least an order of magnitude more complex, and happen more frequently.

    • r0b 16.2

      And now to the content!

      Was any part of that an answer to the question? If An opnion matters more if people stand by it, why are Herald editorials anonymous? Any argument you make for it applies equally well to blogs…

      On the second question – I won’t try to address them because it is past midnight

      Indeed it is, and the world is full of better things to do I agree. But it’s also the case that you won’t address them because you can’t.

      • John Drinnan 16.2.1

        “Indeed it is, and the world is full of better things to do I agree. But it’s also the case that you won’t address them because you can’t.”
        Well no rOb – whoever you are.
        This is an honest chat about the media – not a mooting competition up at Vic.
        If I disagreed with the Herald approach it does not mean that you beat the Herald. As I said I did not speak for the Herald. I am an individual expressing a view. It feels like I have been an unwitting player in a private game of chess.
        This is why it is hard to have a conversation to many people on the Left. You seem desperate to win something – to catch someone out. The upshot is that you end up having conversations with yourself – and exclude other voices An example: If you live in Auckland you know that it needed some form of new form government. Hide railroaded it through and set up the right to run it. Len Brown has balanced the right’s influence. Supercity is a result – not a good one but it is not overly bad. Honestly – the status quo was not Great. But no that is not the Herald view – its just me.
        I give up.

        • r0b

          No need to be so defensive John (whoever you are). Individuals expressing our views is all any of us are here. Thanks for the Psyc101 on “the left”, we’ll take that under advisement. And (seriously this time) thanks for stopping by, I hope you’ll do so again some time.

    • lprent 16.3

      There isn’t anything in either pending or spam. If it got trapped it has been released by someone else.

      If you’d walked over the policy bounds you’d have gotten a really obvious public bold comment added into your comment even if we’d then deleted part of your comment or banned. Email is moderately private, but this site runs public – including my sarcastic detailing of peoples shortcoming in wasting my time moderating (the other moderators are usually kinder)

      You will occasionally wind up with a comment getting auto moderated because it arouses the suspicions of my demonic minon ‘akismet’ which protects us from spambots. There are also some words and phrases that I use in the war on trolls. Auto moderated comments are pushed into public when one of us gets around to approving it and thereby teaching akimet

      If you’re behind a caching firewall, you might get caught by that.

      Plus there are always issues with the wrong word in captcha.

      Sometimes you’ll get a glitch between you and the server in the US. They are usually pretty obvious at your end

      Btw: get an iPad – then you can write in the dark in bed like me 😈

    • felix 16.4

      “I’m just not sure that anonymous editorial in daily papers – with a few edirorial writers -are comparable to the anonymous snipes by hit and run correspondents to blogs.”

      John, you’re not being totally honest there. The Herald editorials are anonymous, but posts and comments here are, for the most part, pseudonymous which is quite a different kettle of meat. It means the writing has a context, and the development of a writer’s ideas over time can be communicated and observed against the background of that context. It also means a writer’s opinions can be measured against what they’ve written previously for consistency or hypocrisy.

      Also worth noting is that you know who the anonymous writers of the Herald editorials are and this means you have quite a different perception of the writing to the rest of us who have no idea. I didn’t know that there are “a few edirorial writers” – how would I, let alone who they are or who writes what?

      With respect, it’s a bit rich to suggest that because you have this information at your disposal that everyone else should somehow give what to us are literally anonymous editorials special credence, essentially on faith.

      Anyway I hope you’re enjoying the beers under the full moon, it’s a lovely night for it.

  17. John Drinnan 17

    Does The Standard really not know who are the editorial writers for the main daily newspapers?
    Give the papers a call. I’m loathe to name them now in case it is posted as some sort of major victory for the working class. As I said before in the comment that seems to have been accidentally trashed at your end -there is a case for people making radical comment to be given anonymity.,
    But it also means you don’t have to stand up for what you believe in and it means you can be very brave with a mask. The Ku Klux Klan had the same approach.

    • lprent 17.1

      Bullshit. In the end people can always come through me or Mike. We are the trustees of the trust that runs The Standard. You can dig out the details of the trust because it is listed.

      It is no different to the herald and it’s ubiquitous staff reporters, except we use pseudonyms so you can find out whose opinion it is.

      In practice we get very few complaints in private, people just complain in the comments and therefore do it in public – under a pseudonym and with our guarantees on privacy. It is far more open than the timewasting procedures that you have to use fo newspapers.

    • felix 17.2

      John, I have no idea what “the standard” or it’s authors know.

      I’m telling you that I don’t know, and neither I suggest would the vast majority of the Herald’s readership know, who writes the editorials.

      I hardly think this is a controversial statement to make.

      • lprent 17.2.1

        And we’re pretty much the same. I can’t think of a reason to waste my time scratching around looking for ‘insider’ information on the granny, especially when I’d have to do it each editorial because they don’t say if the writer has changed.

        If they don’t trouble themselves to release that information then I take them at their word – ie that the editorials are written by anonymous.

        Quite frankly for all I know they could be written by Crosby Textor (sometimes they appear to be so, sometimes they appear to be written by the old Alliance members) because as far as I can see the Herald doesn’t state a policy on who they’re written by. Of course they could all be written by a single person – in which case you’d have to say that they have a pretty big internal conflict of philosophy (either that or they’re consistently written by Garth George wavering over the landscape).

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