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Hoots overshoots

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 pm, January 22nd, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: making shit up, The Standard - Tags: , , , , ,

I see the NBR lost another 6% of its circulation last year, so I thought it was worth giving Matthew Hooton’s latest rant in that publication a wider audience. Hoots has a go at us and Clare Curran for criticising the violent rhetoric of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. Apparently, holding people accountable for what they say is restricting free speech.

Hooty writes:

Alas, Ms Curran rather undermined her apparent commitment to pluralism with a recent post, following the shootings in Arizona, entitled “Time to see through the right-wing politics of hate”. The union staffers, anti-capitalists, warmists, and other leftists who blog at The Standard followed, with claims the shooting was somehow caused by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party

OK. Where to start?

I love the term ‘warmist’ – it means that we think that emitting massive amounts of known greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will increase the greenhouses effect, warming the globe and changing the climate. I know. What a crazy notion. It’s obviously all a conspiracy to take more of your hard-earned pundit pay, Hooty. Tell me, what other conspiracy theories do you believe in?

For the record, the first post on The Standard linking the violent rhetoric that Palin and the Tea Party have introduced (or re-introduced) into American political discourse to the most deadly US domestic political violence in generations preceded Curran’s by two days.

Both Curran and The Standard writers just followed the talking points of the far left in the US, but went onto claim that similar “politics of hate” were being practiced by the right in New Zealand. Something, they suggested, needed to be done”

Well, I know I didn’t read any leftwing US source before writing that first post. I don’t take my talking points from anyone.

Similar politics of hate is being practiced in New Zealand – you do remember, Hoots, saying that Helen Clark was going to ban the free press and cancel the election, don’t you? You remember giving grist to the paranoid minds who paraded in Queen St comparing Labour to the Nazis? You remember your buddy Farrar’s campaign comparing Clark to various dictators, surely. Now, we have a new far-right group publishing racist leaflets in Christchurch.

And I don’t see Curran, myself or anyone suggesting that anything “needed to be done” in the sense that Hooton is implying. I don’t want to ban Palin and the Tea Party from saying what they say, I want them to be held accountable in the court of public opinion for the consequences of what they say.

The Standard‘s writers launched their blog partly to help secure a fourth term for [Clark’s] hate-filled regime and prevent the election of Mr Key’s much friendlier outfit

And partly so that the numerous hack rightwing propagandists like Hooton wouldn’t be able to spout their lies without response. As for Clark’s regime being hate-filled – tell that to the families that benefited from Working for Families, higher minimum wages, and record low unemployment. And I would hardly describe smile and wave’s outfit as friendly – the friendliness lasts only as long as you don’t ask any real questions.

Ms Curran and her fellow travellers have revealed that they continue to have a fundamental problem with basic concepts of personal responsibility and free speech.

Actually, I have no problem with free speech and I have no problem at all with people taking responsibility for the consequences of what they say.

Most alarming, given Ms Curran may one day hold high office, is that if she really believes political speech is so dangerous it can cause mass murder, presumably she hasn’t yet given up on Labour’s long-term dream of restricting it.

I’m not going to speak for Clare but a) obviously some political speech can cause mass murder, a failed painter from Vienna proved that, and b) Labour has never tried to ban free speech, no-one was prevented from voicing their views by the Electoral Finance Act.

Labour and its friends appear to remain ignorant of basic democratic principle. For that reason only, they deserve to be crushed by Mr Key and his allies this November.

I think the 3rd floor would describe us as frenemies 🙂 And we’re not ignorant of two key democratic principles – freedom of speech and public accountability of political actors for their words, their actions, and their consequences.

So, Hooty, now that you see the “only reason” the Left deserves not to win at the election isn’t a reason at all, I’m sure you’ll be bringing your fabulous propaganda skills to the good guys’ side.

54 comments on “Hoots overshoots ”

  1. When it comes to Hooton I can do no better than to quote an email from Tory adviser Peter Keenan to Don Brash where he said:

    By the way, frankly, I think Matthew Hooton is an idiot … Matthew is totally full of himself, and not half as good as his own self image. He tries hard to impress, with over the top enthusiasm – an actor.”

    Source: pages 86 to 87, the Hollow Men, by Nicky Hagar.

    • M 1.1

      Brilliant assessment of Hooten by Keenan – he needs to be kept on a leash, as he is, and looks like, a dangerous ferret.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Oh good on Hooton for standing up for that oppressed minority: wealthy power holding Right Wingers. The rich and influential few need all the cover that they can get via Hooton and others, they must feel so picked on and left out of mainstream society.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Glen Beck Targets Old Professor

    Death threats result.


    On his daily radio and television shows, Glenn Beck has elevated once-obscure conservative thinkers onto best-seller lists. Recently, he has elevated a 78-year-old liberal academic to celebrity of a different sort, in a way that some say is endangering her life.

    • QoT 3.1

      Not to mention his class act of “writing” and “novel” in which terrorists (possibly? The plot is beyond incoherent) plan to kill a high-profile Democrat … and mention his real-life office street address a few times for good measure.

      (I recommend Deeky’s chapter-by-chapter review if you’ve got time and a well, well-padded desk.)

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        And the cover art is a treat too.

        Ooh look! Liberty has been transmogrified into a bloke who looks ever so suspiciously like

        Jesus II:
        With a vengeance
        Coming soon.

  4. Political Bear 4

    I think this site encapsulates Hooton’s idiocy rather well.


    Its rather funny

  5. QoT 5

    I’ll always think one of the worst outcomes of Labour losing the last election is that Hooton never got completely fucking discredited for his “fourth-term Labour government will eradicate free speech” claim (which, admittedly, in any sensible society would be discredit enough in of itself).

  6. the sprout 6

    good piece, excellent headline.

  7. IrishBill 7

    Fuck that’s a hoot.

  8. luva 8

    Similar politics of hate is being practiced in New Zealand – you do remember, Helen Clark, saying that New Zealanders, protesting against her government were “Haters and Wreckers”, don’t you?

    • felix 8.1

      Yeah, then she published those pictures of the protesters with gunsights on their faces and encouraged everyone to “reload”.

      I remember it like it actually happened.

      • QoT 8.1.1

        I was personally impressed by how she introduced a written constitution and amended it once for giggles just so she could talk about “Second Amendment remedies”.

    • I always love it when the Right project their own inclinations on to others. Politics of hate? Socially, economically and politically disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of NZ’s at the stroke of a pen, no problem – NACT

      • big bruv 8.2.1

        Oh come on Viper;

        Clark was all about hate, her entire disastrous term as PM was a hate filled nightmare for anybody who dared stand up against her or speak out.

        She was every bit as evil as Muldoon when it came to personal vendettas, the only difference being that Muldoon never broke as many laws as Clark.

        • Marty G

          yeah, remember that time she released the private data of two people who deared to speak against one of her policies, violating the Privacy Act, and refused to apologise when the Privacy Commissioner asked her to, despite having said she would if that request was made?

          Oh, wait, no that was Paula Bennett.

          I note you haven’t given a single instance of Clark making someone’s life a “hate-filled nightmare”

        • Irascible

          Please tell me you were alive when Muldoon stalked New Zealand and imposed martial law to support a rugby tour and when any criticism of his regime was met with vicious commentary. If you were you must have been but a glint in your mother’s eye.
          If you really want evil consider the trail of discredited Cabinet Ministers, starting with the Deputy PM and on down to Pansy Wong, under the ever “I’m on Hawaiian holiday” Key.
          Stop being the Captain trying to hunt the snark.

        • burt

          Muldoon never needed to use parliament to kill a standing court case against himself either… but I guess in lovers of corruption lefty land that little episode made Helen even more impressive.

    • KJT 8.3

      Some of them were.

  9. just saying 9

    It’s great to be getting so far up Hoots’ hooter!
    Keep up the good work 😀

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    ‘ NBR lost another 6% of its circulation last year’

    If that is true, then it must be one of the most positive developments of 2010.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. big bruv 11

    NBR lose 6%
    Labour lose 6%

    Hooton’s piece is a good one, as usual he is dead right.

    But hey, keep your head in the sand as long as you like, while Key is far from my ideal PM he is a vastly superior option than his predecessor and far better than anything on the other side of the house.

  12. Cnr Joe 12

    ‘Keys much friendlier outfit…’ – this (I want to be a millionaire and then be prime minister) emperor has no clothes
    but Hooters will cover the whole mess with bells whistles and dancing girls and we’ll vote the horrible unhappy backstabby mob back in

  13. ghostwhowalksnz 13

    Hooton is just the first salvo in this election year.
    When you think about it National has no policies to run on.
    They have trashed all their previous promises and aspirations and are left only with a ‘Cat who can paint’

    Thats a bit risky so they need to whip a frenzy against the the Labour government …oops opposition.

    I expect more ‘tales from the crypt’ as the year proceeds

  14. ianmac 14

    I wonder why Hooten wrote such a post?
    Own mana?
    Opening shot of denigration to come?
    Bolster NBR?
    Feeling Left Right out?
    Trouble at home?

  15. vto 15

    I have no time for Hooten.

    Example reason: He lied at the time of the Pike River disaster claiming that DOC had stopped PRC from installing another ventilation shaft.

    Blatant lie to suit his own politics. Disgusting behaviour for someone who influences in a small way public opinion. Especially when taking advantage of miners deaths.

    F… off Hooten.

    • millsy 15.1

      Guy thinks he can trash our conservation estate for money. We he can get fucked. Our National Parks will remain clean forever, no toxic shit.

      Time we fought fire with fire.

      I think were due for another ’13/’51/’81 style confrontation between right and left. If Hooten wants to be nasty, lets teach him a good lesson in nastiness.

      Lets take the fight to the right, not just on the web, but in the streets, the farmers, business, landowners, landlords, Christians and the wealthy are going to hit us with everything they have, well, bring it on. I feel like a fight.

      No quarter given or asked for.

      • Brett 15.1.1

        Lets take the fight to the right, not just on the web, but in the streets, the farmers, business, landowners, landlords, Christians and the wealthy are going to hit us with everything they have, well, bring it on. I feel like a fight.

        You don’t look like much of a fighter millsy.

      • Jilly Bee 15.1.2

        Oh Millsy – ‘Lets take the fight to the right, not just on the web, but in the streets, the farmers, business, landowners, landlords, Christians and the wealthy are going to hit us with everything they have, well, bring it on. I feel like a fight.’ I’m a Christian and no way I could bring myself to vote National – there’s plenty of parables in the New Testament to stoke my political fire.

      • Chris73 15.1.3

        Yeah and Millsy will lead the charge…what a joke (seriously you think this is a wise course of action?)

        So when the right do its bad and when the left do its…ok because the right have driven the left to the language of hate

  16. Tim 16

    I reckon Clare is making some waves. Her blogging is solid and sensible. Many younger voters have been impressed with her understanding on technology and politics. I reckon she will be gold in election year.

    I also think that he needs to discredit The Standard – it is just too scary to have a fully functioning blogsite of the left that has an audience. You wait, I am sure that the number of righty trolls will increase on here over the coming months, as will the attacks through other sites/published articles.

    • One of the things IMO we should all consider a bit more is a DNFTT approach. (Yes i too am guilty of not doing this I know). The Right can quickly destroy the productivity and readability of a comments discussion. They do this by coming in and derailing a productive and constructive debate simply by trolling with random BS.

      On the other hand if they come in with a considered and well presented Right Wing view, great we add it to the debate and go for it.

    • QoT 16.2

      I have to say I’m less impressed with Curran’s blogging … there’s just something about the way she writes that irritates me. Lots of shortened sentences. Not really much analysis. Look, an interesting link. etc. etc.

      But I agree with your second paragraph – I think some on the Right honestly did believe that this site was purely run/directed/powered by The Ninth Floor and thus they can’t figure out why it’s still going strong without that “support”.

  17. illuminatedtiger 17

    I don’t think any publicity should be given to someone who when unable to win an argument resorts to describing an opponent as a “cunt”.

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    Yet another map showing why Hoots doesn’t want people criticising US right wing revolution rhetoric. It’s working.


    Yes yes. So unfair. Hoots doesn’t want this stuff to happen, and it’s got nothing to do with the rhetoric, it’s all a coincidence and they’re only liberals being targeted so so what.

    Thing is, it’s happening. And the right doesn’t want to talk about it. Lots and lots of terrorism that the right wing doesn’t want to talk about.

    Why not?

    The best you can say is that the US right don’t care if there is a pattern, or if it’s connected to the rhetoric.

    And if they don’t care, that means they’re not bothered if it continues.

    And why would they be? It matches the rhetoric that they refuse to back down from.

    They are just too chicken shit to come out and say it.

    But that doesn’t explain hoots or the rest of the Kiwi rights attitude. So what does?

  19. joe90 19

    Hooten’s got nothing on Beck, video and transcript from Faux news here.

    I never thought I’d say we better learn something from the Ayatollah Khomeini, but here it is.

    The media and the politician have all of this wrong. In every single walk of life — you want to know why TV doesn’t reflect you? You want to know why Washington doesn’t reflect you? Because they don’t understand, from the radical revolutionaries to the Islamic extremists — and yes, DOJ, they do exist — to the Tea Party movements.

    Just because you in Washington and you who are so out of touch with life in the media, just because you don’t believe in anything doesn’t mean nobody else does. We do. You know why you’re confused by this show? It’s because I believe in something. You don’t.

    Tea parties believe in small government. We believe in returning to the principles of our Founding Fathers. We respect them. We revere them. Shoot me in the head before I stop talking about the Founders. Shoot me in the head if you try to change our government.

    I will stand against you and so will millions of others. We believe in something. You in the media and most in Washington don’t. The radicals that you and Washington have co-opted and brought in wearing sheep’s clothing — change the pose. You will get the ends.

    You’ve been using them? They believe in communism. They believe and have called for a revolution. You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But warning, they may shoot you.

    They are dangerous because they believe. Karl Marx is their George Washington. You will never change their mind. And if they feel you have lied to them — they’re revolutionaries. Nancy Pelosi, those are the people you should be worried about.

    Here is my advice when you’re dealing with people who believe in something that strongly — you take them seriously. You listen to their words and you believe that they will follow up with what they say.

    Didn’t we learn that lesson from Usama bin Laden? I heard his warning in 1998. I said on the air at the time, listen to him. We didn’t listen. We didn’t listen to the revolutionaries in Germany, the revolutionaries in Russia or Venezuela or Cuba — no, no, no. They all have one thing in common. They have all called for revolution.

    They want to overthrow our entire system of government, and their words say it. Why won’t you believe it?


    Defending His Rhetoric, Beck Says That, Unlike MTV, He Doesn’t Have Many “Teenagers Watching”

  20. Whats especially ironic about Matt’s “hoot” is how he goes on about freedom of speech, and how in Labour there is a dearth of it, when he has a column in a rag that today leads with the title “why the left must be defeated in 2011” without any thought to offer a response/or balance.

    The funny thing is though, is that the NBR audience is largely decided politically, and therefore his small influence wont escape the echo chamber of extremism that which therein they dwell.

  21. Kerry 21

    If the clark government was as bad as hooten and other demented people think…those types would have been locked up by clark…and had the properties and monies confiscated…..anyway thats what I would have done…lock up all right wingers and mass hangings…sounds like the making of a better NZ!

  22. NX 22

    I think the 3rd floor would describe us as frenemies

    ^ probably the only thing I agree with in your post!

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