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Hysterical media coverage

Written By: - Date published: 2:45 pm, March 17th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, election 2008, john key, Mining - Tags:

Suddenly John Key is all over the place complaining about “hysterical” media coverage of National’s plans to turn large chunks of our National Parks into smouldering slag. I know Key isn’t exactly used to critical coverage of his government, but hearing his claims of “hysteria” I really had to laugh. Hysteria it isn’t. It’s just the media doing their job. Perhaps John needs a reminder of what truly hysterical behaviour looks like. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Remember the 2008 election campaign John? Remember one of your own little rants about Labour:

I’ve had nine years of being told what lightbulb I can screw into the house, what shower I can take, what food I can eat, what things I can do, what thoughts I am allowed to have.

I count five progressively more outrageous lies from you in one sentence. Now that’s hysterical! How how about National insider Matthew Hooton suggesting that a fourth term Labour government would abolish the free press (gosh Matthew, that’s come down from your blog, don’t worry, Google still has a copy). Or National Party blogger David Farrar’s infamous billboard campaign comparing the Labour government to various dictators:

fsc-auckland.JPG

(See Farrar defending these billboards on tv news). Mmmmm — classy! Unfortunately the mainstream media got into the act, with The Herald’s shonky “Democracy Under Attack” campaign, and the general free for all witch hunt conducted on Owen Glenn. In retrospect doesn’t it all look a little – hysterical…

hitler

So forgive me if I don’t feel any sympathy John. If you’re hunting for hysteria you can find it in your own back yard – in your own words. What you’re seeing in the media is not hysteria, it is New Zealand sending you a heartfelt message. Hands off our National Parks.

26 comments on “Hysterical media coverage ”

  1. Clarke 1

    Looking at the Nazi signs in the protest photo makes me think that instead of Godwin’s Law being simply an Internet meme, it should be an actual law – we should codify Reductio ad Hitlerum as an offence.

    We could even apply a “three strikes” approach – on the first offence of appearing in public with a Nazi sign and a completely specious comparison with government policy, you’re forced to wear a baseball cap with “I’m A Wingnut” written on it. On the second offence you get a matching t-shirt. On the third offence you get it tattooed across your forehead.

    • freedom 1.1

      there is still some small little annoyance called freedom of speech is there not? or did i miss a memo

      • Clarke 1.1.1

        I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t be allowed to wander the town with placards comparing people they’ve never met with Hitler and policies they haven’t read with fascism …. it’s a free country. Putting them in a t-shirt with “I’m A Wingnut” on the front is merely a health warning to others.

        As it turns out, the very policies they’re protesting about in R0B’s photo weren’t even slightly fascist – and by claiming they were, the wingnuts simply demonstrated that they don’t even understand what fascism is. That level of determined and willful stupidity certainly deserves a health warning.

  2. tc 2

    Awww poor little sideshow Johnny……imagine if he copped some real sustained scrutiny…..imagine being the key word as it’s never happening with our msm lapdogs.

  3. BLiP 3

    Godwin’s Law is an observation, not some silencing mechanism for namby pamby middle class bloggers who like the play nice.

    • Clarke 3.1

      Well, yeah … but I still think Reductio ad Hitlerum should be an offence:

      Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, (dog Latin for “reduction to Hitler” or “argument to Hitler,” respectively) is an ad hominem or ad misericordiam argument, and is an informal fallacy. It is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on something or someone’s origin rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context. Hence this fallacy fails to examine the claim on its merit.

  4. Bright Red 4

    it’s amazing how extreme the right went. And there was no criticism from the media, that’s why they felt free to go further and further.

  5. Bill 5

    Notice how similar the anti-labour crap was or is to the teabaggers crap?

    Both anti-government in a remarkably unintelligible way that captures the maximum numbers from various not too well informed constituencies?

    Both using right wing iconography against centrist governments…again an emotive appeal to relatively uninformed constituents.

    Both intending to result in a groundswell ( or an impression of one for media purposes) of opinion that if realised would see the captured constituents campaigning to bring about a political outcome that would be disastrous for their own interests and that halts the execution of even mildly progressive policy regardless of the campaigns medium or long term viability?

    • Clarke 5.1

      In the words of H.L. Menken, they are “preaching doctrines they know to be untrue to men they know to be idiots.”

      • prism 5.1.1

        Good quote. ‘men they know to be idiots’ reminds me of an oft-heard phrase from pollies, such as ‘I have great faith in the intelligence of the New Zealand voter’. When you hear that you know that some soft soap is being applied, some sleight of hand is about to happen, and the hair at the back of your neck starts to bristle! Grrrrr!

  6. ak 6

    Yes, the media treatment starting with the Mallard/Henare fisticuffs, through EFA and culminating in the Winnie feeding-frenzy was simply staggering – especially when the “issues” are considered dispassionately. The contrast of the Herald’s EFA hysteria (Lenin/Clark pictorials, red leader etc) with the current treatment of an actual, demonstrable and near-universally condemned attack at the very heart of democratic principle in Auckland, is a glaring example of it’s blatant bias (and influence – Lab/Nat polling was neck-and-neck prior to Tau-to-Trev).

    No easy answer against such a stacked deck – but there’s a thousand cuts rising daily that will become increasingly harder to ignore; and with Uncle Sam now threatening China, that W recovery (or worse) is creeping closer. That “north of fifty bucks a week brighter future” albatross is getting a bit whiffy out in the heartlands, and the mining and supercity issues could take on a life of their own. Essential for Labour to go all out on the latter and cream the LB election. There’s a bit of angst in the national pants: get your wood in and snuggle up for an entertaining winter.

  7. Anne 7

    ak
    “There’s a bit of angst in the National pants: get your wood in and snuggle up for an entertaining winter.”

    For the first time ever
    I’m looking forward to winter weather. Ta 😀

  8. helen kelly 8

    the record is grim – National has: removed the phase in of energy saving light bulbs, removed the subsidy for bio fuels, lifted the moratorium on fossil fuelled power plants, renewed leases on senstive high country farm land that were to revert to conservation land, enacted an ETS that will increase emmissions, removed the requirements for water efficiency in new housing, reduced the housing insulation project from the previous govt, easing the pressure over whale hunting, changing the RMA requirements, mining the national parks, shifted money set to grow public transport to road building, scrapped the sea change agenda, closed down the environmental programmes in schools, created new fishing quota for endangered fish – the list goes on

    • BLiP 8.1

      Here’s the “official” list: since coming to power, National Ltdâ„¢ has:

      has been caught out repeatedly lying in the run up to and during the election campaign about its real intentions in relation to the environment

      celebrated the opening of the foreign-owned Pike River Coal Ltd mine on DOC land adjacent to the Paparoa National Park from which 1 megatonne of coal will be extracted per year for the next 20 years Pike River Coal Ltd has announced that it has found additional coal in the national park

      removed a proposed efficiency standard (MEPS) on incandescent lightbulbs

      reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

      removed the bio fuel subsidy

      scrapped the scheme that would have penalised imported vehicles producing high emissions

      removed regulations for water efficient new housing

      renewed leases on sensitive high country farms which were meant to return to DOC

      reversed restrictions on the freeholding of vast swathes of land on the edge of the Southern Lakes

      arbitrarily excised 400 hectares from the brand new Oteake Conservation Park, including the most important and, ecologically, the rarest part of the new Park, the tussock and shrubland that went right down to the banks of the Manuherikia River, to enable future access to lignite

      said nothing to say in regard to the World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN’s severe criticism of its intention to investigate mineral resources and mining opportunities in protected conservation areas including our three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Te Wahi Pounamu-South West New Zealand, Tongariro National Park and the Sub Antarctic Islands

      approved two prospecting permit applications lodged by Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Pacific lodged in June – areas covered by the two-year permits include an 8204-square-kilometre area of seabed adjoining the west coast from Cape Reinga to the Manukau Harbour and a 3798-square-kilometre prospecting area of land from Cape Reinga to the Kaipara Harbour including Ninety Mile Beach, the west side of the Aupouri Peninsula, Kaitaia and the Hokianga.

      approved an additional prospecting permit for Fortesque Metals in relation to 3568sq km right next door to the Kahurangi National Park where the Heaphy Track is

      was forced to release its Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report under the Official Information Act that proclaims “significant mineral potential” in the Fiordland, Kahurangi and Paparoa national parks the report said the Waitutu area of the Fiordland National Park had sufficient petroleum reserves to be “worthy” of inclusion in a review of conservation land protected from mining

      secretly granted the minerals industry the right to veto proposed National Park boundaries and permission for any such vetoes to be kept confidential in spite of recommendations from its own officials against any such a veto

      Minster of Conservation Tim Grosser, on 29 August 2009, called for caring New Zealanders to halt their “emotional hysteria” and recognise that conservation land should be mined for minerals and went on to say “Mining in a modern, technological way can have a negligible effect”

      Associate Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson, in an interview in “Canterbury Farming” rubished her own department, DOC, suggesting it was incapable of looking after the high country reserves and parks under its control

      gutted the home insulation scheme

      pulled $300 million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2 billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

      changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino which is now a target for scamming by international criminals

      begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers

      removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

      left electrification of the national rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments

      removed the Ministry for the Environment’s programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’

      removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

      pulled funding for small-town public litter bin recycling schemes

      cabinet ministers expressing public support the bulldozing of Fiordland

      reduced Department of Conservation funding by about $50 million over three years

      canceled funding for the internationally acclaimed ‘Enviroschools’ programme

      usurped the democratic role of local Councils of determining policies for their citizens by requiring the abandonment of the efficient and well-established tree protection rules for urban areas

      set about revamping Auckland governance in a way that is likely to greatly reduce the ‘Environmental Watchdog’ role of the the current Regional Council

      removed Auckland’s metropolitan limits and opened the gateway for unfettered urban sprawl

      defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent while Federated Farmers called Greenpeace “terrorists’

      stood silent while Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament and infamous Climate Change Denialist, publicly rejoiced in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior who was doing so while standing on a dock next to the replacement vessel

      took a 0% emissions reduction target to Copenhagen. Yes, seriously, that isn’t a misprint that was the lower bound of their negotiation platform – then missed the 01/02/10 deadline for commitment to action it had agreed to – meanwhile 55 of the 80 countries which attended did make the deadline

      secretly cancelled the internationally recognised scheme for the mandatory labelling of exotic woods to ensure the timber has not been taken from rain forests in direct contradiction of its own statements made at the 13th World Forestry Congress in Argentina

      supported the Department of Conservation’s decision to open up the pristine Cathedral Cove to an ice-cream franchise

      given the Department of Conservsation $1.7 million to further develop commercial activities on DOC land and started an “off set’ plan allowing company’s to damage the conservation estate if they agree to improve land elsewhere no monitoring regime has been suggested on put in place

      left DOC director-general Al Morrison to announce that DOC is to charge for services that had been free and, to soften the public up to the idea that there will be more “energy generation schemes’ operating on DOC land

      taken no action to reduce existing pollution pouring into the Manawatu River and is “leaving it up to industry’ to come up with solutions to heal the river which was described by the Cawthorn Institute as “one of the worst polluted in the Western world’

      announced a $1.1 million industry subsidy to kick start marine farming without identifying no-go areas nor putting in place a consultation process for individiuals, communities, and other general coastal users

      blamed New Zealanders after a Japanese whaling ship deliberately smashed into a smaller, more vulnerable craft in the open sea

      was forced to release documents under the Official Information Act which confirm that DOC has “giving up’ on ecologically valuable high-country land in the Mackenzie Basin because of funding cuts. The released documents cite “statements made by ministers”, “diminishing funding” and the Government’s new high-country policies as reasons for the changed stance the comments from DOC were made after Land Information New Zealand (Linz), which manages the tenure review process, ignored DOC’s previous conservation recommendations for the farms

      used former National Party minister and current director of Open Country Cheese a company convicted of filthy farming practices Wyatt Creech to head up an enquiry into Environment Canterbury which had been standing up the dairy farmers’ demands for more and more water resources and less and less regulation. The Creech report recommended the Environmental Canterbury be sacked and replaced with government appointments and the voters of Canterbury do without democracy until the water situation had been resolved. The Canterbury area holds 50 percent of New Zealand’s fresh water reserves and 50 percent of the water required for hyrdo energy. The Creech report said Environmental Canterbury put too much focus on the environment.

      ignored international criticism for its almost complete lack of knowledge about the health of its fisheries National Ltd has no comment

      New Zealand is subject to international criticism for its backing of commericial whaling which National Ltd supports

      Government-owned company Solid Energy runs an essay competition entitled “The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand’ for school children. First prize is a trip to New Zealand’s largest coal customer, China.

      Any additions, corrections, amendments etc welcomed.

  9. Heaton 9

    Here is part of a extract of Nationals Policies on caring for the evirionment.
    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleId=28477
    Refer to Conservation 3/4 way down the page

    The third aspect of National’s policy I’m highlighting today is our desire to work alongside our communities to conserve our native species and environmental heritage.

    National supports the Department of Conservation as the lead agency for conserving New Zealand’s unique native plants and animals, and we recognise its world leadership in species recovery and island restoration. Did he forget to mention proposed Mining on Great Barrier Island?

    Also in Conclusion further down the page.
    Ladies and gentlemen, those are three highlights of National’s environment policy.
    They indicate how seriously we take environmental issues and how optimistic we are about New Zealand’s ability to step up to tomorrow’s new and complex environmental challenges.

    What does he mean by that allowing to mining ?
    He claims he is supporting DOC in its wildlife and plants also.?
    Cant see how this means allowing Mining.

    Even Climate changed has proved to be false yet he wants to continue with this at the peoples expense

  10. Matthew Hooton 10

    Thanks for reminding me and others of my blog post back in 2008 on the likelihood that a fourth term Clark regime would have tried to attack the principle of a free press. I have read it again (and have no idea why it is no longer on the old site, except to say the Trotter/Hooton blog ended in late 2008 and I guess someone decided to ditch the content in order to stop having to pay for hosting it). Having read the post again, I think I was spot on – a fourth term Clark regime would almost certainly have sought to introduce tighter controls over media content.

    What is amazing is that nearly 18 months after the defeat of that sinister regime, many writers and commentators on the Standard still cannot accept the extent to which Helen Clark’s regime represented a threat to basic democratic norms. Even on narrow partisan grounds, you have no political need to continue to defend the Clark regime, because a Phil Goff Government (let alone a Russel Norman or Keith Locke influenced government) would not even consider taking New Zealand into the dangerous territory Clark did. Overall, the left has learned and improved since the election in terms of its commitment to free speech, the rule of law and other important democratic principles. Maybe one day ROB will.

    • Lew 10.1

      Matthew, it’s not a regime — it was a properly-elected and peacefully-ousted democratic government. Your unreformed characterisation of an ordinary government — neither the most nor the least autocratic in New Zealand’s history — as grim authoritarianism is an apposite example of the hysteria this post is about.

      It’s insulting to all the genuinely anti-democratic political movements out there in the real world. While I agree that many lefties still don’t “get” why the Clark government was voted out — and am constantly frustrated that they actually believed all the hype, and many still do — it’s just as frightening that policy and opinion the right still believes its own hype is actual fact, rather than just political mythology.

      L

    • Matthew I have read your stuff for quite a while and I have one question.

      On which planet have you been spending time on lately?

    • r0b 10.3

      Even on narrow partisan grounds, you have no political need to continue to defend the Clark regime

      Gosh, I guess my motivation must be something beyond “narrow partisan grounds” and “political need” then. Imagine that.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.4

      Matthew, having re-read your post, perhaps you could finally respond to my comment there re John Key’s interference in the media.

    • Matt 10.5

      ‘the dangerous territory Clark did.” That is one of the most deluded things I have read in a long time. The 99-08 Labour govt actually a lot better in terms of basic democracy than the current Nat govt – just their use of urgency alone justifies this statement. Here in the UK if the BBC, Channel 4 or Radio 4 news had a political commentator on saying that sort of crap all involved would be ashamed (geez even the BNP did better than that and they are a bunch of amatuers). I know this is just a blog comment, but seriously, can’t you do better than that.

  11. jason rika 11

    Mickysavage, you read his crap?

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