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Media attention

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, August 2nd, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: cartoons, humour, Media - Tags:

From smbc:

media attention

52 comments on “Media attention”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Or you may want to ask yourself this.

    If Key … as the sole Minister responsible for the GCSB … has had unfettered access to virtually all digital communications in and around Parliament, is there anyone else beginning to wonder exactly what all that wonderful ‘teflon’ he’s been so fortunate with these last five years ….is really made of?

  2. But Key is not winning because he’s got the goods on us, he’s winning because we are sad losers.
    We are already intimidated by his class rule.
    He says lets spy on everyone because they could be a terrorist, we say nah please let’s have an independent authority to decide what terrorism is.
    Key and his class are the terrorists and we will abolish them and the need for them to spy on us.

    • North 2.1

      Corrupt. Arrogant. Ceaucescu. Corrupt. Arrogant.

    • srylands 2.2

      “He says lets spy on everyone because they could be a terrorist,”


      “He says lets spy on a small number of people because there is prima facie evidence they could be terrorists (which has always happened) because the duty of the Government is to safeguard the welfare of its citizens”

      I am sure most New Zealanders are reassured by an ability to spy. And if the Government is going to spy it should be done efficiently. I see the main purpose of the Bill as to tidy up the spying business after the pigs ear legislation left by Labour in 2003 – a deliberate pig’s ear.

      Governments have always spied to prevent us against threats. They should do it efficiently backed by efficient and clear laws.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        And if the Government is going to spy it should be done efficiently.


        It needs to be done correctly, under highly regulated conditions, with high degrees of demcratic oversight.

        • Arfamo


        • srylands

          The problem with spying is that by definition it is secret. It should be highly regulated but we need to rely on strong institutions. It can hardly be controlled by a committee with R Norman as a member.

          At the end of the day everything in NZ has democratic oversight – the Government can be thrown out by the people.

          • tricledrown

            srylands so we can rely on a conman and a liar
            sryland the suckhole
            democracy is under attack by the very people who would have us believing they are the defenders.
            Key turning down free armoured vehicles from Australia in Afghanistan that cost 3 soldiers lives key is a murdering lying thief!
            srylands you are part of the problem blindly following the most corrupt leader this country has ever had.
            Go to cult victim at large (facebook)

          • Pascal's bookie

            It should be highly regulated but we need to rely on strong institutions.

            Rules a John Key led government out then, the whole story, from back before the dotcom raid, through to now, has been one of shit oversight followed by incompetent lackluster reaction to failures.

            Leading to this:


            Key can’t escape questions over what his chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, and his own department, DPMC, knew about the information being handed over.

            The acknowledgment by DPMC chief executive Andrew Kibblewhite last night that he had known for a month that emails between Vance and Dunne had been handed over almost beggars belief. So too does his explanation that the prime minister was not informed till yesterday morning.

            That appears to have left Key high and dry after a torrid week in the House where he was forced to conduct an almost forensic examination of contact between his office and Parliamentary Service.

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            The involvement of Eagleson is also murky.

            His intervention to ensure Parliamentary Service handed over the phone and email records of Government ministers was clearly interpreted down the line as a directive that the inquiry should get whatever it required.

            The guy is simply useless at this stuff, because he doesn’t seem to care. If you trust him to oversee even more power, you are an idiot.

          • Murray Olsen

            Yours is exactly the sort of antidemocratic thinking that leads to spy agencies working against the democratic government. If R Norman were PM, or on a regulatory committee and they felt unable to comply with his legal instructions, they should all bloody well resign. Instead, what do they do? They hang around lying and continue working for Washington. And yours is the sort of treasonous thinking that justifies this, sorryhands.

  3. Weta 3

    .. so who is their Plan B ?

  4. TightyRighty 4

    The electricity monopsony policy just got rubbished in the media by the academic pushed as the original inspiration, got a weak cartoon about that too?

  5. Wayne 5

    Tricledrown, what is this about the Aussie offer of free armoured vehicles, when was this made?

    I do know in 2010 we rejected MRAPs because they were too heavy and unstable. We could not get the newer lighter vehicle, since they were in short supply. In 2011 eleven LAV’s are sent over. Thereafter it was a mix of LAV’s and armoured Hummers.

    • Rosetinted 5.1

      Gosh Wayne 3 for 1 – do you always get that many?

      [lprent: It is annoying and something to do with something getting around the anti-dup logic. Drat thought I had it fixed after I boosted the times and queue sizes. I clean them out as I see them. ]

    • tricledrown 5.2

      yes key was offered heavily armoured vehicles for free by Australia designed to protect agaist IED’s as opposed to our regularly armed hummvee,s and Lav,s which aren,t protected from IED’s

  6. ropata 6

    An egregious example in the Herald:

    Malcolm Jorgensen: Verdict’s message for Assange and world

    The danger in the actions of Assange, Manning and Snowden is that they are each operating from within institutions established in a democratic society. But they have made unilateral decisions about the most fundamental matters of government, without any of the obligations and democratic controls that come with legitimate political authority.

    What are these “obligations” and “democratic controls” of which he speaks?

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        Yeah well, about that, there’s this from Aug 1 2013:


        Bit more recent than 2010. I’ll put a large quote in of the testimony and previous attempts to find people killed as a result of the wikileaks dox:

        Retired Brigadier General Robert Carr, who served as the chief of the Information Review Task Force (IRTF) that responded to information published by WikiLeaks at the request of then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, took the stand. Carr was asked by military prosecutor, Maj. Ashden Fein, if anyone was actually harmed.

        Carr said, “As a result of the Afghan logs, I only know of one individual” who was killed. That “Afghan national had a relationship with the US government, and the Taliban came out publicly and said they killed him as a result of him being associated with the information in those logs.”

        Maj. Thomas Hurley of the defense stood up and objected. He asked if this person is even in the information that Manning was convicted of releasing.

        To this, Lind asked, “Is what you’re testifying to tied to the disclosures?” Carr answered the Taliban killed him and then tied him to the disclosures. The name was not in there.

        “It was a terrorist act on behalf of the Taliban threatening all others out there,” Carr added. The name was not in the disclosures.

        The government was trying to hold Manning responsible for using the “war logs” as propaganda to justify killing someone, but the judge said at the end of the open session that she would disregard all testimony on the Taliban killing someone who was not named in the disclosures.

        At another point in the proceedings, Carr was asked by Hurley if there was ever any report that anyone in the “war logs” was ever killed. There were 900 names in the disclosed reports, but Carr said that “many of the names in there were people already dead” and spanned a long period of time.

        “What I don’t have is a specific example of somebody tying this to this to this and he died as a result of it other than the one individual I talked about earlier,” Carr stated. In other words, nobody in Afghanistan died as a result of the disclosure of military incident reports to WikiLeaks by Manning.

        There apparently were no human intelligence (HUMINT) sources or informants listed in the “war logs,” according to Carr, but there were names of people that had “cooperative relationships” with US personnel. At the time their names were entered into a report, none were HUMINT source but later some were developed into HUMINT sources.

        The significance of this testimony is that Manning—and WikiLeaks—were accused of having blood on their hands after the release of the “Afghanistan War Logs.”

        Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference at the Pentagon, on July 29, 2010, “Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”

        The Associated Press reported in August that the Taliban was “scouring the tens of thousands of leaked documents mostly raw military intelligence reports for names of Afghans who sided with the US and NATO against the insurgency.” Then-Representative Jane Harman said the “leak amounted to handing the Taliban an ‘enemies list.’” Rep. Rush Holt suggested “defectors from the Taliban who were interrogated and then released” could very well be “in danger of assassination by other insurgents.”

        By October 17, 2010, however, Gates reported there hadn’t been a “single case of Afghans needing protection or to be moved because of the leak.” Days before, then-Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell told press, “We have yet to see any harm come to anyone in Afghanistan that we can directly tie to exposure in the WikiLeaks documents.”

        But, the comments by US government officials had their intended impact. The comments undermined the release by putting the focus on individuals allegedly at risk instead of what they showed about the war in Afghanistan that was not previously known. The comments etched into the minds of Americans the idea that innocent people had died as a result of the disclosure of the war logs.

        Fear-mongering overshadowed the revelation that an assassination squad, Task Force 373, was operating in Afghanistan. It kept classified lists of enemies. The squad had gone on a mission on June 17, 2007, to target “prominent al Qaeda functionary Abu Laith al-Libi.” The squad staked out a “Koran school where he was believed to be located for several days.” An attack was ordered. The squad ended up killing seven children with five American rockets. Al-Libi was not killed.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2

        Oh wait…

        Yep, waiting.

        • Populuxe1

          A link would have been fine, preferably to something a bit more neutral, but in any case all that seems to boil down to is that they can’t prove for sure one way or the other while implying at the same time that the Taliban are such fine upstanding guys that they would never dream of using that information in such a way… Although they do seem to be killing people not on the list and attributing it to the list anyway – that suggests to me they probably don’t need any more help or excuses to murder people than they already have. But hey, lets put that into perspective because America bombed a Qu’ran school. To that I say yes, that’s a terrible atrocity, but to include it here does nothing except to try and make another bunch of murderous thugs who also kill children for wanting to go to school look less evil, hence making your source look highly dubious and slanted – as are you.

          • Pascal's bookie

            There is no implication that the Taliban are fine upstanding guys at all Pop. That’s just more of the strawman horsehit that you specialise in.

            Are you disputing the quotes from the court case because they were published on Firedoglake? That would be ad-hom would it not?

            The fact is that within days of the leaks, the state was saying they would be used to kill informants and that that wikileaks was reckless with regard to informants. During the court case the prosecution tried the same line on and it was shot down in flames.

            And no, including it doesn’t ‘try to make the other side look less evil’, it just points out that the state was in fact hyping things up from a position of something well shy of the moral high ground itself.

            • Populuxe1

              “And no, including it doesn’t ‘try to make the other side look less evil’, it just points out that the state was in fact hyping things up from a position of something well shy of the moral high ground itself.”

              And you have the temerity to accuse ME of strawmanning! America’s war crimes are completely irrelevant to discussion of someone else’s war crimes. A war crime is a war crime and each must be examined individually. The subject at hand is did the Taliban use that information to murder people. Moral high ground has very little to do with it except to say “X is bad, but ‘Murika” and thereby deflect.

              Even US intel couldn’t say the Taliban hadn’t used that information. The fact remains that the Taliban themselves announced their intent to use that information
              Am I not to give credence to what comes from the horse’s mouth?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Yes Pop, I do accuse you of stawman arguments. You said people were implying the Taliban were good guys, when no one was doing that.

                And the point is that the US was arguing that the leaks would lead to people being killed. the US’s concern about people being being killed is in fact relevant to how seriously we should that concern, so it’s not a strawman at all.

                And whether or not the Taliban said they might go after people has no bearing on claims that people were actually killed. The US knows who was named in the leaks, and couldn’t find any who had been killed. Not one. That has a higher credence to me than a piece of Taliban propaganda, YMMV.

                So the only ‘consequences’ for wikileaks actions that you’ve been able to find is some taliban chest beating.

                • Populuxe1

                  No, I said they were trying to make the US look worse (funny how the US are bombing schools but no mention of the little girls getting shot in the head for wanting to go to school), which tends to unnecissarily dilute the criminal behaviour of the Taliban.

                  The most pathetic part of your argument is the refusal to acknowledge that even if no one has been killed it doesn’t mean it couldn’t have easily gone the other way or that someone will be yet killed as a direct consequence. Oooh, there haven’t been any house fires for a while, obviously we don’t need fire engines. Your logic is deeply flawed. There is a reason why we welcomed those Afghani translators into our country – because the Taliban would have likely targeted them and their families. If you cannot see why handing them a list might be not such a good idea, you must have an ethical sense even more warped than the Taliban’s.

                  Also funny how you are treating a US military/government source as gospel when it suits. That seems very contrary to the norm around here.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Me: You said people were implying the Taliban were good guys, when no one was doing that.


                    No, I said they were trying to make the US look worse (funny how the US are bombing schools but no mention of the little girls getting shot in the head for wanting to go to school), which tends to unnecissarily dilute the criminal behaviour of the Taliban.

                    What you said: while implying at the same time that the Taliban are such fine upstanding guys that they would never dream of using that information in such a way… Although they do seem to be killing people not on the list and attributing it to the list anyway – that suggests to me they probably don’t need any more help or excuses to murder people than they already have.

                    The fact is that all of that is a strawman. no one said the Taliban are good guys, no one implied it. All that is said is that the release did not cost lives as has been alleged. Possibly because, contra the US’s claims, wikileaks and the people they worked with redacted the names of informants. Possibly because much of what was released wasn’t all that secret from people in Afghanistan. Possibly because the taliban have bigger fish to fry. Who knows?

                    What we do know is that the allegation that the leaks cost lives is one for which there is no evidence. And yet it gets trotted out again and again. If you really think that’s about a genuine concern, then good for you. But on the face of it, it looks like propaganda in the aid of discrediting the idea that the government keeps too many secrets from its citizens about what it is doing in their name.

                    • Populuxe1

                      If you don’t know sarcasm when you see it, you are even sadder than I thought.

                      That still doesn’t answer the central issue that there was no way for Manning or Assange to predict that none of the informants would be murdered on that information, especially when knowing what we do know about the Taliban it was more than likely that they would be. Probably by beheading I would think, that being the Taliban’s favourite method.

                      Just because Manning and Assange got lucky doesn’t actually contradict their gross and arrogant disregard for those people. If they want to martyr themselves, fine, but they had no justification at all for putting those people at risk.

                      For all I know the Taliban are still tracking these people down if they haven’t fled to Pakistan or Iran, or hopped a boat to Australia only to be sent to PNG. I don’t know. But then again I’m not playing games with other people’s lives to feed my white knight complex.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Of course I recognise sarcasm. Do you realise that you often use sarcasm to establish strawmen? You sarcastically respond to people instead of addressing what they actually say.

                      What you are avoiding is the fact that wikileaks et al did in fact redact sensitive names. It looks from the actual consequences that they did a pretty good job of it.

                      Your initial, tiresomely sarcastic, comment was:

                      Because of course there won’t be any consequences for their actions…
                      Oh wait…

                      followed by a list of speculations in 2010 that never eventuated.

                      If you read your comment, you will see the form that it takes, posing the sarcastic assertion that nothing would happen followed by the ‘Oh wait’ suggesting that something had in fact happened. When actually, if you’d been following the story, or even bothered to check, you’d know that it hadn’t.

                      As for Wikileaks responsibilities, you are deeply confused. If the state wants things kept secret, it is the state’s responsibility to take care to do so. But that’s a whole nother discussion from this one, and one I strongly suspect you are not equipped for pop.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So basically you are not going to admit that there was no way of knowing if those predictions from 2010 would have happened or not.

                      “As for Wikileaks responsibilities, you are deeply confused. If the state wants things kept secret, it is the state’s responsibility to take care to do so. But that’s a whole nother discussion from this one, and one I strongly suspect you are not equipped for pop”

                      I am well enough equipped to suggest that the state is doing exactly that by severely punnishing as an example someone who broke their oath of service and abused their position to steal those secrets.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Completely beside the point Pop.

                      You mouthed off saying there had been consequences and when called on it launched yet another war on straw.

                      And like I said, we are still waiting to see if those consequences come about. Given the time passed, I’d suggest, ‘nah’.

                      I am well enough equipped to suggest that the state is doing exactly that by severely punnishing as an example someone who broke their oath of service and abused their position to steal those secrets.

                      I am well enough equipped to suggest that the state is doing exactly that by severely punnishing as an example someone who broke their oath of service and abused their position to steal those secrets.

                      *whooooosh* the point is that those secrets were not safely kept. If the state had a duty to keep them in order to protect lives, then Manning (a bored Pvte sitting at a workstation In Iraq) shouldn’t have had access in the first place, or the capability to distribute. It is the state’s duty to secure its secrets, and it sure as hell isn’t wikileaks’.

                    • Populuxe1

                      It’s not beside the point at all. Do you deny there could easily have been consequences for those named?

                      And the rest of your argument is the same logic as rape victims deserving it.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I deny that there were the consequences you implied, and that it is wikileaks responsibility in any case.

                      And really Pop?

                      Saying that if the state has legitimate reasons to keep things secret then it has a duty to secure those secrets, is like saying rape victims deserve it?

                      That’s some pretty fucked up thought processes you’ve got going there Mr I have a Stochastic view of society and believe in horizontal anarcho-democratic blah blah.

  7. Sable 7

    Sounds like most of the television news channels in NZ. RIP NZ journalism.

  8. Populuxe1 8

    Of course, if the media really was the absolute puppet of the power elites, journalists wouldn’t gain reputations by reporting on government and corporate corruption, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times wouldn’t disagree on most issues in their editorials, entertainment programmes wouldn’t depict politicians and corporations as villains most of the time, tabloids wouldn’t report scandals about politicians and bankers, and the Guardian wouldn’t have reported Snowden’s “revelations’, to give just a few examples.

  9. tricledrown 9

    populaxtive how many papers report dissent SFA as for the bankers how many have been jailed not one so far the media will report only part of the story but won’t dare follow through.
    These economic terrorists have had carte blanch to carry on as if nothing was ever done wrong.
    To add insult to injury these same banks including BoA merrill Lynch who got a $65 billion hand out and are aloud to carry on with the same activity that brought on the Financial crisis no holding to account by your free media !

    • Populuxe1 9.1

      Um, how do you know they haven’t been jailed? Oh, wait. The media. And if you don’t like that, use the internet like a normal person and stop crying about people not giving you information.

      The reality is that so many people rely on free web-based aggregators for their news that the MSM is haemoraging money and therefore has been laying off journalist and editorial staff and becoming fluffier and fluffier in an effort to retain circulation. Basically there’s no conspiracy, it’s just the average Joe is lazy, cheap and doesn’t care.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        nah. The media model breakdown isn’t to do with ‘free news’, it’s about the loss of classified advertising.

        • Populuxe1

          It’s a combination of the two and ultimately if people only want to pay for fluffy shit, that is what they will get.

          • Colonial Viper

            Well, that’s a false way to look at the US media situation at the moment, as it completely ignores the tendency of the US media to uncritically support and amplify the messaging wanted by the political and financial establishment.

      • lprent 9.1.2

        The reality is that so many people rely on free web-based aggregators for their news that the MSM is haemoraging money and therefore has been laying off journalist and editorial staff and becoming fluffier and fluffier in an effort to retain circulation.

        No. The economics of the newspapers in the late 19th and 20th century has been that they relied on classified ads to provide the bulk of the income. The news stories were effectively cross subsidised by those ads as a come-on. The ads were effectively *local* to a city, so that provided the monopolistic advantage. When the ad disappeared into things like trademe, so did that cross-subsidy (and monopolistic advantage) and the subscription price climbed from low to an extravagance.

        You could see this economic model most clearly in the suburban newspapers which were given away with a few local stories and whole lot of ads. They also seem to be the only newspapers with much of a future.

        But I don’t know of many people who use web based aggregators. The most common aggregator is (as it always has been), the newspapers with their feeds from places like AP, reuters, and the late lamented NZPA. There was a leavening of local content on top and a few locally written opeds. But you can get the feeds from anywhere on the net.

        Mostly people have just have a few newspaper websites or blogs or online live mags like Slate that they go to. But these can be from anywhere in the world. It is only the local news that local online newspapers retain an advantage in.

        The trick for “newspapers” on the web is that they have to collect an audience purely on the basis of their own local writing and their own opinion pieces. But they’re often not that good at it.

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