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Moana Jackson on Bob Jones

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, February 20th, 2020 - 71 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, racism, racism - Tags: ,

Full interview with Moana Maniapoto from Te Ao with Moana, from Facebook

71 comments on “Moana Jackson on Bob Jones ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    As with many 'activists' the moment you give them a little bit of moral authority their closet authoritarian steps out.

  2. Ross 2

    Moana Jackson doesn’t like Bob Jones which possibly clouds the former’s judgment of the latter. Jackson’s definition of satire is restrictive to suit his argument.

    Free speech continues to be a minority’s best friend.

  3. Gosman 3

    He did not explain how someone's usage of their free speech rights makes someone less free. This seems like an argument he has constructed to allow him to justify shutting down any views he disagrees with because in his mind they are causing loss of "freedom". It is a very poor argument.

    • Ross 3.1

      Justice Julian Knowles from the UK is a big fan of free speech and not such a big fan of Police.

      "In this country, we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society", the judge said recently. He was commenting because a man had the temerity to tweet about transgenderism. Some people simply don't get free speech and what it means.


      • Obtrectator 3.1.1

        Wholly disproportionate response by the police. But of course the guy was a nice soft target, ideal for "keeping their numbers up" without unnecessary risk.

    • Red Blooded One 3.2

      Let me try to explain then, he referred to the Israel Folau saga, try to imagine a closeted Pacific Island League player, already not yet brave enough to be open and out. Folau's "free speech" as a man of influence within those communities would only help trap that young person into his jail of self loathing and fear of freedom. Many in that situation have taken their own lives accordingly. I'm sorry if you think the argument is a poor one, but it is real one.

      • Gosman 3.2.1

        Let me put your comments another way.

        An influential left wing commentator of Pasifika / Maori heritage paints right wingers as unfeeling, uncaring, fascists. A politically away young person of Pasifika / Maori heritage has right leaning sympathies but the views expressed by the influential left wing commentator only help trap that young person into their jail of self loathing and fear of freedom.

        Do you see why your view is ridiculous now?

      • Gosman 3.2.2

        BTW are you going to stop religious groups preaching on morality now? That would have more influence on the wider community than what a single sports star has no matter how talented he might be.

        • Red Blooded One

          Um I don't think anywhere in his interview was he saying people aren't allowed right wing philosophies so no my view is not ridiculous, your attempt at diverting from it is spurious at best, and yes if I had my way I would stop any publically funded (ie, non tax paying) organizations, including religious groups, preaching morality to anyone outside their organizations. They are no more entitled to be arbiters of morality, based on their history.

          • Gosman

            They have just as much right to preach morality as you have to claim they have no right.

            • Red Blooded One

              Them preaching their morality harms people, my saying they have no right does not harm anyone. They are entitled to their beliefs, they should just keep them to themselves. No harm done. Cheerio

              • Gosman

                It does not harm anybody directly. What I think you mean is that it OFFENDS them to the point that they may harm themselves. Lot's of people get offended by lots of things. If you want to use that as a criteria for restricting things we will soon run out of things to do.

      • Ross 3.2.3

        Folau's "free speech" as a man of influence within those communities would only help trap that young person into his jail of self loathing and fear of freedom.

        Well, that is your subjective opinion. Of course, if someone hangs on every word Israel Folau says, they have far bigger issues to deal with than coming out. They could instead look for positive role models and choose not to be offended. They could also learn about resilience.

  4. McFlock 4

    Funny how worked up some people get in response to a short video on why someone thinks Bob Jones is a dick.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Moana Jackson is perfectly entitled to say he thinks Jones is a dick. If only he had stopped there.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        Every good comedian knows the difference between "punching up" and "punching down" and its effect of how funny a piece might be.

        I've watched the full thing twice now (the joys of short, to the point, videos).

        The only things remotely related to the pearl-clutching in the comments seem to be (and feel free to add to the list):

        1. The bit where he says that free speech shouldn't limit the freedom of others.
        2. The bit where he says Jones' old article would possibly not be published today.

        Gossy doesn't understand 1 because he's never felt vulnerable to people exercising "free speech" in the streets at night, or as he was walking down the street in his exercise outfit.

        2 is just a recognition that "free speech" doesn't mean publishers who want to keep their audience are obliged to publish the racist ramblings of a rich white dude.

        Buggered if I can see where "authoritarian" comments were made.

        • Gosman

          The authoritarian comments are implicit in that he obviously thinks there should be restrictions on free speech if it impacts other people. Otherwise why bother bringing it up?

          • McFlock

            Because the only social moderation you can think of on speech is authoritarian?

            • Gosman

              There was a social moderation on Bob Jones. The reaction to his column. If Moana Jackson thought this was sufficient he wouldn't be making the points he did.

              • McFlock

                Maybe he was making those points not as an implicit call for authoritarianism but as part of that social moderation?

                "Implicit" is just your inference.

                • Gosman

                  And you are being disingenuine for the purpose of being contrary.

                  • McFlock

                    Given we're discussing a FB interview here, I suggest it added to the social moderation of bob jones, no?

                    by the way, look up “disingenuous” in a dictionary, and then flip back a few pages to “collective action”.

        • Ross

          The only things remotely related to the pearl-clutching in the comments seem to be…

          You left out that he said satire should be about mocking the rich and powerful, or words to that effect. Satire is much broader than that. Billy T James was a comedian who used satire. Presumably, Jackson wasn’t a fan.

          The irony of Jackson having the right to say whatever he likes about Jones is probably lost on him. It seems to be lost on you.

          • McFlock

            reread my comment about punching up rather than punching down.

            Also, not all comedy is satire.

            • Gosman

              You seem to have missed the point about Billy t James. He satirised both up and down as well as doing other forms of comedy.

              • McFlock

                I remember a fair bit of Billy T. How did he, as a comedian (or satirist), punch down?

                • RedLogix

                  The genius of James Te Wehi Taitoko was that he gently took the piss out of everyone. And while he was unquestionably Maori, characters like his Mexican cowboy in Came a Hot Sunday transcended his 'identity' making him a source of unity rather than division.

                  Or I just watched his History of New Zealand skit, mercilessly sending up Cook as a bumbling incompetent, while preposterously posing Maori as total moderns, ready to take payment on a range of credit cards. A very clever send up of both sides. This is how his humour worked, radical exaggeration and at times challenging, yet never demeaning.

                  But then it's possibly just as well he died so young; he could never operate in today's environment where everyone is so anxious to be offended and outraged.

                  • Ross

                    Came a Hot Sunday

                    Thought it was Friday. 🙂

                    But you're right, he mocked all and sundry, and he received death threats.

                  • McFlock

                    The question was "how did he […] punch down?" (my italics)

                    And then compare that example with one of bob jones' greatest hits from the recent case.

                    • RedLogix

                      Maybe Taitoko didn't so much punch as tickle vigorously devil

                    • McFlock

                      Some of his stuff has dated badly. I'm pretty sure he did a routine where he sang that song "thank heaven for little girls" – that would be completely out these days. On PR advice alone.

                      But tonight's youtube session is bringing back a lot of good memories 🙂

                    • RedLogix


                      Reminds me of a moment many decades ago … two of us grovelling up a steep face in Fiordland with heavy packs and a perilous drop below. About half way up my companion cracks "Marcel Marceau can keep his little girls, give me well rooted …. snowgrass every time".

                      The break in the tension and resulting helpless laughter nearly killed me cheeky

        • Nic the NZer

          I think your argument is incorrect where you defend, 'free speech shouldn't limit the freedoms of others' as it can't. In relation to the examples given some prominent figure may present strong opinions on moral or political stances, but even if their opinion carries weight it doesn't restrict an observers rights to have, believe or speak contradictory arguments or positions.

          In relation to the Bob Jones case we should not forget his ability to put his racist opinions across was not what was being challenged in court.

          • McFlock

            If it can't, then nothing Moana Jackson said in the interview was a problem, because he was only using his right to free speech and that can't materially hurt anyone.

            • Nic the NZer

              Of course its not a problem that Jackson makes such an argument. For some reason your conflating between prosecuting somebody for making an argument and the correctness of that argument.

              • McFlock

                The point is that if arguments short of outright incitement have no material effect on other people then the correctness of the argument is as relevant as Harry Potter debates. It's all just wank. If it's actually worthwhile parsing inferences on what Moana Jackson might have meant, then words short of incitement possibly could do with more regulation.

                • Nic the NZer

                  If you find that the arguments people make are having material effect on you then seek counseling. But don't worry, nobody was harmed in the making of this debate.

                  • McFlock

                    So Moana Jackson's comments can't infringe anyone's rights, implicitly or explicitly, and all the pearl-clutching about authoritarianism was a waste of time. Good to know.

    • Ross 4.2

      Funny how some people get worked up over what an octogenarian says. Indeed, tens of thousands of idiots signed a petition, so worked up they were.

      • McFlock 4.2.1

        Oh, their judgement was just clouded because they don't like people they believe to be racists. /sarc

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Full marks to Mr Jackson for a succinct assessment of Mr Jones–a well known “down puncher” and bully.

    The fact Jones could not get away unscathed, let alone be congratulated for his recent Māori bash (published but not for long), illustrates New Zealand is slowly moving beyond racial stereotyping of Māori people being acceptable.

    Conflating crap like Jones wrote–with his previous record–with free speech reflects badly on those that try it.

    • Gosman 5.1

      Not at all. People are entitled to say or write racist stuff. They aren't entitled to say or write stuff that incites violence based on race (or any other reason). People are entitled to get upset with them and call them out for the racist stuff they said or wrote. They can even set up petitions calling for people to be stripped of any award for recognition they may have received in the past. However by doing so they also are opening up themselves for a defamation suit or people stating they are anti-freedom of speech. What shouldn't happen is laws put in place that prosecute the person for writing or saying racist stuff.

      • observer 5.1.1

        The suppression of freedom here was the defamation suit.

        An opinion was expressed about Bob Jones (never mind whether we agree with it or not). There was nothing even close to defamation.

        Under criminal law it would never have made it to court. As a civil action, it did. Only reason: Jones had the cash.

        • Gosman

          What freedom was suppressed via the defamation suit?

          • observer

            Think about it. Time, money, stress, work, reputation, opportunity cost … and chilling effect.

            Legal proceedings are not harmless. In Jones' case, it was intended to harm. Quite deliberately.

            • Gosman

              These are all elements that the person making the comment should take in to account BEFORE they make statements. Free speech doesn't have zero consequences as both sides in this saga have found out.

              • observer

                Wow. So you think "free speech" means "don't express an opinion in case you get sued".


                • Gosman

                  No. If you exercise your right to free speech be aware of the social AND legal consequences of your actions. If your words might be seen to be defamatory then be willing to defend them. If your views might be seen to be racist then be willing to take massive amount of criticism and potential social ostracisation

      • Tiger Mountain 5.1.2

        Let racists “off on a technicality”? No thanks Gosman. Direct action like Renee took along with political debate over time is the way to go.

        Free Speech has lately been the refuge of some rather unsavoury types in NZ seeking no less than a bigots protectorate.

        • Gosman

          You don't really want political debate. If you wanted that you should be encouraging more discussion on topics rather than trying to stop it.

        • Ross

          Direct action like Renee took

          You mean the action she took to petition the Government, which failed and made her look mean-spirited? Yep, but she had the right to do so.

          Free Speech has lately been the refuge of some rather unsavoury types in NZ seeking no less than a bigots protectorate.

          Another person who doesn’t know what free speech is. Do you know you have the right not to be offended? If you get offended so easily, may I suggest you desist from reading anything written by Bob Jones.

      • weka 5.1.3

        Gosman, are you arguing that we should have laws that limit people calling other people racists, but we shouldn't have laws limiting people being racist?

        • Chris T

          Think if I read his post correctly people who say racist things have the right to say them.

          They also have to do it understanding the right for people to retaliate, and the consequences that come with it.

          The people that retaliate, have the right to retaliate have to do it understanding the right for people to retaliate against them, and the consequences that come with it.

          Didn't think it was that hard tbf

          • observer

            1) Retaliate by speaking.

            2) Retaliate by suing.

            Not the same. One is exercising free speech, the other is trying to prevent free speech.

          • McFlock

            Except he seems to be happy for that retaliation to be legal retaliation when comments attack an individual and harm the reputation of that individual (as long as that individual can afford to retaliate in that manner), but not when comments attack a group of individuals (up to and including society itself).

            • Gosman

              That is correct. I am also happy that groups can decide to express their displeasure at someone's views by deciding not to engage with someone who expresses distasteful views. There are legal remedies for individuals and social remedies for groups.

              • McFlock

                But the individuals within those groups have no legal recourse.

                Gotta stop the plebs having collective power, eh

  6. Byd0nz 6

    If one is not of a racist nature,
    They would not say as Bob Jones has done,
    Same as Paul Holmes,
    With his comment on Koffi Anan.
    In the mind of a non racist person,
    Such thoughts would not ever enter the mind,
    Free speech can be close to the line, but,
    Humans all, are equal, we are of human kind.
    Money systems and religions can be blamed,
    They are too up themselves to be funny,
    The best chance for true equality would be,
    A world without the curse of god and money.

    • Chris T 6.1

      Or Winston Peters and two Wongs or Labour and Asiany sounding names.

      It is all a bit sick bollocks tbh

  7. xanthe 7

    "Moana Jackson on Bob Jones"

    They deserve each other. I hope they will be happy together.

  8. AB 8

    As someone with no political, economic or media power – my free speech is like pissing in the wind. It is unlikely to have any effect on how anything actually operates. No-one need fear my free-speech – or even take it seriously.

    Whereas, the free speech of someone with lots of political and economic power can have a material, though indirect, influence on how the world works. It may contribute to policy settings and social attitudes that harm others, or give them genuine cause to fear harm.

    Because this is a minefield – the better solution may be to equalise power, rather than limit speech.

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