- Date published:
9:58 am, September 13th, 2014 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, class war, democracy under attack, dpf, election 2014, internet, Media, news, same old national, spin, telecommunications, tv - Tags:
The main theme in Nicky Hager is the use of a two track strategy by the National Party and its associates. This strategy uses John Key as a smiley front man. Meanwhile behind the scenes a network of covert black ops people keep diverting and distracting their opponents with orchestrated, continual and often trivial, attacks.
Although no doubt unaware that Hager was working on his book at the time, many of us were aware of some such thing happening, but did not have the behind the scenes evidence. We could see the endless attacks happening. John Drinnan identified the overt signs as it was happening back at the beginning of the election campaign in March.
h/t the genuine @article for drawing attention to this on twitter
— the genuine 🌻 “#400” (@rticle) September 12, 2014
The linked article is by Drinnan and is dated Friday March 28, 2014. Following the start of the article shown above, Drinnan continues:
It is Labour’s job to counter National’s influence over the news agenda. But it does not have many of its own partisans in the media; the left-leaning website The Daily Blog does not have an audience to compare with Whale Oil.
And we have the MSM to thank for giving Whale Oil and Kiwiblog credibility, an free promotion, by (most often) uncritically citing them as a legitimate news source.
Drinnan cites the example of the Kim Dotcom, Mein Kampf story, run by Brook Sabin on TV3, and amplified by Patrick Gower.
A few minutes later the pro-National blogger Cameron Slater – an assiduous Dotcom critic – “coincidentally” posted about the Hitler book on his Whale Oil website. It appears Slater sparked the item, with his inquiries prompting Dotcom to feed the story to TV3, hoping to get in first.
TV3 news and current affairs director Mark Jennings says Sabin had been working on the story for weeks.
TV3’s Sun-style tabloid treatment would have slipped by, had not political editor Patrick Gower weighed in and hyped the Mein Kampf issue even further.
Gower is regarded as a major point of difference for TV3 news, and Jennings has given him free rein.
But in my opinion Gower’s treatment of the Mein Kampf story adds to a perception that he is sun-struck by the glare of Key’s popularity in the opinion polls.
And we are still getting these politics of attack by a thousand trivial hits, while mainstream journalists and commentators focus on The Game, and sideline any focus on policies, values, and democratic processes.
Today we have the non-story of Len Brown’s trip to China during the period he had an affair with Bevan Chaung. And last night, Brook Sabin presented a highly editorialised piece, pushing the idea that the Greens had lost confidence in Labour. In between the editorialising were some selctive clips of Russel Norman speaking. This is a distortion and distraction from the signs in the latest poll that John Key and National’s support is slipping. And it is possibly a way to counter that slide.
Contrast that with an unedited interview with Metiria Turei yesterday morning on TV3’s Firstline. Turei emphatically states the Green Party position on their aim to change the government this election. She then goes on to talk about some of the significant policy issues.
[Edit: quote added] Turei said [h/t Corokia for the quote]:
Unfortunately in a campaign you can’t always control how the story is told, so for those asking, let’s be clear: nothing has changed.
Our 100% focus this election is to change the government in order to achieve a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand.
Three more years of National would be disastrous for our environment, our children and economy and we need to change the government
Clearly some mainstream journalists do their best to tell the story as they see it (as in Drinnan’s piece linked above), and to focus on the significant issues. But the dominant focus is that promoted by the logic of the corporate media, to get attention and sell advertising.
Thus they beat up any minor conflict, drama, and personality politics. And the Whale Oil smear machine, and its related covert black ops team have been willing and able to feed the media its lines. How many journalists have been compromised by the Lusk-Ede-Slater attack network? And why is it still continuing, even after it’s dirty, sleazy, anti-democratic practices have been exposed?
We need a strong, robust, public service media, on and offline: one that is free from commercial and political or government manipulations. This is an issue for the election and for the health of democratic process.