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On the Chauvel beatup

Written By: - Date published: 1:53 pm, March 16th, 2010 - 132 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: , , ,

Stuff.co.nz’s decision to turn an anonymous, politically-motivated smear from an ACT Party activist into a front page tabloid screamer is gutter journalism for sure, but it’s only the latest example of a worrying trend.

The story is here. I’m not going to dignify it with an analysis. What interests me is the emerging pattern of mainstream media outlets laundering right-wing smears and personal attacks on Labour MPs.

The story on Stuff (picture opposite) frames Charles Chauvel having to deny “overstepping” by allegedly complaining about some screaming kid on a plane.

The allegations come from some obscure ACT Party blog, ‘Clint Heine and Friends’, which has previously only come to public attention for its decision to photoshop Helen Clark’s face onto transexual pronography. It also shopped a picture of Clark showing her genitals (not worksafe) to Heather Simpson. It is a blog steeped in sexism and homophobia of the worst sort.

The story itself is written by an ACT Party activist going by the name of ‘boomtownprat’. It’s completely unsubstantiated, and is clearly written by someone with a political interest in embellishing or even making up the facts in order to smear a politician he despises.

Still, no matter how astonishing it may seem that Charles Chauvel is on the front page of Stuff having to defend himself against unsubstantiated and politically-motivated smears from some no-name gutter blog, it’s fast becoming the norm.

You’ll recall that recently Chris Carter came under fire when the Waiheke ferry was diverted to pick him up one night. The story, such as it was, only reached the media after it appeared on the blog of National’s pollster, David Farrar.

Farrar wasn’t actually on the ferry, he was told about it as part of a humorous anecdote by former National Party president Michelle Boag. The ferry company had no problem with the diversion when asked about it, they said it was standard practice and had nothing to do with Carter being an MP. No one else on the ferry complained either, including Boag.

The story only became news when Farrar, well practiced in the art of the political smear, decided to reframe it as a story of political favouritism/corruption and then fed it out to the media via his blog. The story was dutifully picked up by Stuff.co.nz with framing intact, and ran as a tabloid screamer on the front page. From there it fed out into other media outlets and even made the TV news.

Poor old Chris Carter’s getting the treatment again today, with Audrey Young seeing fit to cover allegations from Whaleoil (yes, Whaleoil!) that Carter only recently removed a taxpayer-funded phone line from his mother’s house. “Now with her good and loyal son not able to sup quite so often at the trough, she has had to move to having to pay for it herself”, Whaleoil is quoted saying in Audrey’s article. It’s bullshit of course – Chris Carter’s mother died in 1993. At least Audrey mentions this in her article, but you’ve got to wonder what she was doing wasting valuable space covering right-wing smears like this in the first place.

So what’s behind this trend? For the right-wing smearers it’s easy, the beauty of the politics of the personal smear is that even if the MP is proven to be in the clear it doesn’t matter. Explaining is losing and the damage is already done. It’s also no coincidence that both of the MPs targeted so far have been gay.

As for the media, is it a sign they’re complicit with the smear machine? No, I don’t think so. More likely it’s a result of the growing tabloidisation of the media. As media companies slash journalist numbers news operations are becoming increasingly reliant on sensation and scandal to fill the gap that used to be filled by real journalism.

If that means news values and journalistic ethics have to go out the window then so be it. After all, business is business, and there’s no point having a tabloid box on your front page if you’re not going to use it.

132 comments on “On the Chauvel beatup ”

  1. Bright Red 1

    And real issues barely get a look in because all the space and resource for covering politics goes to this kind of stuff.

    Which is the perfect outcome from the Right’s perspective.

    The last thing the Right wants to have to do is debate the issues. They lose every time because they’re fighting for privilege and short-termism in a world where neither are acceptable anymore.

    • Tigger 1.1

      My thoughts too BR. Far better to distract the mob with their opinions on screaming children in planes. And thanks Eddie, nice analysis.

      • Bright Red 1.1.1

        Chauvel on the herald: “It’s a bit frustrating for somebody in my job who spends half their time trying to get the media to take seriously the fact that we might be in electricity crisis next year, which nobody is interested in. And suddenly [the media] getting all worked up about what somebody says on a blog which I don’t think is entirely true.”

  2. Julie 2

    Thank you thank you thank you Eddie. This stuff has been pissing me off too. With the Carter ferry story I actually heard Carter and Boag both being interviewed about it at the same time on Nat Rad’s The Panel and their stories were in agreement, and a long way from how Farrar portrayed it.

  3. It’s bullshit of course Chris Carter’s mother died in 1993.

    Yes … but notice how there’s no death certificate?

    This story could just go away with a death certificate. And not one of them certificates of death either, but a real death certificate. Just sayin’.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      before the angry rebuttals, I’m sure Graeme is just making a slightly off-colour reference to the ‘birther’ movement in the US

    • Julie 3.2

      That is strangely similar to what Slater has said in response to the fact Carter’s mother has been dead for 17 years. He’s saying that Carter hasn’t actually denied that it’s his mother’s phone bill…

      • Rex Widerstrom 3.2.1

        And you narrow-minded lefties have been questioning the need for Sensing Murder! Hah!! Clearly Carter will claim he can talk to his dearly departed old mum by way of a psychic hotline.

        Here, at last, is a chance for Deb Webber et al to prove their worth as investigators.

        Well… it couldn’t be any worse than Sainsbury, could it? :-/

  4. randal 4

    this government is permanently verging on incoherency and they are using the most base methods to prevent the nation from really finding out how short they are on any moral or ethical principles whatsoever.

  5. randal 5

    anyway back on topic charles chauvel is right to demand some sort of parental control on a public conveyance. this country has become totally infantilised and behaviour has become more and more childish as supposed adults indulge their brats in any sort of beahviour except discipline and self control.

    • Ms X 5.1

      let me get this straight – if the children are those of a right wing, middle class couple, they can behave however they like with no fear of comment or reprimand, but let them be working class, or worse a beneficiary’s children, then it’s off to boot camp…..?

    • vto 5.2

      ha ha ha, so say the people who put the state in control of everything. I don’t know why you are surprised randal. The parents have less to be responsible for today thanks to the state taking responsibility. Perhaps you eggs can come up with some new law to mandate quiet kids on planes. Maybe make an anti-screaming-kids law so parents get prosecuted if they fail to do so.

      This story makes me weep with laughter. Such fools. I wonder what has changed since the days when kids were actually more in control and quieter in public?? Anyone know? Starter for 10?

      what a bunch of douche-bags…

      • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1

        “Anyone know? Starter for 10?”

        Oooh ooh. I know!

        They banned dueling.

        Before then if someone was annoying you, whinging about it could get you shot, likewise whinging about being offended by another’s whinging.

        So everyone was split into two camps, those that were polite as all hell and put up with the whinging in silence, and those that learned how to duel real good and were precisely as rude as they felt like being.

        On that note, here’s Grayson, sticking the shiv into Palin:

        http://www.graysonforcongress.com/newsletter_detail.asp?OptInEmailId=314

        People like a fighter.

        • Lew 5.2.1.1

          Bookie, that’s what they mean when they say an armed society is a polite society, eh. You know, there are some days when I reckon I could make that dictum work for me.

          L

        • vto 5.2.1.2

          ha ha, sure that was a part-reason, but not the one I was referring to. But on that particular subject, namely the use of physical force as a societal control measure, I have said before that todays society is the anamoly in human history. Today’s complete rejection of physical sanction as a ‘remedy’ is unusual. And there is no doubt that it has had certain other consequences. Physical sanction has its uses in control. It is important o note only one outfit is entitled to use ‘violence’ (as most people like to refer to it) today – your favourite entity, the state.

          Yes the government is the sole bully-boy wiv its huge great jack-boots swinging all over the place today. Lets follow todays trend and ban govt from the use of that tool too. No more prisons – just naughty corners. ha ha.

          But no P’s b, the answer was removal of responsibility from people to the state. Anti-smacking law one such example of that swing. Intro of dpb many years ago is another example of remving responsibility from (usually) the dad to the state. It is the trend – increasing state responsibiltiy.

          And I suggest that Chauvel’s and randal’s grimacing at todays out-of-control kids is that trend coming back and biting them in the bum.

  6. Speaking of smears…

    I’m surprised Gerry hasn’t been more interested in saving the whales, since one of his nom-de-plume’s references the title of a well-known NZ film.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      Now, parrot, that’s not fair.

      It’s not Gerry who earned the nickname that is a movie title as the result of certain activities involving him, it’s the other party who was involved 😉

  7. TightyRighty 7

    it’s a non-issue all right this charles chauvel thing. no doubt about that.

    but i’m interested to note that you put the issue of chris carter moving accounts from the taxpayer to some one else in the same vein. i’m quite interested in that. it wasn’t his mother sure, but who was it for? and why was the taxpayer paying? you lambast journalists for not asking questions, why is that particular question not asked? and what is the answer, seeing as chris carter hasn’t denied it happening, only rejecting that it was for his mother? i think we deserve a response on that issue as chris carter clearly can’t stop suckling at the public teat

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      There was no proof it was anything to do with Carter ( a common name). THE FACT HIS MOTHER IS DEAD should have laid it to rest but the Oily cetacean doesnt want to admit he got it wrong.
      For gods sake he has denied it. Dead is dead

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        no he’s said his mother is dead. that’s fine. carter has not denied anything else. he hasn’t denied using a taxpayer funded telecom account for some one else. there is only one troughing mp named carter, so the name isn’t that common.

        • IrishBill 7.1.1.1

          John Carter?

          • Bright Red 7.1.1.1.1

            David Carter?

            Fun fact: Carter’s the most common surname in parliament. Bennett, Smith, Robertson, and, now, Hughes are next up.

            • TightyRighty 7.1.1.1.1.1

              fun fact. Chris Carter ex-government minister, opposition spokesperson for the maintanence of members benefits, has probably outspent all of them.

  8. PeteG 8

    When criticising beat ups – and while it seems Chauvel hasn’t done himself any favours with how he dealt with it this does seem to be a beat up – should one consider their own modus operandi?

    • Bright Red 8.1

      I’ve never seen this kind of personal, unjustified attack on the standard.

      • gitmo 8.1.1

        Too much wanking ?

        [That’s it, final straw. Banned for life.]

      • Bright Red 8.1.2

        well, point one out to me that you think is unjustified.

        • lukas 8.1.2.1

          How much did Key pay for his seat?

          Not anon anymore, not sure if SP was “out” then so to speak.

          One could also ad “Batman”.

          [lprent: yes he was… Why exactly would we want a batman ad? ]

          • lukas 8.1.2.1.1

            also, didn’t someone from The Standard publish the account of James Sleep, verbatim about being “run over”?

            [lprent: The post said

            Sleep described the incident as frightening and thought he was going to be run over.

            Quite different from your ‘verbatim’ when you actually read the damn post. You want to rephrase that so it is accurate before I decide to impose a sentence.

            Mind you bearing in mind that your site at present seems to feature only posts whining about how unfair Trev is to moderate you, then perhaps I can provide some more content…

            The new search found that in seconds !!! ]

            • IrishBill 8.1.2.1.1.1

              So if Charles had run over the children rather than comment on their behavior to his partner that would have been ok?

              • lukas

                IB- child abuse is wrong, you should know that.

                I am pointing out an example of someone from the Standard publishing verbatim an account from a political activist about their encounter with a politician.

            • Duncan 8.1.2.1.1.2

              I think Lukas misses the point entirely. This debate isn’t about whether everything a blog has ever published is verifiable, it’s about whether it’s newsworthy and whether any news organisations that do pick it up has done any verification themselves. The rest is just a distraction.

            • lukas 8.1.2.1.1.3

              Yes Iprent, but it also has

              “James Sleep is just a keen 17 year old participating in the democratic process and John Hayes put his life in danger. So what if he was in the way? It’s not OK to drive your vehicle into a human being. I don’t care how desperate for power you are or how heated an exchange gets, in our country resorting to violence over political differences is never acceptable.”

              Sleep was not just a keen 17 year old participating in the democratic process. He is that, and a whole heap more.

              [lprent:
              Yes, but that was
              a. a opinion by SP on the issue, and doesn’t say that was what happened.
              b. it didn’t have what you were asserting – go and reread your assertion.
              c. therefore irrelevant to the question of you making an assertion about this site – without having supporting evidence. ]

              • Pascal's bookie

                Sleep was not just a keen 17 year old participating in the democratic process. He is that, and a whole heap more.

                What else is he? Immune to steel? Made of awesome?

                The quote actually describes him politically. It highlights their political differences. Or did you have some other point?

                • lukas

                  “What else is he? Immune to steel? Made of awesome? ”

                  Depends who you ask 😀 He has obvious union affiliations and links to Labour. If it is relevant that the “ACT blogger” is a member of the ACT party, it should have also been relevant that Sleep is in with Labour.

                  [lprent: Still waiting for an apology about your earlier assertion about the James Sleep post.. The clock is now ticking down. ]

                  • Duncan

                    What does this have to do with the argument in the original post? What’s the hypocrisy you’re trying to show? I’m baffled.

                    • felix

                      Duncan:
                      Lukas just wants us to talk about anything but the post and sadly you’ve all fallen for it.

                      For your future reference the correct response is “Fuck up Lukas, the adults are talking. Take your bullshit back to kiwiblog where it belongs”.

                  • lukas

                    “[lprent: Still waiting for an apology about your earlier assertion about the James Sleep post.. The clock is now ticking down. ]”

                    Apology for what? SP wrote in that post that Hayes drove his vehicle into Sleep.

                    [lprent: No he did not – as has already been pointed out to you twice. You’re attempting to rewrite the post retrospectively to what you’d like it to have said. That is unacceptable behaviour on this site.

                    Go away for a week – that should give you time to read the post.

                    I’ll give you a hint – read the damn words. Ignore those little voices in your head that tell you what the post should say. Learning to read what is written is far more important than fulfilling your need to have it suddenly insert any meaning that you’d like to magically appear. ]

                    • lukas

                      “It’s not OK to drive your vehicle into a human being. I don’t care how desperate for power you are or how heated an exchange gets, in our country resorting to violence over political differences is never acceptable.”

                      Love to know how you think that that is not saying Hayes drove into Sleep, especially when you look at the very first comment on the post too…

                      “Before anyone argues that you can’t be seriously hurt by being hit by a vehicle at low speed (as if that somehow makes intenionally hitting someone with your vehicle OK) we should remember Christine Clark http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/40734

                      [lprent: Read your quote CAREFULLY. It does not say that someone drove into James Sleep as you’re specifically asserting. It says that it is not ok to drive into a person – ie a general statement.

                      You are the person that is joining the dots and trying to make the post say something it does not. You have your own blog to write works of fiction on – do it there.

                      Extending the ban for idiotic stupidity and wasting my time. Stay away for a 4 weeks. ]

          • Bright Red 8.1.2.1.2

            both those were about valid issues that mattered. Both lacked substantiation and got nowhere because of that but that’s not the problem with the Chauvel story. It’s a beat up because it’s not a legitimate topic and stuff should never have picked it up.

            • lukas 8.1.2.1.2.1

              I agree that it is a bit of a beat up. Batman and the “H-fee” did make the NZ Herald, a quick search there will show that up… even Helen Clark was questioned on it.

              • Duncan

                As I recall it was pushed to a variety of media including the herald, the standard and various others. It didn’t pan out and Williams got a media hiding over it. It was newsworthy enough to run – they were serious allegations of huge consequence. None of this is the case for the Chauvel beatup. Double fail.

                • lukas

                  I don’t think it was, a quick search of “h-fee” on the nzherald.co.nz site shows that all the articles mention that the story was published on the Standard. Yes, they were serious allegations, just like those surrounding the increasing donations to the UNDP ever election year Helen Clark was PM, but the H-fee story was and is a fizzer, just like the Chauvel story.

                  • Duncan

                    Well you’re wrong. Williams took it directly to the Herald, the paper said so at the time.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Batman made the herald the same time it was put up here, from memory. The Herald thought there was something in it and printed it up as a two parter. The first part was sympathetic to the claims, and the Herald, like Labour, sent someone to check out the story. Which then somehow became a Labour dirty trick.

  9. Kent 9

    As it happens, I was on the same plane as Steven Joyce last week, and the stewardess had to ask him quite pointedly to turn off his Blackberry during the push-out from the gate, long after everyone else in the plane had done the same. Given his apparent addiction to the device, this may not come as a surprise to many people.

    Important note, however: this is not a front page story. And in the ebb and flow of day-to-day New Zealand politics, it’s not even a very interesting story. Having been across the aisle from the man, and even despite the fact that I disagree with him on many issues, if I saw it on the front page of Stuff my immediate reaction would be “so what?”

    Perspective, it seems to me, is a much-overlooked virtue.

  10. Lew 10

    While I agree with your point, Eddie, Chauvel should have just STFU, bitten his lip and thought “these people are my constituents and I’d be a damned fool to piss them off or insult them publicly”. He (and his party) are being duly punished for failing to do so. It’s disproportionate, it’s a beatup, but he’s an MP. He asked for this. Perhaps he’ll learn.

    L

    • Eddie 10.1

      Looking at Chauvel’s story, which I’m more inclined to believe, he made a remark to his partner that was overheard. I don’t think that’s unreasonable and I don’t think it’s newsworthy.

      I’ve seen and heard MPs do much worse in my time, and even then I didn’t think it was fit for posting on The Standard, let alone the front page of Stuff.

    • Lew 10.2

      Too late for edit. I also agree with Eddie’s point about the process — this isn’t so much the media gleefully putting the boot in as accepting the framing of Chauvel’s political enemies without much criticism. It’s been turned from a story about an MP lacking discipline to a matter of Chauvel’s “family values” — because he’s a gay man, this “anti-family” dog-whistle is easy to establish.

      The matter of “family values” would be a legitimate political issue if the facts of the story actually spoke to it because that’s a crucial aspect of his ability to represent his constituency. The facts don’t speak to this issue — the framing does. But because the framing does, the facts don’t really matter any more.

      L

    • IrishBill 10.3

      Perhaps he’ll learn.

      Learn what exactly, Lew? Learn not to say anything to people’s kids in public? Learn to not catch a ferry when it swings by to pick him up? Learn to not not have a dead mother? (Or should that be “not not not have a dead mother”?)

      The idea that MP’s should be guarding against every tiny possible beat-up is absurd and incredibly counterproductive.

      The only thing more absurd is that the next time Labour play something safe you’ll be the first to criticise them for not having the courage of their convictions.

      Maybe the media should learn. Maybe the readership should learn (and I’m heartened by the number of comments on the story that point out it’s not a story). Maybe you should learn. Lew.

      • Lew 10.3.1

        Bill, nothing about Carter, I’m only talking about Chauvel. Learn to STFU when people might overhear him saying things which could be turned against him. Perhaps it is counter-productive, but you control the factsors you can control — and he can’t control who’s sitting in the seat ahead, and he can’t control what the media will run with.

        Maybe I should learn what? I agree it shouldn’t be a story; but the fact remains that it is one.

        L

        • IrishBill 10.3.1.1

          Maybe you should learn that the degree of caution you claim should be exercised leads to a culture of paranoia which leads to the perception of being a control freak which leads to media baiting you with beat-ups to get stories that fit the “control freak”/”nanny state” narrative which leads to greater paranoid and attempts to control behaviour which leads to…

          I’ve seen this before (you might be able to guess where) and it doesn’t end well.

          As I’ve noted below Chauvel dealt with the beat-up very well and if you read the comments to the Stuff story you’ll see it has paid off.

          • Lew 10.3.1.1.1

            I’m not suggesting that sort of caution, Bill. I’m not suggesting he dehumanise himself.

            It’s better than it could have been. Seems like you think the eventual outcome was better than the alternative (no story). I’m not so sure about that.

            L

            • IrishBill 10.3.1.1.1.1

              If achieving the alternative means not being able to make a comment to your partner in public then there is no alternative. Because what you end up with at the end of that process is a parliament of airbrushed segmentaion-marketed John Keys.

              • Lew

                Fair enough, triangulating between the various accounts suggests that Chauvel’s remarks were private and quiet, so my criticism that he ought to have watched his mouth isn’t really justified.

                L

          • Rex Widerstrom 10.3.1.1.2

            Errr… world of difference between exercising self-discipline (ShuttingTFU when in a prominent position) and wanting to control the behaviour of others, IB.

            I’ve known plenty of MPs whose self-discipline is admirable but who are varying degrees of liberal when it comes to nanny-statism. Equally I know a few who are pretty loose in the self-control department but who’ll happily pass laws controlling the plebs.

            I’ve never heard anyone (journo or voter) equate a buttoned-down personality with a “nanny statist” outlook unless that person first starts displaying a tendency for control of others.

            Helen Clark being a case in point… it was only when she started backing laws that some saw as controlling – or even oppressive – that the occasional story appeared speculating that this was linked to her iron willed self control.

            I’d like to think I kept myself under control when in politics (and I have a very short temper) but I’m hardly a conservative in other ways.

            On the primary topic – Chauvel should have remarked to his partner after the flight, when they were in private. Stupid? Yes. Arrogant? Probably. Front page news? Hell no.

            • IrishBill 10.3.1.1.2.1

              Sorry Rex but I disagree with you. The nanny state meme got legs because it “felt” right (especially to the gallery) and a good part of the reason it felt right was because of the relationship that this kind of caution engendered between them and Helen/Heather.

              Despite the current government doing a whole lot of stuff that interferes in people’s lives a similar meme would never run right now because it would make no sense to journos on an emotional level. Because that’s not the relationship they have with Key and his crew. If he and his team started being cautious and curt with them then it would be a different story.

              • Rex Widerstrom

                It seems we do disagree but I’m not entirely sure how!

                FWIW I agree with what you’ve written. The “nanny state” meme won’t work with a leader who’s so “relaxed” he wouldn’t act even if someone set him on fire.

                But my point is that exercising personal (self) control doesn’t automatically get you labelled as a political control freak unless you also exhibit nanny statist tendencies.

                [I’d also debate that Helen and Heather were cautious of media. Some media, yes. But Helen had her favourites with whom she was very chummy, she simply froze out those who were less likely to run a positive line… much like a slightly more opaque Muldoon IMHO. But that’s a different meme 😉 ]

      • IrishBill 10.3.2

        I’d also note that Chauvel has handled this pretty much perfectly. He’s pointed out the dubious nature of the source, he’s stated it’s a non-story and, in the herald, he’s used it to draw attention to a more important story. It’s nice to see a Labour MP front-footing this sort of bullshit well.

        • Lew 10.3.2.1

          I agree. It’s a long way to turn it around, but far better to call it like it is than ignore it and hope it goes away.

          L

          (Captcha: fail. Third time lucky for posting this. Lynn, do you know why I get 500’s about every fourth page load?)

          [lprent: Yeah. Something is wrong in the system. I’m going to change the search update to a slower rate. Done – 45 minutes now… ]

          • Rex Widerstrom 10.3.2.1.1

            Nope, I’m still getting them too LP.

            • lprent 10.3.2.1.1.1

              Yeah, I just rolled back the mysql and php reconfiguration changes from last night. See if that makes it more stable…

              It is a bit of a pain that the only way to effectively test these things is to run them live…

  11. Eddie 11

    PeteG, I’ve deleted your half dozen accusations of personal smears. I’m not going to have you come on here and accuse us of things without any evidence. Consider this a final warning.

    • PeteG 11.1

      First warning is final warning?

      It’s sad you won’t accept anything off message, but it’s your choice what sort of forum you want.
      Would you have been happy to leave any post undeleted that provided evidence?

      [You never provided any evidence. Stop wasting my time or I’ll ban you out of spite.]

      [lprent: Read the policy. It is carefully designed (by me) to make sure than lusers like you cannot ‘lawyer’ the system. In effect it is only a nicety that we do bother to warn people. The best general solution is not to do anything that would annoy a moderator – and arguing with one is the fastest known way to annoy them (and me). ]

      • PeteG 11.1.1

        That sounds a bit Chauvelistic. And hardly conducive to winning back votes.

        It’s too uneven here, I won’t waste any more of my time.

        • IrishBill 11.1.1.1

          It’s our time you’ve wasted. Your time is worthless. Like your comments. Don’t come back.

  12. randal 12

    capcha: alternatively.
    indeed.
    The thing is the ‘press’ is getting away with bloody murder and no one will take a stand against them.
    they are mainly a bunch of illiterate wannabees looking for glory by exposing their betters.
    time to start calling them for what they are as well as what they say.

  13. Rory 13

    The guy on the photo appears to be in the verge of crying. Did he actually end up doing it?

  14. tc 14

    Look at it this way, when Labour were in power the msm had to actually write copy about issues, albeit not in any depth or intelligence, but actually put the grey matter to work and create content as the gov’t wasn’t feeding them an agenda.

    Now they have no thinking to do whatsoever by following the govt line, kiwiblog and all the other nat outlets so this is a perefct world for them as their bosses are happy, hardly any efforts required and there’s only that moral/ethical stuff to consider.

    To quote my icon when asked if he had any real evidence ” only hearsay and conjecture your honour….those are kinds of evidence..”

    • lukas 14.1

      “Look at it this way, when Labour were in power the msm had to actually write copy about issues, albeit not in any depth or intelligence, but actually put the grey matter to work and create content as the gov’t wasn’t feeding them an agenda.”

      That is a joke right?

      The MSM as a rule loved Labour for its first 3-4 years! Was there any serious questioning around a certain police commissioner in the early weeks of the first term? Any serious questioning at all from the media in 1999-2003 other than the John Campbell interview (not sure when that was).

      “Now they have no thinking to do whatsoever by following the govt line, kiwiblog and all the other nat outlets so this is a perefct world for them as their bosses are happy, hardly any efforts required and there’s only that moral/ethical stuff to consider.”

      Even money that you are a member of one of those “John Key, stop your evil plans to start commercial whaling in NZ” facebook groups.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1

        That first year ‘winter of discontent’ you mean?

        Yeah, there were a few critical stories. Labour got pilloried by business groups for daring to keep their election promises. This was treated as a perfectly legitimate complaint.

    • bobo 14.2

      tc, I don’t use the word “press diversion” very often, but this is the greatest press diversion in American history. Did I say American history replace that with New Zealand history … Scotch anyone?

  15. Di78 15

    A woman on the same flight has confirmed Charles Chauvel’s version:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3457144/MP-complains-about-noisy-toddler :

    Pas­sen­ger on same flight #64 11:41 am Mar 16 2010
    I was on that same flight, and sit­ting in the aisle across from Charles and I actu­ally said to my hus­band that I wished the par­ents would tell their chil­dren to ‘shut up’. They were pretty loud.

  16. EbolaCola 16

    ahahahahaha BOAG ahahahahahahahah

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10369999

    Captcha: BORROW

  17. tc 17

    What’s facebook?

  18. tc 18

    “Was there any serious questioning around a certain police commissioner in the early weeks of the first term?…” so what he’s a copper not a polly what’s that got to do with the gov’t ?

  19. Jum 20

    I hope someone informed the TVNZ reporter below to try to be objective.
    shalleen.hern@tvnz.co.nz

    I read the posts – the blog proves everything I have always believed about Act and National – that they believe they are above all laws even those of good manners, and considering others besides themselves.

    The other interesting part was the link to the fairfacts media grunge site. There seems to be a pattern building of Lord Ashcroft’s dirty little paw at work and Fox and backers.

    Murdoch’s foray into propaganda, and he must have picked up some great ideas from being in China, taught anyone who read between the lines just how dangerous these propagandists are. Clint Heine, etc are just the beginning.

    This country is under threat, not just from this government but Key’s financial hub of powered money traders that need a safe house and unfortunately for us, they’ve picked naive lil’ ol’ New Zealand because their weasel holes are being filled in.

  20. It should be straightforward to expose the identity of the anonymous ACTivist who calls himself Boomtownprat.

    His wife is now being quoted by name on TVNZ and Newstalk ZB. I note he is too gutless to be identified himself.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/mother-angry-after-mp-tells-kids-shut-up-3419026

    The mother of children on a plane asked by MP to shut up says the pre-schoolers were well-behaved and Charles Chauvel just is not used to kids.

    The mother of the children who were told to shut up by on a flight to Wellington by front bench Labour MP Charles Chauvel, says the politician was out of order.

    Stephanie Phillips, whose three pre-schoolers were on the Sunday night flight, says they were well behaved.

    “I thought MPs were supposed to be kissing babies not telling them to shut up. He’s just not used to being around kids and the noise kids can make.’

    Phillips says the MP told the children to shut up more than once, but Chauvel says he expressed that wish to his partner only once and believes it is a beat up.

    • jcuknz 21.1

      She is an idiot .. doesn’t she know that children should be seen and not heard? Why didn’t the father help her control the children instead of sitting in the row behind.

  21. It should be straightforward to expose the identity of the anonymous ACTivist who calls himself Boomtownprat.

    His wife is now being quoted by name on TVNZ and Newstalk ZB. I note he is too gutless to be identified himself.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/mother-angry-after-mp-tells-kids-shut-up-3419026

    The mother of children on a plane asked by MP to shut up says the pre-schoolers were well-behaved and Charles Chauvel just is not used to kids.

    The mother of the children who were told to shut up by on a flight to Wellington by front bench Labour MP Charles Chauvel, says the politician was out of order.

    Stephanie Phillips, whose three pre-schoolers were on the Sunday night flight, says they were well behaved.

    “I thought MPs were supposed to be kissing babies not telling them to shut up. He’s just not used to being around kids and the noise kids can make.’

    Phillips says the MP told the children to shut up more than once, but Chauvel says he expressed that wish to his partner only once and believes it is a beat up.

    • Tigger 22.1

      So she wants us to believe that he told some well-behaved children to shut up? That makes less sense than ACT’s law and order policies.

      • Lew 22.1.1

        The framing here isn’t “the kids were well-behaved and he’s unreasonable” (that point is disputed by others on the flight) so much as “he’s a poofter and doesn’t know/care about kids (and is therefore not fit to represent the good people of ÅŒhariu)”.

        L

  22. Jum 23

    I missed the farce on Close Up. What happened? Was it objective?

  23. Jum 24

    I missed the farce on Close Up. What happened? Was it objective?

  24. gobsmacked 25

    sorry, wrong place

    • Lew 25.1

      Edit: Hey, GS, no fair, you deleted your post. Anyway, this is a response to a remark like “journalists should just decide for themselves what to cover”.

      They are deciding for themselves. Given the time, money and effort limitations under which they operate, and with a knowledge of what the NZ newswatching public cares about.

      At first blush this appears to be a legitimate news story with substantial symbolic value: an MP challenging Mister Family Peter Dunne for his electorate seat apparently behaving in an anti-family way. Turns out it doesn’t stack up, but you don’t know that until after the work is already sunk, and by that time you have to produce something for your troubles.

      What I mean to say is that this is the system working as intended. Want to change the results, change the system. Want to change the system, change what the public wants from their news. It’s that simple. Which is to say: not simple at all. But much-needed.

      L

      • gobsmacked 25.1.1

        Sorry, Lew, I edited because I was compaining about shit-stirring but maybe adding another stir myself. Thought better of it.

        I still think the journos should have made more effort to investigate the source of this “story”. I’ll leave it at that.

  25. Gooner 26

    Well at least this right whinger is man enough to admit this “story” is a waste of words.

    Chauvel’s mistake was to mutter the comment when he obviously didn’t know the dad was in the row in front of him and could hear what he said. So what? Should we expect MPs to have manners in excess of ours as mere mortals? No. If he was pissed off then he was pissed off.

    Chauvel thought the kids were annoying so he said so in a private conversation to his travelling companion. If ACT supporters (and I’m one) get so upset about that then they need to seriously get over themselves. It’s irrelevant whether the kids were noisy or not because Chauvel’s belief is all that matters and he had the right to express his annoyance, as much as anyone does.

    Seriously, this is a non-event.

    Oops, I’ve just wasted 200 words explaining why. What a hypocrite I am.

  26. Bill 27

    91 comments, 92 counting this one…so far.

    Why is it that when ‘The Standard’ gives coverage to these non-news worthy stories pointing out just ow un-newsworthy that they are, they tend to draw maximum comment?

    A pause for thought on the fucking irony?

    Cut off the gas chaps and chappesses!

    Cut. Off. The. Gas.

    Of the posts made today, was this really the main focus ‘you’ wished to obtain?

    • Roger 27.1

      Sorry I added a post. I guess this has shown, as an experiment the effectiveness and motivation behind the msm policy of reporting rubbish at the expense of important and intelligent news.

      • Tigger 27.1.1

        The issue of the post is the tabloidisation of the media, not some screaming child on a plane. Worth commenting on? Yes.

  27. Pascal's bookie 28

    An interesting wrinkle in the thread at Clints place.

    Steve Taylor keeps popping up letting people know that various media outlets, (Close Up, Granny) are contacting him to get boomtownprat’s details.

    I’m assuming that this is the same Steve Taylor that was once a candidate for United Future, and later a Direct Democracy mayoral candidate in Auckland. If it is him, he is a well known loop, who spent quite a few years spamming ‘letters to the editors’ sections via Maxim’s tool, built for the purpose.

    I had no idea ACT was now slumming around with him, but it’s good to know.

    Funny the media go to him, no?

    Like I said, an interesting wrinkle. Why go to him? If they know enough to know that political operatives are the best place to find out boomies details, that should show up in the framing. Otherwise well, ‘carrying water’ is a phrase that comes to mind.

    Or maybe it’s a different Steve Taylor and there’s a perfectly natural reason for the media to go to him to find out who ‘prat is. My knowledge of that corner of the ‘sphere is pleasantly scarce.

  28. Rich 29

    I was on a plane last week when that Paula Bennett picked up a screaming kid and slammed it’s head three times into the bulkhead.. The kid seemed ok, at least it had stopped twitching when the plane landed. When we got off, Paula’s minder gave everyone on the flight $100 hush money from a big bag of money she seemed to carry for the purpose.

    Do I get into the Dominion Post now?

    • Tigger 29.1

      No. Come back when you see a left wing politician eating with their mouth open – that’s news!

  29. Hello Standard. How kind of you to link to me yet again, not bad for an obsure NZ blog 🙂 I think you have linked to this obscure blog no less than 3 times in the last month or so. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind at all 🙂

    You’ll find it interesting to see that TV3 rang me while I was having my dinner. Since I am 13 hours behind, some journo was obviously very bored at an early hour. He was literally foaming at the mouth about “nailing Chauvel” and wanted me to hand over contact details and the real name of my co-blogger. Of course I would not do the latter.

    What does TV3 have against Charles? This journo was very excited about something.

    Worse still, was this the mother of all slow news days? I think so.

    [Clint, I wouldn’t be so smug. We already know who your mate boomtownprat is. In fact I’m looking at a photo of his smiling wee mug right now. We’re not going to publish his name, but you should probably let him know there’s a good chance the people who gave it to us will.]

    • lprent 30.1

      Clint: It was definitely a slow day… However the drooling media don’t care about important issues, just gossip. It appears to have increased the stats today because the post we put up appears to be the top post for his week so far. It is a bit of a pain because I was fixing the new search (it was interfering with the authors posting images) after a major set of upgrades on the weekend.

      There are two links to your obscure blog today. I have no idea why this old 2007 post at your rathole was so interesting, but it was the 2nd biggest direct link out today.

      • Clint Heine 30.1.1

        I think because you said it was not safe for work that people got all excited about it. I noticed that on my stats as well. You linked to my blog recently (twice) in regards to something about ACT and Aaron Bhatnager. The TV3 bloke was very excited…. I should have realised from that reaction alone that it was a slow day!

        Whoever replied to my post in bold… I am sure BTP is aware of who knows his identity. But easy on the hate man, lprent was far more civil than you.

    • Marty G 30.2

      “He was literally foaming at the mouth about “nailing Chauvel'”

      sounds like gower. that’s just his style to get you on side. Then you end up looking like a muppet as your mate’s wife did on tv3 tonight.

      • Marty G 30.2.1

        I see you’ve taken down your art work you coward. can’t hide your shame from the wayback machine or google cache though.

        • Clint Heine 30.2.1.1

          Marty, it wasn’t “Gower”. I didn’t see the TV3 bit but I see TVNZ had a good piece on it too.

          The artwork is easily found as the one linked at my site wasn’t one of my own, but taken from another site. I preferred to use the link to harrass people like you who flocked to see it. Thanks for proving me right.

          • Bright Red 30.2.1.1.1

            sounds like you’re a coward to me, Clint. If you’re going to be a pornographer, at least have the pride in yourself not to hide your work when it comes to wider attention.

    • SHG 30.3

      So who’s the prat who edited Clint’s post to add an anonymous comment?

  30. John 31

    This article is correct on how mainstream media has degenerated to gutter tabloidism. But, it is incorrect to assert that the media has become anti-Labour or Left-smearing. One will find in the daily media that there are smears against both Left & Right political persuasions. In fact, if one goes back, one will find the smear attacks were predominantly against Right persuasions and only in more recent times have they become more evenly smeared.
    As for Boomtownprat’s (embellished) fable, I believe Chauvel’s version of events is far more accurate and this has nothing to do with him being Labour. I am a devout conservative. If one can’t keep their kids reasonably quiet on a short 1 hour flight, excluding take-off & landing, one needs to look at themselves as parents. When my kids were young we ensured we were well-prepared for the flight to ensure the kids were entertained and settled. Basic stuff….

    • Jum 31.1

      John, maybe you didn’t spot the comment by Clint about the TV3 reporter wanting to ‘nail Chauvel’.

  31. Jim Nald 32

    What to do after running from one mining sham to another SuperGold card shambles and all these on the eve of shameful major restructuring of the Ministry of Health?

    Whoop-de-doo! Generate distractions by chucking chickenshit at the media and see which ones come to feed to bump the shams, shambles and shame off the news.

    Yippee, it’s working!

  32. Damn!…I’m all outta popcorn.

    but anyway. I took my littlie on a plane once as a toddler and he was inconsolable. He wouldn’t play with the colouring book, listen while i read to him, go to sleep or anything, he just wanted to cry. I think it may have been ear trouble.

    Sure i felt embarrassed for the other passengers but telling him to shut up or suggesting i’m a shit parent that can’t control my kids is a bit off. Why didnt Chauvel just chill out, put on his headphones and suffer in silence for 40 minutes ?

    Is that really so hard for a politician to do ? Then again, if i’d heard him say anything about my kids i definitely would have said something back to him and not bitchmoaned about it after the fact.

    captcha :smile

    • Tigger 33.1

      But pollydog, by your own admission you should just stfu when something annoys you. So if I decide to complain about your Rosemary’s Baby-esque offspring you should just put on your headphones and suffer in silence… Or do your rules only apply to left wing politicians? What am I saying, of course they do.

      • pollywog 33.1.1

        au contraire Tugger, my fairy tale feline friend…

        if you complain about my kids, I’m going to speak on their behalf and tell you to STFU yourself and i couldn’t give toss who you think you are.

        as for the rest, i have no idea what you’re saying, of course they do what ?

  33. randal 34

    lprent…about time you dealt to that troll. he ia nasty piece of rubbish and has kissed too many loos.

  34. randal 35

    ah thank you for clearing the air and taking out that particular piece of trash.
    it was very bothersoneme and deliberate.

  35. gingercrush 36

    For all the pretensions that The Standard and its authors minds aren’t in the gutter. This is one very gut-filled thread.

    One has to laugh when the author of this post comes out with this tripe: “anonymous, politically-motivated smear from an ACT Party activist”. One only has to change that to “left-wing activist” and that describes most of the posts at The Standard.

    • Bright Red 36.1

      I want you to show that the majority of posts on this site are smears.

      take the 20 or whatever are on the front page and show which ones are smears.

      otherwise you’re just full of shit,

  36. My suspicious mind tells me that the Nats dirty tricks brigade ,via Crosby -Textor is behind this story.The same type of sleaze that they used for the Helen Clark speed fiasco . Now why select Chauvel ? No doubt they think he is a danger to them. Now the other interesting point is how many of the people who are against Charles Chauvel voted to be able to bash their kids . ? Because they are the same type of parents , let their kids run wild but give them a good bash now and again.

  37. DeepRed 38

    Politics aside, the whole affair does illustrate the fact that Prolefeed is a growth industry – keeping the populace distracted from the facts.

  38. billy 39

    grow up Lynn, you flew off the handle and can’t let it go.

    Chauvel got to learn about why there is an old homily about pollie and kissing babies didn’t he. Always kiss the babies Charlie.

    • lprent 39.1

      I have no idea what in the hell you’re talking about in this comment. But going over the top is one of my specialities. In fact it is a job requirement for BOFHs.

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