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Open mike 29/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 29th, 2020 - 119 comments
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119 comments on “Open mike 29/06/2020”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Stones vs Trump:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/300044352/rolling-stones-issue-cease-and-desist-notice-against-donald-trump

    When it comes to breach of copyright, Trump seems to have established a track record as serial offender. 

    "Tom Petty family united last weekend to release a statement objecting to the use of I Won't Back Down at the President's contentious campaign rally in Tulsa.  Brendon Urie soon followed with a strongly worded statement condemning Trump's use of the Panic! at the Disco song High Hopes at the same rally.  Both Neil Young and REM's Michael Stipe have previously publicly objected to Trump campaign song use.

  2. Ad 2

    On kindness, by Charles Bukowski:


    • That is a narrow bitter view of kindness and far more about id.

    • greywarshark 2.2

      What an arrogant little view of life from someone who has joined 'The Currrent Correctness and Infinite Fount of All Wisdom Cult'.   I haven't registered this anywhere so offer it to anyone who has been looking for a group to start or a name for one they have joined.   Be quick, grab it before someone else gets off with it.

      My piece of wisdom is that we all contain the potential for all the faults we apprehend in others now and from the past;  our job is to keep thinking, forgive ourselves with big efforts to do better, and when we come across perpetrators don't waste time hating them.   Instead insist ask them to atone by attempting to change what they have done, and get the water of life running in a different direction so that everyone can access it.

    • Shanreagh 2.3

      Well sounds like bull-kaka to me. Not helped by the emphasis on strange words that the would not normally be emphasised in the narration.  So what if you have to give the benefit of the doubt or, heavens, be kind to someone older who may imperfect recall, wrong recall or who you think might actually be wrong.  It does not mean that their whole life has been lived imperfectly or wrongly.  

      In the 70s there was an almost slavish following by some of the idea that you had to let people know their faults, that it was better for them to know their faults and for you to let them know…..a crock that I called the 'Goodness and Honesty policy' (sarc) as it was nothing of the sort. This sounds a bit like that.  

      This name is also up for grabs.

      [Fixed error in user name again]

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I see some folks last night disagreed with me about the existence of the quarantine shambles, and then this morning I encountered this:  https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/28-06-2020/review-of-managed-isolation-reveals-system-under-extreme-stress/

    The government’s review of managed isolation facilities paints a picture of an under-resourced, uncoordinated and ad hoc system.

    The review points to a “misalignment between different agencies’ perceived responsibilities, their policies, and operational realities”. Which basically means it was all a bit of a mess.

    So those folk now must face the fact that the govt's review confirms the existence of the shambles.  Well, they could persist in denial by claiming that a mess is not as bad as a shambles, perhaps.  But better to get real instead!

    • aj 3.1

      But they are right. I didn't see the word 'shambles' in that report … I don't think anyone denied there were no problems with the system. 

    • Incognito 3.2

      Do we have community spread, Dennis, and if so, was this caused or compounded by the ‘shambles’ that you you’re so focussed on? It is simple big-picture-small-picture stuff but many folks, you included, seem to fret & sweat over the small stuff. Please notice that I haven’t mentioned one official or political party, as they are irrelevant to this question.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        Well, I do agree that the folks who would rather call a spade an excavation implement have made relevant points.

        My concern is that the PM seems to have lost the plot re political management.  Public confidence in the govt is essential for re-election.  She can't afford to maintain the ebb-tide effect in the polls.  Chris Trotter gets it, I noticed this morning that he posted this on Friday:  http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2020/06/sack-him-jacinda-sack-him-now.html

        If David Clark hasn’t been sacked by the time you read this, then Jacinda isn’t doing her job. His point-blank refusal to accept responsibility for the multiple institutional failures of his Health portfolio more than justifies Clark’s dismissal.

        Ministers of the Crown only have one job: to be responsible. As members of both the legislature and the executive they are a living bridge between citizen and state. A ministerial refusal to accept responsibility for failures occurring on his watch is also a refusal to uphold the essence of our Westminster-style representative democracy. If Jacinda doesn’t get this, then she should be given a swift tutorial by someone who does.

        Keeping David Clark operating in his role as the Nats' secret weapon is loony.  It just reinforces Muller as a viable alternative in the public mind.  Why do that??

        • Incognito

          Sorry, Dennis, I seem to have somehow missed your answer. Was it a Yes or a No to community spread?

          • Dennis Frank

            I put a comment here supporting someone who made the point re lack of community spread last week. That's not the issue.

            And re those using Woodhouse as a red herring, he's just beating up.  But when you use spin on the basis of a valid point you get traction, right?  To me he's just like one of those wee yap yap yap dogs.  Even someone with average intelligence gets it right half the time.  David Clark has been ramping up his yap.

            • aj

              That odious little man Woodhouse is clinging to the hope there is community spread. He also clings to that canard about the homeless man, and doubles down by saying he has lots and lots of other anecdotes about errors in the system. Do tell, Michael, why hold back? in for one, in for all? after all, you have proved you have no interest in the public health response being successful.


              I think it's fair to say the system became 'unfit for purpose' owing to the rapid growth in numbers. It's clear the problems with isolating and quarantining people grow exponentially as numbers grow, and this has exposed the insane demands from opposition politicians to open up more quickly.

              It’s also clear these issue were either not anticipated, or overwhelmed the ability to adapt to greater numbers. But I note that in the last two weeks in particular there is not an inch to be given to the overworked people involved in the covid response at all levels. They are expected to be perfect. Anything else is not good enough. So easy to be a sideline expert, all wind and no responsibility.

              • Dennis Frank

                Fair enough, and something else worth considering is the conflation of testing and quarantine in the public mind.  In retrospect, seems like reassurance from the specialists that two weeks quarantine removes the risk became questionable at some point.

                So then we got a rush to try & test all those released without testing.  I'm not clear on why and I expect many others aren't either…

            • Incognito

              What is the primary goal of the border quarantine measures? Arguably, the secondary one is to make the public feel safer AKA “spin”. Has the primary objective been met, so far? If not, what was the impact? If you only focus on the spin then the ‘issue’ is about spin on spin AKA yap yap doggies yelping at every passing car.

          • woodart

            the real shambles here,is dennis dancing around the fact that he wouldnt know a shambles if he fell over one.

        • RedLogix

          Sacking Clark now would be another mess in the making.

          The reason for the quarantine shambles was not obvious, but SPC over the weekend has put up a clear case the PM can take to the country. The reasoning was really only obvious in hindsight, but it goes like this:

          While the whole country was at Level 3, effectively everyone and everywhere was in quarantine, so while the border procedures were useful they were not essential. Cases could slip through, but they would be contained very quickly.

          But when the country dropped to Level 1 it became essential to first increase the border process security. The mistake was in yielding to political pressure to go down from Level 3 to Level 1 so quickly, which meant that the border process, which is a two week process, did not have time to ramp up in an orderly fashion.

          Take that to the country, explain that in the understandable desire to get back to Level 1, the subtle implications for border quarantine were not properly understood and managed. It was an honest mistake I believe, and an honest mea culpa will be accepted.

          The the Ministry can get on with more important reforms that are in the pipeline. Sacrificing goats for mere public spectacle is medieval.

          • I Feel Love

            Nicely put RL. 

            • AB

              Yes – and funnily enough, it's exactly what I was shouting at the telly and at everyone at home when it became apparent that we were moving to Level 1 so quickly – "make sure the border is secure first!"  Leakage from the border into a community operating at level 1 being so much more potentially dangerous.

          • Dennis Frank

            I disagree on the basis of traditional morality:  the doctrine of ministerial responsibility ought to be enforced.  I believe the case you make, while seeming reasonable, would fail as a political strategy.

            • RedLogix

              I think it will fly. Most voters are reasonable people and when the mistake is explained to them they will understand.

              After all how many people here anticipated this peculiar problem at the time? I certainly didn't. And none of the clever media types calling for Clark’s resignation did either.

              • aj

                I think the government has been busy dealing with the real world issues being thrown at them as this pandemic and it's consequences escalate.

                Too busy to deal with spot fires being deliberately lit by the media and national party, although Adern took early steps to to address these with her interview earlier this morning. She also sounded tired, like a parent who has been up 5 times during night with a restless infant….

            • greywarshark

              Dennis Frank    You remind me sometimes of a needle stuck in the groove of an old vinyl record.   You may call me old-fashioned, but then so are you.   Events are moving so fast requiring regular adjustments of opinions, policies, practices and implementation, to try to ensure practical and high-minded results.  To carry on an argument that we should stop and get an exact record of outcomes during fast-changing events under our Covid-19 regs is futile time-wasting not helpful to the government or the left.   Are you thinking at all?  Do you want a Right-Wing government?

              I would scorn you personally if you do.   It would show that you are a democracy-destroyer, and not worthy of space on any realistic left-wing blog that has integrity and objectivity.   We are in crisis in the world, let's think about it all not get stuck on the potty obstinately wailing.   Life happens while we are planning (and commenting repetitively) other things!

              • ianmac

                Hear hear grey.

              • Dennis Frank

                Issuing feeble excuses in an attempt to justify evasion of moral responsibility isn't a good idea.  All that happens is that you reinforce the view of centrists that the political left is just as bad as the political right.

                Ministerial responsibility was put into the system of representative democracy for a very good reason.  You and Ian ought to reflect on that reason.  It doesn't help Aotearoa when the left side of politics is just as keen to break the rules as the right.

            • Adrian

              I think you will find that Dr  Ashley Bloomfield answers directly to Government and not the MoH because he has more power than the MoH in an emergency. That was my understanding way back in the mists of time when he was elevated, so yes responsibility bypasses Ministers all the way to Parliament.

          • Anne

            Well said. Thanks RL.

            I will repeat part of Jacinda Ardern's comments this morning to the 'one size fits all' idiot who goes by the name of Mike Hosking:

            Hosking: "Did you look at the pictures last week of Ashley Bloomfield when your Minister of Heath threw him under the bus so publicly?"

            Ardern: "I did. I did see that interview but I also know the full transcript of what happened in the interview and the elements that weren't included. That included Dr Clark talking about what an exceptional public servant Ashley was."

            Hosking: "What did you see in Ashley's face?"

            Ardern: "Well, the same that I've seen across people who are working in health generally. A group of people who have worked exceptionally hard across a number of months and we do have to give some respite to. They have been working incredibly hard. We have been criticised for not directly blaming any individual person because this is a failure of our system and we have taken collective responsibility for that."

            Hosking: "Did he deserve what we got?"

            Ardern: "What Dr Clark said was no different to what Dr Bloomfield said only 48 hours before. No one here is placing blame at any individual's foot for something that was a systems failure and that we are all working really well collectively together to resolve."

            Hosking: "You don't think it was galling that the most inept minister going was the one handing out the criticism?"

            Ardern: "Again, you'll see that I have kind of disputed the framing that you have put around this whole thing, Mike. None of us are placing blame on individuals here because that wouldn't be right. We have had a system failure and we have worked hard to fix it. The report yesterday shows the efforts being made. Both Dr Bloomfield and Dr Clark have worked together exceptionally well. I have sat in meetings with these individuals frequently. I know the collaborative, collegial working relationship they have. Those individuals are part of a bigger team who have managed to get New Zealand into an uneviable position. We are doing better than most of the world right now, and it is because in no small part to their work they are doing alongside New Zealanders."

            I watched the press conference live and Jacinda is right. Clark was fulsome in his praise of Bloomfield but how extraordinary that the media apparently missed it – not.  

        • anker

          What utter bollocks Denis.  I read the transcript of Ardern's interview with Hoskings this morning about why she hasn't sacked Clark……..as Ardern said earlier Clark is part of the solution.

          A shambles is the United States, the UK, Brazil.   Not NZ.  The system here is/was under extreme stress.  

          A shambles is "a state of total disorder"….. Its just bollocks that you describe isolation facilities as total disorder.

          BTW Denis you are starting to sound like those pathetic Nats saying “We’d do it better”


          • Dennis Frank

            The govt review has confirmed that my view is correct.  The fact that it is widely shared in the public mind is hurting Labour.  Persisting in denial of the facts will not help their re-election prospects.

            As for Nats doing better, not a chance.  Obviously David Clark got set up by the officials who failed to do their job properly, and any Nat minister would have been set up similarly.  Unless those officials did it deliberately to undermine the govt, due to being Nat supporters.  Incompetence is the more likely explanation.

            • anker

              Denis, I don't think it is accurate to characterise isolation facilities as a shambles (dictionary definition of a shambles is state of total disorder).

              Its very clear that any disorder in isolation facilities was not pervasive. Of course it has hurt Labour's polling.   That is undeniable and the opposition has played politics with the system failures to score votes.  You are buying into the oppositions memes.

              The system of quarantining returnees has achieved what it set out to achieve i.e keeping Covid out of the community.  To do that by definition the system was functional despite the issues.  



              • Dennis Frank

                Okay, put like that it is all reasoning I can accept as valid.  Lots of folks nowadays lose words loosely in disregard of the dictionary meaning (racism for instance). 

                I'm not buying into Nat memes – I independently reached the same view in accord with widespread public perception of the consequences of the operational dysfunction.  Did so before Woodhouse began bleating.

                Assuming the public dance to the Nats' tune is a leftist syndrome.  Sometimes it seems that way, but really it's a mistake to assume people can't form their own opinions from what happens…

                • RedLogix

                  When this story first broke I was just as angry at the apparent fuck up as anyone.  I really wanted some heads to roll.

                  Now a few weeks later when the rather non-obvious reason why it happened is clear to me, I've changed my mind.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    At the risk of introducing too much nuance;  my primary issue is immoral protection of public service wrong-doers.  😇

                    There's a convention around this:  Nat/Lab agreement that enforcement can only proceed via employment contract.  I don't agree with this left/right weasel dance unison sham.  It's immoral, because it is used to cover up wrong-doing. 

                    To do so, David Clark had to disregard the parliamentary doctrine of ministerial responsibility.  His leader has condoned that.  So far.

                    So as regards culpability, DC is merely the secondary offender.  Yet parliamentary democracy is supposed to make him take the rap.  On that basis, my take on the stances adopted by Linda Clark & Richard Harman is as follows:  LC is correct on the basis of how parliament is supposed to operate, RH is correct on the basis of natural justice.

                    • Adrian

                      Exactly, every country in the world is having huge fuckups on a scale far, far larger than this on an hourly basis. One in 5 months is a pretty good record which is why we are the safest place in the world being managed by the best and hardest working group on the planet. And I thank them every day. i have also along with many others have had a complete gutsful of whiner and finger pointers.

    • Gabby 3.3

      If by 'shambles' you mean 'not up to the Woodlouse/Munter seal of approval', well you're still wrong.

    • Better to fix it Frank.  Which they have,  smartly with no excuses.  As to "get real instead"    Instead of what?  Lying like Woodhouse?  scaremongering about "Community transmission?"

      Prime Minister Ardern said we would get cases coming in at the border.  No one then thought the numbers returning would become a flood.  Very quickly the system was almost overwhelmed by returnees from areas where the pandemic is raging.

      "Shambles" means no parts of the border controls were working.  That is patently untrue,  as we would have community transmission. 

      I hope some one doesn't sneak the virus through somehow,  as was done with the rabbit Khaleesi virus,  because politically they believe they would be better off.

      We need to stop navel gazing and start working at how to maximise health and future opportunities.  Scare mongering is another road to austerity and a loss of confidence.

      Fisher and Paykel Health saw a 37% growth  and 5000 employees is a case in point.

    • Shanreagh 3.5

      Rather than getting the so-called 'real oil' from an article complete with 'spin,' the actual press release and the report itself and project plan present a clear and sober picture.  ( I thought we had all had it confirmed/learned during the lockdown  1.00pm pressers and seeing the articles that resulted that journos often don't get the slant correct or even the facts.)

      Here is a link to the press release from Hon Megan Woods

      On this there are links to the report and to the action plan.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Good news from the "Horizon Research survey of nearly 1600 Kiwis. It found 56 per cent of respondents plan to vote for legalising cannabis for personal use on September 19."  https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12343541

    There's been a 60/40 yoyo effect: 

    The June poll continues a trend among the Helius cannabis surveys, which have found increasing support cannabis legalisation since August last year, when only 39 per cent of Kiwis were in favour.  However, a November 2018 Helius cannabis survey registered the highest support for legalising cannabis for personal use at 60 per cent.

    The intra-party breakdowns are fascinating too, with only Nat dinosaurs holding the line against progress:

    Notably, New Zealand First voters have now shifted to support reform – 53 per cent are in favour.  Seventy per cent of ACT voters now plan to tick yes at the referendum – up significantly from 45 per cent in February.  And 72 per cent of Labour voters support the bill.

    • RedBaronCV 4.1

      Yeah I'll be voting to legalise even though I know that it's bad for the body. However, we have spent millions through the cops and justice system for about zero result. Give a fraction of that money to the health system and I reckon they will have nagged most people into submission within the decade. They did a basically good job on the fags- much more cost effective than the cops.

      Heck I'd even run an ad asking if people wanted to be arrested or nagged.

      • Sabine 4.1.1

        neither, some will simply bake cookies, or make a tincture, tea, gummi bears (with or without permission form the Greens) and will never smoke a single leave. 

        But yes, i will vote for it as i am sick and tired of seing lives fucked over for a joint, or 'possesion with intend to sell' even tho its literally just an ounce for private use. 

        And thus i will also be voting for new businesses, new agricultural projects, jobs and increased tax revenue. 

        Take that naggers. 

        • I Feel Love

          same here, voting for it, not a drug taker & barely drink alcohol (the odd beer), but I hate the hypocrisy.

        • RedBaronCV

          I was actually thinking of things like short term memory loss ? not the actual smoke which I assume is as bad as fag smoke. But is this an issue with non smoke forms of delivery?

  5. Incognito 5

    Hmmm, Kate Hawkesby, the paragon of personal freedom and responsibility, seems to advocate for forced COVID-19 tests for people coming into the country. Nek minit, she will call for forced vaccination too.


  6. ScottGN 6

    Gee Goldsmith is getting himself into all sorts of trouble on Morning Report.

    • Just Is 6.1

      Every time he's interviewed he embarrasses himself, he simply has no idea what's real and what's not, perfect for a finace minister of the National Party, basically full of shite

    • anker 6.2

      Yes Suzie nailing Goldsmith to the post.  He sounded ridiculous.  

  7. Tricledrown 7

    Woodlouse has admitted he has no proof of homeless person jumping into the cue at isolation hotel.

    He has admitted it was anecdotal and is still looking.


  8. ScottGN 8

    And just prior to Goldsmith’s shambles of an interview Woodhouse was still pushing the Nat’s line that there was likely to be community transmission of Covid in Aotearoa although (like the fabled Homeless Man) there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim. 

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      True, no evidence.  However risk management is the underlying rationale.  One would not expect Woodhouse to be able to explain that sophisticated concept, eh?

      Greens warning of climate change in the nineties used that as the basis of their advocacy.  I'm not saying they did it well – it seems in retrospect to have been tacit rather than made explicit.  However since it is the basis of the insurance industry, and used even more widely throughout capitalism, it does deserve articulation.

      • Just Is 8.1.1

        Yeah, but the Greens have a basis in reality where as the assumption of potential community spread doesn't, just an exaggerated lie.

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Woodhouse the boy who cried Wolf but the Wolf blew his house down for telling Porkies

  10. ScottGN 10

    RNZ reporting Paula Bennett is standing down at the election. 

  11. Tricledrown 11

    Pullya Benefit quiting  politics .National looking like a ragtag bunch of misfits.

    Goldsmith lacks knowledge of economics or basic maths.

    Woodhouse cries wolf

    Muddler has a caucus of incompetents .

    Collins tries to sterilize her dodgy past and dumps on everyone.


    Luxton will be Nationals new leader in January.


    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Matthew Whitehead 11.1

      While I'm normally in favour of error or mistake as the default assumption for political screw-ups, I'd caution that there is a LONG history of malicious misinterpretation of other parties' more progressive policies from National finance spokespeople, so let's not be TOO charitable to Goldsmith and rule out entirely the idea that he knows damn well how marginal taxes work and what the language that describes them looks like, but he's mischievously trying to muddy the waters.

    • roblogic 11.2

      Luxon might be looking at National's sorry bunch of no-hopers and grifters and having second thoughts.

      • Red Blooded One 11.2.1

        Maybe Luxon will join the people driving a fleet of Motorhomes for the new ONE Party that I talked to in the Far North today. They believe they are the only true Christian Party, along with some seriously dubious claims about other partys. Oh PS, miss you already Pulya. lololol.

    • greywarshark 11.3

      Nostradamus (Tr-down) we salute you.

    • roblogic 11.4

      lol !

  12. greywarshark 12

    I guess this has been put up before but good to get reminder;


    Alternative Aotearoa – a one-day seminar to provide solutions for the environmental, social and economic transformation of Aotearoa.

    Saturday 25 July, 8.30am Pipitea Marae, Wellington…

    Registration is free but people need to register for catering purposes. A koha will apply for lunch. Register via email to bronwensummers@gmail.com

    The Social Solutions section has been extended by half an hour due to the wide range of groups keen to contribute.

    The seminar will be live-streamed on The Daily Blog…

    Keynote speakers:
    Laura O’Connell Rapira – Director of Action Station
    Efeso Collins – Pasifika community activist and Auckland City Councillor

    Julia Whaipooti – Justice Advocate
    Martyn Bradbury – Editor of The Daily Blog

    Recorders/Collators/Final presenters
    Tamatha Paul – Wellington City Councillor
    Jane Kelsey – Law Professor University of Auckland

  13. mac1 13

    "Who needs facts? Who needs evidence? Who needs logic. That's for leftie academic woosses.

    I believe. I have an opinion and I am entitled to it, even if I'm wrong, and I'm not.

    I'm saying there must be community cases out there. I was right a month ago. It's just that you haven't found them. You're at fault.

    Just like you never found the homeless man….. You  wasted all that money looking for him, and never found him.

    Look, if the President of the US is allowed to be sarcastic, then I'm allowed to be anecdotal and not reveal my sources.

    No, I'm not going to ask questions in Parliament tomorrow because all those leftie academic woosses will make fun of me.

    Oh, look. Paula’s leaving. You should be talking to her because Judith was nasty to her when she laughed at Nikki’s opinion that Paul was Maori.

    What? Of course, he’s Maori. You just haven’t found the evidence!”

    The Woodhouse Reports.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.1

      laugh  Well observed – Woodhouse sounding more presidential by the day.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        It's winter.   The wood is wet and produces too much smoke.  Illegal.   Keep the wood drying out before using so it's fit for purpose.    Shut the door on the Woodhouse, for a number of months and then maybe the winter of our discontent will be over.

    • ianmac 13.2

      A tick for each of your points mac 1.

  14. Peter 14

    Bennett gripped it, blipped it, flipped it, lipped it and has finally zipped it. Good bloody riddance.

    A Winston Peters' tribute in Parliament would be a treat.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Croaking Cassandra has an interesting piece on the Chinese Communist Party spy-trainer politician in the National Government.   He has been able to get in on the National List.  It would be hard for this man to be objective.   Apparently he refuses any English-speaking media contact to explain how he does this herculean task.   I wonder if he unburdens himself to the NZ Chinese language newspaper – I think it is published in Auckland, home-away-from-home for many Chinese housing investors.

    We live in interesting times – too late to say 'May you'.    (Wikipedia – Despite being so common in English as to be known as the "Chinese curse", the saying is apocryphal – doubtful origin.)

    …he’d lied about his past in his application for New Zealand residency and citizenship.   In fact, challenged on the point he was quite open about it: he’d actively misrepresented his past because his CCP bosses had insisted on it when he first left the PRC.


  16. Gabby 16

    That baby on Marama's knee looks like Tova just asked a question.

  17. joe90 17

    Faux news backed the mayor of Amity when he said the town had to get those tourists back in the water…

    The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously

    It’s another one of those Trump Era realities best described as unsurprising but nevertheless shocking.

    Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread.

    Dangerously duped.

    The studies “paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others,” wrote my colleague Christopher Ingraham in an analysis last week.

    Here’s the reality, now backed by numbers:

    http://archive.li/FZTf2 (wapo)

    • joe90 17.1

      Fast tracking the rapture.

      A choir of more than 100 people performed without masks at a robustly attended event in Texas at the First Baptist Church on Sunday that featured a speech by Vice President Mike Pence.

      Nearly 2,200 people attended the "Celebrate Freedom Rally," in the Lone Star State, according to rally organizers, which has seen a severe surge in coronavirus cases since easing restrictions. The venue capacity for the indoor event was close to 3,000 attendees, organizers say.

      Throughout the service, the members of the choir sang at full volume, behind an orchestra. Between songs, the choir members put their masks back on when they sat down, according to pool reports from the event. The members of the choir had space between them, but it was not clear if it was the recommended six feet.


    • ianmac 17.2

      The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously.

      Rewrite, "The data is in: Woodhouse may have kept thousands from believing that  the coronavirus threat in NZ is under better control than anywhere else in the World.

  18. ianmac 18

    Jack Vowles has done it again. He must be the sane one in a country of the insane Media.

    On the one hand, if mistakes and errors are made, there is a responsibility to expose them, and those who are responsible. On the other, in a crisis there is always a danger of making things worse by exaggeration or generating misunderstanding, particularly if this destroys confidence in those who are in charge, making it harder for them to do their jobs. This is a particularly acute dilemma with an election looming in less than three months.

    Most people probably understand the distinction between hard news, often based on careful investigative reporting, and so-called tabloid coverage that is shrill, emotional, and unbalanced. 

    (I put Jack up because he says what I think but he can say it so much better than I.)

    • RedBaronCV 18.1

      I'd really love the news media to stop hounding the government over the pressure on the border and go and get stuck into the airline CEO's and scorch them. They hide behind press releases. They seem to be not erring on the side of caution instead just chasing the every last dollar.   And it appears that American airlines are just going to start flying here (unilateral decision ?) as have other airlines. This puts pressure on us to provide extra quarantine regardless. According to the stories we don't even know who is coming until the plane is in the air athough I thought immigration had warning before boarding.  We need to start charging for it and I' d start with the permanent residents who haven't been here for the last two years before Jan 2020. They have not contributed and are just using us as a bolthole or welfare backup.


    • Incognito 18.2

      I tidied up your link; the question mark and anything behind it can usually be deleted.

      Another good read by Vowles.

  19. JohnSelway 19

    So after the whole SNAFU around my managed isolation and being set free without any testing (which I have mentioned) I got my results back from MoH and, unsurprisingly, I am COVID free. Still no community transmission which is a great result even after the problems regarding managed isolation.

    Long may it continue

    • ianmac 19.1

      So John I take it that you are very pleased to be free of infection after being cared for by the people who run the system?

      • JohnSelway 19.1.1

        The nurses at the hotel were wonderful. Very kind and dedicated

        • Sabine

          And please the next time if/when you are in quarantine again (lets hope this will never be the case) with requirements of 2 m distance to others and isolation ,, don't use a public elevator to go get a cigarette in a public smoke cubicle. 

          Be upfront and askhow you can safely leave the building, go to a balcony, smoking room, roof top etc in order to have your cigarette.And if you can't ask for Champix or Nicotine patches if getting through the day without a fix is too hard.

          You using an elevator to go the smokers cubicle to get your fix was not the governments fault that is all on you and if you had been a carrier you could have infected people.  

          Welcome home. 

          • JohnSelway

            The elevator wasn’t an issue as you were only allowed in there with others from your room – by myself in my case. I did ask them about smoking outside but weirdly you couldn't smoke AND social distant. So what I did after the 4th day I’d only go for cigarettes after 10pm when you could smoke outside

            Maybe all on me and others but everyone was just doing as we were told.

  20. aj 20

    Today's presser. I got the feeling the media teeth were not so sharp. As usual he is very clear, and when he addresses the question of over 360 people they are trying to contact, and have not responded to calls, texts, and emails he absolutely nails it.
    Precis: He is disappointed and expects them to play their part.

    What on earth are these people thinking by not responding – they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    It is well worth listening to this, it provides sanity from the scaremongering by the media and opposition politicians.


    • Janet 20.1

      Yes there are still 367 people who the Ministry of Health is having trouble getting in touch with. Director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield made a fresh appeal for these people to get in touch with authorities.

      NAME them the team of 5 mil will deliver them. 

    • SPC 20.2

      Maybe some are to be found at National Party electorate meetings, by not getting tested they are keeping Mullers belief that there might be community spread alive. 

      Muller is trying to expolit the might be to open up borders – he believes in zombie economics. Money before lives, and he has the gall to claim to oppose euthansia from a moral position. 

  21. Fireblade 21

    75 new cases in Victoria today.

  22. I Feel Love 22

    what a shambles! my kids mum got her test results back, negative, so she can go back to work. Such a shambles, to live in a country without community transmission, to be able to go to the Drs and get tested if you need to get one, bloody shambles,, no one has died from Covid in weeks, ICU beds empty, toilet paper for everyone,  the Health Minister should resign!!! (sarc)

    • Incognito 22.1

      It is such a shambles that the Main Shambolic Media have to manufacture a shambles so they can ‘report’ on it and please the shareholders of the Main Shambles Manufacturers.

  23. observer 23

    The day the pandemic total passes ten million might not be the best time to say you want NZ's borders to open up, but Todd Muller has done it anyway (Wellington business meeting).

    To be fair, it is one kind of solution: there definitely won't be any quarantine bungles if there's no quarantine.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 23.1

      Is there method in Muller's madness?  He suspects community transmission where there is none, and wants to open up our borders.  If NZ's Covid elimination strategy had been less successful (say NZ now had the U.K.'s mortality rate of 642 deaths per million population, rather than the current 4.4 per million, then we'd have ~3,200 Covid-19 deaths), then would that have made it easier to open our borders?

      Coronavirus: How lockdown is being lifted across Europe

      So many reasons for National party supporters to hope that our Government's border controls fail (but please keep the agricultural pests out.)

      • Gabby 23.1.1

        Natsys have a bit of a track record of 'accidentally' letting nasties in, so if they were doing more than hope, it wouldn't be a massive surprise.

        • greywarshark

          Muller's been talking to the-man-in-the-street who wants everything easy and magic beans as well, and on quickly mulling it over, in about a second, has repeated it all as gospel.    Being community driven and populist, he of course, bows down to the public.    The country pays him to make judgments on vox pop;  nice job if you can get it, and you can get it if you try.    But maybe not just now Gnats, you imported, important pests.

    • AB 23.2

      It is clear that we are simultaneously doing too little (border bungles) and too much (border restrictions). For his next conjuring trick, Muller will disappear up his own fundament while simultaneously re-appearing at the other end.

  24. ScottGN 25

    The French Greens have made sweeping gains across the country as France shifts left in local body elections. Also (to my great delight) Anne Hidalgo the Socialist Mayor of Paris has had a big victory. Her bold plans to reinvent and regreen the capital will have repercussions for urban planning everywhere.


  25. observer 26

    I swear, if you were a script writer for political satire, and you put these words in the mouth of a character who was only there for cheap laughs, you'd be told to go back and try again …

    "Muller said there were several permutations of how some kind of border opening could work, particularly if passengers were able to prove they were Covid-19 free from overseas.

    He said he didn't know exactly how this would work but he wanted some sort of clarity from the Government about their plan to open up."

    • ianmac 26.1

      Huh Observer? But, but, but Woodhouse said that the process is very simple. Anyone could do it and just get a competent (National) Government to run it all. Is  Muller not speaking to Woodhouse?

  26. ianmac 27

    Just got round to watching Campbell challenging Woodhouse on his homeless man myth. Pretty amazing. Note the "dry mouth" of Woodhouse and his failure to regain any credibility. (Sorry if this has already been covered.)


  27. Morrissey 28

    Stürmer, the King of Nothing, is about to be hoist by his own petard.

    At least his fellow shills for apartheid Sacha Baron Cohen and Maureen Lipman have the redeeming quality of being funny occasionally.


  28. greywarshark 29


    What's the background to this murder?   Is this a young chap who should have been in enclosed, managed care because he was too erratically behaved when stressed.    Has he shown signs of violence before?   

    Is this a result from people being out in the community, because it sounds nice. There was a great outcry in the UK in late 1980s about conditions in mental hospitals. So the only option was to close them all, not to really staff them well, and maintain the community standards to a high level, including those in institutions.


    This process began with a wholescale transformation process known as deinstitutionalisation – that is, shifting care and support of people with mental health problems from psychiatric institutions into community based settings. At the start of the process, these institutions housed approximately 100,000 people; by the end, all had closed….

    Politically, there was consensus among parties about hospital reconstruction, and further legislation set a vision for the provision of mental health services as part of this. Alongside this, Enoch Powell, then Minister for Health, announced the intention to halve the number of hospital beds for people with mental health problems.

    Although there was little overt financial impetus for deinstitutionalisation, it was generally acknowledged that institutions were financially unsustainable and, in many cases, represented prime estate.

    There were moral and medial reasons for looking at how many people could be treated in the community and perhaps better than in institutions. But note the above:
    the right wing politician Powell was limiting mental health beds in hospital, and they were being regarded as financially unsustainable which is majorly a bean counter decision, and the last item they represented ‘prime; real estate.

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