- Date published:
8:10 am, January 10th, 2015 - 250 comments
Categories: blogs, David Farrar, Deep stuff, Dirty Politics, john key, national, The Standard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: charlie hebdo, terrorism, whaleoil
Remember after Dirty Politics broke and John Key and others insisted that the left, including the Standard, were just as bad as the right?
In August last year Danyl McLaughlan summed the situation up really well with this post which included the following passage:
John Key did a media stand-up yesterday about Dirty Politics in which he mentioned the words ‘left-wing conspiracy theorist’ about twenty times, and insisted that everything in the book is a lie, and that the real dirty politics comes from the left.
From a communications point-of-view that’s a sensible approach. His audience is not the journalists at the stand-up, but rather the television viewers who haven’t read the book and who will see excerpts of the statement and be reassured by the PMs words.
But some of the reporters listening to the PM have read the book. And when Key insists that the real dirty politics comes from the left, I think, or hope, that they’ll reflect that no one on the left is publishing the addresses of journalists online in the hope that someone assaults or murders them in revenge for writing about tax-havens, which is what Cathy Odgers, Cameron Slater David Farrar and Matthew Hooton discuss on page 91. Also, no one on the left is going around brothels trying to find out whether journalists have visited them, so they can be blackmailed, which is what Cameron Slater, the Justice Minister’s close friend, and long-term collaborator with the Prime Minister’s office is up to. No one on the left runs smear campaigns against attempted rape victims, or publishes graphic affidavits describing their political enemies having sex. There’s no one comparable to Slater on the left of politics, or blogging. He is a phenomenon unique to the National Party. Key can insist that this is all just a lie, just a conspiracy story, but people who read the book know that this is simply documentation from Slater’s emails and that the Prime Minister is lying to their faces.
Key’s claim that the left was just as bad was designed to urgently address the damage being caused by the revelations in Dirty Politics. What was disclosed in the book was that bad that all stops had to be pulled out. And it took a couple of days to focus group a response. They ended up with “the left is just as bad” which on the scale of things must be the last useable defence for the right because it acknowledges immoral behaviour on their part.
The allegation that left blogs are just as bad as right blogs is a meme that gets trotted out regularly. But it is incorrect and if you want evidence to confirm this there is plenty about.
As an example compare the Standard’s treatment of the Charlie Hebdo killing to Kiwiblog’s.
On the right David Farrar at Kiwiblog put up a post soon after the incident occurred at 3:42 am. At the time of writing this post 439 comments have been made. I will bullet point some of the more extreme but reading the whole list is distressing, both for the lack of humanity and for the intent to punish a whole religion for the actions of a couple of extremists. The comments, which were mostly the most popular comments made, included:
I could go on but I am sure that you get the picture.
Pete George had a comment hidden because of negative clicks. It said “[a]ttacking and ostracising innocent Muslims is not dissimilar to terrorists attacking people. Both show a lack of tolerance of others.” A response “PG: Get your head out of your arse . . . you are the type these scumbags gain their support from” received considerable support.
Whaleoil was similar. I will not list the details although a recent post had the following text “[H]ow many more people are they going to have to murder before everyone understands that Islam is the religion of peace?”
Meanwhile on the Standard Karol posted about the news at 7:30 am on the day it happened. At the time of writing there have been 581 comments. Reading these confirm to me how utterly different the left is to the right. It is as if we are two different species.
Anyway some of the more interesting comments which displayed a wide variety of beliefs and considerable disagreement and debate include the following:
Interestingly Matthew Hooton agreed with many of the comments. Who would have thought that a libertarian would be respectful of human life and of freedom of expression would agree that notions of freedom should apply to everyone.
Reading the comments in Karol’s post it is clear that the discussion was much more diverse and covered such areas as belief in a higher deity, whether or not there should be any state support for that deity, the difficulties with cultural integration need to be addressed, that we should reserve judgment on the issue until more facts emerged and that the initial response was simplistic.
The discussions were like chalk and cheese. One (Kiwiblog’s) was certain and rigid and superficial and any dissenting view was ridiculed. The other (the Standard’s) was multilayered, explored a number of different aspects of the incident, was robust in parts but was certainly informative and educational.
There is a difference between left and right blogs. The evidence is startlingly clear. Next time John Key says the left is just the same he should be asked for specifics.