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Tory journalist of the year

Written By: - Date published: 3:44 pm, June 8th, 2013 - 16 comments
Categories: spin - Tags: ,

The year isn’t over yet, but I reckon Tracy Watkins has already secured the prize for Tory journalist of the year.

The Opposition should be careful what it wishes for after it claimed Peter Dunne’s scalp in the long-running spy saga. Mr Dunne fell on his sword after refusing to bow to the prime minister’s ultimatum that he co-operate with an inquiry into how a sensitive report on the GCSB was leaked.

Peter Dunne claimed his own scalp.

The Opposition tactic is to paint the Key Government’s allies as increasingly shonky, so it will continue to go after Mr Dunne. But that tactic may backfire.

Like every other opposition before it, and every opposition to come.

There were farcical scenes in Parliament on Thursday after Labour and NZ First protested Speaker David Carter giving Mr Dunne the benefit of the doubt on UnitedFuture funding after some party memberships lapsed. The schoolyard scenes did Labour no favours. NZ First is blatantly positioning itself as National’s only credible ally should it hold the balance of power in 2014.

It may be another case of Labour wanting to be careful what it wishes for.

Yeah so Peter Dunne imploded, Winston Peters leads a parliamentary walkout, and Watkins wants to twist this so all this is somehow Labour’s fault? Your agenda is showing.

Speaking of crap journalism – Patrick Gower. The panty-sniffing stuff in the Dunne case was always going to come out, but how inevitable was it that it should be Gower that started running the question. Gower is out of his depth, trying to be edgy, trying too hard. A bit too much in love with his own minor celebrity.


16 comments on “Tory journalist of the year”

  1. John Williams 1

    You are right about Watkins and you may have been the first to put it in writing…but I’ve been thinking that for several months now. And I never thought I’d be alone in my thinking.

    • Hanswurst 1.1

      Several months? She has been cheerleading and spinning in the most strident manner for Key and anything national-related since before the 2008 election. I’ve never been able to understand why John Armstrong comes in for so much flak here, while the far more partisan and less reasoned Watkins seems to go unnoticed. Having said that, I don’t reside in NZ, so I can’t tell whether she isn’t just less visible in newspapers etc. and therefore usually not worth bothering with.

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        If the criterion for awarding Tory journalist of the year is craven coverage of Johnny Sparkles and his cronies, you will need a bigger stage at the awards ceremony to accommodate all the joint winners. This must be the longest political media honeymoon in history. I guess it must be true love, the lasting kind.

  2. Lloyd 2

    If I read between the lines of this article the story is:

    “Labour will lead coalition government after next election”

  3. Nordy 3

    Well put Z.

    Using the term ‘journalist’ is paying her far too high a compliment. The evidence confirms she does not know how to undertake or approach any analysis of the politics or the important democratic principles involved in this or any other story she has purported to cover.

    It is about holding the govt to account – an important function of the opposition. If members of the ‘govt’ (especially the executive) cannot be trusted to exercise good judgement, ethics or nous, they don’t deserve to continue in those roles.

    This applies equally to ministers as it does to MPs. There is no basis for believing that MPS should be held to any lesser standard than Ministers. If Dunne cannot be ‘trusted’ to be a Minister he cannot also be ‘trusted’ to be an MP.

    It is sad that the likes of Tracy Watkins have lowered the standard and quality (and expectations) of polical journalism to the point that petty, childish and shallow writing coupled with obvious political bias masquerading as jouralism continues to be on the front page of our newspapers.

    Where is the discussion about the implications of what has occured, the nature of our parliamentary democracy (accountability, use of authority, the role of the speaker, parliamentary funding etc etc), the role of the opposition, some history of the actions of the then national oppposition when they carried out a systematic political smear campaign against Helen Clark and also Winston Peters?

    Instead we have this pathetic drivel from Tracy Watkins and her ilk.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    A highly performing fourth estate, one which provides insightful criticism, analysis and information to the citizens, is a crucial part of a healthy democracy.

    Too bad there are a bunch of journos and editors out there who see their role as quite something else.

  5. Blue 5

    Nah, she’s a day late and a dollar short. Armstrong beat her to it with his effort yesterday:


    • Armstrong is such a right wing troll. Oh noes, the sky is falling because Labour does stuff I, Armstrong the Great, don’t like.

  6. Yes 6

    She is awesome…I love Tracey..might email her..no one will know

  7. georgecom 7

    I guess even Journos can’t be neutral when they see the political party they support dissappear and leader self implode. Yes, we like to think the media can be neutral, but, hitting out in some anger and wanting to blame someone when their political heroes trip up is a human emotion.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      National party voters buy more newspapers- is the simple answer.

      Then there is the advertisers… they raise merry hell if a paper is too ‘left leaning’

  8. tracey 8

    I laughed ar armstrong telling labour not to join winstons attack on dunne suggesting it was a witch hunt… Next day armstrong is writing about dunnes resignation as though he had forgotren his article. I think these guys and gals hate that winston gets more scoops than they do

  9. Matthew 9

    I reckon she would have serious competition from that Narelle Whats-her-face at the Waikato TImes.

    • Now she is the most awful scary new columnist, Mathew it has been my misfortune to read for sometime.
      She reads like a reincarnation of Thatcher . In fact I find it hard to believe that with her -Fascist like comments she is allowed to be published in a paper that claims to be independent .

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