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You dicks

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, September 12th, 2008 - 59 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

Anyway, Tane sees the article on Stuff that the election date is going to be announced. He puts up a post about it and bets it will be November 8th (which we have already been predicting for weeks, you can see my rationale for it here).

Next thing we know someone (we don’t know who yet) in the gallery is asking the PM about whether she’d leaked us the date and Matthew hollow man Hooton is harping on the old saw that we’re a Labour front (yeah right, and I’m Mike Williams). As Helen Clark’s tone suggested at the time, WTF?

While I’m pleased to know that The Standard is taken so seriously by our friends in the gallery I am more than a little disappointed that, on the day the election date was announced (remember the election? It’s that thing where the future of the country is decided by its citizens), one of the first questions put to her was about a blog.

So, press gallery, now that I know you’re reading, how about you pull your heads out of your beltway arses and start reporting on issues instead of gossip? I know you guys think its just a game but it’s about time you started to realise that this game has consequences for people in New Zealand, that your reportage is how they know what those consequences are and that when all you communicate to them is pointless gossip and beltway issues you are doing them and democracy a disservice. You dicks.

Update: Colin Espiner has claimed responsibility for the question and declared he considered it “important”. Usually Colin has a better nose for import than this. I am disappointed and can confirm that some in the gallery were also. My apologies for tarring you all with the same brush.

59 comments on “You dicks ”

  1. monkey-boy 1

    Yes I agree – let’s talk about the election, FFS. As Helen said: ‘This election is about trust’ – yeah – but did she mean the Spencer Trust?

  2. Pretty defensive there huh, Steve?

    It makes one wonder, I thought lefties were into a good conspiracy theroy?

    IrishBill says: I wrote this post. Your appalling fact-checking says it all.

  3. Rocket Boy 3

    You have to ask ‘What would Chuck Norris’ do?

  4. I understand the date was leaked to Russell Brown first, through the PM’s favoured messengers, a Devonport indie boy band: http://publicaddress.net/5314#post5314

    [Tane: Apologies for the delay, for some reason you got stuck in our spam trap.]

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    Ah well, at least we also have solid evidence Brett doesn’t read before posting.

  6. the sprout 6

    nice one IB

  7. Mick Wrighton 7

    Just saw Colin Espiner’s post. What an idiot.

    This is a man who’s been a journalist for god knows how long. He’s a senior political editor, and he honestly believes Helen Clark would let some stupid blog (sorry guys) get wind of the election date.

    Not only is that retarded, it’s a waste of fucking breath.

  8. schrodigerscat 8

    I see scoop.co.nz has pressers out from many of the usual suspects (minor parties) about the election, and none from the Nats (who would know there was an election likely and be prepared? /sarcasm).

    But for added bonus we have one from Cameron Brewer, oops I mean the Newmarket Business Assoc.

  9. deemac 9

    anyone who can read a calendar has known for ages that 8 Nov was the preferred date – Labour Day, rugby matches etc ruled out the rest – yet these genius journos don’t know anything unless it’s leaked to them???

  10. BeShakey 10

    Given that the Aussie bookies closed their books on the electin date because the only date anyone was picking was Nov 8, it seems that the only people who couldn’t pick it were some in the media. Gives little comfort for the standard of commentary in the lead up to the election.

  11. Ari 11

    Wait, the press gallery actually thought that there was anybody outside of National who was expecting any other date?

  12. The whole transcript of Rt Hon Helen Clark’s fancy speech is here.

  13. Judging by the hateful rant, I thought it was Steve that wrote it. Heres a conspiracy theory for you, I wonder if that question was a plant?

  14. randal 14

    hello irish bill, for a moment there I thought someone had offered the rabid right a guest post (larfs) but no its only a well deserved poke at the meedia. of course the gallery reads it bill. they might get a scoop and they are all fat. none of them have done any legwork since the night they got a free feel in the house after everyone else had gone home. the only skinny one is espammer and he’s as anal as they come. keep up the good work.

  15. r0b 15

    Great post. Most bloggers would sell their grannies for that kind of publicity. IB correctly points out that blogs are a side show, this is about the next government, and what that means for the people of NZ.

    Something to think about innit.

  16. Sarah 16

    How about we call you the dick instead. What you said is highly offensive and rude. Control your language.

    [lprent: We don’t moderate much on language here, unless there is what the moderators consider is a personal attack going on without any actual information being argued about.

    Well, apart from a few common mis-spellings from kiwiblog and few phrases that tend to get over-used in out of context situations for shock effect and bore the crap out of me. I call it the kiwiblog re-education program and I’ve put them in the auto-moderation system. People can use them, but they’ll get a delay.

    Read the Policy.]

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    Great line from Helen’s speech: “Labour is ambitious for New Zealand. National is ambiguous.”

  18. r0b 18

    Not that I’d necessarily agree with Randal mind. Gallery journos are like any other group of people, there are good ones and bad ones.

    It’s just that the job that this particular group of people does is pretty important for NZ, especially in the next few weeks.

    So please journos – policies, facts, and what it means for us all (not personalities and trivia and Winston bloody Peters)? Please?

  19. Sorry to take the wind out of all your sails but I was actually first to officially announce the date on the Political Animal Blog at 4.45 pm yesterday:

    http://darrenrickard.blogspot.com/2008/09/breaking-news-election-day-date.html

    After you guys at The Standard leaked the date out on a post:

    Introducing Campaign Hub 2008

    Thousands of people knew already from my blog before Clark “officially” announced it and hundreds of thousands more knew when I broke it on ZB at 12.15pm today.

    Pays to read the best to keep ahead.

    Cheers, Darren

    [Tane: Darren, your comment is baffling. Read IB’s post again – we didn’t know the date of the election, and we have never claimed to. We were only taking an educated guess. As it happened we guessed right.]

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    I’ve truly entered the Twilight Zone… I find myself in agreement with the bulk of one of randal’s comments 😀

    Sorry, guys, but the ninth floor have been leaking to the VRWC and apparently ignorning you! Kiwiblog readers knew it was November 8 way back on 3 September but I didn’t see Espiner rushing off to ask their President (Lord Ashcroft, I believe) whether he had a hotline to Helen Clark.

    Relax, IrishBill. I know you’re not Mike Williams. You’re a good blogger but the random gaps between posts suggests you’re a piss poor administrator, and well all know Mikey has self-proclaimed skills in that area 😉

  21. Darren, you sounded almost normal on the radio.
    The spencer trust election campaign is now underway.

  22. It begs the question if you are not affiliated with Labour then why did you announce the election date yesterday with the “Campaign Hub” post and advertising campaign that this blog launched?

    Seems the links strengthen as the election grows nearer.

    Cheers, Darren

    [Tane: Darren, this blog has done plenty of posts saying the election date is likely to be November 8. Pretty much anyone who knows anything has been picking November 8 for months. The campaign hub launch was a coincidence, nothing more. Give us some credit.]

  23. Tane, it seems a massive coincidence considering it was in the form of a statement rather than a guess:

    Have a gander, sign up, use the resources at the Campaign Hub, or just get into it. It’s only 58 days until the election, make it count.

    Releasing your campaign site “The Hub” at the same time.

    The Standard was VERY sure of the day.

    Nothing baffling about my post Tane, it was very straight forward and easy to comprehend.

    Cheers, Darren

    [lprent: “The Standard” is a program running on some hardware somewhere. It doesn’t have opinions. Talk to the person who did the post. Read the Policy.
    But I’m surprised, anyone could have guessed the approx date (and did). The PM doesn’t CALL many press conferences. It is obviously a little too much for you.
    ]

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    Darren, are you miffed you’d officially announced it on your blog, and no one noticed? Nor, might I point out, mentioned it at the Official Announcement?

    Sarah, IB raises some very good points. Try and refute them! You might enjoy the mental exertion.

    P.S if you find the work ‘dick’ offensive why did you repeat the word (dick) in your post: “How about we call you the dick instead. For faux-offence, that’s pathetic.

    My cap is ‘located national’. Key AWOL at 12:30?

  25. Barnsley, that was my radio voice, I’m much less normal at home

    I hope your ticker is holding up…

  26. Tane 26

    Darren, you’re welcome to hold whatever conspiracy theory you like, but my tolerance for hosting your baseless theories on this blog is running out fast. To put it simply, put up or shut up.

  27. randal 27

    call me anything you like but not late for breakfast. p.s. I am never offended by reality. It is my job as an adult to not get offended by reality and put all the codependent infantilising behind me.

  28. Matthew I think YOU might be miffed that hundreds of thousands knew the date before Ms Clark announced it.

    I don’t have the readership of this blog, yet, but I do have hundreds of readers everyday and growing.

    Of course I haven’t been around long and don’t have the financial resources, number of writers and political connections that this blog clearly does.

    Give me time Matty Boy, I will catch up.

    Cheers, Darren

    [lprent:
    Goodbye Darren.

    So rather than let you inflict the self-ban on yourself, I’ll assist. I just permanently banned you for being a bloody nuisance. I don’t think you’ve read the Policy or indeed the About. I don’t think that there is much you can contribute here, because you never have. In fact I think you’re just link-whoring.

    BTW: I read the comment that hit moderation (they come through in my e-mail), and I wasn’t amused. ]

  29. Matthew Pilott 29

    Holy jeebers, I though Rickard was joking! He seriously thought that The Standard believe they’d got a scoop, and that he’d pre-empted it.

    Dazza – get a grip, man, it wasn’t serious. Tane had a bet up there – it was a joke. If that’s the level of your intelligence, stop blogging now before you bring all those other punters down to your level!

    And honestly, why would anyone believe you, you’re probably the 10th munter to call the election date on talkback.

    And just to illustrate how utterly stupid you are, you accuse this blog of being funded and politically connected – then how did you get the scoop mate? JK call you on the Bat Phone? Rodders text you when he put in his big mac order? Christ, what a tool.

    Sorry, but I needed that laugh. He honestly was being serious, I thought it was a piss-take…

  30. Concerned Kiwi 30

    Is Matthew Pilott a Maoist?

  31. Concerned Kiwi 31

    And is the moderator a fascist? Preventing poor Darren from expressing his democratic right!

    [lprent: It is private property paid for and run by me. Just like a bar, Darren is a guest who indulged in bad behavior, pissed off the manager and has just been served with a trespass notice.]

  32. Congrats Darren, on having hundreds of readers each day, I get about 20!

    [lprent: You don’t want to know what this place gets per day. Man they pushed the CPU hard here today (looking at graph). I think I need another core (or three).]

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Don’t be Concerned, Kiwi, I’m not as such. Why do you ask? (and who were you asking exactly?)

  34. Concerned Kiwi 34

    Does Matthew Pilott have links with the Shining Path movement in Peru?

    [lprent: Do you have a martyrdom complex?. I’m always happy to indulge people who haven’t read the Policy about personal attacks and have a zero information content. ]

  35. Scribe 35

    lprent,

    Thanks for getting rid of Darren. The mindless self-promotion was getting to me, but the suggestion that authors of this blog must have known the date to be saying it’s 58 days to the election was stupid. As many have said, it was blatantly obvious it was going to be Nov 8.

    One less clown to avoid reading.

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    Does Concerned Kiwi indulge in the pharmaceuticals produced by FARC?

  37. lprent 37

    Scribe:

    The mindless self-promotion

    That was irritating me, but he did keep it partially in context (just bad posts on the other side of the link). However what got him was the amount of work going on in putting notes on his comments. We answer things addressed to the ‘site’ or that relate directly to the posters.

    However repeated requirements to do so constitute an attack on the site IMO. There are better things for the people running the site to be doing.

    Cheers
    Lynn

  38. Concerned Kiwi 38

    I’m simply a concerned Kiwi, asking the big questions. I’ve heard Matthew Pilott is a big-wig in the Tramways Union, and also likes to drink Jagerbombs at Firstbase.

    [lprent: I’m a concerned sysop asking BIG questions. More importantly questions that has a sharp edge hanging over your access to the site. Have you read the policy yet? In the meantime I’m adding you to moderation to encourage you learning skills.]

  39. Banning people and censorship, where would the left be without. I guess you must be related to Marion Hobbs.

  40. lprent 40

    Nope. I came to being a bastard sysop without the left’s assistance. Mainly from doing army and management, with a big long excursion into programming. From the left – all I got was endless voluntary work after I decided that the right were pretty useless at running the country. But that is the nature of voluntary work from PTA’s to politics.

    BTW: Brett – you seem to survive here reasonably well. Beats me how. You irritate me, but I can’t remember you walking over the edge out of ‘fair comment’. These days you’ve sort of earned enough mana that I don’t really look at you as a issue.

  41. randal 41

    sometimes it is necessary to squash bugs and eliminate vermin. we are civilised and tolerant here but some take tha to be licence for abominable behaviour so good riddance.

  42. garth mcvicor 42

    So those at the standard would confirm that they have never had a strategy meeting with the Labour party or anyone involved in the 2008 labour campaign?

    Just a question, not an accusation

  43. The PC Avenger 43

    Brett, do you believe that an individual has inalienable property rights, and is free to do what they wish with what they own?

  44. lprent 44

    Ummm I suspect identity fraud.

    Don’t be stupid. I have had strategy meetings on the 2008 campaign. I’m a labour party activist as has been stated repeatably. That means that I help at whatever level I can, whenever I can. The ‘can’ part is because I also have a job, girlfriend, leaky apartment being repaired, family, and this blogsite to attend to as well.

    Now assuming that you are GM – have you ever done those things with National or Act?

    I suggest you read the About and then the Policy.

  45. garth mcvicor 45

    to clarify, i am not ‘that’ garth mcvicor. My first name is gareth, but i prefer garth for some insane reason.

    Thank you for your reply.

    Having had meetings about the 2008 campaign, would you say that the Standard is viewed by labour party as an effective for use in the coming month?

  46. lprent 46

    I have no idea. Never discussed it with them.

    off for a beer

  47. Looks like “Spencer Trust” is the new “Swift Boat” as far as Labour’s critics are concerned.

  48. Anita 48

    (late to the party, but anyhow… 🙂

    The weird thing about the election date is that it’s been the 8th of November since a Labour led government was formed in 2005. Labour was always going to choose the last logistically feasible date because

    1) It is a marker of running a stable solid government to run full term something Clark uses as large part of her personal brand.

    2) They were always going to be down in the polls mid term and need as much time as possible for the gap to close.

    3) The left benefits from high voters turn out. Later in the year means warmer more settled weather and more daylight hours.

    So Labour would always choose the 8th of November. The only chance of an earlier election was one of the smaller parties taking out Labour’s confidence and supply. Jim Anderton would never do that. The Greens and UF can’t; it’d have far too high an electoral cost. WP/NZF was a possibility back in 2005, but it’s never made sense for them to do it. Plus, my counting on my fingers says, they haven’t actually been able to do it for a while – for ages Labour have been able to stitch confidence and supply back together if they lost NZF.

    So… it’s been the 8th of November since late 2005.

    Why has anyone ever thought differently?

  49. jimbob 49

    Irish Bill, I don’t normally post on other blogs but I just thought I’d check out your post. I’m disappointed, too – disappointed you’d resort to infantile language like calling the press gallery – and me in particular – “dicks” because I asked a question about whether the Standard had advance knowledge of the election date. For the record, I asked the question because radio were already reporting the rumour. I asked about 12 questions at the press conference. That was only one of them. All sorts of questions are flung around press conferences. If you want to play at being a journalist, why don’t you get parliamentary accreditation and come down and see for yourself? As a journalist of 20 years standing, I think I’ve been around long enough to earn the right to ask whatever I like at press conferences without this kind of juvenile rant. As I’ve pointed out at On the House, it does seem you people at the Standard are incredibly sensitive about your links to the Labour Party. But you are always welcome at my blog, even if you do make personally abusive comments that are completely without foundation.

    Regards

    Colin Espiner
    Political Editor
    Christchurch Press

  50. randal 50

    jimbob/espinnerer or whoeverer you arer there is very good reason for calling you dicks. the press in new zealand has been infantilised and is currently producing beltway arguments that have absolutely no obvious connection to the lives of ordinary new zealnders. furthermore the press is openly biased and all pretence of objectivity is submerged in a sea of unrepentant juvenile subjectivism. Nobody in the press corps has any other life credentials except j school. when the press shows some maturity then it may garner some respect (bad pun) but at the moment most of them can barely write a coherent sentence let alone produce any cogent analysis of what is going on. anywhere else in the world they would be laughed off the job.

  51. Bill 51

    Jimbob.

    One word. You guys seem to have forgotten it. So I’ll shout. INVESTIGATE! That’s what real journalism is about. Not you asking whatever asinine question you like.

  52. r0b 52

    Jimbob/Colin, I don’t speak for the authors here, but I do understand their desire to assert their independence from Labour (most of them seem to be Greenies for a start). How many times does a question have to be asked and answered? Seriously – how many times? After a while it is simply a witch hunt.

    Just in passing, I enjoy your pieces some times (here’s a personal fave), but I’d like to strongly second Bill above there with his call – investigate. Please help to bring us election coverage based on facts, policies and credibility, not personalities and promises.

  53. Paul Robeson 53

    Dear Colin,

    I would like to point out that the Standard’s authors would very much like to play at being journalists. They tried to get media accreditation for the Nats conference. However the National party allocates press passes to bloggers who are former staffers and contracted researchers only. (did I get that connection right?)

    In this case David Farrar of kiwiblog.

    Colin, however, your journalistic prowess has let you down!

    Having been first on the scene after Matthew Hooton asked the question, and pinging the standard, Ben Thomas (see above) formerly of Craccum(1) revealed that well known Labour Party stooge Russell Brown in fact had the date earlier.

    Why have you not investigated this further? The country demands answers.

    Sorry for being a dick, but you get my point.

    Paul

    (1)Does this count as journalism? Craccum’s former editors are responsible for the Listener annoyingly rating all the tv films out of 10.

  54. lprent 54

    Colin,

    Since this site was setup there have been continuous attempts to portray it as a NZLP or EPMU site. Read our About – we aren’t.

    It was setup, run, and paid for by me to allow opinions from people from the labour movement and generally around the ‘left’ to be expressed.

    I’m the only person who writes posts who has acknowledged that I’m a NZLP member, I don’t hold offices, don’t get involved in policies, and I sometimes attend conferences and meetings. In the same way that I support the NZLP and other activist organisations, I got involved in the initial discussions about this site because of my technical skills – not my political affliations. Most posters seem to have either green or union opinions. The origional group were short of technical abilities, my name came up, I got contacted, and I’ve been running the technical sides since.

    Of course we’re sensitive. We’ve had Bill English issuing press statements on us accusing us of being funded by the NZLP, and a host of MSM commentators doing the same. I notice them because my site load increases each time.

    This has then been repeated by a number of ‘journalists’ since. The presumption has never been checked by these ‘professionals’. They appear to prefer to ask Mike Williams and Helen Clark – who really have no idea what goes on in the blogosphere, let alone here.

    The obvious way for journalists to check would be to ask. My addresses and phones are easily accessible if you do a lookup on the site ownership – it is a requirement of the internet, and specifically InternetNZ. I’ve never been contacted in the year since the site has been running. Recently Clinton has had his email and phone listed in the contacts page. I don’t think he has been contacted on the subject either because there are parts of the setup that’d he’d have probably had to refer to me.

    Frankly, I’d have to say that the ‘professional journalists’ are pretty slack from this example. They seem to prefer reporting rumor and speculation rather than checking stories. They probably don’t know how to check a site’s ownership. To me that places them at the same level as Whale – technically incompetent both in IT and apparently journalism.

    I’d say that Irish called it colourfully, but correctly.

    Lynn Prentice.

  55. randal 55

    the press in this country seem to think that because the owners pay them large salaries for distorting and misrepresenting and meddling in the affairs of government then somehow they are somebodies. whereas infact they are just nobodies who think they deserve some recogniton for being high priced slugs. Most of them have never read a book. dont know how the westminster system works and dont even care for that matter as long as they get to express their own venal point of view. Not only are they infantilisd but they are activley involved in trying to infatilise everyone else so their own predicament is not obvious.

  56. randal 56

    How about this one from the front page of todays Sunday star times co-authored by Emma Page and Deirdre Rasmussen. “Peters is facing political oblivion after Glenns compelling testimony that Peters, despite his denials, had solicitited his donation”. two points here. first is that compelling testimony from a grumpy old man is not proof and second it is the voters who decide who is destined to political oblivion and not two big noters from the Sunday Star Times. who do they think they are. Why aren’t they writing about how the EB’s said they would take over the whole of Nationals election strategy for a payment to National of $1,000,000. thats a real story. Not the mish mash these upstarts are cobbling together from bleatway crap under orders from above.

  57. randal 57

    Now they are doing it on TV1 sports. hanner hodson accused Robbie Deans of a sharp retort when he gave an honest straightforward answer. She said, “Why didnt you win”. He said, “We didn’t score enough points”. In the intro she said it was a sharp retort. The media cant handle honesty. It exposes them so they have to denigrate it with a sharp retort of their own.

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