OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Sunlight Resistance

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  • Andrew Geddis,

    I'm not sure I get this.

    You say that the media tried really hard and asked the right questions and put the pressure on, etc, etc. So it "did its job" in that sense. But the nub of your complaint then is:

    I’m also stating it explicitly because the connection needs to be made: National’s landslide victory means that the media’s reporting of Dirty Politics has had no effect. The media had no power to punish politicians for bad behaviour.

    But like Craig says, exactly why is this the media's fault? What more could they have done? Are you saying they should have actively campaigned against National, in the sense of explicitly told their readers/listeners/viewers "this Government is not fit to be re-elected and you should vote for someone else"? Sorta like the NZ Herald did with the Electoral Finance Bill back in 2007 (remember how much we loved that)?

    So here's a thought. Maybe the reason that the media’s reporting of Dirty Politics has had no effect is because voters actually didn't care that much about it. Maybe they discounted the ugliness and wrongdoing - especially once Collins went, accident or no - because they judged National and Key to be doing a good job on the things that they believe matter. And maybe people like us who were sickened by what we read are just outliers who live in a social media bubble with other people like ourselves, and so have no real clue what the rest of New Zealand think or believe.

    Which has nothing to do with the media at all.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    A lusk for life...

    Not a single newspaper or magazine has bothered to get it’s book reviewer to read and review Lusk’s book. Is it because they lack book reviewers, or they lack the curiosity, or both?

    Probably because at this point the 'book' (or more correctly the first chapter - 23 pages) is all of a week old, it's available on kindle/ebook thru Amazon:

    Book Description
    Publication Date: September 18, 2014
    Simon Lusk is one of New Zealand's few professional campaign managers. Paid to Win is an outline how to win campaigns in New Zealand, dealing with topics as varied as finding a good candidate, fundraising, analysing an electorate, winning selection, and much more.
    Product Details
    File Size: 505 KB
    Print Length: 23 pages
    Publisher: Simon Lusk in association with Whaleoil Media (September 18, 2014)
    Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    Language: English

    Apparently the secret is to have 'a good candidate'
    in which case he must be a miracle worker
    as he has had rough clay to work with thus far...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    also is anyone going to talk about the on votes, the people who voted for an mp but not a party. i thought i saw a chart where that was equal to nationals party vote. or are we returning to the age old, those people are too dumb to fill in a voting form properly argument

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    it’s available on kindle/ebook thru Amazon

    Hmm, your link’s also rewarding that particular Amazon affiliate. If you lot intend to be doing this then please forgive and ignore me. :P

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    While Ede scuttles off to wherever, Carrick Graham has emerged from his sewer, returned to Twitter and yesterday tried to intimidate Otago University nutrition researcher Lisa Te Morenga by going through her Twitter history and finding something he could quote out of context.

    He even tried to shop the "inappropriate tweet by an academic" line to me. Apparetly he's never heard of (a) NWA or (b) irony.

    It turns out that Te Morenga aroused their ire yesterday by giving Jordan Williams a serve about this disingenuous hit-job earlier in the year on the Fizz anti-sugary-drinks lobby group, presumably on the dollar of Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council.

    Te Morenga apparently called Williams a "twat", occasioning this amazing post by Whaleoil, who professes to be shocked that someone said a mean word on the internet and then suggests that it might be trouble for Ana Samways at the Herald because she tweeted Williams and Graham to advise that "no one can take you assholes seriously".

    I can never work out whether they're disingenuous or really delusional, but it really is quite funny when they declare themselves to be the victims.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Probably because at this point the ‘book’ (or more correctly the first chapter – 23 pages) is all of a week old, it’s available on kindle/ebook thru Amazon:

    And judging from that listing, it's self-published and I have no idea whether Lusk and "Whaleoil Media" (whatever the hell that is) is sending out review copies. Perhaps Tom might want to put that question to Messer Lusk and Slater, because I'd much prefer they not get hold of my e-mail address. I do have standards, no matter how low and elastic they may be. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Which has nothing to do with the media at all

    Combine a lax or misdirected media with Sue's point about education and formulating questions, we end up with a nation being dumbed down, or rendered rigidly intractable by ignorance and fear. (the big winners on the night!)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He even tried to shop the “inappropriate tweet by an academic” line to me. Apparetly he’s never heard of (a) NWA or (b) irony.

    And, honestly, anyone who hasn’t said something on Twitter that looks flat out awful taken out of context (or even fully in it) is either implausibly saintly, or a tech-savvy liar with a very good virtual scrubbing brush.

    Te Morenga apparently called Williams a “twat”, occasioning this amazing post by Whaleoil, who professes to be shocked that someone said a mean word on the internet

    I’d strongly prefer everyone lay off gendered insults of that nature, but it would be sheer hypocrisy not to note I’m hardly innocent of the occasional relapse into bad linguistic habits when seriously pissed off. Shit happens and then you don’t die, even of sheer embarrassment.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to izogi,

    your link’s also rewarding that particular Amazon affiliate

    Ahh, now I see your point, I hope Lusk uses his fraction of a cent wisely, but I will watch out for that in future - and just to even the cosmic balance I went here, twice - just in case!

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    So here’s a thought. Maybe the reason that the media’s reporting of Dirty Politics has had no effect is because voters actually didn’t care that much about it. Maybe they discounted the ugliness and wrongdoing – especially once Collins went, accident or no – because they judged National and Key to be doing a good job on the things that they believe matter. And maybe people like us who were sickened by what we read are just outliers who live in a social media bubble with other people like ourselves, and so have no real clue what the rest of New Zealand think or believe.

    I don't disagree with any of that.

    Which has nothing to do with the media at all

    Not quite. The media were after all the vehicle for what turned out to be a successful pushback -- the "everyone does it/the left briefs its own attack bloggers", bullshit that muddied the water enough so that most people accepted that it was all dirty politics and turned away from it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    exactly why is this the media’s fault?

    Because the media, particularly the mass media, has set itself up as the source of all important news. They proclaim themselves to be the ones who go after the truth and bring it to the public for the good of us all.

    The accept generous salaries, they accept free lunches, free passes and even a number of legal privileges to allow them to carry out their task.

    Against this background we have pretty serious evidence of impropriety on the part of the National party and yet those same media were happy to wander along behind (or on) the National party bus phoning in John Key quotes.

    Hell yeah I'm disappointed in them. They didn't live up to their own press, they didn't take the time to dig hard for the truth behind the evidence in Hager's book and yes they carry some responsibility for the result of the election because of that failure. Because as Craig and you both know the public responds to the messages coming from that media. Pretending the media is innocent of all influence over the election result is beneath you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4445 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Probably because at this point the ‘book’ (or more correctly the first chapter – 23 pages) is all of a week old, it’s available on kindle/ebook thru Amazon:

    Only 23 pages? Maybe someone could pdf it and drop it somewhere from outer space and we could read it....for free. You know...justice and all that stuff,

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1585 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    Keith's article is a well-written example of the higher self-pity. Honestly, can't people remember when Labour was the big dog and those on the right were saying the media was crap cause they lost. Self pity is no more attractive for the left than for the right. Wayne Hope in the Daily Blog today on our supposed one party state is another example. I guess its all about going through the stages of grief.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    And if you yet another example of just how self absorbed our media is, Patrick Gower this morning apologised, I'm going to guess under pressure, for calling David Cunliffe tricky. And then proceeded to call him every name he could think of in as venal display of petulance as I've had the misfortune to witness.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4445 posts Report Reply

  • CJM,

    Regardless of the election result there is blame to lay on the MSM purely because it was solely Hager who wrote DP and who then became the focus of all the hatred. So many journos were implicated directly or indirectly and they let this shit prosper. Yes, there's blame to lay.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The media were after all the vehicle for what turned out to be a successful pushback -- the "everyone does it/the left briefs its own attack bloggers", bullshit that muddied the water enough so that most people accepted that it was all dirty politics and turned away from it.

    What do you mean by "a vehicle"? If you mean that the media quoted Key, et al saying this, then ... yeah. That's what the media does, unless you really want it to stop reporting things that the journalist in question happens not to believe. But if you mean that the media actively promoted this meme ... I'm not convinced.

    Also, this lumping of "the media" into a seamless whole strikes me as deeply implausible. To what extent can Wallace Chapman on Radio NZ "Sunday" , Andrea Vance in the Dom Post, John Campbell on Campbell Live, John Armstrong in the Herald and Mike Hosking on whatever he's on be said to be "the same thing"?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Alec Morgan,

    Jason Ede pops up like a floater in the Hudson a day after the election.
    Keith explains well a good part of why Ede did not have company.

    He is all sided in his take to the point of being sympathetic to journalists. Any empathy from me for the ones that have articles ready to post within minutes of OIAs being issued and spray battery acid in personal blogs and tweets ran out long ago.

    As Bob Dylan said to author Hunter Thompson re US politics–“we may not be able to defeat the swine, but WE don’t have to join them”.

    I find researching and writing my own stuff and reading others shared efforts online soothes the burn from the ‘pros’.

    Tokerau Beach • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • CJM,

    @andrew geddis

    Take Vance out for Tracy Watkins and slip Paul Henry in instead of Campbell and I think you’ve got a pretty uniform looking horses arse right there.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Against this background we have pretty serious evidence of impropriety on the part of the National party and yet those same media were happy to wander along behind (or on) the National party bus phoning in John Key quotes.

    Were we watching the same campaign there, Bart? Because I saw an awful lot of stand-ups where every fucking question was about “dirty politics” and it dominated the news for day after day.

    But to use a ghastly political cliche, the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day, and it really seems clear that what the media deemed to be a matter of all-consuming public interest didn’t interest a very large section of the public very much at all. Maybe it should have. Maybe it will turn out to be New Zealand's very own slow-burn Watergate. We shall see.

    But again, I’m going to repeat Andrew’s question:

    Are you saying they should have actively campaigned against National, in the sense of explicitly told their readers/listeners/viewers “this Government is not fit to be re-elected and you should vote for someone else”? Sorta like the NZ Herald did with the Electoral Finance Bill back in 2007 (remember how much we loved that)?

    Or are you really saying that John Key was so obviously a dirty lying liar the media should have said “Fuck it, we’re not even going to pretend to be objective any more, and we’re going to take everything in Hager’s book at face value and ignore any response from Key”? Because that’s somewhere I’m not willing to go.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Because as Craig and you both know the public responds to the messages coming from that media. Pretending the media is innocent of all influence over the election result is beneath you.

    I have two problems with this.

    First, the idea that the public are simply passive recipients of whatever the media dish up to them and so are manipulated into believing one thing over another strikes me as deeply implausible. People get information from all sorts of sources. And they make their calls on what "matters" based not on what the media tells them is important, but on their own metrics. After all, weeks - literally weeks - of Dirty Politics coverage didn't move the polls at all. If the media are so incredibly influential, how do you account for this?

    Second, even if the media has some influence, the fact is that Keith starts his post by saying that "the media" actually worked really hard on chasing the Dirty Politics story and tried their hardest to get the PM, etc to answer the questions. And Glenn Greenwald praised the NZ media for doing a good job on chasing up the mass surveillance issues that he revealed in Auckland.

    So, again ... exactly what should "the media" (that mythic united beast) have done different?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to CJM,

    Take Vance out and slip Paul Henry in instead of Campbell and I think you’ve got a pretty uniform looking horses arse right there.

    Which kinda proves my point, thanks.

    Albeit that you're being a bit unfair to Wallace!

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    And maybe people like us who were sickened by what we read are just outliers who live in a social media bubble with other people like ourselves, and so have no real clue what the rest of New Zealand think or believe.

    Which has nothing to do with the media at all.

    So back in the day, would you have advocated that Woodward & Bernstein simply assumed the position and got with the program? Given your bizarre assessment of Farrar's role, I guess you would have.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    What do you mean by “a vehicle”?

    I would call it the satellites, radio masts and humane resource. Things that require advertising revenue money to buy. And that's something that might want regulating in the interests of healthy democracy.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    They chased up the surveillance stuff because our medias asses were internationally exposed and Key was so shit scared that he changed his story every 10 minutes.
    Now it’s back to cold arses on parliaments marble floors for seven hours on the off chance Cunliffe might choke up for the clown Gower. Who gives a fuck for mass surveillance anymore?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    So back in the day, would you have advocated that Woodward & Bernstein simply assumed the position and got with the program?

    Woodward and Bernstein spent two years working the story, and didn’t go to press with anything they didn’t have solidly corroborated from multiple sources and/or with documentary evidence to back them up – which I know is dreadfully old-fashioned nowadays, but there you go.

    Now it’s back to cold arses on parliaments marble floors for seven hours on the off chance Cunliffe might choke up for the clown Gower. Who gives a fuck for mass surveillance anymore?

    It must be awfully crowded if every journalist in the country is doing that. Damn lazy kids, back in my day we learned how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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