The Dim-Post

February 13, 2014

War pigs

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:24 am

I know I’m not the only person offended by Patrick Gower’s ‘yarn’ based approach to reporting (see previous post) in which the political editor makes something up and then runs around breathlessly reporting it as a breaking news story. But it’s easy to forget that Gower used to be a serious journalist and that his instincts are still sharp. Underneath the mountains of bullshit there’s often a substantive issue.

So I don’t think the Green’s Russel Norman made any deal with Kim Dotcom. Norman has always said the case against Dotcom was compromised by the illegal actions of the New Zealand Police and Intelligence organisations. He went to Dotcom last November and asked him not to form a political party. Dotcom turned him down and went ahead with setting up his party. This turned into a fiasco. Initial polls have it at zero, so Dotcom’s indicated he’ll disband it if that doesn’t increase. Hard to see a deal there.

And yet . . . Dotcom is such a problematic person for our MPs to be sitting down and meeting with. Here’s a guy with a criminal background, a staggering amount of money and serious legal problems that a sympathetic government can solve in an instant. Our MPs need to understand that if they meet with someone like that and keep it quiet there is (a) HUGE public interest in the media covering it and (b) HUGE political capital to be made by their political enemies in painting the meeting in a sinister light.

Thinking about Dotcom this morning put me in mind of those war pigs the Romans used in battle. They’d cover them with grease, light them on fire and send them into the enemy ranks where they’d run about setting fire to everything. The difference with Kim Dotcom is that he doesn’t seem to get burned. The allegations as-of this morning are that in addition to Russel Norman, Winston Peters and two Labour MPs have gone to Dotcom’s mansion to meet with him.

Aside from the obvious question of how the Prime Minister – and Minister of Intelligence – knows so much about who his opposition MPs are meeting with, I do wonder why so many politicians are keen to sit down with a guy who seems to destroy the career of almost everyone who goes near him.

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28 Comments »

  1. “So I don’t think the Green’s Russel Norman made any deal with Kim Dotcom. “

    Yeah but no ones knows for sure and that’s the problem. Perceptions.

    All Wussel had to do was put out a press release explaining his position on extradition. (which is perfectly sound)

    Didn’t have to go meet ze German or otherwise engage. Poor Dr. Wussel so clueless.

    Minister of Consumer Affairs is the best he could hope for now.

    Comment by Simon — February 13, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  2. Our MPs need to understand that if they meet with someone like that and keep it quiet there is (a) HUGE public interest in the media covering it and (b) HUGE political capital to be made by their political enemies in painting the meeting in a sinister light.

    I agree with all this stuff, but in defence of any leader or party representative who met with him at about that time, it’s easy to look back now and see it as a nothing party, but before Kim Dotcom screwed the whole thing up it was actually looking as if he might have some effect on the political landscape. Given how MMP works, the likes of Green, Labour, NZ First really were obliged to at least talk to the Internet Party about how and where it might fit in, what its policies are on things that aren’t “internet” (if any), what sorts of coalitions (if any) might be possible, and so on.

    So yeah. Sensationalist media beat-up, but fairly predictible. It’s really a no-win situation.

    I’m as interested in why National apparently didn’t meet with him, given how it might have also sucked votes from certain National/Act-voting demographics, but maybe that was just part of the calculated political game.. or the fact that John Key simply hates him.

    Comment by izogi — February 13, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  3. “All Wussel had to do was put out a press release explaining his position on extradition.”

    the gower article quotes russels position fairly clearly, hes been on interviews and restated that position, again pretty clearly – and whats with the “wussel” routine? – all it does is mark you as belonging to the feminazi screamers

    as for the deal – the only person claiming the two different events (normans view on the case and the meeting) are linked is a certain politician who is neck deep in poo over the legal case in question. Are we all just going to go “oh yes – totally connected – obvious conspiracy” without asking some rather serious questions about the position and motives of the claimant?

    for one – the whole argument would hinge on the greens getting the justice minister portfolio AND labour letting them chuck the case out. How likely is that? Unless were rolling with the greens can make labour do whatever they want routine of course

    Comment by framu — February 13, 2014 @ 8:51 am

  4. Aside from the obvious question of how the Prime Minister – and Minister of Intelligence – knows so much about who his opposition MPs are meeting with

    The question that will never be asked, and Keys allegations have such specificity about how many meetings there were..

    As I have said elsewhere: So all the political Editors are running the John Key lines “going over the top of the Justice system” etc, but no single one has asked Key where he got his information to form his allegations.

    Question to Key, is very short and simple. Who told you Winston went to Dotcoms Mansion 3 times and what evidence do you have?

    Who told you Norman went two times and was ‘selling questions’ to Dot Com, and what evidence do you have of this?

    It would be nice if they did the job they are paid to do not the bidding of Key by repeating his accusations without question. They are all trying to out ‘Gower’ Patrick Gower in the gotcha contest this includes the shooting from the hip and missing, like Gower, contest.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — February 13, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  5. How does the PM know these things? He’s yet to explain himself.

    Comment by George D — February 13, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  6. “…whats with the “wussel” routine..?” In the blubber-land, where penguins also roam, this affectation is thought to be the very height of political sophistication, and much admired for it’s cleverness. It also alerts any acute scientific observer to a potentially limitless source of experimental subjects willing to undertake various menial task such as pressing levers in sequence in order to achieve a small, food based, reward.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 13, 2014 @ 8:57 am

  7. …and whats with the “wussel” routine?

    It’s a kind of public service – a convenient “troll idiot” identifier.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 13, 2014 @ 8:57 am

  8. Oh and WTF? from Audrey Young today.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11200875

    The questions were not only reasonable, most of them were excellent as you’ll see below as they tried to prise the truth out of him (Winston)

    Look how totes awesome dem questions were to winny,

    Claire – NZ Herald: Did he show you his cars?

    Comment by andy (the other one) — February 13, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  9. The media might find it interesting to ask the PM who attends his $10,000+ per head private dinners.

    Comment by George D — February 13, 2014 @ 9:14 am

  10. It’s been obvious for some time that dotcom is a toxic individual, you may not believe that Norman did a deal but it shows very poor judgement to have had any dealings with the guy.

    Going to his home, trying to convince him not to have political party – because it could harm the Greens – and then saying he’d block the extradition.

    ah, if that came from National there would very loud and justified claims of corruption.

    Dotcom bought his way into NZ, he tried to buy Banks, he’s trying to use his money to influence our democracy.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2014 @ 9:40 am

  11. “Aside from the obvious question of how the Prime Minister – and Minister of Intelligence – knows so much about who his opposition MPs are meeting with”

    He reads Whaleoil.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — February 13, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  12. andy (the other one): “It would be nice if they did the job they are paid to do”

    One way or another, they’re being paid to sell viewers to advertisers.

    Comment by izogi — February 13, 2014 @ 10:03 am

  13. Just as an aside, the main topic de jour in my office is how Progressive Foods has been shafting it’s suppliers. This being NZ, everyone knows someone who has been the victim of supermarket sharp practices, and the Chinese here never tire of boasting about how cheap Ti Ping is.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 13, 2014 @ 10:05 am

  14. Ah yes, there really is a pony under the pile of horseshit next to the Xmas tree!

    It’s a good political gotcha, no more complicated than that.

    Hey, sometimes tabloid journalists get it right and, really, all journalists are fundamentally tabloid journalists.

    All that distinguishes the Daily Mail, from the Guardian from the New Yorker, from the Nation, from Salon, from Slate (ad infinitum) is the shape of the pile of horseshit that hides the pony. Audrey’s story in the Herald stands out for showing us the both the pony and the horseshit at the same time.

    I know strategic political masterminds like Alistair Thompson and Bummer Bradbury think differently and that they are gallant pursuers of the way, the truth and the light but isn’t the whole Kim Dotcom clusterfuck a wonderful refutation of that illusion?

    Comment by Tinakori — February 13, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  15. Something else that has just occured to me.

    By shitting on Winston’s doorstep, hasn’t Key just sunk last weeks beathlessly treported master plan of leaving the door open post election?

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  16. *breathlessly reported

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2014 @ 10:42 am

  17. “Treported” is much better

    Comment by Tinakori — February 13, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  18. If it looks like a duck,….quacks like a duck etc …for all intents and purposes its a duck. This is at best,unbelievably bad judgement by those you would expect to have ‘functioning antennae’………difficult to think truthfully, there is ANY “innocent explanation”…behind this…the word corruption is difficult to avoid ! Both Dotcom and Peters have form ! A veritable plethora of material for even a partially astute adman to use against the left this election!! !

    Comment by Geoff — February 13, 2014 @ 11:03 am

  19. “Treported” is much better

    Treporting v.

    A portmanteau of trepan and reporting.
    To report in good faith a manufactured fiction relating that which has ostensibly been learned by observation or investigation, with the purpose of enticing or swindling an audience.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  20. “If it looks like a duck,….quacks like a duck etc ”

    true – but that applies to both sides here – national and key are hardly in the clear re: dotcom.

    Also – is there any evidence (besides the assertions of one john key) that normans views on the dotcom case are linked to any meeting with dotcom and any offers of political interference?

    The greens shouldnt of had a secret meeting without expecting something from their opponents (and they should have the nous to expect something thats just made up) – but everyone seems to be running around saying “OMG 2+2 does = 5!” purely because john key said so and the media keeps repeating it. And i would highlight that key is simply re-directing the same accusations, almost word for word that were levelled at him and banks – shouldnt that tell us something? (especially given past performance of key and the ongoing national led demonisation of the greens)

    personally it think a meeting to say – “would you mind not doing X” isnt that big a conspiracy – especially when its an established party talking to someone who looks like hes doing it for personal PR. Im not jumping on the conspiracy wagon just yet

    Comment by framu — February 13, 2014 @ 11:31 am

  21. “The greens shouldnt of had a secret meeting”

    Was it ever a secret? Party Leaders meant to put out a press release every time they meet with someone, have their meeting in a public place, and invite the mainstream media to take pictures on condition that they don’t plant any microphones to listen to or record the conversations of their meetings?

    Comment by izogi — February 13, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  22. …on condition that they don’t plant any microphones to listen to or record the conversations of their meetings?

    Why? What is it that they have to hide?

    Privacy is theft!

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 13, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

  23. Im not jumping on the conspiracy wagon just yet

    there is a pattern though of dotcom trying to buy political favour and his hospitality has all the hall marks of enticing people into his influence. any politician that is blind to that and goes off to pay homage at the court deserves to have their reputations tarnished.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  24. there is a pattern though of dotcom trying to buy political favour and his hospitality has all the hall marks of enticing people into his influence. any politician that is blind to that and goes off to pay homage at the court deserves to have their reputations tarnished.

    This. Regardless of why Russel went to Coatesville, it was always going to *look* bad. And in an election year, that’s all that really matters.

    Comment by simonpnz — February 13, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  25. “key is simply re-directing the same accusations, almost word for word that were levelled at him and banks”

    Yes, exactly as advised. We’re seeing a smart piece of campaign management to undermine one by one all the lines against this shifty government. Hence accusing opposition leaders of being shifty and untrustworthy.

    Media faithfully regurgitating the lies should be ashamed of their craven stupidity.

    Comment by Sacha — February 13, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

  26. Regardless of why Russel went to Coatesville, it was always going to *look* bad. And in an election year, that’s all that really matters.

    Sure. But that is a far cry from NeilM’s previous posts announcing corruption and hypocricy.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  27. Gregor W: Agreed! I quoted the bit I thought worth paying attention to (the bit that wasn’t all breathless and accusatory).

    Comment by simonpnz — February 13, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  28. Funny. The first thing i wondered was how Key knew…..as GCSB Minister he’s already demonstrated many times he isn’t much interested in the legal details around his role and/ or effective accountability of the spying agency he oversees.

    Comment by Steve W — February 16, 2014 @ 6:32 pm


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