The Dim-Post

August 19, 2011

As scheduled

Filed under: general idiocy,media — danylmc @ 2:00 pm

I have a theory. Someone in National’s strategy team has a recurring item in their Outlook calendar that pops up every, say, five weeks, and reads: ‘Spread rumours of Labour leadership changes. Go to gym. Fish for dinner.’ And so they call up one of their external consultants who masquerade as political commentators – Matthew Hooton in this case – who fabricates a rumour that isn’t even remotely plausible (Shane Jones as Labour’s new Deputy!). And even though none of Hooton’s ‘insider rumours’ ever turn out to be true, a subset of gallery journalists who aren’t working on any real stories faithfully regurgitate them.

I’m not sure why this last part of the process happens, but it always does.


  1. MSM journos heard about the #lazyweb and want in on the party, dammit.

    Comment by Progger — August 19, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  2. And in this case, he also gets iPredict to lend credence to them by putting up a contract. And then they wonder why people are so cynical about their “market”…

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — August 19, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  3. If only Goff/King had sufficient credibility that their protestations to the contrary — 100% of which have so far proven true — were believable enough that such rumours actually *could* be dismissed out of hand.


    Comment by Lew — August 19, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  4. I’m so bored of this pathetic horseshit excuse for journalism it makes me excrete blood from every orifice.

    Comment by Dizzy — August 19, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

  5. Have you only just noticed? Cameron Slater is continually being tipped off on very reliable information (ie voices in his head) about a plot with an ever changing cast of characters. It is always imminent.

    Farrar can be relied upon to darkly hint at this every now and then too.

    The intention is to creat the impression of instability in Labour. The effect is two-fold. First, it detracts attention from the less sensational policy announcements etc that Labour makes. Second and more importantly, it makes Labour look unstable and unfit to govern.

    What bothers me is that it sometimes creeps into the Mainstream media.

    Comment by DT — August 19, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  6. I’m so bored of this pathetic horseshit excuse for journalism it makes me excrete blood from every orifice.

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    And, because someone had to say it: this is bad for Phil Goff.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant — August 19, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  7. Have to say as well, as soon as this turned up on my feed, I turned up here. Nice one, Danyl.

    Comment by Dizzy — August 19, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

  8. Pics or it didn’t happen.

    Comment by Idiot/Savant

    Comment by Dizzy — August 19, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  9. Addendum: If your rumor du jour is really fucking stupid (like, seriously out there) just get Whaleoil to post it on his blog, then have the “respectable” Kiwiblog repost it (see this the other day where he links the thing where creationists say climate change isn’t real) & wait for somebody to turn it into news.

    Also, remember, Labour Party strategic mastermind The Hon Trevor Mallard MP will be facing off against Whaleoil in a bicycle race this Sunday.

    Comment by Hobbes — August 19, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  10. “I’m not sure why this last part of the process happens, but it always does.”

    You see news as being factual information. Journalists see it as “something new” regardless of accuracy.

    Comment by Kate — August 19, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  11. I/S: Go to iPredict and take money off the folks who think there’s substance to the rumour!

    I’m slightly long on a Goff departure, but only because 10% chance seemed likely at the time. I’ve now a standing ask to clear half of that position….

    Comment by Eric Crampton (@EricCrampton) — August 19, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

  12. Groan.

    ANDREA VANCE, KATE CHAPMAN, and DANYA LEVY are the authors – is all their stuff this vapid? That piece rates as a new low – what a pathetic example of journalism.

    Comment by taranaki — August 19, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

  13. They’ve all written good stuff in the past. I especially like Andrea Vance’s analysis on her blog.

    I’m slightly long on a Goff departure, but only because 10% chance seemed likely at the time.

    At this point it must be pretty tempting for Goff to say ‘fuck you all’ to his caucus and walk away. A 10% chance of that happening seems about right.

    Comment by danylmc — August 19, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  14. @ Tranaki

    I’m sure Alasdair Thompson would have something to say about that corellation.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 19, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  15. Why would National want this to come true, poor Phil Goff is the present that just keeps giving

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — August 19, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  16. Danyl – you do me a disservice. I had no communication from anyone associated with the National Party before I wrote my post this morning. The suggestions came from a number of senior Auckland political sources, none of whom have or have ever had any association with the National Party. But I accept now that Mrs King plans to stay on to the election.

    Comment by Matthew Hooton — August 19, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  17. – Phil sums it up for me.

    Vance’s blog seems pretty light weight. Take a sample from –

    Stoush of the week: PAULA BENNETT vs REBECCA WRIGHT

    Paula BennettWhen politicians and journalists go to war, it’s never pretty. TV3’s Rebecca Wright has been hacking away at Social Development Minister Paula Bennett since the mini-scandal last year involving Bennett’s releasing information about DPB mothers to the public. The Privacy Commissioner investigated Bennett and the issue remains unresolved. Wright was in boots and all on that story and a long-running war began.

    This week’s chapter has been perhaps the most bitter, with Wright all over Bennett on unemployment numbers. When Bennett deadpanned back to Wright early in the week – “well, you’ve got your figures wrong” – it was on. Predictably, a letter Bennett wrote to a constituent that revealed her earlier thoughts on a broad-based payment card scheme got the full treatment from Wright.

    Raow. This fight’s not over.

    Is Wright right? What’s actually going on here? Who knows? Certainly not Vance.

    Comment by taranaki — August 19, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  18. Drop dead, Hooton, you inveterate liar. I’d believe a snake telling me it won’t bite me before I’d believe you. And I’d believe him quicker, including the time it took me to get over the fact that a snake was talking to me.

    They’ve all written good stuff in the past. I especially like Andrea Vance’s analysis on her blog.

    Comment by danylmc

    It’s John that does the better analysis – as befits someone who’s been reporting here for a while – but let’s just say that they both suck and swing toward the vapid. But how you can frame anything you find on a blog of less than 500 words that ends with a question as analysis is beyond me. Analysis is usually a bit more than saying what’s happened and then asking a question. Real analysis would actually dig into things, rather than just repeating what’s happened.

    We have a woeful lack of decent analysis in our media. All they tend to do is read polls, turn up in the gallery and throw a speculative OIA in. Actually doing some maths, reading some legislation, targeting OIAs would be analysis.

    This stuff – this is just piles and piles of patronising horseshit.

    Comment by Dizzy — August 19, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

  19. Labour leader Phil Goff said the election was basically a referendum on asset sales.

    “It’s the issue that depends on the outcome of this election more clearly than any other issue.”

    Who needs journalists when deep analysis comes straight from the poli’s mouth.

    Comment by Pete George — August 19, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  20. And the day that Goff does decide to walk, no one will believe him.

    Goff: “I’m standing down as leader.”
    Journos: “Yeah, we’ve heard that one before.”
    Goff: “No really, this time it’s *me* doing the telling. I’m really going.”
    Journos: “See you at question time.”
    Goff: “But I won’t be there!”

    Comment by Ataahua — August 19, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  21. Who the hell is Matthew Hooton?

    Comment by Snow-bound — August 19, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

  22. Apparently they also scheduled a Goff might quit rumour too:

    Comment by BeShakey — August 19, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  23. Andrea Vance used to write for NOTW. No comment further

    Comment by max — August 19, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  24. It’s every seven weeks, not very five weeks.

    Comment by dpf — August 19, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

  25. Bill Ralston claims in a recent Listener column that a NOTW scandal couldn’t happen in NZ, because the media can’t afford to bribe cops or pollies. But what of the other way round, where it’s the media that takes bribes?

    Comment by DeepRed — August 19, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

  26. what of the other way round, where it’s the media that takes bribes?

    Highly improbable – this is about the disfunctional culture of newsrooms, where everyone’s obsessed with getting an exclusive or a new angle, irrespective of whether there’s any actual truth to the material.

    Comment by danylmc — August 19, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

  27. If the Labour party MP’s don’t roll the eedjits at the top in the next week they are insane.

    Comment by abel the amish — August 19, 2011 @ 8:18 pm

  28. But do you think the culture of journalism becoming brief stepping stone into a PR career gives journalists an incentive not to offend their potential future employers? I do.

    Also, the lack of experience really means that our newsrooms are appreciably more naive, impressionable and pliant. There is a lack of talent to provide substantive analysis. For instance I haven’t heard a single NZ journalist really grill John Key forinstance, until Guyon Espiner last weekend on Q&A. How the hell can the Prime Minister avoid being challenged on his record by our fourth estate, especially inflation is sky high, government debt rising and employment at crises level. Instead we get Garner nodding and smiling while Key trots out his “170,000 new jobs coming soon” line.

    But then I read Andrea Vance’s article; what a cast: Farrar, Slater and a quote from the TransTasman. I guess she’s aiming for a job in Joyce’s office.

    Comment by taranaki — August 19, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

  29. lol, lol, lol, then we have NatRad waxing lyrical with Labour MP’s during the 6-7am slot.

    Comment by will — August 19, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  30. Un-be-fracking-lievable. Substitute Key, English et al and some Lefty commenters who have been similarly built up and repeatedly quoted until they are familiar to the crucial swing voter in the mainstream press an…………..oh. yeah….nah.

    Nice one Joycie: another timely call on the pre-assembled troops; another career-enhancing tilt at at the coveted Rasputin cup; another sneaky, vicious heel into the bowels of the wounded from a good catholic boyo. Another cardinal transgression that will, beyond doubt, be redeemed.

    Comment by ak — August 19, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

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