The Dim-Post

December 8, 2014

Liberal media watch, Sunday edition

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 2:30 pm

There’s been a big debate on twitter about Judith Collins’ Sunday Star Times column. The column itself is here, and it is about concrete fiber board. It is possibly the most boring thing there has ever been a twitter debate about.

Some people are upset about the column because they feel Judith Collins is disgraced: Oravida, her role in Dirty Politics, etc. I don’t have a problem with disgraced political columnists per se. After all, Rodney Hide has a column. (And I note there’s no left-wing columnist at the Herald on Sunday to balance out Hide’s weekly screed about how wonderful John Key is). But Collins was disgraced partly because of her alleged role in manipulating the media, so giving her a national newspaper column seems ethically perverse. Maybe the huge consumer demand for copy about fiber board will make up for the revenue shortfall from readers who care about ethics?

Anyway, the SST has promised that they’re hiring a new left-wing columnist to balance things out. Their identity is a surprise, presumably because the editor also doesn’t know who his new columnist will be yet, only conceiving of his need for one when left-wing readers of his newspaper went nuts at him on Twitter when they heard about Collins.  (I have this ominous suspicion it will be Laila Harre, who will be keen to paint herself as the voice of the left after winning less than 10,000 votes for her Internet Party in the election, and will be also be eager to continue her grudge against Labour and the Green Party in print.)

I do have a few problems with the SST appointing Collins. One is that – as Finlay Macdonald said on Twitter – the media is supposed to be holding MPs – especially government MPs – to account, not giving them jobs. Also, the government already has a huge platform to communicate to the public. They get tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to tell us what they think, and what they’re doing, and why. Is it really the role of the media to give these very privileged, very powerful people even more of a platform to disseminate government propaganda? And then there’s the way the SST went about this. Collins’ column isn’t on the opinion page. It’s on the news page next to a story about the same subject, running the same lines as Collins. That’s a hell of a way to blur the lines and contaminate the SST’s entire product.

So various people on Twitter are calling for boycotts and canceling their subscriptions. I’m not quite there yet. Not over a column about concrete fiber board. But I’m thinking about it, and encourage anyone else troubled by all this to do the same. Various journalists on twitter are up in arms over this suggestion: ‘What about all the good content in Fairfax papers? What if good people lose their jobs, etc?’

Here’s my question to them. The Dirty Politics saga was a media scandal as much as a political scandal. What are people who are offended by it supposed to do, exactly, when they’re confronted by an editor like the SST’s Jonathan Milne, who is cheerfully demonstrating that not only has he learned nothing, but that he’s determined to keep pushing the barrow out, get dirtier, make his little corner of the media more sleazy, more compromised, more biased? Canceling your subscription is pretty much the only power we have.

77 Comments »

  1. Your last paragraph is spot on.

    “I don’t have a problem with disgraced political columnists per se. After all, Rodney Hide has a column.”

    It’s not an objection to a disgraced columnist/ex-MP, it’s an objection to a disgraced current politician being rehabilitated while she’s still disgraceful.

    “Various journalists on twitter are up in arms over this suggestion: ‘What about all the good content in Fairfax papers? What if good people lose their jobs, etc?’”

    I can understand someone who works for Fairfax taking it a bit personally (taking it to twitter was probably unwise), but surely if such a boycott were in any way successful the SST would take action before they got to the point of having to sack people or fold?

    “Canceling your subscription is pretty much the only power we have.”

    Plus blogging, tweeting, commenting, making it an issue that gets discussed. Don’t want to underestimate the value of that.

    Comment by weka — December 8, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

  2. I was so appalled to have Judith Collins leering at me from my Sunday paper, as if she was not that same foul-mouthed unscrupulous national politician we now know about, that I have this morning applied to have my subscription cancelled.

    Comment by Snowdrop — December 8, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  3. Excellent post. You have expressed exactly my thoughts on this topic.

    I did decide to cancel my subscription in the probably vain hope that the editor of the Sunday Star Times will reconsider his decision to provide Collins with a column. Unlikely he will respond this way, I know, but an angry letter to the editor isn’t enough.

    Comment by Karen — December 8, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

  4. Christ! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I am not as smart as you big famous beltway types and I didn’t realise that Judith Collins was a National MP and even worse was probably on the right edge of the party.

    Imagine if she wrote something about politics and I thought she was just a journalist or something. Fucking sneaky bitch!

    p.s. Can you imagine working with Giovanni Tiso? always trying to get you fired for forgetting to put the milk back in the fridge.

    That sado needs a new hobby.

    Comment by King Kong — December 8, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

  5. well the MSM will get my concern or respect when they earn it – its a little bit “too little too late” for cries of “what about teh jobs” from the media

    last sentence nails it – yeah sure, im not going to cancel my non-existant subscription – but sheesh – blaming the consumer for not wanting to buy your shit product? – who do they think they are? Chorus?

    Comment by framu — December 8, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

  6. Boy there are some smug journos on Twitter at the moment. In any other industry, if consumers don’t like what a business does, consumers are perfectly entitled to decide not to buy a product. What makes newspapers, and especially one as lightweight as the Sunday Star-Times, so special that buyers gotta buy?

    Comment by Dave — December 8, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

  7. king kong – can you explain what your exact problem is with consumer free choice?

    dont we as purchasers of a product not have the right to publicly state why we wont buy X and encourage others to do the same?

    i seriously dont think your quite as thick as your online persona – heres your chance to lift those knuckles from the pavement old chap. Think of the savings in bandaids!

    Comment by framu — December 8, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  8. same thing happened with the Countdown boycott when they were in the dogbox earlier in the year, all the cries of what about the Countdown staff. I dont even come close to understanding this point, isnt a consumer boycott how it needs to work to hold companies to account?

    I dont know how much effect the boycott with have as, sadly, I know quite a few people who picked up the SST because of Judith’s article and even sadder, they had no prior interest in fibre board.

    Comment by Benjamin — December 8, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

  9. Framu, I just wonder what the reaction here would be if a newspaper was put under pressure from advertisers (big business) to remove a left wing commentator (who had only written about building products) because they were a left wing commentator.

    I couldn’t give a fuck if people make decisions not to buy a product because they disagree with what the company is doing, but all this lets band together, campaign and encourage others to help bring them to their knees, doesn’t sit well with me. That’s not free choice, it’s organised sabotage.

    Comment by King Kong — December 8, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

  10. King Kong, so presumably organising submission writing, or signing petitions, or going on a protest march are all organised sabotage?

    “to remove a left wing commentator”

    Comprehension fail. No-one is objecting to a right wing commentator.

    Comment by weka — December 8, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  11. Yeah but King Kong, if you read the OP you’d see that no one is upset ‘because she is a right wing commentator’. The newspapers ahave many such, and nary a boycott call is made about it.

    Comment by shakingstick — December 8, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  12. You say “grudge against Labour and the Greens” as if it were a bad thing. The role of those parties in trying to salt-the-earth of an actual left-wing challenge was diabolical. You didn’t see National doing it to ACT.

    Comment by Daphne — December 8, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

  13. Weka,
    “so presumably organising submission writing, or signing petitions, or going on a protest march are all organised sabotage” These things are entirely legitimate when directed at lawmakers. If you took your face out of the KFC catering size bucket for a moment you would have worked that out.

    Maybe I should have said right wing mp commentator, who the left truly despises.

    Comment by King Kong — December 8, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

  14. You say “grudge against Labour and the Greens” as if it were a bad thing. The role of those parties in trying to salt-the-earth of an actual left-wing challenge was diabolical. You didn’t see National doing it to ACT.

    No, but to be fair, you didn’t see ACT taking millions of dollars from an alleged international criminal, then acting like total lunatics on the TV news while also reminding the voters that National couldn’t form a government without them.

    Comment by danylmc — December 8, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

  15. I can’t see the problem with Judith having a column. I’m old enough to comprehend what I’m reading, who wrote it, and then form my own opinion. It’s called discernment, freedom of speech and engaging in debate. I like that. I can’t see the problem with Tiso having a blog either but I wish he’d stop trying to stifle debate. What is he so afraid of?

    Comment by artcroft — December 8, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

  16. This will be another fascinating test of the power of those outraged over Nickygate. The last one, the election, didn’t work out well but the metric will be slightly different this time. You can still win an election of you lose 49% of your voters but losing 49% of your customers is a different matter altogether, especially in a business that has always been seen to have the most left wing sensibility in its news pages of any NZ publication of any size.

    “No, but to be fair, you didn’t see ACT taking millions of dollars from an alleged international criminal, then acting like total lunatics on the TV news while also reminding the voters that National couldn’t form a government without them.

    “Nailed it.

    “the media is supposed to be holding MPs – especially government MPs – to account”.

    No, no, it’s to generate audiences and, if it’s a commercial undertaking, make a buck. If they can do that holdings politicians to account, fine, but the mix of stories is entirely up to them, as it should be.

    Comment by Tinakori — December 8, 2014 @ 4:18 pm

  17. Tinakori, I feel genuinely sorry for you. If you have no understanding – and judging by your comment, you really don’t have a clue – of the role of the fourth estate in a free democracy, then somehow you have missed an awful lot of history. Of news. Of life, actually.

    Pop down to your local library. OK, it’s not “a commercial undertaking, to make a buck”. But there are other values. Most people recognize this eventually, hope you can.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — December 8, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

  18. No, no, it’s to generate audiences and, if it’s a commercial undertaking, make a buck. If they can do that holdings politicians to account, fine, but the mix of stories is entirely up to them, as it should be.

    Great! If the media are just “a commercial undertaking”, we can regulate them as such!! Get ready for the equivalent of a food standards agency to impose strict quality controls on the products that they dispense!!!

    Comment by Flashing Light — December 8, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  19. King Kong “Maybe I should have said right wing mp commentator, who the left truly despises.”

    Nope, still not getting it. Want to try again?

    Comment by weka — December 8, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

  20. “Maybe I should have said right wing mp commentator, who the left truly despises.”

    soooo – the left just luurves rodney hyde?
    After all he writes all sorts of outright cock bollocks and no one bats an eyelid

    yeah – you dont get it KK – i would advise… umm…. reading the post

    Comment by framu — December 8, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  21. “Framu, I just wonder what the reaction here would be if a newspaper was put under pressure from advertisers”

    i predict it would be a good faith and possibly vigorous defense of said columnist (or not), a bit of sweary words here and there and an acceptance that thats just peoples choice to support or not – its not much harder than that

    Comment by framu — December 8, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

  22. No, no, it’s to generate audiences and, if it’s a commercial undertaking, make a buck. If they can do that holdings politicians to account, fine, but the mix of stories is entirely up to them, as it should be.

    Modern media organisations do a very smooth transition between the two poles. If there’s ever any talk of government oversite they scream that they are a sacred institution that speaks truth to power and must be protected, but if they’re called on to actually do any of that stuff they are instantly cold-hearted commercial entities that are accountable only to their shareholders.

    Comment by danylmc — December 8, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

  23. What Judith Collins wrote in her debut column is indeed pretty mundane. But if someone else like Helen Kelly wrote the exact same words, it’d probably be shot down as Communist propaganda.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — December 8, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

  24. It’s an article about cement-fibre wood substitute panelling written by a back bench government MP under her own name. Factual and dull with corrosponding surprisingly high info content. It performs all the duties of journalistic intent, questioning power and all that.

    Yet you say this is SST’s Jonathan Milne “pushing the barrow out, get dirtier, make his little corner of the media more sleazy, more compromised, more biased” beyond previously revealed dirty politics. That seems unlikely, but I’ve never read Hager’s book and it could contain 250 pages lof less strident opinions on dry-wall (surprised it sold so well, must have been the marketing).

    This is not dirty politics.

    Or if this is dirty politics, it is very subtle.

    Comment by unaha-closp — December 8, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  25. (I have this ominous suspicion it will be Laila Harre, who will be keen to paint herself as the voice of the left after winning less than 10,000 votes for her Internet Party in the election, and will be also be eager to continue her grudge against Labour and the Green Party in print.)

    If it is a sitting MP they want, David Cunliffe might be available.

    Comment by unaha-closp — December 8, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

  26. Not only have you not read Hager’s book, you have evidently not read anything about Judith Collins and her behaviour, for several years. Or even anything Judith Collins.

    But of course you have, so the “What, me ref?” faux naivety is just an act. I suggest you get a better one.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — December 8, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  27. … anything BY Judith Collins …

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — December 8, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  28. “Modern media organisations do a very smooth transition between the two poles”

    Oh, totally. It’s mostly but not entirely cant, because they do hold politicians and others to account. But its an accident of commercial history that holding politicians to account has also been one of the components of viable media businesses. Not so much lately, though there are differences. The Dom Post and the Herald rarely have political stories on the front page, presumably because they don’t think it will they will attract readers. TV and TV3 in particular, on the other hand, think of politics as a leading part of their political brands with, for example, Patrick Gower in regular performances beyond parody imitating a fearless truth teller. I guess for TV its a daily dose of easily accessible recordable stuff that provides some important elements for a visual story.

    Comment by Tinakori — December 8, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

  29. “What about all the good content in Fairfax papers? ”

    Surely that’s a hypothetical question.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — December 8, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

  30. I’ve never understood where all this vitriol towards Laila Harre comes from.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 8, 2014 @ 8:24 pm

  31. I note that even that arsewipe Eric Watson has a voice in the Herald now and then. The prick and his mate owe the Mums and Dads of this country half a Billion dollars.
    Not a thing has been done to bring these thieves to account. Apparently they have paid Slater to influence the Govt to keep things quiet. Its nice to know we live in the
    most uncorrupt country in the world. Life must be hell in the second most uncorrupt country in the world.

    Comment by bosun — December 8, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

  32. @Flashing Light: “Great! If the media are just “a commercial undertaking”, we can regulate them as such!! Get ready for the equivalent of a food standards agency to impose strict quality controls on the products that they dispense!!!”

    I was thinking about it from the opposite side. If media’s not interested in playing its societial role as the fourth estate that holds politicians and others to account, then the protections it gets (presumably for being in this role) might as well be revoked. If it’s not being useful for society beyond pure commercialism towards making a buck for itself and its shareholders no matter what the consequences or the balance, why should we, as society, award it a privileged legal status?

    Comment by izogi — December 8, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  33. @izogi, Flashing Light

    It doesn’t make the left wing look good when we talk about of restricting media freedom.

    Boycott newspapers if you want, ridicule them, lobby them to lift their game, join them and work to improve from within, start a blog and bypass them, all good options. The North Korean stuff, not so much.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 8, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

  34. Edit @ my 33, “about of” oops.

    Comment by Antoine — December 8, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

  35. @Kalvarnsen

    I think one contributing factor is the theory that Labour-Greens might have won the election without Internet Mana sticking their oar in?

    Presumably there is some stuff dating back to her successive partings from Labour and the Alliance too…?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 8, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

  36. Well, with respect I don’t really see myself as having a responsibility to protect “the left” from an image problem. That was just a bunch of stuff I said. But I don’t think any side of our political landscape should be blinding itself to the reason those media protections are there, and expecting a robust and reliable media in exchange. If it’s okay to just say stuff for the hell of it to sell advertising and make a buck irrespective of the consequences as @Tinakori implied, then why not give anyone and everyone all the same elevated rights as media organisations?

    Comment by izogi — December 8, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

  37. It doesn’t make the left wing look good when we talk about of restricting media freedom.

    Context, Antoine, context. Tinakori made a claim about what the media “really are”. I was pointing out a potential consequence of that claim, not endorsing it (either the claim or the potential consequence). That’s sort of how these comment threads work.

    Comment by Flashing Light — December 8, 2014 @ 10:22 pm

  38. @izogi

    There are plenty of checks and balances that apply to media (see http://r128.publications.lawcom.govt.nz/Chapter+2+-+The+News+Medias+rights+and+responsibilities), but preventing politicians from airing their opinions is not among them.

    If you don’t like the right-wing bias of a particular newspaper, your best option is probably to read a different one.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 8, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

  39. @Flashing Light

    I agree that a good news outlet should aspire to do more than just sell advertising space.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 8, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  40. Antoine #38: “There are plenty of checks and balances that apply to media, but preventing politicians from airing their opinions is not among them.”

    Seems not much has changed from the status quo in spite of the LawCom report you linked to, with the exception of bloggers being able to register for the OMSA.

    “If you don’t like the right-wing bias of a particular newspaper, your best option is probably to read a different one.”

    All well and good if you’re in England, where there’s a rag for any political stripe. But what if the media market happens to be an oligopoly, as is the case in NZ? Maybe the Commerce Commission should have a look-in. We have little other choice but to rely on media outlets to provide balance, and there’s a big problem if they preach impartiality but practise partisanism. It took good old-fashioned investigative journalism to expose Hackgate in Britain and Watergate in America. And hopefully Dirty Politics in NZ. But it doesn’t come cheap, and crowdsourcing may be the least worst solution for it.

    And the Leveson & Finkelstein inquiries both came to a similar conclusion: the recommendation of a super-regulator along the lines of the Scandinavian countries, which is basically a Press Council/BSA with the power to enforce retractions and fines. If we ever get a Royal Commission a la Leveson/Finkelstein, they might recommend the same, but also with a new TVNZ7-style outlet.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — December 8, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

  41. @Antoine: That theory seems oversimplistic, but I guess I could see it. But I dunno, this flavour of vitriol seems to go beyond that.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 8, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

  42. Hold the presses, Collins is talking about something that doesnt exist, if we are being pedantic. “Concrete” fibre board ?. Now my dictionary tells me concrete is a composite of water, aggregate and cement. Im certain that this board thingy thats keeping Judith on the straight and narrow is really fibre cement board. Or cement board for short.
    That way we can save concrete for things like shoes, as in concrete shoes that John Key has made for his former Farmers shoe shop assistant.

    Comment by ghostwhowalksnz — December 9, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  43. Yes it is all down hill, I cancelled my subscription to the Sunday Star Times, Thank goodness for the intelligent bloggers!

    Comment by Dorothy — December 9, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  44. How do we know that Collins didn’t solicit a payment from the makers of the offending product to keep them out of her column? Or take one from a competitor to diss the opposition?

    Her lot have considerable form for that.

    Comment by richdrich — December 9, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  45. Judith writing a column isn’t news.

    What’s news is that there’s apparently so many subscribers to the SST! Do they all watch Coro St as well?

    Comment by Ross — December 9, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  46. It surprised me too, Ross.
    I never would have expected the venn diagram of dim-post readers and lawn bowlers to have such a large crossover.

    Comment by Phil — December 9, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

  47. Phil — December 9, 2014 @ 1:20 pm – hey! – lawn bowls is just giant billiards where you get to take your under priced and over sized beer onto the table – whats not to like?🙂

    Comment by framu — December 9, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  48. Left wing lawn bowlers has been a thing for a long time. It’s a protest against golf and all who play it, rich pricks everyone. Public Address is considering a weekly lawn bowls column.

    Comment by Tinakori — December 9, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

  49. Don’t forget to shout ‘FORE!’ just after your ball hits the golfer’s ankle

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 9, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

  50. An annual subscription to the SST now comes with a bulk-bag of Werther’s Original’s as a gift of thanks.

    Comment by Phil — December 9, 2014 @ 4:40 pm

  51. Danyl – this is you weakest post I have seen for a while. No harm in a politician writing a column. And she was exonerated, remember?

    Comment by Philo — December 9, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

  52. @Philo: “And she was exonerated, remember?”

    Yah. I take it that now she must have reverted back to her final Final FINAL warning, or whatever it was, before that thing occurred which she was later exonerated of.

    Comment by izogi — December 9, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

  53. She was exonerated? Yes, so was Philip Field. The first time. Same set-up, same purpose, same result, surprising nobody.

    Prime Ministers’ narrow terms of reference do what they’re supposed to do.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — December 9, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

  54. DimPost commentators are subscribers to the SST? God, that explains a lot.

    Canceling your subscription is pretty much the only power we have.
    What wonderful news. I’ve been pushing this line over at KB for some time now, but since almost everybody there has long hated the SST it was a case of preaching to the choir.

    Excellent to see DimPost and Kiwiblog readers on the same page. Bi-partisanship at it’s best.

    Although I do note this thread comment:
    Plus blogging, tweeting, commenting, making it an issue that gets discussed. Don’t want to underestimate the value of that.

    Which in turn leads to …
    then why not give anyone and everyone all the same elevated rights as media organisations?

    That’s basically what’s going to have to happen, although it will require “blogs” to coin enough to pay for having some scribe at the PM’s press conference.

    I’m hoping that this comment …
    I know quite a few people who picked up the SST because of Judith’s article ….
    … proves to be of the Pauline Kael variety, because my take on it is that if the SST editor thinks that right-wing readers are going to start reading the SST – let alone subscribing to it – just because some National Party MP hack is writing articles for it then it shows how utterly out of touch he is with his potential audience.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — December 10, 2014 @ 8:03 am

  55. What exactly are these ‘elevated rights of media organisations’ that ordinary citizens do not have?

    A. (genuinely curious)

    Comment by Antoine — December 10, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  56. Antione – i think these days its the right to shout “FIRE” in a crowded theatre and then blame it all on undisclosed sources or – (insert out-clause here) – when people point out how dodgy and unprofessional that was

    Comment by framu — December 10, 2014 @ 11:14 am

  57. Super, thanks.

    And which of those privileges do people think should be extended to the general public??

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — December 10, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

  58. I can’t speak for others, but for me I don’t think any of them should necessarily be extended to the general public.

    My thought was really that where media are not providing the rest of society with extra benefit than it otherwise could (like by usefully investigating things, and/or by holding public figures to account on behalf of the public), then we need to re-assess why we allow media organisations extra privileges on the premise that those things would actually happen.

    As has been pointed out, there’s going to be debate around how useful media’s being at any given time.

    Comment by izogi — December 10, 2014 @ 3:08 pm

  59. >Canceling your subscription is pretty much the only power we have.

    Well, personally, I’m exercising the power of never purchasing one in the first place.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 10, 2014 @ 10:46 pm

  60. Will Goff’s first SST column be fond reminiscing of how well he and Clark got along with Bush.

    Back when our foreign policy was independent – and so presumably a free choice on their part.

    As opposed to the non-independent line Key has taken with Obama and all that banning torture stuff.

    Comment by NeilM — December 11, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

  61. “Well, personally, I’m exercising the power of never purchasing one in the first place.”

    Same here, but sometimes I read their stuff for free when it gets pushed through Stuff’s various RSS feeds.

    If I were the SST, I’d not be too concerned about someone like Giovanni TIso trying to organise a boycott of subscriptions. I’d be more concerned about him trying to organise a boycott of advertisers again (as was touched on above), as he did with Radio Live over the Roastbusters stuff, because people who never gave money to the SST can still threaten to pull income from many of their advertisers.

    I’m surprised he hasn’t tried. Or have I missed it?

    Comment by izogi — December 11, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

  62. I’ve said it before, but it’s a lot easier to organise boycotts against radio & TV hosts than print columnists, because broadcast adverts directly sponsor a host when on the air. Print adverts don’t directly sponsor columnists unless it’s an official advertorial, or the publication is overtly partisan like the Guardian or Daily Mail in England.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — December 11, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

  63. It appears that Phil Goff is to provide ‘balance’ but some feel he is selling out to the right …. so it’s evidently time to sharpen them pitchforks … yet again.

    To the village!

    Comment by leeharmanclark — December 12, 2014 @ 6:25 pm

  64. Yes Lee, easy caricature, people speak out, so that = pitchforks, tee hee.

    I suppose that’s easier than asking (and answering) the simple question: is Goff to the left, as Collins is to the right? No.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — December 12, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  65. I agree sammmy 3.0 that was unecessary and provocative. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Sorry team.

    Comment by leeharmanclark — December 13, 2014 @ 8:32 am

  66. “…Modern media organisations do a very smooth transition between the two poles. If there’s ever any talk of government oversite they scream that they are a sacred institution that speaks truth to power and must be protected, but if they’re called on to actually do any of that stuff they are instantly cold-hearted commercial entities that are accountable only to their shareholders…”

    This sums up the dishonesty of our modern media. One thing that Dirty Politics revealed was how much of the scandal was also about the questionable behaviour of journalists, but the they’ve studiously avoided to look into their own backyards. Essentially, the modern corporate media now operates as a like minded cartel that considers itself not so much above the law as invulnerable to consequence, since their cartel control the flow of information that might cause public outrage. But the exercise of power without responsibility is the prerogative of the whore — not of the critic, and the media has to decide if it wants to be a whore – in which case it loses it’s privileges – or be a critic. Perhaps a way to do that would be (for example) to say journalistic protections like the not having to reveal a source only extends to journalists working for 100% NZ owned, not for profit media organisations. If we are serious about the role of the media as the fourth estate in a democracy then we can’t keep treating the way it is owned and operated as no more important than a fast-food franchise.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 13, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  67. …journalists working for 100% NZ owned, not for profit media organisations

    Cut to the chase and go for philosopher kings. There’s plenty on twitter.

    Comment by NeilM — December 13, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

  68. “Perhaps a way to do that would be (for example) to say journalistic protections like the not having to reveal a source only extends to journalists working for 100% NZ owned, not for profit media organisations.”

    Jesus christ, Sanc, really?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — December 14, 2014 @ 9:47 am

  69. >I’m surprised he hasn’t tried. Or have I missed it?

    I’m not, having met the guy. He’s basically a normal person in most ways, just got sick of powerless cries of outrage at the nob ends on the radio and made a few calls, and was as surprised as everyone else that something actually got done about it. It’s probably because the whole country was actually really quite fucked off with the Roastbusters and those shock jocks misread it quite badly.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 14, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

  70. And again, it’s easier to stage a targeted ad boycott against broadcast media than print media, unless the print media in question is openly partisan like the Daily Mail. Also, what’s been in the SST and HoS of late seems to be polarising rather than unanimous.

    As with the Leveson & Finkelstein Inquiries, a Press Council/BSA/OMSA with added regulatory powers is probably the least worst solution to a cartelised media industry. And, of course, the re-establishment of a new TVNZ7-type channel.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — December 14, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

  71. It’s probably because the whole country was actually really quite fucked off with the Roastbusters and those shock jocks misread it quite badly.

    To be fair it was a misread on both sides of the debate. Some wanted the “offenders” to be hung drawn and quartered. The fact there was little or no evidence of a crime seemed to be irrelevant. I haven’t heard any apologies that they got it wrong.

    Comment by Ross — December 15, 2014 @ 8:19 am

  72. The fact there was little or no evidence of a crime seemed to be irrelevant.

    I’m not sure that there was little to no evidence.

    From what I understand there was quite a bit of evidence but that it lacked the quality to have secured a conviction in that a lot of it came down to hearsay and statements made by complainants who had been stupefied by alcohol – setting aside that a significant factor in evidential quality appeared to directly result from the incompetent and potentially corrupt manner in which the original complaints were handled by the Police.

    Comment by Gregor W — December 15, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

  73. Since I’m the only lefty who dosent have a sub to the SST to cancel, what was Goff’s column like?

    Comment by Leopold — December 15, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

  74. Leopold, I understand Goff’s article was fantastic. Unfortunately, he released it to a competing newspaper early, selectively misrepresented most of his sources, drove a coach and horses through every promise to protect confidentiality, and when challenged, claimed he hadn’t properly read the contract. When it was pointed out to him he’d not only read the contract, but had signed it in front of witnesses, he then claimed he didn’t know what the fuss was and defended his actions as being in the public interest….

    Do I win $10?

    …..Team?…..

    Comment by lee clark — December 15, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

  75. If it is a sitting MP they want, David Cunliffe might be available.

    Damn it, still think David (either) would make a better foil than Goff.

    Comment by unaha-closp — December 15, 2014 @ 4:24 pm


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