2014 was the year mainstream media Journalism died and women increasingly became the best cultural talents we had to offer the world. There were unique triumphs and abysmal also rans. Here are the 2014 Daily Blog Media Awards
Best Comedian in NZ 2014: Rose Matafeo
Rose by a landslide. She is the funniest member of the Ben and Bill show on TV3, (is it still called that?). Her humour is intelligent, brilliant and clever. Her awkward dates are funny train wrecks and her song where she sings about dating Dads was possibly the funniest thing on NZ TV this year. News that she will have her own series with other female comedians is the best thing to happen to NZ comedy since TVNZ turned down Flight of the Concords.
The memorial Oliver Driver wasted talent Award: Guy Williams
Williams is the second reason to watch Ben and Bill, but why oh why is he so wasted on the bloody Edge? His talent demands something far more substantial than the empty vacancy of commercial radio. If TV3 were smart, they would replace the late night Paul Henry show with Guy Williams.
Best NZ Film: The Dark Horse
The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has crafted a movie so genuine in its authenticity it sets a new cultural threshold. The performances are all excellent, but Cliff Curtis as Genesis Potini a gifted chess player from a violent childhood who battles mental illness to teach a small class of troubled youth how to play chess is one of his greatest acting achievements.
Curtis and Robertson have the patience and subtle grace to allow the camera to linger on Potini in a way that is painfully intimate. The dramatic conclusion to a lifetime of violence and the sacrifice of manhood didn’t leave a dry eye on opening night. The final scene won’t depart you easily.
The Dark Horse is this generation’s ‘Once Were Warriors’ minus the overblown symbolism. It is such an extraordinarily brilliant movie that manages to highlight the challenges of mental illness, homelessness, hope, poverty, the emotional fragility of men, domestic violence and the true impact of toxic masculinity in NZ in a way few others ever have.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Worst NZ Film: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
What the fuck happened here? This mess of a film is the reason we re-wrote our labour laws for Corporate Hollywood? Surely if the National Government are going to manufacture a crisis with a movie and bash unions you would ensure the finished project was actually watchable. This bloated trilogy is tiresome to the point that you are actually cheering for the dragon by the end of it. ‘Please Smaug, burn everyone, including whoever ‘adapted’ this into 3 movies’. Look if we are going to sell our cultural sovereignty out to the Americans to appease the ego of Peter Jackson and re-write our labour legislation, shouldn’t the films actually be good?
Best TV Show: True Detective
Haunting, incredible cinematography and enough existential philosophy dialogue to appease every Jean-Paul Sartre fan in the world. True Detective managed to prove intelligent, creative TV can be done.
Worst addition to NZ media landscape: Edge TV
Fuck it’s appalling. Someone should do a PHD on the impact of the depoliticisation of youth media and neoliberalism because part of Key’s appeal is him constantly turning up on barren yuff culture spots like the Edge and doing dorky youtube gags rather then being challenged on why youth unemployment is so high. The Edge TV has all the cultural charm of Ronald McDonald porn. Its crass consumerism is to talent what cancer is to good health. Ugh.
Best Cultural export since NZ refrigerated mutton: Lorde
Her performance of Yellow Flicker at the American Music Awards was one of the best global performances of the year. Her energy, her defiance, her lyrics are all redefining popular music. She. Is. Such. A. Legend. Forget changing the flag, we should change the national anthem from ‘God Defend NZ’ to ‘God defend Lorde’.
Best new Comedy Act: The Fan Brigade
They are the next big thing in NZ comedy. If you don’t know them yet, you should.
Worst scheduling decision since Comedy Central programmed ‘On the Buses’ Award: Late at the Museum
Who the Christ scheduled Nicky Hager to appear on stage with Matthew fucking Hooton? Hooton is the bloke who in Dirty Politics gives Cathy Odgers Hager’s address after Odgers asks for Whaleoil to publish Hager’s address online in the hope that some of Odgers’ Chinese organised crime clients would assassinate Hager.
What the fuck is Hager supposed to say on that panel, ‘I’m really glad to be here on stage with someone who tried to fucking kill me’?!?!? I mean – WHAT THE FUCK?
Best radio station: Radio Hauraki
Hauraki is by far the best commercial radio station in the country. Matt Heath, Jeremy Wells, Mickey Havoc – all broadcasters trying to do smart, clever media in a radio landscape devoid of genuine talent. If you aren’t listening, you really should. It’s head and shoulders above any other dribble out there.
Best Political Satire: Braunias/Wells/The Nation
3 way split this year. Steve Braunias’ ‘Secret Diary’ is a weekly highlight, so too was Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant and 60 seconds on The Nation started pretty wonky but became one of the few reasons to actually watch The Nation in the end.
Best Journalist if Journalism is a blood sport: Patrick Gower
At his best, Gower is a barking dog chasing a car, at his worst he is a homicidal chipmunk armed with a semiautomatic machine gun on a meth bender. When he’s chewing up someone you don’t like, it’s hilariously entertaining, when he’s chewing on someone you like he is an abomination. Beyond all the fun and games however, Gower’s speciality is planting his own opinion over facts and focusing on the tiny scandals he can dig up as opposed to actual journalism like ‘what will this policy do for NZ’.
. Hi His attack on Laila and Hone is a reminder to the Left that the mainstream media will always His attack on Laila and Hone is a reminder to the Left that the mainstream media will always shit on them. Gower’s style of ‘journalism’ is the reason why NZ can’t have political accountability.
Best Blogger: Morgan Godfery
Morgan continues to be one of the best bloggers in NZ. His analysis of politics is articulated with passion and a rare intelligence. The only complaint is that he needs to be blogging a lot more.
Worst Media Crime: Donghua Liu
How the bloody hell the Herald was allowed to run a story claiming that Donghua Liu had donated a hundred thousand dollars to Labour when it had no proof is surely one of the worst media crimes this year. That the boss of NZ Herald seemed to think a signed statement by Liu was the legal equivalent of an affidavit is still something that hasn’t been explained. The hack of Slater occurred before the Donghua Liu story broke and as our very own Frank Macskasy investigated, it looked like the entire Donghua Liu story was another example of Dirty Politics. The collusion between the Herald, the PMs Office and Slater during this fiasco has never been fully investigated and in light of what we now know about Dirty Politics, it surely must feature prominently in any documentary on Dirty Politics that comes out.
John Armstrong even went as far as suggesting David Cunliffe should consider resigning over this manufactured smear. He has yet to suggest John Key resign for his office using falsified SIS information to smear the Leader of the Opposition months out from an election.
Best panelist: Robert Reid
You could hear a pin drop on the set of Q&A when Robert Reid appeared on it. The usual yawn fest that passes as comment on the State Broadcaster almost choked when Reid had the audacity to point out that the narratives they were running on Shane Jones being the great hero of the working class were bullshit and false. It was a joy to see the vacant political punditry get confronted by a genuine counter opinion. More Robert Reid in 2015 please.
Worst Panel Show: Q&A
It’s. Just. So. Dull. How many times can Michelle Boag and Mike Williams agree with each other? Sure The Nation has Patrick Gower chewing on peoples legs, but that’s mildly entertaining, Q&A honestly puts me to sleep.
Seven Sharp public broadcasting hate crime award for worst current affairs show: Seven Sharp
Seven Sharp represents all that is wrong in public broadcasting in NZ right now. It was a bastard creation from the revenue people created because TVNZ can’t sell any more advertising space during Shortland Street. So, they gutted Close Up and relaunched it as a yuff current affairs show so they could appeal to the same advertising demographic. Hosted by a far right fucktard and that giggly woman who looks like a head prefect from a private provincial girls school, it has done more to dumb down intelligent public debate than all the contaminated lead poisoning in history has. How Heather du Plessis Allan has been allowed back on Q&A to ask the big people questions after her appalling soft spun PR story on Cameron Slater is another unanswerable question.
If there is a God, the first thing any new Government coming into power in 2017 will do is sack everyone associated with Seven Sharp and shoot the advertising department that spawned this abomination.
Cameron Slater Award for ‘balance’ in a mainstream media publication: Sunday Star Times
The Sunday Star Times has appointed Phil Goff as the supposed counter view to Judith Collins. So that’s the really right wing of the National Party debating against the right wing of the Labour Party?
Only in mainstream media is that considered ‘balanced’.
Best Journalist: Andrea Vance
Vance continues to be one of the few Journalists in NZ providing genuine critiques and criticism of this Government in a mainstream media environment that is unashamedly pro Key. Her insights and opinions have been one of the highlights of 2014.
Best Current Affairs show: Campbell Live & Native Affairs
The Campbell Live team just go from strength to strength despite the female version of Whaleoil, Rachel Glucina, attempting to do her own Dirty Politics by trying to have John Campbell replaced with a two person team. Thankfully TV3 have resisted Glucina’s smear and have allowed John and his team continue to do real public broadcasting journalism. Their work on Christchurch, NovoPay, mass surveillance and child poverty is set against a harsh advertising environment that demands they perform every night. That takes guts and strength.
Over on Maori TV, it’s been another brilliant year at Native Affairs with courageous journalism that has made them the new benchmark for public broadcasting excellence.
The future however will be difficult for both shows. Glucina will continue to do what she does and attempt to discredit Campbell Live and Maori TVs recent reshuffle of staff raises serious questions. Those who care about quality TV need to watch out for any attempt to gag or change the last two bastions of journalism on TV.
Best Columnist: Dita De Boni
The grace and fearlessness with which she writes is one of the few reasons to ever bother reading the NZ Herald.
Most hysterical news story: ‘Nazi chants’
Of all the most ridiculous stories published by the NZ Herald, the one where they quote an academic claiming a bunch of drunk Christchurch students chanting ‘Fuck John Key’ was equivalent to ‘Nazi Chants’ is surely one of the most obscene. When Dirty Politics came out shortly after this, we got to see tactics far more fascist.
Orwellian Double Speak Media story 2014: Dirty Politics and National are moderate
Two of the biggest right wing narratives that were spun this year was that the mainstream media investigated the allegations inside Dirty Politics and that the is Government are moderate.
Both are false.
If you look at the media coverage of Dirty Politics, it fell into 3 categories.
1 – It’s a communist conspiracy.
2 – Kim Dotcom was the hacker.
3 – Hager is a hypocrite for using stolen emails.
That’s not investigating the allegations. That’s accepting the Rights false narrative.
The other example of this was the constant line from our corporate news pundits that this Government is actually ‘moderate’. For the 250 000 children living in poverty it isn’t moderate. For the 800 000 NZers living in poverty it isn’t moderate. To the beneficiaries, those trying to buy a first house, those who are too poor to get a tax cut, Maori, Pacific Islanders, Women, Tertiary Students and every NZer now being spied upon, this isn’t a moderate Government. To those with many rental properties, Chinese businessmen and the rich, this Government is tepid at best.
Best radio host: Wallace Chapman
He continues to be the best thing on Radio NZ and a future hope for a smarter more intelligent media.
Biggest media losers 2014: The People of NZ
The biggest media losers this year were the people of NZ. This Government have passed the largest erosions of our civil liberties with the Search and Surveillance Bill, the GCSB Bill and the TICS Bill. NZers were conned by a biased media and instead of recoiling in horror at the revelations in Dirty Politics, they actually rallied to a corrupt leader like John Key.
Let me spell it out again. The PMs Office instigated and co-ordinated the leak of falsified SIS information to smear the Leader of the Opposition months before an election. We crucified Helen Clark for signing a painting she didn’t paint, what Key has done here is a thousand times worse and is as close to a coup as NZ has ever had. That NZers shrugged that off is an affront to our democracy fed by a one sided media who were working hand in glove with Slater for the last 6 years.
We have all been left a poorer Nation for the lack of real media scrutiny of these corrupt buggers. No Right winger has any ability to hold the moral high ground for the next 3 years when this is what their elected representatives carry out with their support.