Journalist blocks TDB Blogger

By   /   August 3, 2017  /   12 Comments

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his action to block a person from even reading what he has written strikes me as totally contrary to what a journalist should be. Journalists should never decide who can  and can’t read their material.

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On 2 August, The Daily Blog’s administrator – Martyn Bradbury – published a story on Gerry Brownlee accusing Mediawork’s journalist Patrick Gower of being a “cheerleader for Labour”;

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If that message truly came from National minister Gerry Brownlee, I thought it was a ‘Trumpian’ example of childish stupidity. An intemperate ‘tweet’ from a naive, newly elected, fresh-faced member of Parliament could be excused on the basis of inexperience.

But a senior politician of  Brownlee’s record should know better. He has been in Parliament for two decades.

I sought out Gower’s Twitter account to make precisely that point.

When I access Patrick Gower’s twitter account – @patrickgowernz – this is what I found:

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A close up of the message informing that I had been ‘blocked’ by Mr Gower;

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I was a little surprised.

Three years ago I ran a series of blogposts on Gower’s own intemperate twitter posts and media comments on Laila Harré  and the electoral accommodation between the Mana Movement and the fledgling Internet Party;

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The three stories above were highly critical of  Gower’s attacks on the Mana-Internet alliance. In my view Gower’s on-going vendetta was a naked attempt to influence the 2014 election.

As I wrote in August of that year;

It seems obvious that Gower has a personal thing against Mana and Kim Dotcom.

His most recent utterances on 29 July made that perfectly clear, when he has again stated,

“And David Cunliffe has repeatedly and pointedly refused to rule out working with Internet-Mana to form a Government.”

At every opportunity, Gower has repeatedly demanded Cunliffe rule out working with Mana-Internet.

Why?

When a journalist demands that a political party make a definitive policy statement to rule out a potential coalition partner is not reporting the news – it is a naked attempt to influence it.

It is one thing to ask a party leader who they will/won’t deal with, post-election. That is a perfectly legitimate question to ask.

But to pressure a party leader to rule out a potential coalition partner?

Gower has stepped beyond the bounds of what is acceptable journalism. It is not his job to dictate to any party leader who they should/shouldn’t coalesce with. His job is simply to report their decisions.

The rest is up to us, the people to evaluate that information.

Pull your head in, Paddy.

I was unaware up until 2 August that Gower had – at some point – blocked my access to his Twitter account.

Think about that for a moment. A journalist’s job is to present information to the public. It is their paid role; their raison d’être.

I can understand if Gower declines to allow me to post comments on his page. It’s his Twitter account; he sets the rules (within Twitter’s own Terms and Conditions). I have no argument with that.

But his action to block a person from even reading what he has written strikes me as totally contrary to what a journalist should be. Journalists should never decide who can  and can’t read their material. (Which raises an interesting side-issue on pay-walled journalism.)

Gower’s action poses some interesting questions;

Who else has Gower blocked?

How on Earth can a seasoned journalist feel so threatened by a blogger that probably 99.99% of the population does not read?

What will Gower’s employers do if they expect him to interview me on a breaking story that I may be privy to – and I decline?

Is this professional behaviour from a seasoned journalist?

And how will Gower react if a public figure blocks him from their Twitter or Facebook account?

Gower’s blocking of me suggests that he has taken my criticisms badly. Which is ironic, considering the harsh criticism that Gower has dished out to Hone Harawira, Kim Dotcom, Laila Harré, et al.

Not a good look, Mr Gower.

Heat. Kitchen. Door.

 

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References

Wikipedia: Gerry Brownlee

Twitter: Patrick Gower

TV3: Opinion – Dotcom does Key a Winston favour

Other Bloggers

The Daily Blog: Martyn Bradbury –  Twitter Watch – Witness Gerry Brownlee’s petty & dangerously paranoid attack on Patrick Gower

Previous related blogposts

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation

How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study

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= fs =

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12 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Thank you Frank,

    It is wise that we know the vile actions of some within the MSM beltway use in blocking access to their actions in the public sphere, it is astonishing when you always here that these same clarion’s of “the free press” are blocking other members of “the free press also.

    We are right behind a radical change to a free unhindered press with the new Government in September.

    (I THINK STEVEN JOYCE IS INVOLVED HERE TOO AND SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR ILLEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA.!!!!!!

    “I was unaware up until 2 August that Gower had – at some point – blocked my access to his Twitter account.

    Think about that for a moment. A journalist’s job is to present information to the public. It is their paid role; their raison d’être.

    I can understand if Gower declines to allow me to post comments on his page. It’s his Twitter account; he sets the rules (within Twitter’s own Terms and Conditions). I have no argument with that.

    But his action to block a person from even reading what he has written strikes me as totally contrary to what a journalist should be. Journalists should never decide who can and can’t read their material. (Which raises an interesting side-issue on pay-walled journalism.)

    Gower’s action poses some interesting questions;

    Who else has Gower blocked?”

    • Indeed, CG – the concept of a “free press” seems clearly at odds with blocking a member of the public… (Even if it is a curmudgeonly contrarian like me…)

      Another point that shouldn’t be overlooked is that if journalists engage in editorialising on political matters, then by offering an opinion, they must expect a counter-opinion. If Mr Gower cannot take criticism of his opinion, that indicates a rather thin skin on his part.

  2. elle says:

    Patrick Gower is full of illusions of his own importance, and if Cunliffe was influenced by Gower ,why!!!
    I didnt think refusing to work with Mana and Dot Com was a good idea, it stopped Labour from being a force in parliament.
    If journalists cant take critisism they shouldnt be in the job,and if Mps are influenced by journalists opinion they are not worthy of their place in parliament ,Patrick Gower is a pekinese pretending to be a rottweiler.

    • Priss says:

      Totally agree, Elle. It doesn’t speak well of Gower if he can’t take the kind of criticism he dishes out to others.

      Blocking Frank shows that bloggers like him are more effective than we realise.

    • nativ4lyf says:

      pekinese………..rottweiler, very funny

      • Sam Sam says:

        Ikr. When people sub human or not remove half a conversation and then promote a half truth in a public forum it makes us less human.

  3. Wensleydale says:

    Look on the bright side, Frank. Long term exposure to the hyperbolic ranting of Patrick Gower has been proven to cause brain cells to atrophy and die. Thanks to Paddy’s being a sensitive wee flower whose feelings you’ve obviously grievously wounded, you’ll be a healthier man and not so prone to pre-senile dementia.

  4. Marc says:

    NO surprise there, Gower is not a true journalist, he is a biased gotcha activist, for NatACT.

  5. mosa says:

    If there was any standards and integrity Gower would have never dared call David Cunliffe a liar on live television over Don Wah Lieu knowing full well it was a dirty National party trick to frame Cunliffe and cause massive damage during the 2014 election campaign when Gower knew it was a set up.

    Cunliffe should have sued Gower and the news organisation he was employed by.

    For too long in this country certain media personalities and the organisations that employ them have had far too much influence than what is acceptable in a modern democratic state.

    Its time for a serious review about the way the media organisations behave and the implementation of safeguards to protect the public from any bias left or right.

  6. WILD KATIPO says:

    Well that’s what you get for being a true investigator, Frank ,… you’ve only got yourself to blame.

    Tut tut .

    Columbo had the same sort of knack of pissing off his opponents once they were snapped , whereas, … Patrick Gower ,… who is more in line with Dirk Gently , … never really seems to achieve anything of substance at all…

    Barring being a total pain in the arse and a shill for the National party…