MEDIA WATCH: Can a Spinoff conspiracy destroy Jacinda Ardern in 2020 and Andrea Vance’s ‘apology’ has to be read to be believed

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TRIGGER WARNING: If you are a sensitive soul, you should pass this story by. But if you like your violence visceral, then strap in because I’m about to give The Spinoff a good old fashioned hands tied behind their back pistol whipping. 

 

It is astounding to me that the right wing pundits, feminist journalists and the fucking Spinoff have refused point blank to apologise for their witch trial hit job on Jacinda – Vance’s bullshit ‘apology’ is jaw dropping.

Note Vance doesn’t critique her own rush to judge in the age of ‘if a women said it, it must be true’ journalism, she glosses over her own role in promoting this and blames everyone else.

Don’t forget Michelle Duff either, even though she wrote a biography on Jacinda (which is currently being turned around by juvenile right wing clowns) , her woke mantra of ‘believe women always’ meant that EVEN SHE was prepared to throw Jacinda under the bus for fourth wave feminist doctrine

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We can’t, and may never, know whether Ardern knew of the true nature of the allegations. I would personally like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say I don’t think she did, but the uncertainty is there.

…really ‘Chelle? After closely studying Jacinda, woke mantra over rode your actual experience of her eh?

Not me ‘Chelle…

…I’ve known Jacinda and her partner for over 2 decades – I refused to believe for one second that she would purposely lie and cover something like this up – it’s not who she is or what she is about and I’d stake my own honour on that.

My loyalty is working class, it doesn’t simply blow with the prevailing middle class mantras of the day.

I think a person making an allegation needs to be taken seriously, not believed – because believing means there is no due process, but I’m old fashioned like that.

If you re-read the original Spinoff witch trial that launched the claim Jacinda not only knew about but covered up a sexual assault, note how the relationship is utterly falsified for maximum damage – shouldn’t the BSA be involved here for crimes against journalism?

Over the next year, Sarah immersed herself in the party as a volunteer, quickly gaining more recognition and responsibility. It was during this period that she first came into contact with the alleged perpetrator, who is several years her senior, and started to have correspondence and regular meetings with him. He was already established in a leadership position at Young Labour, and his star continued to rise in the party proper. 

It was soon clear his interest in her was not purely political or professional, she said. On a party trip in 2017, after a night of drinking, he spent time “coming up behind me, hugging me, grabbing me”, she wrote in an April 2018 email to Maria Berryman, the lawyer leading the review. He also sent Sarah screenshots of explicit private messages exchanged with another party member, seen by The Spinoff, in which the pair fantasised about having sex with her. “I would feel manly if she was on her knees,” he wrote. 

Early in 2018 he invited her to a private meeting at his home to prepare for an upcoming regional conference. “He said it was really important that I came,” she said. “He made it feel like it was a part of my duties.” She arrived around six o’clock, and sat in the lounge to watch television with the rest of the household. After the others went to bed, the pair were left alone and moved to work on party documents on a computer in the adjoining office. 

It was then that Sarah felt the mood start to shift. 

…at no point whatsoever do Spinoff note she had been in a relationship with this guy for 8 months!!!

Did they purposely leave out the relationship or doctored evidence?

Doesn’t the context change everything and doesn’t the fact that it wasn’t noted to the reader deeply deceitful?

The text message he sent her was sent during their relationship – how does that equate to inappropriate behaviour? That’s the new evidential threshold is it? Sexts you send your Boyfriend/Girlfriend during a consensual relationship?

As The Spinoff story reads, this Staffer tricked a poor defenceless women into his home and was behaving like he was her boyfriend – because he was???

The counter of course is that sexual violence occurs in relationships and just because you had sex with someone doesn’t mean you are consenting again to that, and we all accept that argument, but what Vance, Duff and The Spinoff did was hide an element of the allegation which completely changes how that story is being told and in turn that allowed Soper, Garner, Hosking and the rest of the right wing trolls to tell the country Jacinda was covering up a serious sexual assault.

The Spinoff is the blog that cried wolf, and who just happens to have a side hustle that specialises in the eradication of mythical wolves.

We used to have ‘journalism’ like the Spinoff sex scandal story – it was on a site called ‘Whaleoil’ – how can the Spinoff claim to be the future of journalism when they are just as malicious as Slater?

So this Spinoff hit job destroyed the young staffer, destroyed the President, defamed Simon Mitchell and allowed the insinuation that Jacinda covered it all up, all in the name of middle class woke feminism and hashtag activism?

That’s the journalism everyone is racing to support with donations is it? Puritanical character assassinations from virtue signalling evangelicals?

How charming.

If you want to donate to a media that challenges the mainstream narrative without imploding the progressive movement with unsubstantiated hit jobs, you can support The Daily Blog here. 

If you don’t want to support us, then support Newsroom who have done real journalism this year, but if you don’t want to support them either, then at the very least cancel your membership to the Spinoff now because you are only encouraging them to continue with this level of ‘journalism’ by paying them a monthly subscription.

Has that dreadful bore of a drama queen Giovanni Tiso launched a campaign against The Spinoff’s advertisers yet? Isn’t the Queen of the Wellington Twitteratti the first to call for advertiser boycotts when media lie and screw up this badly? Has he started one?

No? Surprise, surprise.

Of course he hasn’t because The Spinoff is everyone’s favourite Woke middle class media and they are always right.

Shouldn’t someone be asking NZ on Air why the fuck they are supporting Whaleoil level journalism? What about all the other advertisers?

And who am I to lecture?

When I went after John Key and the ponytail pulling scandal, I made sure I could back up everything written including how the Herald sent in a fake PR advisor to gain an exclusive to make Key look good, The Spinoff must be forced to ask if they had any journalistic standards at all in their hit job and the right wing pundits who claimed Jacinda knew and the feminist journalists who promoted that lie all need contempt visited upon them.

The Spinoff almost smeared and derailed the most important political leader the Left has all because they used a Cameron Slater level of journalistic ethics and no one is calling them out because they are so precious.

What other grand conspiracies will The Spinoff be concocting in 2020?

Toby Manhire bravely revealing that day when Trevor Mallard once looked at him funny?

Spinoff Mummy Bloggers complaining that Neve bullied their vegan baby at the local Yoga attachment parenting kindergarten?

An exclusive by Ben Thomas on that one time Neale Jones got in between him and the buffet table?

Duncan Grieve courageously admitting that he felt triggered by Kris Faafoi for not including him as a consultant in the RNZ-TVNZ merger?

The sanctimonious alienation by The Spinoff is one thing, but when they are producing ‘journalism’ based on misinformation and deceit that almost derails the best chance for progressive politics in a generation, one really has to ask why the fuck they are allowed off this nightmare without any criticism.

Once upon a time we believed in a value that it was better 10 guilty people walk free than one innocent person gets wrongly convicted, in the age of accusation as the new evidential threshold, the mindset as displayed by The Spinoff’s woke journalistic standards is that it’s far better 10 innocent men are found guilty rather than one guilty man going free.

67 COMMENTS

  1. I have a confesssion.
    I read The Spinoff for the same reasons I occasionally watch Fox News. AMUSEMENT!
    I think I might have actually stumbled on something once or twice that’s half decent. If it disappears up it’s own arse there’s plenty of other things around for me to waste my time on.

    • OnceWasTim: “I read The Spinoff for the same reasons I occasionally watch Fox News.”

      In the past I read The Spinoff; but I stopped some time back, and removed the site from my bookmarks. Not only were the articles frequently questionable as to the extent of the author’s knowledge of a topic, but there was no opportunity for comments, except via Facebook, which I don’t use.

      I don’t miss it.

  2. I have said this before but it does appear that the mainstream NZ media is very deep into the NZ National Party pocket.
    In fact they, the mainstream media, is so deep into the NZ National Party pocket that it’s too dark for them to see the light. In other words traditionally the media are biased time and again to what their masters in the NZ National Party tell them.
    To me the tabloid NZ Herald and its so-called ‘professional’ journalists like Vance, Hosking, Young, Roughan, Sloper, Hawkesby, etc who are quite obviously National Party in leaning do not merit having their articles being read. In fact when I bother to read the Herald these are the sections I mostly look at i.e the weather, the Horoscope, the death column and Sideswipe. The rest of the paper is not worth reading.
    And in regards to the hardcopy NZ Herald. Well I find it quite useful for cleaning up the Kitty-litter because the crap in most of its articles is equivalent to what my cat leaves in her kitty litter.

    • “….regards to the hardcopy NZ Herald. Well I find it quite useful for cleaning up the Kitty-litter because the crap in most of its articles is equivalent to what my cat leaves in her kitty litter.”

      I buy the Saturday Herald because its large and therefore ideal for emptying the contents of the kittie litter container into… before wrapping dispatching to the rubbish bin.

      Don’t forget where Andrea Vance originated – the now defunct News of the World.

    • JustMe: “…. it does appear that the mainstream NZ media is very deep into the NZ National Party pocket.”

      Back in 2014, after Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” wasn’t given the press coverage it ought to have received and thus failed to shift the polls away from the Natz, I recall seeing some post-election commentary from journos.

      It was claimed that they all like to be on the same page, so to speak; nobody was prepared to have a dissenting view. In addition, outliers risked not getting press passes to political events. Anyone old enough to remember Muldoon can attest to that: he famously banned Tom Scott from press conferences, because of Scott’s critique of him.

      After the 2014 election, I did hear one or two journos express regret at their uncritical coverage of much of what Hager had written about. A fine time to have second thoughts, I remarked to family: after the election is done and dusted!

      We were overseas just before the election. I’d taken Hager’s book with me; I was profoundly shocked at its contents. Somewhere on our travels, we met some Australian tourists, who were saying complimentary things about Key. You’re welcome to him, I said. Given what Hager had detailed in his book, I said, and if they had an ounce of integrity among them, I said, the whole bloody lot of them ought to resign. But of course they won’t.

      And not only did they not resign, they won the 2014 election! But if, after reading “Dirty Politics”, the press had done its job, there’s a fighting chance they’d not have been re-elected. Sadly, it’s all history now….

      • NZ msm are complicit in National party dirty politics. National wouldn’t have gotten away with the things that they have said and did if it weren’t for the helping hand of the media

      • D’Esterre – If you weren’t in NZ, you may have been unaware that John Key dismissed Nicky Hager as a “conspiracy theorist”, and was generally publicly very disparaging of him.

        Now, don’t forget, that Dirty Politics suggested that Whale Oil and some MSM seemed to feed off each other to some extent – I think Slater may actually state this, that most journos are too lazy to do their own work, but I’d have to reread it.

        Like you, I was appalled by the Dirty Politics crowd – in and out of Parliament. Like all Nicky Hager’s work, the book was well researched and referenced, and was clearly true; only those who have read it, would realised how bad, and how duplicitous, people in the corridors of power were.

        All those so-called journos would have read “Dirty Politics”, but when Key declared Hager a conspiracy theorist, they mostly seemed to accept it in an extraordinarily passive sort of way.

        What went on on talk-back radio I don’t know, but I wouldn’t imagine it would have been well-informed, given the sort of people who participate in it.

        I think John Key’s popularity was largely due to his vulgarity (I could never stomach him as a next door neighbour eg) and being rich. That more or less sums up the persona of what a crude and backward bunch we are here. Key was also reported to be enraged – I forget the exact term bandied around, but it was quite colourful.

        Unlike Tom Scott and Richard Long (Dom editor) who were not personally intimidated by Rob Muldoon, the current bunch may have been intimidated by John Key – and/or their own masters.

        Nicky Hager, as you know, chronicled a lot of shocking behaviour, most of which never appeared in the MSM, suggesting that we don’t have freedom of the press here in NZ, and that by maintaining a silence about so much of what happened, then the press became complicit in it.

        Two persons that I know of, vilified by Slater, filed legal actions against him; I’m not sure of the outcomes but they looked headed towards success. And, as usual, there were good people who were collatoral damage, who did not deserve to be.

        The most disconcerting thing is the number of low calibre people in Parliament and in the MSM, many of whom, alas, are still there.

        • Snow White: “….you may have been unaware that John Key dismissed Nicky Hager as a “conspiracy theorist”, and was generally publicly very disparaging of him.”

          Yeah, I heard about it at second hand. We were in Central Europe, reliant upon free wifi (for which CE is rather good, actually: at least one small town provided free wifi in the whole of its main square; ah, the joys of the Steiermark!), so our access to NZ news was a bit patchy at times. Nonetheless, my impression was that the story hadn’t stayed long in the news. And when we returned, I was astonished that the polls hadn’t moved at all.

          After the election, I got into an online exchange with a journo, who was rather defensive when I challenged him over the apparent lack of coverage of the Hager book. He insisted that the story had attracted extensive coverage. Not so, according to my informants here, and other commenters backed me up. Said journo sure didn’t like being criticised!

          “Nicky Hager, as you know, chronicled a lot of shocking behaviour, most of which never appeared in the MSM, suggesting that we don’t have freedom of the press here in NZ, and that by maintaining a silence about so much of what happened, then the press became complicit in it.”

          I agree. We have never had full freedom of the press in this country: at least during my lifetime. It’s illustrated by the msm’s treatment of Hager.

          And also by the fact that Amy Brooke apparently can’t get her columns published in local newspapers. It doesn’t matter what we think of her opinions: if we had a free press, she’d be published here.

          The latest manifestation of increasing restrictions on press freedom has been the pusillanimous and shameful treatment by the ODT of Garrick Tremain, just for producing a cartoon that offended some people.

          “Two persons that I know of, vilified by Slater, filed legal actions against him….”

          Matt Blomfield was successful against him. A hard-fought victory, and well-deserved. The best thing to be said of Slater is that time and tide caught up with him; but not before he did a huge amount of damage.

          “The most disconcerting thing is the number of low calibre people in Parliament and in the MSM, many of whom, alas, are still there.”

          Yup. Especially in RNZ National, sad to say. I’m seriously contemplating abandoning Morning Report. I’ve been listening to it since its inception, and to RNZ National and its predecessors for all of my life, so it’s a tough habit to break. I like radio; RNZ has been very good for local news, and still is, to a considerable extent. But it’s now infested with the woke Left, and with so-called journos who just accept uncritically all of the tosh that comes from the US and UK media. I’m too old to accept this crap any longer. Increasingly I’m listening to Concert; that’ll do me!

          And a merry Christmas to you and yours; how tragic is it to be on a comment thread on Christmas Eve? On the bright side, I have a good whisky at my elbow…..

          • D’Esterre “And also by the fact that Amy Brooke apparently can’t get her columns published in local newspapers. It doesn’t matter what we think of her opinions: if we had a free press, she’d be published here.”

            I gather she fell out with Richard Long but that the Dom printed nothing of hers that hadn’t been subbed by the late Frank Haden; her book is a bit hard to plough through, and has at least one mistruth – about Plunket- and an horrific accusation; the Spectator sells well here – to the converted. We don’t need anti-Muslim stuff based on sketchy knowledge etc.

            Hager – it’s astonishing- and all the Afghanistan investigators’ work may help restore our national honour – and could be cathartic for NZDF troops carrying burdens of secrecy. I’ve four of his books, and each has shocked me with what’s kept hidden.

            Happy Christmas – pudding cooked yesterday – invented pork and puha balls- with sultanas -only need to wrap the pressies and polish the silver…

            • Snow White: “….her book is a bit hard to plough through….”

              Heh! given her evident self-satisfaction over her own facility with English, I’m guessing that a comment like this would get up her nose.

              “….has at least one mistruth – about Plunket- and an horrific accusation….”

              I’m no apologist for Brooke’s opinions, but I defend her in the Voltairean sense, that she ought to be free to express any looniness she subscribes to: that’s the point of free speech.

              I note the utter bollocks to which we’re exposed daily on the msm. So: it reserves to itself the right to print any rubbish it likes, while crimping the freedoms of the likes of Brooke.

              Even on this site (and other blogsites, of course) some truly bizarre and fact-free – and not infrequently insulting – comments make it through moderation. While the moderators jump from a great height on what they characterise as “racism”. Or – god help us all – “misogyny”.

              “We don’t need anti-Muslim stuff based on sketchy knowledge…”

              We do, if the principle of free speech is to be upheld. The test for free speech makes no mention of truth or otherwise. If people put their views out there, the rest of us can argue for or against them. That’s what should be happening.

              With regard to free speech, it’s worth remembering what happened to the Sydney Morning Herald over Lindy Chamberlain, all those years ago. Throughout her trials and imprisonment, for a crime that she didn’t commit, the SMH had gleefully printed the most scurrilous stuff about her. To which she was powerless to reply; I believe that the SMH refused to print rebuttals and defences of her from her supporters; so I heard, at any rate.

              Once she’d been pardoned and released from prison, Chamberlain took a case against the SMH to the Australian High Court. The Court found in her favour; the punishment it handed down to the SMH was that the newspaper was banned from printing anything at all about the Chamberlain case. That ban lasted for a full year, if I remember rightly. Just deserts…

              “I’ve four of his books, and each has shocked me with what’s kept hidden.”

              Ditto. Which is why I no longer take at face value anything the government tells us with regard to foreign policy and defence matters.

  3. I want all these people to apologise, not only to Jacinda but also Grant Robertson, who Bennett, under Parliamentary privilege, defamed him.

    • Nothing I can disagree with in this article.
      I don’t think the Spinnoff is on its own with this. They are there worst at the moment but it is like judging Hitler’s officers. Just because they’re not as bad doesn’t make them good.

  4. When Paula Bennett’s latest contribution to Twitter is to retweet Alison Mau on this topic, you know that the vultures and the hyenas are feasting together.

  5. No doubt I’ll be taken be taken to task for this, but I always thought Andrea Vance was a cut above most of the National Party publicists that pose as the Wellington press gallery. After reading her pathetic sorry-not sorry “apology” I’ve changed my mind.

    How hard would it have been to say, “We were mislead about a vital piece of evidence and therefore our previous assertions of misconduct by the PM and her senior staff were unsafe. On the basis of new facts coming to light we withdraw our previous allegations (which ruined several careers) and apologise.”

    Too hard apparently.

    • You might have to wait for her memoirs when she reaches her dotage. I used to think pretty much the same (that she was a cut above).
      Some of them have too much riding on it all though. Finely-tuned work-life-balanced lifestyles to maintain, mortgages to pay, rent-a-voice gigs to be available for, employers to impress – all of which often require image consultants, teeth bleaching and all the plastic that goes with it.
      If I could figure out a way, I’d be setting up some sort of cult following that could convince people there is a way to take it all to the other side when they pop their clogs (just as a joke of course). And at least flying business class.
      Of course if you wanted to be really charitable, you could consider the possibility that an apology is being gate-kept (but what are the possibilities of that!. But then, Simon and Paula stretch credibility and it seems to work with the masses. Yea/nah Simon and Paula are so much more sufusticated with a shitload more to spend on plestuk)

      • “Simon and Paula stretch credibility”

        You think? Paula started this entire fiasco. We only have her word that the complainant came to her in the first place. There’s no way to verify this as we don’t know who that person is, and probably never will. For all we know, she or someone from her office went digging, before they began the distortion of facts, the omissions from the story.

        It beggars belief that Paula did not know that the two were in an eight month relationship. These days, many marriages don’t last that long. (Think Nick Cage, Jim Carrey, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Moss, Bradley Cooper, Eddie Murphy, Pamela Anderson, and many more.)

  6. Increasingly, I see the whole charade as a political venture. One that is paying off big time for the Nats, and for one person in particular.

    Polls in early August revealed that “”Approval rating for Simon Bridges hits rock bottom ..” – That was Newshub, who usually downplay such results. It’s written up at RNZ here, where the results are discussed. Back in July, Newsroom had asked, “How low can you go?”

    Despite the Nats’ best efforts, they cannot seem to lift their dear leader from the depths. An example of ‘their best efforts’ is in the media reporting of October polling results. As preferred PM, Jacinda was on 38.4 while Simon was still in single figures, on 6.7. Yet from the headlines you’d hardly know that. It was all about how “Labour takes a hit!” (And they had. The effects of the media “sex-scandal” bullshit beat-up had knocked Jacinda down ten points, but she still towered over Simon.)

    By early December Simon had crept up another point or two and made into into double digits! Yep, he’s now on 10%.

    However, it is not he who has benefitted the most from all this. Nor is it Luxton, who has to get voted in before he can begin to do anything. Someone else is about to be paraded out as the Nats’ ‘new’ rising star, I think. Just see who is being flashed around on commercial media over the next few weeks… Already appearing on glossy magazine covers and in popular tv shows etc etc. The new “champion of bashed women” no less.

    • Sorry to reply to my own post but I had not yet cut to the chase.

      I reckon that future ‘Preferred PM’ Polls will include the new re-branded Paula, (now crusader for vulnerable women no less), and if she outshines Simon, somewhere down the track before the election, he will step aside. She will be promoted as the Nats’ answer to Jacinda. (That promo has already begun.)

      And here’s that Newsroom link again, asking “How Low Can You Go?” I think it works this time.

  7. ” our friends in the media “is a widely accepted fact within the National party.
    Its funny though you can tell when a politically sensitive story that might damage anyone on the right is only covered once like the recent story about Ron Brierley then it disappeared unlike the Labour party staffer that got huge and continuous coverage right from the start with regardless of the facts was given top priority to ensure massive damage was done.
    They lie in wait for anything they can put a negative spin on that is not the National party like a lion stalking its prey.
    It is like water dripping on a stone as over time it will destroy this governments tenure.
    Labour cannot control these people and what they print or present on air all they can do is have a super tight media strategy and execution which also involves strict discipline.
    Playing nice with kindness won’t cut it , they must control the narrative and be prepared too call out the National party and its friends when they attack which seems almost a daily occurance instead of letting the media put its spin and negative headlines on everything without any fightback.
    The National party knows mud sticks and if it doesn’t then they make sure it will with some creative work by our friends in the media.

  8. Magnificent piece Martyn. Your best work I’ve read.

    There are very few areas where National is better than this Government but this is one of the few.

    What would National and their cheerleaders / trolls do if the boot was on a different foot here?

    1) Crucify the offenders incessantly all day every day and milk it for every bit of political capital they can squeeze from it.

    2) Make sure everyone on the planet knew exactly what the offenders in this sickeningly diabolical witch hunt have done and just what their reprehensible motivation really was.

    3) Force multiple resignations.

    4) Force a situation where they could play the victim until the second coming of Jesus.

    5) Force the offenders into a corner so they would never raise their heads again.

    6) Expose the offenders for what they truly are. Vile scum that must be eradicated.

    7) Ensure that this dirty disgusting diabolical festering turd of a witch hunt could never occur again.

    8) Know all of the above would absolutely guarantee they could sleep walk to a landslide victory in 2020 and likely further beyond.

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    This Government must get in the gutter and fight here. “Kindness” has no place and absolutely zero value in this sordid affair. Kindness is the quintessential chocolate fireguard here.

    Gloves off time. There are generations of Kiwi’s desperately and urgently needing you to stand up and stand tall.

  9. TOVA Needs to be sacked the worst Journalist of the year. Didn’t look happy about the findings Tova is Fake News.

  10. The Dark Sider’s, who really control our economy well outside our politics, are using the working class as ballistics to flatten any dissent. That’s one of the reasons they keep farmers crushed under foreign bankster debt.
    It’s one of the unfortunate side effects of giving the hoi polloi the vote. [They] become politically exploitable.
    The tyranny of the masses is, I think, it’s known as.
    I’ve never read The Spin Off other then for an ” Oh? Yuk! ” Moment. I have a friend who suggested I write a column for them but I’d rather write here for nothing for the freedom to write what ever the fuck I like and what price would anyone put on that?
    @ MB? For God’s sake. Get an AO/NZ owned bank account. Fuck asb. Fuck anz, The bnz and fucking westpac. Fuck them all.
    soper?hoskings? garner? They’re the dark-sider’s mouth pieces.
    Of course, we know that. But the Masses have no idea. Most people have no idea they’re being manipulated and exploited.
    I think Adern should make a date with AO/NZ and come clean about all of it. All of it.
    She should address our AO/NZ from her office and tell us where we’re at.
    No debate. No interruptions. Show no fear. Nice lighting, glass of Central Otago Pino Gris. A State of the Country Monthly Announcement would be awesome. We’d all end up on the same page eventually and we’d all know exactly what was what. Or not !
    Of course, any opposition should be availed of the same opportunity but if Adern is a true and good person? They’d not stand a fucking chance.
    Why the fuck should we acquiesce to relying on a clearly bias and no doubt corrupt media who can subvert the truth like this? I deserve better than this shit. And so do you.

    • “She should address our AO/NZ from her office and tell us where we’re at.
      No debate. No interruptions.”

      Actually something like that could be really good. I’ve never understood why little adolescent-style media monkeys are allowed to – or even are expected to, – regularly harass whoever is trying to carry the nation. Certainly a PM has to be accountable, but… on a day by day basis? To whatever spin-doctored questions are fired at them? At the moment the Garners and the Tovas etc seem to think that they have sole defining rights over what constitutes accountability, and that they are free to spin their ‘interviews’ whichever way they want, including as full-on harassment sessions.

      • Kheala – A new re-branded Paula ? Thanks for that, old thing. Thanks. I actually regard Paula as more of a grotesque disease than a human, and the thought of her as a PM, and petty little Tolley as speaker, could have me first in the Labour queue at the next election.

        Paula as keeper of the country’s morals ? Main problem with Paula is that she looks like the sort of person we think she is or was. We’ve all known a Paula. Tolley wants the trips to White Island to continue. They bring in a lot of money did you know ? A few deaths here or there, people hideously burnt or maimed, families fractured – hey, it’s still all cost-effective in neolib terms. Main problem with Tolley is that she looks and sounds like an estate agent. Dreadful dress sense.

        Michelle Duff – “We can’t, and may never, know whether Ardern knew of the true nature of the allegations. I would personally like to give her the benefit of the doubt and say I don’t think she did, but the uncertainty is there.”

        Dunno about Duff’s royal “we” here. Maybe it’s Michelle and Paula ? Michelle and Mike ? Michelle and Tova ? Michelle and Michelle ? Michelle and the fish’n’chipper ?

        Point is this that this is breathtakingly arrogant and patronising, from a bit of a two bit scribbler.

        Journos and commentators I’ve known have always regarded themselves as superior to politicians, largely because of the inside goss they’ve got on them, but in terms of the way they harass them, I agree with your criticism here. As far as Labour and the Coalition are concerned, they have to control the narrative and stop this media ‘gotcha’ gimmickry which masquerades as informative news, allows them all show off to each other, and makes it pretty clear that they are incapable of objectivity. Not good enough.

        • “Paula as keeper of the country’s morals ?”

          Paula as some sort of ‘protector of vulnerable women’… There’s a bitter irony here for sure, after her record of, eg, cutting funding for women’s refuges etc while she had that taste of power. And all the other cruel tricks she played during that time. We must never forget, and need to make very clear some of the harm that she caused, not least to genuinely vulnerable women and children.

          Re: Ms Duffs’ “The uncertainty is there” b.s. Any seeds of uncertainty are being sown and cultivated by various media mischief-makers, each with their personal agendas and ambitions.

          Jacinda’s genuineness and her sincerity are evident in all that she does. The chorus of the envious cannot change that.

          • Kheala – I think Paula’s jealous of other women – I thought her revealing the personal details of two women involved in tertiary study was vindictive bitchery, and trying to drag the public in on the issue, malevolent and small-minded.

            I didn’t know that she was responsible for cutting women’s refuge funding. Frankly stunned by that – but it bears out my contention of her animosity towards other women; I shall tell everyone I know, starting today – it’s a shocker.

            Everything about Ardern is a polar opposite of Bennett, and that could rankle. For some reason the National Party attracts some dreadful vulgarians – Key was another – who think that hanging out with money buys them respectability and class, and they are mistaken – I see Michelle Boag’s heavily made up visage and cringe.

            I penned more on this earlier and accidentally deleted it, but I think PM Ardern should look at suing Bryce Edwards and the Guardian, for the ’embroiled in sex scandal’ piece. It’d never get to court, but would serve as warning to media witches and warlocks – although they are -or were – covered by their employers’ insurance.

            I’d not made the timing connection between Edward’s murk and Ardern performing in the international arena, until you noted it, and assume Amy Brooke’s Spectator pieces are also to try and discredit Ardern and this country in the eyes of other countries, but it won’t work; PM Ardern has a good global profile, and partly for the reason that makes bricklayers itch – she’s an attractive woman; she also comes across as nice.

            Duff had a hell of a nerve writing a biography of Ardern without her consent – the lack of which raises PM Ardern in my estimation – I thought she was a bit young for a biography. Paper Plus offered it to me, and I declined to buy it. I’ll ask them how it’s selling – possibly not all that well if Duff is still trying to undermine her with the subtlety of a toddler in a cupcake shop.

            • Snow White, Here is the Guardian article written by Dr Edwards, 25th September 2019.
              Guardian Link

              He writes, “The New Zealand Labour party and, crucially, Ardern’s own office, is currently embroiled in a major sexual assault scandal.”

              The rest of his article continues as a major put-down of her efforts. It’s odd how these arrogant pundits “know” exactly how Jacinda “should” or “should not” have spoken to other leaders, including Trump etc. Despite that they were not there, they somehow know exactly what she “should” have said, and when and to whom etc etc.

              If they are such experts then they can put down their pseudo-intellectual pens and bloody go for it – Go meet the various whoevers and do whatever talking themselves. Otherwise they’re just more of the moronic peanut gallery. Whatever their purported degrees etc etc.

              • Read it. I thought he was OU. Victoria’s worse – the current Vice Chancellor is a animal nutritionist which could be why this guy’s being an ape.

                Woefully simple, and yep, there’s an anti-Ardern agenda there alright.

                Anyone expecting instant transformation in anything is hopeless, and first year students wouldn’t get away with this sort of glib generalisation. I know. I tutored them – at Vic.

                The “major sex assault scandal” is a downright lie. He should be called out on the definitive ‘major’ too. Where’d he get that from ?

                • If you don’t read (as you profess), you remain ignorant.
                  You don’t have to like or accept what you read Snow White, and to attack an author rather than the case presented, as you do, demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the subject matter – beyond churlish responses.

            • “I’d not made the timing connection between Edward’s murk and Ardern performing in the international arena”

              Yes, the same day that Jacinda was speaking at the UN, Edwards’ opinion piece came out. I went from feeling inspired and uplifted by Jacinda, and seeing the effects she was having on others around her, to feeling almost slapped in the face, and certainly dragged down, when I then read that article. It was out of tune with what was happening on the world stage at that same time.

              Here’s a link to Jacinda’s speech – both a transcript and video are here.

  11. The saddest thing about Tova and Garner is that they appear to think they are being honest, and objective.
    Trump suffers from the same delusion.

    • “The saddest thing about Tova and Garner is that they appear to think they are being honest, and objective.”

      Tova has a strange personal intensity verging on animosity towards Jacinda at times, that I don’t understand.

      Dunc, well, he is what he is. Or what he has become. Once upon a time when he was just a radio guy in the arvo, he was much more easy going. His ‘success’ has come with a price that I would never want to pay.

      • Kheala- “Tova has a strange personal intensity verging on animosity towards Jacinda at times, that I don’t understand.”

        A touch of the Colin Wilson’s ?

        • Maybe…
          Btw, there’s another Col Wilson who is rather more interesting and relevant for NZ than the batty book-turner.

          Prof Colin Wilson at Victoria University of Wellington is a world class leader in understanding violent volcanic eruptions, particularly in NZ. He’s studied how volcanoes behave before eruptions. He’s also studied the movements of our super-volcano, Lake Taupo. Maybe he’ll write a book on all this after he retires.

  12. Then & now for some reason Colin Craig raises his sad convoluted head when I read of this and did from day one, and then I also wonder how many “shades of grey” do some of these media think they can get away with?

    • Robb, Exactly!!
      And I think that is part of what is driving Ms Duff’s hostility. She seems to feel as though she had some sort of right to access Jacinda, and to receive Jacinda’s endorsement of her book, simply by writing it. And now some resentment or something is seeping through her comments. Yet it is she (Ms Duff) who benefits from the book and its sales. (Jacinda didn’t want it.)

  13. MEDIA WATCH: Can a Spinoff conspiracy destroy Jacinda Ardern in 2020?

    The answer is yes, they and all the other media in NZ and around the world, that has lost the concept of news, independence and investigative journalism in favour of paid for content and stakeholder (aka mostly private equity or billionaires) cash that is used to shape the modern news, including attack politics and smears on everyone from teenage climate change activists to health researchers to political figures. When modern ‘news’ is not doing smears they are promoting, paid for consumer goods and services, with fake click bait to reel the punters in.

  14. Good work Martyn, I hope you have a happy break over Christmas
    i will certainly follow The Daily blog next year ahead of the spinoff to support good journalism.

  15. Yes, the independent report concluded the main complainant was lying. What a kerfuffle. I would go further than you Bomber in criticising the high moral position some LP women took to support always righteous women. Even Jacinda stood up against Nigel Haworh remaining as president. The new president alludes to him negatively when she presents herself as the moral arbiter. Nigel Haworth, a person of integrity, deserves an apology.

    I’ve never read Spinoff, never will. I read the Herald. Just Me is wrong to condemn all its journalists – Simon Collins is brilliant. He wrote an excellent series on poverty this year and whatever he writes is good. He must be the best journalist in A/NZ.

    The NZH sports journalists who write on rugby are knowledgeable and worth reading

    • Janio – Yes Simon Collins is very good on social justice issues, and he was outstanding on Wellington political issues when he edited City Voice. I knew him a little, and the trainee journos who worked with him at City Voice all held him in high regard.

      I am sorry to read that the girls ganged up against Nigel Haworth – and apologies are definitely in order – and I want to read that appropriate apologies have been made.

    • “Even Jacinda stood up against Nigel Haworh remaining as president. The new president alludes to him negatively when she presents herself as the moral arbiter.”

      That is a nonsense Janio. You are doing a Trump there – creating a fake scenario.

      Jacinda did not “stand up against” Nigel Haworth. Nigel resigned for the good of the Party because he saw where things were heading. Jacinda accepted his resignation for the same reason. Bear in mind, contrary to the false claims, neither of them had been told about the 8 month relationship of Claimant No. 1.

      Claire Szabo visited Nigel Haworth before putting her hat in the ring. Nigel clearly encouraged her to stand for the presidency because he saw her as an ideal replacement.

      Neither acted out of negativity. In fact the opposite was the case.

      • Anne, you appear to be a Labour Party insider.
        I got my information from media. I stand by what I wrote.
        Ardern did not support the preliminary inquiry. She is reported (NZHerald Sept.11) to be concerned and frustrated by it. “The party president Nigel Haworth has been leading the party’s response, and Ms Ardern was asked if he retained her confidence.
        I absolutely want to believe the president wants to do the right thing by those involved and by the party but I have had competing reports now – on the nature of the allegations and the complaint process… I’m now going to await the findings of the QC’s report.”
        After that endorsement of his work, Nigel Haworth resigned as President of the Labour Party. Previously he had held his ground against criticism from the main complainant.
        On Sept.9 Radio NZ reported;”The 19-year-old who says she was sexually assaulted by a Labour staffer has called the party “cowardly” and released another email to support her claim that she did inform the party about the nature of her complaint.
        The woman was responding to Labour Party president Nigel Haworth’s comments yesterday that neither he nor the party’s investigating panel were told that any of the complaints about the Labour staffer were about sexual assault.
        Haworth’s job is on the line over his handling of seven formal complaints about the staffer whom the party investigated earlier this year.
        The party’s investigating panel decided in July that no disciplinary action was needed”.
        Amid the turmoil of attacks on the Labour Party’s handling of complaints, Ardern chose to respect the claims of complainants and ensure their complaints would be investigated further. There was no respect for Nigel Haworth whose initial dealings over complaints were deemed not worthy of further consideration until the QC undertook her inquiry. The QC’s report revealed the main complainant was lying. For example, Nigel Haworth was correct when he said he did not receive
        her complaint of sexual assault.
        Both Haworth’s team and the QC reached the same conclusion.
        I think Ardern and others were gutless in not standing by Nigel Haworth and instead, privileging the continuing complaints over his credibility.
        As for Anne, associating my position with Trump is pathetic. Socrates once said “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of losers”.

        • Janio: “Amid the turmoil of attacks on the Labour Party’s handling of complaints, Ardern chose to respect the claims of complainants and ensure their complaints would be investigated further. There was no respect for Nigel Haworth whose initial dealings over complaints were deemed not worthy of further consideration until the QC undertook her inquiry.”

          That was also my impression from the msm reportage, on which I also was obliged to rely.

          Very early on, I concluded that the entire narrative was a fiction. It wasn’t a coherent story: bits of it made no sense. If I, as a member of Joe Public, could see that from what had been reported, I’m damned if I know why the PM and her advisors couldn’t also see it.

          “I think Ardern and others were gutless in not standing by Nigel Haworth and instead, privileging the continuing complaints over his credibility.”

          Agreed. This is the rabbit hole down which people get dragged when ideology – a woman never lies about such things – trumps (to coin a phrase) clear-eyed scepticism. A bunch of (mostly) men was chucked under the bus over a fictitious complaint. I doubt that the damage to their reputations can be repaired.

          This is just another mishandling which leaves me doubting that Ardern has what it takes to be PM.

  16. Newsroom seems like a little ray of light, that seems to have reasonable local content and real stories that the mainstream don’t want to print. Quite a few good articles from them. Worth reading!

    This article on Newsroom, is a good example of their reporting on local issue.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/12/19/953508/dam-delays-half-soon-half-later-maybe

    It is appalling reading. Firstly it is impossible to improve the environment while the councils are unable to be prosecuted by environmentalists for poor RMA control to big business and are effectively handing out retrospective consents for polluters.

    Councils and the unwillingness to punish poor environmental practises of big business with deep pockets, are a big part of the problem.

    This has led to anybody with money being able to do what ever they want in NZ!

    “The dam, which was illegally constructed on public land by the Tara Iti golf course development company associated with US billionaire Ric Kayne, blocks the passage of inanga to upstream spawning grounds.

    This reduced a food source for the critically-endangered fairy tern but ensured salt-free water remained above the dam where the exclusive golf course’s water intake is located. The company has consent to take up to 146,000 cubic metres of water – the equivalent of 58.4 olympic-sized swimming pools – from the stream each year until 2034.

    Only 37 breeding-age pairs of fairy tern remain. The last breeding season was the worst ever, with only two chicks surviving. A lack of food was one suggested reason for the poor results.

    Auckland Council initially issued two abatement notices to the company after the dam was built, but then later issued a certificate of compliance. This was based on seeing photographs of a fish passage. No monitoring of the effectiveness of the fish passage was undertaken.

    The New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust took Auckland Council to court earlier this year after unsuccessfully trying to get the issue addressed.

    Judge Jeff Smith’s decision expressed surprise the trust had to take the issue to the court to get action.

    “Given the critical nature of the fairy tern population and related inanga breeding at Mangawhai, we are surprised that none of these departments have taken action.”

    The dam is located in an Auckland Council reserve, the stream banks are part of a marginal strip under the management of the Department of Conservation, and the bed of the stream is managed by Land Information New Zealand.

    The court case was borne out of frustration of concerns being ignored, said the fairy tern trust convenor Heather Rogan when the case was lodged.

    “Nothing else has worked.”

    The trust lost its case for an enforcement order against Auckland Council, but the Environment Court decision made it clear a solution needed to be found quickly by Auckland Council, the Department of Conservation, and Land Information New Zealand.

    “Given the situation has now arguably continued for something in the order of five years, we agree with the trust that the matter has now become critical. We have already expressed our concern that the relevant government departments and the council have not acted sooner to investigate and monitor the situation and devise appropriate solutions.”

  17. Yes where is the apology from the Spin-off, Vance et al. According to Vance the complainant not only didn’t mention the personal relationship, she denied it. It absolutely puts a different spin on things, because if I meet someone at from work, form a personal relationship with them, go around to their house and they rape me, I cannot expect my employer to mediate this issue……

    The spinoff and Vance et al have huge egg on their faces and need to apologise. Now.

    • Anker: “The spinoff and Vance et al have huge egg on their faces and need to apologise. Now.”

      Agreed. I read Vance’s piece as an exercise in self-justification. She ought to be ashamed of herself. Arrogant and callously indifferent to the damage she’s done – and is still doing – to so many people.

  18. Toby Manhire is a smug jerk.

    Also, the truth about the Spinoff’s connection to the government via various PR advisors is yet to come out.

  19. “The sanctimonious alienation by The Spinoff is one thing, but when they are producing ‘journalism’ based on misinformation and deceit that almost derails the best chance for progressive politics in a generation, one really has to ask why the fuck they are allowed off this nightmare without any criticism”

    Excellent question..

    Great article.

  20. “So this Spinoff hit job destroyed the young staffer, destroyed the President, defamed Simon Mitchell and allowed the insinuation that Jacinda covered it all up, all in the name of middle class woke feminism and hashtag activism?”

    I wish it to be known that, very early on, I called out this narrative for the fiction that it is.

    When the accusations were first made, I was inclined to think that there was probably some substance to the story. However: reading The Spinoff article and noting Paula Bennett’s advocacy convinced me that that couldn’t be the case. It wasn’t a coherent account: none of it made sense.

    And now we have the reputations and careers of unexceptionable people shredded, in pursuit of – what? Vengeance? Who knows; though I suspect that I could make an accurate stab at the motivation.

    Where is the justice for those people so egregiously offended-against? This infuriates me.

    • D’Esterre – It was when Bennett seemed to be positioning herself as the person vulnerable girls had to go to get help, that the whole situation descended into absurdity. If I recall correctly, there were numbers of sexually abused women being bandied around, and the scenario bore a remarkable resemblance to the J-L R saga, when Paula Bennett appeared, to me, to be trying to present him as a larger- than- life Blue Beard – and informed the country that his behaviour was inappropriate for a married MP.

      I thought this disgraceful, and another echo of the subterranean levels of slime seemingly established as a behavioural norm during John Key’s time. Bennett as kindly huia, doesn’t really wash.

      That doesn’t matter except insofar as, as you note, others careers and reputations were being shredded. This is why these dirty seemingly sex-obsessed politicos and journos are best relegated to the back benches until they grow up – or vanish through natural attrition.

      If it’s a choice between Ardern with bouquets of flowers, or grubs waving bundles of smut, the health of the country begs for the former.

  21. A hit job on a music reviewer after he gave Aldous Harding a less than flattering review turned me right off..

    It was like he had stabbed someones sainted mother.

    The first article on him was the obvious low hanging fruit label of “misogynist”.

    By the time of the fourth article , he was a fully paid up member of the fifth reich, eating babies etc.

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