MEDIAWATCH: Why Media Council must rule against Stuff’s Fire + Fury docudrama


I have a lot of time for Dr Greg Treadwell at the AUT Journalism school, he is an important public voice and advocate for journalism.

I think I would usually agree with at least 90% of what he has to say on journalism, and while I agree with part of his argument at Newsroom that the makers of Stuff’s middle class docudrama ‘Fire + Fury’, didn’t have an obligation to interview the various fear grifters and bad faith extremists to give ‘balance’, but where the objectors to the Media Council do have a legitimate claim of bias is the utter refusal by Fire + Fury to be balanced in terms of a blinkered coverage of the protest itself!

Were there bad faith actors manipulating people’s fears and anger?

Of course there were!

That’s why we had to be so careful in this febrile environment whipped up to such frenzy by social media hate algorithms, because over reaction could have spiralled this into something even worse and because de-escalation would prevent these bad faith actors from gaining propaganda footage!

What did we actually do?

We escalated this because we got scared, journalists like the ones that made Stuff’s docudrama were personally frightened. The focus is only on those voices on the right who whipped this up but NOT on Trevor Mallard who escalated it!


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Of course Fire + Fury shouldn’t platform these lunatics, but you can’t focus only on their contribution while ignoring the ferociously stupid blunders of Mallard!!!!

On the Thursday after the Wednesday attempt to push into Parliament, the movement had fractured and collapsed because of massive infighting between the leaders. AT THE VERY MOMENT THE PROTEST WAS FADING Mallard threw a temper tantrum and ordered the cops in while inadvertently streaming a live 10 hour recruitment video to the entire fucking country!

When that blows up and brings every angry lonely frustrated person with pain to Parliament, Mallard then turns on the sprinklers and plays loud music!

We wound those people up for 3 weeks and then screamed ‘Nazi’ when they finally react?

This is why Fire + Fury should be sanctioned by the Media Council, not because they didn’t interview these fringe fear grifters, but because they refused to balance the docudrama with any focus of accountability on Mallard’s response and tactical failures!

What has been the impact of Fire + Fury?

On one hand it has exposed the attempts by Qanon antivax lunatics to infiltrate our local democracy but on the other hand it has led to knee jerk reactions like the arrest of the CounterSpin Due who are now turning their prosecution into a show trial that will dangerously recruit more people!

Fire + Fury is guilty of imbalance, not because they refused to platform these fear grifters and crypto-fascists, but because they utterly refused to look at the contributing factors that led to the violence at the Dumb Lives Matter Parliament Lawn protests.

Fire + Fury  lets our side off the hook for radicalising this to where we are now and if we are blinding ourselves to how we contributed to theism then any draconian crackdown is acceptable because they are 100% to blame.

If middle class virtue signalling is journalism now, we are in real trouble.


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  1. awww bob the last, wots up son? your rightwing snowflake feel feels hurt? never mind go cuddle your stuffed plush orange man pig in a nappy.

  2. Mmm. So Bob is obviously ignorant.
    Please enlighten him as to where he went wrong, bit take your teddy away from the window first.

  3. F&F was written by an academic ‘Mel’ who’s easily triggered by the TV and DM’s and twitter social media messages and 30 word stories, along with the news influencer story tellers at ‘Stuff’.

    • Oh! And I forgot to mention support from the labour government and green party-aligned sycophants who rely on the Ministry of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment public broadcasting funding.
      Like crack addicts, they’ll keep on going back to their dealer over and over again until their supply runs out and then hook up with another dealer that turns up.

      Pimps and Hoes is what ‘Stuff’ media is these days.

  4. We all saw the media locking themselves up with the politicians in their tower, terrified at the disposessed angry mob they had created.

    The Platform calls the rank hypocrisy and lack of journalistic integrity exactly what it is:
    “ I would just take a moment here to remind the reader that this individual is the head of journalism school at AUT.

    Perhaps the most tantalising nugget of irony in this whole misguided affair is that he goes on to condemn ‘disinformation merchants’ – presumably referring to the subjects of the documentary – for ‘using falsehoods to increase fear and misunderstanding’ for their own social and political purposes. Now that sounds familiar…”

  5. Disagree Bomber,
    The corporate media manufactures the bosses’ narrative to sell their subs.
    The protests were part of a international Eurocentric social movement of Trumpites and Truckers angry about their social decline.
    Whatever Mallard of Ardern did would only have reinforced their rejection of government authority.
    State intervention by bureaucrats and politicians won’t stop fascism because state agents always act against workers’ revolution.
    The mob will continue to grow because capitalism’s terminal crisis destroys their lives.
    The Stuff reporters would have had to be more politically sophisticated to put together the video you want to achieve ‘balance’.
    Even so, a corporate media ‘balance’ is always superficial as it objectifies its subjects as bourgeois citizens.
    The only sense of ‘balance’ that makes sense is that of the balance of class forces proven in the struggle.
    We need a workers anti-fascist movement, independent of the media and the state, to mobilise and strike a new ‘balance’ where fascists are ‘eliminated’.
    That is the balance of a class-free society with long-suffering nature.

  6. Some of you folk have the cutest, most patronising theories. You really love your amateur social science.

    Like this:
    “The protests were part of a international Eurocentric social movement of Trumpites and Truckers angry about their social decline.”

    The protest was about vaccine mandates. Check the big signs at the front: “End The Mandates – We Go Home”. Or check the survey done by the Platform:

    That’s really all that needs to be said. Your complex thoughts about deep causes and intricate global linkages are probably wrong. And in any event this extra theorising is pointless.

    We were just protesting a policy. It was a very effective protest, because it swiftly ended a policy that, prior to the protest, had no firm promise of ending, let alone having a date attached.

    Was it perhaps the most effective protest in NZ’s political history?

    Now THAT’S a painful thought for your average Wellingtonian. (But don’t worry for them – they’ve proven very capable at hiding from challenging thoughts over the last year).


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