The NZ Media.
They were always the voice of corporate interest and neoliberal mythology and when everyone was making money from selling each other houses it was fine, but then covid ripped the security blanket from many who fell down rabbit holes and our collective anger turned on NZ media and we’ve been screaming abuse at them ever since.
Compounding this is the Stockholm syndrome most journalists now are held by woke cancelation social media Lynch mobs who will have you sacked for breaking middle class dogma alongside Qanon antivaxxers sending daily death threats.
The Fourth Estate in this country is a defanged lap dog rather than guard dog. It’s held hostage by activist cultural pressures and funded by crony NZ on Air self interested funding structures.
With 60% of Journalists in NZ now being women, the never ending feelings and twitter fights and mum-wearing-a-bikini-fat-shamed Facebook stories that seem to be considered journalism makes it too easy to mock their pretensions.
But mock them we must!
Here are the winners and losers of TDBs infamous annual Media Awards.
It’s been pretty depressing over at TVNZ Breakfast since John left.
If you like to start your day in a grieving, mournful kinda way, then it’s the TV for you.
Jenny-May looks like she weeps before the show starts each morning, Matty still has that ‘where’s Dad’ stunned look on his face and Indira is not very endearing, she still looks like the entire show is beneath her and seems confused why she wasn’t appointed host after having put up with a white male as lead for so long.
John was such a spectacular broadcaster that he lifted everyone and his leaving has left such an enormous hole in the show it feels like the wreck of the Titanic.
A ghostly, rudderless State funded behemoth that is as cold as it is unfeeling, just like Seven Sharp but not as smug.
Oh and they destroyed Santamaria for crimes against 4th wave feminism.
I think Ryan Bridge is a uniquely talented Broadcaster who has that super power of listening to an answer and responding in real time to that answer. He is one of the very few Broadcasters in NZ where I actually learn something new during his interviews and he makes the AM show a must watch.
I’ve really warmed to Melissa as a interviewer because some mornings you don’t want to be reasonable and you just want to have a fight.
And Melissa is just spectacular at that.
Talking over guests, angrily demanding answers to questions that you already know the answer to, the passive aggressiveness of it all, it’s just a hot mess of anger and I LOVE IT!
While you will NEVER learn ANYTHING from a Melissa Chan-Green interview, the argument and fight is glorious.
It’s like a private school glee club but with way more snark.
Best News Service – Newsroom
Put aside Marc Daalder’s never ending woke search for Nazi Lumpenproletariat and his total belief that micro aggressions lead to macro violence and his ongoing crusade to cancel everyone whose extremism is more toxic and more privileged than him, put him aside, Newsroom continues to provide more genuine breaking news journalism than anyone else in the game. You go to their website first, right after checking out Bernard Hickey on Kaka. Newsroom copied what TDB did first and got better corporate sponsors than us.
Best Independent News Service – Bernard Hickey – Kaka
He is one of the best public economists we have and his appraisal of the current political economic dynamics are the best in the game!
All 3 provide some of the best political commentary in NZ.
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!
THAT’S WHERE THE LACK OF BALANCE IS!
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.
BEST TV 2022 – Matariki TV coverage
The Matariki coverage on TV this year might just be the most important cultural moment in NZ history.
We rarely see the majesty of Māori culture so raw and dramatic.
The spiritual power of this poetry will touch us as a people in a way we’ve never experienced, this is a nation whose emotional range is stretched at the ANZAC Day Last Post.
To be exposed to Māori culture on mass media broadcasting like this, to have the drama played out against the stage of the dawn was a moment unlike any other and I believe will have a profound impact on New Zealand.
This celebration, part grief-part hope, this powerful theatre of primordial forces of nature speaks to a nation of lonely atheists desperate for meaning on these shaky Isles.
We didn’t realise how much we needed Matariki.
Most important story that wasn’t given enough attention Award – Deeply flawed Police Interrogation Experiment and the Lois Tolley murder cover up
For me, the most important journalism of 2022 has been Mike White’s reporting on the Lois Tolley murder case over on Stuff.
His ability to maintain a clear narrative over the jaw dropping corruption inside Police prosecutions as the fiasco has twisted and turned is journalism at its finest.
We have blogged relentlessly on the Lois Tolley murder case on The Daily Blog because we believe that what has been revealed about the corrupted police prosecution process suggests Police simply seeking weak people to bully into confessions.
With the recent litany of miscarriage of justice cases, seeing the inside of a corrupted police interrogation process happening in real time now suggests the Police have learned NOTHING from the mistakes and failures of the past, which is what we have been promised every time one of these miscarriages of justice get exposed.
Look at how the NZ Police bullied false confessions out of people in the Lois Tolley murder case…
Police are refusing to release a review of the controversial investigation into the murder of Upper Hutt woman Lois Tolley, sparking accusations that they are covering up serious misconduct.
Tolley, 30, was shot point-blank in her home in December 2016, in what police described at the time as “an execution-type killing”.
After an extensive investigation, named Operation Archer, three men were eventually charged in 2019 with her murder.
But the charges against all three men, who have name suppression, were dropped by police last year, before the case went to trial, with a judge commenting: “There is presently really no evidence against any of them.”
…It is unacceptable in the extreme for the Police to not release this investigation into what went wrong with this case!
To have gotten prosecution this far advanced without any actual evidence because the police interrogation technique was so corrupted is gasp inducing in its conclusions.
This followed revelations that one of the accused had falsely confessed to the murder, after police used a contentious interviewing technique, the Complex Investigation Phased Engagement Model (CIPEM).
…the whole case became so tainted with the inclusion of jail house narks and unreliable witnesses that there had to be an investigation into how badly Police screwed up…
High Court Justice Simon France said the man, known as X, had been manipulated by the detectives interviewing him, who had broken numerous fundamental rules of interviewing, and X’s “confession” was flawed and not credible.
The case against the other two men collapsed for separate reasons, largely related to the unreliability of key witnesses – including a woman twice charged with perverting the course of justice, and jailhouse informants with numerous convictions for dishonesty, who told conflicting stories.
In a rare move, police subsequently appointed Auckland King’s Counsel and former Crown prosecutor Aaron Perkins to undertake “an independent review of aspects of the police inquiry”.
…the corruption of credible evidence and process was so extreme that there had to be an independent inured into how the fuck it got this far.
Turns out we won’t be allowed to know because the Police are now refusing to release the report…
However, police refused to release the terms of reference for Perkins’ review, making it unclear which parts of the failed investigation were being looked at and whether he was considering why the case collapsed against all three defendants, or just X.
Perkins’ review was completed in August.
But police are now refusing to release the report, or even a summary of its findings, saying it is “confidential and legally privileged”.
Yet it manages to get worse!
The defence lawyers of the men falsely set up using jailhouse snitch ‘evidence’ and this weird Complex Investigation Phased Engagement Model (CIPEM) have all complained about tactics used by Police that are absolutely outside the law, like with holding evidence that proves their client innocent!
Wintour said that during the investigation, police deliberately hid material from him until the last minute that suggested his client wasn’t involved in the murder.
Yet it manages to get worse!
The refusal to release the report follows continued efforts by police to withhold material relating to the Lois Tolley investigation and the CIPEM interviewing method.
Stuff has twice been forced to get court judgments in order to obtain access to relevant documents.
It also comes after the retirement of the country’s top investigatorand architect of CIPEM, Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald, earlier this month.
Fitzgerald was closely involved with the interviews of X, but he insisted CIPEM wasn’t to blame for mistakes made by the interviewing detectives and said his retirement had nothing to do with scrutiny of the technique.
So the model being used allows Detectives to lie, bully and manipulate false confessions and the Detective Superintendent who created this model used in the Lois Tolley case, originally claimed the Detectives misused the model and it had nothing to do with him, when it turns out that wasn’t true and that he was actually monitoring the interview from a seperate room and was advising during the interview.
Yet it manages to get worse!
Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald also was responsible for that other great questionable miscarriage of justice case, the murder of Olivia Hope and Ben Smart.
Based on what we currently have in front of us with this case and the recent miscarriages of justice cases of Peter Ellis, Teina Pora, David Lyttle, Mauha Fawcett and Alan Hall you get a terrible feeling that Police are not following the evidence in case, but are merely rounding up the most vulnerable suspects and bullying confessions out of them or twisting the evidence to fit the crime.
What is happening here is a can of very sick and toxic worms are being ripped open while the medias attention is on the petty and vacant.
What is being exposed here is a rotten process that reeks of corruption. I once thought that maybe as much as 5% of the prison population might be innocent, after looking at what has been starkly revealed in this police interrogation process, I think that number might be closer to 30% of the prison population being innocent.
What has been revelled here calls into question fundamental values of justice and Policing in a. democracy. The total lack of wider attention this case and the questions it raises must be addressed.
Of course, in all of this is the whanau of Lois Tolley, whose murder has not been solved and whose family can not rest.
Lois Tolley and her family deserved far better than this debacle.
Our justice system demands higher levels of professionalism than this shambles.
And our Police force should be ashamed.
With Detective Superintendent Tom Fitzgerald suddenly quitting this year from his role with Police, I think an urgent independent review of his previous cases is required and the media should be calling for it.
I have called for a very long time for Māori providers to take over Oranga Tamariki because I believe Tikanga values are far more healing and beneficial to all vulnerable children than the hollow costed values of our neoliberal welfare system that sees clients of their services as opposed to children in need.
The reverse uplifts of Māori children from pakeha foster families however WAS NOT Tikanga, it was woke critical race theory, the dogma of which declares no white family can give a brown child a good life.
Put aside the disturbing racism in that position and also consider the attempt to disrupt and influence an ongoing investigation into Oranga Tamariki by having other Judges privately trying to interfere with this case!
Oranga Tamariki went to such extraordinary measures to hide their behaviour and inappropriately influence this case because it was a test case for a whole bunch of reverse uplifts they had embarked upon.
It was an action to not only corrupt independent justice, but also to hide the appallingly racist behaviour of a State agency using the most extreme powers a State has, that of uplifting children from parents and step-parents.
Let’s remind ourselves of the lies that the Social Worker used to justify psychologically harming a young Māori girl because you know, the heteronormative white cis male patriarchy…
There were some early signs, however, that the social worker might be out of her depth. The review filed in November 2018 said Moana had a close relationship with her grandfather. It transpired her grandfather had died five months earlier.
And while Social Worker 1 was filing these glowing reports, she was telling others in her office that the Smiths were stripping Moana of her Māori identity. She said she felt “incessantly undermined” by the Smiths and said the couple “attempted to sabotage whānau access” for Moana.
She pointed to the Smith’s “disregard for Te Ao Māori” (the Māori world view), and said they were incapable of providing Moana with the “cultural aspects” she needed.
The Smiths had no idea these conversations were taking place.
When she was asked in court why she didn’t include these concerns in her reviews, Social Worker 1 said she did but was told to remove them by her supervisor. (The supervisor would later deny this under oath, and said any changes he made were only grammatical).
Among the social worker’s concerns was an allegation that the Smiths had asked Moana’s daycare centre to refer to her by her nickname (an abbreviation of her name). This was “an attempt to remove her from her identity”, she said.
Social Worker 1 said the Smiths raised issues about Moana’s behaviour following access visits with her birth mother, and she saw this as the Smiths “making up issues to try and get reasons to have no contact”.
Another allegation concerned an access visit with Moana’s birth mother. Social Worker 1 claimed Mrs Smith pulled Moana away from hugging her birth mother and “proceeded to wipe her down with a cloth in what looked like an attempt to remove any germs”. She did not ask Mrs Smith what she was doing, but passed her concerns on to other Oranga Tamariki staff.
(Mrs Smith would later say Moana and her birth mother were not embracing each other, and she had used a wet wipe to clean Vegemite from Moana’s hands).
Separately, the Smiths held their own concerns about the social worker, and in May 2019 they complained to her supervisor.
A few weeks later the Smiths were informed that there were concerns around their attendance at access visits and the couple would need to undergo a cultural assessment. The couple were surprised about this and asked why it was required and what it involved.
Oranga Tamariki staff told the Smiths it was very rare – some had never been involved in one – and they were unable to provide any detail on the process or guidelines of such an assessment.
A meeting was held in late June 2019 in which the Smiths were told that Oranga Tamariki was concerned about their ability to provide for Moana’s cultural needs. The supervisor told the Smiths the cultural assessment would acknowledge “the good work you are already doing to promote [Moana’s] cultural identity”, and would hopefully provide some detail around Moana’s whakapapa.
When the Smiths asked why other Pākehā caregivers with Māori children were not subject to the same assessments, the supervisor responded that it was a good question, and all he could say was that there had been issues around access.
The supervisor couldn’t provide any brochures or pamphlets for the Smiths to inform them of what a cultural assessment involved. (The supervisor would later give evidence saying he felt the Smiths may have been directing “unconscious racism” towards Social Worker 1).
The Smiths believed the assessment was a ruse being used by the Ministry as a way to find them unsuitable and to have Moana removed from their care. They refused to take part.
…deceitful tricks and race accusations with no resources provided to enable the white step-family to help the little girls cultural growth…
The assessment was conducted by an independent cultural expert. His original task had been to assess the Smiths’ understanding of Te Ao Maori and their ability to provide Moana’s cultural needs, but that changed when the Smiths said they would not take part in the assessment, and he ended up looking solely at Moana.
His report was provided to Oranga Tamariki on September 11, 2019. It included scant information on Moana’s whakapapa, other than noting she had a distant relation in Taranaki.
The assessor, later giving evidence in court, would say a Māori child growing up in a non-Maori family would “not have the same opportunity in terms of inculcation of values,” he said.
He said it would be “extremely challenging” for a non-Māori family to raise a Māori child in the correct cultural manner, and failing to provide for cultural needs could result in a child’s health being compromised later in life. He said the decision on where Moana should be placed should lie with Ngāti Kahungunu.
…The ‘assessor’ uses critical race theory to deduce that this child will do worse with white parents, which seems an extremely limited view to judge this case on!
Look, if Oranga Tamariki can find whanau to place a Māori child at the point of uplifting that child – all fine and dandy.
The recent involvement of Iwi stepping in to be that whanau resource at the point of uplift is a great development but that’s not what was happening here.
In the ‘Moana’ case, as with many others, the Māori child has been placed with a white family for years and told they are staying with that white family permanently, to rip a child from the bandages of emotional healing and sense of security for some dogmatic implementation of woke critical race theory is the kind of zealotry that burns books!
The Judge didn’t bully this testimony out of Oranga Tamariki, and even if he did, what has been exposed is so damning that it justified that bullying!
To attempt to intervene in the sacrosanctness of our independent judiciary so racist practices by Oranga Tamariki can be hidden is so disbelievingly outside the norms of our system it’s almost a Donald Trump level molestation of due process.
To have this entire fiasco thrown out by the Court is a victory for due process, a victory against woke dogma and a victory for the little children who are just desperately needing someone to care and love for them.
I just believe the enormity of this case and the spiteful damage it exposed is one of the great under reported news stories of 2022.
The Labour Government will be thanking their stars that the wider electorate have no idea what was happening here, luckily for them, this news story challenged many of the pretensions of the woke journalist news rooms so they refused to cover the story in any depth.
We salute Marty Sharpe’s unwavering journalism on this case.
TDB is out there each week pushing against the Wellington Bureaucrats and their interests.
We have been never ceasing in our criticism of the neoliberal welfare experiment that is Oranga Tamariki, the spiteful nature of MSD, the purposely obtuse WINZ and the malicious way the State mistreats the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us.
Once you’ve experienced first hand the abuse of the State, you won’t tolerate it happening to others.
Generating such scrutiny gets threats.
Award winning Journalist Aaron Smale connects the dots in this years best exclusive highlighting how the Wellington Public Service attempts to gag any criticism of them…
Comment: Tomorrow the country’s top public servant fronts up at the Royal Commission into abuse in state care. Aaron Smale argues that an odd attempt to warn off a blogger from criticism of the social development ministry shows how raw the nerves are at the highest levels in Wellington
Sometimes Wellington moves in mysterious ways.
I was recently phoned by blogger Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury with a query. He’d been getting some heat from the press secretary of Public Services Commission boss Peter Hughes. But it wasn’t Bomber’s own words that were getting him unwelcome attention. It was words I’d written and Bradbury had directly quoted that were stirring up concern in the office of the country’s top bureaucrat.
I don’t know Bradbury and I think I might have read a sum total of one of his blogs after stumbling on it through some Google detour. Blogs and content in that genre are not a section of the media ecosystem that I have spent any time dwelling in, although they do have their audience and that’s fine.
However, Bradbury has picked up on the coverage I’ve done on the abuse of children in state custody and quoted verbatim from some of my stories. And it was these quotes that caught the attention of Hughes’ press secretary Grahame Armstrong, and presumably Hughes himself. He seemed particularly agitated by the reporting of an incident I’ve mentioned several times over the past couple of years. I even wrote an entire column on it – the use of private investigators by government departments to try and discredit victims of state abuse taking a civil case to court. Specifically, I focused my attention on MSD during the period that Peter Hughes was in charge.
Bradbury was at first slightly panicked by these emails from the office of the most powerful individual in the public service. He read the tone of the emails as a veiled threat and was worried he might have some kind of legal exposure. But then he was perplexed. If it was a problem that he was quoting from my stories then why were my stories still online? Was there some corrected version that he’d missed? So Bradbury did the obvious thing and called me and asked – have I had any pushback on my stories that mention this issue?
The answer is a resounding no. I haven’t heard a squeak.
…here was their email to me…
Kia Ora Martyn
I’m writing to you in response to two blogs: Aloha Luxon & the concerning reason why Oranga Tamariki may be kneecapping Children’s Commissioner and Why Labour refuse to stop the gagging of the Children’s Commissioner
I’m not sure what has happened, but in both blogs this week you have repeated a factual error published in another blog in April.
As I said in April (email attached), the Public Service Commissioner expects, from time to time, to be subject to criticism in the media which, even if unreasonable, he often lets go in the interests of robust journalism and public debate. I also said the Commissioner respects your vigorous style of journalism.
However, your latest blogs contains an important factual error that needs to be corrected.
Hughes was in charge when MSD used private investigators to try to dig dirt on victims and witnesses in a test case on state abuse that went to court.
This is incorrect. As I pointed out in April, some claims had already been filed in the High Court. Preparations for one case (the White case), which went to trial in 2007, began in 1999, before Mr Hughes was appointed chief executive. To assist with the preparations for the White case, private investigators were engaged by Crown Law – not MSD – to locate and approach witnesses.
The 2018 Inquiry into the use of external security consultants by government agencies considered the White case. The Inquiry found Crown Law breached the Public Service Code of Conduct by providing broad instructions to a private investigator. MSD was found in breach at the lower end given Crown Law had the primary responsibility to manage the case. The Inquiry did not see anything to indicate that senior managers at MSD knew about or directed the potential use of surveillance or a covert approach.[page 44, 3.76 of the Inquiry report].
You also wrote:
Ironically, it was Hughes who set up the inquiry as head of State Services (as it was then called), but he made no comment on his own culpability that was exposed by its findings.
Mr Hughes was upfront about this at the time. In a published response, he said: “In relation to the Ministry, because I was Chief Executive at the time, I have referred this matter to the incoming Deputy State Services Commissioner to consider and determine. I have also referred these matters to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based institutions for consideration.” That was the appropriate thing to do.
Mr Hughes did not know about the use of surveillance in the White case. If surveillance was used in the White case, he did not know about, did not authorise it and did not condone it.
Mr Hughes was focused on a new approach to managing the historic claims of abuse, fixing the process for the future.
I’m only asking that you correct the record of your published blogs and don’t repeat the same mistakes in any future blogs.
I trust you will give this matter urgent consideration. I am happy to discuss if you prefer. You can contact me on 021 *** ****
…here was my go fuck yourself response…
The fucking ‘incorrect sentence’ is a direct quote from another bloody news story.
Hughes was the chief executive at MSD during the 2000s, which was the period that came under particular scrutiny at the royal commission. Hughes was in charge when MSD used private investigators to try to dig dirt on victims and witnesses in a test case on state abuse that went to court. The use of private investigators in that case cost nearly $100,000 and was found to be in breach of government code of conduct by an inquiry in 2018.
Now why, why would you be harassing me over a story quoted in another paper unless you knew you didn’t have a leg to stand on and know that no one read the original story back in February but fear my constant repetition of it might catch alight.
See, now you really are starting to attract my attention.
You pulled this stunt with Waatea, you pulled this stunt with me, I think you also tried it on with my podcast.
See, now you really do have my attention.
State Services goon attempts to gag blogger from highlighting disgraceful MSD tactics of the past
That works for me as a title.
What do you think?
…to paraphrase the Wu-Tang Clan, TDB ain’t nuthin’ to fuck with.
The Daily Blog – telling the State to fuck off since 2013.
All year Jack has brought true insight into our political landscape via Q+A that marks it as the Jewel in the Public Broadcasting Current Affairs Crown of TVNZ.
His interview with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster at the beginning of the year as he desperately talked down middle NZ from using the military to indiscriminately sweep the protestors from the lawns of Parliament, literally saved us from ourselves.
At a moment of true panic and threat, where the middle classes demanded the military be used to clear the lawns, Jack calmly leaned into the debate and made us all understand what the ramifications of that decision would actually provoke.
His journalism talked us down from committing to a police action that would have required so much extreme violence by the State that we would have almost inadvertently triggered a civil conflict within our own whanau.
That takes true courage and true journalistic excellence.
NZ on Air seems to believe NZ desperately wants more angry feminist podcasts that come with captioning and sign languaged in Te Reo.
I don’t know why NZ on Air are under this impression but it’s what our public broadcasting funding categories have been meaninglessly melted into.
The latest NZ on Air funding round reads like a woke parody of itself.
The punchline is the $5.4million cost.
Here are the funding highlights:
A podcast about being fat, one about ‘neurodiversity’ and an undercover story on The Spinoff uncovering sexual grooming through the telling of one woman’s lived experience.
Which is funny when you consider The Spinoff was the platform that alleged a sexual assault and then had to back down on the story after enormous holes in it were omitted.
So fabulously fat, fabulously neuro-divergent and fabulously MeToo.
Fabulously Identity Politics.
Fabulously NZ on Air.
How many diversity boxes can you tick in this funding decision…
Breaking The Ice Ceiling to be aired on Stuff follows Lydia Bradey (ONZM), the first woman to summit Mt Everest without oxygen, as she mentors former addict Holly Beckham on her mission to be the first wahine Māori to scale Everest.
…if you throw in the imagery of two women conquering the phallic Mt Everest you also have a symbolic victory against the patriarchy! GIVE IT MORE MONEY!
I am betting it took NZ on Air less than 30 seconds to green light this…
The topic of sexuality and self-discovery is addressed in Red Light Boys, which follows the day-to-day lives of four sexually diverse cis-male and transgender male sex workers aged 18-25 and a more mature sex worker who’s been in the industry from age 14.
…as NZ plunges into a recession during an election year with geopolitical tensions and late stage capitalism failure, I’m seeing little in journalism that will explain the nation to itself, instead I see middle identity virtue signals.
This funding round feels like a Dinner Party in Khandallah where you are stuck between Guyon Espiner and Toby Manhire arguing with Emily Writes over who is most amazing.
I’m counting almost $600 000 to The Spinoff. and that’s on top of cash given to them to cover the Auckland Mayoralty – I thought the producer and platform were supposed to be different when applying for NZ on Air funding, yet Hex is owned by Duncan Grieve and he owns the platform as well?
Am I just being a bitch here? Yes. Yes I am,.
Groan by Lunchtime, the Spinoffs award winning podcast is 3 bored people who sound heavily medicated talking about politics in a way that makes you think they all have something else they would prefer to be doing.
To be fair though, bored hosts who ooze the pretension they have something else better to do really is NZ on Air so round of applause for how I tied that all back together like a noose around our collective cultural voice.
I do bar mitzvahs and children’s parties as well.
Mass global warming disruption is destroying the planet in real time as a burst of super heated weather catastrophes collide and rupture creating cascading extreme events that are permanently amputating our present while dooming our future.
30% of Pakistan is under water, wildfires in Spain have scorched the countries main olive groves in the worst heat seen in 1200 years and rivers across all of Europe have dried up with hunger stones proclaiming “If you see me, then weep” .
Putin’s gamble at legacy has trapped him in the Ukraine with few options left other than atrocity and carnage, his destruction of the European Economy will occur when spiralling heating costs breach citizens ability to pay in December.
The unprecedented heatwave in China is shutting down an economy already terribly weakened and an Authoritarian Leader about to be granted god powers for life in November and who needs an external threat like Taiwan to turn to conflict.
On top of this the US Economy braces for recession while hyper inflation grips most developing nations.
While all this was happening, I decided to tune into the bastions of 7pm current affairs in NZ, Seven Sharp and The Project,on one night this year to see how the great and good of 7pm current affairs were navigating the swarms of circling Black Swans.
Now, I have to hand on heart tell you all that I don’t watch Seven Sharp or The Project much because I have a basic reading age, don’t consider ZM or The Edge entertainment and I have an internet connection.
Sadly however, large swathes of our population tune in at 7pm to worship at the altars of lite infotainment on both channels and I thought I’d choose the Monday episodes to review so I can see what the masses are thinking about our looming geopolitical explosions.
Seven Sharp is on. It’s not Hillary. It’s Sarsha and Jeremy.
Straight into the first hard hitting story, and it’s cars speeding past schools.
Cars. Speeding. Past. Schools.
They then cut to some cop to tell people to slow down past schools.
It’s like a remedial class for people with foetal alcohol syndrome.
Jeremy pulls a face when he thinks about people driving while using their phones.
Sarsha tut tuts and nods.
Next story – the cost of living crisis, Thank Christ! An actual issue impacting everyone that we can debate!
Tell us Seven Sharp about how neoliberal hegemonic economic structures are impacting our day to day living and robbing us blind while the corporate elite and 1% wealthiest laugh at our misery!
The story is about date-flation where the cost of dating is making people share the cost of the date and doing cheap dates.
That’s Seven Sharp’s exploration of global capitalism and its impact and wage slavery upon us?
Workers of the World, go to Tinder?
The next fourth estate examination of power by Seven Sharp is a story about how people look like other people. They then waste time talking to a scientist about how people who look like you might share the same behavioural outcomes. Why the fuck this is even on the screen is utterly unexplainable to me. This isn’t a story, did someone actually green light this as a story? Did the third story fall over and this last one quickly put together by the c team research department?
I can’t tell you what the fuck this story is about, it looks like an expensive way to fill 5 minutes.
So the first segment was cars going fast past schools, cheap dates and something about people who look like you.
Those were the issues of our day?
The first story back from the break is about an artist who draws maps. This is the closest Seven Sharp gets to geopolitics. It feels like the compulsory Wellington Branch of TVNZ story.
Next is a story about female farmers not getting dates.
It’s hosted by a comedian.
It’s as awful as it sounds.
Jesus wept this is so brain numbingly stupid.
Ok, The Project.
There is the huge panel of people, most of whom I don’t know.
They compensate for the lack of talent by having as many people on screen as possible.
Their first story as the planet looms towards conflict is about parents on Tic Tok saying they won’t have their children’s friends sleepover and that sleep overs at a young age might be damaging the precious wee children and anxious and trigger and snowflake and blah blah blah blah blah.
Since when the fuck were Mummy Bloggers producing The Project?
A ‘Family Coach’ is on stating the obvious and all the panel are receiving the fucking obvious as if they are stone tablets being presented by Moses.
This segment is like a head injury.
They can’t agree on what age is too young. They have rules for successful sleepovers.
It’s like a segment on ‘how to put on a seatbelt’.
They are still talking about sleepovers.
The whole second segment is about sleepovers.
There’s a war in the Ukraine.
The planet is melting.
Oh fuck they are still talking about sleepovers!
How do they all need to have an opinion on sleepovers?
The next current affairs segment is about dodgeball. Yes. Dodgeball.
Then there is an interview with Simon Bridges and the sad state of affairs of his career by appearing on the worst TV Show in the World.
The Masked Dickhead.
Judith Collins showed Simon Bridges’ career more respect when she tried to destroy it with her shit encrusted MeToo Harpoon than he has since leaving Parliament.
What the fuck were you doing in that robot costume! David Seymour can get away with being a dick on Dancing with the Stars because David Seymour doesn’t have a functioning personality beyond wide eyed sociopathy, you on the other hand had credibility!
Watching Seven Sharp and The Project is like watching Simon Bridges singing and dancing in a giant robot costume.
I mean that literally, metaphorically, intellectually, culturally and philosophically.
This kind of insipid fourth estate journalism is why Qanon and antivax lunatics are winning.
Their ‘Balanced Mic’ rebrand in a Talkback market known for its robust dynamism is like trying to sell no contact Boxing to people who enjoy Boxing.
Today FM in the last ratings book went from 1.9 market share to a record ratings low of 1.7 and cumulative audience plummeted from 136 000 to 115 000.
That 1.7% represented the lowest rating for a Talkback station in NZ Talkback history, so I simply assumed that the ratings book out last week would have shown some green shoots of hope for this Talkback experiment that has cost $9million so far in rebranding.
To my absolute shock however, last weeks ratings book was EVEN MORE abysmal than their previous!
I know, how is it possible to sink lower than the historic lows?
Well, Today FM managed to find it.
They went from 1.7 share to a staggering 1.4 share. They went from 115000 listeners to mere 100400!
He’s the 75th most important columnist at Stuff with a beard and he continues to provide some of the weeks best columns because he has courage to take on issues most of the commentariat are too frightened to even mention least they become the target of a woke on line cancellation Lynch mob.
His blistering critique of Oranga Tamariki and their obscenely racist reverse uplifts policy was barely touched by anyone else because it ruthlessly challenged woke identity politics, likewise his review of the post #metoo crucification of James Gardner-Hopkins which exploded with allegations the law firm was a sexual harassment factory when the actual sad details of what really happened were far, far, far, far, far, far less egregious.
He didn’t get a nomination for best columnist this year, and quite frankly that’s a badge of honour when you check out his competition.
If you are such a cracker that a chocolate bar with Māori on the wrapper triggers you, perhaps you should lie down and have a cup of tea and never vote again because you are basic and we don’t need any more petty people voting in this country.
FFS. Of all the shit to get angry about, te reo on a bloody chocolate bar!
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The response by TVNZ to Fuck Boy Island proves why they must be merged with RNZ!
Their answer has been to edit out one of the contestants who turned out to be an actual Fuck Boy…
A contestant on controversial reality TV series Fboy Island is being edited out of the show after it was revealed he was charged last year with suffocating a drunk and vulnerable teenager in his home.
…note that their response isn’t, ‘we should never have commissioned a show called Fuck Boy Island because we are the public broadcaster’, oh no, they are still going ahead with Fuck Boy Island, they’ll just edit out the one accused of strangling a drunk woman.
TVNZ are a ratings chasing addict who have utterly shat upon their Public Broadcaster responsibilities here, THIS is why we need a RNZ/TVNZ merger!
The extraordinarily gross Fuck Boy Island commissioned by TVNZ shows why the RNZ/TVNZ merger must happen, because TVNZ thinks Fuck Boy Island is public broadcasting!
RNZ would never have allowed Fuck Boy Island to occur.
Can you imagine Kim Hill judging Fuck Boy Island?
How about Ethical Slut Island?
This isn’t Public Broadcasting that uplifts or builds the people or audiences involved, it demeans. I’m no prude, if a private company wanted Fuck Boy Island, knock yourself out, go for it, but on the Public Broadcaster?
We saw on the lawns of Parliament what confused and frightened citizens led by Social media disinformation hate algorithms can cause, we need a powerful Public Broadcasting asset to combat that madness or our Democracy will be lost.
We need this public broadcasting merger and Fuck Boy Island proves why.
A party in which students were encouraged to wear their “best hori attire” has sparked backlash in the wake of Māori Language Week.
The “Shed Pati” held at the University of Otago’s Arana College on Saturday was organised by Māori students, who have apologised for causing offence with what was simply intended as a fun party.
An advertisement for the party was posted on TikTok by Rangikata Turner O’Carroll, who criticised the event as perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
Turner O’Carroll, who lives in Auckland, said the college should have known better than to let the event go ahead, regardless of the intention behind it.
“It’s especially bad since it was Māori Language Week. It to me shows that they have no cultural sensitivity.”
…wait, what the fuck?
It’s a Māori University Students Association who are putting on a private event for other Māori students at Orago and it’s been cancelled by the woke for being insensitive during Māori language week?????????
The Woke would eat their own children if they all weren’t pro abortion vegans!
I have argued that woke middle class identity politics in this country has mutated beyond an alienating feature that will drive voters away from the Left, and is now becoming a mental illness that borders on evangelical belief in magical pixies and invisible flying wizards.
The power the woke get from tone policing tone policing, micro aggressions and cancellations for likes and retweets is becoming a noose with which to garrotte heretics.
Everyone les mentally unwell than the woke are privileged and everyone more mentally unwell than the woke are toxic.
The woke cancelling a Māori University Social organised by the Māori University Students because it’s offensive to Māori in Māori language week.
You can’t write this kind of satire!
One of the weirdest manifestations of political polarisation this year has been the attempted cancellation of Dr Bryce Edwards for having the temerity to disagree with Morgan Godfrey over the class nature of the Parliamentary protests.
The Woke had written off the protestors as Lumpenproletariat Nazis while Bryce argued it was a class based response to the lack of transformative change and the anger at Covid had sparked it.
For having the temerity to challenge the Middle Class Maoists, there was an attempt by woke activists to have Bryce removed from his job!
Bryce is one of the best political commentators NZ has, his insights and daily political reading list are the most essential democratic media service we have. Watching woke activists attempt to have him sacked from his job for pointing out their hollow dogma is disgraceful.
This recession will split NZ into two very definable ‘Zealands’ and no where is that divide best represented culturally than the new paywalled VIVA.
You would wonder at the wisdom of launching a paywalled culture section for rich wankers at the birth of a recession but by doing so, they’ve inadvertently highlighted a naked economic truth of the coming recession, those with property equity and those who don’t or who have nothing.
Wealthy Asian-NZers and their upper middle class Pakeha mates vs the rest of us economically and culturally.
This recession will once again expose the bleeding gums of our inequality while the wealthy continue to play in a broken city. Capitalist hospitality will morph into the elitism that can afford it, for them there will always be oysters and bubbles for lunch while food bank demand explodes.
This recession will erect gated communities like paywalled content for the prevue of those who can afford that escapism.
It’s arrival is a harbinger of a divided culture in a time of intense dislocation.
It is an important ingredient for revolution.
Worst Tweet 2022
Fearful that we would do a TDB Media Awards show without a vicious swipe at Cam? Come on! There’s always space and time to slag off Cam! Fucking spiteful moron, he manages to turn anything he touches into toxic radioactive waste, even celebrating Womens rugby he manages to be a vile prick. I’d call him a cunt, but that requires depth and warmth.
Graham Adams over at The Platform made the argument this year that the failure of mainstream media to engage with the debates occurring online is a threat to democracy. With trust in NZ media at an all time low, I wondered what is the list of topics that you simply are NOT allowed to discuss on NZ mainstream media.
Here were my thoughts over 30 years in NZ media.
Palestine: You can not talk about the brutal occupation of Palestine by Israel in NZ media. It’s just not allowed, any discussion has to be framed as ‘Poor Israeli’s being terrorised by evil angry Muslims’, there is never focus on the brutal occupation and when it ever does emerge in the media it’s always insinuated that any criticism is anti-Semitism.
Child Poverty NEVER adult poverty: We only talk about child poverty because they deserve our pity. Adults in poverty can go fuck themselves. Despite numbering around 800 000, adults in poverty are there because they ‘choose’ to be there. The most important myth of neoliberalism is that your success is all your own, as is your failure. If an adult is in poverty, neoliberal cultural mythology states that is all on them and we have no obligation to help. That’s why we only ever talk endlessly about children in poverty because the vast majority of hard hearted NZers want to blame adults in poverty on them so we can pretend to be egalitarian without actually having to implement any policy.
The Neoliberal NZ experiment: You are never allowed to question the de-unionised work force that amputated wages, you can never question selling off our assets, you can never criticise the growth uber allas mentality, you are never allowed to attack the free market outcomes and you can’t step back and evaluate the 35 year neoliberal experiment in NZ because you remind the wage slaves of the horror of it all.
Class: You can not point out that the demarcation line in a capitalist democracy like NZ is the 1% richest plus their 9% enablers vs the 90% rest of us. Oh you can wank on and on about your identity and your feelings about your identity in a never ending intersectionist diversity pronoun word salad, but you can’t point out that it’s really the 90% us vs the 10% them class break down because that would be effective and we can’t have effective on mainstream media when feelings are the currency to audience solidarity in an ever diminishing pie of attention.
Immigration: It must always be framed as positive. It can never be argued that it is a cheap and lazy growth model that pushes down wages and places domestic poor in competition with International student language school scams and exploited migrant workers. Any criticism of Immigration makes you a Xenophobe and because the Middle Classes like travelling and have global skills for sale, they see any criticism of migrants as an attack on their economic privileges.
Hyper Tourism: We are never allowed to ask ‘how many is too many you greedy fucks’. The tourism industry that doesn’t give a shit about us locals, live for the 4million tourists who visit annually. We are not allowed to ask why that amount of air travel is sustainable, we are not allowed to ask why selling Red Bull and V at tourist stops is somehow an economic miracle and we are certainly not allowed to question why these tourists aren’t directly being taxed meaningfully for the infrastructure they clog.
Dairy as a Sunset Industry: We are never allowed to point out that the millisecond the manufactured food industry can make synthetic milk powder, they will dump us as a base ingredient and the entire Dairy Industry overnight will collapse. With synthetic milks and meats here within a decade, it is time to radically cull herds, focus on only organic and free range sustainable herds and move away from mass production dairy forever. No one is allowed to mention the iceberg that is looming up in front of the Fonteera Titanic.
B-E-L-I-E-V-E victims: It’s like ‘How to Kill a MockingBird’ was never written. People making serious allegations should be taken seriously, not B-E-L-I-E-V-E-D. That’s a tad fanatical Christian for me. It’s led to a change in our sexual assault laws where the Greens and Labour removed the only defence to rape so as to get more convictions, which when you think about it, is cult like and terrifying. Gerrymandering the law to ensure conviction isn’t justice, but in the current B-E-L-I-E-V-E victims culture it sure is and anyone saying otherwise is probably a rape apologist who should be put in prison immediately.
The Trans debate: This debate is so toxic and anyone asking any question gets immediately decried as transphobic. I’ve seen nuclear reactor meltdowns that are less radioactive than this debate. I’m so terrified I’m not going to say anything other than ‘please don’t hurt my family’ for even mentioning it.
It’s never climate change for this catastrophic weather event: Catastrophic weather event after catastrophic weather event but it’s never connected to global warming! It’s like the weather is changing cataclysmically around us but because it’s not 100% sure that cigarette you are smoking right now is the one that causes that lump inside you to become cancer, so we can’t connect this catastrophic weather event with a climate warming model that states clearly that we will see more and more catastrophic weather events.
Scoops: No NZ media will ever acknowledge another medias scoop despite a united front being able to generate more exposure and better journalism.
Te Reo fanaticism: You are not allowed to point out that barely 5% of the population speak Te Reo and that everyone who militantly fires up about it being an ‘official language’ never seem that antagonistic about the lack of sign language use. Look, my daughter goes to a Māori immersion class and when she speaks Te Reo it makes me cry joyfully and I feel more connected to NZ than any other single moment, but endlessly ramming it down people’s throats seems woke language policing rather than a shared cultural treasure. You can still be an ok human being and not speak Te Reo.
Māori land confiscation: Māori suffer losing 95% of their land in less than a century, they were almost decimated by disease and technology brought via colonisation, they endured the 1863 Settlements Act, they survived blatant lies and falsehoods devised to create the pretext for confiscation and saw violence in the Waikato. Māori have lived throughout that entire experience and still get told to be grateful because Pakeha brought blankets, tobacco and ‘technology’.
The Disabled: Almost 25% of NZ is disabled, yet for such a staggeringly huge number of people, theire interests get sweet fuck all mention in the mainstream media.
Corporate Iwi: You can’t bring up that the corporate model used for Iwi to negotiate settlements is outrageous and has created a Maori capitalist elite who are as venal as pakeha capitalists.
Police worship: One of the most embarrassing parts about living in NZ is the disgusting manner in which so many acquiesce to the fucking cops. It’s never the cops fault when they shoot someone, it’s never the cops fault when they chase people to their death, it’s never the cops fault for planting evidence, it’s never the cops fault for using interrogation methods that bully false confessions out of vulnerable people. I think there is a settler cultural chip on our shoulders that always asks the mounted constabulary to bash those scary Māori at the edge of town because we are frightened of what goes bump in the night. We willingly give Police total desecration to kill and maim and frame as long as long as they keep us safe. It’s sickening.
House prices will increase FOREVER! Too many middle class folk are now property speculators and they must see their values climb to afford the extra credit cards the bank sends them. We can never talk about house prices coming down. They must never fall. Fuck the homeless, fuck the generations locked out of home ownership and fuck the working poor. Buying a house is only for the children of the middle classes now. Fuck everyone else. Boomer cradle to the grave subsidisations that didn’t extend to any other generation uber allas baby! Free Ben and Jerry Ice Cream for every Boomer forever! ME! ME! MEEEEEEEEEEEE! You’ll also note that because so many media are dependent on real estate advertising, there’s never been a better time to buy!
That was the year in media.
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