Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli

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  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    'It’s easy to feel morally indignant about Banks’ apparent willingness to solicit donations for favours. Brown, unfortunately, has arguably committed a similar crime.'

    Does McCarten know what the word “crime” means?

    !

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Steady on, Russell. Next you’ll be saying wet liberal criminal-coddling foofy tosh like, “Even John Banks is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law” (which the Herald on Sunday isn’t).

    But, yes… the bullshitty false equation of Brown and Banks has become a tiresome meme this weekend.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Wallington,

    I agree with Ian Dalziel...the whole saga should be set to music by someone like Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    Wasn't he the one responsible for "King Lear on Ice" and "Typhoid Mary - The Musical"?

    Waikawa Beach • Since Sep 2013 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Phil Wallington,

    I agree with Ian Dalziel…the whole saga should be set to music by someone like Andrew Lloyd Webber.

    Lyrics by Sondheim, Broadway’s resident cynic and black comedian, of course…

    Early…

    or Middle Period:

    or Late:


    Take you pick, and remember just having no talent is not enough...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Keeps getting stinkier. More layers of Nat backroom maneuvering (KiwiBog comment by Slater jr).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Wow, the comments there do nothing to change my opinion it’s a matter of when not if one of David Farrar's resident trolls land him on the thick end of a successful defamation action.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Verily

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    I think one way of looking at what's happening on the right is via a comparison with the US.

    It's not the same of course, and I don't think that the National party is in any danger of going full GOP, but I do think that what Whale is doing is roughly analogous to things that have happened in the US right, and that he is taking strategic cues from there.

    It's tempting for NZers to look at Cameron Slater and what he's doing and assume it must be and 'internal National party shit fight' type thing. I think that's wrong. I think a better way of understanding him is to compare him to Andrew Breitbart, (a comparison I also suspect he'd relish).

    Breitbart was primarily about the media rather than the GOP. He set out to get a market for his output, and to change a bunch of things. Yes, he had a definite political agenda with regard to the GOP (he didn't want 'RINOS', and wanted a particularly aggressive approach to destroying liberalism), but his main efforts were about building a base of viewers that made him unignorable.

    He spoke to hard core partisans who felt that the media didn't serve them, and gave them exactly what they wanted. His output was largely shit, but it was shit 'journalism' only in the sense that it was unethical by various standards of journalism that we are used to at the moment. It very much did what it set out to do.

    But it's not a new thing. It's just bog standard yellow journalism, an update of the type that we can find easily enough in Papers Past here in NZ, and shit loads of it in US media history.

    It's a journalism that is rife with contradictions, but they are contradictions that the viewers of it seek. When your voice has been absent from the media, someone calling the media shit for ignoring you is going to be lapped up. And that media's claims that they are the objective truth tellers calling out the bias of the MSM are going to be golden.

    WOs readers and commenters are loyal as hell, they are dismissing all aspects of the story other than WO's line as 'clear agenda driven bias'. I see no reason to think they are being disingenuous about that. Certainly many of them believe it. Cam speaks directly to their world view about the media as well as to their political views.

    Not all his readers believe the whole package, and nor does whale as far as I know, bu he speaks to, and gives a safe place for, a community on the right that thinks a whole bunch of things are going wrong both within NZ and in the National party which is either blind to the things that are going wrong, or has factions that are complicit, inasmuch that they won't confront it.

    The things they believe are stuff like:

    The greens are a communist plot (watermelons) aiming at worldwide global government (NWO).

    Islamofascist threats.

    Cultural marxism. The idea that teachers and journalists are inculcated in the universities with theories that are aimed at destroying the fabric of society and bringing about either communism or the NWO.

    That everything the Labour Party does can basically be traced back to unions and socialism. All education policy, for example, is about protecting the teachers.

    All welfare policy is about making citizens reliant on the Labour party.

    There's heaps more, and it all links together to form a pretty solid worldview that doesn't get a look in to the MSM; who are thus seen as complicit in it. When the National party ignores this, it's frustrating for them, so people like whale can feed off those frustrations to build both a readership and potentially a powerblock.

    Question is this: If they had pulled this Brown thing off, and got him to resign without their fingerprints being so publically all over it in such a manipulative way, what would have that meant for Slater's clout within National?

    Now these are just my reckons of course, and I have no contacts with anyone at all. But I think it's worth noting that similar things to what Whaleoil is doing is also happening in the US. It's a model of journalism/political activism that is an updated version of journalism before various journalistic codes evolved. It's a journalism for a segment of society that speaks purely to them, and serves its purposes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Your thoughts on Lusk's influence on Whaleoil versus Slater's? He seems even more taken by the US model.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Ohhhhkay...

    Reporter offers Chuang porn star role

    The journalist who broke the story of Auckland Mayor Len Brown's steamy affair with local body candidate Bevan Chuang now wants to turn her into a porn star.

    Former Herald on Sunday and Truth reporter Stephen Cook, whose salacious story on the affair ran on the Whale Oil blog last Tuesday, is involved in setting up x-rated websites and a $25,000 competition to find "New Zealand's Next Top XXX Model".

    ...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    there goes the neighbourhood

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    all links together to form a pretty solid worldview

    with D4J as high priest

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    There's heaps more, and it all links together to form a pretty solid worldview that doesn't get a look in to the MSM; who are thus seen as complicit in it. When the National party ignores this, it's frustrating for them, so people like whale can feed off those frustrations to build both a readership and potentially a powerblock.

    It's safe to assume that a lot of the Breitbart/Whaleoil constituency is made up of what Colonel Trotter described as the 'thwarted social climber', in one of his more sensible columns in the Independent Biz Weekly (circa 1999-2001) on ACT's pitch to the redneck vote.

    In America they'd be called, with apologies to John Steinbeck, 'permanently embarrassed millionaires'. The kind of people who, after failing to climb the ladder, blame their own failures on the reds/greens/blacks/yellows/browns or anything else they can conveniently scapegoat.

    "Cultural Marxism" and the "Eurabia" theory were the justifications given by Anders Breivik to shoot dead unarmed Norwegian Labour youths. The collapse of the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich seizing power in the resultant vacuum, basically took all the above to its logical extreme.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5434 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Question is this: If they had pulled this Brown thing off, and got him to resign without their fingerprints being so publically all over it in such a manipulative way, what would have that meant for Slater’s clout within National?

    Nothing. The people who find him an embarrassment at best would still do so, and whether you care to believe it or not, Brown is actually easier for the pragmatic right and business community to deal with than a flaky blank slate like Pallino. I could come up with more credible policy positions, and networks that are the pratical bread and butter of being a mayor in the real world, on the back of a cocktail napkin after an all-day liquid lunch.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Pete,

    Thanks Alex - good stuff,
    In the States the rightwing nutjobs seem to have succeeded in dragging everyone rightwards, at least a little.
    In this country I think that the public opinion bellcurve is oriented further left than over there and we are also a small enough country that these mini-Machiavellis get found out sooner. Not playing with a straight bat in a country with one degree of separation is a sign of low intelligence.

    Presumably this issue will be their version of Benghazi but I'm never going to know because I no longer give pageviews to WO or that troll-farmer DPF.

    And I'm really happy with that

    Since Apr 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    That's a sober look at it, Alex. I do question how it's actually working out for the political right in the USA, though. Yes, there are frothing wingnuts. But they seem to be losing power.

    But I tend to agree. Unless Russell knows of some real impending blowback on Slater, I find it hard to think that it's even possible for him to suffer reputational damage. There's just nothing to lose. His key stat is attention, always has been.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    But I tend to agree. Unless Russell knows of some real impending blowback on Slater, I find it hard to think that it’s even possible for him to suffer reputational damage. There’s just nothing to lose. His key stat is attention, always has been.

    The new Chuang affidavit the Herald stories are based on has him actually uttering the word "blackmail" to her. An actual criminal offence. But she's not necessarily going to be seen as a good witness. And it would be more attention, so, yeah ... you may well be right.

    The consequences within the National Party are going to be ignificant, though. This has really brought the Slater/Lusk thing to a head. Someone should ask Judith Collins to comment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Someone should ask Judith Collins to comment

    <fetches popcorn>

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    speaking of popcorn, check what Luigi hath inspired #ahaha

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    one of the funniest hashtags I've ever

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The people who find him an embarrassment at best would still do so, and whether you care to believe it or not, Brown is actually easier for the pragmatic right and business community to deal with than a flaky blank slate like Pallino. I could come up with more credible policy positions, and networks that are the pratical bread and butter of being a mayor in the real world, on the back of a cocktail napkin after an all-day liquid lunch.

    I get the impression that Key was pretty happy to have Brown back as mayor- regardless of their political differences, Simon Wilson's excellent profile of Brown in Metro suggested the pair had a pretty good working relationship- insofar as Brown (via his council) would come to the table with a clear agenda and strategy. Certainly, Key's comments about Brown in the wake of the scandal imply as much.

    Whether this Government will fully play ball with Brown's housing/City Rail Loop plans is another matter entirely, of course.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Whether this Government will fully play ball with Brown’s housing/City Rail Loop plans is another matter entirely, of course.

    Whether they do or not is probably not going to hinge on who Brown had sex with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    let's not underestimate Gerry's gratitude

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    And Kerre McIvor (nee Woodham) has her 2 cents worth, slut-shaming and censorious at the same time. Interestingly, Slater follows it up with a tidbit that is interesting:

    And she should get ready for more…since claiming on Facebook that she wasn’t going to speak to the media anymore she has engaged one of Auckland more distrusted weasels to spin on her behalf….Hamish Price. If she thinks she was manipulated by Luigi Wewege then she is going to be really shocked to find that Hamish Price, an acolyte of Michelle Boag’s is further manipulating her in order to seek revenge for not being employed by John Palino’s campaign. It is no wonder Boag has been out there sticking up for Len Brown. He also deeply loathes me and my father and he will be seeing this as an opportunity to get us. Normally he skulks int eh shadows leaking information as an “unnamed National party source”, now however he is out of the shadows…that may not play out so well for Ms Chuang now we know of the Boag connection via Price

    (h/t Paul Litterick).

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2934 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to nzlemming,

    Interestingly, Slater follows it up with a tidbit that is interesting:

    I guess he's seeing a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy after all.

    Actually I thought it was pretty amusing that they tried using that talking point at all: I don't think anyone was suggesting it was more than 5 guys so no one on the left ever thought it was vast, and it quite clearly was a conspiracy. Maybe he just doesn't know what the word means.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

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