Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves”

[Trigger warning: this post contains references to some ignorant opinions of media stalwarts who are presumably not survivors of rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse. The header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial pack rapists – Joseph Levall Parker (left) & Beraiah Hales (right)]

Yet again the corporate media is traumatising the victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault in New Zealand.

Their response to the now infamous serial-rape scandal known as #Roastbusters is almost as pitiful as that of the NZ Police, and equally as culpable for perpetuating rape culture.

We had thought the industry which routinely waters down the atrocity by referring to the pack rape of minor children as “group sex”, could not sink any lower. Yet at approximately 8:57am this morning (NZDT), one of the most credentialled journalists in the Kiwi media sphere, Sean Plunket, insulted victims all over New Zealand by noting the discontinuation of the Police’s botched investigation into the #Roastbusters scandal and asking the alleged serial rapists involved to “call in and defend yourselves”.

How easily it is forgotten that thousands of New Zealanders marched against rape culture after the scandal emerged. At around 0:20 seconds into the video at the top of this Stuff.co.nz article, a protester says precisely what needs to happen:

“So we’re basically here to get our point across – that it’s not okay what’s been going on with the Roastbusters and that they need to prosecute – and that laws aren’t strong enough.”
– Andrea Creighton, Wellington Sexual Abuse Foundation

Yet there have been no prosecutions, no law changes, and apparently Sean Plunket never got the protester’s memo. Fresh on the back of calling a woman who disclosed her experiences of inter-generational sexual abuse “a moron” and hanging up on her, live on air, he then used his Dominion Post column inches to pen his Roastbusters swan song – a piece clearly intended to exonerate him yet which only reiterates his ignorance of the topic.

For in Sean’s estimation, steeped in the privilege of the non-survivor, the steps we need to take to end the endemic rape crisis in New Zealand and it’s abysmal sub-5% conviction rate are:

“First – we need to collectively say ‘This is not OK’…
Second, men need to take ownership of the problem…
Third: we need to be realistic about the environment kids are growing up in”
– Sean Plunket in The Dominion Post

The fact that these pronouncements came on the heels of his collecting a salary while insulting rape victims on air, is brushed over smoothly with only a slight reference to his faux pas

“Lest I be accused of dwelling in a glass house, we also have a media which in some instances has not been above making subtle criticism of the victims of this abuse and seeking to somehow normalise behaviours which by any civilised standards are abhorrent.”

Calling a woman confiding her rape ordeal to you, live in a public forum, a “moron” and preventing her from completing her testimony by cutting her off, is not “subtle criticism”.

Nor is the media’s obsession with referring to 18-23 year old males’ serial pack rape of minor children aged 12-15 as “group sex”. There is absolutely nothing subtle about the inherent bias that is constantly on display in our media.

For just as with Sean’s stated solutions – they ignore the calls and pleas from victims and victims rights advocates for the acknowledgment of the REAL problem: rapists do not suffer the consequences of their rapes, victims do.

As proven more starkly than ever before by the Roastbusters remaining free to this day – Kiwi rapists are not being arrested, prosecuted and convicted, unless they are Maori, from Northland, and somehow connected to Hone Harawira.

If they meet that criteria, there is ostensibly a massive increase in the rate of arrest.

Has our country really sunk so low, that alleged rapists are only pursued if they have connections to political opponents of the ruling government? That is of course, the government who has consistently cut funding to support services for rape victims, leading to several organisational closures.

Can it really be coincidental that Northland’s alleged rapists get such high-profile attention as to be packaged into “exclusive” news stories while the self-named ‘Roastbusters’ enjoy their freedom?

Why are our police forces so inherently impotent in holding to justice, a handful of mostly middle-class white boys from Avondale?

Why are they unable to arrest them for their boasting of their pack rapes, let alone the acts themselves? Surely Judith Collins’ cyber-bullying legislation would be sufficient?

Or is it because the perpetrators include, as this NZ Herald article states, the son of a police officer and a Hollywood actor? Is that why the NZ Police and the thousands marching in streets throughout the country, are unable to bring justice to bear against them?

Surely these are the questions that Sean Plunket,  with his massive media platforms, should be asking, if he could get his Roastbusters priorities straight.

His call to conversation, in the wake of nationwide uproar, is disingenuous. Men were already speaking out on this topic, just as they were marching alongside women in the protest actions, as this next comment clearly shows.

Commenter

Historically,  men taking “ownership” of rape inquiries may be a factor in the abysmal conviction statistics. There is no doubt that it is predominantly males who have been making the executive decisions on which cases will or will not be investigated and allowed to proceed further, to prosecution.

What justice requires is so obvious: for the self-admitted Roastbusters rapists to be arrested, for them to be convicted and for them to be jailed for longer sentences than mere copyright infringers face.

Instead – we have one of the most famous talkback hosts in New Zealand using his position to silence and defame a sexual abuse victim, and now inviting rapists on air to self-justify their crimes ad nauseum – so Plunket can pat himself on the back for the “exclusive”.

Even on his third count Plunket was wrong – we don’t need to look at the environment our kids are in, we need to change it. Passively accepting the status quo means conditioning children to live in a society whose media rubber-stamp and/or enable our government and police force to allow serial rapists to roam free.

Commenter

Just for one moment – be one of those girls. Imagine being raped. Imagine being mocked and taunted in public by your rapists. Imagine going to the police and having them pull out a video camera and filming you disclosing your experiences. Imagine the police doing nothing, or charging them with some misdemeanour then closing the case.

Imagine your mother turning on the radio on the way to school, and listening to Sean Plunket inviting your rapists on air to defend themselves.

If you can’t suspend disbelief to imagine this happening to you – imagine it happening to your sister. Your mother.

Your daughter.


The voices of sanity get less traction & a smaller platform…

…but they exist regardless. Much good writing has resulted from the Roastbusters scandal. A collection of some of those links is below. Please read and share them, for it is these independent voices, and not the corporate stooges, who deserve to pierce the veil and be amplified to the New Zealand public.

While victims face constant triggers and are re-traumatised by the callous arrogance and self-entitlement of mainstream media and the ignorance they so often trade in, it can be extremely refreshing to read through the below links and understand that so many really do care and do understand, but they just don’t have access to vast platforms, as do many of the rape apologists.

Rape is never okay” – Mandy Hager

The Roastbusters rape club and what it tells us about our justice system” – Jan Logie

The New Zealand teen rape club is the worst thing you’ll read about today” – Erin Gloria Ryan for Jezebel

Roastbusters – one year on (almost)” – OnTheLeft

What’s really behind the public outcry and seething outrage” – Lauda Finem

SlutWalk Aotearoa recommends this podcast about the Roastbusters scandal.

And this – the most harrowing of all – the raw testimony of a victim, and a personal challenge to Sean Plunket  – Sean Plunket talks about those at the bottom of the NZ neo-liberal hell-hole by activist J.R. Murphy.

Even in the corporate world, where empathy is far harder to find and everything comes down to the almighty dollar (particularly, the avoidance of spending any while hoarding as many as possible), Roastbusters was a big deal.

According to this article “Roastbusters tops list of epic PR fails“, which usually means two things –  it cost someone a lot of time and therefore a lot of money, and subsequently, heads will roll.


UPDATE: A Huffington Post blogger sent us this very good article, however it makes reference to there being a lack of evidence (as per the police PR people’s butt-covering statement to the press). Would just like to clear this up, with a screenshot of one of the many admissions to their rapes that the perpetrators made in social media.

Rapist Scumbag

In case you can’t see that clearly, Beraiah Hales says to the person who has just pointed that he goes after “the younger girls” –

“Man, I can’t even count how many I have raped(sic)… 8 maybe”
– Beraiah Hales, bragging about his rapes on social media

This fantastic article by Auckland University researchers describes the international relevance of the Roastbusters scandal – noting the parallel to similar examples on the world stage, like #Steubenville – and includes a more in-depth study of the evidence at hand, noting many more examples of the Roastbusters rapists incriminating themselves online through social media.

Lack of evidence indeed.


Spin Sins Committed:
Victim Blaming


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

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The Two Poles of Kiwi Journalism and A New Vanguard

Mainstream Kiwi journalism in the wake of Dotcom, Assange, Snowden & Greenwald’s pre-election ‘Moment of Truth‘ event has fallen squarely along ideological lines.

The media have yet to give any serious consideration to the possibility of any new political paradigm outside of the left-right sphere in which they remain firmly entrenched. The results are predictable and must be challenged.

Both poles – left and right – of the Kiwi blogosphere fall short of the truth. This shows a clear need for a new media vanguard and the rest of this post shows that if this doesn’t occur within the mainstream; Joe and Jane Kiwi are in the comments sections en masse, stepping up to the plate.

It is telling that the comments on Kiwi blogs can make better reading than the articles themselves. The greater the level of crowd participation, the more valuable the experience for the reader.

While both the following case studies have large readerships by Kiwi standards, the examples stand in stark contrast.

The Right Wing Narrative: “The Rise And Fall Of Kim Dotcom
(David Farrar’s KiwiBlog)

David Farrar is a major NZ blogger recently implicated in a series of unsavoury undertakings outlined in Nicky Hager’s best-selling book “Dirty Politics“.  (Curiously David’s personal Wikipedia page appears to be cleansed of any mention of his alleged involvement, despite him being referenced by name on the Dirty Politics Wikipedia page)

Dirty Politics detailed a prolonged and sustained smear campaign against Kim Dotcom by right-wing political forces including Farrar, evidenced by Farrar’s own archives, which he proudly links into the first sentence of his latest anti-Dotcom episode.

The article is a classic example of lack of context colouring outcomes. From the very first sentence broad statements are made back-to-back without any rational or environmental explanation for each.  The statements are run together, creating a cumulative effect to win over the reader.

A couple of years ago was a fairly popular person in New Zealand” opens Farrar.

Farrar conveniently fails to mention that this is because the mainstream media built Dotcom up to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Predominantly because his monied and flamboyant image fit perfectly with their cause celebre` consumption of valuable “news” time that is more often “tabloid” time.

The media by-in-large (especially television) do not want to spend their precious six minutes of allocated daily news time (sans sports, weather, stockmarkets and advertising) covering war, famine, the universal aspiration of world peace or meaningfully advancing society in general, other than in a consumeristic fashion.

Real investigative journalism is expensive and difficult and can present conflicts of interest for program funders. So of course the media lapped up Kim Dotcom’s cars, super yachts, fireworks. It fit perfectly with the women’s magazine-style news agenda.

How did [Dotcom] go from being reasonably popular, to arguably the most hated person in New Zealand politics?” Farrar asks.

By exactly the same route. Just as with countless celebrities before him, the media profited from raising him up, then profited from dropping him on his ass, and thanks to #DirtyPolitics we know not only who was pulling the strings and what the methodologies were, but the public has now been empowered to recognise the symptoms each time the same tactics are played out again.

The common thread that runs through it is the complete and utter ineptitude of the mainstream media – not only due to political corruption and cronyism but their inability to honour their duty of care to the public, which has led to an ever-increasing number of ordinary citizens rising up to perform their investigative duties instead, bringing to light the real issues that the mainstream so often suppresses.

National MPs and candidates I spoke to have all said that the most common topic of conversation in the last week was Kim Dotcom” says Farrar. Again he is correct but fails to mention that those people in doing so, are purely regurgitating the anti-Dotcom narratives slung about by the mainstream media on a daily basis.

Rather than addressing the content of Snowden’s revelations, or analysing the importance of the disclosures, the media declared “The Moment of Truth” event, with its sell-out crowd, standing ovations and hundreds of thousands of livestream viewers “a fizzer”, instead continuing their (in some cases spoon-fed) Dirty Politics campaign of anti-Dotcom attacks. Most notable, the appalling ‘Moment of Truth’ press conference, where they failed to ask Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Greenwald questions relevant to his reporting, instead rudely lambasting him about Kim Dotcom (who finally got fed up and famously dished it back).

But this was closely followed by a near week-long election lead-up of bad mainstream press and radio talk-back host narratives eerily similar to Farrar’s next assertion; that “the public would come up to them unsolicited and speak of how badly they want him not just out of NZ politics, but out of New Zealand.”

Now who was it claiming Kim Dotcom should get out of NZ politics, and out of New Zealand? The same media who now claim that the public say they want Kim Dotcom out of politics and out of New Zealand.

To his credit, Farrar goes on to dedicate several paragraphs to empathising with Dotcom over the absurd nature of the FBI raid and the then illegal conduct of the #GCSB (which has now presumably been retroactively legalised by the passage of the GCSB bill).

Logic ends there however, as Farrar begins to list his perception of errors in judgment made by Dotcom.

If Dotcom had not invented a conspiracy theory that Barack Obama and Joe Biden got John Key to let Dotcom into NZ, so he could be arrested and extradited, he would have stayed relatively popular” Farrar states.

This is a remarkable claim. Nowhere in the public narrative about Dotcom has this been evident. People have been led to believe many things about Kim Dotcom, but never once have we overheard someone say “yeah if he hadn’t implicated Joe Biden and Barack Obama I’d think he was great”.

Who would say such a thing? In whose world is that the number one perceived error in Dotcom’s judgment? Farrar’s apparently.

New Zealanders are quite egalitarian, and don’t like a guy who flies everywhere in a helicopter leaving small NZ businesses out of pocket for tens of thousands” says Farrar.

Yet Dotcom’s helicopter was only a news issue in the context of John Banks having ostensibly forgotten he was ever in it. And who was it that really left “small NZ businesses” out of pocket when all of Dotcom’s assets were frozen on the spot? Was it not the actions of the US & NZ governments in freezing those assets that led to temporary solvency issues? Temporary because instead of going bankrupt and sulking, Dotcom threw himself back into the business world with gusto, innovating and earning his way into a position to finance the Internet Party (among other ventures)?

Farrar quickly follows on from claiming Dotcom didn’t pay people to stating “If he had only put $500,000 or $1,000,000 into his pet party, there may not have been such a reaction. But $4.5 million looked obscene”.

Employing a massive staff of mostly young Kiwi political newcomers , Dotcom’s Internet Party enterprise was in itself a job creator, and while its funding was significant by New Zealand standards, it was a tiny drop in the bucket when compared to the net worth, sway and fundraising abilities of National Party members and associates.

Back on the topic of what the public thinks – this is one thing that has been repeatedly pointed out by usually politically-unengaged members of the public – that National’s “Dotcom spent too much money!” argument is hypocritical as that standard should logically be applied across the full political spectrum if at all.

Farrar moves on to attacking the Internet Mana alliance. “Dotcom and Mana were seen to have almost no policy commonality” he writes. Funnily enough the Loomio-powered policy incubator was one of the most-discussed things in alternative media and the least discussed in the mainstream.

Policy formation for a brand new party was always going to be an ongoing collaborative process, but with mainstream media demanding fixed narratives and soundbytes rather than reporting on the revolutionary technological ideas already being employed by Internet Mana, it was too often buried.

Unless it related to an issue that could be sensationalised, such as cannabis reform policy, there was little earnest attention by the mainstream as to the unique party structure, platforms and crowd-sourced innovations.

Internet Mana having an executive board became a source of ridicule by people who themselves have and sit on executive boards. As did their daring to have a female leader who knew what side she was on in ’81.

The Left Wing Narrative – “OnPoint – Sunlight Resistance
(Keith Ng in PublicAddress)

With 402 comments on his article and real investigative journalism credits under his belt, Keith definitely wins the public response award.

Although it contains many strong points, the article completely misses the target when referring to the part played by mainstream media.

Keith’s conciliatory, gently chiding and in some places very generous approach to the media was no doubt intended as a kind of bridge… a pacifying voice, almost an olive branch.

Journalists haven’t been lazy this election, nor have they been biased” Keith writes.

Unfortunately, Dirty Politics revealed exactly how lazy journalists have been. It is a well known fact that the press gallery all chase after the same story almost uniformly, as if they are incapable of generating their own stories and leads.

It is also well known that they repeat pre-fab and manufactured narratives rather than creating narratives in service of the public good.

In the wake of the election it is even more apparent. If you asked yourself each morning, “What would WhaleOil like the media to talk about today?” it would surely be the exact and constant debasing of Labour that is played out in the media on a daily basis.

The reality is, the Dirty Politics scandal didn’t break into the international media because of the efforts of mainstream media. It broke into the international media as a result of massive and sustained public outcry about it, and the social media cacophony that ensued.

Topsy - #DirtyPolitics

Once Dirty Politics finally did hit the international press they did a vastly better job of reporting on it in a neutral fashion than the NZ media did. There has even been follow-up!

Just as with the Moment of Truth coverage – where independent and international media discussed the actual issues while the mainstream NZ media largely whitewashed them, instead focusing on tabloid angles – the post-election NZ media sphere has been consumed by soap opera-esque daily helpings of anti-Labour tabloid junk.

“They hit Dirty Politics hard for weeks and they’re pretty indignant at people heaping scorn upon them”  says Keith of the mainstream media. But the scale of the allegations in the book require more than just discussion, they require reform of both our national politics and our national media, yet there is no indication that this reform is occurring, or is likely to.

After more than half a dozen major journalists were implicated in the scandal, the media closed ranks and went straight back to business as usual, with the victims in that equation being editorial truth and any hope the public had for progress.

#DirtyMedia

Indeed the media openly decry Dirty Politics as “business as usual” and brag of their own advanced knowledge of it as if it increases the prestige of their privileged as “insiders” rather than reflects on their own failure to inform the public of what has really been going on within our “democracy”.

Keith’s kind framing of the issues soon turns into some quite frank statements that eloquently describe the failures of the media.

“I feel for you, guys, but you need to look at this from the outside. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” is supposed to be a description of your job, your role in the democratic process. And you have failed. It might not be your fault, but nonetheless, you have failed.”

The silver lining in all this is that the number of public responses to Ng’s post is 500% higher than that of Farrar’s, with over 400 comments on the PublicAddress post versus 80 on Kiwiblog.

Perhaps this is due to differences in the curation practices of the comments section of each, or in the types and motivations of people comprising the readership of each blog.

Whatever the reason, the PublicAddress comments section contains many gems worthy of further consideration.

Comment on Public Address

Couldn’t put it any better ourselves. And this;

Comment on Public Address (2)

Several notable stalwarts also weighed into the fray, including Scoop’s Alastair Thompson and PublicAddress editor Russell Brown’s comment, pictured below.

Russell Brown from Public AddressRussell’s two cents is fascinating not only because it proves that Dirty Politics is continuing unabated, but also because it reveals Farrar’s “shopping” of cabal-serving narratives to other mainstream journalists. Despite the claims in this post by Pundit.co.nz contributor (and frequent commenter on Ng’s article) Andrew Geddis, that Farrar says he has “never have taken any form of money or kind for blog posts, and disclose even the mist (sic) minor gifts.”

This is clearly meant to obfuscate the issue of Farrar’s motivations, as he and his company have openly admitted their National Party funding and Prime Minister John Key himself recently disclosed that he talked to Farrar on a daily basis.

Whether he is specifically paid for blog posts or produces them as a value-add to the numerous other (paid) services he provided to the right of the New Zealand political sphere is actually irrelevant. Such claim of non-payment would only be relevant were there no other political funds being simultaneously received by Farrar – which he himself admits is not the case.

The Fall-out Continues

 Legendary Kiwi social commentator Sacha Dylan brilliantly captures the ongoing tussle between Kiwis and the mainstream media in this fascinating post – “Reporting in the wake of Dirty Politics“.

As his article demonstrates, corporate media are now seemingly denouncing any critique of their practices as “abuse”, without any serious consideration for the questions that are now being asked of them regarding the way they gather and report on their “news”.

So we have the right-wing narrative that Kim Dotcom is bad, bad, bad.

We have the left-wing narrative that the media didn’t/don’t do their job properly.

And we have the corporate media narrative that people are just being mean to them. Rather than self-reflection, they instead appear to blame… Twitter.

Twitter has an amazing effect of democratisation of voice and many New Zealand mainstream journalists seem uncomfortable with its ability to expose them to opinions of members of the public that previously, the journalists’ privileged societal positions usually insulated them from.

The transition from living in a world of people who mostly agree with their positions to arriving in one where people mostly disagree with them must be painful at best.

Big-name mainstream journalists like Katie Bradford, Andrea Vance and Patrick Gower have all tweeted (ironically) expressions of distaste for the NZ Twittersphere.

While there is no lack of genuine trolls on Twitter, the level playing field created can allow independent media to achieve and even surpass the reach of the corporates. Indy sites staffed by all-volunteer contributors, can achieve shares into the thousands purely via word-of-mouth on social media, while paid, promoted mainstream efforts such as this routinely fetch 50-100.

The balance of viewer-ship, distribution of media platforms and identity of news providers are all changing – headed in a direction that runs counter to that of the established, esteemed and monied status quo.

Indeed it still seems yet to have dawned upon these journalists that the surge in not-for-profit independent media has occurred precisely because of the underwhelming performance of that status quo and that so long as they continue burying their heads in the sand and/or overtly employing diversionary tactics when speaking to issues of national importance, independent media will continue to pick up their slack.

That unpaid members of the public risk subjecting themselves to retribution from the Dirty Politics cabal in order to share the truth, where mainstream capitulate to (and thus empower) the cabal for their own perceived self-preservation, is the ultimate shame upon the convention of mainstream journalism in New Zealand. Yet one that appears to have not yet been fully grasped by them.

While the media closes ranks and protects (and/or colludes with) each other over their own implications in Dirty Politics practices, they are wronging the countless members of their own profession who have been targeted by the cabal to date.

For Nicky Hager exposed in his book that many journalists had been targeted by the cabal – specifically stating that their employment was subverted and attacked, their livelihoods and their reputations – yet who other than Hager will speak for them? If their own colleagues will not?

Once again the victims are shunned while the perpetrators are empowered to continue their immoral campaigns, undermining both common decency and our democracy.

A New Vanguard

Just at what seems to be the moment of supreme victory for the Dirty Politics cabal, drunk on their own success and infallibility, their insular nature prevents them from seeing what is really going on in the wider industry and how quickly it is spiralling beyond their control.

For while they continue torturing the same old targets they’ve hounded and manipulated for years, independent media is growing at a rapid pace.

Where there was once one livestream – there are now livestreamers everywhere.

Where there were a few lone voices in the blogosphere, there is now dozens if not hundreds of Kiwi self-publishers providing conscientious media analysis and a counter narrative to that of the mainstream.

With every private citizen attacked by the cabal – three, six, twelve more rise in their place.

A combination of the snowballing of what is globally known as ‘The Awakening’ and the Butterfly Effect of what Julian Assange once called (speaking to Forbes about Wikileaks) “the canary in the coalmine”, along with a good healthy dose of universal karma, are ensuring that the growth of both paid and unpaid independent media continues, even as the contraction of the mainstream media, with its endless budget cuts and departmental lay-offs, is exacerbated with every passing fiscal year.

The days of media outlets being able to so easily mislead their readers are numbered. When compared side-by-side with truth, lies become instantly recognisable. Readers are less and less inclined to be talked down to by journalists, or to settle for what was once the stereotypical 1-picture + 3-4 paragraph splice-of-life type output of 90% of Kiwi journalists.

The public is now more willing to do their own research and more willing to publish the truth themselves if they can’t find it readily available elsewhere.

More willing to demand high quality content and more willing to produce it themselves, or support others who do.

This is creating a new media vanguard that the state targeting of individuals will not suppress.

For as they say – you cannot kill an idea.

The only hope of the mainstream media to not ultimately make itself defunct is for it to embrace public involvement in media, rather than to blackout or ridicule it.

Not by committing Spin Sins but by openly engaging with the public on ways to resolve the issues that are being raised. To break down the walls, break down the barriers, and allow the diversity of all sides to be represented.

The media must no longer see the new vanguard as a threat, for it would never have existed had there not been a chronic societal need.

They must see journalism as a public service, part of our critical infrastructure, and be willing to make personal sacrifices to act to preserve the integrity of it.

In doing so they will not only meet their obligations to the public. By gaining the courage to stand up to their bullies, they will cease to be viable targets or tools of Dirty Politics, and will emancipate themselves.

[This post is now finished. Thank you for watching, reading and sharing this important work. The amazing artwork at the header of this post was donated by Occupy Auckland media co-ordinator/livestreamer @Redstar309z]


Spin Sins Committed:
Victim Blaming
Omission
Misrepresentation


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

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This Is What Real Journalism Looks Like

[This 2144-word 30-source opus has been cross-posted from the website of Kiwi Occupier and social justice activist @endarken, with permission. Above image by Occupy Auckland media co-ordinator @Redstar309z. Original headline: “NZ’s Watergate: Situation Normal All F(h)ooked Up”]

The struggle for control of the mainstream media narrative in New Zealand is always fascinating to observe and, thanks to the explosive pre-election whistle-blowing of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, increasingly so.

Arguably the largest political scandal in the history of our small country, Dirty Politics is more about the media than they care to admit.

While framed by them as a debate about bloggers, the implications for, and insights into the machinations of establishment journalists are of far greater consequence to the New Zealand public.

Unfortunately, investigating the corruption of the mainstream media and examining their own part in the subversion of democracy does not suit the strategic goals of profit-driven corporations. Which is seemingly why the rash of mainstream confessions published on major New Zealand news sites soon after the release of Dirty Politics, included this one that featured an addendum by the very editors of the publication – a post-script that publicly ratified, supported and forgave their wayward employees, on the spot.

In P.R. circles, it was a tactic known as front-footing. In other words, answering questions before they are asked, but better yet, from their perspective, framing the subject while addressing only the angles for which they have prepared their defense then hoping the facade of solidarity appears strong enough to deter any further probing.

Indeed the blending of the disciplines of journalism and P.R./lobbying are exactly what has got the New Zealand media into this mess. Any journalist who deals with a political-payroll blogger is one degree of separation away from liquid spin.

NZ Herald editor Shayne Currie and editor-in-chief Tim Murphy leaping to such quick defense of their erstwhile staff members makes them seem hypocritical.

For while they now explain: “reporters will have conversations with contacts from all sides of the political spectrum every dayin the wake of Dirty Politics, backtrack six months and we find;

“the APN Editorial Code of Ethics was that: ‘Journalists must not participate in community or political activities that compromise their work or their publisher’s credibility or objectivity'”.

John Drinnan quoting NZ Herald Editor-in-chief Tim Murphy in the NZ Herald

At face value, the Devil’s advocate would say; journalists receiving information from sources across the full political spectrum does not violate that code. We would be inclined to agree. But what about journalists supplying information to sources they know might use it to engage in paid political activities?

The NZ Herald “investigations editor” describes himself having done just this, writing:

“I cut and pasted the content of some of those emails, to remove any possible identifying features, and forwarded them on to Slater. So information was shared, there was a bit of “horse trading”…

Jared Savage in the NZ Herald

Later in the piece Jared acknowledges to having “…the knowledge that he comes with a right-wing agenda.

In light of these events and particularly the speed with which Jared Savage’s editors exonerated him, I find it impossible to imagine that the public can retain confidence in our mainstream media going forward.

OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) & corporate sanitisation

August 30 was a very interesting night on Twitter. For the first time ever I saw Kiwis engaging en masse in OSINT – in laymans terms, putting their heads together to pool scraps of publicly available information and analyse it.

Such analysis is usually the realm of media organisations and intelligence agencies, but where the aforementioned fail in the pursuit of truth and democracy, the public are now filling the gaps.

The end result was this stunning visual representation of the insidious implications of the #DirtyPolitics scandal, involving no less than FOUR NZ Herald journalists. (Be sure to examine the arrows that flow to and from these journalists; making it clear that in at least Savage’s case, the information was going both ways).

The effort was lauded by a number of media figures including a producer of popular mainstream current affairs show Campbell Live. Shortly thereafter, The Daily Blog republished the following graphic that had appeared in the NZ Herald:

SanitisedINT

While it was very clever of the Herald to use pictures and text in their diagram, it was missing one major piece. Four, actually!

The Herald Four

The NZ Media Revolution: Installation 85% complete

It doesn’t seem so long ago that Occupy NZ was telling the mainstream media “You Need Not Fear Becoming Julian Assange“. Now even political parties are learning to call out the media.

The Internet Mana Party, which has run an extremely innovative and current digital media campaign in the face of constant mainstream media smears, “dirty ops” and black-outs, is now circumventing the 6’o’clock news sabotage of their campaign by releasing its own news program.

In the aptly titled “Not The 6’o’clock News”, Internet Party leader Laila Harre turns the cameras on the press pack, calling out their “casual media bias” and enjoying a platform to push policy and campaign updates that is free of corporate ambush or malicious editing.

Who can blame them when it is so clear that Dirty Politics is still in operation.

Leaked Emails and Shoes On Other Feet

The most recent anti-Internet Mana Party mainstream fluff (and that’s putting it kindly) is by one of NZ’s most lauded commercial journalists, TV3 Political Editor Patrick Gower. His opinion piece addressed to indigenous political leader Hone Harawira, “Dear Hone, Harden Up” is extremely ill-conceived and adds weight to the allegations of insiders that the press gallery do indeed all chase the same political “story” – whether or not it is a story.

To demand of all people, that Hone “harden up” is extremely audacious.

I know Hone Harawira well” claims Gower. Well then, Patrick would have had the scoop of the year when Hone’s office was recently shot at by persons unknown, yes? No. TV3 reported the incident six days after it occurred, and gave it comparatively little news time.

Astonishingly, the TV3 article about it has 0 social media shares and 0 comments on it. Even Willie Jackson called out the obvious bias in the media. The Daily Blog described the mainstream media as being “indifferent” over it.

Less than two months later – this 85-word 3News report (with 9 shares on it) that Hone Harawira has been in a near-fatal car accident in Northland.

Two weeks later Stuff.co.nz want to know “Where is Hone Harawira?

Adding in the context of Cameron WhaleOil Slater’s court battle to prevent his own emails from being published, despite having spent years profiting off the leaking of the private information of countless other people (including many instances of facilitating the leaking of emails and other content), this week’s press gallery furore over – you guessed it – leaked emails (this time Hone Harawira’s), is even more ridiculous.

Just as Hager’s book Dirty Politics showed us – the media has (again) focused in on a triviality fed to them (whether Harawira did or did not approve of/disagree with a campaign marketing idea) while completely ignoring the bigger picture of his office being shot at, car running off the road, and the real reasons behind his recent low profile – all of which clearly have nothing to do with marketing at all.

Not to mention the issue of who leaked the Harawira emails and why?

Tellingly, Harawira didn’t go running off to the High Court to seek an injunction against the media, ala Slater. Is that why the media feel they have free reign to nakedly resume their anti-Internet Mana agenda? Have they been sufficiently cowed by WhaleOil’s threats and court actions to once again run his lines, and target his opponents? Apparently so.

This – you guessed it (again) – TV3 article by Tova O’Brien is so full of conjecture and misnomer it deserves an entire counter-response all of its own. The first line proclaims a “major breakdown in the Internet Mana Party” and from the 146 shares already on it, suggests the article has enjoyed a much better placement, promotion or site referencing than Hone Harawira’s office having been shot at or his car running off the road.

Indeed a quick Google search shows as of today;

“Hone Harawira car accident” – 18k results
“Hone Harawira office shot at” – 26k results
“Hone Harawira cannabis policy” – 32.7k results

…making it abundantly clear where the mainstream media’s interest lies, where the Internet Mana Party is concerned.

TV3 – Getting Personal

In a foolhardy attempt to corroborate TV3’s accusations of a “major breakdown”, O’Brien references Internet Party Press Secretary Pam Corkery calling Brook Sabin “a “puffed-up little s**t” for trying to interview Dotcom at the Internet Mana election launch last month”. Yet again the truth falls victim to an obvious omission, clear to anyone who has viewed the footage.

We, the public, have no idea what Brook Sabin said to Pam Corkery that led to her “puffed-up little s**t” comment as TV3 helpfully edited out the context and led their 6’o’clock news coverage with those precise words. But what Pam is shown saying to Sabin and his fellow corporate news talking head Michael Parkin of TVNZ afterwards gives a hint at the truth behind the sensation.

 

“He (Dotcom) said three times ‘I don’t want to give you an interview’. He’s not a candidate, he doesn’t owe you anything. When will you glove puppets of Cameron (WhaleOil) Slater just piss off?”

This means that the footage TV3 broadcast to the nation was the result of at least the fourth time that Sabin, Parkin et al had demanded to interview the Internet Mana Party patron, in an attempt to focus on Dotcom’s legal history in lieu of interviewing party candidates about the launch.

So where is the footage of them asking the first three times? Is that not newsworthy? Would their badgering not provide context as to the real source of Corkery’s exasperation? A Google search for Pam Corkery’s outburst leads straight to Cameron ‘WhaleOil’ Slater’s You Tube account. The video is posted the same day as the TV3 coverage – 24th August 2014.

Is it a coincidence that it is posted on his channel?

Or is there a connection between TV3 and WhaleOil, as with so many other mainstream New Zealand journalists and publications?

Is it coincidental that TV3’s relentless anti-Internet Mana Party coverage aligns with WhaleOil’s stated aim of destroying Kim Dotcom, as outed by Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics?

Or does the nefarious continuation of WhaleOil’s Dirty Media Ops penetration of mainstream sources prove that the WhaleOil pro-National cabal is not only in full swing but full steam ahead, just as he himself suggested?

In a recent Twitter exchange, Slater directly tweeted at me that he was “more robust” than I think. I would love to embed the tweets for your viewing pleasure but they appear to have been unceremoniously deleted. Just like some of his blogposts. It appears it is not only the mainstream media practicing sanitising content to shore their personal positions.

Breaking Developments

In the course of writing this article two new twists have unfolded. Firstly, WhaleOil has partially succeeded in exerting legal pressure to gag the very mainstream news organisations that are supposed to report in the public interest. Bearing in mind that the organisation reporting in this article about it, is yet again, TV3.

Who you would think, with their parent company listed as one of the defendants in WhaleOil’s suit, would be diametrically opposed to his position.Yet when analysed at a meta-level, the revelations of media complicity in Dirty Politics and the political angles routinely asserted by the organisations in question may point to them having a covert stake in the suppression of any further coverage of the WhaleDump leaks – perhaps as much so as WhaleOil himself.

Indicating that perhaps it is not Hone Harawira, but mainstream media stalwarts, that need to “harden up”.

Angry Protesters on the Steps of Parliament

The second major development that is unfolding is a protest of 100+ people on the steps of Parliament. Funnily enough we didn’t hear about this on the news, but sure enough, we did on Twitter.

 

The New Zealand public are the unknown quantity in the Dirty Politics charade. If actions like these continue, the mainstream media will be forced to fall into line. Because if there is one thing they dislike more than being sued – it is being scooped by citizen journalists.

The fact that little-known accounts of random members of the public are now livetweeting and livestreaming seemingly-spontaneous actions at Parliament, without the support of any central organisation, supports the theory that the Awakening is spreading, and that regardless of state interference, the truth on the ground shall prevail.

One way or another, the revolution WILL be televised.


Spin Sins Committed:

– Victim Blaming
– Astroturf Media
– Omission
– Misrepresentation


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

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Alleged Collusion With AstroTurf Blogger Might Bring Down John Key

Never did we dream that our second post on this site would be on a topic that may end the political career of Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key.

Famous Kiwi investigative journalist Nicky Hager has just a few hours ago NZST, released an explosive new book called “Dirty Politics” that implicates the office of the Prime Minister and his Press Secretary, Cabinet Ministers, and other political figures in the seemingly routine leaking of information which allegedly may include information obtained from sensitive intelligence documents to Canon Media Award-winning right-wing blogger Cameron “Whale Oil” Slater.

It seems Slater has been caught out creating AstroTurf media by regurgitating not only information from the sitting Government but apparently also publishing word-for-word spin sent to him by shady corporate figures including the tobacco industry.

More shockingly, the Prime Minister’s office is alleged to have participated in not only the leaking of material for political motives, but the compromising of Labour party computers in order to facilitate the aforementioned.

These hypocritical political players are all critics of whistleblower Edward Snowden, and deride the leaking of information for the public good, yet appear to approve of and participate in leaking information for their own personal political gain.

Even more shockingly, the involvement of ex Minister of Police, now Minister of Justice Judith Collins, who has previously been outed by ‘The Listener’ regarding her leaks to media (saying “I do ring people up and give them stories, because, gee, I guess I think that’s my job…”), takes this to another level and suggests that this may snowball to become one of the biggest political scandals in the history of New Zealand – because Judith Collins is the sponsor of cyber-bullying legislation that was supposed to prevent exactly the type of bullying that WhaleOil engages in at the apparent behest of Judith Collins herself and a host of other established Parliamentary figures.

According to the Stuff.co.nz April 2013 article, Judith Collins’ “legislation will make it an offence to send messages or post material online that is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene, menacing or knowingly false. That sort of material will be punishable by up to three months’ imprisonment or a $2000 fine.

Considering the extreme and offensive nature of Cameron “WhaleOil” Slater’s targeting of an alleged rape victim and his disgusting references to Pike River Mine victims/their supporters, what an ironic situation the NZ political and media jetset now find themselves in.

As many media commentators have noted, the revelations are mind-blowing and are only just unravelling. Until we have read the book for ourselves and seen how things play out over the next 24 hours, we will use this post to archive the information that is becoming available in the public sphere.

Media & commentary is also being aggregated on the Twitter hashtag #DirtyJK – a euphemism combining the title of the book “Dirty Politics” with the initials of Prime Minister John Key and the internet colloquialism for “joke”, which is exactly what has been made of WhaleOil’s blog and of the Ministers/political lackeys engaged in such underhanded backroom behaviour.

There have already been several calls for the resignation of the Prime Minister in the event that these allegations are proven, including from Helen Kelly, President of the Council of Trade Unions.


Aggregated media relating to #DirtyJK / #DirtyPolitics:

Official website of the book, “Dirty Politics” by Nicky Hager

Wikipedia – Dirty Politics

Statement from Unity Books over book selling out\

Reporter of the Year Andrea Vance says “SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) gave blogger first dibs on paper’s release

Excerpt from “Dirty Politics”…

 

Mainstream Media Articles: 

Scoop:
– “Dirty Politics: Launch of Nicky Hager’s Book
– “Gordon Campbell on Nicky Hager’s New Book” 

Stuff.co.nz:
– “Hager: Book exposes National ‘attack politics’
– “Dirty Politics – Industry Overwhelmed By Demand
– “Hager’s book raises legitimate questions
– “Voters Will Leave National ‘In Droves’

NZHerald:
– “Hager book: ‘You Will Not Believe What You Read’”  

TVNZ:
– “Hager book claims dirty tricks…
– “Gloves well and truly off after Hager book released
– “Judith Collins claims smear campaigns over Hager allegations

TV3:
– “Nicky Hager’s book shows National’s dirty politics
– “Winston Peters: Dark Day in Politics
– “New Zealand Needs To Know The Other Side of Key – Nicky Hager
– “Key Won’t Investigate Collins

Yahoo:
– “Nicky Hager book launch” 

RadioLive:
– “Investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s accused John Key of running the nastiest campaigns in politics since Rob Muldoon in his book Dirty Politics
– “Nicky Hager Denies Kim Dotcom Involvement in Dirty Politics Book” 

Otago Daily Times:
– “Dirty Politics – Hager Releases Leaked Emails” 

Radio New Zealand:
– “Hager accuses National Party of dirty tricks” 

MSN:
– “PM’s office dismisses Hager’s book
– “John Key Trashes Hager’s book

NBR:
– “Hager book contains leaked emails to ‘obnoxious’ blogger” 

NewstalkZB:
– “Nicky Hager’s book attacks National’s links with bloggers” 

Blogosphere:

Russell Brown’s Public Address:
– “Dirty Politics

Martyn Bradbury’s The Daily Blog:
– “How Attack Politics Is Poisoning New Zealand’s Political Environment
– “What Hager Has Revealed With SlaterGate and NixonKey
– “Dirty Politics Investigation – Let The Public Be The Judge

Interest.co.nz:
– Key “not worried”

E2NZ:
– “..Dirty Politics Book Kicks Up A Storm in New Zealand (Part 2)

The Standard:
– “Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’
– “Dirty Politics in Tweets

The Dim Post:
– “Dirty Politics
– “Dirty Politics – Summary” (of allegations)
– “Dirty Politics and Consequences

New Zealand 9/11 Truth:
– “Nicky Hager Releases New Book Exposing Leaked Emails Between Cameron Slater and Top National Party Members

Chris Trotter’s BowalleyRoad:
– “Thank God for Nicky Hager!” 

Voxy.co.nz:
– “Dark Day In Politics – NZ First
– “PSA ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by Hager book allegations

The Flippin’ Truth:
– “Book alleges dirty National Party politics; Greens, Slater to lay complaints

Lawfuel:
– “Hager and the Hacked Emails

The Political Scientist:
– “Media narratives – a field experiment and a Litmus test

Geoffrey Miller:
– “How did Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury know what was in Dirty Politics?” (plus answer from Martyn)

Atlas Monitor:
– “Book alleges dirty politics – Key ‘not fit to be PM’

The Jackal Blog:
– “National’s death by association

Likebulb: Intel & Analysis:
– “What Nicky Hager’s book really exposes

Polity:
– “Dirty Politics: My 2c

YourNZ:
– “Dirty Politics must be cleaned from the top

Pundit:
– “A Crazy Day in Dirty Old NZ Politics

GotNewsWire:
– “Nicky Hager brushes off name-calling over Dirty Politics book

FightBack:
– “The WhaleOil leaks – Anti-politics from above

TeWahaNui:
– “Jason Ede Not A Public Servant

 Forums:

Geekzone:
– “Dirty Politics; Nicky Hager’s New Book

And a nostalgia tweet from Cameron “WhaleOil” Slater himself:

…and more, much, much, more to come.


Spin Sins Committed:
Victim Blaming
Astroturf Media
Misrepresentation


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

 

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NZ’s Biggest Gossip Columnist Uses Stolen Pic To Attack Human Rights Activist

Human Rights activist and Internet Mana Party candidate Miriam Pierard (pictured above left) recently got her first taste of the dark underbelly of the NZ media jetset.

NZ’s largest gossip columnist, Rachel Glucina, hijacked the above picture (which had been donated to Occupy New Zealand by unpaid volunteers) and used it as the basis of a sloppy, snide attack on Miriam, published by the NZ Herald website, New Zealand’s most well known print and online “news” publication.

Unfortunately for Rachel Glucina, Miriam’s fellow Internet Mana Party candidate Chris Yong spotted the article and recognised the uncredited photo as having been lifted from a #PartyParty livetweet by Occupy NZ admin @endarken that had been retweeted by Kim Dotcom.

Repeated attempts by @OccupyNZ to extract an apology out of both Rachel Glucina and the NZ Herald resulted in stone cold silence from the perpetrator(s), yet the article underwent a series of bizarre online changes – from publishing the pic with no attribution and bizarrely referring to Kiwi rock legend Chris Yong as “Tim Yong”, to later falsely attributing the pic to @chrisyong, to his chagrin, to then backtracking and deleting the pic altogether. Consequently the Occupy NZ Media Team created the below infographic to timeline the metamorphosis.

#HeraldTart

One might wonder what stake Rachel Glucina had in presenting the very girl-next-door Miriam as tarty when in reality Miriam was wearing a baggy t-shirt and leggings. Perhaps if Rachel had better scrutinised the photo she published unaccredited as if it was her own, she could have seen that the image itself actually disproved her baseless assertions.

Once the photo was eventually removed, the remains of the article made little sense. Perhaps the only sense to be made of Rachel’s motives at all, is the content that appeared above her hit piece on Miriam – a shallow dissertation where she brags about having enjoyed a helicopter ride with the recently convicted ex-Minister John Banks, immediately followed by a gushing promotional piece on the Prime Minister, John Key. Incidentally, Mr Key also has a dubious past where copyright is concerned.

John Key is of course, the Minister in charge of the GCSB (NZ’s NSA) and arch-nemesis of Kim Dotcom – Internet Party visionary and MC of the event at which the photo Rachel Glucina misappropriated, was taken.

The corporate media in New Zealand and its spin doctors have made much of Kim Dotcom’s alleged copyright violations – yet so far have failed to expose Rachel Glucina’s.


Spin Sins Committed:
– Copyright Violation
– Astroturf Media


Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

Don't just stare - please share :)