I like Kark du Fresne’s writing, even though he has had a few cracks at me. That’s fine everyone is entitled to their opinions and he, at least, has some rationale behind his opinions.
An so it was with some interest that I read his thoughts on the ‘Auckland Media Priesthood’ as he calls it.
So while I take no credit for Braunias turning out the way he did (if my tutoring had been inspirational, others on the course would presumably have shone too), at least my judgment was vindicated.
I mention this episode because Braunias himself recalled it in a recent interview with an admiring Duncan Greive on the online news and commentary site The Spinoff. But it’s what Braunias went on to say that interested me. Here’s the relevant passage, from the section of the interview in which Braunias talked about that journalism course:
“I couldn’t tell a news story. I had no nose in news. I didn’t have the hunger for it, or the gall. I just didn’t have what it takes whatsoever. I was just kind of a dimwit.
“The feature writing course, that was appealing and I kind of got saved there in a way. I got first place in the feature writing thing, and it was marked by a guy from theListenermagazine, Karl du Fresne. He became a bit of a shocking, right wing, redneck, reactionary goose. It was a bit of a shame that my saviour was writing opinions so inimical to me, and so awful to read.”
Braunias seems a bit conflicted here. He calls me his saviour, but in the same breath denounces me because of my supposedly loony right-wing views. The way he tells it, I was sagacious enough to recognise his talent, but then something mysterious happened that apparently fried my brain and turned me into a drooling right-wing imbecile. A goose, to be precise. Pardon me, but how does that work?
Let me attempt an explanation. In the circles Braunias moves in, namely the Auckland media priesthood, the only legitimate journalism is that which conforms to a left-wing template. Deviation is heresy and must be countered with scorn and ridicule.
The rationale is that if someone is right wing, it can only be because they’re stupid or nasty or both. (The term redneck, which Braunias used to describe me, unmistakeably implies rank ignorance as well as conservatism.) This is the smug, Pharisaical way in which members of the Auckland media elite dismiss any opinions that don’t concur with their own.
Braunias is not the only offender and certainly not the worst. Others include Russell Brown – Auckland’s leading prig – and former Listener editor Finlay Macdonald.
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