John Armstrong

Facts don’t matter to the media

One of the smartest men alive, Thomas Sowell, has an opinion piece at Townhall.com about how the media, and some politicians create then win from promoting a mob mentality, often without any facts at all, or in many cases just making stuff up.

He discusses the recent cases of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, plus the older case of Rodney King. All case that were portrayed wrongly by the media, and then pounced upon by politicians or commentators like Al Sharpton in order to promote their own race based agenda. Before everyone gets all uppity, you might not be aware that Thomas Sowell is black.

He even points out the inconsistencies (probably deliberate) of the media.

Incidentally, did you know that, during this same period when riots, looting and arson have been raging, a black policeman in Alabama shot and killed an unarmed white teenager — and was cleared by a grand jury? Probably not, if you depend on the mainstream media for your news.

Sowell concludes:

The media do not merely ignore facts, they suppress facts. Millions of people saw the videotape of the beating of Rodney King. But they saw only a fraction of that tape because the media left out the rest, which showed Rodney King — another huge man — resisting arrest and refusing to be handcuffed, so that he could be searched.

Television viewers did not get to see the other black men in the same vehicle that Rodney King was driving recklessly. Those other black men were not beaten. And the grand jury got to see the whole video, after which they acquitted the police — and the media then published the jurors’ home addresses.

Such media retribution against people they don’t like is part of a growing lynch mob mentality. The black witnesses in Missouri, whose testimony confirmed what the police officer said, expressed fears for their own safety for telling what the physical evidence showed was the truth. ¬†¬† Read more »

I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

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Winners are grinners, thanks John

John Armstrong tries to have a dig while at the¬†same time declaring me a winner of the year…ah and there is yet another cartoon about me.

He will be the next target of Giovanni Tiso’s Stalinist inspired online bullying.

Winners: Andrew Little; Paula Bennett; Cameron Slater. Has Labour’s luck finally changed? Little nearly did not make it back into Parliament following Labour’s dreadful election. His victory in the party’s subsequent leadership contest could hardly have been slimmer. But he has taken on the cloak of leadership with gusto. Labour finally has a game-changer. National would be foolish to still believe otherwise.

Bennett got the jobs she wanted in the Cabinet reshuffle. Now positioned as deputy leader-in-waiting as a minimum – and could go even higher when Key eventually departs.

Slater got slam-dunked by Dirty Politics; his influence within the corridors of power has consequently diminished. Outside, it has grown exponentially. Bad publicity is good news for Whale Oil.

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Cosy media relationships on the left are just fine, obviously

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Armstrong and Trevett with Annie the de facto Labour Leader.

So texting the PM is bad, but drinking with a deputy leader OK.

Will Bradbury and Prentice publish this photo like they do with the Hosking/Key photo as proof of collusion between journos and pollies? ¬†Don’t hold your breath.

Wasn’t it john Armstrong who was sanctimoniously reprimanding John Key for texting me?

Oh… yes… it… was.

John on John, and why I am poison

6a00d83451d75d69e2014e86353a75970d-320wiAs you all know, I was quite frustrated with Key over the way he handled Judith Collins’ career. ¬†As I knew, and we all know now, she’s not done a single thing that she should step down for. ¬†Key wisely returned her Honourable title the instant the report came out.

But strangely, in a parallel universe, when I’m over my little spat, the fact I TXTed Key to tell him Phil Goff had leaked the SIS report to colleagues and media has been picked up by opposition and media alike to drive a wedge in.

This is their thinking: ¬† Goff breaking the law and leaking a report is ok. ¬† The PM receiving a TXT from “a blogger” identifying the leak is not.

Armstrong joins the NZ Herald scrum to take me down, but is happy to let Key take all the collateral damage at the same time.

The Prime Minister’s week of absolute, undiluted hell reached its climax in the mind-boggling revelation that he remained in seemingly cordial contact with the very person who has been a root cause of the aggravation he is now enduring – Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

In conversing with Slater – the second most-despised figure in New Zealand politics after Kim Dotcom – Key has compromised his assurance that he had no knowledge of the dirty tricks operation. Read more »

Ever wondered why I want Kim Dotcom gone? I’ll tell you…

Everyone know I want Kim Dotcom gone…and this is why;

In conversing with Slater – the second most-despised figure in New Zealand politics after Kim Dotcom – Key has compromised his assurance that he had no knowledge of the dirty tricks operation.

See, there is no way ever that I’d want to come second to anyone, let along a fat German crook.

John Armstrong has just hurled an appalling insult at me…surely after 155 mentions in parliament, wall to wall coverage in all media and a vilification campaign across the political spectrum I must be the MOST despised figure in NZ politics.

But seriously Armstrong has a hard on for me, it is probably more a fit of rage that I am more effective and influential in politics than he is.

Watching journalists, normally the guardians of free speech and freedom of association are all out there demanding that no one talks to me…they of course all still do…especially when they want a story they know I can get them.

It is a long, long list of journalists…are they suggesting that they will stop talking to me too…or is it just the Prime Minister who shouldn’t speak to me? ¬† Read more »

Armstrong on Little

John is so fed up with all the go-nowhere Labour leaders over the last few years, he’s altogether too excited about the fact that Andrew Little appears to have made no mistakes yet in the first 48 hours.

Can Andrew Little pull Labour out of the mire in which it is stuck so deeply – and from which it is going to find it immensely difficult to extricate itself?

Little has been in his party’s top job for all of four days and has hardly got his feet under his new desk. Yet anyone who has been watching him since his victory in the party-wide leadership ballot would have found it hard not to conclude that if someone can succeed where his immediate predecessors failed in such spectacular fashion, then Little is that someone.

Why? Gut feeling as much as anything. Because when it comes to leadership of a major political party, you either have the goods or you don’t.

Observing Little’s handling of questions at two press conferences this week, it was apparent he had made the transition from the relative obscurity of Labour’s middle-bench to the harsh spotlight of leadership with absolute ease. He was assured, relaxed and unflappable. He gave straight and simply-worded answers to questions which demanded them.

Little’s hardly been under pressure yet. ¬†Let’s see how he handles parliament. ¬†Let’s see how he handles a scandal among his ranks. ¬† Read more »

John Armstrong gives the Greens a lashing

John Armstrong gives the greens a lashing in this morning’s Herald.

He castigates them for more of their batshit crazy policy making on the hoof.

The next time the Prime Minister delivers a speech on something as fundamental as national security and the potential for Islamic State-inspired terrorism in New Zealand, the Greens should read it carefully, rather than making assumptions about its content and consequently missing or dismissing what he is really saying.

Had they done so, they might have realised the new (and temporary) law to be pushed through Parliament to block New Zealanders going to Syria to sign up with Islamic State (Isis) looks like being far less an infringement of personal freedom than its far lengthier and more prescriptive Australian counterpart.

The Greens might have also realised that contributing to military training in Iraq was about the minimum John Key could get away with without traditional allies such as Australia looking askance.

The Greens don’t believe in allies, they believe in hugs and cuddles for terrorists.

It was hardly a surprise that the Greens rejected every initiative in Key’s Wednesday address that was targeted at Isis.

In doing so they have displayed not so much a reluctance to shift on principle as a downright refusal to entertain even the thought of doing so. That is their right.

But it means two things. First, there can be no getting the Greens out of the shadow cast by Labour without compromise or dropping whole swathes of policy as a prerequisite for any move more to the centre of the political spectrum, which would enable the Greens to no longer be hostage to Labour. ¬† Read more »

Armstrong gives the Green taliban a lashing

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John Armstrong has given the Green Taliban a good strong lashing int eh NZ Herald today.

Not so long ago, any Green MP who suggested sipping camomile tea or some other herbal concoction to ward off the horrific Ebola virus would surely have been deemed by his or her colleagues to be guilty – but only of being eccentric.

There used to be a lot of it about. Who can forget the senior party official who marked the opening session of one Green Party conference by lighting a large candle in recognition of any spirits that might have been present or invoke any that delegates wished to be present. (Sadly, the candle had to be extinguished soon after this mind-boggling seance. It fell foul of more earthly and more mundane forces – namely health and safety regulations.)

No such hippy-derived mysticism is allowed to penetrate the almost corporate-like atmosphere of Green gatherings these days. The high level of professionalism and discipline now operating within the party organisation was evident in the damage control that swiftly swung into action on Thursday following Steffan Browning’s crackpot suggestion that the World Health Organisation start treating Ebola patients with homeopathic remedies.

Steffan Browning confirmed to us all that the Green Taliban is as has always been suspected, batsh*t crazy and dangerous. ¬† Read more »

Armstrong on Labour’s little shop of horrors

John Armstrong examines why it is that Labour is so out of touch.

Is brand “Labour” depreciating so rapidly in electoral value that the party’s long-term future is now in serious jeopardy? This week’s hostilities both outside and inside the Labour caucus weren’t just about the post-election future of David Cunliffe or, to be exact, the lack thereof.

It was another exchange of volleys from Labour’s parliamentary wing fired in the direction of the wider party’s left faction, who take very strong exception to the caucus pressuring Cunliffe to give up the leadership.

But Labour’s really serious underlying problems run a lot deeper than that. A decade or so ago, Labour was still seemingly indestructible. Over preceding years, Labour regularly suffered from mass desertion by voters and was consequently written off, only to recover Phoenix-like within a relatively short period of time, such was the two-party monopoly under a first-past-the-post electoral system.

Labour’s present parlous state is unprecedented, however. Much has been made of last Saturday’s capture by the party of a paltry 24.7 per cent of the party vote as being Labour’s worst result since 1922.

Indeed, that is the case. But it’s only half the story. In 1922, Labour was a new political movement on the way up, not a tiring one with distinct signs of being on the way down.

Labour have forgotten their brand.

Josie Pagani regularly points out that Labour used to support the working voter.

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Now it seems they support the luvvies, the indigent and the criminal classes.

Labour ever more resembles a classic 1950s-style department store selling a broad range of general merchandise, but not stocking the specialist goods its declining number of customers actually want to buy.

In trying to satisfy everyone, the store is pleasing no one. Shoppers are instead getting what they want from smaller, more flexible competitors enjoying a deregulated market.

To make matters worse, the store’s staff keep ordering outdated or hard-to-sell items liked by only a few very elderly browsers and people from ethnic groups. Meanwhile, faulty market research has the store’s management targeting a clientele which no longer exists.

Yet, another far more modern department store across the road is raking in the cash like never before. That is because John Key and National know what their market likes. Labour believes in supplying goods that its customers ought to like for their own good – and is then surprised when they reject them.

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