NZ Herald

Letter to the Herald

Guest post

To the chief reporter:

I have been running my business for the last four years. It has grown to the extent that I was planning to advertise in the Herald to try its effectiveness. We had also used one of your six week trials with the view of subscribing.

However I have become deeply disturbed to see once again the media are using underhanded tactics to sabotage National’s election chances. First we had Hager’s fantasy novel ‚Äúthe hollow men‚ÄĚ, then we had the super snoopers where TV3 taped casual conversations and tried to derail them, then the tea pot tapes and now ‚ÄúDirty Politics‚ÄĚ.

The tea pot tapes were disturbing because even though there was little interest and they were not an important election issue, they were headline news for days. Hager’s latest nonsense book (as with ‚Äúthe hollow men‚ÄĚ) has not been subject to any media investigation to see what is really true and what is just conjecture, it has simply been accepted as gospel. Are you satisfied with this standard of journalism?

This may not be so bad except such underhanded tactics are NEVER used on Labour or the Greens. The media only does it to National. ¬† Read more »


The Amazing Contortions of the NZ Herald and other journalists

David Farrar points out the utter hypocrisy of the media:

This is the e-mail released by the PM’s Office. Obviously it has impacted Judith Collins, but if you read the whole thing you’ll see it backs something I have said consistently.

Cameron deals with a huge range of people, including Labour MPs, Green MPs, and almost every media organisation in NZ. The book only showed you his interactions with people associated with National, but this e-mail includes media contact with no less than four different journalists. One specific quote:

I am maintaining daily communications with Jared Savage at the Herald and he is passing information directly to me that the Herald can’t run and so are feeding me to run on the blog.

Now let me say again that what Cam says in an e-mail is his interpretation of events. I regard Jared Savage as an excellent investigative reporter. But the e-mail does lead to questions being asked. How is media giving Cam stories, different to a press secretary doing so?

Now again what Cam has written is his¬†interpretation. It may not be the literal truth of what Jared was doing. But here‚Äôs the thing ‚Äď you need to be consistent. If you accept everything in the e-mails written by Cam as the literal truth, then the NZ Herald was feeding stories to Whale Oil, which they could not run in their newspaper. If you do not accept those e-mails as the literal truth, then why would you accept the ones about interactions with people in National as the literal truth?

Is the Herald going to say that everything Cameron wrote about his dealings with us is incorrect, yet everything else is correct?

Will other media subject Herald reporters and editors to the same level of inquiry that they have subjected others named in the hacked e-mails to?

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Wonders will never cease, keyboard interviewer Drinnan actually made a good point

John Drinnan, usually renowned for interviewing his keyboard has actually made a good point in his column yesterday.

It has been intriguing to see the reasoned response of opinion-makers to the Kill the Prime Minister song, and compare it with the witch-hunt against John Tamihere, which led to the broadcaster being sacked from RadioLive.

In this latest case, there have been questions about taxpayer support for the band @Peace, though this was unreasonable since the NZ On Air support was for the band, not the song. There was some chiding over the sexual references to the Prime Minister’s daughter, Steffi Key, and the obligatory cries of FFS. But overall, it was a sane response.

This was in marked contrast to the media storm that blew up over Tamihere, with the left approaching advertisers to withdraw from RadioLive and attacking Tamihere, Willie Jackson and anyone who dared suggest there were freedom of speech issues involved.

That issue came down to whether Tamihere asked the wrong questions of an unnamed young girl who called in to his and Jackson’s radio show over the Roastbusters allegations. While this person – Amy – has disappeared from sight, it appears that she was actually known to the broadcasters. ¬†¬† Read more »

Face of the day

Lucy Lawless

Lucy Lawless

Lawless by name and lawless by nature, Lucy Lawless has given us permission to spy and nark on those linked to the Green and and  Labour party as well as Internet Mana.

She is all for it because apparently it is good for our democracy.

Read more »

Labour’s decline continues in latest poll

The NZ Herald/Digipoll is out and Labour’s election continues to slide away with continued dismal poll ratings.

Labour replaced David Shearer for much better poll ratings than these.

National 50.7 (up 0.7)
Labour 24.1 (down 1.1)
Greens 11.4 (down 2.3)
NZ First 5 (up 0.7)
Maori Party 1 (up 0.3)
Internet Mana 3.4 (up 1.3)
Conservatives 3.3 (up 0.7)
Act 0.3 (down 0.3)
United Future 0.2 (down 0.2) ¬† Read more »

Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring, don’t paniiiic!

Last night’s poll has been a bit of a downer for those on the right. ¬†People have been quick to point out that the Dirty Politics damage is only now starting to show through.

But it might just be useful to remind you that one poll doesn’t make an election result. ¬† One of the ways to look at it, is to check Curia’s Poll of Polls – the one where the most recent poll results are averaged. ¬†First, how it was before last night’s poll came out:


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Friendship and Dirty Politics

Friendship defended

Ms Collins last night also defended her friendship with Mr Slater.

“Just because he is a friend of mine – as by the way are many hundreds of other people – does not mean to say that I condone everything that anybody who is a friend of mine does,” she said.

“That is the nature of friendship. You put up with your friends no matter what if you’re a loyal friend. And I’m a very loyal person.”

About 50 locals turned out for the public meeting in Papakura Рthe first of its type since Dirty Politics was released.

However, most attendees were disinterested in the¬†Dirty Politics¬†saga or Ms Collins’ role in it.

Their questions for the candidates instead focused mainly on law and order, and immigration.

The media are not letting up on this.

They think they are helping the dark forces on the left bring down a government and (somehow?) stop me from running a blog.

In the real world, people aren’t interested. ¬†In fact, they are truly over it. ¬† Read more »

Chess spotter check mates Kim Dotcom again

Remember the chess tweet that Kim Dotcom sent last time that was, like, completely wrong?

Well, if you like chess, and dislike Dotcom, you’ll like this:

Hello Cam
Apologies for not getting this to you sooner but life gets in the way…and in light of the Whaledump fiasco, I think it is time to submit what I wrote some time ago.
Kim Dotcom (KDC) posted another image of pawns checkmating a king with the heading “Kings tend to forget that they can be checkmated by pawns.”
Let’s not forget this is his second attempt given the first attempt had the board upside down.
I presume this is a not-so-subtle reference to John Key (represented by the black King) about to be / or having been check-mated by Kim Dotcom.
This time the picture has been presented the correct way round but I am curious why the King (John Key) is represented using the black pieces given:
1) black is the natural underdog / defender in chess,
2) white is the naturally dominant or attacking player in chess,
3) but KDC is the defendant in the court cases to date, and
4) according to KDCs version of events the more aggressive player in the whole sorry saga to date has been John Key.
So I think KDC has his colours the wrong way round.¬† But more importantly…let’s look at the board as presented by KDC.
I believe the board has been truncated to create ambiguity as to how the position was arrived at and where the pieces are actually on the board.  (Can anyone else see the irony?)  This is not the traditional way of presenting a chess board and we can only assume the squares at the top of the picture are the edge on which the player deploys the black pieces.  In attempting to be clever and outwit any chess analysts, KDC has merely shown his own lack of knowledge of the game.
In KDCs headline he states “Kings tend to forget that they can be checkmated by pawns” so I will assume there are no other significant pieces on the board, given the emphasis placed on the pawns.¬† However, I suspect¬† truncating the board was intended to conceal there may have been other pieces at play, which he may later call upon to discredit any smart-alec chess analysts.¬† Furthermore, there may have been other pieces that are no longer on the board…more on this later…
What KDC fails to notice is the pawns of themselves could not deliver the checkmate, but were reliant on the presence of the white King, without which checkmate could not have been achieved.  Is this an oblique reference to himself being King?  Manipulating others he sees as pawns?  How prophetic is this tweet?
Anyway putting that aside, to achieve the checkmate as shown the white pawn must have moved onto the black square to the South West of the Black King.¬† Let’s call this square the ‘killer square’.¬† There is no other way this checkmate can have been achieved as depicted.
To move onto the killer square the white pawn either moved forward one space, or the pawn took a black piece that was occupying the killer square.  Given KDC has shown no other pieces, we can only assume his image is complete and there are no other relevant pieces.  This analysis is based on this assumption.
The pawn can not have moved forward one square for the following reasons.¬† For the black King to move to its final position, it must have moved there from a position that was in check in the previous move.¬† The only way for the King to have not illegally moved into check in the previous move and to then move onto its final resting place was for the pawn on the black square beside the white King to have not been there, and that pawn moved forward to put the King into check on the killer square in the previous move.¬† To achieve checkmate from that scenario requires the King to then move itself into its final position in which it can be checkmated, rather than taking the unprotected pawn immediately below it, being the pawn that ends up on the killer square ultimately delivering checkmate.¬† In other words, the black player would have to play like a dunce to end up in that position.¬† Furthermore, this is not a case of the King ‘forgetting’ that pawns can checkmate a King given it was the pawns delivering the vital checks through the sequence of moves.¬† So this can’t be what was intended by KDC.
An alternative analysis shows the white player is the dunce if the pawn was moved forward to deliver checkmate.¬† If the black King was merely hopping from square to square trying to block the promotion of the white pawn (assuming the pawn beside the white King was back one square), the position of the white King is such that white could easily have forced the black King away from the top row, accelerating the advancement of the pawn followed by promotion to a Queen, thereby hastening the ultimate decline of the black King – rather than relying on the black player to play suicide chess.¬† So the alternative conclusion of the white pawn having moved forward one square to deliver checkmate is that the white player doesn’t know what he is doing.¬† I don’t think this was KDCs intent either.¬† However, given KDCs history of chess posts, an own-goal is a very real possibility…
The second alternative is the pawn on the killer square took a black piece that previously occupied the killer square.¬† The only reason a black piece (being one of the Queen, Rook, Knight or Bishop) would take a piece on that square would be to prevent checkmate in black’s previous move.¬† In other words it is a forced move, assuming the player controlling the black pieces knows what he is doing.¬† This threat can only have been delivered by either the white Queen or a white pawn on the killer square (the bishop is ignored given KDC has elected to truncate the board which implies the black square at the top left of the image is irrelevant).¬† Note :¬† any other piece not threatening checkmate requires the black player to voluntarily take a piece that was not threatening checkmate, again being suicide chess which can be dismissed.
If the white piece (now removed) threatening checkmate was a pawn, the black King has voluntarily moved into a suicide position in the previous moves and/or the white player delayed promoting his own piece Рit is the same analysis as above with the pawn having moved forward.  In other words, one of the players has no idea what they are doing, or this is a game between children.  Again we can dismiss this sequence of moves.
The only snesible alternative is the white piece (now removed) threatening checkmate was the Queen.¬† To not move the white Queen immediately to the top row for an earlier checkmate implies a single black piece was protecting both top squares in that column.¬† The only piece that could have protected both crucial squares to enable checkmate as depicted and preventing immediate checkmate with the white Queen was the black Queen positioned on either of the top squares in the left hand column.¬† In other words the white player sacrificed his Queen to enable checkmate.¬† This is the only sensible scenario that gives rise to the checkmate as pictured / described where the King ‘forgets’ about checkmate from pawns assuming this is a game between compos mentis adults.
And here comes the kicker : If this is intended to be an allegorical prophesy from KDC, who is the Queen he intends to sacrifice?¬† Is it Laila Harre?¬† Is it Hone Harawira?¬† Or is it someone else?¬† Despite KDCs best efforts, he clearly doesn’t know anything about chess and/or allegorical prophesies, unless he was intentioanally sending a message with more than one meaning?¬† I doubt that, but time will tell…
P.S.  on a personal note : sorry for the long letter and thanks for reading.  Next time you want to blow away your chess opponent, try the Alekhine defence РI think it would suit your personality style.

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Impertinent questions


My readers have been keeping a close eye on the “Dotcom hacker” stories, and they’ve observed this

Interesting that the TV 1 website has dropped all coverage of last nights theatrics, also Stuff has done the same. The Herald has a watered down piece which mostly is a promo for IMPs policies. TV3 still has the video up, but I bet by lunchtime it will be down. Either these news organizations respond to threats made by Dotcom, or perhaps those in a position of leadership in each organisation have seen the (financial) wisdom of being Kim’s friend.


Why has Stuff removed every reference to these events in their articles & page links?? Even their article on the party launch has been purged of all references to Dotcom.

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OK, you’ve had your fun. What about law, enforcement, and common sense?

Dirty politics exists. ¬†On all sides. ¬†Instead of everyone being “shocked” and nauseated enough to need a barf bag, everyone should have just gone “yeah? ¬†so what?”. ¬†Surely there is no revelation that political parties have ways to communicate information about themselves and others that aren’t at the level of a formal press release?

Every journalist worth their meager salary will have contacts throughout society that will do anything from whisper little bits of information to receive heavy dossiers or digital storage with information on it.

But things are different when that information has been obtained through burglary and breaking computer security through deliberately trying to find a way in (hacking).

The first is a sleazy way for information to be passed around.   The second, is illegal.   Why is nobody interested in the difference?

I have watched with interest the furore and posturing arising from the Dirty Politics book.

It sickens me to see lots of politicians jumping on the band wagon and ignoring the rule of law. All parties seem to take it as read that it is OK to publish what is essentially personal and private information.

It is not public domain data.

Nobody seems to be addressing the issue of the legality of the stealing and the use of that data. Why does every commentator seem to think these actions are OK, or at least somehow not illegal?

I have just returned from the UK where journalists and others have recently been¬†jailed for hacking¬†the private phones of celebrities and other VIPs. One person was even low enough to hack the phone of a child who had been abducted and murdered. Read more »