Article on Stuff is a fantastic example of Dirty Politics


I know all about so-called Dirty Politics. I know how we define it and I know how  the left define it. Either definition does not involve lying. Dirty politics is about getting a message into the media by using a middle man/woman/blog or by having a good  working relationship with a journalist. That message will be factual but designed to support a particular point of view in order to influence people. I call this spin, hence  the term Spin Doctor.

Political parties have always found a way of getting their messages into the media which is why we say it’s not Dirty Politics it’s just plain old garden variety politics. The only difference  I can see is that some spin doctors are more skilled  and effective than others.

Read more »

Unbelievably racist article on NZ MSM website

Below I have reproduced part of a Stuff article with a few minor changes. I substituted ONE WORD for another one and made a few small adjustments including using a different photo.In its original unedited form it upset so many commenters that the website turned off the comments.I am hoping that the minor changes I have made to it will make it clear to Left -wingers how racist and offensive the premise of the article actually is.

Which is New Zealand’s brownist region?



Have you ever noticed your town seems very … brown? Any chance you’re in the North Island?

Read more »


Slanderous headline of the week

Can you say media bias?

Today’s slanderous headline and photo placement of the day goes to Stuff.


Stuff makes a small mistake

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are more common in the media these days than they used to be. We all do our best here on Whaleoil but we too are guilty of speed typing resulting in words like teh instead of the as well as  apostrophes in the wrong place and, yes, spelling mistakes.

Sometimes, though, a small mistake can change the meaning of the headline, totally. I picked up this kind of mistake yesterday on Stuff. It not only changed the meaning of the headline but it gave a very hurtful impression about an innocent woman.

Read more »


Let’s have a peek at moderation quality elsewhere

I have put together a snapshot of comments made on New Zealand political blogs, MSM websites and one Facebook page. These are the kind of comments that would be moderated out of our blog as they contain foul language. If a blog or media outlet cannot afford to have a full-time moderator they can automatically prevent comments from going live if they contain any foul language. Disqus offers this feature. Admittedly, automatic moderation is more difficult on Facebook pages but the National party managed to work out how to do it on their Facebook page so we know it can be done.

Is it unrealistic to expect high standards from social media if it is affiliated with a professional media organisation? More to the point, should other New Zealand political blogs moderate out foul language, given that it is very easy to do so automatically using a comments system like Disqus?

Read more »

The sad state of the New Zealand Media Party

Late yesterday, I wrote

At today’s post-cabinet press conference, Andrea Vance asked the Prime Minister a really pertinent question. What does he think about the allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had his meat and two veg inside a dead pig’s mouth?


The fact that Vance thought that was the sort of thing that would get her the valuable answers needed to write for her newspaper is bad enough, but it would have died a nice death in the awkward silence of others who were thinking “did she really just ask that?”, if it wasn’t for her tag-team partner and Media Party communications spokesperson, Katie Bradford, spewing it out for all to see on the Twitter machine.

Now we know that Vance and Bradford are now BFFs because Vance will soon be gracing TVNZ’s partially taxpayer-funded payroll with her.   But this tag teaming of the Prime Minister was also picked up by the TV3/Radiolive/Mediaworks stable who are pushing the smear for all it’s worth.   Read more »

Native Advertising: Camouflaged ads that look like news stories

As you have seen, both the NZ Herald (APN) and Stuff (through their newspapers, and Fairfax) are trying to keep the ship afloat by hiding advertising inside stories.   This is a world-wide phenomenon.

Enjoy this primer on Native Advertising:  (If you don’t have time now, check it out later – it is worth your time)

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 – it 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 – I think it would suit your personality style.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Ouch. Stuff up.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 12.40.14 pm