It looks like I’m in charge of the ‘football’

Tracy Watkins reckons the nuclear deterrent and the doctrine of MAD has been destroyed this week. Further that I am akin to a rogue state with a nuclear arsenal.

Well she may well right there.

These days, the speed at which stories can go viral on social media means they can land like a bomb in the middle of an election campaign even without being picked up by traditional news outlets.

The Brown/Chuang affair may yet signal the moment when politicians lost control of the dirt files and the nuclear arsenal fell into the hands of a rogue state.

They have good reason to be fearful. 

Who is fearful? It appears mostly media and politicians are the ones crapping their daks.

Like a nuclear mushroom cloud, the toxic fallout from the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang affair is enveloping everyone within its radius.

No-one will come out of this kiss-and-tell well – not the mayor, his former mistress, those who broke the story on the Whale Oil blog or the mayoral rival who has now also been damaged by the actions of an over-ambitious supporter.

Down the road in Wellington, meanwhile, MPs are watching warily. You might hear threats on occasion to pull out the dirt file but the reality is MPs have for long operated under a Cold War-like understanding that should one side ever push the nuclear button their opponents will fire back a battery of missiles.

It’s the no survivors scenario and has always been the ultimate deterrent.

The problem with the former state of media/politics affairs in New Zealand is that they all became cosily engaged with each other. The role of media is to hold politicians to account, and it seems they have morphed into a situation where they will not only fail to hold them to account, rather, especially in the case of the NZ Herald, rush to defend them.

That model of media in New Zealand got destroyed this week.  Detente is dead.

I’ve got control of the ‘football’ now.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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