Dominion Post political editor Tracy Watkins flails about wildly for relevance


Tracy Watkins, via Twitter

Tracy Watkins, via Twitter

Key’s wise-cracking has a new edge.

He used to call his opponents muppets and it would come across as disarmingly friendly.

These days it sounds more like a profanity than an affectionate put-down.

And to say National’s third term began disastrously would be an understatement.

Key continues to be wrong-footed by the toxic fallout from Dirty Politics.

He is badly tainted by his association with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, whose brand is repugnant to most voters.

I’d love Tracy to back that up with some fact.   My brand is so repugnant that I continue to build an ever-increasing audience.  But hey, don’t let facts get in thew way of trying to damage Freed by association.

The Dominion Post reaches nearly half of Wellingtonians aged 15 years and over and has an average daily readership of 234,000 people aged over 15.

I just have a little old repugnant blog with a similar following Tracy.  Wait until we start Freed!

[Key’s] lack of candour about their ongoing relationship, and the care with which he and his office have tip-toed around Slater, is fertile ground for ugly speculation that Slater must have something over him.

I have something on most people Tracy.  The thing is, your colleagues used to quite enjoy it when they phoned me to ask what the ‘latest’ was, and were quite happy to use my “repugnant brand” for their own purposes.  Now that Freed is on the way, I am a threat to media and must be dealt to.

Too late, by the way.

Meanwhile, Key and his ministers are doing their best to cement in the perception that arrogance and hubris have struck early in National’s third term.

Witness Key’s black-is-white defence of the damning inquiry into links between his office and Slater.

There was a time when someone telling the PM that Phil Goff broke the law by releasing the SIS report to media before it was allowed would be a story about Phil Goff, and not about me telling the PM.    But we all know your motives, and we all can see through your attempts to try and drag down the best thing in media that will happen to this country for a long time.

The readers can see through the general attempt to paint me as a monster.   All you are doing is turning them off.   They are looking for media that speaks in their voice.



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  • Yeahright

    Dom post rung me up the other day offering me a special deal, I interrupted them and told them there was nothing special about the Dom post, in fact it was a piece of …… Paper and I was waiting for Freed. Unfortunately it went over the Aussie chick’s head!

    • Bryan

      i had the press also ring me the other day offering a half price deal for the Press, i told them no I was tired the way they print negative stories all the time. Then she asked me a stupid question “who do you turn to for the news” My answer Whaleoil
      Oh good bye hahaha

  • Cadwallader

    “Whose brand is repugnant to most voters.” How did she survey this? The answer: She didn’t! Why oh why do these bimbos believe they have something worthwhile to contribute to anyone anywhere?

  • twr

    I overheard a discussion at work drinks yesterday where a group of non political type people (and primarily Labour or ex Labour voters) agreed that the only people who care about John Key’s relationship with Whale Oil were the ones trying to score political points, and the media. And they were sick of hearing about it. So let’s hope they just keeping digging that hole…

  • 1951

    What is it with the title ‘Political Editor’ that leads a person to believe their role in life is to create & fabricate?

    • Cowgirl

      She obviously thinks the role is to edit the story and facts to suit her political point of view.

      • 1951

        I’m just wondering if it is the self-appointed sense-of-importance that force the ‘brows’ to lift, you know like that of the past Nat Party president.

  • Dave_1924

    Cold breathe of competition for the cosy ologopoly in news media in NZ

    rushing down their necks…. Do they fear for job security? Or just fear they can’t control the message anymore? All the lashing out indicates fear is pervasive….

    I don’t agree with a bit of stuff put up here, but I am sick of the Herald, Dom-Post, One News and Three News just not doing their jobs and pushing Left Wing propaganda e.g. Child Poverty, Housing Crisis, Job crisis, Manufacturing Crisis. Plenty of good news stories and solutions for any problems put up … but you rarely hear them or facts without bias, bias by design or omission

    Oh for an Editor like Elliott Ness – “just the facts ma’am”

    • Albert Lane

      And note the increasing bias from the talkback radio stations – particularly Radio Live. They got rid of Michael Laws (it would be interesting to find out exactly why he left), and I’m sure that ZB would love to get rid of Leighton Smith. That would give them a 24 hour coverage of the entire media.

      • Bluemanning

        Also ZB would welcome Larry Williams resignation then everyone would have to dial left to get the channel.

  • Aucky

    We haven’t reached the end of the first week of December and I see that we are 44% of the way to our revenue target. How are you going at the Dom Post then Tracy? You ain’t seen nothing yet either, wait till FREED starts biting you in the financial arse!

  • “……whose brand is repugnant to most voters in our lunch room on a Monday”. I fixed that sentence for you Tracy. You’re welcome.

  • johnnyB

    If the Dom has 236,000 readers 1/2 of those on the law of averages will be National voters. I think we could confidently say there would be very very National few voters that would find something of offence on this site on a day to day basis (despite the hype that this is some sort of devil worship blog). So Tracy your Numbers are probably around 100,000 who might be repulsed – about the same number who are repulsed by just the sight of John Key anyway – not really most voters in my opinion.

  • PG

    This is my question too. I would happily purchase a Freed T-shirt (I don’t do polos) and defend it among my left-wing circle of friends and workmates.

    • BlitzkriegNZ

      Freed is meant to be actual news, no left/right spin, just facts so no need to defend being awesome.

      • PG

        Agreed. But we all know it will be a huge battle to get people to understand the concepts of free speech and truth. As a flawed human being who is the sum product of his upbringing, I’m still learning about truth on a daily basis.

  • Beetle

    When the DomPost start writing detailed features about the parlous state of Fairfax and how badly they treat their staff they might get some credibility with readers. Somehow I can’t see this happening. Instead they will snipe away at the party that won the election fair and square. Clearly they haven’t made it beyond the “denial” step of the grief process yet.

    • Monito

      I love it so much when you add a comment to a STUFF story it is always deleted unless it is complimentary about the story – query or disprove something in the facts and whammo you are gone!!! They can’t handle criticism or any kind of disputing facts. How can that possibly be balanced reporting?

  • Cadwallader

    Mmmmh “this chick is worried about Freed.” She may believe Freed is a new to the market ultra-modern sanitary napkin? I say this as there seems to have been less than a murmur re Freed outside of this “repugnant” blog.

    • Chris EM

      Quite true about not many people knowing about Freed. I reckon everyone in the msm would know about it though. Probably learnt about it here.

  • kehua

    What a sorry excuse of a reporter, I guess that when the cancer concrete buildings are falling over Tracy bless her heart will reflect upon the impotance of her `txt conversion scandal`. ps Cam, love the Logo. Bring on Freed.

  • Toothbrush76

    I get the Dom delivered daily and for your information Tracy I gave up reading your columns long ago.
    Also, for your information, my friends and I have all moved on from the election. We are of the opinion that both the media and Labour misjudged the mood of the voting public and continue to do so.

    • I think it’s time for this one then (pic)

      • Toothbrush76

        Thanks Pete.
        I am amazed that the “opposition” haven’t realised their campaign didn’t work before the election and it is not likely to start working now.
        They have to find a new plan.

  • James Growley

    While Vance continues to interview her keyboard, Watkins has her head firmly lodged in her backside. Its little wonder they stopped comments on many articles because they were getting a verbal hiding.

  • Albert Lane

    Remembering that around 60% of journalists support the Left. So what do you expect from them? Political fairness? Nah. Political bias? Yep. A political agenda? Yep, yep. And if they’re the boss, do you think they’d employ politically-neutral or centrist journalists? Nah. Definitely Nah. And that’s the cause of our current journalistic malaise. And a lot of people are getting heartily sick of them.

    • Mainstream Mike

      90%. Remember John Key is left.

  • hissychrisy

    car stickers, I drive all over NZ, would also be the go in Auckland…all those cars.

  • Mainstream Mike

    The DomPost is irrelevant. So is Wellington. They’re all govt workers and unionists.

    The idea to build one big building out in Mangere and move any bits of central government we actually need there —- and then just fire the rest — seems better by the day.

    Wellington should be Palmerston North with a higher unemployment rate.

  • Mainstream Mike

    If Helen Clark’s labour had not committed fraud to the tune of several million dollars Don Brash would have become Prime Minister

  • burns_well_eh

    What she really, really means is “He is badly tainted by his association with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, whose brand is repugnant to most NZ political journalists in public, but in private we’ve been happy to both feed him information we can’t run ourselves, and contact him regularly to find out what’s really going on.”

  • Albert Lane

    Perhaps she’s simply interviewing herself in order to gauge the depth of public opinion.