NZ Herald editorial still not over it

The most fierce opposition came not from parties in Parliament but two antagonists not even standing for election. One, Kim Dotcom, financed a party he hoped would put an opposition coalition into power. The other, Nicky Hager, wrote a book he hoped would stain the Prime Minister’s reputation. Both were to be disappointed.

Mr Dotcom’s miscalculations were spectacular. He held rallies at which an obscenity was hurled at Mr Key. He proudly told his launch how he had hacked the account of a Prime Minister in his native Germany while the party’s press secretary swore at reporters who wanted to interview him. He promised a “moment of truth” that turned out to be a disclosure of an internet cable tap that had not happened. He produced celebrity whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange on screen from exile but voters resented their attempt to influence the election.

Hager was more successful. Commentators and academics agreed with him that it was improper for the Prime Minister’s Office to collude with an aggressive blogger against the Government’s critics. Hager’s source, a hacker who had obtained years of blogger Cameron Slater’s private email, set up his own daily news feed and National’s campaign had nothing it could produce that might change the subject. Out on the road, Mr Key had no idea what might hit him from one day to the next.

But he could see something that those watching television coverage were not shown – “dirty politics” was making no impression on his public reception. People lined up for “selfie” photographs with him wherever he went. Opinion polls found National’s support undented. Election night brought vindication for him and mortification for Labour.

I wonder when the whining will stop?   Michael Cullen summarised it succinctly:  We won, you lost, eat that.  

What has the media at large reeling is that they had no influence over the election outcome.  It’s not so much that they couldn’t deliver the result they were after, but the realisation that the public are no longer taking what they have to say seriously.   The public are observers of media, instead of feeling part of it.



One of the reasons the media has turned so poisonous against Whaleoil and me personally, is that I do still have influence.  Trusted popular blogs have more influence.   Blog operators are trusted by their audience.   Blog operators are expected to be biased, wear it on their sleeves, and readers don’t feel like they’re being manipulated into being told to follow the corporate media line.

And with all the talk of underhanded tactics, what I do here is actually pretty overt.  I play politics like Fiji plays rugby… etc.  The media phone me for tips.  Still.  The politicians phone me to get the latest.  Still.   And I’ve been open about this.  There was no secret.  There is no secret.  There will be no secret.

Even on TV, Radio and in newspapers, the audience have their favourite commentators that they tend to trust.  But what has been as amusing as it has been confusing, is that this year a lot of them have betrayed their audiences by shifting away from their normal message.   Fran O’Sullivan is a great example of someone who’s writing is all over the show like a mad woman’s poo.  One column she writes from the heart, the next she’s back on the leash and contradicting herself.

Readers notice this.

Finally, the media are seen to be supporters of crime and underhanded tactics in the attempt to take down a National Government.   The media, in general, have been supportive of Rawshark, of Hager and of Dotcom.   Yet they are totally disconnected from their audience who can see Crime, Crime and Crime.   And the motivation of those three were palpable:  hatred, hatred and hatred.

The audience saw the hatred inspired crime being pushed by the NZ Media as something that they should use to think differently about the most popular Prime Minister and the most widely read blog in the country.

And the media are still in denial.

Wait until they have to cope with Freed in the market.   There will be job losses.   And it’s marketing 101:  you can’t tell your customers what they want.  They tell you what they want.

The only thing I can not get my head around is the institutional failure by the boards of these media organisations to start putting shareholders ahead of their employees needs to play political games.  Poor leftie anarchists don’t buy subscriptions, and they have the least amount of disposable income to use on their advertisers’ products.

Long may they remain in denial.   Freed is stepping into a huge hole in the media market where we are going to deliver what people actually want.   Hardly radical.

Whaleoil is popular because?   Because we tell people what they must think?   Or might it just be because what is written here actually makes sense to an increasing amount of people?



– NZ Herald



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  • Whafe

    Great thread Cam, sums up how much I despise the MSM and that we will all be FREED.

    The hypocrisy of the MSM knows no boundaries….

    I agree re the boards not doing there job for shareholders. It is a travesty.

  • MaryLou

    It’s partly because it makes sense – there are some topics discussed here that I simply can’t buy into wholesale regardless of author or other commenters position. But it’s researched, it gives me points that I can do my own homework on, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll change my position on those too. Maybe.

    Point being – it’s solid. There is absolutely nowhere else we can engage to this degree, and come out with real information, on important topics. And then be able to debate them with people who are likewise interested.

    So looking forward to FREED – we need more quality places to go for information.

  • T. Akston

    The left just can’t stand the idea of people thinking for themselves rather than being told what to think by the political or media classes, being able to speak their minds without being shouted down by the PC zombies, deciding with whom they will trade without boycotts, or even paying a sub out of their own pocket instead of somebody else making it “free” for them.

    And then there are the rest of us, just looking forward to open and critical debate of ideas. Roll on Freed.

  • taurangaruru

    The leftie attempts at guilt trips i.e. “pimping the poor” while at the same time trying to convince the hard working taxpayers to purchase their media is laughable. Don’t they realise we are over it, over the handouts, the layabouts, the excuses?

    • OneTrack

      No, they don’t realise it. It’s the most important thing that they and their mates talk about at the Labour Party and Green Party BBQs.

  • Sailor Sam

    There are no journalists of calibre employed by mainstream media, they Re aycophants saying what their editors and owner tell them to say.
    It will not be much lomger until this mainstream is totally obsolete, like VHS video tapes, cassette audio tapes, reel to reel tape recorders and SW Radio.

  • Jaffa

    Give the Herald a bit of credit!

    They just sent Bradley Ambrose down a live volcano!

    They can’t be all bad!

  • ex-JAFA

    When your journalists aren’t delivering what your shareholders want, a board can either change their journalists or change their shareholders. Guess which the Herald is doing?

    • Effluent

      Don’t forget the subscribers. I can’t be bothered writing to the Herald to tell them this, since it is very obvious, and they have apparently chosen to continue putting a slant on their news and opinion delivery that is clearly at odds with the political leaning of their clientele, but as soon as there is a daily with a better balanced mix of views, the Herald loses my subscription.

      I would have ditched it already, but Mrs Effluent insists on getting it until there is something else.

    • OneTrack

      If I was an existing shareholder Herald I would be selling while the stock still had some value.

      There is not much value in a media group that only seems to exist to try and tell me what to think.

  • One thing that’s quite different here from traditional media is the ability to comment in real time. This makes debates so much more engaging and provokes immediate reactions should the post be controversial or voice what many are feeling. So a recommendation for FREED- ensure comments are published as soon as written as proven on this blog.

  • Spiker

    I wonder who will be the first to label FREED as the Fox News of NZ? They of course will intend it as an insult but in reality FREED will have come about for the same reasons as Fox News did, the meet the huge gap in the market not being filled by the existing mainly left wing media.

  • Hedgehog

    To me Whaleoil is way above MSM because the site has credibility. By that I mean if a story is missing a fact or an important point of interest, the Whaleoil clan will soon point it out, and credit to the team at WO the story is edited almost immediately. What happens with MSM is they run with what they have and maybe print a retraction a few weeks later on the back page.

  • 1951

    As seen in the last 3 days of cartoonists work, the line pushed by Editorial decision-makers proved those in msm are a misguided, despicable lot. Some in that business still haven’t walked and they should have been made to by now. Others need to go and do some navel-gazing before they return from their summer break. Quite enjoy the thought of them all being ‘Yesterday News’.

  • kiwiinamerica

    The media and opposition politician obsession post election over Key’s texts to you are a classic example of just how totally they have missed the message from the election. Russel Norman, Andrew Little, Andrea Vance, John Armstrong even Fran O’Sullivan witter on about these beltway issues as if the election never happened. Middle NZ clogs the holiday highways enjoying stable and growing incomes, cheaper petrol, employment stability and greater discretionary spending power preferring to place the management of these more vital hip pocket issues in the hands of John Key and National than the left and their media water carriers.

  • Michael_l_c

    Call me a cynic but in the Herald earlier this week there was a comment that the Herald will probably b floated on the NZX in 2016.
    Didn’t they try to dump it last year, 2015.
    Rats & ships come to mind.

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

    • dgrogan

      Buying shares in the Herald would make about as much sense as buying shares in N Z Post. It certainly wouldn’t be a long-term buy would it.

  • Reid

    An editorial is the official stance of the newspaper. It tells people what its position is going to be on a given issue – officially. So expect the idiots to continue in their madness even as their remaining readers desert them. It’s the biggest destruction of an entire industry we’ve ever witnessed, committed from the inside. We shouldn’t laugh, should we.


  • Eddie Nunns

    I think the MSM will say something like FREED is just the old TRUTH dressed up in drag
    and they will try to pick it to pieces and demand the Printers Union to Boycott. They will Spin and try every dirty policy to try and shut FREED down.Insisting the Prime Minister never read it Just like the Unions that are trying to shut down Charter Schools. But it will be the Peoples choice and their Power not the MSM Amen

    • Sally

      Have already seen Wrongly Wrongson spin the line that money from America and Israel are backing Freed. As if that is something bad and evil.

      • Teletubby

        Ironic given the current MSM offerings are backed by Australian money

    • Chris EM

      I didn’t think Freed was going to be printed on paper. I may be wrong.

  • Dave

    “There will be job losses” When Freed starts, and i expect the MSM to target it and try and take any readers / subscribers away, the time will come when it is successful, WO and FREED. Ah, no its not his fault the Dead tree media or MSM clients, advertisers and subscribers are walking, you see if the MSM / DTM had of met the markets needs and demands, instead of trying to force feed a manufactured diet of political BS, then there would not be room for a competing service. They have themselves and a stupid strategy to blame. My prediction is the biggest loser will be the Horrid, Shayne!.

  • andrewo

    More than just opinion, you need to back up that opinion with hard information and that’s also where the MSM has failed. Today they do next-to-no investigative journalism, so that this year who broke the big news stories:

    The Man-Ban – Whaleoil
    Lecherous Len – Whaleoil
    Dirty politics – Hagar

    The MSM just interviewed their own keyboards

  • Michelle

    We as readers also have the chance to put our thoughts in and discuss what is happening without too much faffing round trying to sign in and then find your comment is moderated out
    It makes me feel part of something and l am being informed well along the way and l am not yelling at the screen like l was with the MSM

    l only go there once a day to check out the headlines which are usually disappointing, no backbone to any story they write these days l spend all my time now questioning the stories and what angle they are trying to push

    Bring on FREED, can’t wait

  • timemagazine

    “Commentators and academics agree” -of course they agree, they are living under the same red/ green sky.

  • Nebman

    The only concern I have with MSM is that when they eventually get over themselves and their nill effect on the election outcome, will they dig even deeper into the cesspit next time round?

    Let’s face it, so far there appears to be no repercussions to them for the decisions made during the campaign and none of them have shown even the slightest learning or self awareness of the strategic errors they’ve made. If at first you don’t succeed (and you don’t get fired), go harder next time is the usual method.

    It’s going to get even grubbier I feel.

  • Mad Captain

    It occurs to me that the MSM’s obvious bias towards the left is an economic ploy rather than a pure ideological one.

    I’d suggest a few boards have decided unbiased, factual and intelligent journalism is too boring for the great unwashed – better to sell sensationalistic drivel than go bust with their ethics intact. I wonder how many MSM organisations wouldn’t like to just ‘do the news’ if you took the economics of big MSM out of the equation?

    Anyway, I think their biggest mistake is their umderstanding of who their customers are. We are far more enlightened than they imagine; that’s the reason they manage to insult the intelligence of more and more of us every day.

  • cows4me

    They just don’t get it, our rag has an editor with a deep love for things that get leftys frothing at the mouth. Between the weekly editorials on impending doom from extreme heat, to continual advice there are coming very high tides that never eventuate, to the calls to castrate the evil rich pricks because they are not distributing enough of their wealth. The people are over it, you can only cry wolf so often and when the wolf doesn’t put in an appearance the people no longer listen to the message, even if the message makes a bit of sense now and then. And promoting socialism when the country is in a better position than most in the world is simply stupid. They look upon the readers as ill-educated peasants who crave the guidance of the anointed ones, I know who needs the real guidance.

  • Tom

    Katie Bradford = 2 short planks and talks like a 4 year old.

  • Steve

    “..And it’s marketing 101: you can’t tell your customers what they want. They tell you what they want…”


    I’ve got a combined company Aus/NZ sales meeting coming up in a week and I’m going to write this up in the biggest letters I can on the white board each morning…I’m at my wits end with our marketing department trying to tell us that they know what our customers need.

    • MaryLou

      Heh heh – you just reminded me of a joke. Must watch one’s step here as don’t know the ratio of techie types vs sales types online right now, but – you heard the one about the developer and the sales guy in the woods, arriving home to find a bear prowling around?

      Basic gist is the salesman traps the bear inside the house, jumps out the window and shouts to the developer to deal with it whilst he goes and catches another one. So apt!

  • Bafacu

    Who do I talk to with regards to advertising with Freed? I am about to distribute some new golf products (balls and Woods with innovative technology to help us duffers – and some of the better players as well) that I think would sit well with your demographics.