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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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.