I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

Yeah, except for the fact that Key and National ended the year on top in the polls, and popularity, with higher ratings than at the election.

Then he claims that people want politics cleaned up…without presenting a shred of evidence other than wonky pundits who were mostly wrong all year.

My own end-of-year feature in the Herald on Sunday, argued that ‘A year of scandal politics’ had led to ‘scandal fatigue’ – see: A year of controversies that didn’t matter.

There now seems to be a bit more focus on combatting or reversing the type of politics uncovered by Nicky Hager – see, for example, Claire Trevett’s Trumping dirty politics with integrity and decency.

But John Armstrong is disturbed by the fact that Hager’s book had such little impact on politics and the election, saying that ‘If anything, however, Dirty Politics only succeeded in strengthening support for Key and National. The hash that the Prime Minister has made of the whole wretched business has tarnished him but far less than he deserves. His scorecard is marked down accordingly’ – see: 2014: A year to get down and dirty. Armstrong also bemoans the fact that Slater’s influence and visibility in public has ‘grown exponentially’.

Of course John Armstrong bemoans the rise of my influence…because now, mainly as a result of his own employers actions, it is true that my influence and visibility has grown exponentially. Those stupid bastards in the media, in their mistaken belief that they could knock me over actually ended up giving me more publicity than anyone could actually buy.

With hundreds of cartoons, yards and yards of column inches that continue today, they more than anyone else have catapulted me and this blog to prominence.

The Herald’s influence is on the decline as are most mainstream media, online media is on the┬árise and first mover advantage wins. Thanks to all their promotion they catapulted us into that prime first mover position.

Now for the bad news for Bryce Edwards and the rest of the moaning minnies in the mainstream media and the left-wing of New Zealand…dirty politics hasn’t gone away, it never will. Thanks to them there are plenty of people out there who have seen what is effective and what works.

On top of that there is some serious disruption coming in the media market. For once they are going to have competition and the tired old scribbler and dribblers are going to find that life is a whole lot different starting next year.

People aren’t sick of dirty politics, they are sick of a biased and slanted media who no longer reflect their own world views. They are sick of the same media creating a celebrity cult of personality of people like David ‘Tainted’ Fisher and Matt Nippert who are actually people you should keep in the office rather than inflict them on people in public. They are also tired of flip-flopping old windbags like Fran O’Sullivan running with the hares and hunting with the hounds then going all sanctimonious and pious when they have much to worry about coming out.

Basically the bad news for all of them, is that soon we will be FREED. Emancipated from the dross that mainstream media has become. First, Fast, Flexible and FREED.


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  • Whafe

    Bryce Edwards has fallen one rung down the ladder with each column in 2014. I would expect these so called intelligent ones to have a better strategy of seeing the big picture. Quite clearly, Bryce Edwards like a good many of his elk in the MSM have seen absolutely nothing to what the future holds…

    The future is not about telling us what we should be thinking, it is about reporting the news, is that so hard? Clearly it is…

    Most of Bryce Edwards column did this above, you Bryce Edwards are so far removed to what most people see. You, the Herald and the MSM are in for the rudest of awakenings in 2015…

    We will all be FREED……

    With FREED and copious amounts of sunlight shone on those stitching us up, the year ahead and into the future will be wonderful.

  • Sailor Sam

    And the NZH is not printing my response to Bryce’s article.
    Another nail in the coffin for freedom of speech.

    • Whitey

      Don’t worry, I have a feeling FREEDom of speech will be back in town quite soon.

    • Aucky

      There’s no point in commenting to the Herald Sam, it will just drive you nuts. They only print what they want to hear aside from the occasional critical comment so that they can maintain the pretence of impartiality. They have a regular cadre of fellow travellers with a common hatred of the PM that get precedence over you – sad people, sad paper.

      • OneTrack

        95% of their commenters come across as left or hard-left. The Herald are just doing all they can to hang on to those last remaining readers.

    • sin-ic

      The Horrid did not publish my reply to FO’S column last Saturday inquiring in a very nice way which typewriter she consulted for her column on JK’s retirement plans.

    • Hedgehog

      Yep I’ve given up. Anything that doesn’t support the story or is not a dig at John Key is held back or not published. I now leave it to the rabid regulars and their hate filled diatribe.

  • Macca

    Edwards also blatantly promotes Bradbury’s blog with continued references but he was one of the first to be chastising National and Key for having any form of relationship with with this blog – as did the rest of the media. The hypocrisy of the left knows no bounds!

    Interesting how there is no cross referencing of any articles to the Whale Oil blog in the article. Another vein attempt to keep traffic away from here. Sorry Bryce. You’re a bit late for that me old Numpty!

    • Sally

      It must be hard for Edwards to write anything these days when he has to try desperately hard to leave out any mention of WO or Cam. And then to include anything from Bradbury’s irrelevant blog which is ignored by the left and the right shows how desperate he is to find any material.

  • The Herald would have some credibility if they published a disclaimer with anything Bryce Edwards writes as follows: “Bryce Edwards writes from a left wing slanted viewpoint therefore his commentary should be taken as representative of socialist factions within NZ politics rather than credible opinion.”

  • RightofSingapore

    Unbelievable that Edwards and others can talk about National facing scandal, trouble and controversy when its these media mongrels who are creating it in the firstplace! The controversy they talk about is mostly manufactured by them, or blowing things way out of proportion and obsessing over them for weeks and created for the sake of generating headlines, yet they turn around and say the Govt is mired in controversy. Hey media, Anybody Home McFly? Think McFly Think!

  • LabTested

    …..and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election

    They just can’t believe that Dirty Politics did not produce the expected result. So now we have – it did work, the government has been damaged, but it was only after the election. Totally ignoring the last Herald? poll that had National up over 50%

  • Bombastic

    Nearly three months on from the election you would think these “journalists” would have moved further through the grieving process than they have. Suck it up guys, it’s over.

  • Isherman

    The MSM seem slow to observe the enviroment around them and learn anything. Both the Nats and Labour lamented that the election campaign was overshadowed by all the other rubbish stuff, generated largely by bit part players such as KDC – Internet/Mana, Hager, Vandalism, Hacking etc. Yet in their post election analysis, that’s all they are still concentrating on. Katie Bradford said it herself that no matter how hard they tried, they were not able to dictate opinion or the results by pushing a narrative around stuff that the vast majority of voters weren’t interested in, so why then are they apparently eager to continue in this vein, instead of recognising that we have now entered a new political cycle that will culminate in another election, and that they should be looking at ‘where to from here’, not ‘why didn’t that work’. Time to give the public of NZ a fresh taste of what media outlets should be about, because the current lot have forgotten about that, and are more interested in being a partisan 5th column of left wing politics. As free thinking Kiwi’s, time we were FREED from our current media subjugation.

  • Goldie

    Typical of MSM commentary – no actual analysis of any substantive issues.
    Just journalists’ impressions that Dirty Politics has damaged the government (despite the opinion polls saying the opposite), or that John Key has lost his sense of humour.

    I think if a survey was taken of public attitudes to professions, journalists would feature at the bottom, well below more reputable professions such as hookers and real estate agents.

  • niggly

    Good god what a way to start the new year with another load of absolute tosh from Bryce Edwards. Who published his rubbish and why?

    Firstly he selectively uses a bunch of partisan critics (Hooten included with that left-leaning rabble) to set the narrative of his “story”.

    Secondly, what a sad and out of touch bunch they are. Take for example Garner, I’ve been listening to him a bit on Radio Live (station surfing) prior/post election and as a result of this education my estimation of his intelligence sunk when I started to realise that he simply makes up nonsense to suit his narrative that he wants to push. Sure Garner is capable of some occasional good hits and stories but his judgement of issues is in leftie-conspiracy cukoo-land. Be fine if he was a contemporary MSM print journalist I suppose or a rabid blogger but for goodness sake this guy was once TV3’s chief political reporter! (And let’s just put aside what this makes TV3 look like)!

    Who else, Tracy Watkins, alas she has been elevated way beyond her competency which over times shows her lack of substance up more and more. Another deluded leftie conspiracy follower which sticks out in her articles.

    Who else, John Armstrong, occasionally writes perceptive articles on both sides of the political spectrum but generally suffers from the leftie-groupthink-crazieness when it comes to left-wing perceptions of John Key and the National Govt as being reality when they are not.

    • Cadwallader

      At least the radio hacks (Smalley et at) are still on leave so we won’t have the Edwards type rubbish endorsed by the mindless coterie. I continue to reel from Smalley’s recent endorsement of Goff as a future AKL mayor! Considered journalism? Nah just a muddle of unexamined ideas.

      • Whafe

        Of the radio stations of choice, I far prefer ZB, however, I must be honest, ZB making what the would see as an informed business decision to have Smalley on the station, even though it is 5AM, near makes we wish to remove it from my channel choice….

        • Cadwallader

          I think ZB is heading faster on a leftward tack than Dean Barker could shift to port. It is a pity as it has been a great antidote to the leftie dross on National Radio.

          • Aucky

            The new management has certainly shifted ZB to the left and the common ownership with the Herald hasn’t helped either. Leighton will retire this year so only Larry Williams & Hosking left. Thank God for internet radio.

          • coltheman

            Try talking to Dallas Gurney about it. He is blinded by the left.

        • Hedgehog

          Yep agree, but I don’t think ZB realise how vulnerable they are. I listen to ZB 90% of the time – in the car, at work and a little at home. Without Larry and Mike, I feel a large number of current listeners would leave – me included.

          • Sooty

            Leighton too.

        • Cadwallader

          I wonder how long it will be before the sponsors decide Smalley’s one-eyed stupidity is tarnishing their worthy brand?

  • Chris

    When a budding journalist goes to “Journalism School”, what are they taught?
    Are the taught that they need to be impartial in all they report, or are they brainwashed into reporting all that is against the mainstream thinking?
    If this is so, how do we get some balanced reporting back? Will this be the avenue FREED will take?

    • Backdoor

      Those budding journalists are taught how to write exciting articles, not necessarily based on fact, so they can attract readers/viewers to the media’s advertisers who pay their wages.

      • Hard1

        TradeMe; Journalist 7 listings, showing 1 to 7. That’s it. Hundreds of unemployed journalists in NZ. If you have a job you don’t dare step out of line.

  • MrBarrington

    Freed….. still waiting….. [looks a clock]……

  • bjmarsh

    Never in the 70 odd years I have been able to read have I been so contemptuous of the cabal of horrospondents who act in the guise of the Main Stream Media. They have chosen to continue with their psychological operation plan to sell the big lie that Prime Minister Key will be like al previous third term leaders of our Government. What evidence is there for the big lie of third term diminished energy and enthusiasm for the job? What is clear is that the so-called journalists by and large have changed from socially conservative to liberal socialists in a significant change to media politics. We will see in short order the demise of the Herald, the Dominion Post and the other archaic publications as they move away from reporting news to being a mesns of conveying advertising at a cost to the readers who are sick of the pages of advertisements

    • OneTrack

      Especially when that advertising is Green Party news releases which the MSM simply copy and paste from their email into the front page.

  • Eddie Nunns

    Putting aside some Pennies so I can be part of FREED
    Let us know when and where guys and girls

  • paul468

    “sick of a biased and slanted media” too right. But also sick of Bryce whose “columns” I don’t read anymore as all he does is put a link to someone elses words, adding a simple sentence synopsis. I can’t believe someone with years of study, using Dr. in front of their name is prepared to put their name to that stuff, when anyone who can read, with no formal qualification could do the same. Our education system is failing us.

  • Eiselmann

    Bad news for Bryce Edwards: would be an editor actually demanding a truly unbiased opinion piece ,that is actually his own work rather than a series of references to other peoples work..

  • Hedgehog

    I’m keen for FREED. For the first time in my entire life I’d be willing to pay for a news feed. I do 99% of my news reading online, with a little coming from the ZB airwaves. But both Stuff and the Herald sites are a poor news service, admittedly it is free. But nothing can be believed at face value, there is usually facts missing or a political slant added, so I don’t bother with any politically centric stories anymore, I come to Whaleoil, and if I still need more info I then go to the MSM sites.

    • LinkinHawk

      Although I could easily afford it there is no way I would ever pay one cent for my news feed

  • SovereignSoul

    Yeah wasnt hard for me to just hop on my computer and check out this website and realise that the herald was full of beans. The majority of people wont even come and see for themselves, they just lazily start calling me a racist dirty right wing pig when I try to say that Whale Oils not as bad as they think :S.

  • OneTrack

    Bryce Edwards had a bad year because his team didn’t win. He is just trying to channel that disappointment on to John Key. Sorry Bryce, JK doesn’t seem too fazed.

    Maybe the left could try using policy this time instead of their continual dirty and gotcha politics. Don’t say it won’t work, you have to try everything, at least once.

    • zotaccore

      Yes indeed… Bryce has become even more irrelevant as a political commentator simply because in 2014 he lost the plot and got a lot wrong – and for an academic, that’s not a good sign. He won’t change though, people of his ilk rarely do.

  • Souvlaki

    I had the same thought when I read Bryce’s effort yesterday arvo…..” what’s he been smoking”?? It actually gets up my nose at a personal level, that this schmuck comes from my alma mater. ……albeit many years ago . He clearly taints Otago University’s credibility as somewhere you would wish to send your kids for an impartial but broad education, that’s for SURE!

  • Hard1

    “we get poorer quality local produce in the supermarkets”

    This is interesting, and makes good your point. What you are saying is that all NZ’ers are eating poorer quality produce.
    I would say we eat some of the best in the world. High quality, presentable and cheap. Bread is cheaper, cheese is cheaper, petrol is cheaper. Beef and Lamb are cheap at the butcher.
    Power and rent are steadily rising. That’s true.

    • Greg

      Have a look at the quality sold in the meat exporters, its vastly different to whats offered at the supermarket, we still pay export rates for it, hence we subsidize the market. Not everyone has a farmers market. Cheap cheese since when.