Russel Norman had a hissy at Fairfax yesterday for publishing Trans Tasman MP ratings, especially of Cath Delahunty. See Russel Norman versus Trans Tasman.
David Farrar also comments on this in Norman attacking the media:
So we have a party leader publicly berating a journalist because the journalist wrote a story on the ratings. Really? Isn’t this what a certain other party leader used to do in the 1970s? As for the smearing of Trans-Tasman as “far right” (a term used in Europe to describe neo-nazis), that’s idiotic. Certainly it is a business publication and like the NBR has an editorial tone that is pro-business. But it is no more “far right” than Radio NZ is “far left”.
There are lots of ratings different people will have different views on. You would expect a party leader to say he disagrees with the ratings for his MPs. But to smear the newsletter as “far right” and berate a Fairfax journalist for daring to do a story on it is a form of bullying.
Now he is hysterically claiming the newsletter “hates” his MP” because she is so effective, and is instructing the journalist to print his words.
But this isn’t so much about the rankings, but Norman’s behaviour. In the last two weeks we’ve had:
- Norman lambasting a journalist for writing a story he didn’t like and demanding he print his views on his own MPs
- Norman smearing a media newsletter as “far right”
- Norman barging past the PM doing a media stand up and shrieking “Resign” at him
- Norman using the 2014 post election review conference to effectively blame the SIS for the left losing the 2011 election
I should’t give free advice, but I think such behaviour is a big turn off. It’s an ugly look. He could have made a case for the Trans-Tasman ratings being too harsh on some of his MPs, without doing it as an attack on the media.
The pressure of a hard three years followed by a frustrating election campaign are taking a toll.
The next two lowest ranked Greens were men.
Steffan Browning 2.5
David Clendon 3.0 (equal with Jan Logie)
That seems reasonably gender balanced – not that gender should figure in performance ratings.
Norman didn’t complain about both him and Kevin Hague being rated higher than Metiria Turei.
And it’s not just Norman.
Danyl expanded on the Green attack at Dim Post.
Stuff has a cut’npaste story up on the TransTasman newsletter’s annual rankings of MPs, a yearly ritual in which a bunch of elderly right-wing journalists pour praise on their favorite right-wing politicians and scorn on their most despised left-wing enemies. Whatever.
But what struck me reading through the rankings is that there seemed like a big difference in scores between male and female MPs irrespective of any left-wing/right wing bias. Even female National MPs I rated quite highly were ranked lower than totally undistinguished male Nats. And it’s even worse for Maori, who all seem arbitrarily low regardless of party, or how well they perform.
The data breaks down like this: Average score for a Male Pakeha MP in the Transtasman ranking is 5.4. Males overall have an average ranking of 5.1. Pakeha overall average 5.1. Maori are way lower than Pakeha with average rankings of 4.6. Female MPs are way lower with an average ranking of 4.4. If you compile the rankings for Labour and the Greens, the men get an average ranking of 5.2, but the women are dragging them down with an average ranking of 4.4.
Here’s a list of the TransTasman writers. I’m informed that the sole contributors are the authors listed at the bottom of the report. You might not be shocked to learn that they are all white men. But what that means is that TransTasman’s inequality in their rankings and staggering bias towards Pakeha males has nothing to do with identity politics. See, identity politics is just something the left does to privilege women or Maori.
It’s a form of political correctness gone mad in which people value gender or ethnicity over actual merit, but when white guys get privileged, or when we coincidentally overwhelmingly favor other members of our race and gender that’s definitely nothing to do with identity politics. Or racism or misogyny. It’s always just because we all deserve it. Shame on you for doubting the analysis of the impartial, objective white guys at TransTasman!
He sounds as frustrated and bitter as Norman. As do some of the ranks at Dim-Post.
They can’t just disagree and offer their own ratings. Instead they attack the messengers.
If Fairfax took Norman’s advise and didn’t publish anything that could be seen as politically leaning then Green PR would be at least as verboten as Trans Tasman.