Savage Insult

An insult to Mickey Joseph Savage:


I see grating clashes in that image, one of which is linking “the architect of the welfare state” with a symbol of crass consumerism. Demeaning and insulting.

Response to ‘felix’, on torture

Fairly predictably I was mobbed attacked after posting at The Standard yesterday. One of the more devious and bitter regulars,felix, posted a comment that I seem to be unable to respond to, my attempts to reply disappear (normally you’re notified if “In moderation”).

So in the meantime this is my response to felix’s “quick factcheck on what Pete posts elsewhere” trivialisation of torture.

felix’s “quick factcheck” is misrepresentation. Take:

“One is a repost of a video from Fox News about CIA torture, no obvious stance is taken by Pete except to say that the interview is “illuminating” and “sobering”.”

Highlighting an interview on “CIA torture” should give a wee indication of my stance. I gave a brief summary of points including “very distressing”, “waterboarding didn’t work”, “told to do what was necessary”.

I added this quote:
The committee’s report showed that CIA and private medical professionals were centrally involved in the program, and that they “violated numerous international treaties, laws and ethical codes,” said the Physicians for Human Rights analysis.

Leading roles were played by two private psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who developed and administered the harsh techniques and formed a private company <strong>to which the CIA paid US$81 million (NZ$104m)</strong>
James Mitchell was the person who tried to defend his torture in the interview.

To which I said “Torturers are paid well in the US.” and “Remember Abu Ghraib?” with a picture of a bound prisoner being attacked by a dog.

felix chooses to trivialise torture by the US but I saw the interview as important enough to share so people could see a torturer making excuses for himself and the CIA, who Mitchell thinks should be trusted to do what is necessary and politicians should mind their own business.

I haven’t seen a post on this torture here. Make up your own mind what you think of the interview with a torturer trying to defend the CIA interrogation program he played a significant role in establishing and executing and along with his partner was paid  US$81 million for his efforts.

The title of the post should be an obvious indication of my stance – A US torturer interviewed.

But this is trivial to felix, it seems more important for him to use tortured facts, favouring ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ at The Standard.

Red logic versus an angry lack of logic

It’s easy to be angry.

Anthony Robins has posted Christmas at the extremes at The Standard:

Two New Zealands will shortly celebrate Christmas, the poor and the rich. Two recent articles really highlight the differences.

He misses out the mass in the middle, most of whom will be quite a bit poorer after their Christmas and holiday spend up, but that’s not the point of this post. He quotes from the second on tax avoidance:

Only half of NZ’s most wealthy paying top tax rate

Figures given to ONE News show many of those worth more than $50 million are only paying tax on around $70,000 dollars of annual income.

When the tax man comes knocking, most of us expect to pay our fair share. But some of us can avoid it. Even millionaire Gareth Morgan admits he’s not paying his. “Ah no, definitely not. But that’s the way the tax regime is,” he says.

Some comments addressed this. Sabine:

It is simple, I don’t want to ever hear this Gareth Morgan guy ever say anything about poor people, or social welfare recipients.

In fact, until the man pays his fair share, he should just go to his mansion and stay there.

I am sick and tired of these rich government depended f**wits to pretend that they made themselves and are still making themselves.

Yes. I am angry here.


Ah right. Here’s a couple who are using their wealth to advocate changing the very system you are so angry about – and you want to silence them.

Moments like this when I understand why the left is so fucked.


So when one Left person is angry, the whole “Left is so fucked”, but when one Right person says we have a rock star economy (in spite of the evidence otherwise), the economy proves the whole Left are wrong and can suck it?


Gareth Morgan has done far more than anyone else in the entire history of this country to argue and promote a much fairer, simpler and effective tax system.

But because he doesn’t comfortably come with a left/right wing label attached to him – he’s considered a fair target for the kind of silly spleen that sabine above has indulged in.

Politics is about building consensus, finding common ground and working towards achievable steps. You are not going to get it all your own way, and alienating people who might otherwise help get you some of what you want is immature and dumb tactics.

If you want to be taken seriously in politics you have to be seen as able to work with other people, with different ideas. So often the left gets trapped in an impotent ideological fervour which achieves nothing.

It’s easy to be angry – and get trapped in an impotent ideological fervour which achieves nothing

It’s much harder to achieve something positive in politics. At least Gareth Morgan tries things that might work.

Scoop about to collapse?

Martyn Bradbury sees Scoop as representing left wing media but claims they are about to collapse

Those voices representing the Left have been slowly killed off. The Herald was supposed to replace Matt McCarten as a columnist, they instead ended up simply appointing Rodney Hide to spout his right wing nonsense. When  a Left voice is included, it tends to be the same old tired right wing Labour voices they roll out.

With Scoop about to collapse next month,  The Standard, Public Address and Pundit are about to lose their largest revenue streams.

It would be a shame to see Scoop collapse. Is this just Bradbury hot air or is it accurate?

With the imminent launch of Slater’s new media weapon the Left are in total retreat along all fronts. The Standard is currently searching for a new direction as that voice of the Left, but their pathetic and limp criticism of Labour selling out on 24 hour surveillance shows that the leash around their neck from head office has tightened.

Bradbury and Prentice have fallen out and now diss each other (Prentice was a founding author at The Daily Blog).

The importance of a new media to counter this Right wing onslaught is more necessary than ever before.

It remains to be seen whether Freed will be a “Right wing onslaught”, with Slater heavily involved it’s hard to see them getting mainstream credibility, especially seeing how Whale Oil has been positioning itself as a carefully controlled mouthpiece with most content being Truth style magazine slush.

In terms of The Daily Blog, we are in talks over the summer to look at where we can build. Hope to have some news in the new year.

The Daily Blog was launched as a great left wing media machine. Like Whale Oil now Bradbury also ruthlessly controlled comment content and is also over the top and self aggrandising. After the election Bradbury was shell shocked due to his brash predictions proving to be crap, and his blog diminished even more.

If Scoop collapses left leaning online content will look mean and lean.

UPDATE: Once again The Standard seems to be down this morning, it’s becoming a common occurrence.  Not a good sign for a blog that is looking to expand and build it’s presence.

O’Sullivan versus Journalism, Media and Democracy research

A post at The Standard – NZ Media and blogs vs blogs – quotes from a report from The Journalism, Media and Democracy research centre at AUT University.

More evidence of unethical alliances

Researchers say there is increasing evidence of what it calls unethical alliances between bloggers, politicians, media and public relations companies. The Journalism, Media and Democracy research centre at AUT University says the boundaries between those groups are blurring. The report highlighted what researchers said were major revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, and said they cast a shadow over long-established media organisations.

It refers to blogger links with NZ Herald journalists.

Hager’s book has cast a shadow over long established media organisations. After the publication of Dirty Politics, Fran O’Sullivan, Jared Savage and David Fisher, journalists working for The New Zealand Herald, came clean about their earlier collaborations with Slater.

Jared Savage admitted that “information was shared, there was a bit of “horse trading”, we talked about developments as the story rolled along (Savage, 2014).

The paper’s investigative journalist David Fisher admitted in his opinion piece that “Cameron Slater was a contact of mine – Nicky Hager made this clear in Dirty Politics”; before he stopped “dealing with Slater”, he was “speaking to Slater as a contact and source” (Fisher, 2014).

The report quotes how Savage and Fisher ‘came clean” but doesn’t back up their claim about O’Sullivan.

Fran O’Sullivan has responded to this in a comment on the Standard thread:

This is ridiculous. I have never “come clean” about any so-called collaborations with Slater. The author of this academic study fails at 101 Research. If she bothered to check the author would have found I said it was risible to suggest Odgers influenced my writings.

This casts a shadow over the veracity of the research.

The report: JMAD NZ media ownership report 2014

Whale Oil and Kiwblog bad, all other blogs good?

Anthony Robins throws down the blogger gauntlet at The Standard on media and blogs.

I want to pick up on the last point in particular. Permeating this report, and the coverage of it (e.g. RNZ quoted above) is the assumption that all blogs are equal – a blog is a blog is a blog. This is a version of the Nats’ dirty politics spin that “everyone does it” and “Labour has attack blogs” and “The Standard is written by Labour staffers” and so on – these are all distractions, deflections, and lies lies lies.

So it is disappointing to see this report accepting (apart from one quick comment by Russell Brown) the assumption that all blogs are created equal, and that all are tarnished by dirty politics. Bollocks. It makes no more sense than saying that all TV is game shows, that all radio is talkback, or that all websites are porn. Blogs span a rich and interesting spectrum, and the only ones tarnished by dirty politics are the ones that were actively involved – Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, and the (deleted in shame) Asian Invasion.

So – media – how about a little bit more honesty in the coverage of bloggers and blogs eh? And with all due respect to the JMAD team, for your next report, why not get out and talk to some bloggers, find out a bit about what is really going on (and not going on), instead of repeating the media lines that you are supposed to be critiquing?

(As a last point for a lazy Saturday, quoted above “blogs have started to fill the gap in public interest journalism left by the commercially operated media corporates”. Discuss!)

Whale Oil and Kiwiblog bad, all other blogs good?

Prentice versus Campbell and The Nation continued

After posting a very grumpy Scott Campbell: Liar on The Nation at The Standard Lyn Prentice continued his attack on Scott Campbell on Twitter.

@lprent (first reacting to me):

The lying Scott is reticent. Still no attacks at site either. All Fiction?

You still are “factchecker”. Why don’t you look for attacks? Or too lazy?

I suggested working collaboratively with The Standard (and other blogs) on fact checking and in response they bitterly attacked me, and continue to attack me on it, so I might not be that inclined to fact check for them.

No evidence? Responsibility is on the side of the assertor. They attacked.

Sound like Slater. Gives others private address. Hysterical on own privacy.

Who’s hysterical? He should be careful accusing others of sounding like Slater.

But you frequently play the weeping victim yourself with no real cause

Who’s weeping?

@SCampbellMedia then joined in:

Been working. Said no names. I respect the 3 people. Also said Beehive posted..

If I’m wrong, who was Batman? FYI I’ve got no links to a party.

So the brave @lprent turned his attack to him.

What post were you attacked in. Or are you just a gutkess lying spinner?


Loads of references to gallery of which I was a member. Whos lying? Who was Batman


Bruce Wayne, wasn’t it?


Mike Williams was Batman

@lprent returns as grumpy as ever.

So point to some attacks. Basically you are full of bloody useless lies.


You claimed there were posts about you, and that’s how you knew.


There are none. Not about Scott, tv3, or radio live. Lies.

I get the impression that the gallery were being suckers

That I am unsure of. The authors were pissed about HFee

So no evidence? You go for diversion. You really are a complete arsehole.

One might think that last comment is a bit ironic.

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?

Anthony Robins has posted at The Standard Nothing to hide nothing to fear?

Yesterday in Parliament John Key declined to release his communications with Cameron Slater.

From this I guess we can conclude that Key has something to hide, otherwise what could he possibly have to fear?

I tried to comment:

Noithing to fear

So far this remains hidden. What do The Standard have to fear from me?

Another Standard author promoted the post on Twitter:

Nothing to hide nothing to fear?

I asked:

@GregPresland Would you release all your communications with @DavidCunliffeMP ? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear?

He hasn’t responded.

UPDATE: After some time (I had other things to do yesterday than wait around to see if anything would change) lprent released my comment and explained:

[lprent: I’m tired of zapping your trackbacks to your silly posts about this site. I’m not interested in exerting the effort to remove those trackbacks in htaccess. So I auto-spammed your URL.]

So I’m on ‘auto-spam’ watch.

There were about 5 trackbacks that I spammed yesterday that made me decide to auto-spam him last night on one post, there were a couple more today from this obsessed git. He did his comment after I left for work at 7 and before I had coffee and scanned comments at about 10ish.

So my comments might have to wait hours fore release or deletion.

The trackbacks and pingbacks are there for intelligent commentary on posts, the same as the comments section. This obsessed conservative clown, who has yet to write much that is intelligent about any posts on this site, shouldn’t clog up the links at the bottom of a post.

‘Obsessed’ and ‘clown’ are funny claims from lprent.

I am considering putting him out of his misery. Clearly being able to *read* the site is something that isn’t good for him. Perhaps I should expend some time and make it harder to view his obsession.

Not sure exactly what he means by that but it seems he has some sort of technical problem with my contributions.

They’re considering expanding to become a more wide ranging and influential media alternative, similar to Whale Oil.

If they’re emulating WO they won’t want pesky alternative opinions clogging their propaganda up.

Mike Smith does a dirty on David Farrar

You might wonder if Mike Smith is being paid by the Labour Party to attack David Farrar through The Standard.

Smith is ex general secretary of the Labour Party and has worked in the Labour leader’s office during the last term. Is he still a paid advisor?

He is a trustee of The Standard, and has posted there:

Blowing smoke

You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging – he posts on it frequently. His latest quotes Australian research which the Melbourne Age describes as pushed by the smoking lobby. The post also  links to and misrepresents the views of New Zealand researchers.

“He posts on it frequently” looks a bit of an exaggeration. Smiths search link shows that Farrar has posted ten times on ‘Plain Packaging’ over the past two years, but four of those posts were on food and drink, not tobacco.

I have no evidence suggesting Smith is paid to post this, or has been fed this information from the Labour leader’s office or somewhere in the party.

But Smith has made an unsubstantiated smear suggesting Farrar might have been paid to post by the smoking lobby. That looks like dirty politics to me.

I’ve read a few of Farrar’s plain packaging posts and they seemed like personal comment to me.

And Smith is taken to task by Psycho Milt on his claim that the post “misrepresents the views of New Zealand researchers”.

You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging…

Dunno about him, but they’re certainly not paying me, and my reading of this is that the study he points to is as useful as anyone else’s study on this subject, all funded as they are by lobby groups with agendas, and that the Uni of Otago blog post he links to does indeed categorise plain packaging as “uncertain but possible” in terms of its likely effect.

Big tobacco companies are easy to hate, but that doesn’t mean any bunch of wowsers with an anti-recreational-drug-use agenda is automatically the good guys if theyr’e opposing ‘big tobacco.’ This ‘smokefree by 2025′ bullshit is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, being doomed as it so obviously is to utter and abject failure – not that any of these wowsers ever accepts that any of their prescriptions for our betterment haven’t worked.

Just have a look at that Uni of Otago post – once plain packaging’s failed, they’re already cueing up measures designed to restrict supply of an addictive product, just as though it had worked for any other addictive drug in the history of the planet.

Smith’s co-trustee at The Standard has been deleting comments that don’t provide evidence for claims:


[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]

I don’t expect Prentice to demand a credible link from Smith though. Many attacks and smears are made on The Standard without credible links being demanded.

Whether paid or not Smith’s unsubstantiated smear attempt on Farrar looks like a dirty deed from the Labour camp.

Is The Standard following Whale Oil’s example?

Over the last few months Whale Oil has transformed from a relatively open forum to a tightly controlled and orchestrated self advertisement.

The Standard is proposing seems to be also considering a major makeover – see Guest post: What now for the Standard? and The Standard on Facebook:

A number of authors met during the weekend to discuss The Standard and what can be done to improve it. Changes and improvements should be rolled out within the next few weeks.

One of the simpler ones is a dedicated Facebook page to be used to broadcast new posts. The page is here. Feel free to like it.

And thanks to Ad for his guest post on the future of the Standard which generated a lot of very helpful discussion and feedback.

Part of that makeover is a shift to deleting unwelcome comments, despite this claim on Sunday when lprent posted:

Unlike Cameron Slater, who removes posts and even comments for politically or legally expedient reasons, we don’t remove comments or posts which have gone up on the site and passed initial moderation.

Which is kinda ironic considering this on the same thread:

[deleted as being diversonary]

[lprent: The claim was made by Scott Campbell that posts attacking journalists were written. They were not. You are trying diversion. Do not comment on my post again or I will ban you from the site. ]

And today on Key calls Slater’s bluff:


[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]



[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]

And on Supping with the Devil (more irony in the title):


[lprent: Why would we be interested in awards? We never apply for them. Anyway, permanent ban for being a dickhead troll. ]

Looks a lot like following Whale Oil’s example (apart from not being keen on awards, Slater is hoping to win another tonight).

It seems an odd approach to try and grow a blog by draconian pruning of it’s branches.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 282 other followers