Has Bryce Edwards manufactured news?

No, he has prompted some blog opinion and then summarised it.

Whale Oil is acting upset about Bryce Edwards asking for bloggers to write on a specific topic. Edwards tweeted on Thursday:

I’m writing a Political Roundup for tmrw on ‘National’s overconfidence problem’. Any bloggers wanna address this issue, so I can link?

That’s a bit unusual, Edwards usually does round-ups of news and opinion that’s already published.But more widely it’s common for journalists to seek opinions that go with a story they are doing, it’s a core function of journalism.

The resulting column went online at NZ Herald – Bryce Edwards: National’s overconfidence problem  -and NBR yesterday.

Whale Oil blogged Herald and Bryce Edwards manufacturing news again today:

So there wasn’t any copy for him to use on his chosen topic so he went out and begged for it…to create the impression that there was over confidence and arrogance amongst National. He had nothing..and so begged for copy. And so his dutiful obedient left wing followers all piled in to help him with his column.

And concludes:

Bryce Edwards might be ab academic, but with his columns for the Herald in election year he is increasingly partisan, and in this case he has manufactureed his content and aided conveniently by a compliant and obedient left wing of the blogosphere.

So how bad was Edwards’ column? His opening paragraph:

Voters like politicians to be confident – and the National Government is certainly obliging at the moment with supreme self-assurance. In politics, however, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and any successful government risks tipping into overconfidence, with its associated pitfalls. It could be argued that signs of arrogance are emerging at the moment for National.

It can always be argued that a Government is showing signs of arrogance and overconfidence, right through their term. They are natural occurrences in a bubble of power. They are a potential danger in an election year so it’s reasonable to examine them.

Cameron Slater has long campaigned against standards at NZ Herald and this is a continuation, plus he makes the point…

I’m not upset, merely drawing attention to the double standards of people like Bryce Edwards who accuse me of manufacturing issues or stories and then go and do it themselves aided and abetted by useful idiots who can’t see when they are being manipulated.

Everyone commenting on politics constructs/manufactures their articles and posts. There’s just different ways of doing it. As Whale Oil well knows, he’s at the forefront of constructing political narratives.

See previous post: Overconfidence versus undercompetence

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