The Left’s handling of Key’s hair pulling

Labour and the Greens have had a bit to say about John Key’s hair pulling but this is a look at how left wing blogs have handled the hair story.

It began with EXCLUSIVE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress at The Daily Blog, and was introduced:

This is a guest blog from an anonymous waitress about the way John Key kept touching her when he repeatedly visited her place of work.  The waitress contacted us with her story, The Daily Blog did not seek her out or pressure her in anyway to write this blog. We are protecting her identity so she is not punished by her employer or social media victim blaming.

The question to ask after reading her words is if this bullying behaviour is acceptable from the Prime Minister of NZ.

It was entirely predictable that protecting her identity and preventing social media victim blaming was never going to succeed. Was ‘anonymous waitress’ duped and used by The Daily Blog, or were they really that dumb that they thought they could protect her?

The post has a date stamp only – April 22, 2015. It shows Last Modified: April 22, 2015 @ 6:02 am. The first comment was posted at April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am.

Two days later, on Friday evening, Danyl posted The story behind the story at The Dim-Post:

The other interesting (to me) thing about ponytailgate, or whatever we’re supposed to call it, is how the story broke.

If you take it to a blogger then that check for a balancing comment doesn’t happen. Bloggers don’t play by the rules. But what they do – and I’m thinking of Cameron Slater here, as well as his homologues overseas – is insert themselves into the story. They write it up, in imitation of a mainstream media story and then accompany it with commentary and interviews on the MSM outlets they affect to despise, and attempt to frame the story and promote themselves. In Slater’s case that tends to dilute the story since the attack is so clearly partisan and motivated by malice.

Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

Except that this isn’t The story behind the story, it’s only the first chapter.

If Whale Oil had posted an exclusive and David Farrar had picked up on it (or vice versa) possibly Danyl and certainly many on the left would have been shouting ‘two track Dirty Politics!’.

At 9.49 am on Wednesday morning there was a post at The Standard – My Little Ponytail. It looks well researched and carefully written post (not a rush job) by Te Reo Putake. He may well have been able to put that together in three hours. But he probably wouldn’t excuse a time lag between posts on Whale Oil and Kiwiblog. The concluding paragraph:

I simply don’t know if it’s accurate, but I do think we should be told Key’s side of the story. Or be presented with his head on a platter if it’s true.

So ” if it’s accurate” TRP wanted Key’s political head on a platter. And comments that followed feasted on a similar diet of downfall.

The Standard has been busy since then. Related posts so far:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

Dirty politics was a common accusation – directed at the ‘attack as defence’ from Key defenders. The left forbid calling it dirty politics when they do similar.

And Danyl is wrong when he claims “Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account ” and “And Bomber kept himself out of it all.”

That may apply to the initial post but on a blog you can’t look at one post in isolation.

Bradbury posted a follow-up statement from the waitress: UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics? While he introduced it with this…

I think the young woman at the centre of the Prime Minister’s bewilderingly abusive and arrogant privilege is a hero. She has shown courage and fortitude that is pretty rare. To tell the Prime Minister to his face to stop touching her took enormous strength when you consider the power dynamics.

I did not believe her bravery should be denigrated by a mainstream media who look to get a victim blaming ratings kick. That was why I said I wouldn’t confirm her identity to any of the media who contacted me.

She thanked me for this but accepted that her name might be made public. This understood,  she was determined to direct that voice and allow it to be her narrative and her story told on her terms.

Out of her genuine concern for the reputation and economic ramifications her possible outing might have on her employers, she met with them Wednesday afternoon and was left in a position she had not agreed to.

She also challenges some of the comments the Prime Minister has made.

These are her words. She raises hard questions about the NZ Herald.

…the use of Dirty Politics in the headline and two photos, including this one…


Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

…make it fairly clear that Bradbury is far from keeping himself out of it. As far as I have seen Farrar has had nothing to do with this issue, he has commented a little (two posts) but has kept out of it far more than Bradbury.

I’ve seen no evidence Farrar had anything to do with Glucina’s hit job on the waitress in The Herald. Linking them like this is disingenuous. Some would call it dirty.

The Daily Blog currently features that same photo in it’s headline post. Dirty.

The Daily Blog (that Bradbury is a very prominent part of) has also been busy with other posts that aren’t ‘keeping out of it’:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

26 April:

Danyl himself has also been busier than usual, beginning with this:

I’ve already printed this out and posted it above my desk


I wonder what else he has posted above his desk. It’s easy to see what else he’s posted at Dim-Post:

Left wing blogs have been very busy on this story. The haven’t simply let the waitresss story speak for itself. They have promoted and exaggerated the hell out of it.  They have made all sorts of claims, assumptions, accusations and demands.

Like Psycho Milt encapsulated::

Which left-wing prime minister has been bullying service staff and then getting their friends in the media to do a hatchet job when the person complains?

That’s blogging.

I’ve posted a few times on this myself. But I don’t claim one side does Dirty Politics while trying to pretend the other side is squeaky clean.

There has been a concerted effort from the left to bag Key and damage him as much as possible. Some of them think that at last they have found the straw they can break the back of his Prime Minister-ship with.

As I’ve shown in Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power Key accepts that what he did was “very very silly”.

But left wing blogs – authors and particularly commenters – have been overplaying their hand, as blogs often do.

They saw blood and scratched for all they were worth.

It could all be completely uncoordinated spontaneous series of attacks. And every attack and perceived from the right could be orchestrated by John Key and his minions.

But both sides will be somewhere in between those extremes, despite their screams.

And amongst that there’s a bit of Dirty Politics Derangement Syndrome

Leave a comment


  1. Labour have generally under-played it which I think has worked well for them.

    • Yes, I think Labour have played it smart and kept a low profile on it, on the surface at least. To their credit.

      But note that nearly all the posts at The Standard have been by people with close Labour associations.

      • Shagger

         /  27th April 2015

        Most of what is written and commented on at The Standard is just crap and dribble. Lynn Prentice would have to be one of the worst spiteful wankers I’ve ever come across. He should be embarrassed of his behavior

  2. pdm

     /  26th April 2015

    Labour politicians themselves probably cannot afford to get too involved in this saga – skeletons in cupboards and those sorts of things along the lines of – there but for the grace of god go me.

  3. Warren Garlick

     /  26th April 2015

    Looks like we need a booklet on what is acceptable. A pull or tweak of the pony tail, an air kiss, a pat on the shoulder or arm when congratulating someone (male or female) on a great performance or something well done etc etc bearing in mind that the person on the receiving end may have a diferent outlook. A tap on the shoulder to draw their attention all of which could be described as sexual harrasment. We ned to know what is acceptable from both sexes.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  26th April 2015

      No we don’t. We only need to know what constitutes illegal assault or harassment. Mere giving or taking offence is a matter of personal preference only.

  4. Are they by any chance related?

     /  26th April 2015

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that looks like a ‘father and daughter’ photo?

    • Nah. She’s aged about 40 (the Herald reported her 38 in 2012. Farrar was born on 11 September 1967 which makes him 47.

      • Are they by any chance related?

         /  26th April 2015

        Ah ha, well certainly brother and sister then.

  5. kittycatkin

     /  26th April 2015

    I am sure that we have all encountered touchy-feely women who do things like hand-squeezing and arm-stroking, I don’t like this at all, and I bet that there are plenty of men who don’t. But they don’t run away squawking about sexual harassment. I once worked with a woman who was very flirty and bestowed her unwanted attentions on the men in the building in a way that would have had her sacked had she been a man doing it to women.

    Anyone with any sense should be able to tell if something’s intended to be sexual or not. Dirty old men can make anything seem icky. I remember in Europe that my husband’s friend S made me feel really uncomfortable, though he never did anything that I could have said was out of order-it was the way he did it.

    I would hate to see a legal code of conduct in which any physical conduct was verboten. I sincerely hope that Warren Garlick was joking. Who would be so touchy or conceited that they thought that a tap on the shoulder was sexual harassment ?

  6. Concerned Kiwi

     /  27th April 2015

    What crap: Labour drove this muck, it has filthy McCarten, the tax dodger written all over it . . . wake up apologists.

  7. Pete… when this first broke it was obvious that there was a lot of polishing and positioning of the initial post on TDB making it a blatant political attack job from the off .. it had the standard phraseology used in attacking Key [Smiling Assassin] , the hyperbole used trying to paint Key as the devil himself and NZ as being in a deep, deep hole.

    Saying all that Key was dumb as a sack of hammers for his actions…..

  1. The Standard responds | Your NZ

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