The Standard responds

The Standard has responded to a recent post which included:

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.

And also:

It could all be completely uncoordinated spontaneous series of attacks. And every perceived attack 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.

Greg Presland has presumed from that that I suggested a conspiracy:

There has been some attempt to suggest that TS was part of a conspiracy, notably by Pete George ( He wants to be able to say that the left (coordination of hit jobs) does it too.

I wanted to say that there was a variety of possibilities. I think there’s a fairly good chance some on the left have discussed how to approach their coverage of the story, including people associated with parties. That doesn’t make it a conspiracy, just normal communication.

Greg says:

But I can honestly say that no such coordination happened here.

I accept his word as far as he’s concerned. He would have to have talked about things with other authors and Lynn Prentice to be sure there was no co-ordination amongst anyone. And that discussion wouldn’t include anything about what they were going to post?

Perhaps Greg didn’t communicate with anyone else but just knows what everyone did and didn’t do.

Te Reo Putake also had a say.

That Yawn NZ post is a giggle! I would have thought it was obvious from cautionary approach I took that I wasn’t ‘in the know’.

A cautionary approach could be for a number of reasons. David Farrar seemed to take a cautionary approach and that didn’t stop many claims and insinuations about him being involved in some way, like the very first comment that said:

DPF has commented in the most circumspect way possible.

And since he is practically the online mouthpiece of the ninth floor, I think we can take his commentary as proof that the story is genuine.

TRP closely monitored his post comments and will have seen and approved of this. Back to today:

Apart from occasionally commenting at the Daily Blog, I have never had any interaction with Bomber at all. Still, nice of Pete to commend my writing skills.

The simple fact is I read the TDB piece and decided it was worth a post, so I wrote one. I’d say it was about two hours work, including selecting quotes from Bomber’s piece, finding other links and writing the summary that formed the guts of the post. I simply did not know at the time of writing whether or not it was true, so I urged caution. Shortly after I put it up, we got the confirmation from the PM’s office that the assaults were real.

I have no reason to doubt that. That’s how blogging is often done.

Except in comments TRP promotes his own conspiracy theory.

Yep, it could be that he was wearing his MediaWorks TV Producer hat that day. But if you are correct, why does he rub the child’s hair with his thumb. It’s just … odd.

Next he ignored his own cautionary approach with this fairly dirty insinuation

Word ‘o’ the Day No. 94: trichophilia.

Hair fetishism manifests itself in a variety of behaviors. A fetishist may enjoy seeing or touching hair, pulling on or cutting the hair of another person. Besides enjoyment they may become sexually aroused from such activities. It may also be described as an obsession, as in the case of hair washing or dread of losing hair. Arousal by head hair may arise from seeing or touching very long or short hair, wet hair, a certain color of hair or a particular hairstyle. Others may find the attraction of literally “having sex with somebody’s hair” as a fantasy or fetish.

But clearly this does not apply to Key because “His actions were intended to be light-hearted.”. So nothing to see hair, er, here, move along.

And again:

I don’t think Key has actually apologised a second time. His spinner has used the past tense, so I think it’s a reference to the apology he made in the cafe with the wine. Key’s in London, on route to Gallipoli. So probably asleep, dreaming sweet dreams of running his hands through the luscious locks of flaxen haired young women. Or something.

More of a common TRP/Standard conspiracy:

Yep, you can bet C/T are desperately trawling the net to see if they can find a picture of Andrew Little in close proximity to a woman with a ponytail. See! Labour did it too!

But everything he does is totally independent of anyone who might be involved with a party or a blog. It really could be.

But that doesn’t stop him making things up in his comments – he has a long history of that.

As I said in my post you can’t just take one Bradbury post in isolation. Nor just one Standard post.

In particular in seeking the motives of someone it’s worth taking their carefully worded well written post as a part, alongside all their comments.

And follow up posts. Like A Friend first, and a Boss second, probably an Entertainer third.

“Key said his casual approach had both advantages and disadvantages.”

Disadvantages may include sexual harassment and general inappropriate touching of females. (ht Idlegus!)

“I have to take total responsibility for that. I shouldn’t have done the things I have done.”

Sweet. Then you’ll be resigning as soon as you get back? Nah, thought not.

“I think it’s the opposite to what some people might think that there’s a power imbalance”

Leave John Key alone! He’s the real victim here! Of course if it literally was the opposite, the young women being bullied would have had power over John Key, his wife, his entourage and his bodyguards. That doesn’t sound an entirely credible scenario to me.

TRP the author hasn’t learnt to separate his long commenting experience of manipulating statements interspersed with insinuations to build a dishonest scenario.

I believe he wouldn’t need to collaborate to do this. He’s had years of practice. And even though I’m now absent from The Standard he uses me to try and discredit people making points he wants to shut down. Like this earlier today:

Colonial Rawshark

The claim that a sexual allegation was made against Key was very severe, therefore the meaning of the words is doubly important in my mind, even though you might write it off as mere “semantics.”

Yeah, whatever. Are you Pete George in disguise?

Sexual allegations are ‘yeah whatever’ in Te Reo Putake’s repertoire.

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  1. gregpresland

     /  27th April 2015

    OK Pete what I wanted to suggest is that there was no coordinated response by the left about the Amanda Bailey story. None. Nada. Nil.

    TRP’s post was a quickly written but well balanced one. It was that cautious that it is obvious that he had no inside knowledge of what was happening. TS needed to acknowledge the story but initially we had no idea about its validity.

    I saw TRP’s post in the draft list of posts. But I did not discuss it with him. I think TRP did a really good job in drafting the post quickly at a time where the social media interaction was extreme.

    You said “I think there’s a fairly good chance some on the left have discussed how to approach their coverage of the story, including people associated with parties”. My response is there was no coordination whatsoever. I was (and I am sure TRP was) as surprised as everyone else when the story appeared.

    TS and TDB have had a strained relationship recently. I hope this improves so that we can discuss stories. But this is not happening currently.

    If you want to see an example of a coordinated MSM blog conspiracy to smear someone then this one ( shows a timeline of minutes, not hours during which a coordinated MSM attack occurred. If you can find a left wing equivalent let me know because I am convinced such a thing does not exist.

    • I’m aware of the strained relationship between TS and TDB.

      You seem to be focussing on just one post, the first one by TRP. There’s been several posts a day at The Standard on the issue since then. Are you saying there’s been no discussion about any of them between anyone at The Standard, between blogs or between people in parties? If not I’d question how you know this for sure.

      I don’t distrust you (I’m not so confident about TRP knowing his operational history), but I’m not sure you’ve considered the whole series of blog posts over the past week. It would be odd that there’s been no discussion at all. And I don’t see it as necessarily a bad thing if there was. It would be fairly normal.

      • gregpresland

         /  27th April 2015

        The rest of the posts were spontaneous. We do not sit down and coordinate and plot posts as part of some conspiracy. Well intentioned individuals post about aspects that they think are important and interesting.

        For instance my posts were motivated by the absolute mess the Herald made of its interview with the victim and by the appalling things that Mike Hosking said. And my latest post was an attempt to give some historical context to what happened. Basically I thought Bomber did really well, way better than Slater in his attempts to achieve similar things.

        There is a bit of a group think thing that happens with TS but there is no detailed discussion and no scheming. If we appear to be coordinated it is because we have the same world view and reflexively respond in the same way.

        • I thought Bomber handled it way better than Whale Often does too. With his first post. Then he started relapsing and promoting conspiracies.

          Do you think it’s possible that most of the time Whale Oil and Kiwiblog could also have similar world views and reflexively respond in the same way?

          Even when they don’t post on the same things there’s often claims at TS about one right wing co-ordinated group. As there has been over the past week.

        • Greg M

           /  27th April 2015

          Totally agree with your second para,until you got to the “bomber did really well” line. I don’t think that man has added anything constructive to the left at all, ever.
          I still read TS occasionally but have given up trying to comment due entirely to the reasons Pete details on this blog. It’s a shame, most of you I could sit around a bbq with and have an enjoyable yarn.
          Cheers, Greg.

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