Sock puppetry, shilling and lying

There were some prominent accusations of political sock puppetry yesterday.

Mickysavage at The Standard: The sock puppets, the media and the UBI

And now for the second “contribution”, this one from the sockpuppets at the Taxpayers Union.  I think a few lefties should sit down and design a similar sock puppet organization and see if it can attract similar media atteniton.  I suspect that North Korea is looking our way to see how it is done properly, such is the TU’s ability to get media coverage.

The level of hypocrisy here is really high….

Why the media even tolerate these clowns is beyond me.

NBR sparked a major spat on Twitter with a head to head interview of Matthew Hooton and Rob Salmond.

Head to head: Hooton & Salmond
on accusations of shilling and lying

After quibbling about what Andrew Little actually said about tgreats against Paul Bennett and implications about Matthew Hooton:

Hooton: …and then of course for some reason he brings highly paid PR operatives into it and when he’s asked what he means by that he says me…

Little didn’t bring Hooton into it, he didn’t rule Hooton out when asked about him.

Salmond: Again that’s not true, you’re just making it up again Matthew.

Hooton: No, he was asked, Rob, you need just to, I know you’re being paid for this interview by the Labour Party, but you need to take into account …

NBR: All right Rob, are you being paid?

Salmond: Of course I’m being paid, I’m you know so’s Matthew being paid…

Hooton: No, so I’m losing money from being here Rob because I don’t, I’m not a paid shill. You are a paid shill. You go on the media, and you are paid to run lines on blogs, and in the media, on behalf of the people who are paying you money. I’m not.

Salmond openly posts at Public Address, his last post was prior to and related to the Standard post: The Taxpayers’ Union rides again!

Salmond: Matthew you’re in the PR industry aren’t you, is this true? I’ve heard rumours you’re in the PR industry…

Hooton: Yeah that’s right.

It’s well known that Hooton runs a PR company: Exeltium “is is New Zealand’s most successful corporate and public affairs consultancy”.

Salmond: You’re in the PR industry, isn’t that exactly how the PR industry works? So that’s really you isn’t it?

Hooton: I also have a hobby called political commentary, and one of the things which I think the Labour party fails to understand, because you come from more of a command and control culture, is that some people just do have political views and wish to talk about politics and some people find that interesting. And they don’t have a financial in it. They don’t get paid by a political party the way you are. The only political party in recent times i think that’s paid me is the Mongolian Green Party, and I think I got a speaking fee from the Conservatives, whereas you are paid by Andrew Little’s Labour Party.

Salmond: Yes I am and I’ve never hidden that fact from anybody.

Hooton: But you’re accusing me, and Andrew Little does this regularly, and many of your friends on the left wing blog, accuse others of taking money. But the irony is it’s you that takes the money.

Salmond: Well I think you know, I’m not sure if you’ve got the Alanis Morrisette irony disease there, I don’t think there’s anything ironic about that…as you heard earlier in this interview what I’m accusing Matthew of isn’t of being paid by anybody, those words never crossed my lips…

Not those words but strongly implied at least in the above transcript.

Salmond: I’m accusing him of being an incompetent commentator, now he says he’s just a hobby commentator, and maybe that’s showing…

Now that’s ironic. Salmond was prominent in Labour’s embarrassing Chinese sounding surname debacle, and he continues to show that he’s out of his depth as a party paid political commentator.

This is only half way through the NBR interview, I’ll transcribe more when I get the time.

But after this, yesterday morning, Salmond and Hooton continued a slanging match on Twitter. See:

This included:

2004! Wow. Time to stop hyperventilating. Can someone take a paper bag? , you nearby?

Not a good look for Salmond, nor for Labour.

If Andrew Little wants to turn his leadership around he needs better PR advice and much better shilling.

Danyl reacted to this with a disclosure at Dim-Post:

Voluminous disclosure

Rob Salmond and Matthew Hooton had a discussion about commentators and ‘paid political operators’ and conflicts of interest, which seems like a good time to disclose that I’ve recently done a bit of paid contract work for the Green Party (research, writing). Also, and possibly more significantly, as of last week I’m a member of the Greens’ Campaign Committee, which is tasked with planning and implementing the party’s 2017 election campaign. So I will not be a totally disinterested commentator when analysing the upcoming campaign or politics in general.

I don’t really do any of the mainstream media political commentary that Hooton and Salmond do. And no one in the Greens asks me to write or say certain things on the blog. (They have, in the past, but the requests were so lame I did not comply.) I find that my bias is mostly one of omission. I get confused about what I know that is and isn’t confidential, so I basically mostly say nothing about the Greens so I don’t get in trouble. If the party somehow becomes so newsworthy that I have to write about them, and I have to check what I’m writing with the staff or leaders I’ll make sure I disclose that. Otherwise they’ve got nothing to do with any of my pontificating.

He has disclosed connections to the Greens and in particular to James Shaw before but this takes his party association to another level.

This means that most of New Zealand’s biggest political blogs have party connections:

  • Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) has National Party links and is paid by some MPs and national and local body candidates to promote their interests and attack opponents.
  • David Farrar (Kiwiblog) has long had close connections to National and is John Key’s pollster.
  • Public Address – Russell Brown is closely aligned with Labour and Rob Salmond is paid by Labour.
  • The Daily Blog – Martyn Bradbury has been paid by the Mana Party and implied he was paid by Dotcom’s Internet party.
  • The Standard has had and still has authors with close connections to the Labour Party and to a lesser extent to the Greens.
  • Danyl/The Dim-Post is now on the Green’s campaign committee

Matthew Hooton floats around commenting wherever he can on radio, on TV, in print media and he pops up on various online forums – he often pops up at The Standard and elsewhere. He denies any party funding for his activities, so (not disclosed in the NBR interview) he was a keynote speaker at the recent ACT annual conference.

Most people with the commitment to comment online have (or have had in Hooton’s case) party involvement.

Disclosure: I have never received any money for any content here at Your NZ, and everything posted under my name has been written by me unless shown as a quote. I have no involvement or connection with any political party or politician, nor with any media organisation. Your NZ is financially and politically independent.

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49 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  1st April 2016

    Salmond is a fool to shoot himself in the foot like this. Only his loony Left idiot constituency will believe Hooten is paid by the Nats having spent most of 2015 slagging off Key and McCully.

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  1st April 2016

    I see that over at TS a post by that prolific blogger ‘notices and features’ is claiming TS authors are paid by the Labour Party. They are most likely going to try and pass it off as an April Fools Day post – you know not really real, but as we all know, a truly good AFD prank should have a kernel of believability, which makes me think that this is really true – well except for the amount they are paid, we all know the Labour Party are pretty much broke, so it must be at least half of what they claim. I believe that this is a case of TS hiding the truth with an obvious lie.

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  1st April 2016

      TS is an April Fools Joke.

      Hand’s up anyone who seriously believes TS is not invested with lefty Party hacks and union stooges, all paid in their association somehow. Anyone?

      Prentice claims that they are as pure as the driven snow, which just adds to the funny.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  1st April 2016

        *infested

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  1st April 2016

          John Key cheerleader squad

          In no particular order;

          Cameron Slater
          Mathew Hooton
          David Farrar
          Mike Hoskings
          Paul Henery
          Mark Weldon

          “Give me control of the nations media, and I care not who makes it’s laws.”
          – Oliver

          Reply
  3. Steveremmington

     /  1st April 2016

    After listening to the audio, I now understand why Labour are so off message and tanking in the polls.

    Salmond is so out of his depth he is an embarrassment.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  1st April 2016

      John Drinnan ‏@Zagzigger2 · Mar 30

      @Nof_Grant @MatthewHootonNZ @rsalmond Just listened to NBR Radio. – worry about Hooton drift to nasty – but Salmond is out of his depth,

      Reply
      • SteveRemmington

         /  1st April 2016

        I’m not sure if I should take it as a compliment to be echoed by Drinnan 🙂

        Reply
  4. Kevin

     /  1st April 2016

    I personally couldn’t care less if a blogger gets paid so long as they expressing an honest opinion. It’s not like talk-show radio host don’t get paid to say what their favourite tea is so why should the blogosphere be any different?

    As for Hooten I have no idea why he even bothers posting on The Standard.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  1st April 2016

      I don’t think he does. I think Hooton does though.

      Reply
    • Robby

       /  2nd April 2016

      @Kevin Personally, I don’t care either. The great thing about this country, is that you can still express your opinion freely, and anyone who exercises this right has my respect, whether I agree with them or not.
      Let’s take Hone Harawira as an example.
      Not a big fan of him myself, but I admire him for being passionate about his beliefs, and honest, because he says what he thinks, and doesn’t apologise. Calling the Maori Party ‘house niggas’ , IMHO was his finest moment, not because Hone knew he was right, but because they did…..
      So what about Winston then?
      I’m a BIG fan of Winston 🙂 I admire him for the same reasons I admire Hone. He has the D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F factor. If I am as handsome and well spoken as he is when I’m that old, I’ll be doing well..I’ll also have a ‘Gold Card’, thanks to him…
      In spite of the qualities of both the men above, they both appear to be pretty shit at the whole social media thing.
      What National should be really afraid of Kevin, is NZF launching a campaign based on them NOT being part of a coalition. What if ‘T.I.N.A’, turned into ‘T.I.A.A’ ????

      Reply
  5. Pantsdownbrown

     /  1st April 2016

    Hooton is great mates with Laila Harre & Matt McCarten – hardly your typical far-right wing mouthpiece then…….

    Reply
    • Dougal

       /  1st April 2016

      Sometimes you have to dance with the devil if you want to be invited to more dance party’s.
      🙂

      Reply
  6. Pantsdownbrown

     /  1st April 2016

    I take it back, Hooton isn’t that bad after all………

    Matthew Hooton ‏@MatthewHootonNZ · Mar 30

    @hamishpricenz @Zagzigger2 @rsalmond I have very strong views about Kelsey. I think she dishonestly promotes an evil ideology. Is that ok?

    Reply
  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  1st April 2016

    I don’t believe that the fool who said that about shooting Paula Bennett had any intention of doing it, but it was a very nasty thing to do. Serve them damned well right if they’re caught and charged. They said it, they can’t squawk that they didn’t mean it. Maybe if someone like that was given a hefty fine or sentence it would discourage other such toerags.

    Reply
    • Oliver

       /  1st April 2016

      He was just saying what everyone else was thinking. She only has her self to blame.

      [I’ve now had the time to have a good look at this. It’s two very poor statements.

      I think that most people would condemn what was said originally, and by Oliver here, as has been done via down ticks and responses.

      As such I think it has been dealt with adequately by the community here. I don’t see a need to delete the comment because it’s healthy to see what some people (I believe a small minority) think of things, or might say to be deliberately provocative.

      Oliver pushes boundaries at times and knows that he is on notice not to overstep. This comment could justifiably be seen as an overstep but I think it is useful to leave it up. PG]

      Reply
      • Art Croft

         /  1st April 2016

        Are you thinking of paying Paula a visit?

        Reply
        • Oliver

           /  1st April 2016

          It’s quite normal to have thoughts like that. However I wouldn’t condone acting on those fantasies.

          Reply
          • artcroft

             /  1st April 2016

            I doubt your fantasies are normal Oliver. Why don’t you explain them below and include your real name and address. Then the doctors can decide.

            Reply
          • Missy

             /  2nd April 2016

            Oliver, it isn’t normal to have thoughts or fantasies about sexual violence, violence, or killing someone – you are a pretty disturbed individual if you think that is normal. I would recommend you get some form of counselling for your disturbing fantasies, it isn’t healthy at all.

            Reply
      • Dougal

         /  1st April 2016

        FFS

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  1st April 2016

          Oliver, it’s not what everyone thinks; I don’t think like this, and from the sound of it, nor does anyone else here. The law also takes a dim view of people expressing the wish to murder other people. You seem to be in a minority of one here. Does she, in your opinion, deserve it because she has spoken out about the obscene Wicked Campers vans ?

          Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  1st April 2016

        Maybe everyone in your head.

        Hardly a day goes buy without you plumbing new depths of depravity and deception.

        Reply
        • Dougal

           /  1st April 2016

          With statements like the above I’m sure the police would be interested. I’m happy to submit the screenshots for evidence. @PG, how long must we put up with this sort of behaviour?

          Reply
      • Dougal

         /  1st April 2016

        *MOD*

        Reply
      • Robby

         /  1st April 2016

        @Olly Everyone??? Settle down sunshine, you don’t speak on my behalf. Did you forget to take your meds again???

        Reply
      • What do you have to do to be banned from this blog Pete. I consider the last two months of Oliver’s comments to be evidence of a deliberate attempt to change theculture and essence of this blog. I have tried to oint out that there is a difference betwen having an opinion and what seems to be a deliberate anti-Government policy being pursued by Oliver. I am not persuaded by his attempts to be seen as a measured critic. If you need evidence, just review Oliver’s comments in the last six months and the change in the nature of your contributors. I am not one to claim a methodical attack against the Government based on the evidence of his comments. Your blog, Peter is rapidly being overtaken by deliberate plans to take control of the balance of comments as a prelude to the forthcoming election. I joined this blog to be able toexpress my views and because I felt it was balanced. I have chanaged my view, and appeal for a return to balance and evidential expression of opinion.

        Reply
        • Oh, for an edit option!

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  2nd April 2016

            I don’t mind Oliver normally & being anti-govt is no crime, I just take him for what he is HOWEVER that statement above (now deleted) oversteps the mark and suggests some really unhinged thought patterns.

            Reply
      • Missy

         /  2nd April 2016

        Victim Blaming Oliver – that is what the lowest form of scum do to justify there actions. NO not everyone else is thinking it, and no she does not have herself to blame – the person to blame for the vile threats is the person who made them, and anyone who condones them is as vile, disgusting, and disturbed as he seems to be.

        Reply
    • Missy

       /  2nd April 2016

      I would not make any assumption about someone who posts death threats, or threats of violence, online, we don’t know if they will carry through or not, and those that say a person wouldn’t commit the act if they post it online are quite naive. The shopkeeper in Glasgow that was murdered in Glasgow had received online death threats, he didn’t believe the people making the threats would carry through, so it was never reported, and therefore the police were unable to do anything. Any threats of online violence SHOULD be treated as if they were threats given in person, and acted on accordingly. It shouldn’t be a case of them being charged to ‘teach them a lesson’ so others can say ‘serves you right’, they should be charged because they have threatened violence.

      Reply
  8. Steveremmington

     /  1st April 2016

    Just read Oliver’s comment re Paula Bennett.

    If this is deemed acceptable from a commentator then this isn’t the place for me.

    Cya.

    Reply
    • Dougal

       /  1st April 2016

      Is a pretty poor show

      Reply
    • Dougal

       /  1st April 2016

      Where is the condemnation PG? Allowing this sort of thing reflects very badly on this blog. I for one have had enough of this persons inflammatory BS. Am with SR on this one sorry.

      Reply
      • Me 3. I don’t see it as PGs fault though he can forcefully fix the issue.

        It’s hard to have any enthusiasm for sharing a space with a holocaust denier, victim blamer and someone who thinks it is normal to harbour thoughts of harming politicians all the time. I have beef with politicians and I aspire to beat them at their game…. Not beat them up. I won’t leave off commenting here just because he stays though!

        There’s always one.

        Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  2nd April 2016

          I have beef with politicians and I aspire to beat them at their own game…

          Aspiring to reality would be a good first step.

          Reply
      • Robby

         /  1st April 2016

        We practise ‘community moderation’ here Dougal. take note of the thumbs, and the comments in response to the ‘village idiot’. Pete will deal with Oliver when he is good and ready.

        Reply
        • Pete, I have to ask for a response please. This is your blog, you are the moderator,and have the authority to call the shot. I have told you several times what I think of the comments from Oliver, and really believe he has lost the pot and should be sent to Coventry?

          Reply
  9. Well Traveller, the following piece of recent research may help understand the differences between Oliver and others.
    LINCOLN, Neb. — Conservatives and liberals know there is a chasm between their policy and social ideals. But a new study shows that their differences may be psychologically fundamental.

    The research, led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Mark Mills, revealed that negativity bias, where greater weight in our cognitive processes is given to negative information over positive or neutral information, is stronger in political conservatives and that the negativity bias transfers to how well they remember stimuli.

    In other words, conservatives in the study were more likely to remember things that evoked negative emotions, images of war, snakes, dead animals, than their more liberal counterparts.

    First, study organizers placed participants on a political scale based on their degree of approval or disapproval on 20 hot-button political issues. They were then asked to study 120 negative, positive and neutral pictures in preparation for a memory test.

    Afterward, participants viewed 240 pictures, an even split of new and previously seen images, and were asked to identify the pictures they had already seen.

    Scientists hypothesized that they would see some difference in memory of positive and negative imagery between conservatives and liberals, but were surprised at the pronounced difference.

    The most conservative participants remembered about 91 percent of negative images compared with 80 percent of positive ones. The most liberal participants, in contrast, remembered about 84 percent of negative images compared with 86 percent of positive ones.

    “There are lots of reasons why people differ in how they process emotion,” said Mills, a graduate student of psychology in UNL’s Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior. “One part of the study was trying to account for how much of that variance is explained by political ideology. That had been unknown up until this point.”

    Forty-five percent of variance between subjects was accounted for by political ideology, he said.

    “It quantifies the size of the correlation between negativity bias and political ideology,” Mills said. “Out of all the possible reasons in the entire world for why individuals would differ in how well they remember positive and negative images, political ideology alone can account for about half of these reasons.”

    Despite its name, however, negativity bias isn’t a bad thing. And everyone has it, the researchers said.

    “If you ignore a positive stimulus in your environment, you might miss lunch,” co-author Kevin Smith, a UNL professor of political science, said. “If you ignore a negative stimulus in your environment, you might be lunch, so there is good reason for why we have a negativity bias.”

    The study was published this month in the journal Behavioural Brain Research. It was co-authored by political science graduate students Frank Gonzalez, Karl Giuseffi and Benjamin Sievert; professor of political science John Hibbing; and associate professor of psychology Mike Dodd.

    Smith said the latest study is another step in a line of research at UNL that examines the most basic psychological and physiological underpinnings of the differences between liberals and conservatives.

    Smith and Hibbing have broken ground with this research, which has spawned numerous papers and their 2013 book, “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives and the Biology of Political Differences.”

    “When conservatives get a negative stimulus and you track their physiology and their neurology, you tend to see reactions that are capable of distinguishing between liberals and conservatives,” Smith said. “One area that we really haven’t investigated is the cognition of the negativity bias. There hadn’t been a lot done on memory.

    “(The new study) explains even on an intuitive level why liberals and conservatives are different. There are distinct psychological differences between them.”
    By University of Nebraska – Lincoln | Posted: Thu 10:50 AM, Mar 31, 2016 | Updated: Thu 1:16 PM, Mar 31, 2016.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  3rd April 2016

      My first reaction is to question the definition and identification of liberal and conservative. The second is to question the statistical strength and significance of the relatively small difference claimed. The third is to question the implied cause and effect direction.

      The research is paywalled. The PR release gives no indication of the size of the study or the controls applied to the selection of participants – or much else.

      I would treat it as completely meaningless absent this further information.

      Reply

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