EXCLUSIVE: media/party collusion

This post isn’t an exclusive nor a scoop, it’s an observation of public behaviour that shines a light on how politicians and media promote ‘exclusive’ stories and collude to promote their own interests.

We have far from an open even playing field in new Zealand politics, with media often complicit in the game playing and choosing what they will promote as news based on what will benefit themselves rather than working for the public good.

An interesting exchange on Twitter yesterday emerged from the promotion of a Green story about trusts, John Key and his (ex) lawyer.

Some background here: The PM/lawyer/trust story

A Frances Cook opinion at Newstalk ZB (also NZ Herald) – PM’s trust issues not a good look – mostly covered the awkward look for John Key that the Green sourced story had stoked. But she concluded:

But problems with trust go across the political spectrum. It was the Green Party which uncovered the story, after some excellent investigation. Less good is that they then spoke to several media outlets, leaving at least three with the impression that they had an exclusive story.

It’s not the end of the world, and it’s still the Prime Minister who will face the most questions over this. But the Green Party might find media wary of them the next time they uncover dirt on their opponents.

Cook also tweeted:

@FrancesCook
When about five different news outlets are fed an “exclusive”, you gotta wonder about bridges being burned. #KindaExclusive

Details on John Key’s links to foreign trust lobbying – the ‘exclusive’ the Greens tried to shop to everyone.

Rachel Stewart@RFStew 

If you promise a scoop to 1 journo don’t piss ’em off by going to 3 others. Environmentalists are particularly bad at pre-media ejaculation.

I refer here to @FrancesCook‘s ‘take down’ of the Greens comms people at the end of this article.

Put simply, it’s bad manners.

A number of Green supporters expressed dismay at this criticism., including co-leader Metiria Turei who tweeted:

Metiria Turei@metiria

Frances is wrong. Only one had the exclusive. Hei aha, the story is whats important

Cook responded:

@FrancesCook
Are we doing this? Ok, I guess we’re doing this.

Newshub promised an exclusive first. Then Herald. Then confusion reigns as both Herald and Newshub try to protect exclusive. @metiria

Then RNZ and TVNZ given story, but asked to respect “embargo”, so their competition can have the glory.

I’m not mad, I don’t really care, but it’s certainly noteworthy and will inform interactions in future. Hopefully everyone learns

Rob Hosking@robhosking
@FrancesCook @metiria hmm. Some things I said about embagos on @MediawatchNZ just got more relevant.

Metiria Turei@metiria
@FrancesCook call me if you want to talk through why you think this.

@FrancesCook
@
metiria had a lengthy chat with Andrew last night. Happy to talk to you on Monday when I’m back at work.

And it was two lines at the end of a lengthy opinion piece. Want to focus on the bigger story? Focus on it. Like I did.

So things got a bit tetchy.

But Turei admits that one media outlet were given an ‘exclusive’ story by the Greens. It seems that some other media were also given the story but that was embargoed until the chosen outlet had got the glory of an exclusive, albeit delivered to them by a party with a motive of maximum bang.

That the Greens play political and media games like everyone else won’t be a surprise.

But this puts a spotlight on the reality that not all news is equal.

Some news is far more equal than others, especially if one outlet thinks they have exclusive rights to first publication.

News outlets are chosen by politicians and their media managers based on what might best achieve their aims, either of promoting good news about themselves or scoring a hit on opponents.

Openness and equal opportunity news is a low priority. Winning by any means is what drives both parties and media organisations.

Media have become the deciders of what will make the news, and what will be given prominence. And this is often based on what deals they can make with politicians and parties about exclusivity.

Some media even ignore newsworthy stories if they were out-scooped by competitors – or ignored in preference to other media.

So a lot of what the public is fed on politics is based on games, egos and self interest of both politicians and journalists.

The ‘fourth estate’, the media, has sometimes been portrayed as or claimed to be an independent watchdog that is essential in keeping politicians and those with power honest and accountable.

But as the power of the media grew the lines between the estates became blurred.

Now media are as likely to abuse their power as much as politicians, whether they are consciously trying to influence the outcome of political issues, including elections, or they are corrupted by their own egos and drive to be in the spotlight.

This is exacerbated by the move in media first towards celebrity coverage (it sells copies, online eyeballs and the all important advertising) and then towards making themselves the celebrities – with a degree of power that should be concerning.

If there are still genuine journalists out there (I’m sure some of them must be conflicted by the political media games now played, apparently like Frances Cook)  then I think this dangerous trend in the democracy playing field should be examined more and exposed.

What has become apparent is that the corruption of power is not confined to politicians. Journalists and media companies have become a willing part of the problem they were supposed to hold to account.

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50 Comments

  1. Pantsdownbrown

     /  30th April 2016

    The other issue was that the ‘story’ wasn’t much of a story anyway – more a spin-laden smear against a lawyer lobbying a govt minister as many other individuals/companies/unions/interest groups do, and have done since politics began.

    The fact the MSM fell over themselves to print such rubbish tells us much about the state of the news media in this country.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  30th April 2016

      what ‘spin’ did you detect,what ‘smear’….the train of events is crystal clear.Deny and divert….AGAIN!

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  30th April 2016

        No Blazer – the only thing crystal clear is that you are as delusional today as you were yesterday.

        If you really think a lawyer (even if he is Key’s lawyer) alone has the power to squash a proposed policy single-handedly after lobbying a govt minister (as many do on both sides of any policy debate) then I’m afraid you are living in la la land.

        Hard to join the dots in this case when there are none.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  30th April 2016

          is being wilfully blind a pre requisite for Nat fanboys.The dialogue is compelling …this stinks…NZ’s international reputation is being compromised for the benefit of the super rich thieves and charlatans,compliments of Key and his cronies.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  30th April 2016

            As always you are blinded by bitterness and envy Blazer – apart from a vague version of join the dots you have no smoking gun. Arguing the toss with you is pointless though as the actual truth is not of importance to you – any excuse will do to rehash the tired old mantra of ‘anti-Key’, anti-business’, ‘anti-rich people’ rhetoric.

            The fact the minister originally suggested a change in trust policy and put it up for consideration shows his intent – otherwise why bother? I’m sure that many people supporting a change in trust laws, including people with left-leanings, also got to push their case directly to the minister so why highlight one particular lobbyist just because he also acts as Key’s lawyer?

            Reply
  2. Brown

     /  30th April 2016

    Greens – the vegetables you hated as a child, the colour of snot and slime. I could go on but they are consistently incompetent and not worth the time of day.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  30th April 2016

      The greens are painted by the MSM as friendly (if somewhat naive) do-gooders when if you look back at their recent history it is a different story.

      Two examples of the MSM sweeping under the table dirty Green politics.

      *The book Dirty Politics – doesn’t take much to see the link the Greens have with this, Hager, Rawshark, visits to the Dotcom mansion and the like – nobody from the MSM bothered to lift a few rocks to get to the real story behind the hit.
      *The billboard defacements of the 2011 election – again very hard to believe top Green officials/leaders didn’t know about a co-ordinated nationwide attack on around 700 National party billboards, involving over 50 Greens party people, run from out of their own office by Russel Norman’s executive assistant Anne Heins. Nope – nothing to investigate here.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/campaign-trail/5972663/Greens-accused-of-selling-out-over-billboard-stoush

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  30th April 2016

        produce some hard evidence ,instead of trying a diversion from the real issue.FFS Dirty Politics was about the black ops of a party with no ethics and few morals.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  30th April 2016

          The hypocrisy is strong in you Blazer: “produce some hard evidence”. – we have been requesting the same from you every time you support any anti-govt conspiracy that comes along, and we are still waiting……….

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  30th April 2016

            this is not about the …Greens,address the issue.

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  30th April 2016

              Um………I think you’ll find this post by PG is about the Greens actually…………forgotten to take your pills this morning by any chance?

    • Blazer

       /  30th April 2016

      you should be ashamed to even post this nonsense and expect to be taken seriously,grow up…FGS!

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  30th April 2016

        Hate to dent your beloved Green Party image Blazer – the truth hurts sometimes you know.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  30th April 2016

          ‘shines a light on how politicians and media promote ‘exclusive’ stories and collude to promote their own interests.’….topic.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  30th April 2016

            Um…..no, that’s only a portion of the topic – the heading for this thread is ‘EXCLUSIVE: media/party collusion’ – initially talking specifically about the Greens most recent ‘hit-job.

            PG: “That the Greens play political and media games like everyone else won’t be a surprise”.

            Further expanding on that particular point is ‘in keeping’ with the topic.

            Reply
  3. Steveremmington

     /  30th April 2016

    “call me if you want to talk through why you think this”

    In other words Metiria sprays the shit around and then want to close down criticism by having a private chat out of the spotlight.

    She is such a duplicitous mole.

    Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  30th April 2016

    ‘“I am writing to you on behalf of a group of industry professionals operating in the New Zealand foreign trust industry. We are concerned that there appears to be a sudden change of view by the IRD in respect of their previous support for the industry. I have spoken to the Prime Minister about this and he advised that the Government has no plans to change the status of the foreign trust regime.

    “The PM asked me to contact you to arrange a meeting at your convenience with a small group of industry leaders who are keen to engage to explain how the regime works and the benefits to NZ of an industry which has been painstakingly built up over the last 25 years or so.

    “I would be most grateful if you could advise what dates and times you may have for a meeting with perhaps 3 or 4 of us to put the industry’s case and clear up any misconceptions which may be changing the current change of view at IRD.”…this from the man who was Keys lawyer.The IRD were going to review this regime,but …..I love this bit…’. industry leaders who are keen to engage to explain how the regime works ‘….implies the IRD do not know…how it…’works’!It works to hide earnings of the very wealthy,thats how it works.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  30th April 2016

      “I am writing to you on behalf of a group of industry professionals operating in the New Zealand foreign trust industry”.

      Thanks for putting that up Blazer – it supports the view that this is a simple case of lobbying by an interested group – which is what lobbying is. It would be a poor review if the minister only considered the views of only one side of the debate.

      Now that’s sorted you can go on with your next unfounded conspiracy……

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  30th April 2016

        lobbying that resulted in a U turn.We know the P.M has trusts,blind and otherwise,we know the P.M’s lawyer is a specialist in tax avoidance,we know the P.M is a wealthy former forex gambler,we know the P.M is economical with the truth….gee what did we do to deserve a bloke like this!

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  30th April 2016

          Lobbying from people who know what they are talking about should be and often is successful as opposed to those who know nothing but their own political prejudices.

          You are right about one thing, though. You don’t deserve an intelligent and informed PM like Key. You deserve an ignorant and stupid Lefty PM like … take your pick; there are plenty to choose from.

          Reply
  5. alloytoo

     /  30th April 2016

    No one find it the least suspiscious that this “story” breaks the day after the Greens are taking heat over their abuse of travel expenses?

    Dirty politics, different when the Greens do it…..so obvious

    Reply
  6. Blazer, the Prime Minister has stated that he has only got a blind trust, setup when he became Prime Minister. I have never seen any information that would allow me to agree with your claim of “other trusts”, evidence please. Now take a step back everybody and think on this, there is not one speck of evidence that any New Zealander has done anything illegal by assisting other nationals to set up confidential trusts. It is what Tax Lawyers are employed for, to minimise the tax paid by their clients and for anyone to suggest that is illegal, then they better have the proof that an illegal act has occurred or they may find that the lawyer, and the client will pursue them for defamation and or libel. Oh and yes, I have studied the Panama Papers that have been made public doing data base searches for New Zealand connections and was not surprised to see one of the most prominent legal partnerships in NZ mentioned, but not in such a way that I would even suspect them of anything dodgy.

    Now, if there is any evidence that a New Zealand person or company is helping some foreigner to defeat a foreign country’s tax laws, then it is up to the country concerned to take what action is necessary to prevent that occurring such as seeking a double taxation agreement between NZ and the country concerned which gives reciprocal rights to both countries to pursue tax avoiders. Think about the Dotcom saga, and how much that has cost NZ taxpayers as he attempts to avoid extradition to the US. Think also about certain fugitives from China where the death penalty is still on the table. You can tut tut as much as you like about the the morality of tax avoidance which has been with us for centuries but do not condemn the person who arranges his or her affairs within the existing laws to minimise their tax burden, its called prudent arrangement of one’s affairs. The successful should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labours, and its not what you have, its how you use it that is important.
    Time some people grew up the glass is half full.

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th April 2016

    Greens without principles or integrity. How far the ideals have decayed into corrupt political manipulation. Dirty politics incarnate fostered and protected by a complicit media.

    It is a long time since the Greens said anything that wasn’t self-serving and didn’t smell like maggoty offal.

    Reply
  8. Corky

     /  30th April 2016

    “Metiria Turei ‏@metiria

    Frances is wrong. Only one had the exclusive. Hei aha, the story is whats important”

    Its bad enough trying to decipher Pickled Possum, Nelly Smickers and co’s broken English/Maori commentary let alone have a politician post in a similar way. I take solace in the fact Materia is a real Maori and kept it short.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  30th April 2016

      Just curious. How many languages do you speak or understand Corky?

      Reply
      • Just one Gezza, Right wing prejudenglish …? [new word # 54?]

        Take hundreds of your derogatory ‘Queen’s English’ comments Corky to make up for one of Possum’s down-home te kainga wisdom or Nelly’s superb humour … Sorry, other official or unofficial languages win out this time …

        Almost all of what we call ‘news’ today is nought more than ‘media release’ with political agenda firmly attached … What’s the big deal? Oh yeah, this one has a left-wing slant and you don’t like Metiria Turei …

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  1st May 2016

        Three: English, Maori and Spanish. Although I am not 100% fluent in the last two, I can hold a conversation with reasonable ease. I hope to tackle my fluency issues soon, in the best way possible, living with fluent speakers. In fact I start tomorrow.

        Lets hope this blogs versions of Rachel Dolezal stop disrespecting Te Reo and either start learning the language or leave it alone.

        Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  30th April 2016

      @Crikey

      Didn’t you know we have to speak broken English /Maori commentary cos our reo got stolen and we had to use the english to be heard to survive?????

      What’s a Real Pakeha Cruizy?? are they more understandable than a Real Maori.
      Man, you are so funni 😉 I think you surprise yourself sometimes. DH

      and did it ever occur to you that if you don’t understand it ….scroll on down to something more understandable to you!!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  30th April 2016

        Korero koe pono Possum. (True dat.)

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  1st May 2016

        Say after me: Pickles Picked Pickled Possums Pickles.

        That makes as much sense as your dreary posts. Hehe, just had a thought. What happened if some real Maoris speakers…… nah, not even I would wish that on you.

        Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  30th April 2016

      Goodness, not sure why Corky is singling me out with his little rant!! 😦

      I just showed my hubby what he wrote, and Wayne said, “Pie-or-tea-far”

      Reply
  9. Pete, the part you’re playing in the blogosphere can’t be underestimated. I’m glad you’ve highlighted this issue.

    Nothing to add apart from the observation that the public at large saw through the Green Activist Machine and their mate Hager and his hypocritically titled book Dirty Politics. The public at large rightly judged that the real practitioners of the political dark arts were the common thief (aka Rawshark), Mr Hager and those who sought to profit from the theft. The artless collation of thoroughly cherry- picked, stolen private conversations were hyped for weeks by a lazy, complicit with the activist left, media. The impact? Profound misjudgement of the public mood leading to an almost unprecedented and thumping political defeat of any and all parties associated with the seedy plot.

    The lazy and inept media deserve to be taken to the cleaners and revealed as the pawns they are. I thank the Greens for one thing and one thing only – giving us further opportunity to realise the media’s laziness and lack of desire or ability to investigate thoroughly. It has culminated in a public who are increasingly unable to trust their judgement or objectivity on anything.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  1st May 2016

      have you read Dirty Politics?

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  1st May 2016

        Dirty Politics – the book that helped National win an election…………..unlike you Blazer most people ain’t so gullible.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  1st May 2016

          nothing in it has been challenged in court,so its safe to assume its all factual,and an indictment on the lengths National will go to,to hold onto the Treasury benches,to do the bidding of a small % of society.

          Reply
      • Frank

         /  1st May 2016

        Yes. Apparently when Cam Slater feeds stories to pleading journos it’s Dirty Politics. When the Greens do it then it’s ok, a complete hypocritical scam by the Greens.

        Lobbyists lobby. How terrible. We put up with 9 years of Unions funding the Labour Party, advising the LP and choosing candidates for the LP.

        One lawyer has a meeting with a Minister and there’s more smears happening than at National Women’s hospital.

        Reply

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