The concept of left wing balance

Early last week Radio New Zealand teamed up with Nicky Hager to reveal not very much about New Zealand’s involvement in the Panama papers.

The Standard had a number of posts as a result, including:

Sprung! New Panama Papers dump confirm NZ is a tax haven

A new release of Panama papers absolutely confirms New Zealand is a tax haven says Nicky Hager. And ironically, it is because of New Zealand’s squeaky clean reputation that tens of thousands of foreigners have come flooding here.
Rather than actually dealing with the issue, John Key is using his old classics “nothing to see here” coupled with “Labour did it too”, “nicky hager is a conspiracy nut”, and “wait for the (Shewan) whitewash enquiry” defenses.

John Key chickens out of #panamapapers interview

The Radio New Zealand TV One Nicky Hager release of analysis of the Panama Papers is underway and the media response is fascinating.

First up John Key pulled out of his regular Radio New Zealand interview after learning what he was to be questioned about. He attended all other media invitations. One wonders why. Perhaps National needs the PR advice to try and work out how to respond.

Radio NZ working with Nicky Hager on a major story (ok, on a minor story in a major way) seems to be fine.

The second of those was by MickySavage. Yesterday he posted:

Matthew Hooton and the Radio New Zealand post

Radio New Zealand recently published a piece penned by well known supporter of the right Matthew Hooton.  What has happened to the concept of balance?

This tweet caused me some surprise when I first saw it.  I respect the quality of Radio New Zealand’s reporters and its commitment to the concept of quality journalism.  But I scratched my head when I saw this tweet because the conclusion seemed completely overblown and so un Radio New Zealand like.

What was really weird was that the post was written not by a staff member but by that well known commentator for the right Matthew Hooton.

I was astounded by this.  Isn’t Radio New Zealand meant to provide “innovative, comprehensive, and independent broadcasting services of a high standard”?  How could Hooton’s views be considered to be independent?

Hager is not an RNZ staff member. He is well known as a left leaning political activist.

Why are his views accepted as independent and balanced while it is ‘astounding’ that Hooton’s opinion is allowed on public radio airwaves?

Hooton’s article was ideologically driven and contained clear bias.  And it was completely lacking in detail or analysis.

Many people saw the RNZ/Hager coverage of the Panama papers in a similar light.

But getting back to Hooton’s column why did Radio New Zealand agree to it being published?  Did the arrangement to report on the issue with Nicky Hager upset the right that much that they demanded a patsy piece in the interests of “balance”?

So including a different opinion from Hooton is somehow a right wing conspiracy of public radio coercion, but collaborating with Hager is beyond reproach?

A rule from Presland farm:

Media balance is essential but some balance is more essential than those bloody righties being allowed to say something too.

It’s worth noting that Hooton was given a permanent ban from The Standard last week. Their sort of balance?

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60 Comments

  1. Mosa:

    NO LONGER RED RADIO
    The last impartial media source left in right wing NZ has gone BLUE starved of oxygen scince 2008 and right wing sympathisers placed on its board and management have slowly destroyed its independence.
    One party state is that bit closer.

    Hooton the dictator?

    Reply
  2. Iceberg

     /  16th May 2016

    “There, comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a single word- Hooten”

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  16th May 2016

    Do they actually really write those comments over there? Or do do they have some sort of automatic random anti-National comment generator where you just type a name into the comment field and it goes off, gets filtered into a sub-routine that generates something negative, and then posts the result?

    Reply
    • Try reading the whole thread of comments. It’s often not much different at The Daily Blog.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th May 2016

        Shit – at the moment there’s a 192 of them. Are you a sadist Pete?

        Reply
        • If you want a good insight then you have to do hard tasks.

          It’s not all one way, look for Bill’s comments. He is quite left wing so wasn’t attacked for having an alternative view. He is actually prepared to think things through and call them how he seems them, either way.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th May 2016

            I’m reading … I’m reading … I feel like I’m swimming in the Sea of Insanity but I am reading….

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th May 2016

            You mean like Bill’s: I’ll put this out there. If the Panama Papers wind up revealing a very clear threat to established power (I mean broader than just the current government), RNZ will drop its coverage like a hot potato.

            Well, out of all those comments so far, I’d give points to Ben, BM’s usual one-liners, Chuck, Incognito, Old Tony, Olwyn, Richard Rawshark, Stunned Mullet, & Tony for giving them some reality checks. Bill does make some good points as well I’ll concede.

            Can’t see Alwyn in there. He’s always a good read. Hope he hasn’t been banned for some real or imagined insult to The Hive or der führer.

            Couldn’t get through Swordfish’s comment at 3.23pm. Definitely TLDR, plus TMB !

            Banning Hooton was utterly stupid IMO.

            Reply
            • Kevin

               /  16th May 2016

              Hooton got banned because he pushed a personal button with lprent. Of course lprent has framed it as Hooton breaching policy (“false equivalence”) but the fact is it was personal and vindictive.

              http://thestandard.org.nz/the-plot-to-hack-the-standard/#comment-1171737

              “Matthew Hooton 18
              10 May 2016 at 6:53 pm
              I think it is important to remember that Slater did not in fact hack The Standard while Nicky Hager’s criminal friends did in fact hack him.

              [lprent: You pretentious fuckwit. The test in the law about victims is the amount of harm. It cost me more than a week of very hard work.

              Bloody Cameron even with his pathetic skill levels was up after a couple of days after his hack because he was able to pay someone (with his sleazy earned cash – which you appear to have facilitated) competent to do it and because it was obvious what had happened.

              It is a lot harder looking for something that may have happened.

              Banned permanently. ]”

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              Poor old Gormless seems to have haplessly blundered into Hooton’s target area when lprent still had a fistful of mortar bombs and blood-red eyes.

            • Corky

               /  16th May 2016

              “You pretentious fuckwit.”

              The Left, both at its best, and worst.

  4. Gezza

     /  16th May 2016

    Something I’m strugging to get my head around is why, when stunnedmullet over at TS & a couple of others, point out that RNZ has carried an article by NIcky Hager some commenters then complain (paraphrasing) that Hooton is a paid right wing PR shill whereas Hager is some kind of neutral “investigative journalist”?

    As far as I can see, Hager is an author – he’s delved into stuff & written several books about what he found out and written various articles for publication. Why does he sell himself (and get sold to everybody else) as an “investigative journalist”, when Joe Karam, who’s done the same thing, doesn’t?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicky_Hager
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Karam

    (I love how wikipedia describes Hagers’ parents as “socially aware”. What does that mean? Most people are socially aware. If they weren’t, hardly anyone would have any friends, people wouldn’t find it easy to work with each other without aggro, and untold members of congregations would be farting loudly in church.)

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  16th May 2016

      Hager has balanced views…remember ‘Corngate’ and Clark calling him a ‘little creep’.Karam is an author of fiction,in no way qualifies as an investigative journo.

      Reply
      • No, Corngate shows that Hager is well further left than Clark and her Labour government.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th May 2016

        How are Hager’s views balanced Blazer? His stuff’s always polemical. When he’s anti-government he’s anti-government.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  16th May 2016

          well if hes anti Nat and anti Labour I suggest he is not showing bias=balance.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th May 2016

            Balanced is not quite the same thing as unbiased Blazer. Balanced would mean, for example, acknowledging there are legitimate reasons for foreign trusts and that there is no evidence yet that there is anything to suggest NZ has deliberately allowed overseas tax evaders to hide their ill-gotten gains here.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  16th May 2016

              ‘…. anything to suggest NZ has deliberately allowed overseas tax evaders to hide their ill-gotten gains here.’…why do you think the present tax scenario was set up?Qui bono?

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              To enable NZers who worked in the Trusts business to earn income & pay due tax on their earnings to the Government. Qui bono is mixing up the french and latin languages. I think you might’ve meant cui bono.

            • Blazer

               /  16th May 2016

              yes I often screw that up …cui bono…a few connected friends of Keys that earn a paltry 26mil while ruining NZ’s international goodwill.

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              Something about Hager’s face reminds me of a baboon’s bottom. Try as I might I’m afraid I’ve never been able to shake the association. But that doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for some of the information he’s uncovered in his exposés that I’m glad I now know.

              The problem I have is the same one Pete’s having, which is that some TSers are going apeshit over Hooton being allowed to have his polemic published on RNZ, when Hager was allowed exactly same privilege.

          • pickled possum

             /  16th May 2016

            Hmmm that wasn’t very … something Gezza, about what’s a name’s face … baboon.
            All Dark info is to be Uncovered dontcha think. Shine a light!

            And while I have your taringa my friend 😉
            Hooten is Really pffffft REAlly??? Lost for words here … oh no I’m not!
            FFS gezza Matthew Hooton has over 25 years’ experience in corporate and public-sector communications, including the New Zealand Government and the country’s most influential companies. All the more better to lead you down the garden path.
            Press secretary for Minster of Trade,he was involved in the Zespri rort, the Kyoto Forestry, all things that are broken and dead, you will find his grubby little paws prints.
            He also has a BA in economcs oh and also he was a consultant for YK2 related projects, remember that one it made millions for some one no doubt.
            Australia National Bank, lead role government communication in creating FONTERRA. All these fine attributes he has. And still everything he is involved in is just …. broken or sold or moved to Australia, or just plain fucked.
            IMO

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              Aue ! Kia Possum hoa whakamahuru ! (Eek ! Calm down Possum mate!)

              I didn’t say I admire his career or his politics, or that I want to sleep with the man! Did you read his article? It just provides an alternative analysis of the situation to the breathless innuendo Hager, Labour & the MSM have been pushing for over a week now.

              I can’t help it with the Hager visualisation sorry mate. It’s locked in. 🙂

            • pickled possum

               /  16th May 2016

              Geeza my friend Course I read it … and egzactly?
              visualisation is locked … poor you!!!!
              What is Right in your thought?
              What, really appears to be working and for whom?

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              “visualisation is locked … poor you!!!!”
              Tell me about it.

              What is wrong in what Hooton says? I expect there will be changes that require more disclosure as a result of the Shewan review & that will reduce the number of foreign trusts, but so far there has been no evidence of any criminal tax evasion by anybody, and nobody dodgy linked to John Key either, via these NZ foreign trusts. If something like that is discovered, then I will sit up and take notice of the rantings.

            • pickled possum

               /  16th May 2016

              What is wrong in what Hooton says? you ask.
              Everything after that sentence … IMO
              Look Geeza He just looks like a snake to me!
              Sorry no can do, cannot shake it!!
              Visulisation is locked on that one.

              So you sitting up yet then? who is the canary for the smell for Criminal tax evasion Now ? who is the one that will make you sit up and take notice? the one that give warning of dodgy-ness?

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              The one they all announce everywhere – “here he is – this man, he has used his NZ foreign trust to evade tax he should have paid in his own country. And this man. And this woman. And this monkey with the baboon bottom named Bubbles.” So far, they haven’t named a single person clearly guilty of using a trust here for illegal activity Possum.

              Out of interest, which one do you think should be making me sit up because they’ve been found to have used a trust here to carry out illegal tax evasion?

      • Corngate just revealed his real roots – far left green from the old Values Party starting point….always remember no one does schism and heretic like the Left

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th May 2016

      I knew Hager’s mum. She was in Values when I was. So was he I think but I don’t recall him at all. She was a reasonably sensible lady from my recollection who was heavily into trying to get schools teaching proper nutrition and cooking again to wean kids and their parents off junk food.

      Reply
      • “who was heavily into trying to get schools teaching proper nutrition and cooking again to wean kids and their parents off junk food.”

        No criticism of her against a tide of modern parenting but that hasn’t been successful.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th May 2016

          Some few schools have done a great job with school gardens and preparing healthy food from them – but most haven’t.

          Reply
  5. Hall

     /  16th May 2016

    The left have TDB and Wateea 5th estate. And then there’s indy media, youtube etc.. MSM has been dead in the water fro a long long time.

    Reply
  6. jamie

     /  16th May 2016

    Not sure how the Panama papers is a left/right issue.

    Surely both the left and right want as much information available as is possible so the best decisions can be made.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th May 2016

      I wouldn’t know about what the left and right want but as far as I am concerned the less politicians and bureaucrats know the less they will be inclined to interfere with and the more they know the more they will take over our lives, freedoms and property.

      Never tell the bastards anything is my motto.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  16th May 2016

        hilarious Al…you’re part of the ‘establishment’!..name,rank,serial number!

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th May 2016

        What do you do with your census forms Alan?

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th May 2016

        I refuse to incriminate myself by answering that, Gezza.

        @Blazer, that’s far from the only thing you have wrong.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  16th May 2016

          My colleagues and I would like to ask you to accompany us to the Black SVU over there, sir. We have some questions for you …
          😎 😎 😎 😎 😎

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  16th May 2016

            Put them in writing to my lawyer, Gezza. You know my name and address and that is all I will tell you.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th May 2016

            Beg your pardon sir, that’s the tv crime series …
            This way to our SUV please …
            And could I have your cellphone please, sir …
            😎

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  16th May 2016

            Certainly sir … what’s your lawyer’s name and address?
            Has he been involved in some way with your census papers?
            We’ll send another team over to his place straight away to write to him..
            😎

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  16th May 2016

            You will have to arrest me if you want me to come and I will happily sue you for false arrest.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              Arrest you sir? Good heavens no sir. We’d just like you to assist with our enquiries …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th May 2016

              What you would like is not what you will get.

            • Blazer

               /  16th May 2016

              serious question Al..have you ever been punched in the face ..hard?

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              This is a serious issue sir. If our census has somehow missed an individual this could mean the collapse of our entire economic system. The margins are extremely tight. But, as you wish, we’ll leave it there for now. 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎

            • Gezza

               /  16th May 2016

              And you may of course keep your cellphone sir. Our private business contractor Dilbert completed his project last week. We should be all right there. 😎

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  17th May 2016

              @Gezza, you will never find anything incriminating on my electronic communications.

              @Blazer, I choose my friends and acquaintances more carefully and rely on other skills that play to my strengths. You?

            • Gezza

               /  17th May 2016

              Absolutely understand the situation sir. We make sure of the same thing ourselves. Good night sir. 😎
              😎 😎 😎 😎

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