Media watch – Saturday

23 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Friday

22 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Wednesday

20 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Tuesday

19 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Monday

18 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Tyranny of the minorities

Tyranny by minorities has become a big issue around the world.

In New Zealand we have some of this problem, whether it be small bands of online activists dumping on people for speaking out of line on Facebook or Twitter, people leaking private information for political gain, like super overpayment stories, politicians getting heavy handed in legal fishing expeditions, organised petitions trying to strip stupid commenters of their night hoods, or suing petitioners (something only very rich people can afford).

Then we have political blogs that should ideally be open debates of ideas.

On the left The Daily Blog as a forum has always been neutered by what is effectively censorship. The Standard has a record of selective moderation that leans heavily in favour of it’s preferred political messaging, and also allows persistent predatory attacks by individuals and mass attacks as well.

On the right there are two extremes.

Whale Oil was nearly a free for all (albeit with some restrictions of facts alternative opinions) until they had massive purges of commenters leading up to the 2014 election, and is now dominated by psycophants and sock puppets – there’s a lot of comment and Cameron Slater often has a hard time getting support for some of his activism but obvious care is taken to avoid getting silenced.

In contrast Kiwiblog is the least moderated major political blog. This freedom of speech is fine in theory but in practice it allows a lot of abuse and attacks by individuals, much of it obviously designed to shut down discussions they don’t want and to drive away people they don’t want to speak. This can be as detrimental to free speech as site censorship.

An article from Australia: Tyranny of the minorities: We live in an age of mob rule by minorities in which anybody who disagrees with them is censored and freedom of expression is something only THEY enjoy….

ONE of the great lines in 20th century films comes from Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire Dr Strangelove. The scene is a nuclear missile control bunker. With World War III imminent, two men scuffle until their boss, played by Peter Sellers, cries: ‘Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the war room!’

That gag came to mind this week when our so-called liberal Left went into convulsions of illiberality after author Lionel Shriver mocked the latest diversity madness. Writing in The Spectator, Ms Shriver poked fun at box-ticking, multi-cultural political correctness at publisher Penguin Random House, which is planning to commission authors on the basis of racial, gender and other quotas.

Such sacrilege proved a timebomb. Tick, tock, tick, tock — KABOOM! Bien pensants, when they heard accounts of Ms Shriver’s article, exploded. They were furious.

As Dr Strangelove might put it: ‘We can’t allow diverging views about diversity!’

No we can’t! At our universities, which are meant to be bastions of free thought, guest speakers are barred for fear they might so much as question Left-wing dogma. This happens to even such distinguished liberals as Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell.

The forces of political correctness impose their unyielding views everywhere.

At Oxford and Cambridge, there are calls for statues of historic benefactors to be torn down because they do not comply with fashionable modern positions on minority rights. At Newcastle University, meanwhile, the students’ union demanded sanitary bins in men’s loos so as not to upset any students ‘with a range of genders’.

There are many examples around the world of this sort of thing. I don’t think it is as bad in New Zealand, but we do have issues and attempts to shut down unsavoury or unwelcome speech.

Maybe someone should have given similar advice to Lionel Shriver. Maybe someone should have said: ‘Don’t mock diversity — it’ll only land you in the most frightful trouble’.

Under this tyranny of the minorities, that may be what you should do for an easy life. But the thing about tyrannies is that they are ruled, ultimately, by bullies. The way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them, as Lionel Shriver has done with such brave clarity.

One of the biggest bullies of them all now is the president of the United States, who frequently and openly lies, and also frequently attacks people he disagrees with or wants to shut up.

He is waging a war of words against a legal inquiry into whether he or his campaign acted illegally leading up to the 2016 US election. His behaviour is remarkable, as is the defence of his behaviour who put their politics ahead of the responsibilities of someone with his amount of power.

British public life is not like Dr Strangelove’s war room. It is a place where the lively conflict of views should be welcomed as an essential part of a flourishing democracy. Freedom of expression has been fought for with blood over the centuries and is vital for liberal, civilised behaviour. No minority mob should ever be allowed to destroy that.

So should we destroy mobs who try to destroy freedom of expression?

Free speech is a complicated.


Note that anyone is free to speak here, as long as you don’t piss me off.

Actually that’s a bit of a self piss take – as much as some have tried over the years I’m not easily provoked. Vi guidelines rather than rules I try to encourage the expression of diverse opinions, and to protect people from abuse and attempts to deter their speech. Imperfectly.

Media watch – Sunday

17 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Saturday

16 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Friday

15 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Media watch – Thursday

14 June 2018

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.