Making mountains out of malehills over advert but little defence of KiwiBuild

National enraged a bunch of people who seem to be perpetually looking for things to get enraged about with an advertisement criticising KiwiBuild that has received a huge amount of promotion from media reporting the enragement.

I do think there are a number of people active in social media who seem intent on making mountains out of malehills.

What is glaringly absent in this is a lack of defence of KiwiBuild. It is all ‘attack the messenger’ diversion.

Outrage over men holding a beer talking to women, blonds and the use of sausage quips in political clips seems like over the top attempts to sanitise everything.

Perhaps it has driven some people to tears – but how do you say anything publicly without risking annoying, enraging or devastating someone?

I’m betting tired of those arguments and attempts to PC everything – and using outrage as a way of trying to attack and discredit and divert in politics.

But there are some interesting associated issues. Did National deliberately provoke ‘progressives’ to get a sort of Streisand effect?

And, this has been all attack of National and no defence of KiwiBuild.

Danyl Mclachlan (The Spinoff):  Notes towards a grand unified theory of the terrible National Party sausage ad

Here’s my grand conspiracy theory. Progressives are actually the primary target for this ad and it is designed to offend them. Offense and controversy makes things newsworthy and earns you coverage in the mainstream media, thus potentially reaching a far greater number of viewers than National would get through making a non-controversial, non-mansplaining ad.

The way you communicate the KiwiBuild critique to the wider public – who are never going to watch a political ad in their feed, even if you boost it – is by breaching progressive rules of etiquette and provoking a controversy.

Presumably there will be more: maybe the next shocking thing will be the next National Party ad, giving online progressives the chance to spend the whole year furiously amplifying National’s talking points.

Whether National inadvertently bumbled or deliberately provoked, they got far more attention than they would have for most attempted political hits.

While are ‘progressives’ so easily riled? Concern about a fairly impotent Opposition party? Or despair that the Government has made a mess of KiwiBuild with no solution in sight?

Bradbury has a good point. On eof those claiming sexism rather than defending KiwiBuild was Phil Twyford.

Newshub: No one entered KiwiBuild ballot for Waikato development

Newshub can reveal how unpopular KiwiBuild has become: absolutely no one entered the ballot to buy any of the homes in one of the developments.

The Government’s flagship housing scheme is now at the stage where developers are offering up bribes to get people interested.

But KiwiBuild isn’t just backfiring for the Government – it’s backfiring for National too.

The party’s latest taxpayer-funded attack ad has drawn widespread criticism for showing a man explaining KiwiBuild to a woman.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said it was “clearly sexist”.

“I would think a lot of people find it offensive.”

I would think a lot more people would find Twyford’s failure with KiwiBuild of rather more concern.

There was one person reported as defending KiwiBuild:

“We as a Government are building more houses than any Government has built since the 1970s, which I have to say feels roughly about the era of that ad,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Don’t dare suggest that is sizzle without, ah, substance.

 

In praising Martyn Bradbury

Greg Presland has joined the list of bloggers praising Martyn’ Bradbury’s handling of the Key/waitress/hair story.

Firstly in relation to the story I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it.  Unlike Cameron Slater and his attempts to bring down Len Brown with the Bevan Chuang story Bradbury did some important things.  He let the story be the story and did not inject himself into the story at all.  He let the waitress tell her own story in her own words.  And unlike Slater whose grandiose yet ridiculous plan to have Len Brown removed from office and John Palino somehow installed as mayor Bomber had no intention of achieving any particular goal.  He just facilitated the telling of a very creepy story.

He also quotes Danyl Mclachlan of Dim-Post:

[Bomber] simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

I have also said that Bradbury deserves some praise for how he presented the initial post that broke the story.

But Presland and Mclachlan take a very narrow view, focussing on the first post only. Bradbury has gone on to try and link it all with Dirty Politics – his next post on it headlines this:

UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?

This post, about the horrendous Herald coverage of the issue – opened with a photo of David Farrar with Rachel Glucina with this caption:

Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

Glucina was at the centre of that controversy. I haven’t seen anyone – including Bradbury, Presland nor Mclachlan – provide any evidence that Farrar (or Cameron Slater or the Government) had anything to do with this issue.

But Presland and Mclachlan compared Bradbury extensively with Cameron Slater.

In pushing Dirty Politics links they are all playing dirty, while praising Bradbury for playing it clean. Sheesh.

I don’t think it’s deliberately hypocritical. Most likely they are blind to their double standard.

And before Greg accuses me of suggesting a conspiracy again, this is probably not a co-ordinated or planned approach.

Left wing bloggers seem so obsessed with ‘Dirty Politics’ and the narrow definition they try to apply to the term they are blind to their own mode of operation.

To keep Felix happy I won’t say they’re playing ‘Dirty Politics’ themselves (I understand what you want that term to mean Felix) so I will describe it as playing dirty to promote a political attack.

As Presland did in his post after praising Bradbury.

Rachel Glucina’s attempt at turning the story around by suggesting there was a political angle in the complaint failed miserably and only succeeded in providing an institutional target and showing that Dirty Politics is alive although not so well.

If Felix was consistent he would point out that this doesn’t fit his version of Dirty Politics.

The right had no where to go on this.  Every time one of their nodding heads in the media tried to turn the story around there was blow back.  And as the story took off and international media ran with it you could sense John Key’s credibility ebb.  Crosby Textor will have their work cut out to repair this fiasco.

I think Greg pushes the CT conspiracy quite often. And he brought Farrar into the post:

The response of the right wing bloggers has been interesting.  David Farrar obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it and his early post inappropriate if accurate was as realistically as positive as he could go.

So Farrar “obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it” but Presland said “I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” – that’s in relation to the story which was Bradbury’s first post but that’s disingenuous considering Bradbury’s ‘Dirty Politics’ follow-up.

Cameron Slater  is obviously no longer running pro Key lines and is preparing to support his mate Judith Collins in a leadership battle that when it occurs will be bloody and divisive and will leave National in far worse shape.  Let’s be real here.  There is no other leader of the quality of John Key in National.  The possibility of a leader emerging from the ranks of Collins, Joyce, Bennett, Adams or Bridges is one that fills me with confidence that the the next Government will be a progressive one.  Key is their only chance.  And he has been significantly damaged.

Slater’s lack of complicity (despite Presland associating him with it) is turned into a lame leadership hit.

Slater’s line on the story, that the left had stuffed up the chance of a political hatchet job spoke volumes about his world view.  He could not believe obviously (donotlink link) that a left wing blog could publish a story with no intent other than making sure that the story was told.  Subsequent posts suggesting that the waitress should toughen up just reveal a shallowness of human understanding that has always been apparent.

So “subsequent posts” at Whale Oil are relevant but Presland tries to judge Bradbury on one post in isolation “with no intent other than making sure that the story was told”.

If Presland wishes to “praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” then he is in effect praising Bradbury’s attempts to widen the issue in to another example of ‘Dirty Politics’ – which Presland also does himself. He commented here yesterday:

Basically I thought Bomber did really well, way better than Slater in his attempts to achieve similar things.

Presland has been an integral part of an attempt to tie the Herald, Slater and Farrar into the hair story as an example of ‘Dirty Politics’.

He speaks on behalf of all at The Standard:

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.

A number of bloggers at Dim-Post and The Daily Blog may have also been spontaneous and un-coordinated.

But they all seem to be singing the same tune – Bradbury impeccable, Key/Herald/Slater/Farrar/right dirty.

If it’s all spontaneous (and it may well be) does that just indicate “well intentioned individuals” are already thoroughly indoctrinated in the ‘Dirty Politics’ campaign?

In praising Martyn Bradbury for one isolated play they have ignored the bigger game and seem oblivious to theirn involvement in the whole dirty sport of politics.