Chauvel accuses Whale and Kiwiblog

In his valedictory statement in Parliament Charles Chauvel took a nasty swipe at “two better known right wing blogs” – obviously Whale Oil and Kiwiblog – with wild accusations. This indicates some paranoia in Labour circles about supposed unfairness in media.

But it’s not only Government institutions that need strengthening. Democracy requires a free, well resourced, unbiased fourth estate.

Journalists working in much of our under capitalised, foreign owned media are under constant pressure.

This comes from many quarters, including the constant need to sell newspapers and airtime, and also the need to compete with instantly available online sources.

In the case of the two better known right wing blogs those online sources are proxies for the present Government, and much copy is supplied to them directly out of ministers offices at taxpayers expense.

A general dumbing down, but more importantly a loss of independence have been the inevitable results.

To those of uas who want to read and listen to unbiased domestic news and analysis, or even for those of us who don’t really care whether John and Jacinda are still New Zealand’s sexiest politicians, there remains a diminishing number of options.

The quality of reporting and analysis now offered by PBS, ABC, the BBC, as well as the effect they have on the standard of other media, are simply not available here.

It’s high time for the re-establishment of a strong, independent, well resourced multi media broadcaster in New Zealand.

It’s more than a little hypocritical talking about unbiased balance while making major unsubstantiated accusations at two “right wing” blogs under parliamentary privilege, and making no mention of left wing blogs with obvious connections to Labour.

Video report here: Chauvel Leaves With A Parting Shot

Update: See also The Chauvel valedictory at Kiwiblog and on Charles’ valedictory at The Standard

The Standard of hypocrisy

lprent at The Standard is as oblivious as Redbaiter to the ironies and blatant hypocrisy in what he says:

PG? He does seem to be taking this whole banned thing rather badly. And I’d noticed that he seems to dislike you almost as much as he whines about me. Quite interesting obsessional pattern.

You notice that he never ever looks at his own behavior. Just doesn’t consider that other people have the right to judge him would be my guess. Or he is incapable of sufficient imagination to see himself as others see him.

And he continues with his obsessional pattern, lprent goes on to explain in great detail how he permanently banned me, the only thing he left out was how good a programmer he is.

But lprent saves his biggest irony when commenting on Whale Oil:

Cameron is rather known for considering that there would be two standards of justice and fairness. One for him and his mates, and the other for the plebs. For some reason he never seems to think anyone else has feeling apart from people like himself.

Bit of a primadonna aristocrat brat verging on sociopath in his thinking. Personally I lean to the latter interpretation.

Someone who sets The Standard in primadonnaism suggests someone else is guilty of “two standards of justice and fairness. One for him and his mates, and the other for the plebs”.

I’m not taking your hypocritical ban “rather badly”. I chuckle at you being “incapable of sufficient imagination to see himself as others see him”.

Ethical Mallardy for Shearer

Trevor Mallard has questioned the ethics of other MPs a number of times. For example:

TREVOR Well, I think we’ve got a possum in the headlights in John Banks, and we’ve got a contagion on the side of John Key. The longer John Key keeps Banks there, the worse Key looks. And I think in politics, that’s successful. As a parliamentarian, I hate it. Guys who are acting like Banks, who can’t remember, who’s before the police on a serious electoral-fraud charge, someone whose ethics are questionable, someone who lied to the media, just shouldn’t be in Parliament.

(PAUL HOLMES INTERVIEWS TREVOR MALLARD Sunday, 6 May, 2012 )

Mallard has been accusing MPs of various misdeameamours recently, including Judith Collins, John Banks and John Key. Yesterday he publicised and released National party documents. He claims:

Every now and again infighting gets so bad in the Nats that some gems are delivered to me. In this case it is a set of their Board and Board committee minutes.

The contents of these documents appear to mainly trivial (to the public) and are quite dated – March 2011 (EDIT the hading shows 2012, the footers 2011) – although they are presented now as a major revelation, as illustrated by what could be a proxy post by Mallard at The Standard:

Nat Civil War: ceasefire breached

Written By: – Date published: 6:35 am, May 9th, 2012

Well, that didn’t take long. A couple of weeks of quiet (probably thanks to some good polls more than anything) and, now, the National Party Civil War has re-erupted as the Collins and Joyce factions fight over the post-Key future. The leaking of National Party board minutes shows how serious the fighting is and reveals strong opposition to Slater/Lusk’s tactics.

This post claims:

It seems someone has leaked National Party board minutes. There can hardly be a greater breach of the party’s security than having that information in the public eye, except for the leaking of the emails of the leader himself.

The leaking itself highlights the level of factional infighting in National, as do the contents.

Apart from them being historical documents being used to suggest current problems (in typical overdone Standard fashion) there are now reports they could be stolen stolen and not leaked:

Secret Nats documents may have been stolen (TV3)

It’s possible the documents were handed to Mallard giving him no indication of how they were obtained. But it will have been obvious to him that they were confidential, they were very clealry marked with:

CONFIDENTIAL. TO BOARD MEMBERS ONLY. NOT TO BE DISTRIBUTED.

Back to ethics. How ethical is it to keep those documents? And to use them in a carefully planned and orchestrated publicity attempt  – I knew this release was imminent over a month ago.

That in itself is highly questionable ethics for anyone, let alone a senior MP.

But it is not just one MP acting alone. Mallard has obviously been involving other’s from Labour in this – including Greg Presland, Chair of the Labour Party’s Auckland-Northland Regional Council, who joins in with:

 Has Banks been training Key how to answer questions about Simon Lusk?

And I also question how ethical it is for the Labour MP run blog Red Alert to have stored on it and made available for public viewing confidential documents obviously belonging to another party.

Hypocrisy is another word that comes to mind – an MP questioning others about their ethics is involved in highly questionable ethics, and also involving the Labour Party directly while doing this.

Important questions for David Shearer:

  1. Is it appropriate for a senior Labour MP to be involved in dealing with leaked and possibly stolen documents?
  2. Isn it appropriate for a Labour MP run website to store and make available to the public documents clealry confidential, clearly belonging to another party, and possible stolen?