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Sunday, September 23, 2012

First the NZ Herald came for the bloggers, then they came for John Campbell...

First the NZ Herald came for the bloggers, then they came for John Campbell. Who else is on their liberal hitlist?

With their relaunch as a tabloid butterfly, the neo-liberal opinion shapers at the NZ Herald which Gordon Campbell refers to in his brilliant and must read take down of John Armstrong's criticism of bloggers, have sharpened their attacks on those Society see as providing an alternative narrative to the Planet Key fantasy the NZ Herald subscribes to.

John Roughan's ludicrous latest column, Save us from one-sided TV actually coincides with me watching Campbell more and more of late.

Campbell has taken up the challenge of media watchdog as opposed to media lapdog and has confronted the reality of this recession head on and has failed to stop asking questions. Campbell Live's work on child poverty is some of the best journalism this country has produced this year and Campbell Live's work on the Christchurch earthquake from the moment of the quake to the latest attack on schools in Christchurch has been the type of holding the powerful to account journalism that keeps the profession credible and respected.

John Roughan in attacking John Campbell shows the very worst kind of ignorance, it's rich white guy ignorance. It's the ignorance that John Key on Planet Key exhibits when asked any question on poverty and it's the kind of ignorance that is utterly inexcusable because privilege comes with a responsibility to at least be informed. Uniformed privilege is ugly, and so is this column by Roughan.

John argues that there must be justifiable reasons that the Government have decided to shut down schools in Christchurch and that because Campbell Live hasn't managed to find that justification, then Campbell is somehow biased and by insinuation can't be trusted.

This claim of bias coming from one of the Editorial Nazgul of the NZ Herald is as jaw dropping as a Government Cheerleader like John Armstrong attacking Gordon Campbell and Bryce Edwards for being too left wing.

Being accused of having a left wing bias by the NZ Herald is pretty easy when the NZ Herald is to the right of Genghis Khan.

If John Roughan has information from the Ministry of Education that justify's this latest kick in the guts to the people of Christchurch, perhaps as a columnist in the only daily nationwide newspaper he could use his news print inches to explain the counter position and justify his criticism of Campbell.

He doesn't, he ridiculously claims that because TV News aren't attacking the rationale of the Government, that means the rationale is sound?

What planet does John Roughan live on? Oh, that's right. Planet Key.

Roughan goes from the ludicrous to the criminally insane by then wailing about the Good-old-days-of-broadcasting-when-Paul-Holmes-was-on-TV meme, a man whose column this year on Waitangi Day boarded on race hate? That's the bloke in the billowing white robes and burning cross that Roughan yearns for? [see Roughan's form here.]

Tells you all you need to know doesn't it?

The reason the Ministry of Education is not coming forward with their explanations is because what is happening in Christchurch isn't mere rationalization of schools, it is the shock tactics of disaster capitalism. Ram through reforms before a shocked and startled local community can even react is an old trick of neo-liberal policy and that's exactly what is happening in our second largest city.

What is occurring in Christchurch is nothing short of a political coup. The drum beat to sell city assets, the taking of democracy from Environment Canterbury, Charter Schools and the enforced rebuild with minimum community input combine with this latest slap in the face over school closures.

Note it wasn't the Government's inept manner of 'consultation' that's the problem. It's not the Government's inept Hekia Parata screwing up another education announcement. It's not a communication strategy that has ended up spreading public panic.

Oh no, it's none of those things. It's that bloody John Campbell and his one sided television.

When the newspaper of choice for conservative kneejerks and beige bigots starts publicly hunting the bloggers and the few journalists prepared to critique the Planet Key narrative, you know there is a PR struggle going on for the hearts and minds of NZers.

Four years in to National's right wing agenda and the promise of John Key's empty optimism isn't being met in a 6.8% unemployment rate with the highest levels of inequality on record. The gatekeepers to Planet Key have to start denigrating the messengers to distract from the message.

Roughan adds the icing to this shit cake by blaming Campbell Live for creating a new entitlement of food for hungry children at school. That Roughan sees feeding hungry children at school as an 'entitlement' says it all.

Ugly. Very ugly.



At 23/9/12 7:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campbell also has done more justice to the John Banks/Kim Dotcom saga than any other journo, though his own network kept the Campbell program footage from overseas eyes for nearly seven months through the use of censorship by geolocation all under the guise of IP.

As the Americans do to us also.

"Entitlement" is a word that describes the entire culture of the Herald - which seems to feel entitled to spread vacuous self-aggrandizing like a disease across its journalists, who use tiny scraps of source material to soapbox only on current approved topics of public conversation.

You do not see them dig up new stories, or change the narrative - you do not see them attending events in person and supplying literal reporting/photo-journalism... no, these foundations of journalism have been left solely up to the bloggers to perform, while the "real" (read: paid) journos are best described as pharmacy assistants, dutifully filling out the prescriptions of the doctors, under the ever-watchful scrutiny of the chemist.

The scary factor is, of course, that the consumer who pays for the product, does not know what is in the bottle, but relies on reading the label.

The extent of the culpability of our largely-deficient and corrupt national media in spreading and maintaining government falsehoods and propaganda cannot be underestimated.

That they should, a year after they were caught red-handed blacking out the existence of Occupy Wall Street for over 21 days, now be firing back some salvos at the TRUE new media (read: not Bernard Hickey) who expose their corruption, is unsurprising.

Despite their crass nature, words are all they have left at this point. Their readerships are dissipating further with each person who discovers they can self-educate to an exponentially higher standard, using alternative news sources.

The future is dim for the corporate media - they have little to gain and much to lose.

Expect to see that snowball in the coming year.

At 23/9/12 8:15 am, Blogger elektra said...

Thank you thank you thank you - sane and intelligent words.

At 23/9/12 12:35 pm, Blogger Nitrium said...

It's true. Traditional mainstream media, in their unlimited pursuit of advertising dollars, have been continually refining their "journalism" to pander to the lowest common denominator. The most remarkable aspect of this that most of us have apparently gone along with the ride. I stopped reading MSM "propaganda" a number of years ago (I will admit I still glance over it occasionally to see if it's improving or deteriorating further), but circulation numbers (although dropping) still favour MSM as the number one go to place for news and views (the MSM website hits especially suggest people still trust MSM generally to give them unbiased factually correct news and information, when provably this is no longer the case). Remarkable really.

At 23/9/12 12:36 pm, Blogger Shona said...

The collapse of corporate media cannot come quickly enough for me. Wise words occupy savvy. For those who listen to me stil, I direct them to various blog sites and alternative media like Global Research and Information Clearing House. Those who refuse to see what is going on call me a paranoid conspiracy theorist. The stock insult of the professional classes/technorati. Hurtful the first time you hear it and woeful in it's profound ignorance upon repetition.
John Campbell's work is heartening in these dark and difficult times. I make a point placing positive feedback on his site.


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