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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Media makes maelstrom of forgotten 11 year old form letter

Duncan Garner on Radio Live was raving apocalyptic about David Cunliffe yesterday afternoon.  I hadn't been paying attention to media so I had missed it.  It must have been the self-inflicted wound of the century by the way he was flabbering.  Like he'd taken a brown paper bag off an Asian dude in a carpark of a Chinese brothel and Joyce had played the video of it in parliament or something.  Not even.

If it was a damaging blow it was only so because the set up by the Nats was delivered by the media - right on cue.  A king hit is what both media and Nats were proclaiming.  Press gallery hysteria meets National Party campaign tactics never had such an over-hyped anti-climax.  

The increasingly detached and overtly partisan Tory chief cheerleader, John Armstrong, was the first on his hind legs in the NZ Herald (to whom the Nats provided the drop) spouting resignation.  The headline says Cunliffe's resignation may be in order.  To many reading it seems far more appropriate to wonder if Armstrong's resignation may be in order.

After all Armstrong has given John Key a free pass on every one of his brain-fades, untruths and reneges.  All his raspy dry patrician outrage and incantations, all to oust Cunliffe for - of all things - forgetting about a form letter he had signed 11 years ago!  Armstrong has been a physical husk of his former self for several years now.  His hollowed Munchesque figure they have in the Herald reveals this fact.  Unfortunately the debilitation seems to have caught up to his mind.  The seagulls in the lobby of parliament may find it useful feed, but what value is this Tory hack in the sense of commentary to the general public?  Him and Garth George roosting up in the balconies of HMNZ Herald like bats - that's the image.  A right pair. Mad as bats, way past their prime, and then there's John Roughan and Fran. Bless them one and all.

The Herald was just the first reptile in the waterhole to take the bait - the pack will do the rest.  Pity the Herald never called on the 'Roastbusters' rape gang cops or the police minister to resign, they haven't called on the police commissioner or the police minister to resign over the NZ Police cover-up of the Sentry Taitoko death in custody which has been on ice since February. So many reasons to call to resign - and that is just the police minister.  Pity the focus and priorities of the velvet commentariat are so trivial.  Pity the media is triviality en mass.

Cunliffe had delivered himself an 'upper cut' as the TV One man put it in his live cross later that evening in their seven or so minutes of this lead item.  I didn't catch TV3, but I bet Paddy Gower was in some upper realm of ecstasy doing the same thing: a hatchet job.  I haven't seen more of an orchestrated beat-up on TV since the WWF wrestling show was last on air.  RNZ was playing at it too, labelling Cunliffe 'beleaguered' - yeah beleaguered from media hysteria of which RNZ is part.
Unless Armstrong has seen additional evidence in the drip feed behind Donghua Liu that does cast real and reasonable doubt over Cunliffe's competence or honesty then there was no reason for him to take that line. There is a lot of rumourmongering about dirt, but is this on others in Labour or on Cunliffe? [More is promised for tomorrow's edition according to the Herald's twitter feed tonight: a Labour Minister and a trip up the Yangtze. If this is anything like Worth up the Khyber then it's going to be a rum do.]

What a ridiculous frenzy.  The media are attempting to manufacture a crisis on the basis of what National reckons is below standard.  Laughable is it not?  Collins and Oravida, Key and the GCSB, Williamson, Wong, Worth... the Nats have corrupt practices in trumps compared with Cunliffe.  The day the media hold National to the standard they hold others is the beginning of the end for National. Until that day dawns it is going to be a tough ride in the Labour saddle.  

[Updated 9pm]


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