Sunday, September 16, 2012

John Armstrong: Doesn't Like Dirty Lefties

Bloggers don't let the facts get in the way

Here is a blunt message for a couple of old-school Aro Valley-style socialists:

Aro Valley is a place in Wellington where a lot of Green Party supporters live. Socialists are of course evil personified and the worst possible insult. 

Get off our backs. Stop behaving like a pair of tut-tutting old dowagers gossiping in the salons. In short, stop making blinkered, cheap-shot accusations of the kind you made this week - that the media who went with John Key to Vladivostok and Tokyo concentrated on trivia, interviewed their laptops and parroted Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet press releases.

Older women – also the worse kind of insult. Being a left-wing older woman? You are dead to John. Dead!

Press gallery journalists generally treat the bile and invective directed at them by portions of the blog-a-tariat as an unwelcome and unfortunate byproduct of an otherwise exciting and intellectually challenging job.

Press gallery journalists are the saints that nobly take on the word slings and sentence arrows of those that dare critique their work. And the people doing so? Blog-a-tariats! Not only ‘bloggers’ *spit* but commie sounding bloggers *double spit*. Left-wing commie loving, green party shagging, Aro Valley living, bloggers *spits, dehydrates, dies*.

You just have to put up with it. To bother to reply is to invite another shower of criticism - plus the old chestnut that if you cannot stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.

This is John putting up with it and not replying, all while in the kitchen making muffins for the press gallery journalists that are holy and walk among us.

Polemic and argument over ideas is one thing; ignorance is something else, however.

John will now combat this ignorance by offering the truth. The truth of the evilness of the left-wing agenda by bloggers that can only be routed out by a right-wing editorial of the only national newspaper in NZ. My god, the insidious power these bloggers hold.

Do the likes of former Listener columnist and Greens propagandist Gordon Campbell and former Alliance staffer and now Otago University politics lecturer Bryce Edwards have the faintest idea of the difficulties, obstacles and logistics of reporting an overseas trip by a prime minister, especially one which incorporates a major international forum like Apec?

Did you hear that? Greens, Alliance! COMMIES! And they dare speak! And speak against the hardship, the difficulties, of being paid to attend junkets! The jetlag, the tiny packets of crackers and cheese, not knowing whether to pack a sweater! There should be a moments silence every time a journalist gets on a plane, not bloggers critiquing when such sacrifices are made. The chicken OR the fish?! My god, it never ends.

Does it occur to them to actually pick up the phone and try to talk to those journalists about what is happening and why things are being reported in a certain way?

The journalists want nothing more than bloggers ringing them up while they’re overseas reporting to ask them how they’re doing, was the chicken the right choice, do they need another sweater mailed over. Why don’t you ring them more and ask them about their feelings? Because you're shitty people.

Of course not. That would risk the facts getting in the way of, well ... interviewing their laptops and having yet another ritual poke at the parliamentary press gallery.

By interviewing their laptops, he of course means lying and making things up (Commies!) and by ritually poking the press gallery he means…well, I hope it was consensual.

To read their drivel while stuck in a Tokyo traffic jam with your deadline approaching faster than a Japanese bullet-train makes your heart sink.

You hurt his feelings. You bastards. You. Hurt. His feelings. Your words make his heart sink and this while he's already sitting in traffic? Is their no end?!

For starters - and to be pedantic about it - the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet does not issue press statements with a political hue.

That is the job of the Prime Minister's office - a quite separate institution.

It’s true. It’s all completely and utterly objective which is why reasoned criticism is always included, completely making the press redundant.

But never mind. The rules that apply to journalists in terms of accuracy do not apply to Campbell and his echo chamber Dr Edwards - who is not be confused with Dr Brian Edwards, another blogger, but a far more original one when it comes to ideas and analysis.

This is his Christmas list. Take note if you were expecting a card.

Bloggers can blog when they like at what length they wish. Admittedly, they are normally not being paid for the privilege. Journalists are. But on a trip like last week's one, the hourly rate slumps drastically by virtue of the hours worked.

The rest of the staff will be horrified to hear this and obviously since he’ll be stepping down from future trips one of those poor bastards will have to go instead. I can’t think of anything worse than getting paid to fly around the world, and all this is reluctantly done.

Few media representatives traveling with John Key would have got more than four or five hours' sleep each night - probably less - because of the Prime Minister's schedule, which ran from 6am (earlier if a flight was involved) until well into the evening.

Getting up at 6am! Did you hear that! 6am! Are you reading this? Do you feel his pain yet?

Days were spent clambering on and off buses in 35C heat and 100 per cent humidity.

AND IT’S HOT! It’s 6am, it’s hot, chicken or fish decisions must be made…Jesus, no wonder nobody wants to go on these things so the top dogs get to do it because they’re too nice to have a junior person hung out to dry like that. 


They have to WORK during the heat with only six hours of sleep and airplane food. How are you not crying yet? Have you no shame! No one has made sacrifices for humanity like they did that time they covered the TPP. Not even Jesus, because let’s face it, he was acclimatised to the heat and probably got a regular eight hours.

Or is it Campbell's and Edwards' agenda or strategy to make the media feel guilty about not writing more anti-TPP stories?

Because they’re Commies and want to bring down The Man with their commie pinko lefto propaganda.

Given that National and Labour - the two largest parties - both support the TPP, news agencies and organisations have to be careful not to give one side too much coverage, and instead treat stories on merit. With negotiating details kept close to the chest, it is anyway difficult to assess how the talks are going.

Adding to journalists' problems is that Apec meetings are closed. Discovering what really happens requires talking to more than one delegation as every delegation has motives for saying what it is saying to its media contingent,

Because the two main parties like this we HAVE to reflect the TPP in a positive fashion. Plus they couldn’t find any information out any way because they had deadlines to meet. Next year: one journalist for every delegate!

To Campbell's credit, he does do his own digging. He is also a regular attendee at the Prime Minister's weekly press conference. His blog is one of the more valuable. But he does have a blind spot with regards to the press gallery.

Sure, Campbell investigates and reports in his ‘bloggy’ fashion. But he criticises the press gallery which completely undermines him because who could say something critical about the press, besides commies?

The rapidly growing influence of Edwards' blog was initially down to its being an exhaustive wrap-up of all of the day's political news. It is now starting to develop a much more political dynamic that is unlikely to please National.

And pleasing National is what the press should be about. Especially the NZ Herald which has a fine tradition of doing just that.

Edwards' blog is the extreme example of the fact that most blogsites rely on the mainstream media for their information and then use that information to criticise the media for not stressing something enough or deliberately hiding it.

Criticising the media? The sleepless, hot, uninformed, because nobody tells them anything, media? Screw you Edwards!

Unlike the mainstream media, the blogs are not subject to accuracy or taste - and sometimes even the law.

No links to examples, but you can imagine the kind of lawless commie blogging that goes out there in the hinterlands. You can imagine it *shudders*.

It is the ultimate parasitical relationship. And it will not change until the media start charging for use of their material.

We are taking our words and we are hiding them and you can’t play with them anymore! YOU HURT OUR FEELINGS AND WE’RE NOT FRIENDS ANY MORE!

Debate on this article is now closed.
People have ridiculed the column so everyone can shut up now.

1 comment:

Duncan Brown said...

An excellent read, thanks :-)

It's been kinda funny watching the blogosphere go nuts at each other... "I won't be your friend any more, so there!!!" and tomorrow, we'll still play together, especially if you let me use that cool new toy...