The Jackal

25 Jul 2014

Aunty Helen copped it so why not Borrows?

We've all heard the claims before, that the media in New Zealand is biased in favour of the ring wing. There are numerous arguments for and against this assertion and to be fair, it's not OK to tar every journalist with the same brush.

However there's no question that issues that make the current government look bad are given far less precedence in the media as stories that besmirch the Labour party. Let's take one recent example that had such a small amount of media coverage that you might not even be aware of it...

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

Courts Minister admits red face over speeding ticket and $80 fine

Courts Minister Chester Borrows admits he is embarrassed after being fined $80 for speeding.

But the former police officer says he paid the fine promptly and has sworn to keep a better eye on the speedo in future.

Mr Borrows confirmed he was stopped by police doing 11km/h over the speed limit in a 100km/h area outside Patea while he was on his way to Wanganui for a meeting. He was running late and had not kept an eye on his speedo while going down a hill.

Of course the right wing propagandists have completely ignored this story because Chester Borrows is in with the old boys club. Unfortunately the mainstream media have all but ignored the story as well. That wasn't the case when Helen Clark's motorcade was reportedly speeding through South Canterbury and she wasn't even driving.

So on one hand we have a Labour leader who was probably not even aware that the motorcade was speeding and on the other we have a National Minister who was actually driving the car that was speeding. The media response to Helen Clark was to insinuate that she had instructed her motorcade drivers to speed. They critically and extensively reported on the incident for at least three months, exploring every nuance and development. In contrast the media’s response to Chester Borrows being caught personally speeding is pretty much non-existent, with the biased Herald article clearly taking the National Minister's side. It’s more of an apology piece for Chester Borrows, without any real criticism or balance.

We can see numerous similar examples of media bias such as the reporting on the Donghua liu letter and the leader's taking a holiday. David Cunliffe was pilloried extensively in the media for taking a three day holiday and not recalling that he signed a ten-year-old letter, one of thousands of form letters he signs on a regular basis. Some right wing media hacks even requested that he resign over such an obviously trivial matter, an issue that was blown out of all proportion by journalists who clearly have an ulterior motive. Compare that with Key actually being caught out lying about signing off on the new ministerial BMW deal, and you can clearly see where the majority of the fourth estate’s loyalties lie.

I could go on and on providing examples of just how skewed the mainstream media is with their biased reporting, but the moral of the story is that without balanced journalism in New Zealand we cannot hope to have a fair fight in the run-up to the September election...we cannot therefore keep pretending to have an fair and functioning democracy.

24 Jul 2014

No time. No manners. No respect.

Hosking votes National

It never ceases to amaze me just how arrogant and/or deluded the right wing media are here in New Zealand. Not only did we have TVNZ trying to portray Cameron Slater, a blogger known for his hate speech, as some sort of good guy on Seven Sharp last Thursday, now we also have TVNZ claiming that Mike Hosking is impartial enough to host a bloody leaders debate.

TVNZ's obviously prejudiced decision hasn't gone down well with Labour or their supporters and quite rightly so. In my opinion there should be a fair fight, something that just won't happen with Hosking in charge of proceedings.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Cunliffe may boycott leaders' debate over Hosking

Labour leader David Cunliffe is refusing to rule out withdrawing from TVNZ's election debate if it insists on having presenter Mike Hosking as the moderator and has also questioned Prime Minister John Key appearing alongside All Blacks on the Rugby News cover.

Mr Cunliffe confirmed this morning that his office had raised concerns about the choice of Mr Hosking for the one on one debate between Mr Cunliffe and National leader John Key because of Mr Hosking's pro-National views.

"Concerns were raised by my staff when it became apparent Mr Hosking had introduced Mr Key at his 2013 State of the Nation speech and appeared to warmly endorse him. We are in discussion with TVNZ about that and other matters."

With TVNZ trying to foist an obviously biased host onto Labour leader David Cunliffe in order to give John Key a better chance of winning the debates, they're clearly showing their true blue colours. But if that wasn't bad enough, TVNZ also wants Labour staff to waste time gathering information to show Hosking isn't an appropriate host.

His staff were preparing a dossier on statements made by Mr Hosking that were of concern because TVNZ had asked for evidence of the concerns Labour had raised.

Unbelievable! As if the right wing propagandist's love affair for John Key wasn't obvious enough already. It's not only that Hosking never says anything critical against the current government, it's that he openly hates anything remotely left wing including Labour leader David Cunliffe.

In my opinion, Mike Hosking should be given the boot for his numerous baseless and often sexist rants against the left wing that not only make him look like a fool, they also ensure that the media organisation's he works for come across as biased as well. What other explanation is there to TVNZ even proposing such a ludicrous thing?

Internet Mana party highlights

The Internet Mana party road-trip has been putting to shame National's badly attended meetings by packing halls around the country. Not only is the party party getting people who don't usually engage in politics to participate, the ground swell of support for the amalgamation of Internet and Mana is something to be seen to be believed.

Here are a few of the highlights from the recent Te Tai Tokerau meeting:

Claudette Hauiti is a thief

When Claudette Hauiti was appointed an MP just over a year ago, on the back of Aaron Gilmore having to quit because he abused his position, many people were happy to see a person who has a lot of attributes National is missing take his place. Not only is Hauiti obviously a woman, she's also gay and Maori. This made many on the left hopeful that the government was becoming more progressive.

Unfortunately the new MP soon proved to be nothing more than just another capitalist con-artist who was only in government to line her own pockets. Not only is Claudette Hauiti corrupt, she wasn't smart enough to keep her abuse of the parliamentary charge card, which is funded by us taxpayers, under wraps. But if that wasn't bad enough, the Prime Minister is refusing to say exactly how much Hauiti stole, which makes a mockery of John Key's claim that he would be transparent about MPs' spending.

Yesterday (updated today), Radio NZ reported:

PM under pressure over Hauiti

Mr Peters said on Wednesday the matter is more serious than has been made public so far, and that Mr Key knows more than he says.

But the Prime Minister says he does not, and rejects suggestions that Ms Hauiti is getting away with it. He told reporters he has not asked how much money is involved.

"That's actually not a matter for me. That's a matter for Parliamentary Services and her. She made it quite [clear] to me that she was standing down from Parliament and that was on the back of the advice she'd had from the party, which took a pretty dim view to her making a mistake."

The problem for Key is that the public has a right to know the exact amount Claudette Hauiti stole off us, the taxpayer. In not providing that information, he's not only going back on his word, he's in fact protecting a thief and a liar! Nobody believes that Hauiti only spent $200 on a return trip to Australia.

The only reason Key won't tell us the exact amount stolen is because Hauiti's abuse of the parliamentary charge card will be extensive. It's likely to have started as soon as she got her hands on the card as well, which will cause even more uncomforted for the PM when questioned about why it took so long for them to put an end to Hauiti's criminal activity.

What we do know is that Hauiti's sense of entitlement caused her to abuse her position of power by running up huge bills at the taxpayer’s expense.

Parliamentary records show the MP spent about $22,000 on travel and accommodation from January to March this year. That's about $8000 more than other National Party list MPs based in Auckland.

On top of Hauiti buying herself a celebrity lifestyle at our expense, the disgraced National MP will keep her salary of nearly $150,000 as well as over $16,000 a year in expenses. You can be sure as death and taxes that she won't be working for her constituency while she's in the dog box either. Instead, Hauiti will have her snout in the trough for another three months after the election on full pay, which makes a mockery of Key's claim that he will hold National MP's to a higher standard.

Claudette Hauiti is a thief and should be treated as such. In my opinion she should be charged and prosecuted by the police. By trying to protect a thief, John Key runs the risk of this controversy eating into his baby kissing propaganda campaign to get reelected. He runs the risk of losing votes because most New Zealanders don't like to be ripped off by politicians.

John Key needs to front up and come clean on just how much Claudette Hauiti has stolen. If he truly doesn’t know, which is highly doubtful, then he bloody well should find out…because without accountability and honesty from those currently in power, we may as well vote for a change in government.