Blogging Article in The Press

February 18th, 2008 at 7:47 pm by David Farrar

It isn’t online yet, but I have included it over the break – a 2,300 word article which was in The Press about political blogs in NZ.

Myself, Steven Price, Russell Brown and Jordan Carter are all quoted.  Steven refers to me as “assiduous”, which I had to check in a dictionary to confirm it was what I thought it was :-)

There is plenty there for people to agree or disagree with.  I would make the comment that it is a pity I am the only person from the “right” they talked to – especially as they comment critically on other right blogs – why not ask them for comment? Also we see at the end that of the eight blogs listed, only one is from the right, one or arguably two are centrist and five or six are from the left.

What is interesting is how the motivation from some on the left is purely negative – they hate blogging but feel they have to do it, to counter the “right”.  Hell the day my motivation for blogging is to “counter” the left is the day I stop blogging. My motivation is to have fun, and have my view on issues I am interested in. Everything else is an added bonus.

BLOGGERS LEFT AND RIGHT

This year’s election could be the time when New Zealand’s burgeoning political bloggers finally make their presence felt. Or will they end up just talking to themselves? PHILIP MATTHEWS reports.

Who or what killed the Bulletin? When the venerable, ancient Australian news magazine folded last month, the internet was fingered as the prime suspect.

But what exactly was meant by that? Among the sentimental obituaries was some insightful comment from Australian journalist and academic Mark Bahnisch. Readers, he said, consume political news and analysis differently now: there’s less loyalty to titles than to individual commentators and “a premium on the ability to enter into a conversation about political news”.

Welcome, in other words, to the blogosphere. Bahnisch is himself a political blogger of some renown — he contributes to the well-regarded Australian group blog Lavartus Prodeo.

The same trends apply here, although they haven’t yet taken out a significant magazine title. Just as 2004 was the year that the internet broke through in United States politics — the year that candidates and parties began to run blogs, and online journalism had influence — and the Kevin 07 campaign that brought Kevin Rudd to power across the Tasman last year had a significant internet component, so might 2008 be the year of the New Zealand political blogger.

Back in 2005, David Farrar — whose Right-leaning Kiwiblog is one of a handful of must-reads for political junkies — felt that the internet’s influence on the wider electoral process was “minor”. He’s changed his mind since.

Along with a growing number of blogs, and a sense that the internet in general is having more influence on our lives as television and radio’s influence diminishes, there’s been a major development since 2005: the country’s three big daily newspapers — The Press, The Dominion Post and the New Zealand Herald — have all added blogger to the job description of their press-gallery journalists. News stories can now be updated and fleshed out. Opinion, usually forbidden in reporting, can be added. Readers can interact with journalists, asking questions and providing links to other discussions. It’s the very model Bahnisch talked about.

Among these blogger-journalists, commentators single out for praise the Herald’s Audrey Young and The Press’s Colin Espiner. Journalist Russell Brown, whose long-running Hard News won the inaugural best blog at last year’s Qantas Media Awards, respects Espiner for his willingness to take part in the discussions that follow his posts — which is typical for bloggers, but rare for journalists. He’s also good at dealing with the inevitable stirrers and crazies, Brown adds.

Meanwhile, one of Young’s posts from last year will probably go down as a milestone in the history of New Zealand blogging and an example of the form at its best. The post had the timeless, furious headline “I’m bloody angry with (John) Key”. Her beef was over the National leader’s dissembling: he told the Herald one thing about the trans-Tasman therapeutics debate, then claimed he never said it. So Young put the interview transcript online for all to see. “It was good that people could get that directly rather than seeing an unemotional newspaper column the next day,” Farrar says.

But is anyone reading the political blogs besides other bloggers and journalists?

Well, they definitely keep an eye on them in the Beehive, Brown says. “Every now and then you see a line from the blog turn up in a parliamentary speech.”

Helen Clark must be reading the major ones. In December, Clark made a comment that puzzled the blogging community: she complained that political journalists were “rushing to judgment” in their blogs. “I don’t remember the Prime Minister being so critical when the comment was praiseworthy of her government,” Espiner responded.

As well as being immediate, blogs can also show, not just tell — by linking directly to facts and sources. That’s how blogger Keith Ng unpicked Deborah Coddington’s infamous North and South story Asian Angst, revealing Coddington’s prejudices and correcting the statistics. For Brown, that post — which appeared on the Public Address site that also hosts Hard News — would rank as another milestone in Kiwi blogging.

Wellington media lawyer Steven Price also cites, for their research skills, the “assiduous” Farrar and the Left- wing blogger No Right Turn, a politics wonk who has become famous for his detailed parliamentary analysis.

I f that’s political blogging at its best, what does the worst look like? You don’t have to move very far from the centre to find out. Clowns to the Left, jokers to the Right: you get the feeling that if the blogosphere was an ecosystem, the far-Right bloggers would be bottom feeders.

While the same defamation laws apply online as in traditional media, journalistic ethics tend to be less established — but the net usually settles on its own agreed standards. And most bloggers thought that the Act-linked blogger Clint Heine crossed the line last month when he displayed an obscene photoshopped image of Helen Clark on his site. Farrar thought it was “puerile” (and despite the opprobrium that followed, the offending picture was still on Heine’s site weeks later).

An age of new lows? Heine’s image appeared mere days after another Right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater — son of former National Party president John Slater — tested privacy conventions when he put a photo of John Minto’s suburban Auckland house on his Whale Oil blog, to argue that the property-owning Minto can’t really call himself a socialist. Like Heine, Slater is also something of a Clark obsessive: at last count, there were 117 pictures of the Prime Minister in a gallery on his site, many digitally altered.

It only takes a few people to make a big noise online, giving the misleading impression that New Zealand politics is dominated by a loud and angry Right. Trawl through the comments sections of New Zealand blogs and you start to see familiar names whose causes and manners can be identified from their pseudonyms: Redbaiter, Dad4justice, Insolent Prick.

A recent Farrar post about Brown’s plans to host a media show on TVNZ 7 — another good example of how blogging is contributing to mainstream discussion — was quickly followed by comments denouncing Brown as a peddler of “commie propaganda” and the current Labour Government as a “Stalinistic (sic) regime of Leftie Muslim terrorists”. Another typical day in the blogosphere.

Such vehemence has caused Labour Party gay-and-lesbian-sector activist Jordan Carter to become disillusioned. Carter launched his Just Left blog in April 2004. For the first 10 months, debate was “fair spirited and tolerant”. But in February 2005, as the electoral machine lurched to life, things turned nasty. The comments section of Just Left became “a cesspit of malevolence”. For a while, he disabled the comments option; now, he just doesn’t read them.

“Blogging’s dominated by people who aren’t representative at all of either the population demographically or of their political views,” Carter says. “But the influence that community has is much greater than talkback or letters to the editor because it’s instantly accessible from your desk.”

What keeps him online? Ultimately, it’s the same impulse that inspired him to start in the first place: to do something about the Right’s dominance of the blogosphere. As Brown says, “If Act had the presence in the real world that it has in the blogosphere, it would dominate Parliament.”

But the Left is starting to throw it back. Two new Left-leaning blogs — The Standard and Kiwiblogblog — launched last year, and they’re more personal and aggressive in tone, Brown says. Kiwiblogblog’s very mission is in its title: it feeds off and responds to Farrar’s blog. The subject of its vilification claims that he enjoyed its attempts to “psychoanalyse” him early on, but believes it has gone “feral” since (in just the last few days, it has called Farrar a “racist” over some immigration comments, and TVNZ host Paul Henry “disgusting” for his efforts to “turn the attempted plane hijacking of (sic) a mentally unstable woman who happened to be Somali into an ethnic issue”).

“David Farrar does throw out the raw meat,” Brown says, in the Left’s defence. “For all that he’s annoyed by the way that The Standard and Kiwiblogblog go after him, he has for years tolerated that in his discussion forums.”

And if it’s feral, it can also be fun — like watching Labour with its claws out. The loyalty to Clark’s government is strong at Kiwiblogblog and The Standard — no wonder that the Right made such a meal of a Standard gaffe last month. It was revealed that the blog was hosted by a server operated by Labour Party member Lynn Prentice. Coming after the blogging Left’s regular snipes at Farrar over his National links — in the early days of his blogging, Farrar was working in the offices of Bill English and Don Brash, and he has done polling work for the party since — this Labour connection was “a poor look for them”, Brown agrees. But he doesn’t regard it as a scandal.

Recent blog activity has been so overheated and intense, Farrar says, that it is as though the 2008 campaign started in the second half of last year. For Farrar, traffic spiked around the Electoral Finance Act, which he opposed; for Brown, it came after the dropping of terrorism charges for the so-called Urewera 17. Here was the internet doing its job as the town square of the new wired world — “people really did want to talk that through”, Brown says.

And looking further afield, blogging is also having an influence in the current US primaries. Auckland journalism teacher Martin Hirst was watching cable news coverage of the New Hampshire primaries when he noticed that there was a reporter sitting in the studio, reading aloud what the blogs were reporting — The Huffington Post says this, The Daily Kos says that. Clever viewers could have cut out the middleman and gone straight to their computers.

Brown adds that there have been entire teams associated with each primary candidate cruising the comments sections of the top 100 blogs, talking up their bosses — much as party volunteers here have posed as talkback callers or written letters to the editors of newspapers. If you took the comments as gospel, though, you could get a distorted view: “The Ron Paul fan club was just astonishing,” Brown says. “They clearly thought he was God.”

The next stage must be a greater online presence for New Zealand candidates and MPs. Jordan Carter says that in 2005 he advised Labour candidates that there wasn’t much use in them blogging, as their American equivalents had done, if all they could expect to get back was the kind of abuse that he received. His more recent advice has been to approach it with caution.

So who blogs now? Rodney Hide has had one for a while — “a good read” according to Farrar, who thinks it was even better before its author became Act leader. Back then, when Hide had more time on his hands, he had every comment sent to his Blackberry, where he vetted them personally. Farrar adds that Hide understands that a blog isn’t just a place to dump press releases or set out your diary. And John Tamihere had a blog he claimed he wrote himself although, Brown notes, his spelling suddenly took a bad turn when journalist Helen Bain stopped being his press secretary. Russel Norman contributes to the Green Party’s Frogblog, which Farrar rates, despite disliking Norman’s politics — “it allows you to have conversations with a party leader”. Craig Foss, National MP for Tukituki, has what Farrar calls “a cheeky wee blog”. Otherwise, Farrar agrees, blogging is a missed opportunity.

But Hirst, a former Australian press- gallery journalist, agrees with Carter that New Zealand politicians should tread carefully. Yes, the online part of the Kevin 07 campaign was a success, but failure is just as easy.

Ask John Howard, who launched the Liberals’ environment policy on You Tube. “He gave this really awful, wooden performance and it got absolutely lampooned,” Hirst says. “The whole strategy fell apart.”

The trouble with this brave new world is that as soon as something goes online, you risk losing the very thing that no politician likes to lose — control.

RUSSELL BROWN: Hard News

http://www.publicaddress.net/hardnews

NO RIGHT-TURN

http://www.norightturn.blogspot.com

STEVEN PRICE: Media Law Journal:

http://www.medialawjournal.co.nz

KIWIBLOGBLOG:

http://kiwiblogblog.wordpress.com

COLIN ESPINER: On the House:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/blogs/politics

FROGBLOG:

http://blog.greens.org.nz

DAVID FARRAR: Kiwiblog:

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz

THE STANDARD:

http://www.thestandard.org.nz

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80 Responses to “Blogging Article in The Press”

  1. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    If the right wingers are enjoying things too much there are laws that can be passed to stop that.

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  2. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Heh, typical lefty media hack, can’t even get basic fact right, just trotting out the Standard and Russell Brown talking points.

    What amazes me is that it is alright for MSM wankers to post pictures of Dick Hubbard’s house and Helen Clark’s house in the newspaper and a guest poster posts a publicly available photo of John Minto’s house and all of a sudden I am a stalker. Not one single lefty blogger (Russell is really a media hack as well) acknowledged the fact that neither I nor Eddie went anywhere near the Chardonnay Socialist hypocrites house.

    I would have thought that Phillip bloody Matthews would have had the common courtesy of calling or at the very least getting his facts right.

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  3. francis (712 comments) says:

    So, D, it is basically you, alone, against the herd on the left. An enviable position ;-)

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  4. Tane (1,096 comments) says:

    Truth hurts Whale, truth hurts. Outside the Kiwiblog Right your behaviour is viewed as repugnant, and as predicted it’s come back to bite you.

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  5. ben (2,418 comments) says:

    What is interesting is how the motivation from some on the left is purely negative – they hate blogging but feel they have to do it, to counter the “right”.

    If that is true generally, then it means there is, believe it or not, an undersupply of left wing blogs – they are presumably being partly undone by free riding.

    In making this comment, I am presuming economics is not a vast right wing conspiracy, which of course it is :-)

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  6. Sushi Goblin (419 comments) says:

    Tane, what is your behaviour viewed as?

    After all, your deceptive behaviour regarding accepting Labour donations on the sly and not declaring them has completely shredded any credibility you had as independent thinking left bloggers.

    Whaleoil might be an aggressive, even rude man. But he’s honest. And you aren’t.

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  7. BlairM (2,310 comments) says:

    Isn’t that tragic? I blog because I enjoy it. Who are these losers who see blogging as a political act? I’m just a guy having fun and sounding off!

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  8. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    You are such a cock Tane.

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  9. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Tane can’t be expected to tell the truth can he, after all he learned his story telling from Helen and Mike and Owen…..except Tane and Lynn used at least 7 different explanations none of which held water.

    Why because they no longer use the Static IP block…what happened to the donation Tane, or was it perhaps an interest free loan.

    Hollow comments from a hollow blogger on a hollow site sponsored, aided and abetted by a hollow party.

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  10. kehua (225 comments) says:

    So are you and I the only ones who reached for a dictionary David ? It does sound bloody close to insidious doesn`t it. But I agree an apt description no bout a doubt it.

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  11. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Don’t be silly kehua even Clark used assiduous…in fact she used it in the phrase “Golfer Clubs, Accountancy Firms, Law firms, they have been assiduously spreading this muck”

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  12. big bruv (13,656 comments) says:

    Speaking of fuckwits, what happened to that little shit Jimmy Sleep?

    Did his mum take his PC off him?

    [DPF: Umm unprovoked attacks on someone not contributing to a thread, or the subject of the thread is rather disorderly. Demerits next time]

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  13. kehua (225 comments) says:

    Let sleeping mutts lie big bruv.

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  14. davegee (14 comments) says:

    I do find it intriguing that although both Clint Heine and Whale Oil’s blogs are mentioned and discussed in the article, neither are given the courtesy of a link at the bottom of the story along with all the lefty ones. They also try to bury Kiwiblog near the bottom of the list, despite focussing heavily on the blog in the article. Typical balanced msm.

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  15. Jack5 (5,001 comments) says:

    Matthews’ blogging article shows the Press continues its drift to the left and to political correctness under new editor, quick-rise Australian subeditor Andrew Holden.

    The Press regular Valentine’s Day article was on a proposal by one lesbian to another, for example.

    In the piece on blogging, the Matthews choice of adjectives and examples shows blatant bias in favour of the left. And he ignores any questions about his left sources. For example he ignores the outing of the Trotskyist ideology of his source Hirst, even though this first erupted in a Christchurch based blog (Newzeal).

    Matthews you are destined for a PR job with Labour — if the Government lasts long enough.

    I

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  16. Richard Hurst (819 comments) says:

    On the same day as this article appeared so did the column of that old hand bag of the Left, Liz Gordon. She engaged in an attack on right wing bloggers. What a stroke of coincidence. I wouldn’t go as far as accusing that a bit of conspiracy has gone on at the Press between miss Gordon and a certain journalist as I don’t think that would be fair, however by appearance it looks a bit off.

    I can’t see why the journalist doing the story couldn’t have asked DPF to email (via the email address provided for registration) the three posters specifically mentioned ( redbaiter, Dad4justice,Insolent prick) in the article and asked them if they would like to be briefly interviewed via email about political blogging. Q and A sort of thing. Just dumping on them without applying a bit of journalistic effort to ask and inquire is not professional. Yeah the journalist might have run the risk of e-abuse but since when have real journalists been scared of that?

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  17. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    I see Tane’s comments as being very much par for the course. I recall some from the left who used to make a comment on here, then post a link to KBB or somewhere else saying “see, it must be true, they are saying it over there as well.” And when following the link, you find the same person with a post on that blog saying the same thing. Like repeating something on another blog suddenly makes it true.

    So, what we have is Tane from the Standard pointing to an article in the paper that mentions Whaleoil, and saying “see, I told you that would come back to haunt you.” But was Tane interviewed for that article, so did it in fact come back to haunt Whale at all, or is Tane just haunting him?

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  18. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Knowing IP as I do, I don’t think he gives two f*&ks what some piss-ass $30k a year journalist thinks about him.

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  19. Insolent Prick (417 comments) says:

    A bit surprised that IP guy is described as having manners that can be described by his pseudonym. He’s always struck me as far better mannered towards pinkos than they deserve.

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  20. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Whoever the journalist is, he must have been standing behind the door when they did ‘ journalism’ at journalism school. No research, just a day spent reading blogs and interviewing his navel to reach some pretty weak conclusions (if that).

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  21. berend (1,693 comments) says:

    DPF: Steven refers to me as “assiduous”, which I had to check in a dictionary to confirm it was what I thought it was

    The question though is, did Steven consult a dictionary to confirm what he thought it was before using this term :-)

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  22. Richard (130 comments) says:

    I can’t see why the journalist doing the story couldn’t have asked DPF to email (via the email address provided for registration) the three posters specifically mentioned ( redbaiter, Dad4justice,Insolent prick)

    Anyone reading d4j or redbaiter’s comments probably guessed they wouldn’t much extra insight by seeking to interview them. d4j’s views are pretty easy to gather from his comments and blog, and redbaiter clearly to worried about hiding his real identity to enter into any dialogue outside friendly territory.

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  23. Cactus Kate (549 comments) says:

    Forget the rest of the article which was a bit fo a yawn. I just think it is fabulous that the words “Insolent” and “Prick” made it together uncensored in the mainstream media.

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  24. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    The difference between left and right wingers on blogs – is that one is seeking group solidarity, affirmation and collectively developed and agreed answers (and Labour should actually be doing this within a party political setting and trying to build up their membership through this form of blogging and inter-active debate about policy) – and right wingers who are already agreed on the answers (less government, less tax more market and less regulation etc) and who just want to sound off individually in support of that and against “socialism”.

    For left wingers there is importance to collective policy, for right wingers it’s deconstructing the collective, thus the left invest more personally in politics, whereas for the right it’s negation and (self) affirmation of the individual. Which explains the different blogs.

    The era of blogs is like the early eras of printing and all the suppressed opinion of the common folk can find a voice (pamphlets) and audience. Free at last from the “censorship” of limited letters to the editors space and certain crank gatekeepers (GG and Mr Magoo, RL).

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  25. Southern Raider (1,773 comments) says:

    Does anyone else feel like smacking Russell Brown when you see him on the anti-smacking ad?

    He just comes across as a self righteous wanker.

    [DPF: And that is also disorderly. This is not a general forum to abuse people who haven't even posted. And that ad is not anti-smacking as much as anti all violence]

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  26. dad4justice (8,017 comments) says:

    Thank you Dickhead, as you know where you can shove your 100 words you silly sausage.

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  27. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    It’s not ok unless you are Trevor or Len
    It’s not ok if you are Exclusive Brethren
    It’s not ok if you spend your own money
    It’s not ok to speed unless there is a rugby match to get to
    It’s not ok to forge painting and destroy the evidence, unless you are Helen
    It’s not ok to vote National
    It’s not ok to have a dinner conversation in 1999
    and so on…..

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  28. dad4justice (8,017 comments) says:

    Russell Brown make my TV explode after the cat vomited when she spotted the nitwit socialist crackpot waving his finger at all fathers.
    Wonder how the Paris Hilton blog snog is going? Still a place for puffball handbag tossers.Is the theatrical circus for the insane communists still functioning on liarbour money honey ?
    Will he get a gong on the head under Klarkula’ s regime of twisted spiders

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  29. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    SPC: do you ever wonder whether your pre-conceived notions colour how you view others?

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  30. RebelHeart (123 comments) says:

    # Cactus Kate Says:
    February 18th, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Forget the rest of the article which was a bit fo a yawn. I just think it is fabulous that the words “Insolent” and “Prick” made it together uncensored in the mainstream media.

    ROFL, didn’t even realise until you pointed it out!

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  31. dad4justice (8,017 comments) says:

    Funny that the Press would reflect my blogging ability in a rather shady light when they have published dozens of my letters to editor ?

    I did not mean to offend Russell Brown as I know he is scared shitless of me.

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  32. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    Paul L

    Having an opinion about the difference between left and right wing bloggers is not a pre-conceived notion. Whether a left or right winger is of the “differential standard” or not, or to what greater or lesser degree, is only going to be known over time. And given people change over time, it’s all in a state of flux anyhow.

    But thanks for the attempt to paint me as a bigot.

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  33. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    d4j

    You should write to the Herald GG would love your stuff.

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  34. dad4justice (8,017 comments) says:

    SPCa, I am thinking of throwing my computer into the offal pit and heading back to the funny farm ’cause my head hurts and I think a Klarkula spider bite is eating away at my brain.
    Kind regards
    Norman Bates.

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  35. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    SPC: just that you attribute to the left nice fuzzy notions of collectiveness and forming ideas jointly online, and to the right a mindset of fixed opinions and basically looking for an opportunity to tear down. I found that to be interesting, and wondered if your political outlook contributes to that view. I could name any number of left commenters who, so far as I can see, are only here to tear things down. Hence my question.

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  36. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Outside the Kiwiblog Right your behaviour is viewed as repugnant”

    So… ???? Who cares about “outside the Kiwiblog right”?? Bunch of bloody commies socialists bludgers and wankers…

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  37. BlairM (2,310 comments) says:

    *LOL at Redbaiter*

    QED!

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  38. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Assiduous”? I would have thought “hearty” was a better word. Mr Farrar’s blog I think is set apart by its owners constant good humour and enthusiasm for what he does. The left on the other hand (KBB and the Standard) often appear to be motivated by spite and bitterness. They’re smug and condescending, arrogant and patronising, uninformed and immature, humourless and trite. Produced by smarmy little half educated left wing toadies without a milligram of real world experience amongst the lot of them. Kiwiblog is a real blog. KBB and the Standard are just fifth rate reactionary Marxist twaddle.

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  39. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    Yep Redbaiter, yep, sad but true and you know what their are only really two types of people in this world, Wankers and Liars.

    We know Tane is a liar but he is probably a liar who …..oh don’t worry they are suffering from BDS.
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/?q=node/5945

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  40. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    KDS I mean.

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  41. Richard (130 comments) says:

    Oh, the irony.

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  42. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    PaulL

    If you find my description an affront, there is hope for you yet. Most right wingers would probably have no problem with it though.

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  43. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Irony”

    Why are the left so obsessed with this word, and simultaneoulsy so prone to misusing it?? I’ll tell you. A sub standard education. Poor things.

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  44. PaulL (6,013 comments) says:

    SPC: hmm. At the risk of going all RedBaiter here, when did you start speaking for the right?

    There are a number of commenters on here who like to discuss the ideas rather than just rant and rave about commies, socialists, and Klark. From both the left and the right. There are also a number who come with “Labour good National bad” glasses and ignore all discussion, who are purely seeking to disrupt and deflect, or who are just nutjobs.

    I’m not sure you can draw a lot of conclusions about the differences or similarities between the right and the left from that, other than perhaps “it takes all types”.

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  45. IdiotSavant (88 comments) says:

    The article is online here:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/4402999a13135.html

    Liz Gordon’s is here:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/thepress/0a15235.html

    I had people emailing me asking if I knew what a “wonk” was.

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  46. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    PaulL

    Right wingers speak for right wingers and this usually conforms to what I wrote.

    … that one is seeking group solidarity, affirmation and collectively developed and agreed answers (and Labour should actually be doing this within a party political setting and trying to build up their membership through this form of blogging and inter-active debate about policy) – and

    right wingers

    who are already agreed on the answers

    (less government, less tax more market and less regulation etc)

    and who just want to sound off individually in support of that and

    against “socialism”.

    For left wingers there is importance to collective policy,

    for right wingers it’s deconstructing the collective, thus the left invest more personally in politics,

    whereas for the right it’s negation and (self) affirmation of the individual.

    —————————————–

    Any right winger who says that does not reflect them, is free to say why.

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  47. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    What is interesting is how the motivation from some on the left is purely negative – they hate blogging but feel they have to do it, to counter the “right”. Hell the day my motivation for blogging is to “counter” the left is the day I stop blogging. My motivation is to have fun, and have my view on issues I am interested in. Everything else is an added bonus.

    That may be true, but there are dozens of commenters here who have said many times that the reason they say their piece (in some cases over and over and over and omfg) is because they want to balance out what they feel is a leftist media and blogosphere. This is not a phenomenon confined to ‘leftists’ however you define that term.

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  48. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    Pfft the article was more somebody trying to look like he was up with the “blogging” world. I never got asked anything about it and yet he calls me a Clark obsessive. The naked ‘Helen with a cock’ pic did my hit counter a little boost but I couldn’t give a toss if it upset anybody.

    I enjoy blogging and if some precious wee lefties get insulted while I do it then they should stop reading it. I haven’t forced anybody yet to read my blog.
    The left are so bitter because most of them cannot defend the amount of shit Labour has lied about over the years so they either cry off, or delete/ban comments.

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  49. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    BTW thanks to Phillip, I reposted the photo just now.

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  50. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    ah..!..blubby..!

    learnt your (political) vileness at daddys’ knee..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  51. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (859 comments) says:

    SPC just doesnt get it does he. His prejudices stand out in stark neon.

    Everybody else knows that the left sees the world through ideology and enforces solidarity (hence the constant schisms).

    The right values individual responsibility. This is why the right grasped and ran the “vast right wing conspiracy” line when bestowed by the clintons of all people (who truly understand paranoid machine politics).

    Thats right, we on the right adopted the phrase because its funny. Its so ridiculously untrue, and so born of paranoia from the left, that who could fail to embrace it.

    Read around the kiwiblog threads. Which side is robotically running the lines that the government is wonderful, all the scandals are but mere blips on the path to enlightenment. Thats right its our house lefties.

    Then go to the attack sites, read the anger, the hostility (and in phule’s case the incoherence). Weird. For an ideology that allegedly “represents the people” those guys don’t seem to be fun to hang out with.

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  52. Chris S (111 comments) says:

    Way to prove them wrong, Clint!

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  53. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so..i run an ‘attack’ site..?

    what does that actually mean..?

    is nige referring to the fact i serve it up to most/all political parties..?

    (and try to judge/evaluate merits/or lack of on a case-by-case story-by-story basis.?).

    is so..i’m the only one..

    and anyway..my main ‘business’ on whoar..is picking up the slack/shortfall from our abysmal dead-tree media..

    and providing a daily roundup of the local and international news that ‘matters’..

    any ‘attacking’ is just a sub-thread/component of that process..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  54. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “is nige referring to the fact i serve it up to most/all political parties..?”

    Good grief. The totally misplaced arrogance. Serve up what? You’re too mentally limp to serve anything to anybody Phil. Except maybe cold sycophantic porridge to your commie mates.

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  55. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    ‘..cold sycophantic prridge..’

    heh-heh..!

    i like that..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  56. Insolent Prick (417 comments) says:

    Phule, the article doesn’t mention you. You are simply too insignificant. I got a mention, despite the fact I haven’t written a single blog post in six months. Nigel didn’t give you a serve because you’re effective, or because you serve it up to everybody in equal doses. He merely mentioned in passing that you are incoherent.

    Again, Phule, this post is not about you.

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  57. unaha-closp (1,155 comments) says:

    For left wingers there is importance to collective policy, for right wingers it’s deconstructing the collective, thus the left invest more personally in politics,

    Nah.

    The left are supportive of government policy and the right are against government policy. Change the government and soon the right will be fully on the defensive, acting just as personally offended by legitimate attacks on policy.

    For instance back in the 90s Hard News was insightful political commentry able to persuasively construct a logical argument for or against policy. He used to expressively engage in public discourse, putting forward a cohesive (anti-government) political message in an election year and he felt rightly proud of doing it. Nowadays Russell Brown supports the suppression of political advocacy in an election year, framing activities equivalent to his of the 90s as some sort of corrupting illegitimate influence.

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  58. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    The phenomenon DPF describes about the Left only doing blogging to “counter the Right” is partly because they have the other avenues of information covered already. Blogs and talkback are more representative of the real world, and of course, they don’t like that.

    It is a pity that DPF is so unserious about the ruthlessness of “the other side”.

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  59. toms (301 comments) says:

    “…talkback are more representative of the real world, and of course, they don’t like that…”

    Are there you have, in one sentence, all you need to know about the kiwiblog right sense of reality.

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  60. MrHappy (70 comments) says:

    PhilBest: I disagree that blogs and talkback are more representative of ‘the real world’.

    The blogosphere is populated by people that feel strongly enough to weigh in on political issues – generally those close to the poles of an argument. If you were to take a selection of real-world inhabitants and ask for their opinion on an issue, and compare their response to a comments-thread on a blog post on the same issue, the difference would be starkly obvious.

    The blogosphere is great for the highly politically motivated, and serves an important role alongside traditional media, but to hold that it is broadly representative of the general populace is fooling oneself.

    MrHappy

    (I should also note in a moment of unadulterated fanboy-ness that even as a devoted Greens-voting leftie, I think DPF does a sterling job and should be commended for his even-handedness, humility, and all-round excellence in blogging issues. Kudos due)

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  61. ex-expat (2 comments) says:

    There are left wing people that blog because they like to. Span springs to mind though she has retired.

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  62. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    “Blogs and talkback are more representative of the real world…”

    HAH!!!

    Blogs may give a good indication of where the real world’s extremes are, by drawing out the nuttiest of its screaming lunatics, but I think you have to agree that a measure of the balance, reason and tact that you usually see in The Real World is very, very lacking from a lot of these blog commentaries.

    I mean, would (say) John Key ever contemplate making a statement in the real world that read like an average Kiwiblog comment (e.g. the following:)

    “My learned colleague” (name altered – RRM) Says:
    February 19th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Therein lies the crux of the issue you cute little sex object. Whilst you were living out your liberated feminist fantasy, and being indoctirnated with post modernist lies, the Muslim wimmin have been breeding. Western civilization is fucked Debbie, and its gullible milksops like you (and the misguided social manipulators of the left who led you astray) who are to blame.

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  63. Richard (130 comments) says:

    “Irony” Why are the left so obsessed with this word, and simultaneoulsy so prone to misusing it?? I’ll tell you. A sub standard education. Poor things.

    In terms of “an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected”, I think refering to some of this thread as ironic is a pretty good use of the word. Someone describes you and d4j as loud and angry and what do you know – the normal stream of loud and angry ranting attacking the individual commences.

    Admittedly I wouldn’t have placed money on any other outcome.

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  64. Richard (130 comments) says:

    “Blogs and talkback are more representative of the real world…” HAH!!!

    Too true, I recall my Radio Pacific listening granny telling me the early 90s were worse than the Great Depression on the basis of what she heard on the radio.

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  65. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Actually, reading the article again, there is exactly one person who says they don’t enjoy the blogging – Jordan Carter. And his reason is because of all the abuse. I’m not surprised that he sees moderating his blog as unpleasant work, especially since he has real work to do.

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  66. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “the normal stream of loud and angry ranting attacking the individual commences”

    What is it with you limp wristed liberals that as well as not understanding the true meaning or irony, you constantly mistake strongly expressed opinion for anger. Are you really such dispassionate tutu wearing milksops? Good grief.

    The people who built this country would spin in their graves if they were ever to witness the ineffectual wittering of narcissistic panty waisted bimbos like Richard, who don’t have half as much to say on any issue as they have to say about their discomfort at being faced with a bit of down home vocabulary. Simpering prissy little handbag carriers.

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  67. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    the normal stream of loud and angry ranting attacking the individual

    I doubt there’s any real emotion behind most of it. All in a day’s work for the usual suspects. You don’t have to be angry to pluck up courage to anonymously attack people online. You just have to be bothered.

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  68. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    I must say after election 08 its going to be somewhat difficult moving from attack mode after 9 years to defense mode.

    Attacking the Socialists and destroying their arguements is a bit like shooting apples in the barrel And dont they wind themselves up and let themselves be wound up so.

    Oh well will just have get used to it I guess especially as given the nat(ural) party of governments going to be there for a looooong time

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  69. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    cheeky penis said..

    “..Phule, the article doesn’t mention you. You are simply too insignificant. I got a mention, despite the fact I haven’t written a single blog post in six months…”

    aren’t you a sweetie..?

    but all you really do is emphasise what a dickwad the person who wrote this article is..

    ..and how ‘out of touch’ with the subject matter they were attempting to cover they are..

    i mean..!..an in-depth article on the current nz blogworld ‘features/highlights’ a person who hasn’t written a word in six months..?

    good work..!..dickwad..!

    does yr boss know how feckin’ incompetent you are..?

    all your piece is is a reminder to us all how rthe dead-tree-media..is dead-industry-walking..

    i mean..!..what do you all fucken do all day..

    hundreds of you to produce a really low-rent/second-class clip ‘n paste operation..?

    how do you fucken sleep at night..?

    your whole working days must be spent ‘trying to look busy’..

    and hey !..dickwad..

    try this test..!..any day..

    compare any edition of the rag you write for..

    with the stories run on whoar on that same day..

    i..one person..piss all over you..

    and you fucken know it..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  70. dad4justice (8,017 comments) says:

    “how do you fucken sleep at night..?”

    philu addict;does it take one or two ounces of weed to make you go to sleep?

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  71. Richard (130 comments) says:

    …limp wristed liberals … dispassionate tutu wearing milksops? Good grief… ineffectual wittering of narcissistic panty waisted bimbos … prissy little handbag carriers.”

    Keep it up Redbaiter, you bring your libertarian chums into further disrepute with each rant. Do you really think your naming calling antics help NotPC and Libertyscott’s reasoned advocacy of libertarianism? It is however disappointing that the entire right of centre (including our host DPF) gets tarred by your silliness.

    like Richard, who don’t have half as much to say on any issue as they have to say about their discomfort at being faced with a bit of down home vocabulary

    I don’t feel discomfort, I just think you’re a buffoon who undermines his credibility through acting childishly.

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  72. Richard (130 comments) says:

    Ben said: – I doubt there’s any real emotion behind most of it. All in a day’s work for the usual suspects. You don’t have to be angry to pluck up courage to anonymously attack people online. You just have to be bothered.

    You’re probably right.

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  73. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson – Jordan knows that he is asking for it. Over the years he has turned from some sort of independent thinker into a mouthpiece of HC and friends. He has defended in indefensible and spun around so furiously I reckon he has forgotten what he actually believes in anymore…. he gets told what to believe by HC.

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  74. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” I don’t feel discomfort, I just think ”

    Yawn, and what you think is important because……???

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  75. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson – Jordan knows that he is asking for it.

    Yes, by creating a blog with open commentary in which he expresses his views and by being a Labour insider. By those sins he has asked for his blog to be filled with garbage.

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  76. Richard (130 comments) says:

    Yawn, and what you think is important because……???

    Well you keep replying so you obviously attach some weight to it.

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  77. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Well you keep replying so you obviously attach some weight to it.”

    Not really. Some people are just so thick they have to be told time and time again.

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  78. SPC (5,531 comments) says:

    nigel

    For someone disagreeing with me – your post then goes on to confirm the stereotypical prejudices that exist about the left and right in general society.

    Sure you may emphasise the potential negatives to the collective (conformity or exclusion) and highlight the possible virtues of the individualistic, but in the end it’s just a right on with spin it our way.

    Thanks for the attempt to label me prejudiced for not being a right winger and not spinning it your way.

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  79. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    Ben Ben Ben, obviously not a long time blog reader are we? Jordan has been around the block and back again for years… he has never been a parrot as much as he has over the last 2 years.

    He must find swallowing those dead rats easier each day.

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  80. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Ben Ben Ben, obviously not a long time blog reader are we?

    I don’t read much that you write, if that’s what you’re asking.

    I’ve been reading blogs for probably about 6 years, and I’ve always been of the opinion that blog owners should not have to put up with personal abuse directed at them or any other commentators. That goes whether they are independent or completely aligned. It is their choice, of course. DPF tolerates quite a lot of abuse, and it shows – you really have to sift Kiwiblog to get to the content. There’s still a lot of content, but there’s a shitload of sifting too. I guess Jordan would like a different experience for his readers, but once abuse has set in it’s really hard to ‘stop the cycle’.

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