Watkins on Blogs

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:49 am by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins blogs:

I like David and he’s definitely one of the sharper knives in the drawer around Wellington, but sadly he seems to have lost his mojo. Back when Labour was in power, he did a sterling job of running issues and was the outlet for the voice of opposition. But nowadays he seems to be floundering over his purpose. Cheerleading is okay but it’s not why people started reading .

Funnily enough, just a couple of days ago, Audrey Young blogged:

Key’s nervousness is aided no doubt by continued critical commentary on the right including from David Farrar’s Kiwiblog most recently on the Boscawen bill

So one political editor says I’m cheerleading and another says my continued critical commentary is making the PM nervous :-)

It should be no surprise to anyone that Kiwiblog is less “edgy” with National in Government. Of course I am going to be happier with more of what the Government does.

But I do reject the label of cheerleader. Hell, I ignore most of the announcements from Government as boring. And I thought I had been pretty vigorous in opposing the Government’s moves to ban handheld cellphone use in cars. I’ve said many times I don’t support at large Council seats for Auckland. I have called for the anti-smacking law to be changed numerous times. I’ve continued to advocate Nancy Wake getting honoured (despite the change of Government) and have also said several times that the immigration allegations around a National MP should have gone to an independent inquiry.

But I hold centre-right beliefs. I enjoy pointing out lunacy and hypocrisy from the left, and while they keep providing me material, I’ll enjoy keeping that up.

This probably appears somewhat defensive. I think Tracy is probably quite right that Kiwiblog is not the same as in the last years of Labour – I agree. But I don’t like or accept the term “cheer leader”. My purpose in blogging is much the same as when I started – to have my say on anything I am interested in.

Anyway back to Tracy:

Whale Oil: I’ll admit it… once I got over my squeamishness, I quite enjoyed his blog. Utterly nihilistic and entertaining

Nihilistic – that’s a good term for it!

The Standard: They have picked up where Kiwiblog left off and do a good job of running issues as the voice of opposition. It’s a Labour blog in the same way Kiwiblog is a National blog, I guess, so it makes sense that they would fit more comfortably within the blogosphere now Labour is in Opposition. But is not yet required reading in the same way that Kiwiblog was during Labour’s final few years in government.

I said both before and after the election that I thought The Standard would do better in Opposition, and I agree with Tracy that they are. They seemed to more an anti John Key blog, even when he was in Opposition, than anything else, so having Key as PM gives them much more material.

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46 Responses to “Watkins on Blogs”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    Key’s nervousness is aided no doubt by continued critical commentary on the right

    A weird thing to say: my impression is that Key is utterly disinterested in any critical commentary from the left or the right; his focus seems to be on poll results and market research, not pundits.

    [DPF: nothing wrong with listening to pollsters and pundits :-)]

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  2. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    I think the PM like all PMs keeps a fairly close eye on opinion everywhere and adjusts Government actions to suit. You do have a clear understanding on how your blog fits into the scheme of things especially now that National is in power. The quality of your analysis remains very high even if at times your “social” connections especially with some Labour figures clouds your judgement too much at times for my taste. Indeed the quality of your analysis of the issues sets your blog apart and is the main reason why I read and comment on it.

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  3. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    What a laff that a mainstream media “journalist” has the gall to criticise Kiwiblog or any bloggers for that matter.

    And to dare mention the word cheerleading.

    If Watkins and her ilk, that bunch of wet Progressive sycophants laughingly referred to as the mainstream media, had ever been doing their damn job right, the market for blogs would not have arisen.

    If Watkins and her hopeless collection of global warming propagandists, advocates for separatism and racism, protectors of Helen Klark, smearers of Don Brash, denigrators of Western civilisation, sneerers at Christianity and promoters of secularism, and various other traitors to the profession of journalism, had ever got off their fat useless arses and did some real work, blogs would never have found the readership they have.

    If the Editors of the mainstream papers had permitted varied viewpoints to be expressed in their Letter’s To The Editor’s, instead of binning anything that conflicted with the above mentioned viewpoints, they might have maintained some right to call themselves objective news outlets. They didn’t though, so today we have blogs.

    Kiwiblog might have lost a bit of edge since the election, but Tracy watkins and her mainstream media ilk lost their edge a decade or more ago and have been going down hill ever since.

    Shut up about blogs Tracey. You’re just another cheerleader for the Progressives. Nobody to judge the blogosphere.

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  4. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Labour deserved a caning due to atrocious policies and behaviour bordering on being corrupt (anyone recall labour overspending on elections? ).

    The simple reason there is less heat on National is because they have done little wrong, even those on left seem pretty happy with the way national is going.

    Labours attacks seem incoherent and uncoordinated. For example, earlier this year Phil Goff trashed National for deferring tax cut. This makes todays NBR “Labour advocates tax hike” somewhat puzzling.

    The one glaring example of national going off track, is the anti smacking legislation. But, for some reason, labour continue to support national on that when it is the largest issue in the country and will continue to be so.

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  5. CraigM (541 comments) says:

    “They have picked up where Kiwiblog left off….”

    Not while they continue to censor comments so heavily.

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  6. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    “my impression is that Key is utterly disinterested in any critical commentary”

    I’d be surprised if that were true – he seems to me to be someone who is prepared to make his own decisions and stick with them. It’s called leadership.

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  7. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Shame Whale teamed up with that deranged cross wired loser who got the boot from No Minister because of his kindergarten style.

    Talk about misjudging his market. Used to be a daily read. Now all its good for is staying away from.

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  8. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Interesting reading the comments on Audrey Youngs blog. This commenter however seems a bit confused,

    “deborah coddington Martinborough 10:00AM Tuesday 1 September 2009. So am I on the left now? I seem to recall I’ve been consistent in my criticism of Baldock and his petition, and support of Key and his stand.”

    (is she asking as if its her objective?)

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  9. MajorBloodnok (307 comments) says:

    It’s a Labour blog in the same way Kiwiblog is a National blog,

    I’m surprised you let that one pass. I understood Kiwiblog is not funded by the National party. Nor has fulltime bloggers. Plus Kiwiblog tolerates (nay, encourages) debate.

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  10. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “(is she asking as if its her objective?)”

    Who knows.

    Debs, who was always so good in the Free Radical, has morphed into some kind of politically incoherent Progressive mole without an earth connection.

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  11. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter

    What a laff that a mainstream media “journalist” has the gall to criticise Kiwiblog or any bloggers for that matter.

    And to dare mention the word cheerleading.

    If Watkins and her ilk, that bunch of wet Prog… WAHH WAHH WAHHHHH”

    How dare you criticize the decisions of a private company?

    You are just scared of non red baiter approved news coming out, you’re an ideological creep, you’re just plain scared of the truth.

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  12. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Ah well, I see the intellectual giants of the left have arrived….

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  13. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    “Plus Kiwiblog tolerates (nay, encourages) debate.”

    Not everyone….

    “Shut up about blogs Tracey. You’re just another cheerleader for the Progressives. Nobody to judge the blogosphere.”
    etc

    There is a certain amount of smugness here about how good and how right (in more ways than one) “we” are, and how worthless and irrelevant other blogs are.

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  14. Leg Break (89 comments) says:

    No mention of Public Address? That seems a bit odd.

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  15. CraigM (541 comments) says:

    “Shame Whale teamed up ………..”

    Ditto. I used to enjoy reading cactus as well, but that new blog is a mess. Hard to read and the ‘deranged’ one is enough reason to stay away….I’ll give it a while to settle and then maybe have another go but as a first impression it seems to have been a backward move for two previously good blogs.

    “……you’re an ideological creep, you’re just plain scared of the truth.”

    Funny as a fart. Most socialists wouldn’t know the truth if it was going down on them. Red may be many things, but I don’t think scared of the truth is one of them.

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  16. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    No mention of Public Address? That seems a bit odd.

    Not really – if you read PA these days it’s mostly sports, gender issues, music, media commentary. The political analysis is fairly minimal.

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  17. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    yep gotcha isn’t as it was.
    still its early days yet. I’ll go back weekly and see.

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  18. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “That seems a bit odd.”

    Maybe, maybe not. Public Address (and Kiwipolitico) are just left wing echo chambers. Places where extreme left wankers gather to reinforce their own self righteous elitism, and where the sneering narcissistic proprietors, drunk with the heady essence of unlimited power, wait to strike like lightning against any post that might express any disdain for Progressivism.

    They don’t get many hits, and their hit count is probably decreasing, and the impact they make is insignificant, so why would anyone want to mention them in the same article as Kiwiblog?? Kiwiblog is a success. Public Address and Kiwipolitico are self important pompous academics who don’t know that they’re really (in the political and blogging dimension) just whining pimply faced spoiled brat adolescents.

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  19. Leg Break (89 comments) says:

    @Danyl,

    Some of those things, like gender and media issues, would be pretty political in their nature though?

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  20. racer1 (352 comments) says:

    “CraigM
    Funny as a fart. Most socialists wouldn’t know the truth if it was going down on them. Red may be many things, but I don’t think scared of the truth is one of them.”

    Considering the deranged world view he seems to hold, it is not surprising that at least 50% of the drivel spews out onto the keyboard is for the sole purpose of denying reality.

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  21. Jack5 (5,274 comments) says:

    Who gives a stuff what Watkins thinks? We read Kiwiblog because we think her Fairfucked Media DominionPost and the NZ Hoo-er-ald are leftist-centre, Establishment following, elitist-focused, and generally have their heads up their arses.

    DPF should watch the click rate or whatever you call the measurement of Net visitors. Let Watkins watch the DP circulation figures.

    As for Kiwiblog going tame on the politicians, you have to concede the MSM, including Watkins, are unchanged, steady, and static. They are unmoved from their pro-left, liberal (in the current sense), multicultural, pale Green position they have held for decades. Watkins’s praise for the dumbfuk Standard confirms this.

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  22. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    “you have to concede the MSM, including Watkins, are unchanged, steady, and static. They are unmoved from their pro-left, liberal (in the current sense), multicultural, pale Green position they have held for decades.”

    A lot of the media got stuck into Labour especially in their third term and wrote off their chances. And they have been easy on Key and National generally (there hasn’t been much to get anti about). The media like to stir up whatever they think they can make an impact with.

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  23. Jack5 (5,274 comments) says:

    It should be encouraging that the MSM are beginning to critique the Blogosphere. This is how newspapers handled film and television as these competing media arose. They began reviewing them and later, as TV channels proliferated, running their programmes. This is a way of trying to first, remain relevant, and second, obtain advertising (as for newspaper listings of films showing). MSM critiques of blogs are a sign of the Blogosphere’s growing strength.

    The problem for the MSM in critiquing blogs is that blogs are two-way and readers can bite back. Blogs are also heavily into critiquing the MSM.

    Blogs are the guerilla columns of the media. Now that professional training of journalists and state and big international ownership has made the MSM quite uniform in its politics and world view, blogs are the people’s media.

    MSM attempts to lead the Blogosphere by participating fail. The MSM blogs, except for a few contributed by outsiders and the odd possible exception like Espiner’s, are unimpressive and tame.

    As for Watkins’ criticism of DPF, I find his comments interesting and pertinent. He has a good nose for what interests blog readers, and his centre-right world view is most welcome in a bland, centre-leftist country blanketed by centre-leftist MSM. I enjoy the personal pieces about his travels and facinating contributions by the resident insectologist, too.

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  24. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “The media like to stir up whatever they think they can make an impact with.”

    Yeah, didn’t they stir up the connection between Helen Klark, Winston Peters and Owen Glenn and the $400,000 to Labour and the $100,000 to NZ First.

    Pffft… weak left wing propagandist. Why don’t you fuck off to the Standard.

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  25. s.russell (1,649 comments) says:

    Who own’s this blog? DPF. Not me, not the public, not the politicians.

    That is the nature of a blog. It has no obligation to obey any rules imposed by Watkins or anyone but its proprietor – who will be judged by the hit count, something a blogger may or may not care about. It is their choice.

    So as far as I am concerned, DPF can take whatever position he likes. I may or may not agree with him (although I usually do), but I have no right to criticise. I am just glad of the ability to take part in these fun and stimulating debates.

    So at the risk of being accused of sycophancy, GO DPF!

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  26. towaka (14 comments) says:

    I agree with Redbaiter about Whaleoil losing the plot with his new ”friends”…and what kind of name is Gotcha?

    As for the old Whaleoil being ”nihilistic”,well I do remember the odd Biblical reference being used.

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  27. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    towaka wrote:

    I agree with Redbaiter about Whaleoil losing the plot with his new ”friends”…and what kind of name is Gotcha?

    New media; meet old media. I assume they’ve combined for advertising reasons. Sum of the parts and all that.

    The name is lame for sure. Also it looks a bit like a comparative shopping site. I thought Cactus Kate would have more taste.

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  28. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    “Pffft… weak left wing propagandist. ”

    My political thinking is a lot closer to DPF’s than yours is RB. Maybe you are the one in the wrong place? You might be more at home at the Rush Limblog.

    http://banditpulpit.wordpress.com/tag/rush-limblog/

    But you do add a bit of entertainment here. DPF for insightfullness. RB for inspitefullness.

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  29. Bevan (3,232 comments) says:

    “Plus Kiwiblog tolerates (nay, encourages) debate.”

    Not everyone….

    “Shut up about blogs Tracey. You’re just another cheerleader for the Progressives. Nobody to judge the blogosphere.”
    etc

    Cerium, the difference is that Redbaiter is a commenter, not a contributor or a moderator – he does not have the ability to censor anyones comment. To compare a comment from Redbaiter’s which you are free to rebute if you like, to a moderator from the Standard deleting a post they don’t like is a very long bow.

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  30. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “I thought Cactus Kate would have more taste.”

    I didn’t.

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  31. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    I’m not comparing a commenter to a moderator, I’ve never looked at the Standard so I have nothing to compare with anyway.

    I am just making the point that while RB lauds the relatively unrestricted debate here he also tries to shout down and abuse and “encourage to go elsewhere” anyone he disagrees with, and that is a wide spectrum.

    “Places where extreme left wankers gather to reinforce their own self righteous elitism, and where the sneering narcissistic proprietors, drunk with the heady essence of unlimited power, wait to strike like lightning against any post that might express any disdain for Progressivism.”

    Place where extreme right wongers gather to reinforce their own self righteous elitism, and where the sneering trolls, drunk with the heady essence of unmoderated power, wait to strike like lightning against any post that might express any disdain for their hypocrisy?

    Kiwiblog is good. There are plenty here who welcome discussion and debate and accept differences. It would be better if there was less attack and intolerance and more robust debate. RB can be good at the latter, he just seems to prefer the other, here showing disdain for Watkins daring to comment on blogs and then launching into his own appraisals.

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  32. William J (44 comments) says:

    DPF I must say though, I do think the integrity of Kiwiblog was seriously affected when you went away on holiday. Whether you like it or not, Kiwiblog is ‘DPF’. So when you were replaced with guest speakers the website became another beast entirely. Also, you never made it clear (even after the fact) whether the guest speakers were ‘real’ or not – so some of us felt you were having a laugh at our expense. It was clear from reading the comments that people were not happy with the thought that they may just be part of a prank. As a result, I must admit I don’t visit your website as much anymore.

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  33. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Cerium, I always assumed that RedBaiter was a long-running parody (with the odd bit of common sense thrown in to maintain the illusion).

    You don’t take him seriously, do you?

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  34. Cerium (23,793 comments) says:

    “You don’t take him seriously, do you?”

    Yes, he makes some good points. Yes, he has a following. Yes, he pisses people off enough for them to piss off. Yes, he wants to stir people up to do his dirty revolutionary work.

    No, his more extreme views are not credible. No, his apparently oblivious hypocrisy, projections, conspiracy theories etc are a bit of a laugh. No, his name could as easily be Redbaited.

    I don’t think anyone could keep up a parody for so long in so many places with such obsessions with a narrow outllook. Note how long the guest blogs here stood scrutiny (BTW I thought they were an interesting exercise, and it was funny to see the indignation of so many posters who could be anyone with any number of agendas).

    You never know though, we might all be parodisters in a mighty Parodlog.

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  35. Buggerlugs (1,241 comments) says:

    Watkins’ opinions are about as worthwhile as Phil Goff’s. Tomorrow’s chip wrapper is the best she can hope for.

    And yes, have to agree with Redbaiter – I haven’t been to Gotcha since Bryan SoftPorn became one of its contributors.

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  36. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    I’ve refrained from commenting until now, because I didn’t want to make a personal attack on Tracy Watkins. But I feel shortchanged if Fairfax expects me — already a subscriber to its newspaper — to then go and read some blog.

    I don’t see why Ms Watkins, and their other journalists, can’t have their material put in the bloody newspaper. That’s what a newspaper is there for. Then Ms Watkins, and the rest of the Press Gallery team, could devote themselves covering their beat for the newspaper.

    I’m new to the blogs. I find it refreshing that on this one, anyway, I can have my say, for better or worse. Noone has to agree with me — unlike on radio talkback, where you’re likely to be interrupted (depending on host), or if they don’t like your e-mail they just don’t read it out; even worse, the newspapers, despite their 200-word limit (varies from paper to paper) if they ignore your letter. Blogs such as this are a challenge to them as a premier forum for community debate.
    I might not agree with everyone here, but it’s good to see some people haven’t been beaten into pliant submission by the politically correct bullies.
    Rant on!

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  37. Chuck Bird (4,892 comments) says:

    But I hold centre-right beliefs

    David, if you hold centre-right beliefs why do you not join ACT?

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  38. Nomestradamus (2,427 comments) says:

    Tracy said this:

    Which also makes me wonder whether there is much of a readership out there beyond those who, like me, have professional reasons to keep tabs on what political blogs say.

    Or, as I suspect, do most people have better things to do with their time?

    Clearly she hasn’t heard of (or met) Philu!

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  39. SeaJay (20 comments) says:

    unbelievable DPF, you still refer to it as the anti-smacking bil..

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  40. hj (7,154 comments) says:

    # Cerium (962)

    “my impression is that Key is utterly disinterested in any critical commentary”

    I’d be surprised if that were true – he seems to me to be someone who is prepared to make his own decisions and stick with them. It’s called leadership.

    Isn’t that dictatorship?

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  41. Chuck Bird (4,892 comments) says:

    It should be referred to as the anti-parental authority law.

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  42. hj (7,154 comments) says:

    If the Boscawen bill was no good what was wrong with section 59 of the crimes act?

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/greens-draw-their-own-anti-smacking-bill

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  43. peterwn (3,333 comments) says:

    You keep at it David. as far as I am concerned Tracey is a Labour pussycat – I thinks she would like a Beehive PR job some time in the future.

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  44. hj (7,154 comments) says:

    Let’s think of something politicians do (illicit sex/ sodomy): “could compromise the public interest” and get a bill passed to make it illegal but stress that it will be left to police discretion whether to prosecute.

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  45. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    if ‘gotcha’ is ‘truth’..on-line..

    spondre is its’ page three girl..

    ew..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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