Worth v Hughes

March 25th, 2011 at 12:58 pm by David Farrar

Mydeology has done a comparison of how four blogs covered the Worth scandal in 2009 and the Highes scandal of 2011, by counting up the number of posts they made over the first two days on the scandal. Their findings:

  • The Standard – 11 posts on Worth, 1 on Hughes
  • Tumeke – 6 posts on Worth, 1 on Hughes
  • Kiwiblog – 5 posts on Worth, 5 on Hughes
  • Whale Oil – 6 posts on Worth, 11 on Hughes

Their conclusions:

  • Pro-Labour blogs will comment heavily (5 or more articles) when a scandal is anti-National, but very lightly (less than two articles) in comparison when it is an anti-Labour scandal.
  • Right-wing blogs will comment heavily when a scandal is anti-National, and heavily when it is anti-Labour.
  • Pro-Labour blogs produce around 10 anti-National scandal articles to every one anti-Labour scandal article.
  • Right-wing blogs produce between 1-2 anti-Labour scandal articles to every one anti-National scandal article.

 Their post made me wonder what was my first reaction to the Worth scandal. It was:

Now this is just ridicolous. You can’t have a secret resignation – or a resignation for undisclosed reasons. The Government is bonkers if they think the reasons won’t come out, let alone that they do not have a duty to disclose them. And refusing to state the reasons will keep it as a story for days and weeks, instead of a three day wonder.

If you resign as a Minister, you need to say why you are resigning. Not the full details, but at least some reason.

So I was actually pretty harsh on the Government’s initial response.  I followed up saying:

The more I think about this, the more stupid it is not to state why he has resigned. As in majorly stupid. The public will wonder what the Government is hiding, the Opposition will assume the worst, the media will dig up dirt until they find the reason, and the Governments looks shifty. Before it is too late, the Government should arrange for either Key or Worth to explain why Worth resigned – the public have a right to know.

Tags: , ,

51 Responses to “Worth v Hughes”

  1. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Props to you dude.

    But I love how they seem to feel they can draw general conclusions, from a study of how 4 blogs responded to two incidents.
    The margin of error must be pretty high when you don’t even use a statistically significant number of scandals?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Brian Marshall (202 comments) says:

    “So I was actually pretty harsh on the Government’s initial response.”

    Yes David, because the right wing believe in freedom, and to have freedom you need to have openness.
    The left believe in control, and to control you need to control waht people think.

    That’s my 2 cents worth.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    You only have to take a look at The Sub-Standard to confirm the veracity of the comparison.
    On second thoughts, no. Why waste time visiting that swamp where the comrades hug and kiss one another.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Are you suggesting the Left have double standards?!? I am truly shocked.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. DJP6-25 (1,388 comments) says:

    The left are engaged in building socialisim, so the end justifies the means. Those on the right don’t have that excuse.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    I was the first on the right to call for Worth’s scalp.

    My quote to Close-up was “Cut his throat, and kick the body out the back door”

    I haven’t seen any calls from the left for scalps over the Hughes affair but I did see much wailing and gnashing over the David Garret debacle. Comparing posts on the left wing blogs about Garrett would be interesting too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Are you suggesting the Left have double standards?!? I am truly shocked.

    As long as ‘the left’ for you consists only of two blogs on the interwebs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. SPC (5,636 comments) says:

    A relevant factor to analysis is the relative timing of the posts – while the matter was still to be determined or later in the process.

    Another is to the greater importance given to a story involving a Cabinet Minister.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Roflcopter (463 comments) says:

    I think the whole incident has suddenly become a hell of a lot worse for DH….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4809631/MP-Darren-Hughes-case-Naked-man-seen

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    The comparison is invalid, since the story about Darren Hughes only broke two days ago, while the Richard Worth affair dragged on for several weeks, and had multiple angles (the woman in the hotel room, the secret identity of the second woman – who turned out to be a labour party activist, the mystery behind what Worth actually did to deserve his dismissal . . .) The scandal around Hughes is pretty cut and dried in comparison.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Grizz (605 comments) says:

    Well, it shows that right wingers expect a higher standard of their own MPs than what left wing bloggers expect of their MPs. The effect is that a left wing MP thinks it is OK to get drunk with kids straight out of school and take an 18 year to the deputy leader’s house for sex.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    The only thing I draw from this is that the blogs are the weekly gossip mags of political world.
    Worth, Hughes, Carter, Wong. All inconsequential fluff that matters not a jot to the running of the country.
    Honestly. Some real perspective once in a while from a political blog would be nice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Danyl – red herring old chap. The analysis was of the “first 2 days” as I understand it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    No Danyl for the purposes of the comparison it is the posts during the first two days which have been counted.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Danyl, if you actually read the post instead of vapouring about it, you will notice that the comparison is: “how four blogs covered the Worth scandal in 2009 and the Highes scandal of 2011, by counting up the number of posts they made over the first two days on the scandal”

    See that bit about the number of posts made OVER THE FIRST TWO DAYS…

    So perhaps it’s a lot fairer than you think, and the “left” (as represented by Tumeke and The Standard) are far more into propaganda and news shaping. Not exactly an earth-shattering (with apologies to Christchurch) finding, it’s a bit like finding that water is wet.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    You can’t have a secret resignation – or a resignation for undisclosed reasons. The Government is bonkers if they think the reasons won’t come out, let alone that they do not have a duty to disclose them.

    Turns out you can have a secret resignation and the reasons won’t come out.

    Another top effort from New Zealand media. Demonstrates why taxpayer money is such a great investment in Fran Mold and Chris Faafoi to lead Phil Goff to victory in Novmeber. Ha ha ha.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    I have not commented on this sad affair up to now for any number of reasons…but Whale’s comment above lances the boil for me..

    Compare the language the leftie media have used over this since the story broke…the complainant began as “an 18 year old man”…connotations of a person able to look after himself? As the scandal deepened and more allegations came out, he became ” a teenager” – not a man, and someone with an obvious power inbalance when the other party is a 32 year old ex cabinet minister…Now in the piece by Jonathon Marshall referenced by the link in Rofl’s comment above, he has become “a boy”…. we can only speculate as to why the language has changed so much in three days…

    Those who wanted me flayed and dried into biltong always – and still do – refer to my wrongdoing as ” Garrett stole the identity of a dead baby”….I think one solitary journo – perhaps not coincidentally one with a few years’ life experience – described what I had done as “using the identity of a dead child…”

    A most interesting thing language….and for the record, I am deeply saddened that Darren finds himself enmeshed in such a sordid business…and I know only what is public knowledge…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    I think you need to remember the left blogs have multiple posters and the right blogs generally speaking one poster. Although on issues such as this I am guessing Bomber was the principle poster. Haven’t got a clue how many people post at the Standard.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    What will be interesting is a second comparison, Phile Heatley etc vs Shane Jones regarding credit card expenses. Also the tone can also be considered.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    Haven’t got a clue how many people post at the Standard.

    Who does? There are a number of anonymous and semi-anonymous posters plus guest posters, and the occasional poster who identify themselves.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Compare the language the leftie media have used over this since the story broke…the complainant began as “an 18 year old man”…connotations of a person able to look after himself? As the scandal deepened and more allegations came out, he became ” a teenager” – not a man, and someone with an obvious power inbalance when the other party is a 32 year old ex cabinet minister…Now in the piece by Jonathon Marshall referenced by the link in Rofl’s comment above, he has become “a boy”…. we can only speculate as to why the language has changed so much in three days…

    That’s an extremely good point, David.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    Whatever. He is a teenager, barely out of school. Would it have been OK last year when he was a seventh former? With the Opposition Spokesperson on Education?
    Hughes is a despicable shit and should be sacked.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. SPC (5,636 comments) says:

    Maybe it reflects the different journalists involved when its less about politics and more of a general news story.

    What leftie has to do with that I do not know. But some of the public always make inferences about moral threats to youth from certain people and so on and maybe they influence some journalists and some editors to cater to their agenda ….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. mjwilknz (605 comments) says:

    Thanks for pointing to the data, DPF. Even in spite of people’s obvious prejudices, I’m still surprised. The Hughes saga has given much more for the left wing blogs to complain about (i.e. the standard of the Labour leader) than the Worth saga ever did for the right wing blogs. I’d have thought “Bring Back Helen!” would be the catch cry of the left wing blogs, by now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Interesting data, sort of.

    The point I’d make is that The Standard is not comparable to this blog – it’s, er, “uncompromising” tone is more akin to WhaleOil, as is Tumeke!.

    To me this data reflects more that the most popular left wing blogs are a lot less balanced as much as anything. Whale might critize Labour harshly, but he’s well know to go after national too.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Chuck Bird (4,895 comments) says:

    If the naked 18 year old was female and the alleged offender was not an MP I bet alleged offenderwould be in jail by now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    Regardless of whether you obtained the identity of a dead baby or dead child, you’re still pathetic.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    BeaB: You miss my point entirely. Of course the substance of the alleged wrongdoing is the same, whatever the language and whether the complainant be a male or female, and I am not for a moment suggesting such behaviour as alleged is acceptable.

    My point is that at first the left leaning media were happy to play the thing down – involving as it did a left wing pollie – by using “man” (emphasising that the complainant was over the age of consent; allowed to make his own choices; able to look after himself etc.) but as the behaviour became less and less acceptable, and there were apparently a number of prior instances, their language changed.

    With my wrongdoing, it was from the outset, and has remained, “stealing the identity of a dead baby ” ( aged two years from memory) rather than “…using the identity of a dead child 27 years ago” One sounds very much worse than the other. The behaviour is the same.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I often wondered what ephemera looked like, then I found a picture in the dictionary under ‘Irony’

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Everyone knows scandal from the so called right is worth much more then scandal from the left. Generally the right is expected to play by the rules while those on the left generally believe rules are set for the masses. When someone is pulled up for wrong doing on the left the general reaction from it’s practitioners isn’t disgust with the sin but disgust the sinner got caught.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    Alledged is innocent until a charge is proferred and then guilt proven in a court or accepted by the defendent. Jail comes after that if the sentence for the particular crime sets out a jail term.
    An offender may be held pending bail depending on the circumstances involved but for a minor indescression bail would be normal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    David Garrett Stop whining.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    @ BeaB (2.28pm) – there’s an interesting parallel between these allegations against Darren Hughes, and the magazine story about David Benson-Pope’s alleged membership of the Southern Kinx. At the time, Benson-Pope was the Minister of Social Development, and as such, was responsible for New Zealand’s social policy, and for the protection of children. There were also the allegations that he had assaulted children when he was a teacher. Was he a fit person to be holding that role? No, I don’t think that he was.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Pete George (23,591 comments) says:

    I think that’s a fair call from David (Garrett). The media frequently use loaded language to slant their sensationalism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Well it’s not just the language, it’s the angle, it’s what they choose to report and what they don’t. Look at Japan and the hysterical reporting on the nuclear reactor issues.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    As luck would have it, here is an example of exactly what we’re talking about:

    http://www.statehighwayone.com/2011/03/naked-youngster-v-naked-man/

    Looks like the Dom Post decided “naked youngster” wasn’t the wording they should use.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    Inventory
    Labour has some grisly skeletons in the cupboard. Comes from being so inclusive I guess.

    I think I hate it so much when politicians spend so much time lecturing and hectoring us about booze, fags, sex, obesity, driving, drugs etc etc that when they are shown to be sanctimonious hypocrites it drives me crazy.

    When MPs keep out of our private and social lives and go back to their core business then they can go out with Dirty Darren and do what the hell they like.

    Until then, yes we do hold them to a higher standard as we do any preacher and their fall is always so much harder. MPs pontificate at their own risk. Glass houses etc. Wasn’t Graham Capill enough of an object lesson?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    But no reason was given why Worth resigned and the Police inquiry came to nothing. So why did he resign. My suspicion is there was a security problem.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @BeaB

    I think I hate it so much when politicians spend so much time lecturing and hectoring us about booze, fags, sex, obesity, driving, drugs etc etc that when they are shown to be sanctimonious hypocrites it drives me crazy.

    Someone has to create laws concerning these matters. You accuse MPs of pontificating, then imply we should be electing popes.

    Graham Capill was a good example of hypocrisy, as ‘family values’ was his raison d’etre, while he was molesting children. If Hughes was lecturing us about the evils of homosexuality, I would see your point, but he wasn’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    @ tvb – Key was pretty clear that Worth did not have his confidence, and when you don’t have the leader’s confidence , it’s pretty hard to function. Worth was a loose cannon, and Key was right to cut him adrift at the first opportunity.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Agree BeaB, the much loved Dashing Darren voted for the lowering of the legal alcohol limit for drivers. Here’s this bar fly setting standards for the whole country while throwing them back like there’s no tomorrow. Personally I’m tied of these fucking troughing, two faced, hypocritical politicians. This fucking tosser is happy to put limits on how much I can drink if I so wish to visit the tavern after a hard days work. when I have a few beers I have yet to see a naked youth running out of my house but by God if I have one beer over the limit I’m the lowest of the low. I really have to wonder if these pricks give a moment of thought to how they look to those that are fortunate enough to pay their wages.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @side show bob

    You know how many units Hughes had to drink then? You seem to have privileged information.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    side show bob asks:

    I really have to wonder if these pricks give a moment of thought to how they look to those that are fortunate enough to pay their wages.

    If you’re a List MP or even a safe seat MP why would you bother? You cravenly lick the soles of some backroom “selection committee” (in Labour’s case, stacked with head office flunkies, in National’s a little more democratic, but neither has been representative since memberships plummeted) and you’re in.

    Or better yet, like David Garrett, you do some ill-defined deal in return for some undisclosed benefit to the party and you’re just slipped in there without any ordinary member having any say whatsoever.

    Once in you have the huge advantage of incumbency, so provided you remember who to genuflect to you can raise the middle digit to the rest of the country, who have to vote for you, someone just like you, or no one.

    Thanks, MMP.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    ephemera
    I actually believe that if we ditched a good number of our laws tomorrow, especially the ones that try to tell us how to behave, most of us wouldn’t change our habits at all and society wouldn’t notice much difference.

    In fact, I would go further and say that those of us who are the boring old white educated middle class get heartily sick of paying through the nose for all the laws that govern those who aren’t and who take no notice of the laws anyway.
    Parliament is mainly a waste of time and money as are so many of our institutions so they owe us a bit of salacious fun every now and then.

    Ah Dirty Darren. Your photos remind me why I never let a gay kiss me even on the cheek. You just don’t know where they’ve been. Before some of you fly in shrieking at me, I don’t shake men’s hands for the same reason.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    BeaB

    Its all about control and part of the machinery in achieving that is promoting a society where its members are not required to take responsibility for themselves or their actions. That’s the state’s job. And that’s why “the government should pay/do this/that” mindset has seen explosive growth during the Clark years. She fertilised it with taxpayer money.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. Chuck Bird (4,895 comments) says:

    Ah Dirty Darren. Your photos remind me why I never let a gay kiss me even on the cheek. You just don’t know where they’ve been.

    BeaB, please. Do you mind – I am just having my tea.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    ephemera, Don’t give a flying fuck how many “units” dashing had. It’s not the point fool. I’m not setting the rules by which we must obey, your mate Darren wants to. If Darren wants to hit the piss and play up it’s fine with me, I don’t wish to govern his life, he on the other hand wants to govern ours……………that’s what makes me spew.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    So many angels jostling to stand on the head of the pin.
    Hughes was a significant member of a cabinet that was entitled to legislate against, denigrate and spend inordinate amounts of my money campaigning against my attitude to alcohol, a position somewhat more restricted than warranted imo.
    They also legislated on matters of family structure, legal relationships, and matters pertaining to moral codes that do not conform to mine.
    They stole inordinate sums of money from me on the pretext that the state needed to replace personal responsibility with various obnoxious rules, compensations and other misguided interventions that imo were no more than social engineering.
    Most of what he, Hughes stands for politically is completely alien to my standards of where a person should stand in the community he shares with Me.

    So when, while in my employment he indulges in drinking, socialising, cruising bars looking for company in an alleged way that is outside my code of conduct, apparently takes an adult teen back to his occasional place of residence from where it is alleged, the teen decamps naked at around 4 00 am and seeks the assistance of the police, and then in cahoots with his manager attempts to lie or at the very least deny the truth to the legitimate questions of the fourth estate while protesting that he has done nothing wrong then he is grossly misunderstanding the way I and many of my shareholder friends actually feel about his theories on the standards of behavior we accept as reasonable.

    Likewise with Mr Worth and to his credit and to that of The Prime Minister the only acceptable outcome was achieved sooner rather than later. I don’t care what he actually did but in my simple world if his manager was unwilling to continue his employment then that is sufficient for me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Sigh; RRM’s days of kicking the 18 year olds out after sex are long gone :-P

    I don’t know what your name is, and I don’t care. Get the f*** out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    @ side show bob

    I re-read your post. You’re saying that because Hughes lowered the alcohol limit for driving, he’s a hypocrite for getting drunk in bars.

    Last I heard, the police weren’t investigating the man for driving offences. God knows, he probably took a taxpayer-funded cabride home.

    Sleazy? Yes. Hypocritical? No.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. magic bullet (776 comments) says:

    Hughes isn’t in Government ya nonnies. It doesn’t deserve the media attention. Plus – the number of posts is of little consequence – it’s the content which is revealing. The right seems more inclined to spend time spinning to save its own more than the left does as well. For the left it’s about principles and the outcome for New Zealanders. For the right, it’s about venal and hypocritical judgments of personal morality.

    i.e. Magazine stories take all the attention away from what really matters in all of this – New Zealand. That suits National down to the ground.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote