Balance?

November 7th, 2012 at 7:20 am by David Farrar

Nikki Kaye wrote on FB:

I sat through the Vodafone music awards and listened as Homebrew and other labour politicians effectively endorsed calling John a variety of offensive things. It saddens me that there doesn’t appear to be equity in the way certain politicians are held to account on what they say.

This is a valid point. Compare the number of column centimeters that have appeared on  a jovial comment on a radio show, and on the bile that was spewed at Key at the Vodafone Music Awards and how two Labour MPs tweeted their adoration for the band that did it.

We can contrast the total non-coverage in New Zealand to a similar case in Australia.

A comedian said some offensive stuff about Tony Abbott and his Chief of Staff at a comedy show. Several Labor Ministers were in the audience. Now none of them tweeted stuff about how much they loved the comedian or adored them. They in fact said nothing at all.

However this became a major story in Australia, reported in every newspaper, purely because the Labor MPs present did not immediately condemn the remarks. They later did so, after Gillard did. It was deemed a story just on the basis they were there. It would have been many times worse for them if they had actually expressed admiration for the comedian who made the remarks.

So you have a huge disparity in treatment – not just within New Zealand – but between Australia and New Zealand.

Now just imagine for a second if senior National MPs had been present at a show where highly offensive things were said about the Labour Party Leader. Also imagine if they tweeted how much they loved the person or persons who said them. Does anyone really think this would not have become a major news story?

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51 Responses to “Balance?”

  1. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Well we all know that New Zealand MPs are pretty much the equivalent of Tasmanian state representatives and that most NZ Labour MPs haven’t grown up since their university union days.

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  2. Bed Rater (239 comments) says:

    I think the media hysteria generation level is directly proportional to the current influence of the MP who has made the ‘gaffe’. Not many people care what Jacinda Ardern says, and while Clare Curran has a profile (of a fucking loon) within the political commentariat, to the general public she is a nobody.

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  3. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Sorry, just to be clear, that wasn’t a dig at Tasmania, but rather to point out how small we are and how small the available pool of quality leaders is.

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  4. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    But that’s just the whole MSM bias in this country like the “interviews” they do with any Labour MP where they get to say something stupid and never get called on it. I used to be a Labour Party supporter but there is no-longer a “Labour” party as they are a pathetic beneficiary and minority interest support group but actually don’t give a stuff about the worker anymore! John Key makes an off the cuff comment and he gets pilloried for it; It was a gay* red shirt and David Beckham for all his success wouldn’t even claim to be smart himself! The opposition are useless because instead of headlines around issues that actually matter everyone is going on about a flippant comment; just stupid!
    *gay adjective 5.Brightly coloured; showy; brilliant or 6.Foolish; stupid.

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  5. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    Bed Bater- You are probably right there people actually care about what John Key has to say. Jacinda Ardern is a vapid waste of space!

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  6. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I agree – but let’s face it it is a tall-poppy mentality which passes for ‘cool’.

    Kids! don’t criticise anything ‘cool’, just submerge yourself in self-harming self-esteem lowering tribal bullshit, and that way no one will target or bully you for daring to be a ‘hard worker’ academic or successful.

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  7. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    Now just imagine for a second if senior National MPs had been present at a show where highly offensive things were said about the Labour Party Leader. Also imagine if they tweeted how much they loved the person or persons who said them. Does anyone really think this would not have become a major news story?

    Yes, and you’d be the first one then to write about the “oppression of free speech” in New Zealand and how precious the “liberal” press now has become.

    The only ones more disappointed than you that this is not becoming a “news” (??) story are Homebrew.
    All that publicity that they hoped for.

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  8. Elaycee (4,297 comments) says:

    These is no balance in the MSM here in NZ – anyone who genuinely thinks otherwise is deluded, biased or plain thick.

    Recently we had a few examples of sensationalist ‘reporting’, including the one mentioned above. These include the PM’s comments about Beckham (and anyone who has met Beckham or listened to him comment about anything, will know he is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer). Key was correct in what he said – Beckham is thick. And before the usual suspects leap up and down to point out that Beckham has earned a lot of money (and therefore he must be ranked alongside Einstein), remember that boxers make huge amounts of money too, but you wouldn’t want them risking your wallet on an IQ test, would you?

    And then we get another throw away comment by the PM about a gay sweater and all hell breaks loose in the MSM – in fact their overall reaction was laughable and reflects poorly on the ‘journalism standards’ (oxymoron) we have to endure in this country. Who really gives a stuff if a gay actor took umbrage to a comment that a sweater was “gay”? Only the biased media. No-one else gives a stuff. Because the sweater was …. er, gay.

    The best (most respected) reporters I can remember were those who didn’t wear their political allegiances on their sleeve and made a habit of asking the right questions across the political spectrum. They are long gone and replaced today with mainstream media dominated by card carrying leftards who promote anything ‘anti Key’ at every opportunity…. if you don’t believe it, just listen / watch and make your own decisions. It won’t be hard.

    We really deserve better.

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  9. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    eszett

    Are you trying to deny that there is an incredible left wing bias in what gets written up as “news” within the NZ MSM?

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  10. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    I actually don’t mind the whole overblown amount of coverage the JK story has got. All it does it steel up his support. You just need look at some of the comments being made against the way the media have blown this whole thing up to see that they are essentially shooting themselves in the foot while also putting in the mond of your average kiwi that JK is a politician with a human side. I think this whole thing is GOOD for JK.

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  11. tvb (4,196 comments) says:

    The “gay” comment has been a useful distraction for the media. Including a “gay” MP wearing a red top. It is utterly trivial but it has taken the focus off Kate Wilkinson’s resignation for Pike River. I get very irritated with the “gay” agenda. I find it irrelevant but it seems to occupy the minds of many MPs.

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  12. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Wow, you really don’t like when you get it back, do you Mr. Farrar? This is a hip-hop band from Avondale, and you feel threatened by them? Diddums. Still, being a cry baby bully is kinda part of the right wing troupe be it the asylum that is the US Mid West or the asylum that is Kiwiblog.

    [DPF: 20 demerits. Try to learn to attack arguments, not do ad hom attacks yourself]

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  13. somewhatthoughtful (450 comments) says:

    What fish_boy said, after all the bullshit billboards and the crap that you’ve endorsed slater saying, you are not in a position to cast any stones.

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  14. Carlos (686 comments) says:

    So comedians can’t criticize and say offensive things about politicians? I thought that was their job.

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  15. Nostalgia-NZ (4,898 comments) says:

    And of course everyone would be similarly offended if the comments were made about Shearer for example.
    Hold on, didn’t the PM tell him to ‘put up or shut up?’
    John Key isn’t bleating about it, overall it doesn’t affect the electorate. It’s the sort of crap that should be left behind by all politicians not just those are favoured or dis-favoured by their party supporters.
    Jacinda may think that she is at the ‘cutting and hip edge’ of a bunch or morons and she probably is.

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  16. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    Carlos- Who said that?

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  17. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    I have to conclude from fish_boys comment at 8;13am that he is in fact a dick.
    Better hurry along or you will be late for school.

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  18. AJP (16 comments) says:

    And who in the real world cares?

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  19. eszett (2,332 comments) says:

    nasska (4,948) Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    eszett

    Are you trying to deny that there is an incredible left wing bias in what gets written up as “news” within the NZ MSM?

    lol, poor, poor, nasska. Yes, the myth of the “left wing bias” of the MSM is truly incredible. Over at the standard they constantly complain about the “right wing bias” of the very same media.

    It’s just tiresome, every time a paper publishes something people disagree with, people constantly scream “BIAS!!!!!”

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  20. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    fish_boy you truly are a fuckwit aren’t you? Can you not for once in your life be even slightly impartial and condemn the comments? Or do you applaud with them? Being a left supporter you probably do.

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  21. Carlos (686 comments) says:

    @ b1gdaddynz

    I mean that it was assumed that when the comedian in Aussie made those comments they should be automatically condemned. I think comedians should be given more scope as they’re supposed to push the limits. I don’t want comedians to feel they have to self censor everything.

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  22. flipper (3,537 comments) says:

    Elaycee @ 8am….

    Thank you.
    Well said.

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  23. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I would have it a guess that 90% of bands are Left wing, so I don’t believe this is a real story. Most bands probably don’t like John Key. Most Labour MPs and supporters don’t like John Key.

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  24. flipper (3,537 comments) says:

    GAY …an update…..

    The Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Enc Brit offshoot) says of “gay”:

    1gay
    adjective \ˈgā\
    Definition of GAY

    1

    a: happily excited : merry

    b: keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits

    2

    a: bright, lively

    b: brilliant in color

    3

    : given to social pleasures; also: licentious

    4

    a: homosexual

    b: of, relating to, or used by homosexuals
    — gayadverb

    — gay·nessnoun

    See gay defined for English-language learners »

    See gay defined for kids »

    Examples of GAY

    The band was playing a gay tune.
    the gayest of the spring flowers

    Origin of GAY

    Middle English, from Anglo-French gai, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gāhi quick, sudden
    First Known Use: 14th century
    ……………

    To view the proprietorial attitude of homosexual-leaning MSM (print and electronic in all forms), and otherwise sometimes sensible red green lister, Kevin Hague, one would be tempted to think that such folks have purchased exclusive rights to the term

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  25. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    I totally agree with fish_boy, DPF calls for ‘balance’ are totally compromised by his billboards comparing Clark and others to murderous dictators.

    [DPF: Except they didn't. They were protesting a bill that the Human Rights Commission had condemned as undermining free speech. One of the billboard targets was Peter Dunne as he voted for the bill at first. It was about making those who supported the EFB pay a political price for doing so, by saying the EFB was the sort of bill authoritarian rulers would support. It was also obviously tongue in cheek.

    if you think that in any way is the same as Labour MPs applauding someone calling the PM a cunt, and saying he should suck cock - well you show your lack of reason]

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  26. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Most Labour MPs and supporters don’t like John Key.

    Only 28% of voters thought Labour capable of governing. Not too many ‘likes’ on the only official electoral ‘Facebook’ there

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  27. bij (66 comments) says:

    I’m with Fish Boy. stop being such a cry baby! 20 demerits suggests this really hurts you, you wimp. The media is supposed to go after the PM, just as they went after Clark. The difference? Clark was smarter, tougher, and could fake humility when necessary. do you really expect the nation to set its moral compass by what hip hop guys say in public?

    i think the media recognise that JK is paid to unify, be a statesman and spokeman for everyone, and generally not be a dick, whereas Home Brew are paid to effectively say these things, be dicks, and “provoke debate through art”, or whatever it is they do.

    Same with other entertainers or comedians, e.g. Rush Limbaugh and the contraception thing. Boo hoo he said something, but when an elected rep says something, it is very different.

    but as to your point, no, i don’t think your example would be a major news story, unless there was hate speech involved.

    [DPF: As with others you miss the core point. No one is equating a band with the PM. The issue is the applauding of what the band said by senior Labour MPs]

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  28. Alan Johnstone (1,055 comments) says:

    John Key needs to be aware that he speaks, it’s with the with the weight and dignity of his office, it’s ex cathedra if you like. He can’t take the piss and joke about with offensive stuff in public.

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  29. Peter (1,577 comments) says:

    calling the PM a cunt, and saying he should suck cock

    Oh the irony.

    So, this “band” use terms that are misogynist and homophobic, and a Labour MP thinks it’s wonderful?

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  30. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    So, this “band” use terms that are misogynist and homophobic, and a Labour MP thinks it’s wonderful?

    Not at all different from their MPs calling out “tinkerbell” across the House. No one in the MSM seems to have called their Deputy Leader (or Justice spokesperson) on not having publicly condemned that behaviour.

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  31. bij (66 comments) says:

    i don’t miss the point DPF, i assert that you don’t have one, but you are trying to pretend you do because your precious is under pressure and being widely ridiculed..

    Labour MPs never endorsed or even applauded what Home Brew said, let alone said anything stupid themselves (in this example at least. i appreciate they usually have a monopoly on saying stupid things!). as far as they are concerned, they will support all sorts of inane local ‘music’.

    JK on the other hand, well he did say something stupid, and you should accept the consequences. there is no media bias. nice try.

    You know how to play this stupid politics game, so HTFU.

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  32. chrisw76 (83 comments) says:

    I sorry, but the Prime Minister of the country using the word “gay” in a derogatory way is disappointing. I don’t given a rats arse what some halfwit band does or doesn’t do, but when you are the PM of the country then you need to show some class and leadership. This loose talk was just embarrassing.

    Some of the readership here may want to split hairs over dictionary definitions, or the intent behind the words, but the reality is, is if the PM says it is OK to use this term then it makes it more acceptable for other more vile depersonalised language to be used casually. It’s not exactly aspirational!

    Cheers, Chris W.

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  33. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I mean that it was assumed that when the comedian in Aussie made those comments they should be automatically condemned. I think comedians should be given more scope as they’re supposed to push the limits. I don’t want comedians to feel they have to self censor everything.

    Except for the fact that you are completely missing the context of what the comedian had said. For weeks the Labor party in Aus was having a go at Abbott over whether he was a misogynist. Then a large group of Labor politicians attended a Union function where the so called comedian made what has been described as obscene, derogatory and misogynist remarks, not about Abbott – but about a very attractive female staff member of his.

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  34. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I would have it a guess that 90% of bands are Left wing, so I don’t believe this is a real story. Most bands probably don’t like John Key. Most Labour MPs and supporters don’t like John Key.

    And it is that hate that blinds you.

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  35. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Conservatives aren’t cool.

    Bears still crapping in woods.

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  36. Longknives (4,411 comments) says:

    ‘Hip Hop’ isn’t music anyway- I wonder how much these ‘Artists’ are fleecing the New Zealand taxpayer to swear,yell and think up words that rhyme with ‘Gangsta’…(over the top of a backing track stolen from a real musician of course..)

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  37. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    And longknives shows just how angry squares get when you call them out for being squares.

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  38. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    @Longknives
    Pigeon English spoken to the same … ah hemm… beat.

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  39. Lance (2,439 comments) says:

    @Tom
    So are you like…hip?

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  40. Longknives (4,411 comments) says:

    I’m a ‘Square’?
    Ha- Isn’t that what kids called their parents in the 60s when they told them to get a haircut??

    I’m actually a musician- I love music and I research and write about various forms….
    And ‘Hip Hop’ is not even remotely music.

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  41. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    @ Lance

    Apparently, compared to LN, yes. Gotta go now, and smoke a little reefer.

    Hip Hop is spoken word with a musical accompaniment, if you want to label it. Not a major fan myself, but I can see why people like it.

    On a more serious note. Hip hop is largely about dissing the man, and JK is obviously the man. What else were they supposed to say. NWA wouldnt have had a hit if they’d called it ” Support tha Police”.

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  42. Peter (1,577 comments) says:

    Will these Hip Hopsters be “dissin’ da man” when Labour are in power? That will be an end to the party invites, I guess.

    Nothing against Hip Hop- though not my cup of tea – but HomeBrew sound to me like a pale, stale imitation of mid 1990s US Hip Hop. Pointless. Haven’t they got some ideas of their own?

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  43. nonpartisan (41 comments) says:

    I’m all for dissin’ tha man, but I expect something a little more profound than the drivel being offered up at the VMA. HomeBrew are as thick as batshit and I would be embarrassed to publicly support them.

    As for John Key and his supposed “gaffes”, I really couldn’t care less and it’s somewhat comforting knowing he isn’t too different from the rest of us. Definitely growing weary of the media sensationalism and faux outrage in this country.

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  44. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    A rather pathetic post. And pathetic crocodile tears and silly attempt at pointscoring by Kaye.

    There is a huge difference between an opposition MP saying “I heart homebrew” (even if the ‘heart’ was about something offensive the band said) and a comment that was actually made by our prime minister.
    I’ll try to keep it simple:
    John Key, the leader of our country, DIRECTLY said something that if is it not offensive (depending on your point of view) is certainly misguided and unvecoming of someone of his position.
    An opposition MP MAYBE (we have no way of knowing for sure, people are just assuming) INDIRECTLY commented favourably about offensive comments made by a band.
    Or to put it simplier:
    KEY = DIRECT comment
    ARDERN = INDIRECT comment (MAYBE)

    Oh, and what happened to all the champions of free speec here, or is it just free speech that they like?

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  45. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    Longknives @ 12.19pm:
    “I’m actually a musician- I love music and I research and write about various forms…. And ‘Hip Hop’ is not even remotely music.”

    Well there goes any credibility about your writings about music then. Albums by Kayne West and Jay-Z (just to give two examples) have regularly appeared on music critics best lists of the last few years.
    And before that albums by Wu-Tang Clan, Eminem, Missy Elliott
    And before that Public Enemy, NWA, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre
    And before that Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five

    Get the picture?

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  46. RF (1,263 comments) says:

    So basically it is acceptable for 2 potential members of the next parliament .. Maybe.. To applaud a band of sorts that says JK is a cunt and that he should suck cock.

    And these 2 seriously hope to be in a position to govern New Zealand… Jesus Christ !!!!!!

    It reflects poorly on the Labour team if they accept this type of shit.

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  47. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    The point I’m making RF is that we don’t know if Arden “heart” Homebrew because of what they said or because she likes the band.
    And even if she did “heart” Homebrew because of their comments SHE DIDN’T SAY THEM.
    Whereas Key has been making some stupid comments lately. His response to the media was pathetic – ducking and diving all the over the place. He’s the prime minister – time to run the country, instead of acting like a clown.

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  48. RF (1,263 comments) says:

    bc… I understand where you are coming from however the two twats from Labour should realise that the eyes of the country are on them and they should be showing that their party is a capable alternative to National. All they are doing is shooting themselves and labour in the foot. Sure they did not say the offensive comments they have condoned them by their stupid praise. When you are in the public eye watch what you say. If they were bus drivers no one would give a toss.

    As for JK I am a supporter and although he is prone to off the cuff some times unwise comments I do not see him stooping so low as the other 2 clowns.

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  49. bc (1,332 comments) says:

    I agree with what you have said RF, but what you say should apply to Key too! Especially so since he is the PM.

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  50. RF (1,263 comments) says:

    bc.. We agree to disagree. Cheers.

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  51. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    I just think it’s pathetic. How old are these people?

    I mean seriously…

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