Where to for Scoop?

January 16th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

After it was revealed by Whale Oil that founder, editor and general manager Alastair Thompson was the proposed Party Secretary for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party, he has resigned his roles with . This was a necessity as was probably facing losing its press gallery accreditation if their editor was also running a political party.

A number of journalists are pretty upset that the involvement was not disclosed earlier. There had already been eyes raised at the extent and nature of questions Thompson would ask at the PM’s weekly press conference.

The resignation of Thompson as editor and general manager is not quite the end of it for Scoop. Alastair is the sole director of Scoop. Also according to the Companies Office, Alastair, his partner and his mother own over 50% of the voting shares in Scoop, which is a controlling amount. So it raises real questions of independence.

Another interesting revelation in this, is a new shareholder in Scoop is Selwyn Pellett. Some reports even say he is now the majority shareholder.

Pellett is a vocal supporter of Labour, and a major donor to their Auckland Central candidate. This means Scoop is linked to two left-wing political parties. Now everyone knows Scoop is left-wing, and I’m the last person to say there is anything wrong with a website having a political leaning, or even affiliation to one or more parties. But they key thing is that the affiliations should be public, and the extent of any involvement must be a factor in whether or not you are eligible for press gallery membership, which gives you significant privileges and access around Parliament.

Scoop used to do the advertising for Kiwiblog, and I wish them well. But they do have a number of issues to work out, for them to retain credibility going forward.

UPDATE: It seems Alastair is not leaving Scoop, but merely taking a sabattical. So this leaves the company controlled by the party secretary for the Kim Dotcom Party and a significant Labour donor. Now I’ve got no problems with that, but it does undermine the claim to be independent. Has Scoop ever published anything negative on Dotcom? Will they now?

UPDATE2: A thoughtful post by Gordon Campbell on this.

The apparent resignation of Alistair Thompson from Scoop – there seems to be some dissent as to whether he has resigned or gone on sabbatical – was triggered by the release of information about his involvement with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party. If his exit does prove to be permanent, this would be a sad way for Al to end his leadership role at this site. Scoop has been the flagship for alternative journalism in New Zealand for nearly 15 years.

It is unclear whether it is a temporary or permanent departure. At this stage he is still listed as the sole director and his family as majority shareholder.

Because so much of the Internet Party looks like a toy and vanity project for Dotcom, the likelihood is that such a party will function – at best – as only a voter recruitment vehicle that by mid year, will have lost its ability to amuse Dotcom. Especially if and when the polls are indicating by then that the Internet Party hasn’t a hope of (a) winning a seat or (b) reaching the 5% mark that would make its “kingmaker” role anything more than delusionary. At which point, Dotcom may think that he can throw his imagined legions behind Labour or the Greens.

I don’t think the intention of the party is to gain seats in Parliament. I assume the intention is to make it as hard as possible for Dotcom to be extradited. Being a political party leader makes what should be a judicial decision, a political one.

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54 Responses to “Where to for Scoop?”

  1. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see how appropriate Internet NZ members feel it is to be the General Secretary of the Internet Party and a member of the INZ Council. INZ maintaining political independence as it does and the General Secretary role being both a political and statutory one.

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  2. tom1980 (44 comments) says:

    Amazing how everything Kim Dotcom touches seems to rapidly turn to shit. Surprising his supporters haven’t recognized this yet.

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  3. thePeoplesFlag (245 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  4. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Not just where to for Scoop. Bradbury can’t get much lower in political and media esteem, but others are blindly jumping on the Dotcom bandwagon.

    Another who appears to hav ebeen sucked in by the smell of pwer and money on Dotcom’s breath is Chris Trotter – he may not be on Dotcom’s payroll but Trotter compromised with snout in Dotcom trough.

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  5. Maggy Wassilieff (394 comments) says:

    I only look at Scoop once a week or so when overseas to catch up on NZ news. Otherwise find the site too clunky and full of ancient news (olds?) to bother with it much. I look at Wellington Scoop once a day, but it doesn’t change much either.

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  6. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    Man, you guys are really petrified by KDC.

    I think Bomber Bradbury is more scary. The guy is a raving loony.

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  7. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Well I already found it laughable how Scoop called themselves something like “New Zealand’s INDEPENDENT NEWS” in their banner, above stories that were always just blatantly fellating the left and the hard left, and parroting their talking points. It just felt like an insult to my intelligence as a reader, probably the main reason I never bothered much with Scoop. At least the brothers and sisters at The Standard are honest about what they are.

    Right now I see the front page of Scoop has a made-up image of a Kiwi bird covered in spilled oil, in front of a wasteland landscape with what are presumably oil well fires, accompanying a rant about Anadarko and Big Oil. If they’re under new management, not much has changed…

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  8. Ruminator (18 comments) says:

    How do you know the Internet Party is left wing? That’s a pretty big assumption…

    Didn’t he give money to Banksy?

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  9. big bruv (13,895 comments) says:

    Ok…so to be a press gallery journalist you must pretend that you have no political affiliations.

    What a joke!

    90% of the press gallery are dirty stinking lefties, everybody knows it, everybody knows they are biased yet they are allowed to go on pretending that they are neutral.

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  10. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    But they do have a number of issues to work out, for them to retain credibility going forward

    Don’t you mean regain credibility? Scoop and its (current? former?) editor Alastair Thompson have lost all credibility due to Thompson’s wilful conflict of interest and failure to declare it until busted by a leak. Why should anyone trust Scoop / Thompson now?

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  11. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    How do you know the Internet Party is left wing? That’s a pretty big assumption…

    Well when your party secretary and paid political adviser are far-Left guys (extreme Left in Bradbury’s case), and they want to recruit sympathetic journos, that’s a pretty big clue.

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  12. J Bloggs (241 comments) says:

    I would say that the Internet party is not so much left wing as Anti-National (and specifically anti- John Key), and so is recruiting from the same pool

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  13. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Plus they try to recruit candidates like Tat Loo who stood for Labour last election, and Wallace Chapman who seems generally regarded as fairly left.

    But anything with Bradbury involved must be very left inclined.

    Except that it’s likely that what Dotcom wants he will get. It’s a very odd mix.

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  14. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    I would say that the Internet party is not so much left wing as Anti-National (and specifically anti- John Key), and so is recruiting from the same pool

    Yes, which only goes to show how much people get twisted out of shape by their hatred.

    I thought socialists like Bradbury were supposed to be dead-set against members of “the 1%” like Dotcom?

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  15. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    So the Party will pay people to stand as candidates, and buy them new Apple products. And the Party has essentially bought itself biased media coverage. They haven’t just become corrupt over time, like Len Brown or NZ First… They’re corrupt from the start, by design.

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  16. bustedblonde (138 comments) says:

    http://roarprawn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/internetting-dotty-commos.html . Thompson could make this fly.

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  17. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    @bustedblonde,

    Far more chance that someone could make a Fishing Party fly. About 200x more likely based on the evidence to date.

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  18. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    I thought socialists like Bradbury were supposed to be dead-set against members of the 1% like Dotcom?

    Not if they’ve got things in common, which in this instance is a loathing of John Key.

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  19. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Man, you guys are really petrified by KDC.

    Because you will vote for him?

    Another political party splitting the opposition vote further, essentially a better funded but less electable version of Winston (we resent everything) First.

    This is the exact opposite of petrifying to DPF.

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  20. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    I am encouraged by the news that the KDC Party is attracting left wing support. Votes taken from the Left will disappear in to the wasted vote category as there is no way that Party will break the 5% threshold.

    KDC is using the exposure in his attempt to muddy the waters in the led up to his extradition hearing and it surprises me that his supporters are too blind to figure out that he is using them as pawns in his battle avoid facing Justice US style.

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  21. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Not if they’ve got things in common, which in this instance is a loathing of John Key.

    And apparently Bradbury is scoring a sweet new PC and iPad out of it…

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  22. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    …it surprises me that his supporters are too blind to figure out that he is using them as pawns in his battle avoid facing Justice US style.</blockquote

    Oh, they know that. That's the other thing they have in common – a loathing of the USA and all it stands for, and against.

    Why don't they just come clean and call it what it is: The Anarchist Party.

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  23. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    I suspect Thompson is knowingly engaging in a spot of ‘controversy marketing’. May well have leaked to Slater himself.

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  24. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    Oops, forget the end HTML tag:

    …it surprises me that his supporters are too blind to figure out that he is using them as pawns in his battle avoid facing Justice US style.

    Oh, they know that. That’s the other thing they have in common – a loathing of the USA and all it stands for, and against.

    Why don’t they just come clean and call it what it is: The Anarchist Party.

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  25. Pete George (23,562 comments) says:

    Gordon Campbell with very interesting comments about Scoop in this.

    For those of us connected with Scoop who watched the debacle unfold yesterday – and like everyone else, we did so by reading about it online – the details were alarming.

    The domain name registration was indefensible. Left unaddressed, it would have been the sort of thing Scoop would normally seek to investigate and critically expose, if it were being done by anyone else. When that same political party also took out substantial advertising on the news site that has just registered its domain name – preparatory to launch – then the proximity became intolerable.

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/01/16/gordon-campbell-on-dotcom-and-recent-events-at-scoop/

    Honesty and damage control.

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  26. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    thepeoplesFlag>Man, you guys are really petrified by KDC.

    Hardly. This is all good news for the Right. Dotcom’s natural constituency is confused idealists, and those people mostly vote for the Greens at the moment. So there are only two outcomes:

    1. Dotcom doesn’t make 5%. Some votes that would have gone to the Greens are wasted. National wins.

    2. A miracle happens and Dotcom makes 5%. Now Cunliffe has to fashion a coalition of Labour, Greens, NZ First, Mana, Maori, AND Dotcom. NZ loses, but National wins at the subsequent snap election… And in the mean time, National supporters sit back with a cold drink and enjoy watching the most dysfunctional government in world history fall apart.

    What I suspect will happen is that voters will look at NZ’s strong economy with rising incomes and low unemployment, and the thought of the Weirdo Coalition will scare the shit out of them.

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  27. Scott Chris (6,139 comments) says:

    2. A miracle happens and Dotcom makes 5%.

    Won’t need to if his candidate has a ‘cup of tea’ with Cunliffe. Interesting post by Gump further up the thread btw.

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  28. Nostalgia-NZ (5,206 comments) says:

    ‘Scott Chris (5,495 comments) says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 10:23 am
    I suspect Thompson is knowingly engaging in a spot of ‘controversy marketing’. May well have leaked to Slater himself.’

    That wouldn’t surprise me. Some of these ‘leaks’ in the ‘wrong’ hands get a lot of publicity, more than an advertising campaign. Walk carefully among the rumours and leaks. Odd that with everyone apparently ‘doing it’ that the ‘outrage’ seems so genuine when it’s reveal that another party is leaning left or right when they should be ‘impartial.’

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  29. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    “Scoop used to do the advertising for Kiwiblog, and I wish them well. But they do have a number of issues to work out, for them to retain credibility going forward.”

    Why would you wish them well, when they have been revealed as typical low down underhand socialist fraudsters who deserve all that’s coming to them.

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  30. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    I still remember scoop’s handling of Brash’s resignation. The idea these guys can be even-handed is just silly.

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  31. dog_eat_dog (781 comments) says:

    Can you imagine the public meltdown if one of the two major media outlets were caught registering domain names for a National party campaign in their name? The relatively deafening silence from the Greens et al about the corruption of supposedly independent media is quite telling, don’t you think?

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  32. BruceBayliss (1 comment) says:

    Hmmm, didn’t we already the political colours flying from Scoop’s masthead? Why would the personal politics of individuals associated with the site come as a surprise or as something worthy of discussion? It could be argued that the Herald is similarly overt in its political alignment, to the point that no declaration is required or expected of them. The Herald loves the incumbent Government, at the expense of the Opposition parties, and it dislikes Len Brown. It is interesting that the treatment that the likes of Bill English and Don Brash had received at the hands of the Herald when National was in Opposition has been more recently applied to David Parker in general, Russel Norman’s fiscal prowess and David Cunliffe’s pre-party-leadership roadshow.
    But, rather than Scoop publishing (or not) it’s political affiliations, surely it is of concern to people seeking genuine political debate there to be confronted by banner ads for the Internet Party, where similar banner ads have not been seen elsewhere (at least by me).
    What does the internet party actually stand for, anyway?

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  33. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    UPDATE: It seems Alastair is not leaving Scoop, but merely taking a sabattical.

    Scoop: New Zealand’s independent news fully-owned left propaganda site.

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  34. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    What a depressing prospect.
    Our media will salivate over the Fat German, report his every move and utterance, always with a photo, will fall over themselves to get on the gravy train and he will control NZ politics through money and notoriety in a way never seen before.

    I distrust all demagogues and megalomaniacs and am even more uneasy that this cynical and obnoxious guy owes allegiance to no person or country.

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  35. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    This means Scoop is linked to two left-wing political parties.

    Are they really? Which two? Bear in mind that the Internet Party is right-wing. LOL

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  36. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Hardly. This is all good news for the Right. Dotcom’s natural constituency is confused idealists

    Which includes ACT and UF. :)

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  37. alwyn (425 comments) says:

    @davidp at 10.39am.

    “Dotcom’s natural constituency is confused idealists”.
    That’s not how you spell the word that describes them.
    There are two optional ways of spelling the word you are seeking. You can use “idiots” or “imbeciles”.
    “idealists” is not however a valid version.

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  38. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Dotcom has been convicted of trafficking in stolen calling card numbers and hacking in Germany, fled to Thailand to avoid an investigation into his insider trading activities involving Letsbuyit.com, pretended to kill himself online, after being arrested in Thailand and dragged back to Germany finally pled guilty to embezzlement in 2003. Then after moving to Hong Kong and running an elaborate fraud claiming he had an artificial intelligence hedge fund was convicted and fined for accepting investment and falsely claiming he could conduct trades.

    Why the hell would anyone want to get involved with a lying, cheating conman like this? Why would anyone vote for a shit like this. I know since MMP the bar has really lowered in the quality of MP’s and that a alot of fruit cakes (NZ First, Greens) have gotten into Parliament which has enabled some individuals to make more money than they would ever have made outside parliament , but if Dotcom gets into parliament perhaps its time to end this unfortunate MMP experiment.

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  39. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    The scrapheap is Scoop’s natural home.

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  40. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    I hope Key gets in the media openly laying down the challenge to DotCrim to make a good go of the politics game, really crank the crims handle.
    Every second of TV or pixel of internet space spent on DotCrim is less advertising Cuntliffe and Wussel get.
    Cuntliffe will have to have 6 ? coalition partners to make up a govt with IP invloved ?
    Ha :-)

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  41. The only red for me is that of Manchester United (60 comments) says:

    The whole thing about the Internet Party is that it seems nothing more than a party that only wants to “stick it to the maaan!” I can’t see them even thinking of benefiting and making life better for all New Zealanders. They sat in the corner and whisper silly conspiracy theories to each other and conspired on how they can bring down the establishment and John Key. Bradbury, who is bonkers jumps on any band wagon strong enough to support his girth. The occupy movement, anti USA, anti capitalism, anti drilling, anti anything. All knee jerk politics. The claim about his $8000 a month for working for Dotcom puts him in the rich prick league. Funny that. Still it might help him pay off his mortgage on his villa in Grey Lynn or Kingsland a little quicker. As for Wallace Chapman, he’s the dullest person ever on radio. He’s nothing more than a Henny Penny, sky is falling person. Always wringing his hands over New Zealand’s next social problem.

    Losers will vote for Dotcom because they think he’s cool and giving two fingers to the government and everyone else. His internet party won’t be here in five years time. Let alone at the general election.

    As for Scoop!. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s any good. Or read.

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  42. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    TORFM>The whole thing about the Internet Party is that it seems nothing more than a party that only wants to “stick it to the maaan!”

    Don’t forget the attraction of celebrity. When my niece was about ten I asked her what she wanted to do in life. “I want to be famous”, she said. “Famous for what”, I asked. “Errrrrr”. I presume she wanted to be a Paris Hilton or a Kardashian or whichever pointless rich celebrity was in all the gossip magazines five years ago. There are voters who aspire to live in a baroque over-sized house, drive a flashy sports car at high speed, eat a lot of pies, and break the law all over the world while being perpetually on the run from the police. It’s gangsta. Or in Dotcom’s case, fat white gangsta.

    Again this is bad news for the Greens. They’ve been the main proponents of the American-style celebrity endorsement. Like drunk driver Robyn Malcolm or Lucy Lawless, and one of their leaders has married in to show business. If you’re a naive young voter, then Lucy Lawless appears to have a lavish celebrity lifestyle with lots of international travel, fast cars, and enormous homes in at least two countries. They might vote for the Greens to be a bit closer to Lawless. But Lawless isn’t anywhere near as decadent as Dotcom.

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  43. unaha-closp (1,165 comments) says:

    Are they really? Which two? Bear in mind that the Internet Party is right-wing.

    Ross69 – classifying Internet Party candidate in waiting Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury as right wing.

    LOL

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  44. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    “Why the hell would anyone want to get involved with a lying, cheating conman like this.”

    Because they like:
    fireworks
    icecreams
    free movies and music

    Some kiwis can be easily bought.

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  45. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    dpf – “Being a political party leader makes what should be a judicial decision, a political one.”

    Why is that? If the judge says go, surely he has to go. Unless you are suggesting it is appropriate for John Key to somehow overrule the judicial process regarding kfc. He hasn’t up until now, why would kdc being a party leader make any difference.

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  46. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    Even the concept of Key discussing a coalition with kdc is just laughable. Key has better things to do. Vote KDC, get Russel Norman.

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  47. peterwn (3,272 comments) says:

    “Being a political party leader makes what should be a judicial decision, a political one.” Kim would remain a party leader outside Parliament, even if some of their candidates are successful – since candidates have to be NZ citizens.

    If Kim chooses to make it political, this provides an easy political option – stick Kim on the next plane to Germany – via LAX of course.

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  48. dubya (235 comments) says:

    I like how the abbreviation for the Internet Party is also the same as the abbreviation for something their founder has no respect for.

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  49. ex-golfer (161 comments) says:

    So Dotcon has canned his party fearing it would breach electoral law.
    He thanked the 25, 000 who registered.
    Now……I wonder what he will do with those 25, 000 email addresses?

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  50. SHG (316 comments) says:

    Reality check:

    The domains internetparty.co.nz, theinternetparty.co.nz, internetparty.org.nz, theinternetparty.org.nz were not registered by Alastair Thompson.

    They were registered by Scoop Media Limited.

    domain_name: theinternetparty.co.nz
    query_status: 200 Active

    registrar_name: 1API GmbH
    registrar_address1: Talstrasse 27
    registrar_city: Homburg
    registrar_postalcode: 66424
    registrar_country: DE (GERMANY)
    registrar_phone: +49 6841 6984 200
    registrar_fax: +49 6841 66984 299
    registrar_email: info@1api.net
    %
    registrant_contact_name: Scoop Media Limited
    registrant_contact_address1: 29 Brandon Street
    registrant_contact_city: Wellington

    Thompson can resign or go on sabbatical or or whatever, nothing changes the fact that these registrations show a clear ongoing relationship between Scoop and The Internet Party.

    Bye bye accreditation.

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  51. NK (1,244 comments) says:

    So Dotcon has canned his party fearing it would breach electoral law.

    How can it possibly breach the law to hold an election rally? It surely can’t be treating because the PM hasn’t even announced the date of the election. How can you treat prior to an election that hasn’t been called?

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  52. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    NK (776 comments) says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Oops, forget the end HTML tag:

    …it surprises me that his supporters are too blind to figure out that he is using them as pawns in his battle avoid facing Justice US style.

    Oh, they know that. That’s the other thing they have in common – a loathing of the USA and all it stands for, and against.

    Why don’t they just come clean and call it what it is: The Anarchist Party.
    ==========================
    Actually they thought about the Tea Party but the Americans did that 300 years ago. Tossed the pomme tosspots out and forever evolved to be worse.. :lol:

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  53. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    SHG (304 comments) says:
    January 16th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Reality check:

    The domains internetparty.co.nz, theinternetparty.co.nz, internetparty.org.nz, theinternetparty.org.nz were not registered by Alastair Thompson.

    They were registered by Scoop Media Limited.
    =====================
    Or perhaps someone at Scoop being domain name clever. Nothing here to attach this to KDC.

    Anyone can register a domain Name.

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  54. caligirl (1 comment) says:

    Maybe the Pelletts are planning to take Scoop in an entirely new direction–down the middle of the road, for example. That would be reason enough for ALT to go elsewhere if he is as rabidly left-wing as you all say.

    I think people should look beyond the man’s personal politics and see that he has been heavily invested–both financially and on a personal level–in Scoop and its predecessor for a decade and a half. He has also supported others’ efforts to find a way to make internet news distribution pay.

    Let’s just wait and see what eventuates with the new Scoop. Maybe it will go back to its roots as a repository for press releases. There can’t be anything more equal-opportunity left-middle-right than that!

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