Making shit up on Stuff

August 21st, 2014 at 9:45 am by David Farrar

reports:

If you’ve heard enough about Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book and claims of Judith Collins’ leaking like a sieve to blogger Cameron Slater, you’re not alone.

Rumours doing the rounds on social yesterday suggested a group of Young Nats in Hamilton might take matters into their own hands and dispose of a large stock of the dreaded book.

It’s not exactly on the same scale as the book burnings of the Nazi regime or the anti-communist McCarthy era but social media was yesterday buzzing with rumours of an imminent book burning at Waikato University.

The head of the Waikato Students’ Union and a former member of the Young Nats is alleged to have bought 202 copies of Hager’s book to burn.

has denied the claims, but the leader of NZ First Youth and a Waikato University source, who asked not to be named, said he did.

Letcher said the claims were false.

“There is nothing to it. I saw the allegations on Facebook by a NZ First person”

The Facebook page Letcher was referring to belongs to NZ First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson, who posted: “So apparently, the CNI Young Nats (and, assumedly, the NZ Young Nats) are buying up copies of Nicky Hager’s #DirtyPolitics . . . and burning them.”

Rolinson said he stood by his post.

His claims have been backed by a Waikato University student who saw the books in Letcher’s possession.

Stuff now runs as front page news (and lead story in the Waikato Times I believe) a rumour on Facebook, pushed by the former Head of NZ First Youth?

And people say there is a problem with standards on blogs!

Here’s what I understand to be the story from someone close to Aaron (Aaron has the flu).

  1. Aaron purchased six copies of the book.
  2. He sent five of them to an Embassy in Wellington, where his mother works, as they couldn’t buy any locally. He kept one for himself to read and was probably very disappointed he was not in the book.
  3. Someone saw the six books in his office and decided he must have purchased them for a book burning or some such stupidity and the rumour started

It’s one thing for there to be a rumour on Facebook, but for Stuff to run this as a front page story without a single shred of evidence is just making shit up.

The hilarious thing is Aaron has done lots of stupid crap in his time. But this is not one of them.

I look forward to the prominent retraction by Stuff. Nah, just kidding. I’m not that much of an optimist.

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This is their front page story, taken from Whale Oil. They ran this as their major lead, with graphics and all – on a false Facebook rumour.

I’ve never complained to The Press Council about a story, and don’t want to start. But if anything ever qualified for a complaint, this would.

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37 Responses to “Making shit up on Stuff”

  1. tom hunter (4,852 comments) says:

    But you still want to subject yourself and Kiwiblog to the complaints process of the “standards authority” that these clowns belong to.

    You think they have a status you need to rise to in the public mind?

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  2. CryHavoc (46 comments) says:

    Thought this might be the case.

    Either way it’s been a massive dog-whistle by Stuff – I counted the headline three times (i.e. in three different sections) on their front-page. Amazing. But not surprising.

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  3. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    From Linked In

    Florence Kerr’s Overview. Current. Journalist at Waikato Times. Past. Editor at Fairfax Media.

    About all you need to know.

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  4. Andrei (2,657 comments) says:

    That just shows what whores reporters are

    Of course both Nicky Hager himself and the publisher would be delighted if the book was bought for burning, they get paid whether or not the book is read (and I’ll bet few people have really read it anyway) – sounds utterly boring to me apart from a few tit bits taken out of context

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  5. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I heard that the highly trained and skilled journalist under whose name the story appeared on Stuff (Florence Kerr) got an A+ in Cntrl-C/Cntrl-V at Journalism School.

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  6. Daniel (209 comments) says:

    I thought Dotcom must have bought Stuff off, like he did with Scoop. Why else would Stuff run an unsubstantiated facebook rumour as a front page headline story without any corroboration?

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  7. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Tom hunter: Excellent point…DPF take note!

    Isn’t that just a perfect example though, of the appalling “standards” of today’s MSM ? If I were a much younger chap, and far more familiar with “social media” and how it works than I am, I would be very tempted to start an outrageous rumour about myself, something no-one who knew me could possibly believe…I don’t know…that I had come out of the closet, or applied to become a priest perhaps…given the continuing and (to me) inexplicable journalistic interest in my doings four whole years after I left politics it would be an even bet that said rumour would find itself in the pages of the former journal of record..

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  8. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    “NZ First Youth” … now there’s an oxymoron. In fact it was the first clue that the story was a bit dodgy.

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  9. redqueen (563 comments) says:

    Yeah, Stuff appears to be stuffing up today. Their Dirty Politics ‘opinion’ piece was pretty silly as well. So much for them looking better than the NZ Herald the other day. Oh well, maybe I will just stick to reading Kiwiblog and WhaleOil. These silly buggers just can’t be trusted any more.

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  10. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    Our news media are embarrassing. They report anything as long as it will fill a space. Is there any checking at all?
    Thank god for the blogs like yours and Whaleoil. I get more factual info and balance than I ever do in our disgraceful media.
    Just look at that story about the name of the lane in Christchurch. The ceremony was in October last year! The widow of the Supreme Court judge honoured was present at the ceremony and was grateful for the honour paid her late husband.
    Now it’s a chance for a retired lawyer who has suddenly woken up and decided to make a fuss and – goodness me – we have yet another stick to beat Judith Collins with. The judge was her ‘friend’! More cronyism! Corruption in street naming! Is there no end to this woman’s arrogance?
    Anyone smell the foul stench of a witchhunt?

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  11. Redbaiter (8,923 comments) says:

    “that I had come out of the closet,”

    Thought that was old news actually.

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  12. Berend de Boer (1,709 comments) says:

    “It’s not exactly on the same scale as the book burnings of the Nazi regime or the anti-communist McCarthy era”

    Don’t you love the hint hint of #dirtypolitics, oops, the left would never do that.

    PS: Yes, there is unacceptable behaviour documented in the book for which there should be consequences.

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  13. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Red: You crack me up….you really do

    How many members does your party have?

    Get used to it old man…this is going to be like people asking Penny if she has paid your rates…

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  14. OTGO (551 comments) says:

    Of course everything on Facebook is true right? C’mon…

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  15. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Reddy doesn’t seem like the party type to me, David.

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  16. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    “NZ First Youth”

    I was born in 1961 so I will be eligible to join NZ First Youth in about eight years.

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  17. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Brian, I suspect you will be their youngest member.

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  18. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    I doubt any young Gnat would be stupid enough to engage in such Nazi-like activity, given the ancestry of their party’s leader.

    What will the media do next?

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  19. James Stephenson (2,180 comments) says:

    Burning? What a waste, ripped into handy squares and distributed to DoC longdrops would seem to be a better idea.

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  20. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Stuff/stuffed.

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  21. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    ” NZ First Youth” Can young Mr Grace.(are you being served) join.

    Any book burning should be outside the gates at the Coatsville Bunker.

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  22. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Even, if it was true, is it anything compared to the metaphorical burning of the Whaleoil blog by the left and the media?
    Laila Harre even said she wants it taken down.

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  23. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Remember, when jounalists think they can claim a politicians scalp, the ultimate mark of success in a journalists CV, then it suddenly becomes no holds barred journalism. Who cares about integrity if you can end someones political career?

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  24. Hugh Pavletich (217 comments) says:

    Has there been widespread MSM reporting of the Roy Morgan Pol throughout the country ?

    Has there been any follow-up MSM discussion on the recent Fairfax poll, with regards to Canterbury, showing Labour at 14%, The Greens at 22% and National a whopping 55% ?

    One suspects the “at civil war” Lefts only hope is Hager … and that throwing the proverbial is boomeranging on them.

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  25. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    Hurrah to DPF’s point:

    And people say there is a problem with standards on blogs!

    Stay independent, DPF!

    The MSM is suffering from a serious case of Red-Green fever.

    It’s obviously contagious. However, the problem seems to be acerbated by lack of immunity in MSM employees from the journalist training madrassas, where Hager the Horrible claims he lectures on ethics!

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  26. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    The real problem is we , Joe public , cannot do anything about this sort of rubbish. Or if we can it takes months and results do not see the light of day.

    But I do feel smug this morning seeing this — I cancelled our sub to the Dom Post about 12 months ago. They tried every trick in the book at the time , to get me to change my mind. I did not change. But I got a call yesterday asking if I would reconsider. I said thank you for the call but the quality of the paper had gone through the floor so I would not be renewing the sub. So they proved me right within 24 hrs.

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  27. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Yet more evidence of the Left Wing MSM. Most of them are Left apologists who are sorely pissed off that the Nats have done a great job and will hopefully get a 3rd term.

    The Left Wing MSM long for the days of H1 and H2 when their luvvies were in power and they could fawn all over them.

    Well suck it up you Left Wing bastards. :Losers all of you.

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  28. Hamish_NZ (46 comments) says:

    Stuff/Waikato Times have been running articles fot about the last week that are anti National. Generally complaining about the fact the Waikato rural seats are going to be won by National. Even going as far to say National could run a donkey and it would win. Probably true, but the same is true for some safe Labour seats, i.e South Dunedin. And hyping up that Labour will/could win one or both of the Hamilton seats. Going as far as to say that because Hamilton has a Uni that Labour will win them. Talk about clutching at straws!
    They’re basically allowing Sue Moroney to write their articles for them.
    Plus add in the medias love of “dirty politics” and then they can spin this rumour as fitting the narative of dodgy National, lovely NZ First and Labour.

    Journalism and weather forecasting are pretty much the same now. Both basically make stuff up at their best guess and call it a good job.

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  29. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    If the books are purchased and paid for – what is the issue? There might be an issue if someone burnt paid for copies of the Bible or Koran in public, but then Nicky’s book hardly warrants such hallowed status. If flag burning is OK under Bill of Rights Act, then sure book burning is OK, unless they were stolen – or is Bill only for ‘other people’ to comply with.

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  30. Rosey (1 comment) says:

    As a long time reader of the Waikato Times, I emailed their editor this morning to complain about the lack of evidence to back up this article, and the front page placement of such poor journalism. I just had a phone call from the Editor himself and he was quite adamant that they have had this story verified by a ‘source’ who had ‘seen’ the books. Which really just sounds to me like heresy again….

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  31. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    peterwn

    You are right.

    Minto had a photo of a burning National bill board on his Facebook page the other day “celebrating” the effort of whoever did it.

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  32. MaxCoyle (6 comments) says:

    Of course interestingly as you point out David, Aaron has certainly done some stupid things in his time, which actually could indeed lead someone to think he might be engaged in book burning, including this bit of conversation from 2011 when he says he hates ‘gypsies and faggots’. http://t.co/GBB3c8yKO9

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  33. FeralScrote (218 comments) says:

    Stuff has become so pathetic that they put a ,share this on facebook, link on every article FFS.

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  34. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    otgo – “Of course everything on Facebook is true right? C’mon…”

    Stuff obviously think so.

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  35. OneTrack (3,107 comments) says:

    emmess – “Laila Harre even said she wants it taken down.”

    There is her left-wing totalitarianism streak showing through. Only “approved” things are to be allowed.

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  36. IGM (395 comments) says:

    Hager has had a long and fruitful association with Fairfax lefties, along with Matches Macksleezy. They are feted by senior editorial members to a degree that is a joke. When Laidlaw is around it is sickening.

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  37. Dave_1924 (116 comments) says:

    All this indicates is how scared the Print media establishment is of the growth of online only entities – web only news outlets, larger blogs like WOBH, Kiwiblog etc etc….

    As with the Telco industry the OTT players don’t have the sunk cost to support, are agile and cherry pick the best niches….. while the granny’s like APN and Fairfax desperately thrash around looking for ways to compete and survive while support huge overheads.

    Leads them to some interesting behaviours:
    1- lowest common denominator tactics i.e going Tabloid,
    2 – Lowering of Editorial standards e.g. poor grammar/spelling, poor fact checking
    3- Attacking the new competitor as unprincipled, ripping off the country, not a professional etc etc…..

    How many of these responses do we observe in the Main Stream Media today?

    And all I want is some good old fashioned well researched, factual, accurate reporting…. we do we find it nowadays?

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