The Smear Off strikes again

Not content with their earlier smear on me (since retracted) that I was involved in sending white feathers to Auckland Councillors (the entire story was fictious – no one sent or received a white feather), the Spin Off now smears me as a racist and supporter of white supremacy.

Hayden Donnell is unhappy that the Free Speech Coalition raised $50,000 to challenge Phil Goff's dictates about who can speak or not at an Auckland Council owned venue.

Donnell says that anyone backing the FSC must be either confused (code for hypocrisy), a racist or a free speech absolutist.

Donnell ignores the fact that Chris Trotter is an FSC member, and instead smears me who not only isn't a member, but I haven't even donated a cent to the FSC. I didn't even know it was being formed until after they announced it. My “crime” is I blogged in support.

Donnell has set up a fallacy so he can smear people as racists, because of course no one is a free speech absolutist. I'm not. I don't think one should be able to say “kill the buddhists” or “go and have sex with two year olds” or “bash a Croatian”.

My view is that Government censorship of speech needs to have a very high threshold – basically inciting violence, riots etc. And Goff was acting in a Government capacity as Mayor of Auckland.

My view seems to be much the same as Idiot/Savant of , who of course does not get smeared by The Spin Off.

Now Donnell purports to find examples of hypocrisy from me, so that readers will conclude I am a hypocrite or a racist or both. It's a disgusting piece from him designed to smear me, and even worse is they get funded by sponsors to do their smears – including government agencies.

Donnell's first example against me is:

Or the time Free Speech Coalition supporter David Farrar called for the government to take away Homebrew Crew's grant money after they released an anti-government song, saying “They're entitled to call [] what they want, but I'd rather not have the taxpayer fund it”.

Donnell seems to be either very stupid or very malicious as he actually quotes me defending Homebrew's right to call John a c**t. My only objection is having taxpayers fund it.

It is possible Donnell is so stupid that he doesn't recognise the difference between Government censorship and funding. But I suspect he does, and he conflates the two to make his smear.

There are thousands of things I don't want the Government to fund. But there are probably none of them that I want the Government to ban. I don't want the Government to fund The Spin Off, but I don't want them banned either.

Or when time Farrar wrote sympathetically about efforts to sanction Kim Dotcom for leading a “fuck John Key” chant.

Nowhere did I call for Dotcom to face legal sanction. I pointed out the left probably would, if it was someone chanting the same about Clark. I did mention the video had been complained about to the Advertising Standards Authority. This is a self-regulatory scheme that has no enforcement powers. People choose to comply or not. So no hypocrisy.

And when he wavered on whether Immigration New Zealand should deny a Visa to Odd Future on the grounds of incitement to violence.

Which if you follow the link you'll see I actually say:

However having said all that, I don't think the ban was the right call. I'd have them perform in NZ for those who want to listen to them

So in fact I have been entirely consistent with my views. The post by Donnell is designed to portray my as a hypocrite, a racist and a supporter of white supremacy – all because I don't think Phil Goff should decide who gets to speak at Council owned commercial venues.

Now as I said this is not the first time The Spin Off has smeared me. I let it go the first time, but I reluctantly conclude they are going to carry on doing so. So I am going to respond more aggressively in future. If they smear me again, I will be contacting every one of their sponsors and asking for a personal meeting to explain why I think they should not sponsor a site that repeatedly smears me. I will be happy to fly up and down New Zealand to meet them all.

I will also encourage others to do the same.

I don't want people to do this yet. I am reluctant to take the final step. I actually enjoy much of the content on The Spin Off and have respect for some of their staff. But it is because they do a lot of good journalism, that I won't tolerate their smear jobs on me. It doesn't concern me at all when I get smeared on The Standard or The Daily Blog because to be honest that probably increases my reputation with most people. Hell it is almost a badge of honour to have Bradbury call you silly names.

But The Spin Off needs to decide whether they want to stand by such as this final paragraph in relation to me:

Except for when they've done and said things that make it look like many of them do want limits on speech. Because if you don't make an exception for those things, it can look like some of them aren't free speech absolutists at all – and that they just want the boundaries of acceptable speech moved to include overt racism and white supremacy.

So having mentioned me more often than anyone else in the article, they imply and almost state that I am a racist who supports white supremacy speech as acceptable.

In 2006 I blogged on David Irving and said he shouldn't have been jailed for holocaust denial. Does that mean I am a holocaust denier (despite two of my great grant parents perishing in it), or that I think holocaust denial should be acceptable? No. It just means I don't think the state should prevent it.

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