We’ve had several weeks now since the release of Dirty Politics and just as we thought it might be dying down as our lords and masters in the mainstream media decided followed National’s argument and moved on to reporting about health, education, the economy and selfies, John Key called a Pulitzer Prize winner a “henchman” and then a “liar.”
The fact that Key had several months of Dotcom hype to come up with his defence against the Moment of Truth and all he could manage was a bit of obfuscation followed by some schoolboy name-calling classically highlights where the National Party are in their strategy. I’m not going to talk about how Dotcom crapped on and event featured three of the greatest fighters for freedom we have seen in decades. Others have walked this path.
After Key pulled his henchman call it took me all the way back to the 1980s at Gisborne Boys when I one day used humour to retreat from a bullying situation and all the bully could manage as the laughter died down was, “shut up you egg.”
Key continued to repeat the word henchman at every available opportunity proving just how low he has actually sunk this campaign. What are they thinking up there on the 9th floor? I suppose they’re banking on the fact all those people who love and support Key will believe him and those of us who find his smile & wave double-track stealth attacks abhorrent will never vote for him anyway so he’s not even bothering to try. The polls have him on 50%. I’m sure he believes his own hype.
This brings me to mention and interesting interview I heard on Radio New Zealand late Monday afternoon. Simon Mercep interviewed Nick Davies – one of the Guardian journalists who uncovered the phone hacking undertaken by the Murdoch Press in the United Kingdom.
Near the end of the interview he talks about Rebekah Brooks testifying to the Levenson Inquiry into the hacking that money had been paid to the police. His thoughts on this were clear: the people who were doing the phone hacking and paying the bribes to police, clearly illegal activities, did not believe they were breaking the law. Somewhere along the line they somehow convinced themselves they were fighting the good fight for the greater public good.
I thought this was a very interesting way to read it and it got me thinking. What if, say, those in the National Party leadership and their various associated groupings actually believe what they are doing is right? What if they actually believe that rather name-calling and distraction are actually the right way to deal with a situation where you are under fire? What if they actually believe that if someone disagrees with your point of view then it is ethically fine to dig into their past to find information with the express purposes of destroying them (Pulitzer Prize winner and the country’s newest henchman, Glenn Greenwald wrote an article on his experiences with such smearification back in June of last year).
Of course, all those wonderings are a load of rubbish. The Murdoch media and National are totally aware of what they are doing and how morally bankrupt it is. We know this because of the veracity of their attacks on Greenwald and Snowden. National know this two-track smile-and-wave strategy is highly effective at distracting a weary public from what is actually going on and frustrating an under-pressured media in to giving up asking the hard questions and moving on to the next story.
This is their strategy. Ethically challenged attacks on people who dare question them and their actions.
Because, when it comes down to it, that’s all they’ve really got.
— StephT (@st3ph007) September 16, 2014