Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Karl du Fresne: Stuff's racist history

Most readers of this blog will be aware of Stuff's front-page apology to Maori on Monday for supposedly racist reporting dating back generations, and of the series of subsequent articles setting out the many ways in which the newspaper titles now owned by Stuff have supposedly perpetuated negative racist stereotypes.

This was my response in a letter published in The Dominion Post this morning:
The accusation of racism is an extremely serious slur – or would be, if the meaning of the word hadn’t been so weakened by overuse.

Racism is the belief that some races are intrinsically superior to others and that discrimination is therefore justified.

Adolf Hitler was a racist. The Ku Klux Klan is racist. So were the apartheid-era leaders of South Africa.

And now we’re told that the former editors and editorial executives of some of this country’s leading newspapers, of whom I am one, were (are?) racists too.

If the accusation of racism still meant something, it would be damning. But in the 21st century the word racist simply means anyone who doesn’t conform to the authoritarian orthodoxies of identity politics.

So I refuse to take it seriously when I’m lumped in the same category as Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, and I hope my former colleagues don’t either. But it’s saddening to see the papers we once proudly worked for confusing polemics with journalism.

Karl du Fresne, a freelance journalist, is the former editor of The Dominion newspaper. He blogs at


DeeM said...

In the media and public life these days, if you ain't Woke, you're Smoke!!
There will be many in this sphere who disagree with identity politics, but hold their tongues for the sake of their jobs and incomes. Most of us would. It's easy to be brave when you've nothing to lose.
The only thing that will encourage these individuals to band together and voice their real opinions is if they see support from the public at large. Without that, speaking out is career suicide, as we have seen many times in the recent past.
We need a Berlin Wall moment, perhaps. Where public opinion suddenly reaches a critical mass of momentum and then snowballs into a demand for change.

captainofthegate said...

Indigenous populations have been used to attack nations since antiquity. Divide and conquer. It’s an effective tactic when it is sneaky and not so obvious. MSM are amongst this nations enemies. They are owned by a small group of banks whom are in turn owned by a tiny group of international hedge funds, whom also hold a lot of the corporate debt. Stuff sold it’s soul for a $1, cheap.

Anonymous said...

@ captainofthegate

Good point but you mean '...a small group of [LARGE] banks"...

Bryan Johnson said...

Stuff, like other media, have been reluctant to address the Government’s special treatment of Maori. History is ignored and investigative journalism non-existent . There is minimal reportage of gangs’ criminal activities or lack of accountability for the Iwi’s loss of grants and Treaty settlements through injudicious investments. Stuff has not shown objective reportage for years presenting only opinions supportive of government’s selective and exclusive favouring of Maori. Contrary opinions are completely ignored.

Unknown said...

Well put. It's a worry indeed.

norm chadwick said...

These comments tell us what we all ready know .
As an 80 yr old I would like to join a group that has a positive plan that can stop the insidious nonsense . Or is that not possible ?

Norm Chadwick