Friday, December 22, 2023

Caleb Anderson: Stop Asking Stupid Questions

Mr Peters' recent frustration with the media is understandable.  After a series of inane questions from the usual left-wing attack dogs he simply instructed them to "stop asking stupid questions" and then walked away.

And indeed their questions were stupid.

Amidst what might be seen as momentous discoveries and disclosures ... the cascading evidence of fiscal ineptitude by the previous government, corruption, sabotage, bullying, and lies and deceit, the mainstream media have deemed it of greater importance to focus on Teslas, Te Reo lessons and slips of the tongue.

The media knows how to implant ideas and how to fertilize these.  The most enduring memory of Don Brash's almost successful election campaign nearly twenty years ago is a photograph of him wiping mud from his face at Waitangi.  The media played this endlessly.  The most enduring memory of Judith Collin's tilt at leadership was her ill-advised prayer at a nearby church.  The media played this endlessly.

The policy seems to be embed and repeat, embed and repeat, embed and repeat.

And by contrast, the excesses of the left are given a once-over lightly, never to be repeated, if attended to at all.

It takes a bit of brain power to figure out why the media are taking so long to get the message that they are out of step with what most people think, and that the greater portion of the population is tuning out and going elsewhere.  

Falling ratings, and unprecedented public frustration with their agendas, portend bleak times ahead for them.  

Why can they not see that the saw is more than halfway through the branch on which they are sitting?  

And yet they keep sawing.

When the source of funding for the Prime Minister's Te Reo lessons trumps clear evidence of fiscal ineptitude, on a gigantic scale, for newsworthiness, when serious disclosures of corruption and misappropriation receive barely a mention, when vandals at Te Papa are treated as heroes, when the lackluster turnout at recent protests are presented as evidence of imminent insurrection, when significant government announcements are barely reported, or are manipulated to purpose, and when a token conservative view is sought to give the appearance of balance, something is terribly and very obviously wrong.

When historians reflect on past events, the accounts closest to the period in question are generally given very serious scrutiny.  The media have a responsibility here.  

Alternative perspectives need to be (genuinely) sought, expert commentary needs to be (genuinely) invited, deep questions need to be (genuinely) asked, and stones need to be overturned.  

Otherwise, we embolden those whose tendency is to throw caution to the wind, irrespective of the risk, and we greatly multiply the likelihood of repeating our mistakes.  

The excesses of the past six years (and maybe longer) need to be examined and documented.  Memories are short.  There is no better time to do this than now if we are to regain confidence in our political system and our public institutions.

The journalistic activism of recent years must be displaced by a return to honest, fair, and balanced reporting of the facts, irrespective of world-view.

In short, people are seriously tired of the not-so-clever ways in which stories are being slanted, while avoiding the appearance of doing so, and under the thinnest of veneers of even-handedness.

It seems doubtful that TVNZ and RNZ are redeemable in their current form, and there are serious problems with most print media.  While private media will inevitably be dealt with by the market, those funded, in full or in part, by the taxpayer need to be given a message that the status quo will not be tolerated, they need a very clear "shape up or ship out" message.  

A journalist's job is to report from across the spectrum of views and report these without fear or favour.  We are not interested in their opinions.  We do not want to be told what we should think.  We will apply our own filters in assessing the merit or otherwise of an idea or action.

During the election campaign, Mr Peters was forthcoming in his disdain for a media that was determined to ignore him and adamant that the current abuse of privilege by media would not be allowed to continue.

It is a matter of some urgency that this matter is addressed as the media has demonstrated its willingness to undermine a democratically elected government and to foment unrest in pursuit of their agendas.

We too are tired of the stupid questions, we see through the subterfuge, and we expect a much better return on our investment.

If Mr Peters sets his mind to this, I suspect there will be many there to cheer him on.

And in the meantime, a retort right across the coalition that stupid questions will not be answered might suffice.

 Caleb Anderson, a graduate history, economics, psychotherapy and theology, has been an educator for over thirty years, twenty as a school principal


EP said...

Completely with you. I have not listened to any MSM for a couple of years now, but I sadly realise as I catch up with friends and relatives at this end-of-year time, that almost all of them get their 'information' from mainstream radio and TV. They are not unintelligent people, and I puzzle to think how they can be so limited. Shut up and go with the flow? - or speak out and cause social discomfort? Thank goodness for the blogs Caleb.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have put it better!

Anna Mouse said...

The legacy mainstream media in New Zealand are nothing more than left wing propagandists.

Every news item where citizens of this country are mentioned they are now always reffed to as kiwis. The name New Zealander has been dropped completely.

Aotearoa is used almost every time the name of the country comes up is instead of New Zealand. This is not subtle it is obvious.

Aotearoa is not the name and never has been the name of our country it has always been an affectation as has being refrred to as a kiwi.

That said the legacy mainstream media in New Zealand will not depart from their ideological socio-eugenics program. They live in a sanctimonious righteous bubble of knowing best and better that is frankly vomit inducing.

Every day at 6pm or on every daily newspaper we are taught what we should be thinking and the message is always negatively spun. This is not subtle it is obvious.

The reporters and journalists no longer provide evidentiary analysis across the two sides of the story. They now spin only toward one side and that is left is good right is bad and it appears they cannot help themselves.

Like all good propagandists when they are lined up against the wall to be sacked or bankrupted they will blame everyone except themselves.

Hopefully something will change and that their funds from advertising, the taxpayer and anywhere else ceases and we have politicians like Peters who will continue to treat them with the contempt they deserve for the contemt they have for their audience.

I frankly say screw them, they have screwed too many of New Zealanders for too long and the branch cannt break soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, all the above is correct. I was cancelled from Stuff's 'Neighbourly' for daring to cite a Don Brash commentary on the value of democracy. This festive season I will make it my personal mission to influence as many as I can to 'cancel' these leftist, woke numbskulls in a way that really hurts - their pockets. I, and it appears a good many others, have truly had a gutsful of their spin, their woke narratives and the ramming of the likes of Maori wonderfulness and te reo down our throats. The sooner these fools go broke, the better.

Actually, it's not unlike movements like the "Queers for Palestine", et al. The MSM seems to be fixated on biting/annoying the real hand that has feed them, especially now that the PIJF is drying up. Like the Queers, they really have no appreciation of what they think they're wishing for, and how they will be treated in the unlikely event they succeed.

Anonymous said...

So well put Caleb. The sad irony is MSM would consider me as a desciple among many other New Zealanders who absolutely detest their very existence now. Their algorithms return my fleeting glances I make viewing their propaganda as a leap forward for the progressive narrative. If only the knew it couldn't be further from the truth. Peter

Anonymous said...

I loathe the algorithms. They completely distort what information you get access to and take away the joy of browsing. My on line news feeds look like trashy magazine gossip simply because clicking on something light completely overrides clicking on something of more significance.

Anonymous said...

They cannot. It is beyond them. They are so far down the rabbit hole, they believe their own bile. They spout slogans and agendas. They accuse without substance. Prime examples calling the govt racist, yet two of the three leaders have Maori ancestory. You would ask why the media have an issue here, it is simple, they themselves are racist caught in the apologist trap and supporting the "right" Maori over the "wrong" sort.

Cut the govt funding now. Let them live in the commercial world where falling ratings mean less pay.