Monday, March 25, 2024

Cam Slater: A Legacy Media Person Who Gets It

Heather du Plessis-Allan is the only legacy media person who seems to get what it was that Winston Peters was trying to say, even as those around her were losing their collective minds.

There is a saying on the internet known as Godwin’s law. Basically everyone misquotes it.

The actual rule is that the longer an online discussion goes on, the higher the probability that someone invokes a comparison to the Nazis or Hitler.

But everyone thinks the rule is that whoever invokes the Nazis or Hitler loses the argument.

Even though that’s a misquote, it’s still true.

It’s not that a comparison to the Nazis or Hitler is necessarily wrong or even necessarily offensive. It’s just that you can’t convince anyone when you use that comparison.

People who agree with your basic argument will still understand the point being made. But people who don’t agree will stop listening the minute that Nazis are mentioned because almost certainly whoever you’re comparing to a Nazi didn’t end up killing six million people.

So when Winston Peters used the Nazis in his speech he probably won over exactly no one to his argument that co-governance is a bad idea.
NZ Herald

Context is everything but the legacy media ignored it. They just went after something that Winston Peters never actually said and went to town on it for a week. Winston must have been laughing all the way to the political bank.

But he ended up quite possibly winning a separate argument on his new favourite subject: the media.

Entirely predictably, the media lost its mind over the Nazi comparison. The outrage went on for days.

There is a rule in politics which doesn’t yet have a name: the longer media outrage at Winston Peters goes on, the higher the probability that he’s loving it.

It’s not always true (the Owen Glenn drama jumps to mind) but it mostly is.

And so, like clockwork, Winston began fighting back. And in the end, he actually pointed out some well-overdue home truths to the media.
NZ Herald

The more they attacked, the more Winston was winning. The media thought they had him but the cunning old warhorse could see that they were proving his point about just how dishonest the legacy media are.

On Monday he pointed out that the media hadn’t been nearly as outraged when the Maori Party published its sports policy online with the clanger: “It is a known fact that Maori genetic makeup is stronger than others.

The media can’t argue ignorance. We were all well aware this had happened. Act had sent media multiple statements and yet there was hardly any mention of it, and certainly no Peters-level outrage.

On Tuesday, Peters put out a list of examples of others using Nazi comparisons that didn’t result in days of media outrage, if any at all.

The Maori Party had described the Coalition Government’s repeal of smoking laws as “systemic genocide”.

Auckland Pride’s executive director Max Tweedie had compared the support of Posie Parker to “Nazi ideology of the 1930s” which was “very much aligned in terms of eradicating rainbow communities from public life”.

Former Green MP Golriz Ghahraman had tweeted – on her way to the same rally – “So ready to fight Nazis”.

Case closed. The media have waved throughout outrageous comments from some – notably all on the very radical left of politics – while not cutting Peters nearly the same kind of slack.
NZ Herald

People tend to hold Winston Peters to impossibly high standards that they ignore for every other politician. ’Twas ever thus.

Everyone who was outraged at Winston Peters ended up helping Winston Peters. He doesn’t mind the outrage. He milks it. [That’s] why, on Wednesday, he played Chumbawamba on his phone while walking through a press scrum. It gave him one more day of headlines about how everyone including a working class English anarcho-communist band are angry with his Nazi comments.

So Godwin’s (misquoted) law is only right to a point. Invoke the Nazis and you lose the argument. But that isn’t necessarily politically bad, if you’re Winston Peters.
NZ Herald

You would have thought the media would’ve learned their lesson in going toe to toe with Winston Peters, but no.

What they have done however is prove, categorically, that there is huge profit for Winston Peters and NZ First in excoriating a hated legacy media. The hint on how far they have fallen are the resounding cheers echoing around the nation as media outlet after media outlet falters and dies, with even louder cheers as Winston Peters pushes them into the proverbial legacy media graveyard.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. Cam blogs regularly on the BFD - where this article was sourced.


EP said...

Completely agree. Well done Heather.

Margaret said...

Well I congratulate Heather on her 'getting it' with respect to Winston'
s comment But last Friday Graham Adam's commented on her pulling out of the interview with Graham Linehan the comedian who is now taking on the battle to protect vulnerable children from grotesque surgeries and drugs transgenderism is coercing them into . That was not so commendable Heather. I suppose you have to pick your fights but when is anyone in MSM going to be brave enough to take this on against the horrific bullies in the transgender camp?

Anonymous said...

I have been shouting at the talking heads for a while over this - they completely missed what he was saying. Just pure laziness from the journalists - it didn’t even occur to most of them to actually go back and look at the entire context.

Finally someone has actually pointed it out!