Covid ‘protest’ straight from agitation playbook

Escalation: Expect that word to start appearing in reports of the activities of the ragbag that is using the Covid vaccination as a rallying point.

Commentaries last week, particularly a couple of excellent pieces on The Spinoff, suggested New Zealand was entering a dangerous phase in which, to quote its editor-at-large Toby Manhire, “suddenly things could turn very, very nasty”.

Events of the past few weeks have been drawn straight from the agitation playbook. It started with small and relatively innocuous ‘protests’ that gained media attention more through fears they could become super-spreaders for the virus than any of the anti-vaccination messages being spouted. Continue reading “Covid ‘protest’ straight from agitation playbook”

Beware of Geeks bearing gifts (again)

Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg share an unfortunate character trait: An inability to accept the truth.

The former U.S. president’s response to being confronted by unpalatable reality is to fabricate large and elaborate lies. Facebook’s founder indulges in cynical diversion.

The scale and depth of Trump’s deceptions over the 2020 election was well-canvassed at the weekend in a two-hour special by CNN’s Jake Tapper titled Trumping Democracy: An American Coup.

Zuckerberg indulged in a massive rebranding exercise to divert attention from the revelations to both the U.S. Congress and British Parliament by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen that screamed out the need for regulation. The corporate Facebook has transmogrified into Meta, short for Metaverse – a vast expanse that threatens to take the world beyond post-truth to post-reality.

His abiding denial of truth, however, lies in diverting attention from Facebook’s appropriation without payment of media content for commercial gain. The company only faces up to that reality when it is forced to do so by governments (such as Australia) whose patience with the social media giant has run out.

Such setbacks have not diminished Facebook’s preferred narrative and last week the diversion tactic reared its head here in New Zealand with an announcement by Meta of “a four-part investment to help New Zealand’s news industry to thrive in a changing digital world”. Continue reading “Beware of Geeks bearing gifts (again)”

Stop the rot in media workplace culture

I have received a copy of a social media post that appears to be the result of the judgement-impairing effect of emergent testosterone in Year 9 schoolboys. It was sexually explicit and gross.

Unfortunately, it was not the work of a spotty teenager with a warped understanding of manhood. It was created by a prominent member of a major New Zealand media organisation.

I hasten to add that it was not sent to me by its creator. It was forwarded by a contact who shares my unease at the persistence of unacceptable cultures within the country’s media. Continue reading “Stop the rot in media workplace culture”