Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bassett on Hager the Horrible -- "Why are today’s hacks so easily beguiled by a polemicist?"

Michael Bassett responds with feeling to Hager the Horrible's hollow book. (I'll quote from his response at length because it's lengthy enough that there's much I've left unquoted even so):
Nicky Hager resembles something washed up on a Fiordland beach. There’s something of the Ancient Mariner about him, but his views are narrow like the Exclusive Brethren’s he rails against....
Such is Hager’s righteousness that he’ll stoop to anything. First he acquired stolen property, Don Brash’s emails. Well-brought up people would have returned them to their owner. Not Hager. He convinced himself that he had a higher duty, to publish them. The fact that he stood to gain publicity and profit from doing so was, you must understand, one of the painful duties of a crusader. Did he pay for the stolen goods? Hager is strangely coy about his own funding. He didn’t contact Brash, lest it alert him. Nor did he attempt to find what was missing. Hager possessed no faxes, phone calls, publicly available transcripts, or meeting notes. He seldom referred to newspaper reports. Just a thin incomplete veneer of emails. Some were doctored as I discovered to my surprise. Who did that, I wonder, and why? In the end Hager fixed us with his glittering eye, producing a beat-up over mundane matters of a kind that all political parties deal with every day. How a party positions itself is what politics is about...
Why are today’s hacks so easily beguiled by a polemicist? Because too many of them were intellectually washed up on his same Fiordland beach. In the 1960s and 1970s, universities and journalism courses taught students to test evidence by asking what other factors might be relevant to a story, before drawing conclusions. In today’s post-modernist, politically correct world, instincts, hopes, opinions and feelings are more important than facts. Thus reporter Ruth Berry could write that Don Brash’s views on the Treaty had “alienated” him from “middle voters”. Surely she meant herself? Brash’s Orewa speech doubled National’s poll support. When he resigned, National was ten points ahead. Too many journalists go around the blogs and talk only amongst themselves. Facts seem superfluous. Sadly, they are also foreign to many modern university arts disciplines where some reporters were taught. Evidence is what you say it is, not what it actually is.
I feel sure I've been saying something somewhat similar myself. I suspect the journalists have been visiting the wrong blogs.

I don't say this often, but go read Bassett's piece. It's worth it just for the conclusion.

LINKS: Nicky Hager and the hollow book - Dr Michael Bassett
Thief - Not PC (29 Nov)
Why we need chains - Not PC (28 Nov)
Hager, Brash & Herald humbug - Not PC (21 Nov)

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-National

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I suspect the journalists have been visiting the wrong blogs".

Well yeah - there are no posts about pubic hair or color quizzes on this blog. What do you expect?

Time to move on about Brash. It's over.

12/07/2006 07:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Anon said...
[Time to move on about Brash. It's over.]

That is correct, but the current furore is about Nicky Fuck-ard. Don is gone, but Nicky Fuck-ard will re-surface at some stage in the future, may be soon with something bizarre, twisted facts, sensationalize stories, lies, etc, etc... This is what needs to be stopped.

Fuckwits like him who hates & criticizes capitalism where at the same time gaining monetary benefits from it, by selling his book(s) is a hypocrite. Why not sell the book for free, if he hates capitalism? Just deduct the cost of publishers, writers, marketing, and then give it for free to the public, because it is against his own principle to gain money out of it (capitalism).

12/07/2006 08:12:00 pm  
Anonymous michael fasher said...

i always find hagars scandals very unscandalous,the words that come to mind about any of them are something along the lines of "ÿeah so what,your point?"
ive just lended a freind atlas shrugged and shes getting proggresivly more angry right now as i draw parrellels with new zealand pointing out various "ätlas shrugged moments",if the media would spend more time plugging that book instead of this retards crap then that would be a scandal!

12/07/2006 08:45:00 pm  
Anonymous michael fasher said...

thats an idea anybody want to send nicky hagar a copy of atlas shrugged ,it would probably short circiut and fry his brain with rage,and to add insult tell him his character is phillip rearden

12/07/2006 08:59:00 pm  
Anonymous ScrubOne said...

National should start asking Labour (constantly) if they have had meetings with Hager :)

12/08/2006 12:59:00 am  
Blogger Dragon Maci said...

Yes, that was a very interesting and accurate read.

That is correct, but the current furore is about Nicky Fuck-ard. Don is gone, but Nicky Fuck-ard will re-surface at some stage in the future, may be soon with something bizarre, twisted facts, sensationalize stories, lies, etc, etc... This is what needs to be stopped.

Indeed. Seems I misjudged you when I said I usually disagree with you. Lately I have almost always agreed with you. Especially when I meet you at Bullshit and Jellybeans, which was quite fun (except for one part that wasn't PC's fault).

Fuckwits like him who hates & criticizes capitalism where at the same time gaining monetary benefits from it, by selling his book(s) is a hypocrite.

That is a compliment when referring to those like him. Hell, even, "irrational moron with no brain" is.

Why not sell the book for free, if he hates capitalism? Just deduct the cost of publishers, writers, marketing, and then give it for free to the public, because it is against his own principle to gain money out of it (capitalism).

Yeah, why not? At least then he'd be consistent, something he knows nothing about.

i always find hagars scandals very unscandalous,the words that come to mind about any of them are something along the lines of "ÿeah so what,your point?"

Yeah, you know what, same here.

thats an idea anybody want to send nicky hagar a copy of atlas shrugged ,it would probably short circiut and fry his brain with rage,and to add insult tell him his character is phillip rearden

He'd probably read the blurb and then throw it away. If not he would after only a few pages.

Also, according to Hager's argument of him using the emails being in the "public interest" we should be able to acquire the email off of him in the "public interest" of knowing whether his claims are true or false.

But would he surrender them? No, he'd create some fuckwit excuse to explain how it is different with him. And if we stole them off him? Well, again he'd make a fuckwit excuse for how it's different with him.

12/08/2006 01:46:00 pm  
Blogger Kane Bunce said...

That DragonMaci one was me sorry. Sigh in error as I said in other posts.

12/08/2006 04:09:00 pm  

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