Will serve as a wake-up call to naïve New Zealand media.
10 Nov 2017 - The Washington Post piece claiming that the Jacinda Ardern – led coalition is a rightwing conspiracy will have the positive effect of persuading at last the legacy media in New Zealand to cease accepting anything in the Washington Post or in its attitudinal sister the New York Times as if their observations were holy-writ.
The unquestioning devotion to these two dailies by the old media and by the New Zealand foreign service apparatus has only recently been demonstrated as a perilous path simply because it is so misleading.
It was these two dailies that persuaded, for example, and beyond any shadow of doubt the New Zealand diplomatic arm, that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election. Several damaging and indeed foolish foreign policy thrusts were based on the prognostications of these two newspapers.
The two newspapers’ single-minded determination to signal virtue has a commercial underpinning that is quite simply not understood in New Zealand.
The Washington Post is controlled by the same people who control Amazon, the digital publishing and distribution outfit.
It’s market is in a bracket defined by well-to-do individuals in the Category A marketing sector and this requires targeting those in youth and earlier middle age---and who have what is known as “discretionary spending” capability which means they are well-to-do.
The New York Times which is shedding circulation has a similar imperative in order to attract subscribers in this category and the advertiser who need to reach them.
The New York Times was once a newspaper of record, but the controlling Sulzberger family in recent years has twisted and turned to find a circulation-building approach to this Category A bracket.
The smearing of deputy coalition leader Winston Peters, especially in term of his supposed racism, is designed so that the more Mr Peters seeks to deny it, the more in fact he becomes enmeshed in the smear.
No longer under the guidance of its long time controlling family, the Graham dynasty, the Washington Post has lost any restraint in its mercantilist move for market share.
The branding of any government or the individuals which represent it as extremists is a carefully calibrated piece of virtue signalling.
It is all the more powerful in the case of New Zealand.
This is because the Washington Post marketing directorate believe that it will be taken seriously here and thus they will achieve pick-up and bounce-back into other markets.
Contrary to a naïve yet widespread belief in New Zealand, and one especially held by the legacy media here, their counterparts in the United States have little operational understanding of who governs here, and what they represent.
The extremist smear is like the racism one in that the more the targets of the smear seek to explain themselves, the more they get caught up in the original smear.
The piece is a wake-up call to the New Zealand media and the nation’s diplomatic service.
Neither are able to comprehend the zero-sum nature of the United States media and its intense mercantilist focus which transcends the kind of fair-and-balanced reporting that remains the touchstone here.
The result is that an attention-seeking and virtue-signalling piece such as the one claiming that the new coalition is an extremist and racist one in the past anyway has succeeded in obtaining extensive and unquestioning pick up here.