Awhile back. the National Party election campaign co-ordinator, Clark Hennessy, spent 12 months working at the right-wing website “The Daily Caller,” reporting directly to its owner, the conservative commentator Tucker Carlson. Nowadays, Carlson is on Fox News offering full frontal support Donald Trump. He is a front man for the Right. So far we have not seen a brazen, populist campaign. Far from it. The Nats have been a damp squib so far against a media obsessed by Jacinda-mania.
Clark Hennessy has been press secretary to Deputy PM Paula Bennett, who was this weekend involved in the campaign kerfuffle over the Nats crime policy, where Bennett said P distributors had fewer human rights than others. To me it seemed like populist media tactics were in play,
Bennett’s comments were a dog whistle to National’s core base and to New Zealand First voters who are not fussed on ensuring human rights to criminal gangs. The main dog whistle was to lthe good people on social media and social media, They wanted THE PARTY that they supported human rights to everyone including drug pushers and criminal gangs. Bill English talked it back the next day, and Bennett backed down. But in my opinion it was a success electorally. Nat voters were reminded that in the mind of their followers the Left was the Party of Gangs and trouble makers.
Act gets generous coverage from the TV networks despite its tiny support, . Meanwhile, The Opportunities Party – which has more support in polls is not allowed to take part in TVNZ election debates, because it has no MPs. In theory the TVNZ policy makes sense, But the reality is that it can accused of bias in supporting National – adding fuel to the fire over the Mike Hosking furore,
The late arrival of Jacinda Arden has given hope to Labour activists and zeal for Left activists, Some media seem to have followed suit, drifting into bizarre identity politics traps with PC hand-wringing like the Lipstick On a Pig Dispute, Zealotry can be fun in an election campaign. But Lord help us if Labour and the Greens get in and we end up with political correctness gone mad.
Broadcasters need to jack up their ideas using about lobbyists and PR people in coverage of the election campaign. Michelle Boag was a shocker on Q and A last week and did not even try to deliver a semblance non-partisan analysis. Lobbying firm Exceltium is represented on numerous media. It is all part of this notion that we must depict the world as the Left versus the Right.
Meanwhile, the lobbyist sometime political commentator for The Nation Jenna Raeburn appeared in Facebook item with National Party singalong on Paul Bennetts campaign bus. Is any other country this loose with its TV coverage of elections?