Labour’s dirty-politics research unit is doing a great job

Dirty Politics.
Digital image credit: Pixy
Concept credit: Cadae

Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics?book educated the world about political ‘hit jobs’ (a term coined by our editor, Cam) but he only told one side of the story. He expected us to?believe that while the National party in government had a research unit that ‘fed’ useful information to journalists and bloggers, the Labour party would never do such a thing.

This morning, as I read Newsroom‘s attempt to downplay Cameron’s email to them about the ‘hit job’ that has been run on Sir Ray Avery, I came across a second ‘hit job’ that made me think that the Labour research unit is back in business doing a great job feeding journalists information and sending ‘sources’ their way in an attempt to discredit people and organisations.

Labour’s dirty-politics unit was very active under the Clark government. What a coincidence that it has revved up again now that Helen Clark has a public relations problem on her hands. Let’s face it, being the public face of those who trashed a charity concert organised by a New Zealander of the Year to save the lives of a million babies is never a good look.

Newsroom’s second?’hit job’ is on The Villa Education Trust, which supports three schools. Two of them are the charter schools South Auckland Middle School and Middle School West Auckland. They are already fighting to keep their charter schools open and have faced delay after delay from the ministry and Chris Hipkins while other charter schools have had their applications to transition approved within the deadline.

Now their third school (which is not a charter school) is being given bad press coincidentally at the same time that the trust was given positive press by the National party at their recent conference and had a personal visit from National party leader Simon Bridges, National party education spokesperson Nikki Kaye and the MP for Northcote Dan Bidois.

The way that the Newsroom reporter gained access for both ‘hit jobs’ was very similar and both Alwyn Poole and Sir Ray Avery told Whaleoil that they felt completely mislead by the reporter as to their reason for approaching them and that all the great news about their organisations was ignored in favour of presenting what appeared to be a predetermined outcome.

For example, despite having email evidence showing that the parent in question had actually said, “We think the video would have been better suited to a social studies class?? not a science one (on the 1/6/2016)” the article written about the trust school presented a completely different narrative to suit the ‘hit job’. Even worse, the journalist went out of her way to ensure that her source was revealed to Alwyn Poole?despite the parents of the young man involved?specifically asking her to keep it anonymous. To top it off, the Newsroom journalist showed a lot of false sympathy to the Pooles who were dealing with a loved one dying at the time of her visit.

Coincidences seem to be common at Newsroom as they claim that they were approached by people out of the blue who wanted to tell them bad stories about Sir Ray Avery.

If you don’t think that is at all suspicious let me talk to you about some $100,000 quarter-acre sections available in central Auckland.