Guest post: Regan Cunliffe spreading “utter bollocks”

Media barons in their own lunchbox, Cameron Slater and Regan Cunliffe (pic: Rachel Glancing)

An appropriately blurry, smokey photo of media-barons-in-their-own-lunchboxes Cameron Slater and Regan Cunliffe. Now it seems they’re attacking other people’s integrity as a fund-raising technique. (pic: Rachel Glucina)

Newspaper journalist Bevan Hurley appears to be the target of wannabe media proprietors Cameron “FFS I’m not a journalist” Slater and his off-sider, bitter ex-entertainment blogger Regan Cunliffe.

By “target” I mean they’re repeatedly attacking him and his reputation, apparently trying to make him the face of alleged malfeasance  in the news media. The context is a breathless effort to express fear and loathing – as a fund-raising technique! “We desperately need to change how journalism is done”, Regan Cunliffe sobbed in a recent e-mail, with a deluded Trump-like We “has the answer”. It seems they want to raise money from cult members/punters to “invest” in their much-hyped, stop-and-go, deep-fried news business.

Here’s Bevan Hurley’s response to the part of Regan Cunliffe’s fevered tale of woe/begging letter that attacks him … – P

Apologies to those who couldn’t care less about this, I will soon rejoin your ranks.

A self-appointed freedom fighter by the name of Regan Cunliffe is circulating an email to encourage those who are “dissatisfied with the current state of media” to join him for “the next big thing in New Zealand”.
He’s seeking patriotic Kiwis who want to “invest in the future of not only Journalism, but New Zealand”.
Cunliffe explains how the domestic media scene is plagued with “misrepresentation, falsehood, and outright lies”, and cites one particularly nasty case of press intrusion as the raison d’etre for this noble crusade.
In the leadup to the 2011 general election, a chance encounter at a TVNZ leaders debate between Cunliffe, his wife Rachel, and a practitioner of these dark arts.

“After the debate, Hurley pressed Rachel for an answer. Refusing to disclose who she would be voting for come election night, Hurley was told that in previous elections she had voted for at least five different parties and that she wasn’t aligned with any of them. She gave Hurley a few other useful pieces of insight with the caveat that he could use her words but that there was no permission to use either her name or photograph.
“Over the course of the next few days, Hurley called multiple times, begging for permission to use Rachel’s name and photograph. He was told repeatedly, by both Rachel and myself, that permission wouldn’t be granted to use either.”

I’ll spare you the whole spiel, but bear with me.

“We were distressed that our privacy requests were blatantly ignored and angry that the journalist had made things up in order to tell the story he had predetermined to tell. Rachel had calls from people, shocked to read she was a staunch National supporter.”

Now normally it’d be quite tricky to recall details of an unremarkable news article written nearly five years ago – I’ve written many hundreds since.

But this one was easy because I wasn’t at the debate in question, have never met Regan or his wife, have never spoken to her nor approached her for this or any other story. I shared a joint byline on the story he refers to, interviewed other people mentioned in the story, and supplied my quotes to a senior editor to pull together.

I was pretty annoyed when a version of this story first appeared on Cameron Slater’s website in April, only noticing it after it was brought to my attention by The Paepae blogger Peter Aranyi who asked me if Cunliffe’s account was true. But the fact that only one person raised it with me at the time, indicated to me that hardly anyone had read it, and those that did, didn’t take it seriously.

I forgot all about it until today, when Cunliffe sent out an unsolicited call-to-arms for people to join him for the “next leg of this incredible journey”.

There is a delicious irony in someone spreading utter bollocks about a journalist, and then holding themselves up as a knight in shining armour who can save us all from this media malaise.

To quote Cunliffe’s sanctimonious, and terribly written, smear-mail:

“When the media resort to fabrication of elements in a story that mean nothing in the greater scheme of things, you begin to wonder what else they’re making up.”

I couldn’t have put it any better.

– Bevan Hurley,  Auckland 9 August 2016

Nice insight into the woman who is ‘Christine and the Queens’

As I noted earlier, I’m impressed with this young French artist: pop musician and dancer Christine and the Queens (see: Tilted – Christine and The Queens).

This short Channel 4 news interview is a delight … discussion ranging from who she honours in her stage name, snippets of her life story, deceitful use of Photoshop (one of my bugbears as we have discussed) … to the very real sense of unease and fear in France, and in its Muslim community as the result of terror attacks.
Take a look:

– P

PS: May as well enjoy this, while we’re here.

More evidence that Carrick Graham is a paid character assassin

Spotted in yesterday’s news: two references to dirty PR (or as he likes to put it: ‘below the line communications‘) work carried out by Carrick Graham and his most-likely-only-doing-it-for-the-money glove puppet Cameron Slater.

In a case that seems to have been judged (by, like, an actual Judge) as attempted character assassination, Carrick Graham appears to have been one of the assassins, once again in part by using Slater Jnr’s deceitful PR attack blog.

Here are the references. Fairfax: Ex-Kristin principal recoups costs from ex-wife who judge said tried to ‘destroy’ him. NZ Herald: Principal accused of domestic violence awarded $145k

Top: How Fairfax reported Graham & Slater Jnr’s involvement. Bottom: The NZ Herald‘s more diplomatic rendering. (Click to enlarge.)

Personally, I’ve had all the evidence I need to form a negative view of Carrick Graham. Not that I expect that to bother him. The basis for some of my views can be found among these posts.

It seems to me that this Denham case can be seen as one more brick in the argument that Carrick Graham works as a professional smear artist using, among other things, Cameron Slater’s (yuck) slippery services to denigrate, demean and damage other people’s reputations. These mercenary, rubbery characters use ‘dirty PR’ tactics to attack others – as a business. We’ve seen that in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics and elsewhere.

For instance, I’m reminded of the September 2014 story then Sunday Star Times business editor Tim Hunter recounted about how Carrick Graham tried to use a TV3 reporter to smear people involved in Allied Farmers through a proposed TV “documentary” – apparently on behalf of the sadly oh-so-misjudged Mark Hotchin.

This was, of course, the very same disgraced Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin who, you will recall, the Chisholm inquiry showed had employed Carrick Graham, Cameron Slater and Cathy Odgers to (cough) “balance the media”. This saw a smear campaign launched against the heads of the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority – two enforcement agencies investigating Hotchin and Hanover at the time.

Hunter’s article was, typically in those days, one of the Fairfax business stories that bizarrely never made it into the news organisation’s online editions or an archive, but I scanned it:

Carrick_Graham_in_Hanover_doco_plan_SST_07Sep2014

PR representative Carrick Graham does his dirty work. Hilariously, it seems BILL RALSTON recommended Graham’s services to Mark Hotchin, the article says. Haha. (Click to enlarge. See links below.)

Page 2 (jpg) | Article scan as readable PDF

You’ll see Hunter’s story quoted businessman/developer Kevin Storey:

Storey said he played along with the idea and it led to a meeting to discuss a programme with Graham and then-TV3 reporter Tony Reid. When it was clear the proposal was aimed at casting Allied as the villain, Storey said he backed out. “I said Allied took it off Hanover. It was Hanover that defaulted.” (emphasis added)

It seems to me, that line: “aimed at casting Allied as the villain” — that’s Carrick Graham’s professional modus operandi right there. That’s what he does. Distortion. Mercenary, weaponized fact twisting. He may see some dry flakes of satisfaction in that career choice. I see none.

Et tu, Ralston?

Bill Ralston’s involvement was interesting to note too. So – he was part of the pitch for the proposed  60 minutes “documentary”. Hmm.  Also:  Hunter says it was Ralston who introduced/recommended Carrick Graham’s (cough) services to Hotchin. Well, who would have thought it?

I personally hope the defamation case being undertaken by the three public health professionals who’ve been relentlessly, viciously and personally targeted by Carrick Graham and Slater Jnr (see Apparently this choir boy and his glove puppet are being sued for defamation) works its way through the courts with the same outcomes as this ex-Kristin principal case: exposing this shabby ‘dirty PR’ stuff Carrick Graham does for the deeply cynical, deceitful crap it is. And hopefully with a financial penalty.

– P

Facts are stated to the best of my knowledge and commentary is my honest opinion. Corrections or clarifications are always welcome by email. Comments are open, but may be moderated.
– Best wishes, Peter Aranyi

Update: Wow, this extract from the decision pulls no punches, does it?:

extract Denham judgement

Calling a spade a spade – and singling out the “various media campaigns” (presumably Carrick Graham’s work?) as “an extraordinary aggravating feature” sweeping the case well into “bad faith” territory. Seems right.

Michelle Obama’s full speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

What an astonishing person Michelle Obama is. – P

The zeitgeist of this photo of Ieshia Evans #IeshiaEvans

Look at this. Please click to enlarge and just take a few moments to take it in. I’ll wait.

Leshia Evans being arrested at Baton Rouge. Pic by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Please click to enlarge.

Ieshia Evans being arrested at Baton Rouge. Pic by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Please click to enlarge.

The BBC reports people’s comments about photographer Jonathan Bachman’s powerful, gripping soon-to-be-legendary photograph and he was interviewed on Radio New Zealand’s nine-to-noon show this morning. He sounded like a good man. Saying demonstrators have been trying to tell us what’s been going on for years, but now with cellphones … Listen to the interview yourself at Radio NZ. (Archived as MP3 at The Paepae here.)

Like many others, I saw it first on social media – Twitter in my case – and was stopped by it. Her posture, their protective armour compared to her summer dress. It screams.

What a moment. What an iconic image.

Now read this: Fighting the Future: White Supremacy vs Demography by Eoin Higgins and tell me if you think he’s wrong in any way. Because I can’t find an argument against what he is saying.

It’s July of 2016, and black men are being killed because they threaten the fundamental bedrock of the modern authoritarian racial hegemony in the US: Only whites may be armed, only whites may have authority in society.
Any threat to that shaky premise must be swiftly dealt with. Early on the morning of July 4, an off-duty NYPD officer killed a black man in his car with his family after a road rage incident. Delrawn Small struck the off duty officer during the conflict and the policeman retaliated by shooting him to death. Even off-duty, the policeman refused to accept a threat to white police authority and responded with murder. …

Read on. Warning: it gets worse. So important. (Archived as PDF here.)

-P

Update: some confusion but it seems her name is Ieshia Evans, not Leshia Evans.

Tilted – Christine and The Queens

Spotted on Graham Norton… Wow.

Opening lyrics …

I’ll die before Methusalah / So I’ll fight sleep with Ammonia

And every morning with eyes all red / I’ll miss them for the tears they shed

But I’m actually good / Can’t help it if we’re tilted …

Copy editor slacking on the job 

Nice to have some assistance with this latest book project. But look at her slacking on the job. It’s hard to get good help these days.

Let’s Enhance

Let's Enhance (HD) from Duncan Robson on Vimeo.

Lovely. Some of my best friends are clichés.

h/t to @thegrugq

I’ve got an idea who should replace Mike Hosking on TVNZ

Do these petitions actually ever work?

click to read at stuff.co.nz or archived below

click to read at stuff.co.nz or archived below

(Stuff story archived here because sometimes stories about Mike Hosking mysteriously disappear.)

So … Mike Hosking. 14,000 and counting want him OFF the telly.
That’s quite a response. What an extraordinary thing to have occurred.

The criticisms seem genuine and well-founded and, I can’t recall any similar such outpouring or uprising against a TV ‘host’. Oh, hang on — except that one where people didn’t want Mike Hosking to chair the political leaders’ debate at the last election. I remember that.

Oh, and I remember this:

Hosking_biased_survey

It’s as obvious as anything else that’s really, really obvious that Hosking is as biased as hell.

He is not just using his state TV platform to perform as a National Party support organ, but he often acts as a vociferous promoter and counter-puncher for the Nats. He appears to me (and, judging by the petition, some others, too) to be a John Key apologist/propagandist/labradoodle.
Continue reading →

They laughed when I stuck tape over my web cam…

I’m not kidding. One of the first things I did at a new workplace was stick a small rectangle of Post-it note over the web cam. It provoked a few comments re “paranoia”, but did I care? Nope.

Then, months later, I read that FBI director James Comey did the same thing, citing people who were smarter than him about these things.

Now look at this photo of privacy busting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg — and ask yourself: Hmm. Why not?

Tape on his web cam & (maybe) his microphone – click to enlarge Pic: Chris Olson @topherolson

Zooming in …

Zuckerberg_s_MacBook_Pro

See?

– P

Link to Chris Olson’s tweet here.

Will Congress listen?

A campaign calling for global responsibility (click for link to eff.org)

Just between us

Wanted-poster-2400

I am, of course, a fully paid up member of the Vast Yet Peculiarly Secret Left Wing News Media & Trade Union Conspiracy to Deprive Cameron Slater of Free Speech* although I can’t get to all the weekly meetings.

Still, the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS monthly newsletters produced by the bright young interns in the research department are always gold. Here are a few extracts from the latest issue which, naturally, reports in full on the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS secret-yet-crowd-source-funded defamation action being taken against Cameron Slater’s puppet master Carrick Graham and Slater Jnr in order to (naturally) silence them. This is, of course, fully in keeping with the objects and constitution of our secret conspiracy, you understand.

All of us in the VYPSLWNM&TUCTDCSOFS have had enough of these propagandists and their inconvenient (cough) examination of our secret-yet-publicly-funded-publicity campaign to improve the health of New Zealanders by mercilessly plaguing the completely legal and bona fide business enterprises of big tobacco, big liquor, big sugar, and the fast/fat foods industry who always pay their taxes in full and contribute to society by employing deceitful propagandists to dishonestly smear, demean and harass public health advocates.

Oops. Have I let the cat out of the bag?

Peter_Aranyi_on_Twitter

For context, when considering this ‘threat’ to embroil an online critic in legal action, it’s worth knowing that Slater Jnr has very recently aided and abetted a delusional time-waster who (it seems to me) has over six months sought to clumsily abuse the Court process to pursue personal vendettas against his critics.

So, although one might think Slater has his hands full bailing out the sinking way loyal waka  … you just don’t know.

As for this …  Continue reading →

On our way back to summer

Breathe in, breathe out. Don’t stop.

Some of my Northern hemisphere friends are grumbling about a less than convincing summer so far.

But here in New Zealand we’ve just had the longest night and I took this pic (above) out my kitchen window at 7:22 this morning — the morning of the shortest day.

Yay — we’re on our way back to summer.

– P

Tedeschi Trucks Band – ‘Anyhow’

Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Anyhow” (Live in Studio)

via Horus @real_Deity 

Apparently this choir boy and his glove puppet are being sued for defamation

Carrick Graham, Director of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs for British American Tobacco, poses for a photograph September 9, 2005 in Napier, New Zealand. BAT announced today that it will close its Napier plant with the loss of 170 jobs. The Napier plant, formerly the Rothmans factory, produces up to 2.2 billion cigarettes a year for the New Zealand and Pacific Island markets. September 09, 2005| Credit: John Cowpland

Carrick Graham when he was employed as a flack for British American Tobacco. (click to view at Getty Images)

It’s hard to believe, I know, that such an innocent looking guy (above) could possibly be involved in a protracted, commercially motivated series of smear campaigns, taking advantage of a half-wit and his website to personally and repeatedly demean and attack public health advocates.
But look:

Boyd-Swinburn-tweet

And here it is in the news, citing Carrick Graham’s (and his easily-led accomplice’s) apparent “campaign of deliberate and sustained defamation.”…

click to read at stuff.co.nz

click to read at stuff.co.nz

Given what we already know from Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, it seems to me Professor Swinburn, Professor Sellman and Shane Bradbrook should be quickly able to dispense with any ‘honest opinion’ fig leaf/defence offered by the slippery PR flack and his ethically-challenged hireling. Continue reading →