This morning the Herald ran a leading front page headline on its website, with the title "Double Standards: Taxpayer Funds Luxon's Maori Classes". There's no Christmas Cheer & Goodwill to All from the MainStream Media; no honeymoon for the new government. No, it's just meanness and negativity. The story was a take-down of Luxon for, can you believe it, making his best attempts to learn te reo Maori !? It accused him of hypocrisy by enrolling in the classes whilst trying to diminish the language and questioned his integrity because his courses were tax-payer funded.
Now here's how you were manipulated and the Herald's Editor is welcome to dispute my version of events. After the story appeared, it shortly opened up for readers' comments. Mine was as follows:
"Yet another example of the NZ Herald and Mainstream Media (MSM) bashing the new government. Why can't it respect the election result & democratic will of the people?"
Meanwhile as I was writing my comment, six other people's comments were posted, all hostile to the Herald. All, like me, were appalled at its attempt to discredit Luxon before he has a chance to prove himself. My comment was never posted. Meanwhile a few minutes after mine was sent, the other readers' comments were removed. The article mysteriously reappeared on the Herald website having been washed. There was no option to send comments anymore and all trace of the previous comments defending Luxon were gone.
Gosh, seems Granny Herald didn't want the country to know that the silent majority who had voted for National, ACT and NZ First were appalled by the job the journalists were doing on Luxon today - the paper did not want a torrent of hundreds of comments come flooding though revealing to the nation how out of step the MainStream Media actually is with the mood of the country.
Come on, NZ Herald Editor, deny my story is true. I witnessed it with my own eyes. The Herald article is below, without any comments allowed, of course, and no trace of the ones that originally appeared.
Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. Rob blogs at Down To Earth Kiwi