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  • Rodney Hide

The News is Comedy

I read the news now strictly for its comedic value. The New Zealand Herald and Stuff guarantee several belly laughs every morning. The headlines alone are more giggles than the Sunday funnies ever were.


I once read these rags as though news was still a thing. I would gnash my teeth and groan and wail through my eggs and bacon. It proved unhealthy. Far better to treat the news for what it is -- comedy gold.


I have especially enjoyed the go-to experts on covid trying to hide their delight in advocating draconian policy. Their struggle to be po-faced is hilarious.


They are loving it. They are loving the attention. They are loving the policies. The lockdowns are a step on the way to their perfect state where experts just like them decide what’s good for the rest of us.


Remember when it was just a few short weeks to “flatten the curve”? A year on we are still a prison state. Auckland was locked down last Sunday on four hours notice. “Flatten the curve” has morphed into permanent policy.


I can’t help but wonder if they laugh too. I imagine them swapping notes: you won’t believe what I got into Stuff today!


Let me give just one example: back in April Public Health Professor Nick Wilson said, “the horrific scenes of Covid-19 mass graves in New York were 'quite possible' here if the virus was to get out of control”. The image conjured was of plague pits in Central Park.


I don’t know if the two journalists writing up such obvious nonsense know it’s nonsense or not. Either way, they demonstrate why news is only good for a laugh.


To add to the mirth I emailed the good Professor seeking evidence on his New York plague pits. He replied pointing me to some tosh written in the Guardian. He said look, it’s an “enormous pit” with coffins going into it.


I took delight sending him a 2016 New York Times article telling the story of Hart Island where prisoners for over 150 years have been burying the city’s indigent. It’s not a mass grave. It’s a cemetery.



There’s over a million people buried there. The Guardian, the Professor, and Stuff were whipping the regular scene into Panic Porn. That was just one day, one example. We have had months of it. And it's worked. People are panicked.


And ready to submit to whatever policy is suggested, no matter the cost.


Truthfully I am envious of the Public Health Experts. They are the new Philosopher Kings. They are never wrong. They can’t be questioned. They are above politics. They “Follow the Science”.


The good professor never apologised for being wrong. He never corrected his public statement.


Indeed, the lack of plague pits here in New Zealand proves just how right he is. How lucky we are that we locked down. And that’s why we must stay locked down. Otherwise, plague pits.


It’s a perfect circle. Panic people with scary scenarios. Implement crazed policy. Scary scenarios don’t eventuate. That proves crazed policies work.


None of this is even disguised. The joke is just how transparent it all is. Professor Nick Wilson and his fellow Professor Michael Baker explained from the get-go why the lock downs and border closure were No Bad Thing.


That was because the “world we had two weeks ago has gone forever. While there is much to be nostalgic about, that world was not sustainable and was on a trajectory that would result in escalating climate change and environmental destruction”.


For them, the Covid lockdown is just a stepping stone. The economy was all wrong. It had to stop. We now can make it better. That one admission alone should see their expertise dismissed. They are hopelessly compromised. Their concern is less Covid and more Global Warming. They want policies to bomb us back to pre-industrial times with Covid a means to that end.


They explain, “The 'silver lining' of this global crisis might therefore be the opportunity it provides for a major reset in how we organise our society and our relationship with our environment”.


Our Public Health gurus’ policy prescription includes, “promoting connectedness and inclusion with ‘kindness’ enshrined as a guiding national principle … a living income for all New Zealanders … a large shift to video conferencing and home working … a return to greater self-reliance… improved political processes for making decisions in the national interest … greatly strengthened global institutions (such as the UN and WHO), flying unicorns taking us wherever we need to go.”


(I confess, I added the unicorns. But they just slotted right in.)


I have a short cut for deciding whether someone’s policy prescriptions should be treated seriously. Have they read Friedrich A. Hayek’s 1945 paper, “The Use of Knowledge in Society”?


If they haven’t, they don’t understand the problem. And if they had, they would not write such gibberish.


I probably should despair but I laugh and I think it’s still legal to poke fun at such quacks and such quackery.

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