Right then Playmates, it’s the day after the elections and the significance of the results are finally sinking in for all of us. Tomorrow will be Monday and a new week will have begun. By then it will be time to leave off flogging this particular subject and get back to real life once more. The campaign was excellent, the result deeply satisfying, but now it is time to wind down the coverage.
So, while it is still the weekend, let me share this parting shot regarding the subject of blaming media bias. I wrote a few weeks ago on this very subject but felt it was worth coming back to look at it again in the light of comment made yesterday by that most EX of Board members Faye Storer regarding the role of the media in her catastrophic fall from office. It was, she opined, the fault of the Gulf News for running a negative campaign against her. She herself had done nothing wrong. She had done the right thing from start to finish, sided with the angels, fought the good fight and ‘Non, je ne regrette rien….’ etc…etc…
If only those bloody hacks at the Gulf News had behaved properly and said nice things about her then she’d have won. Pure and simple.
Well I’m sorry, but that is BOLLOCKS.
Ms Storer and her two chums went down to humiliating and total defeat for the simple reason that not enough people TRUSTED them. To lead off your post result excuses by blaming the media is both pathetic and dishonest. What’s more, it displays a level of self delusion that makes us all feel quite glad that Faye Storer’s political career is over. What’s more, the idea that the local newspaper somehow owes her anything at all is a very disturbing one. The media is not there to simply print whatever silly politicians fancy having in their press releases. And if the political message is rubbish it is the job of the media to point this out.
Alex Stone and I were the subject of what I am assured was a deeply confused complaint to Waiheke Radio from an A Team supporter. This odd fellow took issue with the radio station allowing air time to a pair of obviously BIASED malcontents who then proceeded to criticise the incumbent board! The fact that our spot is called ‘Opinionated Islanders’ and has been running for some time now as an opinion spot seemed to have eluded him. Our light hearted ribbing of the board was in no way a reflection of the bias of the station as a whole. Indeed, Waiheke Radio has emerged from this election process with considerable credit in the impartiality stakes. To make matters worse, the complainant then refused to come down to the studios himself to take part in a discussion. Too much of a ‘Media Talk-Fest’ apparently.
So what are we to make of people that whine about bias on one hand yet refuse to come along and present their views either? Apart from call them something rude? If the Gulf News, Waiheke Radio, WIPP and this website hold up a mirror to our community then it is no good getting all bent out of shape because you don’t happen to like the reflection. Sorry, but as we keep on and on pointing out, this is one seriously LIBERAL community and if such values are not to your taste then that’s your problem not ours.
Finally, let me also mention that I feel for the disappointed A Team supporters. They really thought that the 30% margin their board had entitled them to a big say in how stuff got done and now they are feeling very hard done by. I could develop this theme a little more but everything that needs saying on the subject has been written elsewhere by Els Verbanck in such eloquent detail that it would be foolish to add to it here.
All I can say is that looking back now, I’m damned if I can make out exactly what it was that the A Team supporters actually WANTED. One or two of them always felt the need to reply to posts on here but not once did they ever rise to actually arguing any points made in the articles. It was always a sort of generalised ‘You are totally wrong, and did we mention you are a bastard too’ droning that never actually seemed to go anywhere or make any points.
One vocal A Team supporter is a good friend of mine. We have spent any amount of time sitting up late drinking and discussing politics. He too has never really managed to explain what it is that he wants or what he fears from the new board. What is it that he feels the last board did that was so wonderful? Does he think Paul Walden and his chums are going to reintroduce feudalism or compulsory horse ownership?
All these things are unclear. I could, at this stage, point out that given the election result it really doesn’t MATTER. But, in the new spirit of cooperation and understanding that’s going around at the moment that would be wrong.
So I won’t.
Bye for now, and thanks for tuning in.