Management personnel from our principal media outlets, plus some ragtag entities tagging along, recently petitioned the government for assistance. The lockdown they argued, killed their advertising base, to which Finance Minister Grant Robertson wryly observed that that came under the category of a pre-existing condition. As a result he gave them bugger all, for the cold hard fact is their days are numbered.

That said, the lockdown did harm their critical advertising for a month, but trust me, they aint seen nothing yet.

For the devastating economic after-effects of all the ill-considered lockdown excesses which they initially backed, will see their advertising support permanently vanish, in the process hastening their inevitable demise.

A few years ago the Herald and Stuff chain sought permission to amalgamate and were turned down by the government competition agency on farcical grounds. I wrote in support of the of the proposition in National Business Review saying the competition consideration wasn’t the real issue, rather it was survival.

For me the issue was whether we could support a single national quality newspaper. The world-wide evidence is clear. The answer is no as sadly as newspapers everywhere are dying.

It’s why Bauer cut and ran in New Zealand. They could see the writing on the wall with conventional print media. They were recently sued for specific performance in Australia after reneging on a multi-million dollar commitment, this to buy a media company. They’ve since backed down, settled and plan to scrub the household names, diverse magazines they’ve now acquired, just as they did in New Zealand.

Whether they can make a go of the residual television channel is questionable. Half a century back television was famously described as a license to print money, and so it was, but no longer. Its problem is open slather competition, thus reducing its advertising potential.

All of that said quality journalism won’t die but will thrive, if it’s good enough, via electronic means.





That’s saying something. How long is this blog going to last for I ask.

    It’s not a business, is it? For a long time it’s been a simple fact that the best commentary comes from non-journalists. I’m pretty sure that will continue though the ways it is published may change. Some journalists will survive either as reporters or as entertainers but now face world-wide competition for those roles as per the other post here today.

      Tell me if I am wrong, but when it became (essentially) free for anyone to broadcast, blogs, facebook, etc, then the writing was on the wall for the mainstream media.
      In spite of their protestations/ arrogance, journalists cannot know everything about everything.
      I now look at blogs on politics (for politics), weather (for climate change), at blogs on economics for that info, webpages on aviation for that info, webpages on sport for that info. These are written by experts in their field, not by generalists (journalists), so the standard is a lot higher.
      I don’t see how “journalists” can compete. The advantage they had has gone (the expense of broadcasting). So it is just people’s habits that has kept them in the business this long

      I concur with your argument stew but not every blog is worthy of consideration .

Frederick Williscroft May 8, 2020 at 12:42 pm

How long is this blog going to last?
I assume as long as Bob wants to keep writing it. I do accept death may be a slight hindrance though.

    Ah. Install an AI bolt. It can go on forever and ever. .. Reminds me of the movie Breakfast at Bernie’s.

NZ has very ineffective institutions. The mainstream media is a joke. The Courts are weak. The Prime Minister has huge power. Indeed, the PM here is far more important to our country, than the President is to the USA.
This being the case, I was mulling over who has been the worst Prime Minister in our history.
The answer used to be clear as day – Sir Robert Muldoon, by a massive margin.
I never met Mr Muldoon. However, during I believe 1990, he came to our economics class and gave a lecture. He was a tiny man, with a huge, intimidating aura. To my great shame to this day, I was too scared to ask him a question! He was still spouting drivel near his end, although I must confess that I have never heard a better public speaker in my life. He spoke softly, and you could hear a pin drop in the lecture hall. Everyone hung onto every word he said for 50 minutes.
Public speaking aside, Mr Muldoon was a nasty bully who ran the most incompetent government imaginable. Of course, Sir Robert Jones has some sympathy for Sir Robert Muldoon – I have none. I judge him by his deeds. They were unforgivable.
It is worth considering how Ms Ardern stacks up against Sir Robert Muldoon.
In terms of policy, they are identical twins. They are both completely socialist in philosophy. Already we have rent controls on residential property. Think Big II is coming to a location near you. Expect wage and price controls, interest rate controls, high tariffs, carless days – the works. The policy is the same to every last detail. Take, for example, the sycophantic behaviour towards New Zealand’s ugly gangs. They both follow the same practice. It’s like the Empire Strikes Back, with Sir Robert being Darth Vader, and Jacinda being Master Luke. “I am your father”, Sir Robert shouts up from the abyss.
Sir Robert Muldoon was a nasty bully. Ms Ardern is likewise, although her bullying behaviour is conducted in an extremely passive aggressive style. Her Orwellian use of “kindness” is used to dump on any and all so-called enemies of the State. These include, but are not confined to – employers, landlords and big business. All can expect a beasting from this bullying busybody. Although she doesn’t adopt the blunt weapons as Sir Robert Muldoon employed, she is more effective.
This is the case because Ms Ardern also has the mainstream media in her pocket. In addition, she has a huge Army of dullard peasants that she throws into the fray, like Stalin orchestrating counter-attacks with his Siberian hoards. When Mr Bridges disagreed with one of her idiotic polices, thousands of peasants were unleashed onto his Facebook page. Although individually these people have the intelligence of pondlife, sending them in an unremitting wave can be effective in overwhelming the opposition with sheer numbers.
Let me say at the outset that I do not view intelligence as of overriding importance. Common sense is typically more useful. Nonetheless, let’s heed Lord Keynes’ warning:
“Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”
In terms of intelligence, I always thought that socialists were village idiots. Sir Robert Muldoon had to be stupid – look at his policies. However, I recently read a quote by Hayek that maintained that socialists are often extremely intelligent. Their failure is their conceit. They overestimate their own intelligence. They believe the utopian plan in their head is so good it should override institutions like freedom, justice and property rights. So perhaps Sir Robert Muldoon wasn’t stupid – just everything he ever did was idiotic. It’s a fine point of difference, but it’s the best I can do.
What, you may ask, of Ms Ardern’s intelligence?
She is definitely vapid, vacuous and vacant. If you catch a rare moment when she isn’t gurning a stupid face, there is nothing behind the eyes. Her comments suggest a childish, churlish, and dim-witted personality, with no depth or particular thought. Like many politicians (Tony Blair was a good example of this), I believe that she yearns to be loved.
However, like Sir Robert Muldoon, Ms Ardern is truly a master communicator. Sir Robert had an elusive aura of power, whilst Ms Ardern is seemingly able to convince people of her empathy, with her elastic face. Her delivery is simple, but her timing perfect.
Again, this reminds me of an early Tony Blair, before he lost his mojo. After Lady Diana died, he gave one of the most absurd speeches I have ever seen. He was warbling, emoting, and gurning like Ms Ardern. I watched this spectacle with shock and awe, giggling at the acting horror show. The public, however, absolutely loved it! This is why I’m not surprised the punters are generally lapping up Ms Arderns’ absurd emoting and gurning now. I’ve seen it before. However, I do wonder – will more people eventually decide its fake, like they did eventually in the case of Mr Blair?
In policy, Sir Robert Muldoon and Ms Ardern are identical, I believe. In style, they are different, but they seek the same goal.
Whose style do I prefer?
I prefer Sir Robert Muldoon’s style, because he was more direct. Ms Ardern’s style is manipulative, cheating and dishonest. At least with Sir Robert Muldoon, you knew where you stood. Ms Ardern is a fake, a phony, a shyster. No one likes to be cheated.
Is Ms Ardern actually worse than Sir Robert Muldoon? Not yet, I would say, but she has time on her side. She is young, she is popular, and she has power (a lot of it).
Be afraid. Be very afraid…

    American historian Doug Wead says that having known the present and past seven US Presidents, they all have one thing in common. He said that they share the personality traits that are always up for a fight, often to the extent that it catches their overly ‘confident’ opponents off guard and by surprise (see the present Democratic Party rabble).

    The dubious Muldoon had this ‘fighting spirit’ in spades of course. Jacinda exhibits only a little of it, but she has been lucky. Without Christchurch, Wuhan and the Volcano (and a very weak opposition) she and her hopeless crew would have been a 1-term government. But she has been brilliant at milking disasters. She has seduced our braindead media and she seems to have discovered a hitherto undiscovered source of endless pots of money to give away. So, in conclusion, two-terms it will be.

    You’re right that Socialists, Marxists and Communists start off as idealists where the ‘ends justify the means.’ However, historically, rewarding the person that strives equally with the person that sits on their bottom inevitably ends (after all the ‘means’: torture, starvation, executions, gulags and murder) with everyone that is left, sitting on their bottom.

    Finally, I will not let Jacinda’s ‘elastic face’ seduce me. Maybe she is in the wrong business?

ABSOLUTELY stunning female presenters 🙂

Thanks for your blog Bob. It’s been a great place to go in the lockdown for some informed opinion. I wasn’t aware that Bauer had also closed australian magazines as well.

CAKE FACE is still 100% banned by comments in Stuff, yet they still ask me for money?
I went full on Lord Kitchener in my last post (not published obviously). Okay, it was a bit silly, but anything in favour is lockdown is allowed, so I like to test their boundaries. Should the following be banned?

Get out from under your bed’s you cowards!!!!
Enough is enough!!!!
I am tired of the panic attacks by the fairies, the pansies, the bed wetters and the hand wringers!!!
Pull yourselves together!!!
And Stuff – stop this infantile propaganda. It’s absurd!!!
Do you not have an ounce of self-respect???
Why are you STILL hiding under your beds???
Life is precious!!!
Why are you throwing it away????
Why are you afraid of your own shadow???
Pull yourselves together!!!
This can’t go on!!!
It is time!!! Get a life!!! Man up!!! Pull yourselves together!!!

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