Because It Matters (To Newshub)
Newshub has published a preview of a new special show they're airing called "Because It Matters", with the tagline for the episode being:
Hidden in plain sight: #Newshub's Patrick Gower investigates racism in New Zealand
Perhaps it's an investigation into some prominent left-wing members of parliament? Let's listen to the promotional video and find out:
Hate is alive and well in New Zealand, hidden in plain sight. A subculture of white supremacy flourishes online [...]
The video features some stock footage of the half-a-dozen neo-Nazis who have been run around for the past hundred years, seemingly immortal.
Patrick Gower exposes the racists mocking a legal system powerless to stop them.
This doesn't sound like journalism at all, but rather plain activism. It seems like Newshub is going to be lobbying for certain kinds of words they don't like to be criminalised.
… and reveals the warning signs that ended in bloodshed."
Newshub thinks that if they could have jailed half a dozen neo-Nazis they would have prevented a foreign terrorist attack with no local connections? Are they insane or just assuming their viewers are morons?
At this point you're probably wondering why I'd bother to comment on some obscure activist docu-drama. I'm glad you asked.
On the last day of April, I got the following email from a producer at Newshub:
I know you said don't bother to get in touch, but I'll give it a go anyway. I'm working on a story with Paddy Gower on the right wing post March 15. It's an interesting time in New Zealand and world politics and I was just saying to Paddy that a lot of my Christian friends are sending me messages on messenger about it. They're saying the mainstream media ignored the killing of Christians in Nigeria and that Christians are hurting because of the way Muslim prayers have been said in Parliament when the Christian prayer was modified and that Sharia Law is a threat hanging over us in the future. I told Paddy I reckon there are thousand of Kiwis feeling like this at the moment. Brian Tamaki has tweeted about it. Paddy said this is part of what he calls The New Conservatism. He mentioned your name as someone who could talk about this phenomena. Would you be open to having a chat with us?
Now it seems like a crazy coincidence that I'm told two weeks ago that Paddy is doing a story "on the right wing post March 15" and then this is the big thing that he has supposedly been working on. I could be completely wrong and he could be working on two stories at once, but judging by hit pieces we've seen out of Stuff and Radio NZ recently, my spidey senses are tingling.
Here's part of the response I sent them:
Ah yes, you mean you're working on an article to slander and defame me (and others) by trying to associate us with white supremacists (or just outright accuse us of it with all evidence to the contrary) as many of your colleagues at Stuff and Red RadioNZ have done. [..]
The reason I've stopped responding with comment is because it doesn't matter what I say. You've been instructed to write a hit piece about the "alt-right" and "neo-Nazis", but you've been unable to find any, so instead you're looking for conservatives or libertarians to beat up on.
He wasn't too impressed with my cynicism:
I don't agree with a lot of what you've said about me or my intentions, but I understand you've got concerns about the media and I expect we're just going to disagree.
Hmmm… well, they did tell me they weren't doing a piece on making conservatives and libertarians look like neo-Nazis or the alt-right, by association or otherwise. Guess I am just paranoid.
I won't be watching the Newshub Sunday show, because even if I weren't attending church or a sabbatarian, I still would never watch the propaganda that Newshub produces live. It's better to wait and see if anyone thinks it worthy enough to recommend a few days later.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe Paddy is working on a different piece that's actually about covering the conservative movement in New Zealand. Yet the premiere of this new docu-drama seems awfully coincidental and would fall in line with my prediction to his producer.
One that was vehemently denied.
UPDATE: I've been told the entire show was an exposé on notorious neo-Nazi Phil Alps. Which is good, even though that's old news. Yet... why were FakeNewsHub going around trying to interview conservatives for this kind of show? Phase 2 perhaps?