Most readers of this blog will be aware of Stuff's front-page apology to Maori on Monday for supposedly racist reporting dating back generations, and of the series of subsequent articles setting out the many ways in which the newspaper titles now owned by Stuff have supposedly perpetuated negative racist stereotypes.
This was my response in a letter published in The Dominion Post this morning:
The accusation of racism is an extremely serious slur – or would be, if the meaning of the word hadn’t been so weakened by overuse.
Racism is the belief that some races are intrinsically superior to others and that discrimination is therefore justified.
Adolf Hitler was a racist. The Ku Klux Klan is racist. So were the apartheid-era leaders of South Africa.
And now we’re told that the former editors and editorial executives of some of this country’s leading newspapers, of whom I am one, were (are?) racists too.
If the accusation of racism still meant something, it would be damning. But in the 21st century the word racist simply means anyone who doesn’t conform to the authoritarian orthodoxies of identity politics.
So I refuse to take it seriously when I’m lumped in the same category as Adolf Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan, and I hope my former colleagues don’t either. But it’s saddening to see the papers we once proudly worked for confusing polemics with journalism.
And so say all of us. Thank goodness someone with your integrity has stood up. I sounded like Victor Mulgrew when I clicked on my digital Press on MOnday, ('I don't believe it!'), and then gave it all a big swerve. MY subscription is hanging on by a gossamer thread, parish pump and all that, but I made sure the editor knew what I thought....and I may yet give it the big heave ho altogether. A daily subscriber for 40 yeARS....but it's precisely us older subs they couldn't give a fig about.
The only way these people will get the message is to cancell your subscription. So give them a call to ask for,your money back and then access what you want online. Giving them money only encourages their foolishness. Racism is wrong. Inventing it to satisfy some sort of fashion is silly. If Stuff really wants to tackle racism it could start with the Maori MPs and Maori wards in local government. There are 30 MPs of Maori descent in our parliament. Almost all of them are there as New Zealanders, including the MPs for Tauranga and Epsom. Only two are in parliament as Maori, representing solely Maori interests. Those two are the racists.
I terminated our subscription on Tuesday. You are directed to an overseas call centre (Philippines?) for that. They were obviously receiving numerous cancellations, and asked why ("was it yesterday's content?"). I tried to be polite.
Stuff is indulging in the fallacy of anachronism and leveling charges of collective guilt in order to virtue-signal. They deserve to be widely mocked. They are certainly not journalists.
It gets worse. Stuff's subsidiary n'papers too are publishing the grovelling garbage.
Predetermined, biased and thematic news is what we’re hearing/reading now. I’ve ignored 95% of it, the remaining 5 being the headlines which could not be avoided. This is alleged to be a country of (relatively) free speech, as long as it’s not any contrary opinion about Maori.
What we’ve been subjected to has been very carefully orchestrated by the highest levels of Stuff publishing staff, but what I want to know is who put them up to it, and why. In essence, we whiteys en masse are being accused of racism, and of being racist in our attitudes to Maori. Maori WHAT?
I call that hate speech, certainly incitement, possibly sedition, but we don’t (yet) have laws banning the first, not sure about the second, and the third is a vagary. [Did your readers know it is seditious to libel the gummint?] Says a lot about who can say what in confidence of freedom.
For the third time in this blog, I mention the behaviour of Stuff begging subscription. Emetic!
Keep up the battle, Karl.
When I saw the front page “apology” in yesterday’s STUFF publications, I remember saying to myself :”We will hear from Karl du Fresne immediately – he will not take such accusations against his beloved profession (and against himself) lying down”, Bravo, Karl. We weren’t disappointed. Your letter in the Dominion was spot on. In any case, an “apology” on behalf of past generations, on behalf of anybody else but yourself, is an absurdity if you think about it.
Part of this woke STUFF campaign was the insinuation that past journalism had consciously or unconsciously reported differently on Maori crime. There was a long article, “How we made Maori the face of NZ child abuse”. One sub-section here was titled, “Pakeha families we did not focus on”. Here the deaths of James Whakaruru and Lillibing were compared with the murders by Rosemary Perkins, Frank Hingston and Alan Bristol.
If you compare the news reports on these five terrible crimes you will immediately notice that there exists a qualitative difference between the Maori and the Pakeha killings. 1. The Pakeha children were groups (of three, as it happened) - whereas both the Maori cases were lonely little children. 2. None of the Pakeha children were ever subjected to any physical or mental abuse during their childhood – whereas both James and Lillibing were abused for months. After his death the pathologist reported that the only place of his body where little James did not show bruises was on his soles. 3. Most significantly perhaps, each of the three Pakeha murderers was suffering from some depression or mental anguish that actually caused their despairing actions - and all three took their own lives immediately after the killings. Rosemary Perkins (who lived very close to me here in Stoke) was diagnosed with an endogenous depression.
The Pakeha cases were child killings - but NOT child abuse, a quite different sort of crime. It is simply silly that STUFF doesn’t realise that.
I've removed Stuff from the places I visit daily. Whitewashing Tama Eti as a Poet, Beekeeper and Entrepreneur in a Stuff quiz while kindly forgetting he was running around with weapons in the Urawerea's is something I can do without over breakfast. I really cant abide that much slant with my Tea and toast. Unsubscribed now.
Stuff also had an editorial saying that although they sometimes receive money from the Government they are editorially independent. The whole context of the website has shifted in the last 3 years from journalism to left/liberal political activism so claims of political independence are laughable. From this week I will do my best to avoid the website
Agree completely with the above comments. Your letter was excellent Karl.
I knew that Stuff was going left, but this stupid and totally uncalled for "apology for past racism" is ludicrous. This sort of hand wringing ongoing victim attitude will only ever hinder racial progress in our country.
To put it bluntly - get over it! Put these past grievances behind and get on with the present.
And since then, we have had Ngawera-Packer stand in the house say she descends from people who: "survived a holocaust, a genocide sponsored by this House”.
This is totally outrageous, and demonstrates complete ignorance of the words holocaust and genocide.
Holocaust was Hitler's mass slaughter of 6 million Jews - mainly in purpose built cyanide gas chambers. It was part of an ongoing massacre, according to a deliberate ongoing plan to wipe out the Jewish people.
Genocide is a similar predetermined and carried out plan to exterminate by mass slaughter, a complete race or group of people. Genocide is what the was done to the aboriginals in Tasmania.
It is a total and completely ludicrous statement to say that holocaust and genocide occurred in New Zealand. This MP has no idea - she is playing the victim to a ridiculous extreme.
Several of above commenters cancelled their STUFF subscriptions. I agree with their reasons and today phoned to cancel Nelson Mail (which I first read in 1963). Somebody with a thick accent that I had some difficulty understanding asked me for my reasons (really none of their business). I obliged, scrupulously polite throughout – but undoubtedly showing some anger. Mainly about their journalists believing their mission in life is to educate (aka brainwash) readers to their woke ways of thinking – rather than fearlessly reporting and intelligently explaining and interpreting global and local news.
But yes, this week’s happenings, first the absurd “apology” to our Maori - and then STUFF’s refusal to publish advertisements from Democracy Northland were the straws that broke the camel’s back. Ever since year dot people bought news papers for two reasons only, 1. to find out what goods and services free fellow citizens had to offer you, and at what price - and 2. to read the news, reported in a balanced and serene manner. Both reasons now compromised by STUFF. I finished my sermon telling the hapless telephonist receptionist (wherever she is in the world) that I hoped STUFF would go properly bankrupt this time.
As recipient s of public money perhaps the government needs to investigate eg Princeton university
No, I have not finished my comments regarding the absurd STUFF “apology” to our Maori people. As I pointed out above, STUFF had the gall to compare the incidence of child abuse committed by Maori to that committed by Pakeha - using an wholly illogical yardstick. Just came across the following New Zealand Herald article (from year 2016).
I’m sorry to say that Maori names hugely outnumber Pakeha names – though only 15% of our population claim to be Maori.
Andy - that is mind-blowing.
Just reading through those awful records really puts it into perspective.
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