Over recent months the National Party advertising pamphlet - The NZ Herald has endorsed several companion bloggers as being credible news sources. This has been especially evident with the rumours being spread about the Botany electorate.
The Herald gleefully published the bloggers' rumour that Labour would put up Raymond Huo as candidate in the electorate.
When that didn't happen the Herald took up the bloggers' claims that they had forced the Labour Party to ask the candidate, Brenden Sheehan, to retire as a result of their efforts to discredit him. The baseless rumour was repeated to my informant by the editor of a suburban newspaper who, seemingly, believed it on the basis that it was "common knowledge" around the computers and water-coolers of the Herald's "news" room.
The Herald never contacted the Labour Party at any level to discover if the Bloggers' inarticulatly expressed claims were correct... but then that is par for the journalistic course here in Auckland.
The bloggers then resumed their claims that Raymond Huo would be the candidate and began running commentaries claiming that his reputation was to be questioned. No doubt the Herald would have repeated these claims as gospel, without checking their veracity, if Mr. Huo had been selected. Thus giving the Tory bloggers even greater feelings of self importance in cyberspace.
So what happened at the Labour Party selection meeting?
There were four nominees, none of whom were names being blogged about, from which University of Auckland Business School Lecturer, Koro Tawa was selected.
So, one wonders where this turn of events leaves both the Tory bloggers and the "journalists" at the Herald in terms of political credibility?
Probably at about the same level as the Herald's claim that it was publishing an "unauthorised" biography of the erstwhile leader of the National Party which had demonstrable access to the Key family archives and, therefore, must have been given some form of authorisation from within the family and party. Incidentally, if the Herald charges around $10,000 a page for advertising the 8 pages devoted to John key in Saturday's tame adverising pamphlet - The Herald would come in at around $80,000 which should be charged against Key's personal campaign in Helensville which should mean that he has already exceeded his advertising budget under the EFA.
On the other hand, will the National Party acknowledge the $80,000 donation in its accounting of donations and funds received from Trust Funds in the interests of political transparency? One doubts it!!