Kiwi Polemicist

December 5, 2008

The NZ Herald delivers state propaganda

I would like to illustrate for you the way in which the NZ Herald regurgitates state propaganda. In this case the article concerns drink-driving and the state’s ever-strident campaign against it. You may think that is good for the NZ Herald to aid the state in this way, but consider this: if the Herald toes the state line in this matter, how well does it toe the state line in other matters? Also, let’s not forget the rest of the mainstream media which is just as bad.

When I saw the Herald article I went hunting on the police website and found three police press releases which were obviously the source of this article (they can be found here, here, and here). I have quoted the article in full: the blue parts are direct quotes from the police news releases, and the red parts are a whisker away from being direct quotes. I could not locate the source for the section about the North Shore, but if you add the black parts that are clearly from the police horse’s mouth to the coloured parts then it becomes apparent that the entire article is a police propaganda message.

Anytime, anywhere – that’s the warning from police who are mounting big drink-drive operations throughout New Zealand during December.

A police national headquarters spokesman yesterday said there would be no co-ordinated national operation, but each district would run its own blitz as and when it was deemed necessary.

In Canterbury police warned there would be a continuous drink-drive operation throughout the month with the three booze buses out day and night.

We’ll be targeting drink-drivers throughout Canterbury with all available staff including some from other South Island districts,” Acting Senior Sergeant Greg Murton said.

The team will be operating 24/7 so if you have been drinking and driving there is a very high probability you will be stopped. Only a fool would take the risk.”

In the lower North Island police mounted two major operations on Friday.

More than 1000 drivers were stopped during booze bus operations in Otaki and Levin on Friday with nine people found to be over the drink-drive limit.

The operations kicked off at 4.30pm on Friday to coincide with the Otaki races. Up until 9pm 1055 vehicles were stopped, with seven drivers found to be over the limit.

Between 11pm and 1am on Saturday 165 vehicles were stopped in Levin, with two more people found to be over the limit. The same night more than 2200 vehicles were stopped and drivers were breath tested at Tawa, near Wellington, on State Highway 1.

As a result 15 people face drink-drive charges, four face disqualified driving and other traffic charges, and four men were arrested for unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

On Auckland’s North Shore, a weekend blitz saw 94 people detected driving with excess breath alcohol.

Senior Sergeant Rod Fraser said compulsory breath-testing checkpoints were set up in various places and the operation started on Friday at 7pm and ended at 2am on Sunday.

There were 17,235 vehicles stopped and 14 of the people who tested positive for excess breath-alcohol were aged under 20.

Mr Fraser said one man had 11 previous convictions for drink-driving and now faces the prospect of his 12th.

Police warn that people planning to have a night, or day, out should plan how to get home without driving themselves.

Arrange alternative transport, catch the bus or a cab, or designate a sober driver,” Mr Murton said.

If your family or flatmate phones you in the middle of the night and asks for a lift home, be a friend if you’re sober. It’s not the time to argue; any recriminations can be sorted out when they are safely home or the next day.”

He also warned people could still be over the limit the following morning.

Inspector Peter Baird, Wellington district road policing manager, said police were very concerned by the number of people caught drinking after attending Christmas parties.

It really is a no brainer,” he said. “Alcohol and driving don’t mix.”

The fundamental issue here is this: the mainstream media rarely attempts to locate the truth because it is much easier to deliver the state’s version of the truth. Don’t trust the mainstream media unless you first trust the state: it’s not as if the Herald is going to find any self-critical police news releases when it’s compiling its articles.

I trust the state about as far as I can throw a ministerial limousine.

What do you think about this type of journalism?


I believe that drink-driving should be legalised and that police checkpoints are a breach of civil liberties.



  1. I’m not sure it’s deliberate propaganda. It’s just lazy journalism. Journo’s a famous for cut and paste. That’s what they do. And that’s why the internet is finally exposes them for the plagarists they are.

    Comment by phil_style — December 5, 2008 @ 2:44 am

  2. phil_style: I agree that it’s lazy journalism and I said almost as much in the post.

    The NZ government has a long-running campaign against people who drink and drive. According to my dictionary propaganda is “1. the organised dissemination of information, allegations, etc., to assist or damage the cause of a government, movement, etc. 2. such information, allegations, etc.”

    Therefore I believe that the NZ Herald is delivering state propaganda.

    I understand that you’re in the UK: how much fuss is there about the Damian Green matter?

    Comment by kiwipolemicist — December 5, 2008 @ 6:58 am

  3. […] If we do not have a free internet we do not have the truth. The mainstream media has a vested interested in saying what the politicians want it to say, because any journalists who do not spout the party line get frozen out by politicians and can’t do their job (an excellent example of journalists spewing state propaganda can be found here). […]

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  5. […] to those politicians and therefore an ongoing meal ticket for the journalist. That’s why newspapers spout state propaganda. Bloggers are generally not beholden to politicians and therefore are free to state an opinion […]

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