As an ex-high school English teacher I could not resist analysing the Newshub Nation hit job on the New Conservative Party. When I was a teacher I would work with students to analyse advertising as well as films. We would look at subliminal messages and how camera angles could be used to make someone look powerful or weak as well as many other techniques to influence and persuade.

When my husband Cameron analyses political speeches he likes to watch them first with the sound off to pick up on the body language and facial expressions. He will also just listen to the audio on its own.

What I have done is to note down the key things that I noticed after watching the below video only once. In other words, I wanted to pick up the most obvious things that were designed to influence the average viewer.

The BFD. Newshub Nation chose to start their footage of Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei with his arm stretched out in front of him in a way that subliminally suggests a Nazi salute

They chose to start their footage of Deputy Leader Elliot Ikilei with his arm stretched out in front of him in a way that subliminally suggests a Nazi salute. I highly doubt that choice of video footage was accidental. This is a very dirty technique and shows you just how far our NZ Media have fallen.

They then almost immediately plant in the viewer’s mind that the New Conservative Party is the same as President Trump. They do this by cutting from footage of Deputy leader Elliot Ikilei to Donald Trump and then back to Elliot this time with a MAGA cap on the table beside him. As we all know NZ Media suffers from TDS so any link between “Orange Man Bad” and a political party can only be an attempt to make the viewer think that the New Conservatives are bad. The voice-over links Trump to “Far-right Nationalism” and says that it is now here in New Zealand.

Of course there is no evidence that Trump is far-right let alone any evidence that New Conservatives are far-right but the viewer is being led to believe that conservatism is the same thing as extremism.

The voice-over then makes the extraordinary claim that the Party has “drawn comparisons to White Nationalism”. Of course, we are not told who has made these comparisons or on what they have based such a defamatory claim on. I would describe that comment as a drive-by smear.

The video then cuts to a man talking about an “Alien culture” as if that is evidence to back up the “White Nationalism claim”. It isn’t.

Before the viewer can catch their breath they launch straight into a clip of an interview with a “expert” who is talking about “Dangerous ideas” that can lead to violence. It is not clearly stated what these “ideas” that he says are dangerous are or whose ideas he is, in fact, talking about. We are expected to draw the inference that he is talking about the New Conservatives but my educated guess is that he was responding to a question about White nationalism or extremism. The clip is deceptive and deliberately so.

The next clip where Leighton Baker is being interviewed has the interviewer using the underhand tactic of making a statement that is in itself a smear and then asking a question off the back of it.

“The New Conservative Party and its values seems to have resonated with people I would describe as White Nationalists.”

Imagine if I was interviewing Jacinda Ardern and claimed that the Labour Party and its values seem to have resonated with people I would describe as members of a terrorist group! It is a dishonest set up as the interviewer can describe people any way they like depending on their bias.

The interviewer on Newshub Nation sets a trap and then asks a question off the back of it.

After making the outrageous statement that the New Conservative Party resonates with White Nationalists the interviewer then asks Leighton Baker if it concerns him. This is a trap. It is like the question, “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” There is no way to answer it without looking bad. If the premise of the question was not factual, to begin with then no matter how the person answers it they will look bad which of course is the intention of the interviewer.

Next, we are told that the population replacement theory is a dangerous idea because it is not true. I can only state the obvious. If it isn’t true then it can be easily disproved with facts. How can a “theory” be dangerous? This concept of “dangerous ideas” is antithetical to free speech as it hints that they should be suppressed rather than countered with more free speech.

I had to laugh when the voice over said that The New Conservatives see Transgenderism as a mental illness that people suffer from. Of course, it is a mental illness just as anorexia is a mental illness. Both are conditions where a person has a distorted view of their body but these days only one condition gets treated as the mental illness it obviously is.

It is crazy that while on the one hand, we will tell an anorexic girl starving herself to death that she is not fat and that she needs help to get well but we will be attacked and called phobic if we tell a girl that thinks that she is a boy and who wants to cut off her breasts and mutilate herself that she is a girl and needs help.

The voiceover frames New Conservative policies as been reflective of a mindset that “fears change” and throws in conspiracy theories as well to the mix in a clip of an interview with Sociology Professor Paul Spoonley. I cannot imagine the media asking a Sociology professor for comment on any other political party so why did they interview him? I suspect it is because the Professor is well known for studying far-right extremism so simply by including him they are smearing the New Conservatives as an extremist organisation requiring comment from a specialist in far-right extremism.

Imagine if Newshub Nation interviewed a professor who was well known for studying Communist dictatorships and asked his opinion on the Labour party and Jacinda Ardern. You can see now immediately how manipulative it was to include Spoonley in the investigation.

Well, those were my immediate impressions after watching the video once. Why not watch it yourselves and share your impressions in the comments.


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Juana Atkins

Juana Atkins

Editor of The BFD: Juana doesn't want readers to agree with her opinions or the opinions of her team of writers. Her goal and theirs is to challenge readers to question the status quo, look between the...