Today the brief of a modern Qorvis online operative is social media. Blogging is sooo . . . 2000s. Facebook is the latest thing. One can almost imagine the MINFO confab that blue-skied the latest media strategy. (Sounds like a good topic for Truncated Lounge, our favorite fabulist, who seems to have given up letter writing in favor of digital video.)
Dissenting voices, which are not allowed in
and are actively suppressed by MINFO, had been detected. Transcripts of Facebook discussion group conversations had doubtless been copied to Shazzer by spies. Perhaps
she was even monitoring them herself in real time. Online
discussions, after all, are hardly confidential given the cybersurveillance
capabilities of the modern state. Apparently that Chinese satellite ship at the Suva wharf can pick almost anything online.
Just as it had been with MINFO’s blogging strategy a few years ago – injecting regime voices (Grubby, Croz) into an alternative media that had grown up in opposition to the government line – so it would be with Facebook. The campaign would be led, it was decided, by the regime mouthpiece
Sun. The pretense of complaint (Fiji has a complaint-based culture) would be
that some criticism of regime propaganda heavyweight Grubby Davis had been
heard in the discussions of a group that called itself Friends of Fiji MEDIA.
An item was arranged in the Sun’s gossip column Coconut Wireless, which typically serves as the first
warning shot to regime critics. It carped that Davis had been denied entry to
this group and thus could not defend himself from “attacks” from certain *blush* regime critics. Under the heading “UNFRIENDLY FB LOT,” replacement
hitperson Jyoti Pratibha (Leone must be off) officially made the Sun’s – and thus the regime’s – complaint
to the impudent journo group.
Seems those so busy attacking our columnist Graham Davis on a closed Facebook forum called Friends of the Fiji Media are refusing to let him in to respond. Scared of their views coming under scrutiny from the vastly more experienced Mr Davis are they? Surely not.
An immediate odor emanated from my laptop as I sniffed that something was up. I argued as best I could against allowing Grubby to infiltrate our group, but its members decided to err on the side of openness, even if it meant opening the door of the chicken coop to the most stentorian propaganda scold in the South Pacific. The Sun approved of the decision, of course, deeming it GOOD SENSE FOR FRIENDS.
Good to see wiser heads intervene and prevail at that online media forum. Our columnist Graham Davis has been accepted as a member after some intense discussion. Which is what this forum is intended to promote. Right, let’s all now take a deep breath and move on with the constructive discussion.
An agreement of confidentiality prevents me from revealing our subsequent discussions, and I endeavour to honour such agreements whatever the provocation. It has been, needless to say, delightful fun the past few days. Just like old times, eh Grubby? (Sorry, I lapsed into some Canadian there. Take off, eh?) The question is, how long will Grubby abide by his promise of confidentiality? After all, we’re talking about a man who has no compunction about publishing people’s private email exchanges without their permission in aid of his smear campaigns against them. It’s one of his favorite tactics. He did it to me over and over and over.
Now that he has his prized access to Friends of Fiji MEDIA, Grubby can better earn his salary from Qorvis. His blog, after all, has degenerated into the same old circle of tired, predictable voices singing the same old regime refrain. He has kicked off his new online assignment in fine form. In typical underhanded fashion, he has used his new-found access to Friends of Fiji MEDIA group members on Facebook to further smear his latest target, Radio
journalist Bruce Hill. Grubby has charged again and again that Hill and ABC are biased against Fiji’s
lovable dictator, King Bananarama. This time his bleatings seem to have gained
some traction with ABC execs, who after Grubby’s latest complaint obviously
ordered a story broadcast first thing Thursday morning on a speech that was
given on Monday.
But his long-held position as Chief Bias Shrew is not where Grubby is now able to show his true worth to Qorvis and the Future of Fiji. With his infiltration of a Facebook group that includes some influential potential critics and opinion leaders, Grubby is now able to do a bit of what they call "data mining" in online lingo. As a new member of our group, Grubby was able to access Hill’s timeline posts and pounced on one that he has now used as further evidence of his bias against
benevolent dictator. “Could one of my Fiji
friends kindly mail me the two pages of today’s edition of the Sun dedicated to
having a go at me?” Hill posted on his timeline. “I’m keen to laminate it and
put it on my wall. Message me and I will send you my address.” Grubby may well
have been clueless, but doubtless Qorvis – and perhaps even Shazzer herself –
saw the danger inherent in the notation that “19 people like this.” Levity in
particular must be nipped in the bud, according to the regime. Grubby has thus now dragged several of Hill’s unsuspecting Facebook friends into his vendetta by reprinting their coments on his Grubsheet blog.
Gary McMurray Wow 2 pages! you must’ve hit the nail on the head…
Friday at · 1
Murray Hill Well we’ve always known you were a typical leftie drone.
Friday at · 1
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson yay! congrats… what an honor! I want to read the story asap
Friday at · 1
Lice Movono Rova Send me
Friday at via mobile · 1
Some of the comments are hilarious, so much so that one suspects Grubby is totally oblivious to the damage he may have done by reprinting them. “Two pages!” oozed Kate Schuetze. “You must be doing a good job then.” James Morrow seemed out of the loop. “What the hell’d you do?” Murray Hill must be Bruce’s brother, as he had an insight into his insolence. “Didn’t say what he was told to of course.” Journalist Barbara Dreaver saw the upside. “Surely that’s worth a ban?” Bruce Hill seemed to almost welcome the idea. “You would have thought so, wouldn’t you? Maybe it’s in the mail.” Dreaver obviously owns a sense of humor, adding: “Fabulous accommodation at Queen Elizabeth barracks.”
So once again Grubby has demonstrated that there are no depths to which he will not descend in waging his “battle of ideas” of behalf of Frankly Bananas and his planned multiracial paradise. If members of Friends of Fiji MEDIA were not nervous enough about letting him into their midst before, they should be now. For his part, Bruce Hill has had enough. You’ll no longer find him listed among the group's members, so Grubby will no longer be able to grab comments off his timeline. Unless . . . nah. Well, maybe it's not that crazy. Perhaps Grubby should send Hill a "friend" request.