Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Daily Embarrassment

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  • DeepRed,

    Any grounds to lodge a Press Council complaint, if there's enough evidence of deliberate misinformation?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Anthony,

    Or you can direct your protests towards the nearest brick wall which may well be a more effective option...

    Since Nov 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I guess you do have a point on Owen Glenn, he did give $7.5 Million to Auck Unni
    But I wonder on what position you would have taken (or did) if some rich prick gave mega bucks to the National party and recieved a knighthood in his christmas stocking
    Especially when the F F A seemed to be specifially changed to allow the afore mentioned Labour rich prick to keep on giving
    It really does look like a Government out of touch with the people it is meant to represent

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • douglasof240,

    My immediate reaction to the article was similar to yours -- a nasty, spiteful little piece especially given that two high profile Nats were also honoured.

    I want to cancel my subscription but it is such a bugger that we have a monopoly in Auckland.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But I wonder on what position you would have taken (or did) if some rich prick gave mega bucks to the National party and recieved a knighthood in his christmas stocking

    That happened quite a while back in some cases. But given Glenn's long-term contribution to the country of his birth, the Herald's angle is just insulting. They're calling the guy corrupt.

    Especially when the F F A seemed to be specifially changed to allow the afore mentioned Labour rich prick to keep on giving
    It really does look like a Government out of touch with the people it is meant to represent

    I think the restriction of donations to NZ nationals (which would also include National's major donors) was in the EFA right from the start, and whatever the bill's flaws, I suspect that most people would have sympathy with the idea of preventing wealthy foreign interests from influencing elections. Britain has a similar restriction.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    A cracking good post and particularly welcome in this season of no-news.

    The Herald's attitude to the planet is ambivalent, to say the least. On the one hand, it has Green Pages; on the other, it values the opinion of an unqualified sceptic as much as a professional. Such was demonstrated last week with two op-eds on the same day, one from a scientist about a real climate issue, the other from a 'sceptical' nonentity who knew nothing and had nothing new to say; obviously, his unqualified opinion was included to ensure Balance.

    But then, we have to remember this is a paper which prints letters from Creationists.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And then there was Malcolm McPhee: Climate of fear starting to make my temperature rise in Fridays Herald, the same day as O'Sullivan's diatribe. He sounded more like an opinionated "Drunk at the Bar" than someone I would expect a serious Newspaper to publish but he did give a disclaimer at the end of his rant

    * Disclosure: This writer is not a major polluter or emitter of greenhouse gases, though he may burp at times, and he isn't industry funded. In fact, he is unemployed and wageless.

    The brunt of his claim was that water vapour is a greenhouse gas, a claim that has merit. What he fails to point out is that we humans have not been producing water vapour at increasing rates for the last 100 years. Water vapour tends to fall from the sky when it cools, we like to call it rain. There is a possible runaway effect as the planet warms up, in that more water will remain in a vapour state and increase the greenhouse effect but there is little doubt that CO2 is a trigger for such a scenario.
    O'Sullivan, on the other hand had no such "facts" to back up her assertions. Hmmm, Franny O'Sullivan coming to a bar near you soon?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4640 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I think the restriction of donations to NZ nationals (which would also include National's major donors) was in the EFA right from the start ...

    It wasn't. The EFA as introduced contained nothing new on donations - all of that was introduced in the select committee.

    The story (which hasn't really been denied) is that the select committee had officials draft a bunch of additional crack-downs, among which was a limitation on large donations from people not entitled to vote (e.g. foreigners not on the electoral roll). It was pointed out by someone from National (Ryall, I think?) that this would ban Owen Glenn from donating.

    A recess was called, discussions were held in private between Labour and its support parties on the committee, and a new draft provision came back which allowed citizens to donate, even if ineligible to vote (to get on an electoral roll, you need to have resided in the electorate for a month).

    whatever the bill's flaws, I suspect that most people would have sympathy with the idea of preventing wealthy foreign interests from influencing elections. Britain has a similar restriction.

    Heaps of places have similar restrictions. The US has a complete ban (even on permanent residents living ... um ... permanently in the US). But then the US has a ban on company donations, union donations, and limits people to donations of $2300 to a presidential candidate... :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I have to disagree on Glenn's honour. No matter what he's done, it just looks unseemly. And I'd rather see good people go unrecognised than undermine the integrity of the process and see our honours called into question in such a way.

    At the same time, it's worth pointing out that this is also a victory for electoral transparency. With National's donation laundering, there'd be just no way of knowing whether they were rewarding their donors or not.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1627 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And then there was Malcolm McPhee: Climate of fear starting to make my temperature rise in Fridays Herald ...

    Which was given a brisk fisking by Hot Topic, where it was described as "breathtakingly nonsensical".

    Jim Hopkins shared his boundless wisdom on the topic of climate change on Friday too.

    Is the Herald trying to look stupid?

    HT also has a link to a blog that's been having fun with the "400 Club". Money quote:

    TV Weathermen is one thing but TV Gardeners???

    Three of them! I'm sure they're all eminent TV gardeners, but really ...

    Owen McShane is also listed as a "prominent scientist", which will have certain actual scientists of my acquaintance choking on their leftover Christmas ham ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    No matter what he's done, it just looks unseemly.

    Which is why those who perhaps really deserve it are nicely awarded by the other party. Jenny Shipley got her dame-hood equivalent from Labour, and I suspect Helen Clark will get something from National if she loses the next election.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Russell Brown wrote:

    Owen McShane is also listed as a "prominent scientist"

    For fuck's sake... honestly...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 958 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I want to cancel my subscription but it is such a bugger that we have a monopoly in Auckland.

    Read it online?

    It was actually quite readable on my PDA whilst I was in Ozzie over Christmas. Lamentably, Public Address was not. The WAP option only gave me links, but any clicking did not take me to the articles. The non-WAP pages are either too wide for the PDA screen and involve annoying scrolling from left to right every line, or if I 'fit to screen' they squeeze to one word per line, which was horrible on the eyes, but did involve using only one button for scrolling.

    I read it anyway, though. Nice to read that some people had an enjoyable Christmas. Google News kept me sane in the face of Ozzie network news, until Vodafone's network crapped out for 3 days. Aaaaarg!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Seriously, is the Herald good for anything these days apart from starting your BBQ? I always remember that it was a nice thick paper, you could buy the Saturday edition and you'd be set for a fire pretty much for the next week.

    If only it was sold with a bag of kindling...

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Which is why those who perhaps really deserve it are nicely awarded by the other party.

    Or by the community, and bugger the politicians.

    As for the Herald, read it online with an adblocker.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1627 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    No matter what he's done, it just looks unseemly.

    What he has done is donate money to several institutions, including the Labour Party and Auckland University. He does not live here, he has played no part in public life here. Until the University donation, most New Zealanders would have not heard of him.

    I agree with I/S. It looks as if he has bought himself an honour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Which is why those who perhaps really deserve it are nicely awarded by the other party. Jenny Shipley got her dame-hood equivalent from Labour, and I suspect Helen Clark will get something from National if she loses the next election.

    Fran was campaigning hard for Doug Myers to get his "long overdue" honour earlier this year.

    She wondered if the reason for his unaccountable failure to be honoured was "that his obvious manliness runs counter to the ruling femocracy".

    Or perhaps that he's a platinum-played prick who dicked minority shareholders when he sold out of Lion Nathan, and who, to judge by this extraordinary column by Stephen Mayne this month, regards New Zealand with contempt and the law as being for little people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    There is so much to talk about in today's post. It is interesting to note the nutters list of climate change deniers includes at 92 "Dr. Denis Dutton, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and recipient of the New Zealand Royal Society Medal for Services to Science and Technology."

    New Zealanders will be accustomed to hearing Dr Dutton mouthing off about everything but folks overseas might think he has some credibility. He is an Aesthetician, for chrissakes; and even his ideas on Aesthetics are barking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I agree with I/S. It looks as if he has bought himself an honour.

    Fair enough, I guess. But his donation to the university's business school was the largest single donation to a New Zealand academic institution ever, he has committed himself to funding a Chair in Logistics at the university, gave $500,000 to the university's Leigh Marine Laboratory in 2003, and apparently supports various other charities and non-profit organisations here, so "services to business and community" seems a reasonable description.

    As I said, it's a legitimate story; it was just the Herald's treatment of it that rankled. The no-comment from National was interesting. The story implies he has he has donated there too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Ewan Morris,

    "And O'Sullivan's column now reads like a wingnut blog, with all the bitter, conspiratorial muttering and graceless prose that implies."

    O'Sullivan has been writing from the far right of the political spectrum for years now, though her columns do seem to be getting increasingly nutty. At least she now has the good grace to openly write an opinion column, instead of masquerading as a business journalist. It is a strange day indeed when the Herald seems more rabid than the Dom Post, which seems to have calmed down somewhat in recent years. If only someone would start up a decent, quality national newspaper....

    Since Nov 2006 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    If only it was sold with a bag of kindling...

    Trouble with that is all the hot air gets cancelled out by the frothing of mouths but TV gardeners recommend it as a weed suppressant. ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4640 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    As I said, it's a legitimate story; it was just the Herald's treatment of it that rankled

    Agreed. I think it is all a matter of appearances. The Herald chose to take the "Labour donor" line, when the donations to the University and other institutions are more significant. At any other time and in the hands of any other newspaper, New Year's honours would be a cause for celebration, but the Herald has a Mission. What really rankles me is that it is not just Fran but all the Herald columnists who seem to be singing from the same hymnbook.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    RB: Owen McShane is also listed as a "prominent scientist"

    DH: For fuck's sake... honestly...

    It's typical of Kyoto-sceptic "experts" - most of them have a background in finance or economics, not science - McShane's web site says as much. Baron Lawson (who visited recently) is another example who comes to mind.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4141 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and the thing I was supposed to blog about before feeling the need to sort out the Herald's stuff ...

    Bird Nest Roys are playing with the Ghost Club at the Rising Sun on Auckland on Wednesday night. Yep, they're back together, for who knows how long. Not to be missed ...

    Big Ross (aka Jimi Kumara) has a blog post about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • 100 Word,

    I'd just read O'Sullivan's list as a complete piss-take.

    I found Granny Herald's article on Shadbolt's most recent grandstanding rather grating. How is popping an ad in the papers blitzing the government?

    Since Sep 2007 • 13 posts Report Reply

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