Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next bylaw will ban irony

157 Responses

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  • Michael Stevens,

    regarding the Chinese documentary:

    I don't think Maori TV should have shown it. To me it looks far too much like appeasement. The Chinese govt is a ruthless oppressive & racist regime under its current "friendly" face to the west.

    I wouldn't support showing a North Korean "Look how happy our people are" documentary, nor one from Cambodia explaining how the Pol POt regime and Killing fields never actually happened.

    It's an Orwellian attempt to portray the Chinese govt in a particular light, and I can't support it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    Greg O'Connor on tv1 yesterday "Finally there is going to be a consequence for joining a gang. So far its all been one way traffic..." What a ghastly entertainment circus the first courtcase might become. The poor taxpayer foots the bill again for something so poorly thought out.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Lara,

    What I found interesting about the Chinese Embassy protest was that it was made a *lot* less public than their objections to the showing of the film (and the speaking of Kadeer) at the International Film Festival in Australia earlier in the year. Was this a case of the Chinese govt not wanting a repeat of the huge publicity that the film got in Australia following their protests? I suspect so. I'm glad Maori TV stuck to its guns and showed it anyway.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    The irony didn't stop at the colour, either. According to Denis O'Reilly on Checkpoint, the fictitious gang name "Manga Kahu" - the (grammatically incorrect) tranlation Black Power actually use is "Mangu Kaha" - was lifted from the schedule of gangs drawn up by the Wanganui Council.

    And now, on day one, some thicko from The Tribesmen has set himself up for a court case that will test the bylaw against the Bill of Rights. Way to make bad guys look like good guys.

    If the problem with gangs is their antisocial behaviour, how is being pre-emptively extremely antisocial towards them - based only on what they are wearing, and not their behaviour - going to solve the problem ? All that will happen is that authoritarian absolutists like Laws will feel better about themselves, and the gangs will feel , um, ganged-up on.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I seem to be alone amongst usual-suspect media commentators in not at all minding Maori Television's decision to screen the Chinese embassy's "documentary" after The 10 Conditions of Love.

    I thought it was a fantastic response from Maori TV - "right, you think it's biased and loaded, fair enough. We'll let you put your side of the argument straight after it".
    And then I completely forgot to watch or record either of them =|

    And re the gangs, I was amazed at the clever, layered appeal-to-liberty response they put on. And the fact that they all just moved to "colours" ala the LA gangs was a pretty depressingly obvious outcome unfortunately. I'm not sure that the lack of patch is really affecting the intimidatory nature of the Bloods over there huh.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Greg O'Connor on tv1 yesterday

    Blah blah taser bah blah cops under siege blah blah... Sorry, but I just zone out whenever O'Connor appears because he's depressingly predictable, and increasingly careless with the truth. But who wants to bet that O'Connor will the all over the media trashing the judiciary if the inevitable court cases don't go to his liking? Respect for the rule of law is for other people...

    I seem to be alone amongst usual-suspect media commentators in not at all minding Maori Television's decision to screen the Chinese embassy's "documentary" after The 10 Conditions of Love. I actually wanted to see it. It could stand or fall on its merits.

    So, Russell, you'd be perfectly happy if MTS extended the same courtesy to our Government every time they run critical content on Native Affairs etc.?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12003 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    regarding the Chinese documentary:

    I don't think Maori TV should have shown it. To me it looks far too much like appeasement. The Chinese govt is a ruthless oppressive & racist regime under its current "friendly" face to the west.

    I disagree. I'm a grown-up, I can parse propaganda when I need to. And I was genuinely interested to see what they'd do.

    And like I said, there was a story to tell. There is no doubt that nationalist Uyghurs have been brutally put down in line with the Chinese government's misguided obsession with its own idea of national unity. The leadership is so scared of the prospect of dissident regions breaking off it has, as is the case in Tibet, simply tried to crush dissent.

    But the indiscriminate ethnic violence visited on Han Chinese this year was horrifying and unjustifiable in itself. Read the Wikipedia article.

    It's an Orwellian attempt to portray the Chinese govt in a particular light, and I can't support it.

    You don't have to support it. But I was actually quite glad to have the opportunity to see it, and then change the channel.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18893 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I thought it was a fantastic response from Maori TV - "right, you think it's biased and loaded, fair enough. We'll let you put your side of the argument straight after it".

    But I'm going to ask you the same question, Gareth: You think MTS should extend the same 'balance' to our Government?

    I'd have been more impressed if MTS had said,

    "You've got an invitation to put 'your side of the story' on Native Affairs. BTW, don't even ask to vet the questions or the final edit, because nobody gets that."

    "Meanwhile, MTS is subject to the Code of Broadcasting Standards. If you feel anything on Maori breeches those standards, here's a handy little leaflet on the complaints process. Have a nice day."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12003 posts Report Reply

  • Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    I agree entirely with your summation, Russell. I found 10 Conditions of Love to be fairly underwhelming (no doubt as a result of it being so hyped up). Moreover, I did get the strong feeling that crucial information about both the Han - Uyghur conflict and Kadeer personally was missing. I really would like to know how an impoverished divorced woman becomes the seventh richest woman in China by starting a simple laundry business.

    In any case though, as you state, the Chinese 'response' was laughable for its mediocrity and repulsive for its graphic violence.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • jeremy gray,

    I don't think the 10 conditions of love documentary was really that effective, sure China has done some bad stuff, but the coverage was so biased towards Kadeer it was impossible to know what was real and what wasn't (eg the scene at the beginning where one of her supporters is arguing with the wall street journal over uighur numbers, "Kadeer always says 20 million, you printed 10").

    The Chinese response was ill thought out, mainly for me in that it 1. caused me to watch the doco, 2. played their counter against outrageous fortune.

    point chev • Since Apr 2008 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I really would like to know how an impoverished divorced woman becomes the seventh richest woman in China by starting a simple laundry business.

    Yeah. I kept wondering if I'd drifted off and missed something.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18893 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Fair call Craig, I just liked the response for the "righto punk, I'm calling your bluff!" fist wrapped in the "yes you're right, the Chinese Govt is soooooo hard done by" velvet glove.

    I wouldn't advocate it for all situations, but it seemed like a nice one-off way of showing some folks that you can bluster and complain all you like, but you better have something to back it up when someone calls you on it.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If the problem with gangs is their antisocial behaviour, how is being pre-emptively extremely antisocial towards them - based only on what they are wearing, and not their behaviour - going to solve the problem ?

    Oh, I don't know. We used to have a gang problem in Italy but since we told the mafiosi that they couldn't wear those hats the whole thing has just gone away. Just give the law time to work.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7378 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I wasn't hugely impressed with the doco either but there's interesting comments about both length and content from the script editor on the Australian site Crikey:

    I can tell you the original script was looser and longer, and entered the culture a lot more. Two problems - one is money, cos it just didnt have the budget to grow, and the Chinese attitude. Can’t shoot more in the country, because Jeff would have been arrested and we know what that would have been like.

    Full bit here:
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/cinetology/2009/08/24/script-editor-responds-to-the-10-conditions-of-love-film-review/

    The comments were in response to a review by Luke Buckmaster (real name?) who argued that the doco wasn't up to the standards of the Melbourne fest.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    Telecommunications surveys over the phone. Going viral. Yesterday I grumbled about Colmar Brunton. Digipoll rang just now! Went away when I told them our policy is to require the callers cellphone number before proceeeding.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 443 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Rather than ineffective attempts to ban gang insignia, they should just be banned outright. But if banning isn't on the cards then sure - ban their regalia.

    Oh while we can all have a go at the predictable Greg O'Conner, how about a big word out to the resident intellectual apologists for organised crime in Whanganui, Denis O'Reilly and that fool Mike Hills? Their combined ability to combine intellectual sophistry with none to subtle threats of violence are models of their kind.

    It is hard to square the bleeting that young gangsters will react violently to attempts to remove their regalia with the claim the law will be ineffective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1806 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I wasn't hugely impressed with the doco either but there's interesting comments about both length and content from the script editor on the Australian site Crikey

    Interesting. I don't know if anyone else has been watching When the Levees Broke on Prime, but I've got to wonder if a politically charged, four hour plus documentary on Katrina would have been commissioned at all, let alone completed and ready to air on the first anniversary of Katrina's landfall, without Spike Lee's name opening some doors (and wallets).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12003 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Re: gang patches.

    Here's an analysis from someone who should know what he's talking about (scroll down to 'banning gang patches'). I'd guess he probably sits on the opposite side of the fence from most of us politically.

    He's agin it. I can't really fault his analysis.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2396 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Here's an analysis from someone who should know what he's talking about (scroll down to 'banning gang patches'). I'd guess he probably sits on the opposite side of the fence from most of us politically.

    But from my unscientific sample of front line cops of my acquaintance, he's more onto it than Greg O'Connor. As one put it: "Why don't Michael Laws and Chester Borrows deal with it? They've obviously got nothing better to do, but I have." You go, girlfriend. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12003 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    The gang insignia ban is a waste of time and money. It's hard to see what difference it will make.

    In fact I wonder if the move will be counterproductive. Demonising and outlawing gangs may simply them more exciting to prospective members. And how do you ban colours?

    Of course, trying to address why people join gangs in the first place (poverty, family breakdown, poor education etc etc) is way too unsexy.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    I'd guess he probably sits on the opposite side of the fence from most of us politically

    Gangs in New Zealand are an unstudied mystery. Almost certainly these gangs would contain some good strategic minds.They are outside the law in that they have made their own laws more important.

    and some of these gangs must be making some good dosh and others must just squeak along. How are they operating?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Oh, I don't know. We used to have a gang problem in Italy but since we told the mafiosi that they couldn't wear those hats the whole thing has just gone away. Just give the law time to work.

    But they didn't include scarves, and now the women have taken over !

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 455 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    And now, on day one, some thicko from The Tribesmen has set himself up for a court case that will test the bylaw against the Bill of Rights. Way to make bad guys look like good guys.

    Did I miss something here? Russell, did you just say that the Bill of Rights should only apply to good guys?

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But they didn't include scarves, and now the women have taken over !

    That article was excellent, I thought.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7378 posts Report Reply

  • Tessa Houghton,

    I disagree. I'm a grown-up, I can parse propaganda when I need to. And I was genuinely interested to see what they'd do.

    Completely agree. I thought it was an excellent move, to allow the Chinese government the right of rebuttal, because so far, they have shown that they don't seem to quite be able to grasp the fact that they can't control the speech of the rest of the world like they can do with their own citizens, and it was patently obviously that their reposnse would be some laughable piece of propaganda. Showing it directly after 10 Conditions of Love, however poor it was, simply underlined that fact. Good on Maori TV.

    New Plymouth, NZ • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

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