Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Wall and the Paper

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    I've had the experience of making some reasoned, unemotive statements about immigration and seeing them used by some bonehead as part of his justification for throwing bricks through the windows of Somalis in Porirua. If that can beget that, then it's well within the bounds of possibility that an overt call for violence will trigger something much worse.

    And that is, without doubt, a police matter.

    It's a long shot, but if we took Greg Stanton's 8 Stages of Genocide table...

    Mr Lhaws would rate a Stage 3, having actually thrown around words like 'rats', 'parasites' and 'vermin' to dehumanise certain people.

    The organised violence Rex refers to would be about Stage 3.5. I wouldn't rate it entirely Stage 4 because that implies state-sanctioned militias with rifles, whereas Rex was likely talking more about privately-organised loons with improvised weapons, like during the Cronulla riots in 2005.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Gio: M’kay… I’m pretty sure that those black people living in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956 who boycotted their city’s public transit system (and incidentally financially crippled it – who’d have thunk all those po’ blacks who wouldn’t sit at the back of the bus also make up the majority of its paying custom) would have a grim smile or two for that characterisation. And, yes, I make precisely no apologies for declining to patronise companies that engage in racist, homophobic or sexist practices, explaining why to anyone who cares to listen, and encouraging others to do the same.

    I think the point is, you have to be a purchaser of the good or service to have actual power via boycott. If you don't, you have what can at best be described as moral power. Giovanni's point that people who have lots of money to spend have a lot more actual power over the advertisers in the SST isn't invalidated by the Montgomery bus boycott.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6208 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I think the point is, you have to be a purchaser of the good or service to have actual power via boycott.

    And that's not totally unreasonable, as far as it goes. But, IIRC, Toyota pulled their advertising from Holmes in the wake of cheeky darky-gate. Perhaps I need to know a better class of motorist, but I don't know anyone who turns over their car every year; but at any given moment there are a lot of people who are mulling over a new car as their next big ticket purchase and Toyota is part of a crowded, and extremely competitive, marketplace. Alienating potential customers in the face of a considerable backlash doesn't strike me as bringing the smart.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Exactly...
    I'm sure that for low/medium priced items that are purchased frequently (bread/bus tickets/beer, etc.) a boycott would have to affect actual sales to have an effect... but for high-medium and big-ticket items that are only purchased once every few years or decade like white-ware, TV's and cars.... just talking about it affecting a future purchase decision is enough... they'll react whether you were actually considering a purchase or not, They wont wait for a measurable drop in sales, and they wont evaluate the size of the wallet of the person writing in to tell them of their concerns...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Can't believe the SST got rid of Steve Braunias and kept Laws. No doubt about which one has the talent.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I can understand where Braunias is coming from, but one thing that's occurred to me is that while there is such a focus on Mr Laws, he is getting that very thing that any tantrum and insult thrower wants more than anything else - attention .

    My suspicion is that Michael Laws is terrified of being the invisible man. He's done parliament - no going back there - he's been mayor - not any more - he's on the radio and he has a column. These last two things can disappear. He must be very afraid that when he's had the mic turned off on him, and the paper decides he's expendable, that there won't be anything else for him to do.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    From the classy journalism file, Caroline Meng-Yee called to task by Jonathan Marshall. Positively postmodern, career-obituary style.

    A senior newspaper reporter who secured the first interview with murder victim Sophie Elliott's family has been condemned for attending a fancy dress birthday party as the dead student.

    ...

    Meng-Yee, who recently quit as the Herald on Sunday's assistant editor after three years, closely followed the 22-year-old's high-profile murder.

    ...

    Meng-Yee did not respond to Sunday Star-Times inquiries but in 2009 she spoke to Metro about her work. The article said when Meng-Yee arrived at the newspaper she claimed her aim was to "lower the bar".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jacqui Dunn,

    while there is such a focus on Mr Laws, he is getting that very thing that any tantrum and insult thrower wants more than anything else – attention .

    Sure - but the thing about Laws is that he also calculatingly targets people he thinks can't or won't fight back -- solo mothers, beneficiaries, rape victims, "black slugs", we all know the roll call. It's trolling, pure and simple. And while "don't feed the troll" is a very sound principle, there are times where trolls and their enablers need to be told loud, clear and repeatedly that their dog won't hunt. You don't effect culture change quickly or painlessly, but it's worth playing the long game.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12040 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Can't believe the SST got rid of Steve Braunias

    Priceless cutting satire, that article. Good on Brauniuas and the Southland Times for broadcasting the real not-so hidden Lhaws:

    "What d'you reckon, listeners," I said to my audience on Radio Live today, "should we track them down and kill them so that free speech can survive?" Adolf, of Invercargill, said: "Ja! I have a pitchfork!"

    Hermann, of Hamilton, said: "Nein! Forget the bloggers. Let's get the looters, especially the ones afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome. We must not let them breed."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It's trolling, pure and simple.

    It's bullying, impure and simple - and taking away his megaphone is a fair and reasonable response just like removing someone's baseball bat is. No one should have to put up with constant denigration and violence whether verbal or physical, and it's not that good for the bully's soul either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    On that Brian Edwards thread, Lhaws' ex-fling Jacqueline Sperling gives her reasons for persisting:

    [I] did not ask for the publicity that came from knowing Laws. I did not ask him to go public with our relationship in order to boost his radio show’s ratings, nor did he ask my permission to do that. Since he chose to do that though, i will continue to speak out regarding what an awful person he is – for the sole purpose of hindering his efforts to ever get back into National Politics.

    I will continue to speak out about him, because i never want to see him in a position to be making decisions that affect New Zealanders. I would do the same to anyone who is full of as much hate, anger, and poison,as Michael Laws is, who is aspiring to be elected to a public position.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Sacha,

    and it’s not that good for the bully’s soul either.

    +1

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    but the thing about Laws is that he also calculatingly targets people he thinks can’t or won’t fight back – solo mothers, beneficiaries, rape victims, “black slugs”

    Yes, all that. Mix that bullying up with his terror at being ignored (invisible) and you've got someone totally driven to even greater lengths. And then, it's as if our utter contempt = huge energizers for him. He gets off on it. It feeds his ego.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    There isn't a Laws column online today. Does anyone have a copy of the newspaper? Or is the boycott too effective?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    There is a laws column today but I didn't read it. What is worth reading, and I can't find it online, is an excellent response by Arie Smith-Voorkamp's lawyer, Simon Buckingham, which includes useful much useful information. His mention of 'rescuing' light fittings due to be dumped, changes the perspective. It's in the A section, and there are also some letters on the editorial page (including my angry complaint to the editor which wasn't intended for publication). (Disclaimer: I didn't buy the SST but I'm getting it free for four weeks as a potential subscriber)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Yes, there's a Laws column, although they've bumped it out of the lead spot with a guest column from a Canterbury school principal.

    Laws' column is a confused rant about paedophiles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Giovanni's point that people who have lots of money to spend have a lot more actual power over the advertisers in the SST isn't invalidated by the Montgomery bus boycott.

    Yes. Although I can see how a campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of those advertisers might have a wee bit of purchase, as it were. For instance one could run a blog advertising who's buying ad space on the page of the SST where Laws' column appears, as well as keeping a tally of his ghastliest opinions (ie all of them). But I'd still much rather use Laws' intemperances to argue that broadcasting and press standards need to be strenghtened, so they protect everyone and not just consumers.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to nzlemming,

    and can only say that I think Laws is enjoying all this immensely.

    Hmm, I not so sure, in regards to this particular matter. In his responses, on Edwards’ blog and to Dan Satherly's 3 News piece for example, he seems pretty peeved.

    Have you tried the one next to Astoria?

    Yeah that’s the one he and Kyle are referring to. It’s called Magnetix, and does stock ODT and Press.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Laws' column is a confused rant about paedophiles

    Saw it & my immediate thought was he'd been given a "Paedophiles=bad" homework assignment because it wouldn't cause any controversy.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    You may be right Heather - but the giver of the assignment may be wrong. The only paedophile I've ever knowingly encountered was an extremely hard-working old man who came from a Scandanavian country, and who didnt speak very good English. When he shifted in with his relations, the man of the house went all round the neighbourhood visiting houses that homed little boys, warning them that his uncle had a history of cuddling & kissing kids. What he didnt mention at the time was that his uncle had a mental age of about 7...

    And what I vividly remember as a young adolescent was how he used to sit down in the road and cry after boys used to run away and throw things from a 'safe' distance at him.

    Paedophiles of the kind we are more aware of are vicious exploiters of children, but there are the innocents (I use that word in its original meaning) and they will have their defenders-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Russell said:

    Yes, there’s a Laws column, although they’ve bumped it out of the lead spot with a guest column from a Canterbury school principal.

    I finally got a chance to see Media7. I think you were entirely right to call Kemenys out for his evasiveness and to insist that, at least, he read the opinions opposite his own editorial. Unfortunately, I was left with the opinion that, as awkward as he was, he wasn't concerned enough to change his approach in any meaningful way. As he said, plenty of people write in saying that Lhaws is the sane one.

    Sacha said:

    It’s bullying, impure and simple – and taking away his megaphone is a fair and reasonable response just like removing someone’s baseball bat is.

    I see it as simply as this which is why I'm interested in the complaints. Surely he's transgressed, surely? If the Press Council at least don't find that, I'd worry about the content of the standards. More likely though, the punishment will be inadequate.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye, in reply to Islander,

    Paedophiles of the kind we are more aware of are vicious exploiters of children, but there are the innocents (I use that word in its original meaning) and they will have their defenders

    Yup, I totally understand where you're coming from, but I didn't think we could really attribute Lawhs with the maturity of thought required to consider the complexities of unwanted sexual preferences in any sympathetic terms. His views offend me, but having him up for not offering a more nuanced or compassionate opinion in this instance feels tantamount to kicking a kid with a learning disability.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    More likely though, the punishment will be inadequate.

    Hence my preference for other forms of action now, while the wet bus ticket is slowly prepared by industry regulators. Lovingly moistened, if you will, while balking at the taste.

    Combining forms of activism brought results with Henry, though that included prompt coordinated action (and some political and diplomatic complaint). I suspect we've already wasted too much time talking about it rather than doing it this time anyway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And meanhwhile, my life has been completed.

    I feature in a Braunias column.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The pinnacle! Well done Russell - and Steve Braunias!

    An amusing & cutting piece which defines Lhaw's sick bilious shit brillantly-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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