Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That Buzzing Sound

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  • 3410,

    Gotta say, I'm grinding my teeth at Ms. Rankin's description, under the circumstances, of Ms. McAuley as a "complex and difficult friend."

    And shaking my head at the opinion that:

    The media had "stooped to new lows" and were largely worthless, with the exception of broadcasters Michael Laws and Paul Holmes.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It would be cool if she were to say the same about other peoples' relationships.

    I can't even begin to articulate how tired and distasteful that's getting, Russell.

    Craig, I get that you're not going to acknowledge even a speck of hypocrisy or bad faith in Rankin, But I'd be grateful if you could stop hectoring and guilt-tripping me about taking a different view.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Hey, if the Families Commission goes down with Rankin, that's a few mill for the cycleway.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, I get that you're not going to acknowledge even a speck of hypocrisy or bad faith in Rankin, But I'd be grateful if you could stop hectoring and guilt-tripping me about taking a different view

    Oh, Jesus, I'm crushing your dissent now? Here? That's too silly to even be offended by.

    Here's what I get, Russell, you seriously, madly, deeply loathe Rankin. You think her appointment to the Families Commission is a very bad idea -- and I can respect that because its a matter of public policy, where you've restricted your criticism to Rankin's public life.

    But you're quite right about one thing: I'm going to stay the hell away from the neo-Victorian "Scarlet Woman" bullshit of whether Rankin and MacIntyre waited a 'seemly' interval before marrying. I'm still struggling to see the legitimate public interest in the circumstances of Margo McAuley's death, and the failure of her marriage.

    When it comes to hypocrisy and bad faith, I've got my scars suggesting to the right-wingnuts that Helen Clark's marriage and what she does in private, with consenting adults of whatever gender, ain't actually a legitimate area of public interest. And it's not particularly relevant that she's in public life, and fairly prone to taking high moral tones on all kinds of subjects.

    Meanwhile, here's what Phil Goff had to say in The Herald this morning:

    "People appointed to bodies like the Families Commission need to embody the values that those organisations stand for if they and the organisation are to have real credibility."

    Well, I'm beginning to wonder what kind of values Goff thinks the Families Commission stands for. I sure hope canting tabloid moralism isn't among them.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And here endeth the "hectoring and guilt-tripping", because you know something? Expecting standards from Sunday tabloids is an exercise in futility...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Craig, gossip sells papers and get's people watching the telly for more gossip. Saw an ad for a new show last night whilst flicking through channels. How about Celebrity Rehab.I can imagine that will rate well even if I think it should be at the bottom of a well. People seem to like being nosy with regards famous people or in our country at least, people we taxpayers are employing, and this is a fine example of the Sunday papers and TV having a Monday meeting saying, "didn't we do well" Jus' sayin'

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, Jesus, I'm crushing your dissent now? Here That's too sillyto even be offended by.

    No, I wouldn't say that. But I have felt somewhat browbeaten.

    But you're quite right about one thing: I'm going to stay the hell away from the neo-Victorian "Scarlet Woman" bullshit

    I've tried to too. But my honest view remains that Rankin has keenly used the media to deliver a harsh and censurious message about other families that she may not have done justice to herself. Her public crack about Helen Clark being "childless" was particularly vile.

    I wouldn't have commissioned those stories as an editor, but my sympathy is tempered in the circumstances.

    When it comes to hypocrisy and bad faith, I've got my scars suggesting to the right-wingnuts that Helen Clark's marriage and what she does in private, with consenting adults of whatever gender, ain't actually a legitimate area of public interest. And it's not particularly relevant that she's in public life, and fairly prone to taking high moral tones on all kinds of subjects.

    What are you actually alleging there?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    People seem to like being nosy with regards famous people or in our country at least . . .

    I guess that's a universal, tho there seem to be regional peculiarities. In Australia, for example, admen (usually blokes) are household names, e.g. Mo & Jo, Siimon Reynolds, John Singleton. Never heard of them? Lucky you. Here in NZ we seem to have a thing for superstar civil servants.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3559 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    FWIW, I can't see myself posting on it, but I think this is going into a tailspin. National MPs are running for cover (as evidenced by Simon Power's comments on Q+A) and the focus will go on Rankin's statement.

    I'm actually feeling sorry for Paula Bennett. Tracey Watkins today on Bennett:

    As some of her more senior colleagues rush to distance themselves from the appointment, she is copping some of the blame for apparently failing to brief them that there were issues in Ms Rankin's life that were likely to blow up if she joined the Families Commission. She failed the basic political test of keeping friends close and enemies closer, meanwhile; despite an early heads-up that UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne was against Ms Rankin, she failed to keep him in the loop, which only stoked the row. He wasted no time wading into the appointment as divisive and controversial.

    And Watkins' news story:

    The Dominion Post has been contacted by friends of Margo McAuley, who were angered by Ms Rankin's appointment as a families commissioner. One said Ms McAuley had a wide circle of friends, who had until now chosen to treat the matter as private. But Ms Rankin's decision last week to publicly defend her appointment by claiming a passion for New Zealand families was "disrespectful".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    National like Accountability. Someone has to pay. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6269 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Ick. All of it, ick.
    I've avoided the 'zomg, she's been married lots and someone once married to one of those marriages committed suicide" awfulness but it's obvious from this thread that all the discussion has gone that way.
    Where it could quite easily have trotted down the line that Labour put out: “It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the new appointments suggest the Government has a new agenda in mind for the Families Commission and it should come clean and explain whether this is the case."
    Unfortunately, most people in this country don't care about the makeup of a Govt agency like that and "the dirt" is what they'll read.

    Rankin's taken very specific public views on families and the like - she could well have been hoisted on that petard alone.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gareth:

    Have to agree with you there. As someone pointed out up thread, I'm slightly more outraged by Rankin's somewhat lackadaisical ARC committee attendance, because I'm one of those cranks who thinks its obligatory to show up for work. :)

    Craig, gossip sells papers and get's people watching the telly for more gossip.

    Sofie: I'm struggling to see your point there, unless its everyone does it, therefore its OK. There's plenty of "gossip" about the sexual peccadilloes and trashy domestic arrangements of politicians, civil servants and media folks that will, thank God, never see the light of day. Rather entertaining, if you swing that way, but the legitimate public interest just doesn't exist.

    What are you actually alleging there?

    Well, that I'm not impressed by the insinuation that I'm being a partisan hypocrite. Where I draw the line between public and private might well be rather dated, but I'd like to think its consistently applied.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I agree with Gareth's "ick" sentiment. There may be some legitimacy in efforts to expose Rankin's hypocrisy, especially when she has hectored others about their own private lives. But the news media has gone way too far on this one.

    Thankfully there is still comedy in the whole affair. Like when Rankin said this about Phil Goff:

    Oh what a lefty he is.

    That will no doubt surprise many in Labour.

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    Where I draw the line between public and private might well be rather dated, but I'd like to think its consistently applied.

    I still wouldn't mind half an example of Clark taking a high moral tone that would justify a charge of hipocrisy in the area of family life and sexual orientation, while you're still in the room.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That will no doubt surprise many in Labour.

    Heh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, that I'm not impressed by the insinuation that I'm being a partisan hypocrite.

    No, I meant what are you alleging about Helen Clark?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I still wouldn't mind half an example of Clark taking a high moral tone that would justify a charge of hipocrisy in the area of family life and sexual orientation . . .

    Something in the order of Brash's "mainstream"? OK, I realise that he was simply mouthing what he'd been told to say, but that was the point where I realised that the poor old duffer really didn't know any better.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3559 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Something in the order of Brash's "mainstream"?

    That reminds me that "normal people don't do that kind of thing" should go on a PAS t-shirt at the earliest possible convenience of our hosts. I'd be forming a queue of one to purchase it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Having thought about it over the weekend, I have zilch sympathy for Rankin. Professionally she was self-serving, self-promoting and incompetent.

    Privately she is now exposed as a hypoctrite of the highest order.

    Rankin's main gripe appears to be that she thinks Biblical justice is something that should only be for others, which isn't surprising given her compete lack of self-awareness.

    You reap what you sow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Not sure that Craig was alleging anything - read to me as "even if your half-baked guesswork was correct, which it isn't, it would still have nothing to do with Clark's work in government".

    That reminds me that "normal people don't do that kind of thing" should go on a PAS t-shirt at the earliest possible convenience of our hosts. I'd be forming a queue of one to purchase it.

    The historian in me wants to get the definitive version of the phrase locked down, and then I'll be right in line with ya.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Re the hypocrisy - I can certainly see it (it's flashing itself in rather large neon letters tbh), but for those of us who believe a Families Commission SHOULDN'T be solely about the married-for-yonks-with-missionary-conceived-2.5-children-but-ignore-the-affairs-and-occasional-violence "family" it's a bit grating to try and shame this woman for her family/marriage creations. Frankly someone that has seen their fair share of "non-standard" family arrangements could possibly expect greater support from me for that role.

    Of course, that person is certainly NOT Ms Rankin given her well publicised views on family's, children, religion et al.

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

  • dave crampton,

    Rankin's main gripe appears to be that she thinks Biblical justice is something that should only be for others

    Biblical Justice? what has THAT got to do with Rankin's beliefs? what a weird comment.

    Craig, gossip sells papers and get's people watching the telly for more gossip

    So let's make all our papers tabloids then so they can sell. Let's investigate the sex lives of journalists and politicians. Because we *really* need to know.Eurggghh.

    welli • Since Jan 2007 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "The historian in me wants to get the definitive version of the phrase locked down, and then I'll be right in line with ya."

    "Normal people don't do that kind of crap" it is, then.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Frankly someone that has seen their fair share of "non-standard" family arrangements could possibly expect greatersupport from me for that role.

    I agree. If Rankin hadn't been so opinionated we'd probably all be saying she had lots of useful life experience to offer.

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

  • steven crawford,

    I don't think Helen Clark's appointment as a prime minister has any comparison to Rankin's. Clark being appointed by public election and all that. However, there has been the argument, that her Duchampian art style my not have endowed the position of minister of arts and culture. I'm a big fan of Duchamp's art appropriation tactic. Many argued from ignorance, that Clark was an art forger, which was obviously quite ridicules.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

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