Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Wall and the Paper

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  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I just don't like it as a way of bringing about results. It gives a bigger voice to people who are wealthier - and who enjoy more rights already.

    Approaching advertisers and threatening a boycott doesn't need money to work - only credibility and organisation. Dispatching Mr Henry did not require the actual withdrawal of heavy wallets, only the promise of such. You could see it as taking advantage of perceptions of power entangled with wealth. And rich people are susceptible to moral persuasion and have consciences too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Just got the chance to watch Media7. Perhaps we could introduce the "Braunias double standard." What's good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

    Have to say this little quote from Braunias made me chortle;

    Mr Braunias said of Mr Kemeys: “Editors come and editors go. I expect the paper will soon enough despatch the mediocre hack back to where he came from, which I understand is nowhere.”

    From here.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to recordari,

    Just got the chance to watch Media7

    Finished first half - gosh that weak squirmy editor was up like a jack-in-the box at the end, wasn't he. If Fairfax are looking to cut some dead wood I reckon that performance should help them decide who's adding value and who isn't.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to dyan campbell,

    you'll see his personality is literally a text book case of an abrasive psychopath .

    It's weird but when he first published The Demon Profession (remaindered at any not-so-good bookshop near you and attracting no bids whatsoever online) I was hired by NBR to review it.

    He refers to me in it as (inter alia) "a rotund oleaginous perspirant" so I thought it searingly clever (at about 3am, when I'd finished reading and started writing to meet NBR's deadline) to apply the antonyms to him and came up with "reedy abrasive aspirant".

    It was only when the commissioning editor started raving about my "psychological insights" that I realised:

    a) Strewth, I was right; and
    b) no wonder we loathe one another (DPF's account of a Lhaws outburst in the Koru Club at the mere mention of my name really needs to be published) - we appear to be polar opposites.

    Or in his case, perhaps, bipolar opposites.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to Sacha,

    Which is why Rex's complaint, even if it doesn't succeed, is important. I'm all for boycotting, but I'd also like to the legal issues to be explored.

    But there are already established grounds (and channels) for complaint without testing a new one which might take some time to work through.

    There's a great deal of difference between "you caused your child's Aspergers", "Marris are the feral underclass" and "let's grab our baseball bats and attack a group of people". The first two are opinions, however repugnant and reprehensible, and the established channels (publisher / advertisers / Press Council) are appropriate.

    But would you suggest that was the way to go if he (or I, or anyone) stood on a pile of rubble in Christchurch waving a bat and yelling "I'm gonna git me some looters! Who's with me?!"

    That's what we have here, but to a wider audience and with the imprimateur of "but an important person said it was okay". It's the kind of thing that triggers the Jared Loughners of this world, with sometimes tragic results. In marketing terms, it's a "direct call to action".

    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.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Sacha,

    Dispatching Mr Henry did not require the actual withdrawal of heavy wallets, only the promise of such. You could see it as taking advantage of perceptions of power entangled with wealth. And rich people are susceptible to moral persuasion and have consciences too.

    And it helped that lot of the blowtorching came from overseas too.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4135 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rex Widerstrom,

    I agree there's a distinction in the nature of the alleged offenses and I applaud you for trying a relatively novel approach, Rex. Just wouldn't want to see it treated as a substitute for using the existing complaints processes which can help apply pressure pretty quickly like we've seen before.

    Mind you, if Fairfax bosses are as as blase as their hired help about publishing an incitement to violence then it might take a judicial jackboot up the jacksie to stir them into remedial action.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom, in reply to Sacha,

    Just wouldn't want to see it treated as a substitute for using the existing complaints processes

    Much as I'd like to see it happen, "being an obnoxious little twat" is yet to be a criminal offence... presumably to protect the liberty of many of our Parliamentarians, for a start :-D

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lhaws has another crack at Brian Edwards (and anyone else with the gall to disagree with him). Clearly not competent at listening to what people say.

    Dear Brian

    I’m very pleased that you have been prodded out of your liberal senility to mount ceaseless ad hominem attacks upon my person … you join Russell Brown as another who can’t debate issues but must insult first, second and third.

    I wrote a perfectly rational column as to why Asperger’s Syndrome is not an excuse for criminality.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    As I wrote under another pseudonym for another set of friends in response to another comment about another person:

    As many may know, the area about Aro Valley is very cold and damp and many organic objects may behave oddly instead of decaying in the usual manner. There was once, for instance, a dog turd that for many months did not desiccate and disintegrate, but instead grew a thick coat of white fungal fur. Eventually, some graffitist came along, and very neatly, painted a dashed circle about it and the caption “Very Interesting Phenomenon”. I believe that the detachment exhibited by the anonymous artiste is the appropriate stance that one should take towards Mister Westfold (and Micael Lhaws too, for that matter).

    I have to say, Brian Edwards displays restraint that I find truly incredible - I do not necessarily expect him to become angry (as I would), but I do expect him to succumb to hysterical laughter.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 969 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Lhaws has another crack at Brian Edwards

    I've not read Laws' column (I've tried it in the past and it just upsets my stomach) so came across some particular passages for the first time via Brian's reply. Stunningly stupid and mad stuff, I must say.

    IMO, the way to deal with this fool is not to pressure advertisers - as Gio noted, or at least implied, how about when people then start organising a targeted boycott of all the good guys..? - but instead to give him enough rope.

    A YouTube with his face and selected quoted extracts of his recent material should do the trick (come on, someone!).


    LAWS
    IS
    OVER!

    if you want it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to 3410,

    but instead to give him enough rope.

    A YouTube with his face and selected quoted extracts of his recent material should do the trick (come on, someone!).

    As with Stephen Franks' "I love my dog" moment?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4135 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Out of interest: is there anywhere in Wellington where one can get the Christchurch Press or the Otago Daily Times?

    There used to be a newsagent on Lambton Quay that sold papers from around the country, including both of those, but that was in the 1990s when I last lived there.

    I can't recommend the ODT though. It's really a local paper with standard Reuters news from elsewhere. Pretty good regional coverage but national and international stuff is pretty weak. Independence hasn't really made it better than anywhere else. The Press seems to have some good reporters maybe?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think I know which newsagent you mean, I'll try. Thanks.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7343 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Have you tried the one next to Astoria?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Easier, go to the Gateway site at Wellington Library. You can access virtual real copies (whole pages as they appear in print, and you can turn the pages with your mouse) of NZ and world newspapers within a day or so of publication.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The Press and the ODT also have websites

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16418 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Just read through the Brian Edwards posts - is it just me or is that a crap website to find anything on? - and can only say that I think Laws is enjoying all this immensely.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1835 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I think one of the reasons that Lawhing Boy gets away with his paranoid ramblings is that so few people actually read his disjointed prose, another reason could be that those that do attempt to wade through his sticky filth give up after a few sentences and dismiss it as the ravings of a demented fool. It's only content, a way to make a paper look as if it has a stable of journalists, of no more import than the celebrity who's shagging who nonsense that appeals to the bored and dysfunctional
    So, to trouble our collective consciousness on such a strange and hateful soul is just a waste of time and energy.
    Sometime someone will draw a dotted line around him as he grows a new white coat.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4633 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to dyan campbell,

    Actually, Dyan, I thought the tyrannical psychopath more apt.

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

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    What very interesting body language and facial signals in the Kemeys interview. Plus the very rushed speech.

    I think the man would have wished to be anywhere else but there.

    PS Hi Ian. Glad to see your hand again!

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

  • peterpeasant, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You mean to tell me that the Listener has sub editors?
    they do not have researchers.

    I fail to find evidence of either species.

    new zealand • Since Oct 2010 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I don’t like boycotts. Democracy for people with the biggest wallets doesn’t impress me much.

    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.

    You may call it pocketbook pseudo-democracy. I prefer "the free market at work".

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11853 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Che Tibby,

    Kearney’s is pretty reasonable about it. preci: don’t necessarily like what he’s says, but defend his right to do so [in my paper].

    Actually, Kearney is full of shit. He knows full well that there’s plenty neither he nor Fairfax will defend, let alone allow to go to press. (I think Laws has used up all his strikes pretending name suppression orders don't apply to him, for example.) There’s a fine tradition of high grade trollism among newspaper columnists, but it would be nice if someone was honest about it: "Laws shits on black people, beneficiaries, rape victims and other people who don't figure in our demographic -- and more importantly, don't have the means to drag my arse through the courts. Fuck 'em."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11853 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I’m aware of that. I just don’t like it as a way of bringing about results. It gives a bigger voice to people who are wealthier – and who enjoy more rights already.

    I understand that objection.. but question how valid it is?

    If I write to you explaining why I wont be buying your product... you dont actually have any clue whether I was in a position to afford it in the first place do you?

    I think an advertiser inundated with mail like that will act far sooner, rather than waiting to see any changes in sales?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 789 posts Report Reply

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