Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We interrupt this broadcast ...

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    whether it’s an overthought attempt to appear un-slick

    That probably the most generous interpretation possible, and really appearing un-slick requires the kind of Jedi master artifice that’s near impossible to pull off.

    I confess, now, I can’t wait to see how crazy Act’s campaign address is. I shall be rather put out if it isn’t.

    Screw it, that’s taking masochism as good citizenship too far. Think I’ll go see Errol Morris’ Tabloid again tonight – more insightful, entertaining and unnervingly pertinent than ever. It’s also a good time to track down a copy of Morris’ Believing Is Seeing (Observations on the Mysteries of Photography) which, as the kids say, is what it says on the box and much else beside. A wonderful mental self-defense course.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Please forgive the auto-plug: For more on the Greens, and the TVNZ debate Monday night, watch The Green Room at greens.org.nz live, 7pm.

    Finlay MacDonald interviews Russel Norman and Metiria Turei. Panelists Mr Slack, Irene Pink, Nandor Tanczos. Special guests Michelle A'Court, Bernard Hickey, Peter Simpson, and more.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Oops, just saw PA banner ad. *blushes*

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder how much focus leading Labour people are giving to the election that matters (to them) - the leadership election in December?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4471 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Interesting you regard the Labour address flagged everytime PG was featured. He speaks ponderously and accurately I know, but I would trust him long before his opponent.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    As someone put it on Twitter last night: Labour won the haka.

    <that someone bows/>

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8615 posts Report Reply

  • Hayden East,

    National's effort was just bizarre. It was like high school production levels. And, like you say, surely National have to be careful not to balance their entire campaign on Key's personality. It was like they forgot what you can actually do with television as a medium. Modern audiences get bored hearing one person talk for five minutes, let alone twenty.

    Like someone on twitter said, maybe their strategy was to bore the audience into switching channels so they'd miss Labour's broadcast.

    It's just a shame that for the most part these opening broadcasts will go unnoticed by the apathetic electorate. Will be interesting to see the ratings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    This could have worked had it been compellingly produced, but it’s bleakly lit, horribly edited …

    Yes, this was mainly what struck me about it. I didn’t expect to agree with the content of National’s ad, but I thought it would be slickly, or at least competently, produced.

    The lighting and editing were distracting, and made it look amateurish. It could be, as you suggest, that they didn’t want to look too slick, but there are classy ways of doing that, and this was not classy.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to John Morrison,

    He speaks ponderously and accurately I know, but I would trust him long before his opponent.

    Goff's problem isn't a so-called "charisma deficit" - God knows Helen Clark wasn't exactly Bill Clinton. But she was remarkably consistent when it came to opening her mouth without inserting Imelda Marcos' whole shoe collection. I don't think being kind of dull is necessarily the crippling disability the media-political complex would have us believe.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I just am minded, with this campaign but really with all of National's work to date, of another time in our history. A more miserable time. An unhappy time. A poor time. The rhetoric sounds the same. And the politicians look the same. I like Labour's approach very much, and I think the Greens' approach is entirely reasonable. I doubt, however, that election campaigns are how a large portion of the nation makes up their minds on who to vote for. Which is more the pity.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    And everything was flowers and puppies with a Labour Government? Not quite true, but never mind...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Of course, not, my love. But things were better. They really were. This government reminds me of Muldoon's era. It really does. But that's just me, I am sure.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I doubt, however, that election campaigns are how a large portion of the nation makes up their minds on who to vote for

    Family tradition is quite a lot of it, especially for Labour and National voters.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    really appearing un-slick requires the kind of Jedi master artifice that’s near impossible to pull off.

    ... only if you're faking it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    these broadcasts, like the respective party hoardings, suggest that Labour's campaign creative is a cut above its rivals'

    I reckon the Greens' billboards are better than Labour's. But the Green clip felt like conventional political comms - and all that walking got exhausting to watch.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    Of course. Although, I must say, that as per usual, my upbringing does deviate from the norm. My father always voted National - except for once, because he hated Muldoon so much (I believe they may have had dealings) - and my mother, and older siblings, were all Labour voters. Political discussions, or shouting as we used to call it, were a large part of my growing up. Maybe that's why I shy away from them these days?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Haven’t watched them yet, but whoah, the screen-grabs alone are eloquent.

    Labour and Greens in a warm summery palette and natural, everyday surroundings, looking the viewers cheerfully in the eye -- vs. a clammy, stricken-looking Key on an empty dark set lit by a chilly blue TV-screen glow, gazing anxiously offstage...

    Do we know who the art director was on that one??

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jolisa,

    someone's nephew?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Of course, not, my love. But things were better. They really were. This government reminds me of Muldoon’s era. It really does. But that’s just me, I am sure.

    When “just me” is so lovely, I don’t mind a bit. But in various ways, for three quarters of an I felt like I was in an episode of Fringe watching television transmissions from some alternate universe I didn’t recognise.

    Someone asked me on Twitter how I rated National and Labour on “sincerity”. Tempted to say something glib about how when you can fake sincerity you’ve got it made, but I just felt disturbed on another level. Because I think both parties are perfectly sincere in their belief voters cannot, must never, and just don't deserve to be treated like rational adults.

    As Simon Pound has said elsewhere, if running a country was about production values then the choice would be clear. But it isn't. Is it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12046 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Sacha,

    LOL-nui!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    And me as well Jackie. I have never forgiven National for Muldoon. While fostering his populism, he dismantled Kirk's compulsory super scheme and then bankrupted the country. I am afraid the same is happening now.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    I reckon the Greens’ billboards are better than Labour’s.

    I disagree, but they are doing different jobs. The pitch gets lost on the Green hoardings, where the Labour ones are quite nicely and consistently designed. There's been some talk about why the tops of all the Labour candidates' heads are cut off, but that's a device to make the face seem closer by having it more than fill the frame.

    It's more appealing than having crappy little clear-cut heads like National's do. I saw NZ First and United Future ones in Epsom this morning, and they're even worse than Act's. I'm wondering if this will be the election of bad graphic design.

    But the Green clip felt like conventional political comms – and all that walking got exhausting to watch.

    Yeah, surprisingly conventional, but it did its job.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Key defends his naff video, twists and turns like a twisty turny thing.

    Key told Fairfax this morning National's aim was "to have a conversation with New Zealanders".

    "We have those town hall meetings around New Zealand n a fairly regular basis. Actually they're quite well-attended and you get a range of questions," he said.

    "But obviously it's a fraction of the number of people you can reach through television and so we decided that was a good way of replicating what genuine New Zealanders ask us, he said.

    "It wasn't scripted in so much as they are the answers I give to those questions and I get them everywhere. Quite frankly they will be the same answers I give on Monday and in the debates."

    But Key said he knew the questions they were going to ask him.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Something about all the focus on JK as a "great leader" is giving me flashbacks to McPhail and Gadsby's Muldoon-lampooning mash-up of the Good Night Kiwi & the closing scene of The Waltons: "Night, Leader!"

    Alas, I can't find any video online. But now I'm dreaming of a third-degree mash-up...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1427 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The pitch gets lost on the Green hoardings

    I assumed it's largely visual branding like their last campaign was.

    I'm wondering if this will be the election of bad graphic design.

    Even Labour has those slightly fuzzy degraded fonts. Perhaps it's conventional design wisdom in a recession?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

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