Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Presentation and Reality

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  • Grant McDougall,

    The NZ Herald's reaction is baffling. An actor criticising National is as predictable as a businessman / woman criticising Labour.

    Both fall into the "and in breaking news, water is wet" category.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 590 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Apropos nothing in particular, I had David Seymour as my ECON101 tutor. He did a pretty good job of teaching the topic, rather than pandering to his ideological bent, but it was fairly obvious to one who knew his political leanings that he wasn't entirely in agreement with some bits of the syllabus.
    We could certainly do worse than to have him in Parliament, from what I could tell of him, but I still would much rather that Act shrivelled and died on the back of Banks not winning Epsom.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3901 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Reality, How does he get those wonderful toys, part 4
    Prime Minister John Key has hit back at criticism from Phil Goff, saying the Labour leader is in denial and should "focus on reality".
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/campaign-trail/5925786/Goff-needs-to-get-with-reality-Key
    He should just cut to the chase and say to Goff, you know I am better looking Phil.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    How will you pay for it?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1493 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Does anyone know where one can easily locate a list of where candidates are holding "meet the people" meetings in local halls etc? Or did they stop doing that when that interweb thing was invented

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Haven't seen any lists for each electorate. There's a broader forum tonight and another next week organised by Auckland trade unions:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1111/S00098/auckland-community-election-forums-political-speed-dating.htm

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16585 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Peter, depends where you are. Wellington Central is currently having several a week, always has, and they are always crowded. They are organised by residents' associations and various interest groups. The local young feminists collective has one tonight to ask the parties why there are no women candidates in Wgtn Central.

    I guess you have to ask you candidates as they will know. Strangely enough some candidates have been instructed by their parties not to attend such as National's Katrina Shanks in Ohariu, which is not fair on her as she is quite a good local member (Ohariu has 4 MPs).,

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2066 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    have been instructed by their parties not to attend

    Any links to back that up? I read a statement that the candidates could choose.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16585 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    On the topic of presentation, Granny is at it again, leaving out Goff's "Top 10 list of Govt shortcomings" from the article of the same title. I count two, or possibly three, of the aforementioned 10.

    I guess a 30% completeness score is better than Granny's normal levels, but it's still a glaring omission from a rag that tries to pretend to some degree of fairness.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3901 posts Report Reply

  • raoulduke,

    Radio NZ this afternoon mentioned the Goff top ten, played a sample of Key on Letterman but didn't tell us what was in the Goff top 10.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Peter, depends where you are.

    Doh! Sorry. I am in central Auckland (Auckland Central too but happy to travel)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Fairfax, on the other hand, listed the full monty.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4216 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Houtman, in reply to Peter Calder,

    Peter, there's an Auckland Central meet the candidates at the Tomo night (wed) at 5.15 at the Fale Behind the Owen Glenn Bldg at Auck uni.

    Thursday is Auck Central candidates in Ponsonby but unsure where?

    Grey Lynn • Since Nov 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    It was mentioned in the local paper.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2066 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to raoulduke,

    The media bias in the Herald against Labour – or the Greens or anyone who isn’t part of the “we love John Key” Glee Club really – is amazing.Claire Trevett and Audrey Young helpfully include quotation marks around their report on the story, just so the reader is sure to know it is a load of rubbish just from the headline.

    And the body of the story contains all you need to know – “Prime Minister John Key yesterday dismissed them earlier yesterday as “rubbish”.

    Well, if John says so then clearly Phil Goff is wrong.

    Of course, Tracy Watkins over at Stuff/Dom-post isn’t much better, incredibly stumping up the cash and getting an expert to carefully trawl through Goff’s claims fact-checking, presumably so they could triumphantly damn Goff should an error be uncovered. Oh, if only the same standards of truth were to be applied to John Key's utterances!

    I have never seen anything like the current cult of Key in any modern democracy anywhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1791 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Trouble clef... over the Middle C at the Gee-Gees

    I have never seen anything like the current cult of Key
    in any modern democracy anywhere.

    Here is our own Berlusconi amongst his betters at the
    Christchurch Cup Day yesterday :

    "You've got a wife!" one of the men at the races reminded National leader John Key as he disappeared under yet another flutter of fascinators.
    "I know," Mr Key called back. "And I can't afford a divorce."...
    In general, the men had no show. They couldn't get through the women.
    "I'm next with Justin Bieber," one said as she waited her turn for a photo....
    Afterwards Mr Key laughed when it was pointed out he was quite a hit with the women. He may have even looked a little smug, despite his protestations that Phil Goff was wrong to describe him as such.
    "That's nice. Right-wing parties don't normally do so well with females so it's good we're holding our own."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4798 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I have never seen anything like the current cult of Key in any modern democracy anywhere.

    Then you’ve mercifully missed Bob Hawke’s 80s “love affair with the Australian people”. While Key’s independent means might not spare him from the inevitable ‘put some clothes on, you’re disgusting’ phase that follows all such infatuations, he’s unlikely to have to cut the kind of humiliating deals that ‘Hawkie’ was reduced to in post-political life.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3421 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    The media bias in the Herald against Labour – or the Greens or anyone who isn’t part of the “we love John Key” Glee Club really – is amazing.

    What’s amazing to me is that supporters of any political party have always alleged that the Herald is conspiring against them and in bed with their enemies. I am not going in to bat for the Herald here – I have not been on the staff for more than 10 years, although they continue to pay my invoices (even when I engage, one-to-one, by email and in person with various people high up the organisation to sharply criticise their approach to something, they have shown no inclination to dispense with my services, which is not really exemplary behaviour for a repressive media oligarchy dedicated to protecting the status quo ).
    To get back to the main point: everyone sees what they want to see. I did features for many years, exploring complicated and contentious issues and was routinely contacted after publication by both sides of a bitter argument, congratulating me on having vindicated their point of view and utterly destroyed their opponents. I suspect most feature writers have had the same experience.
    For several years I worked in the belly of the beast, attending morning and afternoon news conferences, and I think the notion that there is an explicit or even implicit bias towards any party is laughable. I suspect a lot of journos hate Winston Peters, but if they do it’s because he’s a prick not because they oppose NZF.
    Of course there is a structural bias that all news media have because they are part of society’s corporate elite and that is a much deeper and wider question which journalists for the most part – and I am not singling out the Herald here; quite the contrary – are either unaware of or disinclined to confront. Ditto celebrity-obsession; presidential-style politics; soundbite coverage: if you think it’s a Herald problem you ain’t been watching TV or reading the quality press in the UK for about 10 years.
    The days when the Herald was a Federated Farmers/National Party in-house journal and thought Labour and the unions were in an unholy alliance with the Kremlin have passed, I’m sorry to say. You need to look for a somewhat more sophisticated analysis than bleating “the Herald is anti-[insert name of your favourite party here]”. It just doesn’t bear scrutiny …

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Here is our own Berlusconi amongst his betters at the
    Christchurch Cup Day yesterday :

    Meanwhile, the real Berlusconi is finally coming unstuck.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4216 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    But Hawke had been in politics - or at least the trade union movement - for years, and was immensely popular before he entered parliament. In other words, he had a track record and a history.

    John Key parachuted in from nowhere complete with a lovely made for TV fairy tale back story. And the media welcomed him like a messiah, an attitude that hasn't really changed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1791 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I need a bucket. Ugh!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6061 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Peter Calder,

    You need to look for a somewhat more sophisticated analysis than bleating “the Herald is anti-[insert name of your favourite party here]”. It just doesn’t bear scrutiny

    It may not be anti-Labour, but it's sure as hell pro-Key. The difference is, IMO, a semantic pissing contest.

    Failing to detail Goff's full 10 is a pretty major slap-down, and a paper that's trying to demonstrate true impartiality would have at least included the whole list. It's a casual dismissal of the Leader of the Opposition's belief (and it's one that's shared by many who live in NZ) that the country has undergone serious regression on Key's watch. A properly impartial paper would air his claims; possibly, even, *gasp* investigate them and determine if he's actually correct. Because goodness knows it'd be good journalism to be able to call a senior politician on having their figures wrong. The Herald certainly took great delight in figuring out that Labour was $400m short in funding their campaign policies. But to investigate Goff's claims might uncover uncomfortable evidence that Key is not the Messiah, or even a very naughty boy, but, rather, merely a political lightweight with the country-management skills of a gnat.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3901 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    But Hawke had been in politics - or at least the trade union movement - for years, and was immensely popular before he entered parliament. In other words, he had a track record and a history.

    Hardly a history that justified the fawning collusion with the media that inflated Hawke's bubble to bursting point. You may recall that his safe Melbourne Labor seat was taken handily by a left-wing independent in the by-election after he left politics, and that his wooden ineptitude as a wannabe media commentator ensured that the cosy deal he'd struck with his big-end-of-town cronies died in a ditch.

    Without something like Key's Hawaiian bolthole the former champion of the workers was reduced to whoring himself as a meeter-and-greeter at the Double Bay Ritz-Carlton, and dishing the dirt on his former 'mates' with the help of his live-in 'biographer'. And Hazel succumbed to Alzheimers.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3421 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    What’s amazing to me is that supporters of any political party have always alleged that the Herald is conspiring against them and in bed with their enemies.

    Have you even bothered reading the Herald in, oh, the last 48 hours? Apart from the two stories above – Goff is rubbish because Key says so and Key mobbed by giddy crowd, let’s look at Audrey Young’s Herald headline yesterday – “Anti-poverty plan gives working parents benefit to jobless” – is simple partisan hackery and drips of sarcasm. Her story comes with loaded editorialising as the “vitriolic” used to attack Robyn Malcolm in it’s language – I quote: “The… …plan highlights the difference between Labour’s bid to make life easier for sole parents and National’s cracking the whip to get them into work…”

    You work out the message from that, you are the newsroom has-been “expert” here. Oh, did I use quotation marks there? Did I editorialise there? Did that change the perception of the meaning of the words I wrote, do you think?

    This Key business is now becoming scary, because it shows no sign of waning (if anything, it is becoming more cult like everyday) and because the media are the prime cheerleaders of the celebrity cult that has been built around John Key in a way that you would expect from cowed journalists in a tinpot South American dictatorship – which perhaps we are increasingly resembling in every other way anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1791 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Peter Calder,

    Ditto celebrity-obsession; presidential-style politics; soundbite coverage: if you think it’s a Herald problem you ain’t been watching TV or reading the quality press in the UK for about 10 years.

    Yes, I think this is an important point. In my day job, I see what's popular with the online news audience. Only a small number of people read deep coverage of policy, while very large numbers click through to stories about personalities, sport, attractive young women, animals, sex and violence. From a cold-hearted capitalist point of view, directing journalists anywhere else is a misallocation of resources. I am now coming to think that the remaining serious coverage we see is actually far more of a public service than we realise.

    "Young women fawn over Key" may be favourable to Key, but it is also an easy story to write, it doesn't challenge people's preconceptions, and it has potential for pictures of attractive young women. It's no brainer to make that a prominent story on the website. I do believe that if Labour had a dashing leader who attracted young women at the races, you would see an equivalent story.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2947 posts Report Reply

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