OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Fisking for Asians

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  • Lyndon Hood,

    Matt Nippert on today's Nat Rad panel just had Coddington for a late lunch. Keith duly propped.

    "A full 12.5% of former ACT MPs are convicted fraudsters. That's hundreds of times the rate in the general population!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1095 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I don't really buy into the idea that either N&S or Coddington are deliberately racist

    OK, so the Julius Streicher thing was hyperbolic.

    But I still think the laziness and incompetence has racist roots. Neither Coddington nor her editors saw anything unlikely about her conclusions that warranted review. Why? Because those conclusions were just what they expected.

    I think that they wanted to ask whether Asian crime was a problem in New Zealand, and that the police concerns were a legitimate starting point.

    But "nothing to worry about" isn't nearly so commercial. So they wrote the story they wanted to run anyway. Why did they pose that question, and leap to that conclusion? Because they had come to a judgement of the likely results in advance. And a premature judgement that ignores the facts is by definition prejudice.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I do like your take on it, Keith. Humorous as well as pointed.

    I suspect there's an aspect of circularity here too: asians are perceived as more law-biding than average so it's news when they commit a crime. Asian commits armed robbery! Shock! Horror! Hold the front page! Yet another politician commits fraud... <yawn>. Not news to most of us.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 463 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Where Coddington went horribly wrong, of course, was failing to interview an actual recent immigrant (and pretending that one Chinese New Zealander who explicitly dissociates herself from those immigrants is representative of those immigrants)

    Coddington did in fact interview Justin Zhang from Skykiwi.com and Lincoln Tan. It appears neither of them gave her the message she wanted, so she had to simply quote Lincoln's columns selectively, and find someone completely irrelevant instead.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Definitely disagree that putting in a formal complaint would be helpful. Codswallopington has a right to shower us with her dreck, and nobody should undermine that, no matter how unpalatable it is.

    And yes, I do realise there are limits to these things. Keith's response was very much in the right vein, showing up Dirty Debs for what she is.

    Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    i don't think Coddington is the main issue here. a quick perusal of her past "journalism" efforts will preclude most people from taking seriously anything she writes.

    no, i think this "piece" just throws into sharp relief the true agenda of the North & South editor:

    trashy "Shock! Horror! Probe!" cover stories, if that's what it takes to sell some magazines. And if hilarious ineptness in manipulating stats to prove your case, along with some juicy Asian-bashing thrown in, are what it takes, so be it!

    and maybe nat-rad in the afternoons could make some effort to have their "panel" sound less like newsdork-zb? intelligent, articulate wingers are one thing, but...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Codswallopington has a right to shower us with her dreck, and nobody should undermine that.

    .

    I prefer mockery too. But the question was asked.

    Remember DC's sex offender book? Shock and horror is her MO and raison d'etre.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    In a sense, I think they missed their own point. It could have been a legitimate story.

    That's what I thought. It wasn't the topic, just the nonsense treatment of it.

    I did think, however, that the politicians' professed ignorance of the Asian Crime Wave should have prompted a closer look at the numbers by someone.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Coddington did in fact interview Justin Zhang from Skykiwi.com and Lincoln Tan. It appears neither of them gave her the message she wanted, so she had to simply quote Lincoln's columns selectively, and find someone completely irrelevant instead.

    The irony, is that Lincoln, for all the tut-tutting about his tabloid ways, gets real stories ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    We could probably dedicate a whole forum to calling out journalists on their shortcomings... (glances nervously at the majority of PA/S members who are actually journalists)

    :P

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    The story would not have so much heft if it were not for the cover, with its question about sending some of them back. Regardless of what Coddington has written, North and South could have presented the story in a different manner. Unfortunately, it is a magazine which thrives on scaring Middle New Zealand.

    Middle NZ is scared because it hears stories like the contract killing that is in court at the moment or kidnappings. It is legitimate for the media to give these crimes attention, because they are remarkable, but such crimes give the impression of an Asian crime wave.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    My wife wearing her Tangata Whenua hat rather waspishly suggested that perhaps Maoridom couild apply the same logic to send erm um DHC back and Brash and Clarkson...I had to stop her there before she started on me....

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 724 posts Report Reply

  • Steven Price,

    Terrific post, Keith. I haven't checked, but I suspect that the most marked trends in crime will involve women, and white-collar (and white-skinned) criminals. Russell is a bit unfair on the Press Council: over the past five years it has been upholding 19.5% of complaints (and even more in recent months.) He's right to say it's a bit toothless, especially with respect to North & South, which refuses to sign up to it and so doesn't have to publish its findings. But it will still consider complaints against North & South, and has upheld at least one before. The Press Council does give a lot of latitude to the expression of opinion, even very provocative opinion, but it's often pretty strict on accuracy, and I think ti would be hard-pressed not to uphold a complaint against Coddington's piece if someone complains.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    The ruling in which North & South/ACP media did not accept NZ Press Council jurisdiction (Winston Peters vs North & South) was in 1999. ACP has since become a member of the NZ Press Council,and North & South is now subject to its rulings.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Steven Price,

    I stand corrected, thanks.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I'm just surprised that the article wasn't more "this is going to affect your children's education and/or the price of your house" given that seems to the jist of most North and South cover stories.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Slarty Bartfast,

    Ed's note: Sorry Slarty, the first part of your comment was a bit libellous for my taste, and maybe a bit abusive too. I've moderated out the nasty bit, although you should, of course, feel free to hold your low opinion of Ms. Coddington. RB

    Perhaps readers would like to share their disappointment at North and South's tatty editorial policy by emailing them:

    northsouth@acpmagazines.co.nz

    Press Council complaints might be useful but cancelled subscriptions and boycotts tend to have more influence on the kinds of psyches that allow such pap to get published in the first place.

    Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Steven said:

    Terrific post, Keith. I haven't checked, but I suspect that the most marked trends in crime will involve women, and white-collar (and white-skinned) criminals.

    Yes. The kind of crime that has most notably bucked the steady trend of decline since 1994 is indeed the white-collar variety. I'm still waiting for the Coddington cover story on that.

    Russell is a bit unfair on the Press Council: over the past five years it has been upholding 19.5% of complaints (and even more in recent months.)

    I stand corrected. That'll teach me to crib stuff from old Mediawatch comments ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I'd like more Asians please. They make up about 20% of my high school roll but probably took out about 30% of the awards at our senior prize giving. There's some stats for DC. On top of that most of them are polite and hardworking and do not fill our detention room each lunchtime.

    Send everybody else overseas.

    Since Nov 2006 • 871 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Yamis, Oooh, yes please, send me overseas, somewhere European by preference, I can dig up genealogical excuses for just about anywhere. Somwhere scenic with good beer and beautiful women. If you go back far enough, I could make it to Italy (thanks Julius), or Scandinavia (Greatx10^3 uncle Erik?).

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oooh, yes please, send me overseas, somewhere European by preference ...

    Good god man, you're in Hamilton - what more could you want?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay,

    My favourite piece of knock-down evidence presented was this little gem:

    "In September in one swoop Customs siezed $5 million worth of crystal methamphetamine - pure P - at Auckland Airport. The class-A drug was packed into 43 picture frames in the luggage of two Canadian passport holders who'd arrived via Hong Kong. Customs would not reveal the pair's ethnicity to North and South, but they next appear in court, for a depositions hearing, in December".

    Who needs statistics, anyway, when you've got arguments like this up your sleeve....

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    and we can all rest assured that these "Canadian passport holders" have NZ residence. yeah, right.

    as an aside, i wonder who all these crystal meth users are? and why does nz have the highest meth use per capita in the world?

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    One reason the meth is so popular is the huge marketing campaign behind it. You'd be hard pushed to find a day's Herald without at least one mention of "P", and seldom does a week go by without something in the TV news about how widespread & popular the drug is.

    As the old saying goes - _Any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right_, and how could they misspell P?

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    DC is gonna be on Nat Rad this afternoon (snigger) defending her "article"'...pwhpwpwhpwph

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 633 posts Report Reply

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