Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: "Evil called: Can you make a meeting at 11?"

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  • Paul Williams,

    But he's the leader - he shouldn't need "to be managed" because that just gives everyone that there's a bunch of backroom (dare I saw "hollow") men pulling the strungs

    Helen received a fair bit of assistance from Brian Edwards and Judy Callingham (sp?) early in her term as leader. It's not unreasonable for Key to get assistance, it is silly, however, of him to pretend he's not.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    (my typing/grammar seems to be dying, I've been at work since 5am, time for a nap)

    I/O - I think that that's understood - but if we're going to elect a leader we need to understand who they represent, who they owe to get where they are now, who's money they are spending, what they really think on issues, what they'll really do when they get elected etc etc in an election all this stuff is critical to the public making an informed choice.

    PR of course works against this - they want to project someone who can be elected, sometimes telling lies or bending the truth or simply failing to point out the bad news - none of these things are good for the public whichever party is doing it

    Traditionally an independent press have been our protection against this, sadly some (the NZH for example) seem to have already made up their minds

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • virtualmark,

    I'm bemused that:
    (i) people seem so surprised that National would retain a set of political strategists ... and
    (ii) that the SST would give Nicky Hagar such prominence as a "journalist".

    As others have commented before, do you really think Labour only take political advice and guidance from a committee made up of Florence Nightingale and Lassie? I'd be sure Labour's advisors are just as venal and evil and unscrupulous as Crosby/Textor, it's just that we don't know their names. So if yesterday's "news" makes the leftie acolytes feel warm in their pants it's all quite naive and deluded really.

    And as for Nicky Hagar. I take a "news" article from him as seriously as one written by Ian Wishart. Both are equally odious partisan trolls who are quick to breathlessly gush about the evils of the other side. I cannot believe that Hagar's motivation for writing that article in the SST was simply to inform and enlighten the readers - his past form suggests the main purpose was to score political points on behalf of his fellow socialists at the Greens.

    I think it reflects very poorly on the editorial stance of the SST to have such a prominent partisan bylined as a "journalist" on page 1. But then the SST seems in decline, so perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • virtualmark,

    Paul Campbell ... an independent press? And the NZH is the major offender?

    WTF do you think putting a Nicky Hagar article on your front page is?

    And yes, I'd say exactly the same thing if they'd gone with a sleazy expose from Ian Wishart instead.

    At least the SST still has the good sense to put columns from Matthew Hooten, Chris Trotter etc as "op-ed" rather than journalism.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    VirtualMark

    If Labour, or any other party, employed people as nasty as Crosby/Textor, that would be a disgrace too. Either you don't know the depths to which they have sunk, or you do know and and just don't care, in which case you are presumably unconcerned to see their tactics as part of our political discourse.

    If other parties have employed such people, tell us about it. Otherwise withdraw your smear, not least against Hager, whose reported facts you have not challenged (but feel free to do so).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    VM - actually IMHO the SST has recently been moving more to the right beating up on the govt more than the opposition

    It's not that new a topic - we've had 30-40 years of reporting about which PR firm National is using - from the Saatchi days and all the rumours about CIA funding Hanna-Barberra's Dancing Cossaks etc (I'm not claiming they're true, just that they were rumours) to the more recent secret trusts - if they were smart and wanted to put all that behind them they'd be more open about what they are doing so that nothing's a mystery.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Have only read the SST article and have avoided the undoubtedly hysterical radio interviews that come from it, but that article seemed pretty good at walking a reasonable, factual line.
    1. Key has employed Crosby Textor
    2. They've historically claimed they haven't
    3. C/T have done some pretty nasty stuff offshore.

    That was about all it said - so everyone claiming a "beatup" will need to pull apart one of those points and I fail to see how they can.


    Now I, for one, hope and (almost) trust that Key won't stoop to the lows we've seen from C/T elsewhere, but it does give a useful possible context to the tightly messaged negative approach we've seen from him.
    Unfortunately given the state of political debate in this country at the moment (present virtual company largely excluded) this will now spiral down to a base slanging match with both sides avoiding the interesting grey points. Shame really, would be an interesting dissection of political messaging.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Simon

    Does Mike Williams count?

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    actually there was a whine by Hagar in there about how National wouldn't answer his questions which I thought was a bit over the top

    What I would like to see change in the SST is that the back chunk seems to have been taken over with photos of people in parties in Auckland who's identities we're apparently supposed to know, but don't - which all seems a bit pointless to the rest of us in other parts of the country

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Insider

    Mike Williams owns his crap (and there's been too much of it). He is a party official, name and face open to the public. Hence the interview on Agenda, for example. No comparison with Crosby whose role isn't even being acknowledged by National at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I cannot believe that Hagar's motivation for writing that article in the SST was simply to inform and enlighten the readers - his past form suggests the main purpose was to score political points on behalf of his fellow socialists at the Greens.

    I suspect you've never been to a Green Party gathering. More hippy than socialist.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    I suspect you've never been to a Green Party gathering. More hippy than socialist

    I think you'll find that Aro Valley in Wellington is home to both the Hippys (ies?) AND the socialists.

    Both of whom vote Green.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    I find it interesting just how defensive some folks get when pointing out that there's a hell of a lot of stones being thrown around a neighbourhood full of glasshouses

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    At least after the election I won't have to suffer the pain of journalists claiming not to have known.

    A genuine question: do editors at major outlets sit down on Monday morning and discuss the major stories and decide which ones are the most interesting, which they'll run with? Or it is more informal and on the fly than that?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think you'll find that Aro Valley in Wellington is home to both the Hippys (ies?) AND the socialists.

    Which would relate if 'lived in Aro Valley' and 'members of the Green Party' were the same set.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Helen received a fair bit of assistance from Brian Edwards and Judy Callingham (sp?) early in her term as leader. It's not unreasonable for Key to get assistance, it is silly, however, of him to pretend he's not.

    OTOH, try asking Doctor Edwards to disclose the client list of his media consultancy and the best of British getting anything other than a curt 'bugger off'. Anyone who has a source to the contrary, but I think Edwards' line has always been 1) the client list of the firm he runs with his wife is confidential, and, 2) he has been a friend of Clark's for many, many years and they've talked about every subject under the sun.

    If Labour, or any other party, employed people as nasty as Crosby/Textor, that would be a disgrace too.

    Well, Simon, I look forward to any observers at the Democratic Party Convention in Denver offering full disclosure of the people they talk to. Don't know about you, but I sure don't want the nastier parts of the Democratic primary race getting made over for Kiwi consumption.

    At least the SST still has the good sense to put columns from Matthew Hooten, Chris Trotter etc as "op-ed" rather than journalism.

    But don't forget that Cate Brett's decision to run the 'Operation Leaf' story wasn't considered a firing offence by Fairfax -- which says, in my opinion, way too much about journalistic values within the Fairfax Group and the Sunday Star-Times.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Which would relate if 'lived in Aro Valley' and 'members of the Green Party' were the same set.

    Thought they were.

    My bad! :)

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 218 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    vm said:

    I'd be sure Labour's advisors are just as venal and evil and unscrupulous as Crosby/Textor, it's just that we don't know their names

    Why? I can't recall anything Labour's done in NZ to rival what Crosby/Textor did/do in Australia; nothing at all.

    To get all kiwiblog for a minute, why is Key using an Aussie strategist and whatever happened to poor old Bryan Sinclair?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I think you'll find that Aro Valley in Wellington is home to both the Hippys (ies?) AND the socialists.

    Both of whom vote Green.

    A whole bunch of the socialists I grew up around just had major coronaries over their jugs of DB in their working men's clubs.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To get all kiwiblog for a minute, why is Key using an Aussie strategist and whatever happened to poor old Bryan Sinclair?

    Because Claire Curran, Connor Roberts, Brian Edwards and everyone else are already paid whores of the Liarbore Dykeocracy and their finger-puppets in the politically correct Stalinist media and academia? You said you wanted to get "all kiwiblog"...

    I'm taking orders for jaunty tinfoil bowlers, if anyone is interested. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Touche Mr Ranapia.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Stanley Pointen,

    Craig, you really are running out of ideas. It is widely reported in the US exactly which DC lobby firms John McCain is using, and the external advisers around both the Clinton and Obama campaigns are regularly on Larry King and elsewhere. It's called openness. Again, all the Leader of the Opposition need do is tell us 'yes' or 'no' in relation to C/T. Will he? Not likely. He would then have to explain what bits are his and what bits are theirs.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Ok, let's be fair. Will the EPMU be running attack ads for Labour or not? HC must know and must come clean as to whether the union is a stalking horse for Labour

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    why is Key using an Aussie strategist

    Actually, this explains the "look at how much better Aussie is than NZ" line he keeps spouting...
    It's probably a joke the Aussies chucked in the script just to see if he'd read it...



    /tongue in cheek

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I think you'll find that Aro Valley in Wellington is home to both the Hippys (ies?) AND the socialists.

    Both of whom vote Green.

    IMO, socialists voting Green do so because of social justice issues rather than any quantity of socialism in the Green party. Our policies just do not reflect it. Social justice ? Yes. Socialism ? No.

    One facet of socialism is a tendency toward centralised decision-making, and this clearly goes against the Appropriate Decision-making Green Party charter principle, where those that are most affected by a decision should have the most involvement in the decision-making process. Which means that, fundamentally, socialism is not a good fit.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

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