Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Standing up and calling bullshit

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  • Katie Brockie,

    Thanks for your comments Geoff and Russell.
    I've calmed down a bit! You are right Geoff, the ratings system for kids TV is terrible. Every time it was school holidays, our show would get sacks more mail, but our ratings always went down. I think it was because one or two of the families with a people meter went away!
    I think the thing that annoys me the most is that each time the network gets a new children's commissioning editor they want to "make their mark", and often try to fix things that aren't broke.
    They think they know best, and pretty much ignore the experience and knowledge of the people who have worked in kids TV for ages and care passionately about it.
    Also, I agree, research into children and what they watch, etc is important.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    whether David Cunliffe

    You'd never know it from the banner ads plus TV commercials (135!!!) but Cunliffe and a third MP are apparently to debate English on the first program.

    BSA? The pathetically weak ASA? Come on.

    Far more effective scrutiny has been achieved in 24 hours through the media and Parliament. Even the BSA takes around nine months to arrive at the simplest of decisions. The disinfectant of sunshine is particularly useful when it is used speedily.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • Hayden Wilson,

    Labour should go back to digging around his house, that had traction at least

    ...mental image of Cunliffe and Mallard trudging up Messines Road of a dark evening, shovels at parade rest...

    Since Nov 2006 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Oh, I'm sorry Lucy. I guess I've missed what the Labour Party's finance spokesman has had to say on matters economic today. Far too busy pissing his pants over a party political broadcast that only exists in his imagination.

    I was hoping we could separate disscussion over the validity of this from tasteless irrelevancies, but whatever. Tone successfully lowered.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Craig, settle. My comment was intendend to express my opinion of the ad itself. I think the video looks like a promo for Bill English - to an inapporopriate extent. I think they should have done something else. Apparently you disagree on all those points though I'm not sure you've actually said so.

    It doesn't have to be illegal for me to think that, and I don't have to do anything about it. And if Labour do or don't want to overhype the evidence don't come crying to me about it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    Everyone here lauds the way MTV reflects Maori culture, without making the obvious connection that they do so with a staff recruited almost entirely from the community they serve, and that that is seen as important part of the job description within that organisation.

    Just quietly, some of the senior programme commissioners and reporters they have recruited from "mainstream" channels have quietly (and sometimes publicly) been labeled "marshmallows" when they have tried to introduce mainstream concepts like balance, fairness and accuracy into MTS' news and current affairs programmes.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I'd like 'good at their jobs' to be the prime requirement for employment.

    But surely, having some idea of the country you are coming to beyond a generic love 100% pure LOTR is part of being "good at your job"?

    But I accept that the state broadcaster is such in name only. It should be sold off, it fufills no public function any longer.

    Eric Kearley's nationality is so far from being even remotely relevant

    It is relevant because he was clearly unaware on Morning Report as to why people might think his "ad" was a party political broadcast.

    This ignorance was born in the fact he hasn't clue about this countries history beyond about 2007. To me, this ignorance is an obvious outcome of the recruitment process that led to his employment.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "mainstream" channels have quietly (and sometimes publicly) been labeled "marshmallows" when they have tried to introduce mainstream concepts like balance, fairness and accuracy into MTS' news and current affairs programmes.

    You mean the concepts that make the mainstream channels the beacons of journalism and cultural commentary that we have come to admire so much?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    As "balance, fairness and accuracy" in modern mediaspeak pretty much equates with "don't frighten the chooks", the marshmallows epithet seems well-deserved.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4592 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Malcouronne,

    I know the Calder a little and was surprised at his comments (assuming they were indeed his). Nevertheless, is it racist or anti-Semitic to claim the Jewish lobby exudes more influence, globally, than, their Palestinian equivalent (whilst acknowledging The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a crock)? Really – Jewish success is an objective fact (and testament, you might say, to that community’s hard work, unity, loyalty and emphasis on education over millennia).

    Not sure that the rest of Peter’s argument stacks up: if your average Ngati Honky were to get the nugget out and try some Jackson Jive on, they’d be roasted. And you’d have to have a death wish to indulge in ‘harmless’ haka mockery ala those gormless engineering twits of the ‘70s.

    But doesn’t the holier-than-thou self-righteous Calder excoriation that’s followed rather prove his (and Finlay’s) point? Everyone falling over themselves to be more outraged and ‘right on’ than the last poster. CC-ing his comment to 'teacher’. Come on. It’s tedious.

    Since Nov 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    I know the Calder a little and was surprised at his comments (assuming they were indeed his).

    If the Herald office is like some offices I've known, leaving an unlocked, unattended computer logged into any forum can be an embarrassment waiting to happen, depending on your coworkers...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I was hoping we could separate disscussion over the validity of this from tasteless irrelevancies, but whatever. Tone successfully lowered.

    Lucy: Sometime you've got to use ugly language to describe ugly people acting like opportunistic jerks. Personally, I'm a little more interested in what the Finance spokesman of our main opposition party has to say on public policy relevant to his portfolio, rather than insinuating (without having the balls to come out and say it straight) that a public broadcaster isn't only corrupt but flouting the law.

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

  • Sam F,

    Danyl McLauchlan comments on the English ad storm-in-teacup, and it's TVNZ that comes out worst of all:

    [From the Herald:] A TVNZ spokeswoman, Andi Brotherston... said the creative unit at TVNZ chose Mr English partly because of the pun on his name in the series’ title “Plain English”.

    ‘Plain English’. Boy, that’s quite an Algonquin Round Table they’re operating over there at the TVNZ ‘creative unit’. Apparently Labour don’t accept this excuse but I find it utterly, horribly plausible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    is it racist or anti-Semitic to claim the Jewish lobby exudes more influence, globally, than, their Palestinian equivalent (whilst acknowledging The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a crock)?

    Where to start?

    First, is there a Jewish lobby? To my reasonably certain knowledge we are riven with internecine strife, and nobody gets to speak for everyone.

    Second, what have Palestinians or global influence got to do with Peter Calder's claim? He didn't say the Jews get more juice in the press than Palestinians, he said that our "endless power" walked the corporate corridors to ring a bell on news desks.

    Which brings me to the third thing, which is if you don't wish to invite charges of anti-Semitism, it would be wise not to couch your criticism in such evocative language. Assuming that this is the real Peter Calder here, I expect a professional writer could hardly be unaware of this.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Lucy: Sometime you've got to use ugly language to describe ugly people acting like opportunistic jerks

    So long as you can say you'd use the same language if the shoe was on the other foot and it it was English hounding Cullen -- which I think would have been the case if TVNZ had done the same thing last year. Indeed, Coleman, McCully and others merrily accused TVNZ of being government-loving sluts when they were in opposition.

    And I do feel bound to note that perfectly sober people like Graeme and Lyndon have raised an eyebrow at the nature of the promos. I think they have a right to do so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Lucy: Sometime you've got to use ugly language to describe ugly people acting like opportunistic jerks.

    Aw, crap -- got to fisk my own butt there, because while that's true as far as it goes, it's also true that people who lower their voices and speak in the honeyed tones of civility are more likely to be listened to by people whose esteem is worth spit

    EDIT: Cross-posting with Mr Brown there.

    And of course reasonable people are perfectly entitled to raise their eyebrows and whatever parts of their anatomy, but speaking as someone who used to see pro-Labour media bias to a "three martini and I'm dry-humping a hat-stand, again" degree of silliness, I'll maintain my skepticism that there's some Machiavellian plot in play. And that I rather doubt that Cunliffe really disagrees, but finds it politically useful to milk this for all its worth.

    I did not point out that this ad broke the law.

    Graeme: I stand corrected, and apologize for misrepresenting your views. Would it be accurate to say that, based on what you've read about it, a potential conflict with the Broadcasting Act might exist?

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

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    As for Eric Keley's supposed "lack of awareness of the historical context" on Morning Report today, he unsurprisingly wasn't having a bar of insinuations that TVNZ7's news and current affairs operation was not only grossly partisan -- but as Graeme has rather nicely pointed out, broke the law.

    I did not point out that this ad broke the law.

    I asked a question - for those who've seen the thing (I probably have it on my FreeVo somewhere) - "did it promote the National Party?".

    If the answer is "yes", then it broke the law. If the answer is "no", then it hasn't. I haven't answered my question, won't until I've seen the thing, and may not even then...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Nevertheless, is it racist or anti-Semitic to claim the Jewish lobby exudes more influence, globally, than, their Palestinian equivalent (whilst acknowledging The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a crock)?

    Not at all. Nothing beats the Christian male caucasian lobby though - those guys are worth ten times the money they make.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Yes he can -- but if those views include paranoid Jew-baiting can I point, laugh, and ask whether he'd care to explain how the RSA and the management of the Auckland War Memorial Museum are part of the Jewish Guilt Machine?

    Mind-control lasers. Definitely mind-control lasers. Nothing else could explain people acting in an ordinary, decent manner. Or my sudden craving for bagels.

    And to cross threads, public dislike of the National Front is clearly a consequence of Jewish Mind Control, rather than people just thinking they're fuckwits.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Oh Idiot, I'm afraid that we of the global Jewish lobby have been poisoning your bagels with addictive mind control drugs for some time now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Where to start?

    First, is there a Jewish lobby? To my reasonably certain knowledge we are riven with internicine strife, and nobody gets to speak for every one.

    And, frankly, there aren't a hell of a lot of you.

    It's no secret (and shouldn't be) that Kadimah delivers quite a few pupils to Grammar, and that would make Grammar sensitive to Jewish community concerns. But that's about it. If you're looking for a wealthy Auckland establishment, I don't think a Jewish lobby figures greatly.

    I could see fault on both sides when Malcolm Evans got the boot from the Herald (ushering in that git Emmerson), but when I talked to various parties for Mediawatch, I really couldn't sustain the idea that pressure from the Jewish lobby was responsible. It might have been perception, but it wasn't reality.

    FWIW, I have had my disagreements with David Zwartz of the NZ Jewish Council, and once, in a private email correspondence, I felt he ran dangerously close to playing the anti-Semitic card. I was pretty pissed off about that.

    Zwartz later set up an interview I did with Itamar Marcus of Palestinian Media Watch for the Listener. But, although I wound up being fairly critical of Marcus, I didn't hear a word back -- because, I think, I strove for balance and put the work in so I knew what I was writing about when I made that criticism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh Idiot, I'm afraid that we of the global Jewish lobby have been poisoning your bagels with addictive mind control drugs for some time now.

    Cream cheese also makes me fat but it's soooo goood. Damn you, evil Elders of Zion for warping my mind and chunking up my muffin top! No wonder I need those panties with a waist...

    It's no secret (and shouldn't be) that Kadimah delivers quite a few pupils to Grammar, and that would make Grammar sensitive to Jewish community concerns.

    And is that such a terrible thing? Oliver Twist and The Merchant of Venice are great works of literature, but the casual and poisonous anti-Semitism contained in them is pretty hard to swallow. (And even more painful coming from pens of two of the greatest writers in the English language.) I don't regret that Jew-hatred that would have been totally unexceptional in Tudor or Victorian England doesn't go down as easily in 21st century New Zealand.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh Idiot, I'm afraid that we of the global Jewish lobby have been poisoning your bagels with addictive mind control drugs for some time now.

    These bagels with the drugs in them: any good for parties?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Oh Idiot, I'm afraid that we of the global Jewish lobby have been poisoning your bagels with addictive mind control drugs for some time now.

    I thought that was mayonaise?

    And sorry, but mind-control lasers are just cooler. Though how a laser is supposed to control the mind (other than by, say, threatening to boil it in your skull) is an interesting question.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

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