Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The humanity

189 Responses

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to kris_b,

    There’s actually *people* behind

    Yes. That is true. But you have to accept there is a deep level of frustration that those people are not doing the job some of us want them to do. They proudly say they are journalists but when we want Cronkite they deliver something less.

    Yes we should limit our criticism to the quality of work they are being forced to do without critcising the people they are. But even then such criticism will hurt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    No-one should deny this blow-up but to me, this is a reflection of the wounds and grief that each Labour MP is feeling just now and I expect yesterday's caucus meeting would have been very explosive and full of emotion. This events should have been expected and are necessary to 'clear the air'.
    Now, given that I do not expect the caucus to remain so-called divided after a period of reflection, put past grievances behind them and agree a path forward

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Raymond A Francis,

    Raymond, I gather you just voted to diminish democracy in our Country yes? I gather you have accepted that corruption is ok , just a little bit now? To suggest that the opposition need to man up is laughable when here comes Johnny just 3 more years. I don't see democracy anymore. Doesn't matter who wins in 3 years . It matters who got in now for why?, well RB suggest ill informed /ignorant/ don't care public.Why do they need then to care about Cunliffe? C'est La Vie.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Remember, the Espiner interview hinged on his point-blank, repeated refusal to answer a reasonable question about the conduct of a Minister of the Crown.

    Why did Richard Worth have to go as a Minister?

    Because the Prime Minister made a very firm judgement about his conduct and said, from memory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    There's a side of this story that isn't really getting any attention. Yes, Cunliffe bears the repsonsibility he bears. But the LP is a party and it's not acting like one.

    Cunliffe doesn;t make his caucus opponents do what they do. he isn't responsible for them talking to Watkins off the record etc.

    Everyone knows that he isn't popular with many of his play mates. but it's not a glee club, it's a political party. Not all the 'refreshed' Nat mps were happy with how they were treated. Did we hear a peep? No, we did not.

    Look at this from last early in the year:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11209053

    'And they're a bit unhappy so they've reformed again and are just having a bit of a chat about how poorly performing Mr Cunliffe has been this year. They're not going to roll him. They're just concerned he's not delivering on his promises. I'm told that there's a bit of a go slow. Some of the MPs and the staff have decided well he can lose the election and we'll roll him straight after the election.
    A go slow, that's what I'm told, they won't roll him but they're not working hard for him'.

    Pretty short odds on that anon commenter being the same anon commenter who told Watkins that Cunliffe gave up a few weeks ago and was just positioning for the leadership squabble.

    Not having the friendship of your caucus is a problem. having a caucus that won;t accept the expressed will of the party though, is a much bigger problem. I don't know how Cunliffe is supposed to fix that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    It was interesting to see Patrick Gower at work on election night at the National Party election night function. He repeatedly mocked and sneered at the people he was interviewing, but subtley and sneakily so that they didn't quite realise before he cut back to John at the TV3 studio, where they were all having a laugh at how 'naughty' Patrick was being. I guess it can be fun sometimes but Patrick has developed a manner that is snide and unpleasant, and he has beome a total John Key fanboy.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    “All out war” is probably going a bit far, though.

    The way some media were reporting it, I was expecting to see blood seeping under the door and MPs carried away in body bags.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Patrick has developed a manner that is snide and unpleasant

    I find Patrick Gower quite endearing, sometimes (not so much recently), but he always looks to me like his face belongs in the pages of Viz magazine.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Touche, Steve

    Is that "Gotcha" politics?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I was expecting to see blood seeping under the door and MPs carried away in body bags.

    Metaphorically so,though.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    And that is where our Media have failed then.

    Coverage of Dirty Politics in the media was generally pretty good-a little focused on gotcha moments rather than structural issues, sure, but it made headlines for weeks.

    But voters now have more opportunities than ever to filter out the information they're not interested in. It used to be you'd have to sit through the 6 pm news from start to finish to hear the bits you want; now, people can just mute certain sources on Facebook or fast forward the DVR through the bits they don't want to hear, and that's that. You can't convince people to pay attention to something directly, you have to provide a context where they want to do that, and for a whole range of reasons that context didn't exist for many people.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    I find Patrick Gower quite endearing, sometimes (not so much recently), but he always looks to me like his face belongs in the pages of Viz magazine.

    I think I know what you mean. More Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres (fnar fnar!) than Buster Gonad and his Unfeasibly Large Tersticles.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4592 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It just wasn’t, and you can spend the next three years pouring vitriol on the stupid sheeple but it misses the point.

    In my view, the release of Dirty Politics was only the start, and it'll likely be a slow burner like Watergate was in the 1970s. There's still David Parker's complaint to the police to be investigated. And the Chief Ombudsman has been sounding warnings of late.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    This is kind of long, and messy, but anyway.

    Anonymous briefings to the press and other attempts at destabilisation are not at all helpful. This is true whether the leader is Phil Goff, David Shearer, or David Cunliffe. David Cunliffe, in particular, has significant form undermining Labour leaders who are not him, and this is a black mark on his record.

    Several other MPs and not-MPs have lacked discipline, and this is also not acceptable. Stuart Nash, in particular, needs to pull his damn head in and realise that the party is bigger than he is.

    These stories have in fact been very well covered by the press, both Cunliffe's indiscretions and other MPs'. I actually wish they hadn't been so well covered, but whatever, that is what happens when there's a lack of discipline.

    The inability of both Cunliffe and other MPs to handle losing is a major issue. It is something the Party as a whole will need to work on with the next leader.

    But at the same time, a majority of caucus have been well disciplined and haven't gone running to the media. There is also a majority of caucus who think Cunliffe needs to consider his position. The intersection of those two positions is also a majority in caucus.

    Now, Cunliffe doesn't have the backing of the settled will of the Party - that is why he is seeking re-election. He has accepted he needs to seek a new mandate from the party. As part of that process, I think the party should think about which contenders for the leadership have been loyal and worked hard for the party, no matter who the leader was, and which have placed personal ambition first.

    It is also possible that Cunliffe is not the leader who is able to bring caucus and party together. It is possible that as a very divisive figure who has struggled to be loyal and accepting of party decisions in the past himself, he needs to accept that may be a thing he can't do, and put the good of the party first.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Oh for heaven sakes, they're locked in a room figuring out what they should do next, they're not "not handling losing", as far as we know they are busy handling it, it's just taking a while, longer than a news cycle and not in time for press deadlines

    It's only really a problem if they just lock the door and never come out

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    "Anonymous briefings to the press and other attempts at destabilisation are not at all helpful"

    Well no, they are actively and purposefully damaging to the party. They are 'not at all helpful' as a deliberate strategy. But Cunliffe made them do it, by being popular with the membership and the unions, the bastard.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Patrick has developed a manner that is snide and unpleasant

    I find Patrick Gower quite endearing, sometimes (not so much recently), but he always looks to me like his face belongs in the pages of Viz magazine.

    I did not say that. Not sure who you meant to quote but it wasn't me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Yeah I've made it quite clear I don't approve of that sort of behaviour, whether it's Cunliffe or Nash or Mallard or god knows who doing it. That's part of the point: the next leader has to be someone who isn't divisive and who has the ability to stop that behaviour from occurring.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    One thought that occurs throughout all this is, there is a dogma in journalistic circles (or at least appears to be) that in order to be able to do good journalism in politics the journalist must be part of the in crowd. They must be close to the politicians and part of some kind of inner circle that gets the news first.

    Yet instead what seems to occur is that by being closer they are more easily manipulated into (unconsciously) spinning a line. Gower's "tricky" gaff being a perfect example.

    It should be noted that perhaps the biggest journalistic success in that last few years has come from a journalist outside the favoured clique.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It was Luke. Odd that it said I was replying to you, because I highlighted the sentence in Luke's post and clicked reply.

    Sorry about that.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to linger,

    The role of journalism should be to hold the powerful – i.e., the government of the day – to account. Not the powerless – among which number we should include Cunliffe at the moment. The problem is not that journalists "attacked" Key at one point in the election campaign: rather, the problem is that they largely failed to do their jobs in the preceding six years.

    Bravo. Our fourth estate is a shambles - bigger egos in many of them than in politicians themselves. I do recall my first visit to TVNZ studios in Auckland. There was this huge (and I mean huge) photo of Paul Holmes as the first thing you saw in the entrance foyer. I had to laugh. They were obviously in the business of making "stars", more so than news.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes. But that’s not the same as demanding an apology from Cunliffe to the country. That’s just silly.

    Mary Wilson did that on Sunday morning.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    In my view, the release of Dirty Politics was only the start, and it’ll likely be a slow burner like Watergate was in the 1970s. There’s still David Parker’s complaint to the police to be investigated. And the Chief Ombudsman has been sounding warnings of late.

    And I'm sure they're all going to be perfectly legitimate news stories when they come around, but I'm really wondering if some people hereabouts would only be happy if Paddy Gower was chasing Judith Collins around Parliament with a burning pitchfork.

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

  • Stephen R, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It should be noted that perhaps the biggest journalistic success in that last few years has come from a journalist outside the favoured clique.

    And Nicky Hager isn't exactly rolling in dosh and wearing the sharp suits now is he?

    Success can be measured in different ways, and possibly if you need to pay a mortgage in Auckland, dollars can be a persuasive measuring stick.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

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