Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The humanity

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  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    That was an issue I didn't fully understand. So you are saying that it's just money that's stopping us doing the decent thing?

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    I have no idea . We are not given the truth. But I know reports of similar situations around the world have gone in. Plus The report says GOOD TO GO! some figure of $500,000,000 to sort it. I actually thought that wasn’t much as Our Govt will have us believe when we talk about debt.. What’s a life worth? I bet there is 29 very patient people that would say their family is priceless.
    And this isn't favouritism. We have paid insurance in many ways SCF, Earthquakes,Tax cuts. How about Miners?

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

  • nzlemming,

    I'd like to invite everyone to read Keith Ng's counterpoint which, frankly, fucking nails it for me.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Williams,

    Maybe part of the problem is that you can be a partisan and talentless hack but be judged to be a very ‘successful’ journalist / commentator. And you can be a talented and ethical journalist / commentator and not be especially ‘successful’.

    Most journos – other than the utterly empty-headed – want to be respected by their peers and by other people whose opinion matters. They want to be regarded as clever, insightful and well informed people of substance – not mere repeaters of selected facts and popular opinion.

    The problem is that, among the people whose opinion matters are editors, the people who stand behind editors, politicians and other movers and shakers who may not want journos to be scrupulous and ethical, or at least who require them to be selective in the exercise of their ethics and thoroughness.

    To become and remain ‘successful’ may mean stooping to being a partisan hack at times – and worse. Maybe some of the aggression we see directed at people in the pursuit of a story is an expression of self-loathing. Maybe when Patrick Gower shouted at David Cunliffe to stop being ‘tricky’, he was expressing a deep disquiet with things he’s had to do in order to become and remain ‘successful’. When he tweeted to Laila Harre et al, that their ‘rorting’ of MMP made him ‘sick’, maybe he was actually angry at himself for his failure to say the same thing to John Key about Epsom.

    In a pack, that state of emotional dissonance may become amplified and result in extreme displacement activity in the form of aggressive attacks on the focus of the story – the person being interviewed becomes prey. For some, any sign of weakness from the prey is a signal – not for compassion – but increased viciousness. It’s never a pretty sight.

    Canterbury • Since Sep 2014 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    @twitt: The Labour Party's "biggest defeat since the 1920s" has been rejected by the guinness book records because the Green Party that took 10% of the potential vote, and this is MMP, that was FPP.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Lynn Williams,

    Well put.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Lynn Williams,

    Great comment, Lynn. I'm going to have to think about that while I'm weeding the garden (literally, not metaphorically, 'though you're welcome to take it metaphorically if you like).

    Welcome to PAS.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to nzlemming,

    Yes, that is brilliant - I hope it encourages journalists to pull up their socks and keep going even stronger - there is plenty of time yet for sunlight to have a devastating effect on this election.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Good to see Claire Trevett's latest "exclusive": David Cunliffe pauses to reconsider future.

    Exclusive: Labour leader said to be taking a break to think about his future as caucus trembles on the brink of open revolt.

    Half of that is "no shit, Sherlock" and the other absurdly melodramatic. "Trembles on the brink of open revolt"? Really? I'm expecting things to escalate to a twerk-off to the death by afternoon tea time, and I'll be seriously pissed if it's not so.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Paddy apologises for "tricky", proposes "delphic", goes on Twitter to credit Jolisa Gracewood.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    It is not HIS fault - I felt if he had not been as good as he was in the debates the Labour vote would have collapsed even further in favour of NZ First, the Greens and the Nats. He gave it a really good crack it is the years of Labour being unsettled within themselves and the flaky policy positions that did them in.

    I feel Labour have another election defeat looming before they will change - they are still married to the CGT and things like the Man Ban - that don't sit well with voters.

    Cunnliffe is in essence the best they have at the moment - Grant Robertson just won't cut the mustard. IMHO - the other emerging MPs are too young lack experience - Davis, Nash.

    They should let Cunnliffe lead them in rebuilding the "policy base/positions" and "party machine" and support him while he does this then at the end of the next parlimentary term review the year in opposition and where they sit with voters pole wise and then - leader decided make a move to create a shadow cabinet that actually takes the fight to the government rather than fights amongst itself.

    I don't think they will do that - there is nothing quite like the cannibalism of the labour party - they eat each other whole.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Paddy apologises for “tricky”

    And uses his apology to call Cunliffe as many names as his thesaurus could spit out.

    Honestly that was appalling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Paddy apologises for “tricky”, proposes “delphic”, goes on Twitter to credit Jolisa Gracewood.

    Jolisa should put a call in to Messers Sue, Grabbit and Runne because I'm sure Jolisa knows full well the Pythia were prone to... let's just say, a high degree of strategic ambiguity in a very dangerous world. As a Classics major, I've got to admit it's an ingenious way to call someone an incoherent liar but I'm not sure doubling down on that score is helpful.

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

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Good to see Claire Trevett’s latest “exclusive”: David Cunliffe pauses to reconsider future.

    Is it "exclusive" because she only interviewed her own typewriter?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Is it “exclusive” because she only interviewed her own typewriter?

    To be fair, I’m sure that caucus room is leaking like a sieve just a little more subtly and a lot more off the record than it has over the last couple of days. I just decline to clutch my pearls in shock at the notion Cunliffe is “reconsidering” things; I suspect more than a few political types are doing the same, as one is prone to do after a general election.

    I think this story could usefully be put on the back burner until there’s some actual news to report – preferably with credible on the record sources who actually know what they’re talking about, but that might be OTT. Instead we're probably going to get meaningless live crosses to Cunliffe's front gate for a vox pop with the postie. Stranger things have happened...

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I think this story could usefully be put on the back burner until there’s some actual news to report – preferably with credible on the record sources who actually know what they’re talking about, but that might be OTT. Instead we’re probably going to get meaningless live crosses to Cunliffe’s front gate for a vox pop with the postie. Stranger things have happened…

    May as well send the Herald on holiday for a month then, seeing as there is no interest in Team Key, (until they offer their next Press release propaganda) Winston isn't in the news at all, or everyone except Labour and JK's polos with contrasting cardi.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    May as well send the Herald on holiday for a month then, seeing as there is no interest in Team Key

    And what news value is there either, Sofie –

    1) John Key gets standing ovation at crowded and indecently cheerful National caucus meeting, followed by photo ops on the steps.

    2) Closed door meetings with slightly less cheerful David Seymour, Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell. The news there is going to be whatever C&S agreements get signed, and whether those three are going to end up in Cabinet, but there’s nothing yet on that front beyond speculation. But there’s no coalition-forming dramatics going on, because there’s no need to form one.

    3) [EDITED TO CORRECT ERROR OF FACT. STUPID FACTS.] As far as Cabinet is concerned, there's already a certain amount of speculation going around. But that's all it is. As I understand the rules (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) it would be dodgy as hell for Key to start appointing Ministers before the return of the writ and the official declaration of elected members. (Based on previous form, Maureen Pugh – the lowest ranked National MP-elect – and Steffan Browning shouldn’t unpack their bags until all the specials are counted either. The Greens historically pick up a seat off National here, but we’ll see how that pans out.)

    4) All the new MPs are going through orientation, but that’s hardly going to be leading the six o’clock news unless someone goes completely bonko with a credit card unusually early.

    Might not be a bad time for the Press Gallery to have a collective warm milky drink, and catch up on some non-election related work. It’s not as if the world has stopped turning.

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

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Might not be a bad time for the Press Gallery to have a collective warm milky drink, and catch up on some non-election related work. It’s not as if the world has stopped turning.

    That’s the bloody point Craig! How about they let Labour do their job without them all getting piles. As you so fondly say. Cant have it both ways… but I’ll fix that, …(unless it’s corrupt Team Key who should just go through the normal machinery of corrupt Team Key Government for all the evidence to date. )

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

  • James George,

    Mmm - it is possible to rabbit on considerably about the strawman facility of the contention " Journalists are not, with a few exceptions, biased in a partisan sense." Everyone is biased so what? Who cares why they are biased? Why is it a better thing that a 'journalist' distorts what he/she observes because he/she is a careerist looking to make a name for themselves amongst the proxies for foreign media proprietors or rightwing political appointees to TVNZ/RNZ, than they do it out of loyalty to some reactionary political movement they had been indoctrinated into by other media figures?
    Maybe the likes of John Armstrong are traditional high tories who dream of lying in a pit of desperate young boys whose hunger makes them eager to fulfil a bourgoisie's every whim, who knows I don't.

    The awful reality is even if that were true it is unlikely that NZ's media would ever inform the public - it would likely breach one of the myriad 'unwritten' rules NZ journos follow - always because they don't repeat gossip - that is beneath them apparently, even as they seek to overturn or circumvent judicially imposed suppression orders put in place under the same lie.
    The fact is that in both cases - journalists' rules about public figures (especially themselves) and court suppression orders, it is only those with enough 'juice' powerful rich or both that manage to ensure the rules apply to them. Never acknowledged of course even when it really matters - as in the Colin Craig issue where if it did transpire his relationship with his PR person was less than professional that would be an issue particularly germane to the political stance Craig takes.
    The motive for bias is totally irrelevant the issue is about why NZ journalists allowed that bias to permeate pretty much every piece of coverage during the election. Even worse the prejudices were uniform. During the campaign not only did every journo distort realities about minor parties reducing the election to a two horse FPP contest which national was bound to win, they all told the same lies and distorted reality the same way.
    Difficult to believe that was serendipity at work. Across all the media the 'angle' these so-called journalists used was uniform dismissing it as unpartisan entirely misses the point.

    Here's an example of the havoc they wreaked with ordinary kiwis' reality - A somewhat pensive article in today's Herald. It is about Hone Harawira and is written from the point of view of a journalist who seems to have only now realised what a terrible thing it is for NZ that Hone is no longer an MP (anyone with half a brain who considered that for more than 30 seconds would have worked that reality out long before today) -anyway the 'reporter' went up to Home's electorate and reported what Maori voters had to say about this.

    Here is one opinion that tells us exactly how the repeated distortions of NZ's media were played out in voters' heads:

    "Our old people went and fought world wars and here we are about to put this German fella into Parliament and he is already suspect - a lot of people saw that straight away".

    Which is the worst of the many lies and distortions from NZ's media revealed in that sentence? That the NZ media deliberately set about covering Mana-Internet as one party or that they deliberately misled voters into believing that Dotcom himself was a candidate, or that they played up the Hitler's book thing without mentioning the Churchill and Roosevelt souvenirs so much that voters came to believe Dotcom was a nazi?
    Doubtless many readers will claim that all that is revealed is the speakers ignorance, but we now live in a society where many of the citizens spend so much time struggling to keep materially above water they simply don't have time or energy to read past the headlines. Instead of acknowledging this and catering for it, the 'poor tired media' who are paid to get to the bottom of issues, then report them as truthfully as possible, preferred to use the paucity of time ordinary kiwis enjoy, to deceive them and cheat them into going against everything they believe.

    A fucking disgrace is the only way to consider the role of kiwi media in this horror show.

    Since Sep 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Nobody told me there'd be days like these
    Strange days indeed, most peculiar, mama

    John Lennon.1980.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to James George,

    You have expressed my dismay well. I spent time Up north in the lead up to 20 Sept. I was amazed at the words spouting from mouths around there. Whole sentences repeated from the Team Key news “people aren’t interested in that left wing conspiracy theorist” “we’d rather hear some policy” ” Hone is disrepecting his elders” “letting a German in ” I spent one night totally pissed off, and rather than debunk each statment ( “Labour’s good but they got that Cunliffe ”) I started saying thing like. ’Oh got that straight from what John Key was saying on the news” or “Oh that was printed in the herald” then “Dotcom is not in the IMP!!!” It is sad sad sad. I’m still pissed off.
    But must admit my fav, "oh your only interested in policy, goodo, what's National policies? What ones do you like, what you don't know of any? "

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

  • Jack Harrison,

    Labour needed 3 to 4 % of Nationals votes, 30,000 votes and the rigging of 2 seats to be voted out to win a government. .

    I honestly shudder how statistics are used in politics. It was tight.

    Labour looked after its non-voters very well in their last two administrations, National want to punish the 52%.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Not The Messiah, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Just home from a gig at Auckland best new music venue.

    There were spirits in the air.

    29 Diamonds for a chunk of coal,
    29 Diamonds for a chunk of coal,
    No matter what they say,
    The company don't care,
    Broke a townships soul,
    Flash of red 29 dead for a chunk of coal.

    Thank you Bernie Griffen.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    O.K.I’m a little off topic , but if Pike River is an opportunity to understand what went wrong , then I submit that the latest Fonterra announcement presents a similar opportunity.
    I hope that it’s O.K. for me to keep banging on about this, but it’s essentially a reply to Jack Harrison who was asking what should be the policy response /settings to a situation, which is arguably becoming a national disaster.
    So I’ve tried to set out the policy settings that have led to the Fonterra situation, and I’d leave it to the politicians to carry out the necessary corrections . Yeah right.

    So here’s what I wrote in response to a comment at NBR (it’s paywalled) :-

    ” “Sadly Fonterra continues to show that they continue to be a badly run company.”

    Farmer Brown begs to differ.
    Fonterra is a very well run company , which responds rationally to the conditions in which it operates.
    Those conditions amount to a protected environment.

    The two key components of that protected environment are the DIRA and the Fonterra Milk Price Manual.

    It is perfectly evident that the sole purpose of these two documents, one of them a government statute that Jim Sutton was “heavied ” into having enacted, and the other a blatant piece of nonsense designed by Fonterra to make it very difficult for competition to get off the ground, is to prevent competition and to maintain a virtual monopoly on the use of the NZ milk supply.

    The reason that Fonterra needs to have that monopoly, is because its business model is ’"throughput -driven”. We don’t need to go further into that.

    There is a third component to the protection of the industry , and that is the initial exemption of agriculture from the provisions of the RMA , and the inordinately long time that it is taking to make the dairy industry compliant.

    It is simply a fact that the spring-calving, seasonal dairy is the most environmentally damaging model that we could design.
    The agronomic reasons for this are well known; again we don’t need to go into it here.

    It should be obvious that the way the bulk of the NZ dairy industry, i.e. Fonterra , is operating is a disaster , environmentally , economically and socially, for the whole country, but it is a perfectly rational response to the policy settings under which Fonterra operates.

    It is entirely the fault of successive governments , through statute , and the failure of a powerless Commerce Commission to facilitate competition , that the dairy farmers can continue to operate in this way , to the national detriment.

    Don’t blame Fonterra ; they have been permitted to get away with it.

    Don’t worry about the dairy farmers; most will be fine.

    It’s NZ that we need to be concerned about. ”

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    If you need a discussion of the downside of seasonal dairying from a purely economic perspective this may be helpful :-

    http://www.xcheque.com/blogs/item/5664-why-australia-wants-flat-milk-production

    I think that by now , the environmental and social effects are pretty damned obvious.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

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