Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Vision and dumbassery

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  • WH,

    While I recognise that these issues have been raised in the run-up to the election for a reason, the list of questions about the conduct of Key's government is starting to look pretty troubling. How do you lose your Minister of Justice to a major ethics scandal and have your honesty and integrity directly challenged by international experts on a matter that would require your resignation if proven within four weeks?

    I think I have more confidence in the perspicacity of Snowden and Greenwald (who were each very impressive) than I do in the New Zealand media establishment (particularly the abomination that is the New Zealand Herald's political reporting). New Zealanders' favourable views of John Key may save National yet.

    But how is it that a US journalist can speak more intelligently about our political landscape than our own media personalities? At the end of the day, Patrick Gower is still on TV and it does not appear to be satire.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10504916/NZ-spied-on-Pacific-neighbours-Greenwald

    Since Nov 2006 • 783 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich Lock,

    That's why over hundreds of years we've built up legal systems that gradually accumulate rights of citizens rights in relation to the power of the state

    Thousands of years if we change 'state' to society.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to B Jones,

    Sexual assault is sexual assault, whether it’s supposed to have been done by the world’s greatest freedom fighter, or some ordinary shmoe, and there’s no reason Assange’s case shouldn’t be considered by the Swedish criminal justice system like any other accused person.

    He claims he's willing to face the sexual assault charges. And he certainly should be tried on them. It's the threat of limbo in the US justice system (or outside it - Guantanamo Bay is still open, despite Obama's promises of five years ago) that he fears. I believe that fear is justified. Manning was not treated well and he was a US citizen.

    Sweden should give him a guarantee that he will not be extradited. Yes, that's special treatment, but he is a special case - an asylum seeker. The fact that they won't give that assurance is suggestive of what they plan, IMO.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Dave Marks,

    I just don’t understand why they need to bother tapping cables within NZ territory.

    One answer could be that it's the GCSB that want the tapping here. That would give them primary access to the information beyond what gets shared through 5 Eyes systems.

    Another answer is redundancy. Perhaps the NSA is confident of their continued ability to monitor the US ends of the cable. They have received a lot more heat over the Snowden leaks than the GCSB seems to have.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Sacha,

    Thousands of years if we change ‘state’ to society.

    We're veering close to a discussion of legal principles, and probably shouldn't encourage he-who-should-not-be-named to make a re-appearance.

    Whatever you do, don't say 'Blackstone's' three times while looking in a mirror.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to SteveH,

    Sweden should give him a guarantee that he will not be extradited. Yes, that’s special treatment, but he is a special case – an asylum seeker. The fact that they won’t give that assurance is suggestive of what they plan, IMO.

    Or, you know, it's even more suggestive that Sweden 1) is a signatory to international conventions and treaties that says it just can't do that (for very good and pretty obvious reasons) and, 2) Sweden already has arefugee quota that quite frankly puts New Zealand to shame and which shouldn't be used as some bargaining chip to get Assange to answer criminal charges. Still, if he wants to seek political asylum in Sweden I'm sure his application will be duly considered. The problem is that he'd actually need to be in the country, which he's not terribly keen to do and the outstanding warrant wouldn't help either.

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

  • PJ,

    Yeah, oops. I got that totally wrong. Was actually kind of looking forward to see national vs patent trolls, though. (Reply to nzlemming. Man I suck at posting here, back to lurking :)

    Auckland • Since Jun 2011 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    You know, all this rehearsing the rights and wrongs of Assange - and I'm afraid I'm with Craig here in that he should stop his weaselly bullshit and deal properly with the legal matters (and FFS, leave the emotive "rape" word out of it, and whether or not it's "rape-rape" - it is a kind of sexual assault he's up for and he should do his goddamn day in court).

    ...Getting back to the point, can anyone tell me what he actually brought to the presentation last night other than "governments are naughty, m'kay?". We're spending a significant amount of energy in this thread talking about Assange's personality and legal woes, which just demonstrates to me how much of a distraction he is from the real issues at this juncture. If we need to discuss him, fine, discuss what he actually had to say about these allegations (sweet F-A, frankly).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I don’t actually know whether Assange is paranoid

    Now there is something I do believe.

    Although I have no interest in this particular discussion, I feel obliged to point out, contra Craig, that the Ecuadorian government's statement of reasons for its decision to give Assange political asylum is here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 783 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to WH,

    how is it that a US journalist can speak more intelligently about our political landscape than our own media personalities? At the end of the day, Patrick Gower is still on TV and it does not appear to be satire.

    Well, it's pretty obvious how that happens. New Zealand these days has a branch office economy. It's all owned offshore and the decisions are made elsewhere, by someone else. The point of the staff in the branch office is to implement those decisions without rocking the boat or doing anything the owners wouldn't sign off on. So the actual job of a local journalist is precisely not to do the kind of thing Greenwald is able to do. Greenwald's from an entirely different economy altogether and doesn't answer to head office, exactly. Patrick Gower, on the other hand, is on TV because he has a proven track record of being vapid, incurious, and obedient to the diktats of power, and this is his real job. To prevent actual, independent journalism happening in his stead. Chomsky put it best, almost 20 years ago:

    When you critique the media ... they get very angry. They say, quite correctly, "nobody ever tells me what to write. I write anything I like. All this business about pressures and constraints is nonsense because I’m never under any pressure." Which is completely true, but the point is that they wouldn’t be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk ... and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like ... They have been through the socialization system.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Meanwhile, NatRad has a recap of global coverage of the Moment of Truth.

    Dirty Politics, Rawshark, Moment of Truth, a copyright lawsuit from Eminem... I can't think of a more interesting & surreal NZ election campaign since Muldoon called the Schnapps Election.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    When you critique the media … they get very angry. They say, quite correctly, “nobody ever tells me what to write. I write anything I like. All this business about pressures and constraints is nonsense because I’m never under any pressure.” Which is completely true, but the point is that they wouldn’t be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk … and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like … They have been through the socialization system.

    There's a recent example of it's application here:

    In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the network’s founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as "the Chairman" – Roger Ailes.

    “It was as though we were looking at Mao,” recalls Charlie Reina, a former Fox News producer. The Foxistas went wild. They let the dogs out. Woof! Woof! Woof! Even those who disliked the way Ailes runs his network joined in the display of fealty, given the culture of intimidation at Fox News. “It’s like the Soviet Union or China: People are always looking over their shoulders,” says a former executive with the network’s parent, News Corp. “There are people who turn people in.”

    ....

    Ailes then embarked on a purge of existing staffers at Fox News. “There was a litmus test,” recalled Joe Peyronnin, whom Ailes displaced as head of the network. “He was going to figure out who was liberal or conservative when he came in, and try to get rid of the liberals.” When Ailes suspected a journalist wasn’t far enough to the right for his tastes, he’d spring an accusation: “Why are you a liberal?” If staffers had worked at one of the major news networks, Ailes would force them to defend working at a place like CBS – which he spat out as “the Communist Broadcast System.” To replace the veterans he fired, Ailes brought in droves of inexperienced up-and-comers – enabling him to weave his own political biases into the network’s DNA. To oversee the young newsroom, he recruited John Moody, a conservative veteran of Time. As recounted by journalist Scott Collins in Crazy Like a Fox, the Chairman gave Moody explicit ideological marching orders. “One of the problems we have to work on here together when we start this network is that most journalists are liberals,” Ailes told Moody. “And we’ve got to fight that.” Reporters understood that a right-wing bias was hard-wired into what they did from the start. “All outward appearances were that it was just like any other newsroom,” says a former anchor. “But you knew that the way to get ahead was to show your color – and that your color was red.” Red state, that is.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich Lock,

    There's a recent example of it's application here:

    Goes to show McCarthyism didn't die with Senator McCarthy, and Watergate didn't die with Nixon's resignation. And what does it mean when even Rupert Murdoch is scared of Roger Ailes, a 21st-century one-man Pravda/Izvestiya/Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda?

    The outsize success of Fox News gives Ailes a free hand to shape the network in his own image. "Murdoch has almost no involvement with it at all," says Michael Wolff, who spent nine months embedded at News Corp. researching a biography of the Australian media giant. "People are afraid of Roger. Murdoch is, himself, afraid of Roger. He has amassed enormous power within the company – and within the country – from the success of Fox News."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • phplad,

    Would those who are disparaging of Assange please consider that the lawyers for Assange have suggested, and I think have for a while suggested, that Assange be interviewed by Swedish Police within the confines of the Ecuadorian Embassy,yet have consistently declined this opportunity.
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/sep/12/julian-assange-lawyers-appeal-against-swedish-ruling
    In terms of the rape allegations the Guardian wrote the following in 2010, its not exactly bedtime reading but it does offer some context.
    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

    Back to the actual topic : I'm concerned that the appearance of Snowdon, Assange and Greenwald was ridiculed by the NZ media. Perhaps it's because I'm not very media savvy but I can not work out where in the chain our journalists are manipulated to the point they usually arrive at exactly the same conclusions and consistently fail to address the important questions, surely it is not just peer pressure.

    New Zealand • Since Aug 2014 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Dirty Politics, Rawshark, Moment of Truth, a copyright lawsuit from Eminem... I can't think of a more interesting & surreal NZ election campaign since Muldoon called the Schnapps Election.

    Planet Keystone (cops, for those under a certain age).

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim, in reply to phplad,

    True; and did I really see Simon Wilson accusing Glenn Greenwald of 'disrupting our election'?! Nothing like an informed citizenry for disrupting an election, right? Unbelieveable.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    ...since Muldoon called the Schnapps Election

    Score!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Seriatim,

    Regime Change, Now!
    (or on Saturday is good too)

    ‘disrupting our election’?! Nothing like an informed citizenry for disrupting an election, right?

    That's Key's whole take on it too - he said he might respect the 'loser' if he'd come 6 months before, or after, the election with these revelations, not 5 days before.

    I fail to see the difference, all it shows is that Key doesn't like being caught out and that he thinks he has the machine in place to quash, quell or quench any doubt or unrest, given enough time...

    This bumptious numpty can't be our prime minister beyond Sunday, or we are heading for a world of pain and inequality!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim,

    And please - Braunias won't be appearing on Media Take again, will he? Ever?

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to PJ,

    Man I suck at posting here, back to lurking :)

    I was clinically illiterate when I first started posting here. But now I only make mush out of every other contribution. And on top of that, I have belted out more than my fare share of inane blather.

    Now and then, I say something profound:)

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    True; and did I really see Simon Wilson accusing Glenn Greenwald of ‘disrupting our election’?! Nothing like an informed citizenry for disrupting an election, right? Unbelieveable.

    Look, it’s not that. It’s those Americans coming here and informing us about threats to our sovereignty, like they think we are thick. I mean, don’t they know that we won the rugby World Cup!

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to steven crawford,

    But now I only make mush out of every other contribution. And on top of that, I have belted out more than my fare share of inane blather.

    Yerp.Me too. She's a hard road but it's worth it if you don't mind the roundabouts. ;)

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

  • James George, in reply to phplad,

    I can not work out where in the chain our journalists are manipulated to the point they usually arrive at exactly the same conclusions and consistently fail to address the important questions, surely it is not just peer pressure.

    .
    Unfortunately it is. Look no further than Brown's comments. Most people who were at the town hall on Monday night got there by dint of getting in early queueing up and running the gauntlet of Steve the Pimp's ( I can't remember his full name - the bloke who runs topless hookers up Queen St once a year - that bloke) slanderous mercedes convoy.
    Many of those who had queued up for hours were turned away but not the 'kiwi media' who arrived late to their reserved seats all clustered together (big mistake organisers) and instead of actually engaging in the event sat back and examined it like it was a piece of shit they had to scrape off their expensive shoes.

    All the while chortling amongst themselves at 'amateur hour' There was a time when reporters in NZ came from the communities they were reporting to and shared the pain along with the good times, but nowadays they all seem to want to be some sort of new elite far removed from the hoi polloi.
    They gossip among themselves and defer to the likes of Fisher considered to be the rising star (in a fucking dull constellation it must be conceded) and preen and groom each other like 70's rockstars - if only they had an nth of the talent of those pricks.

    Fisher decided he had been let down, he had imagined his story would be the game changer - the Warners letter delivered into his hot little hands prior to the event, as promised,
    When that turned out not to be so he threw a tanty - all that work he put into Dotcom for the last two years, work that was meant to make him, David Fisher, the star of NZ's media, had turned to shit, so he lashed out.
    Of course all of the rest of the crew who have been traipsing around in Fisher's shadow - his retinue, posse, call it what you will, also followed suit and made the entire scene, despite incredible revelations from Greenwald and Amsterdam, about the purloined letter too.

    Since Sep 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Seriatim,

    What did you object to in Braunias? I've just watched it and thought he spoke as he writes. Love his writing.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to James George,

    I felt annoyed that what was there didn't seem important enough. I don't give a toss about any letter because I know John Key lies and I believe he was well aware of KDC before the raid on his family. That commando operation would have gone past the PM for no other reason than the people he is in charge of were in control and it would have taken some time to plan. John Key is a liar.
    Plus I thought it would have been better to see the applauding audience up the front which would have meant dispersing the media which would have been ok too. Why don't media clap?

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

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