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Speaker: About That Telescope

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  • David Slack,

    I get the feeling a lot of sentences about this man might start with the words "Without prior warning, Mr Cook..."

    In today's hearing, we learn:

    "Without prior warning, Mr Cook, through his lawyer’s junior, Andrew Comeskey, asked for his job back.

    Ms Monaghan said such a request was unusual and unacceptable given no prior pleadings had been made on it.

    Mr Currie, who was not in the session, was then phoned and gave evidence on it.

    He said there had been a complete loss of confidence and trust in Mr Cook and it had been made worse over last week when Mr Cook’s submissions to the court were given to the media. These included parts which had been deleted in the final agreed version between parties.

    “There is a lot of anger towards Mr Cook in our newsroom,” Mr Currie said.

    “He had done his utmost to cause as much damage as possible to the Herald on Sunday and myself."

    Mr Currie said that Mr Cook had last week announced he would “drop a bombshell” on the Herald.

    He noted that in Mr Cook’s submissions to the ERA, he had said he had no trust in the editor.

    Mr Currie said if the ERA made an order re-instating Mr Cook to the publication, then another person already there would lose their job to maintain the APN-ordained head count.

    “It would just be impossible,” Mr Currie said.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Must say I find the vitriol directed at journos in general here pretty funny... I'm a journo, freelance, I work mainly in broadcasting and occasionally, for my sins, producing telly news.

    Anyway it's a pretty simple formula: if you don't like something, don't watch/listen to/read it anymore.

    Of course you're free to criticise. Just know that it says as much about you as it does about journalists in general. And Ranapia's right, amusing maybe but no big deal.

    On a vaguely related note, check this out:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/illegal-nz/show-2820867

    I'm led to believe (by his employers in the Sunday mag) that the secret squirrel reporter is the SST's Tony Wall! A very good scoop artist, could be worth a look...

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I get the feeling a lot of sentences about this man might start with the words "Without prior warning, Mr Cook..."

    Priceless. It almost makes me want to be there.

    I now also realise why I didn't get a copy of his original list of claims:

    [Cook] denied that he had circulated his early draft of his brief of evidence to the media. He said he had discussed it with close friends who were journalists.

    “I have had time to reflect … and thought I would be willing to let bygones be bygones, let’s be adult and let’s move on,” Mr Cook said.

    The rest of y'all should feel free now to sigh and shake your heads in disgust.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Anyway it's a pretty simple formula: if you don't like something, don't watch/listen to/read it anymore.

    You're kidding me, right? Information isn't entertainment. A nation needs good neswpapers capable of sustaining a robust political and cultural conversation. In New Zealand there are none. You don't think it's a problem?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Must say I find the vitriol directed at journos in general here pretty funny...

    I actually asked Fiona to have a look at the blog and the subsequent comments to see what she made of the considerable rancour it attracted. She was puzzled too.

    I suspect readers may be mistaking newspaper reporters for model citizens.

    I'm led to believe (by his employers in the Sunday mag) that the secret squirrel reporter is the SST's Tony Wall! A very good scoop artist, could be worth a look...

    I am sure I am not alone in regarding Tony's Weekend Herald story "How I went to Australia and had some E and was really happy but was then really sad because I had no friends" as a classic of its kind.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    “It is difficult to replace me.”

    Haha, oh wow.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You're kidding me, right? Information isn't entertainment. A nation needs good neswpapers capable of sustaining a robust political and cultural conversation. In New Zealand there are none. You don't think it's a problem?

    Does it occur to you that the kind of people who get real stories might not be the kind of people you expect them to be?

    I've made my feelings about Cook's work clear on a number of occasions, but David Fisher is a bloody good journalist -- one of our best. Your huffing and puffing over his description of his role in a silly after-hours joke continues to mystify me.

    And yes, I am finding Cook's hearing amusing. Vastly so.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    A nation needs good newspapers capable of sustaining a robust political and cultural conversation. In New Zealand there are none. You don't think it's a problem?

    I agree we NEED good news reporting - but we haven't had any decent papers at all for a very, very long time and last time I looked they didn't look like they were going to be round for much longer either (prepared to be proven wrong on that one but the current models don't look very healthy do they?).

    Whether the net etc will come up with working economic models to sustain good journalism is the crux of that particular chestnut. Radio's as good a source of news as the paper, and of course not 24 hours old by the time it gets out. TV news, well, I can't possibly comment (hand, feed, biting...)

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    I am sure I am not alone in regarding Tony's Weekend Herald story "How I went to Australia and had some E and was really happy but was then really sad because I had no friends" as a classic of its kind.

    Tony's gone to the HoS? Dear oh dear... their gain of course.

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Ah, Weekend Herald. A slightly less empty rag... god Canvas sucks though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah, Weekend Herald. A slightly less empty rag... god Canvas sucks though.

    Nah, he was there ages ago. Back when ecstasy was the moral panic drug du jour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Does it occur to you that the kind of people who get real stories might not be the kind of people you expect them to be?

    I couldn't care less about what kind of citizens they are. What you describe as my huffing and puffing (and if you go back to page 1, you'll find I didn't actually express those particular feelings until you asked why none of us seemed particularly amused) is more a reaction to the vacuity and self-importance of the piece. Who does Fisher think he his, Walter Matthau in The Front Page? Come back when your neswpaper stops sucking, I might be more interested in your workplace antics.

    As for the merit, amusing it may be, but I was slightly bemused by your claim that the post proves that Cook's allegations aren't true. It's only Fisher's version, surely. And I think Paul's right, at best it's a case of "yes we did it, but it was not what you think, so no we didn't do it".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Of course you're free to criticise. Just know that it says as much about you as it does about journalists in general. And Ranapia's right, amusing maybe but no big deal.

    Up to a point, Mr Wain -- schadenfreude is hardly a dignified position, but when the Emperor not only has no clothes but is hung like a door mouse on steroids, it would take a saint not to point and laugh.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    schadenfreude is hardly a dignified position, but when the Emperor not only has no clothes but is hung like a door mouse on steroids,

    Ranapiasm at it's best :)

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

  • Danielle,

    a door mouse

    I am imagining this. Is there a door mouse uniform? A little hat?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I couldn't care less about what kind of citizens they are. What you describe as my huffing and puffing (and if you go back to page 1, you'll find I didn't actually express those particular feelings until you asked why none of us seemed particularly amused)

    Yes, you weren't the only one, but I was surprised by the response.

    Come back when your neswpaper stops sucking, I might be more interested in your workplace antics.

    Well, it wasn't in the workplace. And I said I'd run it because Fisher had been accused by a former colleague of participating in "the greatest act of industrial espionage ever seen in newspapers in New Zealand" (or something) and he wanted to offer his side of the story. No one made you all read it.

    As for the merit, amusing it may be, but I was slightly bemused by your claim that the post proves that Cook's allegations aren't true. It's only Fisher's version, surely.

    I think my previous statements on the relative merits of Fisher's and Cook's work as journalists (not to mention the bizarre couple of days before the ERA) probably make it amply clear why I accept Fisher's account of what happened.

    And frankly, even it was some silly after-hours bollocks, well, that was what it was.

    And I think Paul's right, at best it's a case of "yes we did it, but it was not what you think, so no we didn't do it".

    Apart from the parts about the reporter being set up in the apartment, being instructed by his editor, and any actual spying being done, yes, it was just how Cook described it ...

    C'mon Gio, if a former colleague had circulated damaging allegations about you to others in your profession, wouldn't you feel like having your say about that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Anyway it's a pretty simple formula: if you don't like something, don't watch/listen to/read it anymore.

    Having done that, sometime ago, how do I now get what I'd like? Disengaging doesn't mean news gets better, just my annoyance abates.

    In truth, I now rely on podcasts and various international services. Perhaps it is simply a function of the market for news/media that dailys cater to the lowest denominator and journalists have few options...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I am imagining this. Is there a door mouse uniform? A little hat?

    Something like this?

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

  • Russell Brown,

    In truth, I now rely on podcasts and various international services. Perhaps it is simply a function of the market for news/media that dailys cater to the lowest denominator and journalists have few options...

    Okay, the generalisations are annoying me now too. I can't speak for Australia, but there's fine work in the NZ print media every week. You can't just dismiss the whole field.

    Broadcast is a little trickier, but I hear that media show on TVNZ 7 has its moments ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Update:

    Cook told the hearing he had got his licence to work as a private investigator in April, and had been doing some unpaid work for Mr Comeskey.

    Gawd.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Now I AM enjoying this, so...

    there's fine work in the NZ print media every week

    I agree but not perhaps as wholeheartedly as Russell... I dig Braunias's column in the back of the SST's Sunday (and not much else in the paper, but enjoy getting annoyed at the columnists)... Steve Kilgallon's awesome in the sport pages there...

    What else?

    I'm scratching my head for weekly brilliance (monthly's a different story)... Drinnan's column in the Friday Biz thing in the Granny... er... umm... some of the features in the various rags, but far too few (Alan Perrott's good for example, far better than most of the dross that ends up in Canvas).

    Anyone else?

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Broadcast is a little trickier, but I hear that media show on TVNZ 7 has its moments ;-)

    Not according to this report:

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Apart from the parts about the reporter being set up in the apartment, being instructed by his editor, and any actual spying being done, yes, it was just how Cook described it

    According to Fisher, yes. I have no elements to judge whether he's telling the truth, the whole truth, etc.

    C'mon Gio, if a former colleague had circulated damaging allegations about you to others in your profession, wouldn't you feel like having your say about that?

    Yeah, see, I don't know. If somebody circulated stories about me in my professional circle, I'd have to try to counter them I suppose, from within that circle. They'd hardly make national headlines. When journalists become the story it's always icky and problematic, and I think it's best treated with a modicum of reserve (as in: shut up) as opposed to finding another medium where to tell your side of the story. The guy, and I mean Cook, sounds like a clown; the telescope story wasn't admitted as evidence in the proceedings. Was it really necessary for Fisher to tell us that yes, they drank beer across the road from the office of this editor whom they respected very deeply and occasionally peered into her window with a telescope, but they couldn't see much anyway and gosh even if they had they would never steal a story? All it tells me is that there might have been something to the rumour.

    But it's not so much that, I can't speak for others but I thought that there was something about the tone that was a bit off, not the least in the presumption that we should care. Because yes, you're right

    No one made you all read it

    but we did, and you know perfectly well why. It's the cred you've built up in this place. Hell, this one guy on Speaker wrote about his bloody holidays with his son last year and people still read it. We're suckers for the content.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    wouldn't you feel like having your say about that?

    I, for one would but I also note that the likes of the Herold are pretty quick to edit to the point of misrepresentation of what one may say (especially as I have read in letters to the Editor and had confirmed by letter writers). So what lines are being drawn if it is seen as an Editor already doing that? Good for the goose etc.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Anyone else?

    I think Chris Barton deserves mad props for consistently producing very good features about unfashionable subjects like disability for the Weekend Herald. And Phil Kitchin's stories have been known to permanently change the country. Donna Chisholm and Simon Wilson in Metro. I'm far keener on all of them than any old columnist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

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