Hard News by Russell Brown


I suppose no one can really yank the chain on John Tamihere - that's part of his thing - but his Parliamentary assault on TV3's Duncan Garner, and more especially the claim that 3 News shows political bias towards Rodney Hide, was fairly extraordinary. Being angry is one thing: alleging malign intent of a whole group of people is another.

On the other hand: if Bruce Bryant was Garner's source, if he was involved with a company attacked by Act for its questionable dealings with Te Wananga o Aotearoa, and if 3 News knew that but didn't report it, then there may be some questions to answer. TV3 news chief Mark Jennings was quick to back his man.

Speaking of Act, how fast is Rodney Hide running away from Jim Peron? Very fast. Rodney has posted two versions of his party conference speech to the Internet. The first one contains the lines:

Let me pay a special welcome to someone I'm proud to call my friend, Jim Peron. Jim is the hardest of hard working men. He's a small businessman.

The second one - you guessed it - does not.

This seems silly - not to mention an attempt to rewrite history - but it's understandable that people should feel let down by Peron. He's not a paedophile (and I still think the testimony of Eric Garris should be approached with extreme caution where it concerns Peron) but as Chris Banks concludes in an unexpected Part 3 to his excellent investigation for GayNZ.com, he has been selective with the truth about what he may have written or published in the past. Jay Bennie wraps it up in a worthwhile editorial. Personally, I don't think any of the menagerie of characters in this business emerges very well, and that New Zealand First would do well to ponder Bennie's "people in glass houses" comment.

Further on the theme of things disappearing, Three Point Turn noted the mysterious removal of everything with Graham Capill's name on it from the Christian Heritage website.

NEWSFLASH: all the alluding can come to an end now: Capill's name suppression on charges of indecently assaulting a girl under 12 has been lifted with his guilty plea. But I'm interested as to what kind of indecent assault of child might be, as the judge put it, "not at the serious end of the scale" …

And I would not be expecting to hear any moral lectures from that quarter again.

Interesting Christian Science Monitor story on democratic movements possibly not following the script in the Middle East.

Scientific American has an interesting interview with Leonardo Chiariglione, the "father of MP3".

Bummer! Even before episode two of the new Doctor Who hits the wires, it has been announced that Christopher Eccleston won't be returning for another series. Meanwhile, Prime TV sent out a press release yesterday announcing that it will be screening the new series here "this winter".

I've been struggling a bit - well, a lot - with work this week. Too much to think about, too much time blogging about weird things happening a long way away. (I really can't go Schiavo again, but I would like to make special mention of well-argued emails from longtime reader Morgan Nicol who argues against the let-her-die decision from the atheist point of view - contending that even the tiniest sliver of life should be held onto because there's nothing afterwards.) And then there's the Special Project. Tell you next week ...

Assuming I haven't collapsed in a heap, I'm planning on rebooting my brain with The Funk tomorrow night. George Clinton and 25 accompanying funkazoids are playing the St James tomorrow night, and I simply cannot see how that can not be a good thing. I will have fries with that shake, I will make the mothership connection and I look forward to believing, if only for an evening, that we really are one nation under a groove ...

And then, of course, I have a Very Important Meeting on Monday morning. It can be tiresome being a grown-up ...