Hard News by Russell Brown

New old news

As DPF correctly pointed out yesterday, Don Brash's new director of "forward reconnaissance", Garreth Spillane, isn't that new: he started three months ago. DPF wonders whether the angle might be that Spillane is (a) gay, and (b) an opera singer, but points out that National's organisation has embraced both those sorts of human in the past anyway.

So we're left wondering whether Colin Espiner decided that old news was still news so long as no one else had written about it; or Brash's office talked up the "forward reconnaissance" guy last week on its own initiative. In which case, why? And wouldn't it be a bit ironic if Spillane had actually been involved in creating the infamous walking the plank photo-op two months ago?

So Jim Sutton's off, then, to be replaced from the Labour list by Charles Chauvel. I was distracted when I saw the news yesterday and it briefly occurred to me that they were making Chauvel Minister of Agriculture (which, of course, Sutton hasn't been for a while). Still, that'd be running with the diversity message, wouldn't it?

Poor old Jordan Carter. He can't post anything without a greeting from a familiar crowd of obsessives who seem to live solely for the chance to scream and writhe at anything he says on his avowedly Labour blog. Albeit at the other end of the political spectrum, they remind me of the very angriest people in the Alliance. And that's not a good thing.

Meanwhile, Gareth Davidson has found a copy of Saturday night's blistering performance of Kapa o Pango on YouTube. Funny thing is, it's uploaded by the busy information-liberators at AussieTorrents, so it's the Australian coverage - and the commentators do not seem at all aware ("It just gets better! First performed by the New Zealand team in New South Wales in 1884 ...") that it's a different haka.

Tracey Nelson reports that the event wasn't lost on the crowd at Jade Stadium on the night. Suspecting the decision to haul out Kapa o Pango was probably taken after all the nonsense about the Channel 7 ad, tse figured:

"It was the perfect way to answer it back. The Chch crowd just went off when they realised it was Kapa o Pango, and geez it was AWESOME - real hair standing up on the back of your neck stuff. Even the Aussies in the crowd were on their feet clapping and cheering at the end of it.

And it had to happen: someone has posted a version of Jerry Collins' onfield relief video with sound effects. Rather clever, actually. But Richard Le Gros emailed from London to say "the only clip I really want to see from the weekend's rugby is Ali Williams dumping George Gregan on his backside around the 63rd minute mark. Loop it over and over and add some yakkity sax over the top and I'd be in heaven (and I could show it to my Aussie flatmates)."

Meanwhile, The Techsploder has multiple YouTube clips from the World Cup final, including Zidane's moment of madness, and a link to a Time Europe story that observes what I thought was bleeding obvious: that Marco Materazzi's spectacular leap backwards and subsequent impression of a dying man was not entirely down to the force of Zidane's head-butt. One element of the World Cup I'm not sorry to see the back of is the sight of professional athletes feigning injury. All the damn time, to the point where players who might actually have gained some advantage in pushing through a clumsy tackle almost inevitably took the option of swan diving and doing the fixing-to-die routine for a couple of minutes. It might be a form of low theatre, but I don't think it's sport.

And, finally danah blogged New Zealand.