Hard News by Russell Brown

Rumour and fact

This rumour comes to you entirely without warranty, but from a fairly good source. There will be a New Zealand iTunes store very early next year - perhaps even on January 1, 2006. I'm not sure exactly what the hold-up is, but presumably negotiations are continuing.

In other media technology news at our house, Sky is sending someone around - anytime you like, folks - to install us a MySky PVR. I'll let you know how it goes. Synthetic Thoughts looks at a cool PVR-decoder-TV from the Freeview-terrestrial side of the digital TV fence.

Rob O'Neill at NZBC notes sundry right-wing bloggers going off half-cocked on local connections to the oil-for-food scandal. And then apologising.

Gay, disabled comedian (couldn't we get something about saving whales in there?) Phil Patston is demanding to be eradicated by Wayne Mapp. Meanwhile, in other anti-PC news, Alan Duff is such a cock.

Conor Roberts was in touch to ask whether Muriel Newman, who is continuing to use email addresses gathered under the auspices of the Act Party for her post-Parliamentary missives, should be considered a spammer ("Was she entitled to use it for something other than its original intended use? I should think not - my bet is she would get done if we had proper opt-in spam laws"). Dude, just be thankful she's stopped passing people's addresses onto her husband so he can spam them with ads for his stock tips and seminars.

I've written about it for print, so I won't say too much about Ian Fraser's departure from TVNZ, save to note that it's a little ironic that Don Brash is calling for an inquiry into political interference in the running of TVNZ, in this case on the matter of top salaries, given that his own spokespeople have been known to loudly demand political interference in the running of TVNZ, on the matter of top salaries.

When the news broke late last year of Judy Bailey's huge salary increase, Georgina Te Heuheu demanded Helen Clark "waste no time in calling for heads to roll at the TVNZ Board." On the same day, Katherine Rich demanded that Helen Clark publicly weigh in on the topic of Bailey's salary. Two days later, Murray McCully slated Helen Clark's comments on Bailey's salary - not for commenting, but for not really meaning it.

So, yeah. TVNZ salaries = political football. It's never been any different.

In the Actually More Serious file, No Right Turn notes that the Ombudsman's office has effectively accused several ministers and departments of subverting democracy in their handling of OIA requests.

Oh, and here's the form on Bush's new Supreme Court nominee.

Finally: I'm on the panel for another recording of National Radio's highly popular news quiz, Off the Wire, tomorrow. We've been recording lately at the Classic, but tomorrow night it's the new RNZ premises in Auckland, crowd to arrive at 6.15pm. If you'd like to be in the live studio audience you can call Linda on 367 9320 or send email to . It's good fun.