Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A Work of Advocacy

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Heather Gaye,

    I find it especially cringeworthy when the narrator tries really hard to paint a dramatic picture of the poor munter as a heinous criminal, recklessly endangering all those that encounter him with his 20kph shuddering fumesome exhaust

    It is interesting just how pathetic most of the things we get busted for in NZ are. Last time I watched it, I saw 3 busts before just getting sick of it. One was a poor old guy who changed lanes without leaving enough gap - $300 or so. Another was an old lady with a boot full of wood, that was not secure enough. They fined her a few hundred, and made her catch the bus home, in the middle of the night, somewhere miles from home in the rain. Another was a young Maori guy who wasn't wearing a seat belt. They took him down to the station and questioned him for ages, a massive long fishing expedition, from which they got zilch, because he had actually done nothing, except not updated his lifetime license to a photo one. Seat belts are for safety, presumably, which is sort of fair enough, except that most of the time they were questioning him at the car, both of them were practically standing on the motorway. He got a big fine too.

    After each there was the little bit by the cop about how they'd just prevented some terrible thing from happening. The saddest thing was that they seemed to believe it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rich Lock,

    @Rich of Observationz:

    I prefer Reno 911

    @Rich Lock:

    Rashomon 911?

    I'm sure if I could just see it, I'd prefer the one and only True Reality Show that follows a regular honest officer of the law who's been humbly working for two decades under most people's radar.

    Steven Segal: Lawman

    I know. Those threads. I'll shut up now.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Or you could watch the Aussie version, where last week there was an enormous showdown with a very angry woman who was pulled over for smoking in the car with her minor child in there. The father, I think, was let off with a warning, but the mother got a couple of hundred dollars worth of ticket mainly because of her argumentative attitude. Seemed a bit unnecessary to me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Ray Gilbert,

    It wasn't reported in the press, but it's the reason there are still security gates in the foyer of the school's main building

    They're also there as this is a MAF requirement for containment and transitional facilities.

    There were a whole bunch of problems with security around these times as well aside from the troubles with animal activist, so they've tightened up on access over the years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to BenWilson,

    After each there was the little bit by the cop about how they’d just prevented some terrible thing from happening. The saddest thing was that they seemed to believe it.

    Cant get sad about that. Type 1 errors seems to be something we all should know about. Sheez, our species has been doing it for long enough.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1884 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    From what I recall of things that revelation shits on a lot of the stories about how the cops leaked stuff to influence proceedings

    Oh, I think the cops -- or some cops -- were certainly doing plenty of off-the-record briefing. The Dom Post's first front page on the raids had quite a lot spun their way. The film has a couple of obvious examples from TV news (step up Hadyn Jones). Funny thing was, the tips didn't always match: one Dom Post story had those arrested as "amateurs" while Jones said he'd been assured by "a security source" that these weren't just a few "fringe people".

    But even at the time, there were two or three different theories as to where the affidavit itself came from -- including that it was a defence source.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I was struck by the ALF protests on Hindsight the other week. Not sure whether it was the late 70s or early 80s, but it was a bit boggling to see the Karori butchery's windows all smashed up. Picking random retailers for vandalising is pretty serious. I'm glad that in NZ, what they do these days is mainly scoping out dodgy factory farms with cameras and chaining themselves to things. In the US and UK it sounds like a few have taken to intimidating students and academics.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    I’m glad that in NZ, what they do these days is mainly scoping out dodgy factory farms with cameras and chaining themselves to things.

    Heh. You realise John Darroch was that guy? That was pretty cool.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    It is interesting just how pathetic most of the things we get busted for in NZ are. Last time I watched it, I saw 3 busts before just getting sick of it. One was a poor old guy who changed lanes without leaving enough gap – $300 or so. Another was an old lady with a boot full of wood, that was not secure enough. They fined her a few hundred, and made her catch the bus home, in the middle of the night, somewhere miles from home in the rain. Another was a young Maori guy who wasn’t wearing a seat belt. They took him down to the station and questioned him for ages, a massive long fishing expedition, from which they got zilch, because he had actually done nothing, except not updated his lifetime license to a photo one. Seat belts are for safety, presumably, which is sort of fair enough, except that most of the time they were questioning him at the car, both of them were practically standing on the motorway. He got a big fine too.

    After each there was the little bit by the cop about how they’d just prevented some terrible thing from happening. The saddest thing was that they seemed to believe it.

    Ben, James K. Baxter explains it all for you in his poem The Maori Jesus. The rest of the poem is there if you want to follow the link...



    The first day he was arrested
    For having no lawful means of support.
    The second day he was beaten up by the cops
    For telling a dee his house was not in order.
    The third day he was charged with being a Maori
    And given a month in Mt Crawford.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Heh. You realise John Darroch was that guy? That was pretty cool.

    He's an awesome brother.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to George Darroch,

    You realise he's the one that's caused your phone to be tapped...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    You realise he’s the one that’s caused your phone to be tapped…

    Nah, could be any one of my family. It is weird when you watch unmarked cars parked down the road at all hours and wonder if they're going to break your door down at 5am (not an idle threat, it's happened to many I know). It's a relief when you find out your neighbours are dealing P.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Samthecat,

    Some time back my sister, who is a softy for any animal support group needed a parking place on the Wellington Hospital campus when working there. She was offered one at what seemed to be a really really good price up and off Mein Street....turned out to be where the "activists" thought the Malagan Institute and Abortion clinic staff parked.....she had acid poured on her car (by both sides) was spat on (by both sides), lunged at and hit (yup you guessed it - by both sides). It escalated to death threats made to her home phone and to the house and to ours and the rest of the family and finally she just gave up the park. Thing was, her work involved research designed to help women who suffer repeated natural miscarriages and her volunteer work was the SPCA. And you know what, both lots of "activists " knew that because they knew her, it had nothing to do with their causes, it was all about them and their personal need to show how staunch and special and hard arse they were. We actually got very good advice as to how to cope with this shit from the police. Frankly it was not pleasant at the time (especially with them telling you they knew which school your kids went to) and I now have absolutely zero time for animal rights activists, the anti-abortionists were bad, but the animal rights crew were frankly crazy dangerous.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to B Jones,

    In the US and UK it sounds like a few have taken to intimidating students and academics.

    A lot of them are pretty explicit about their desire to make students believe their lives and families will be in danger if they go into any sort of animal research. It's sickening, frankly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    This discussion - like so many others on PA - is dispiritingly devoid of any underlying analysis of power. There seems to be some assumption here that the filmmakers should have adhered to BBC standards - never mind that our TV broadcasters don't. These people are documentarians - working with a $1500 camera - but they are activist documentarians: they don't make films about, say, pony club days or a girls rugby team or DoC rangers rescuing threatened Kiwi. In their first film, they looked at the sale to developers of an old-fashioned beachside camping ground near Mahia in northern Hawkes Bay as a springboard for a look at the steady erosion of ordinary people's access to the coast. In this they explore and give a voice to dissenters, who as they remarked in my piece and as one of the interviewees remarks in the film, are an endangered species in this country and around the world. When I was in my 20s, we were protesting about shit every bloody week - partly because it was fun and a good way to pick up girls but also because protest and dissent was an important part of social discourse. This film needs to be seen in that context. Sure some animal rights activists are nutcases and pouring acid on anyone's car is a crap thing to do. But this film is not about defending specific dissenters. It's about delivering some oxygen to the very nature of dissent and calling to account those who wield state force to make it difficult to express dissent. To quote Paul Buchanan in this film "the last time I looked, that was permissible in a democratic society". Those forces of the state, incidentally, have PR budgets paid by the taxpayer and spent on hardened hacks who know damn well how to hijack the agenda. They also get PR TV each week in prime time, which some contributors to this thread apparently enjoy for entertainment value, but see as quite free of problematic implication.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Calder,

    This discussion – like so many others on PA – is dispiritingly devoid of any underlying analysis of power.

    Hey, thanks for reading anyway.

    There seems to be some assumption here that the filmmakers should have adhered to BBC standards – never mind that our TV broadcasters don’t.

    Would that be a bit like when you wrote this in your own story?

    The microphone she thrusts towards him is plugged into King’s camera and I feel constrained to ask him whether he has crossed the invisible, but important, line between a documentarian and his subject.

    In case it wasn’t clear, I thought the film was important and provocative. But I did have a problem with some elements of it – in particular the way Collins’ announcement was edited – and tried to explain those objections in some detail. You seem to be suggesting I should have overlooked that. I’m well aware that the news media have not met standards either, and said so.

    I think John Darroch got what I was saying.

    I have my own ideas about the nature of the police and the defendants' actions, and some of them do not flatter either side, but I’ve tried to steer clear of commenting on evidence to go before the court. But I guess I can link to this story, which relates to a defendant who doesn’t appear in the film, given that it’s still on Stuff. There may be a reasonable explanation, or even police malfeasance at play, but assuming there isn’t, activists who try and buy grenade launchers aren’t really my style.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Peter Calder,

    because protest and dissent was an important part of social discourse.

    It was and still is. But so is reasoned debate.

    It looks like a good watch to me, I'd like to see it. The raids themselves provoked a heck of a lot of heated debate on both sides. IIRC we even lost one of our main bloggers, Tze Ming, over the way the disputes went (at least partially).

    which some contributors to this thread apparently enjoy for entertainment value, but see as quite free of problematic implication.

    I think you're mistaken about what the contributors feel about this. They just haven't expressed it enough, I guess. I personally hate these cop-propaganda shows, and watch them occasionally just to confirm that they're as bad as they promised to be.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    IIRC we even lost one of our main bloggers, Tze Ming, over the way the disputes went (at least partially).

    She had departed before that, but she was unhappy, because she knows a number of people involved. We're all sweet now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Peter Calder,

    This discussion - like so many others on PA - is dispiritingly devoid of any underlying analysis of power.

    Bollocks. There have been far more sophisticated discussions of power on Public Address than in anything you have ever published, Peter. Or do you mean Comrade Trotter's idea of analysis, mired in that romanticised 1960s he shares with so many boomer ex-protesters? Up the workers, etc..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Would that be a bit like when you wrote this in your own story?

    The microphone she thrusts towards him is plugged into King’s camera and I feel constrained to ask him whether he has crossed the invisible, but important, line between a documentarian and his subject.

    Of course I wrote that. It was a question that I knew would be in readers' minds so I asked it because I was interested in their answer to it. That's what journalists do. But what people in this thread seem to be saying is that it is incumbent on these filmmakers to observe standards of "objectivity" (whatever that is) that are routinely ignored by the MSM. And I think that is a) harsh and b) oblivious to an analysis of power.

    I assume that

    There may be a reasonable explanation, or even police malfeasance at play, but assuming there isn’t, activists who try and buy grenade launchers aren’t really my style.

    is not a sly attempt to imply that they are mine. (For the record, they are not and I rather specifically said so).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Bollocks. There have been far more sophisticated discussions of power on Public Address than in anything you have ever published, Peter.

    Oops. Argumentum ad hominem now. Sorry to have bothered you. Over and out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Calder,

    Of course I wrote that. It was a question that I knew would be in readers’ minds so I asked it because I was interested in their answer to it. That’s what journalists do.

    And that's what I'll be doing on our TV show. One of the reasons I wrote such a detailed review is that I didn't want there to be any sense of ambush when I did ask..

    is not a sly attempt to imply that they are mine. (For the record, they are not and I rather specifically said so).

    No, it wasn't. But my view is that police interest in some of the defendants at least was not unwarranted, and was not simply an attempt to quash popular dissent. I can't really go into any more detail than that. This does not invalidate the strong points the film makes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Calder,

    Oops. Argumentum ad hominem now. Sorry to have bothered you. Over and out.

    That was unnecessary from Sacha. But you did open by slinging off at everyone else here ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, I knew she had other reasons. Apologies for the overstatement. She did seem especially grumpy about it when she said in her farewell:

    Coincidentally, the day that I joined the [Redacted Place] and became unsure whether I could say exactly what I wanted on this forum without getting fired, was the day something happened in New Zealand that had me feeling sick to my stomach every time I checked my email and found no reply to a 'where are you?/are you okay?' callout to some of my activist friends. Good friends. Eventually, when the replies started coming with reports of raids of their homes and young families, and when the posts and discussions on Public Address showed their colours, it certainly drove home for me how far away I am from this country, and from the overall middle ground of this site, from its essential gut.

    Peter

    But what people in this thread seem to be saying is that it is incumbent on these filmmakers to observe standards of "objectivity" (whatever that is) that are routinely ignored by the MSM.

    Can I trouble you for an example? I think you are mistaken, again. Most of the commenters seem to me likely to be highly sympathetic to the film, even though they will of course apply their own minds to what is shown and judge the impartiality that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, I knew she had other reasons. Apologies for the overstatement. She did seem especially grumpy about it when she said in her farewell:

    I'd actually forgotten that. But like I said, we're good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

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