Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Footnotes

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  • Geoff Lealand,

    Good to have you back, Russell. Things have been quiet around here whilst you have been away. But you look after yourself, you hear!!

    Who buys Investigate? Lazy journos in search of an inflammatory story?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Who buys Investigate?

    Fundies wanting their warped worldview confirmed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The first of three panels looks at John Tamhere's extraordinary (and to my mind, indefensible) comments about the "homo" HIV predator, on Radio Live last week, with Tamihere himself and TV producer Claudette Hauiti.

    So, who wants to bet that panel is going to turn into a giant pile of shit at warp speed -- and through no fault of Simon's? I've very little confidence that Tamihere and one of Willie Jackson's enablers are going to play well with others.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Who buys Investigate? Lazy journos in search of an inflammatory story?

    Nah; they just read it in the shops while queuing for a lotto ticket.

    Speaking of gambling; I wonder if the TAB is going to open a book on when Rankin gets the flick. I’ll go with August.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Jonathan Maze,

    I'm glad you are giving Martin van Beynen's article some publicity. It is an important piece as it is the first by someone who sat through the trial and who trenchantly disagrees with the verdict. Also because he is a good old fashioned newspaper journalist we don't have Joe Karam jumping up in the middle of it and dismissing it as fantasy or nonsense live on TV or radio.

    Here is my letter The Press published yesterday:

    Thank you for Martin van Beynens quietly devastating opinion piece on the Bain retrial. It was an excellent contrast to the Auckland based media honchos who abased themselves before the Bain team in the post trial media circus in exchange for access. In return they were shamelessly spun by Joe Karam and company. Mr van Beynen lays out the case plainly. He lifts the forensic fog that the jury clearly got themselves lost in and lays bare the courtroom theatrics from defence counsel. This retrial is not the heroic drama Mr Karam has scripted for himself but a shabby spectacle in which a guilty man has walked free.

    There was a highly complimentary one from good old Brian Priestley too apparently

    Auckland • Since Jul 2007 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    one of Willie Jackson's enablers

    I haven't heard him on radio to compare but I did wonder how much of his disgraceful fabrication of conflict on One Eyed was down to his producers. I'd be surprised if Jude Anaru approved.

    Jackson is so much better in the rare shows where it's just him and one guest - like the interviews with Clark and Key before the election.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jackson is so much better in the rare shows where it's just him and one guest - like the interviews with Clark and Key before the election.

    To be honest, I found it quite hard to steer Willie away from pointless conflict when he appeared on a Media7 panel.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    He is not alone in his misgivings. A senior journalist told us, in the course of research for the Media7 programme in which Martin appeared that they were "appalled" by the conduct of some jury members, and that the case had "shaken my faith in the jury system". Those are very strong words from an experienced court reporter.

    OK, I keep hearing this but when is someone like Martin van Beynen going to engage in some honest self-analysis of the media and their role in turning David Bain from the devil incarnate to some wronged angel? With all due respect to Jonathan Maze, I didn't notice the Christchurch Press taking a notably more sceptical view of proceedings than the evil "Auckland-based media honchos".

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    Martin van Beynen may be an "old fashioned journalist", he may have sat through every day of the trial, but I take everything he writes with a healthy dose of scepticism because of the sheer dross he writes on occasion. As a balanced view on the Bain trial, it wasn't. As a reinforcement of the prosecution case while ignoring the doubt raised in some areas by the defense, it was very good.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OK, I keep hearing this but when is someone like Martin van Beynen going to engage in some honest self-analysis of the media and their role in turning David Bain from the devil incarnate to some wronged angel?

    Martin never did that, so he can't engage in "self-analysis" about it. And it's not his job to be a media commentator either. That's my gig!

    With all due respect to Jonathan Maze, I didn't notice the Christchurch Press taking a notably more sceptical view of proceedings than the evil "Auckland-based media honchos".

    Isn't the publication of this piece an example of an informed, sceptical view?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    With all due respect to Jonathan Maze, I didn't notice the Christchurch Press taking a notably more sceptical view of proceedings than the evil "Auckland-based media honchos".

    Though to be fair, I probably developed Bain Fatigue a lot earlier than many around here, so if I've been unfair to the 'Press' in general my apologies.

    To be honest, I found it quite hard to steer Willie away from pointless conflict when he appeared on a Media7 panel.

    Hum... Perhaps I'm being unduly harsh on Claudette Hauiti, but its hard to escape the conclusion that the template for Eye to Eye is one of the 'screaming skull' Sunday morning American political shows. Wasted opportunity, in my view, because Jackson goading six idiots into screaming over each other is not much of a perspective on things, Maori or otherwise.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    FYI, the letter from Brian Priestley that Jonathan Maze referred to:

    Thank you for Martin van Beynen's summing up of the Bain retrial (June 20). This was journalism of the highest class.
    In contrast to much else that has appeared on the same subject, this piece was intelligent, logical, clearly argued and courageous.
    Perhaps Van Beynen is not the only one who deserves our gratitude. Bearing in mind the likely reaction, many editors would have thought up pretexts for tactfully leaving it out.
    BRIAN PRIESTLEY
    Sumner

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    But it is interesting.

    That being the understatement of the century Russell. I eagerly await Mr Islander's arrival at the plate to defend the archaic pantomime. Most Poignant of all for me in relation to comments I've made in other threads regarding the transparency of trials is no matter how publicly the trial is carried out, something like this still came to pass and there's not a single thing all 4 million people can do to see that true justice is carried out. While at the same time your opinion as to whether a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand is relevant at this juncture.

    These are not the darkest times in New Zealand legal history. These are the times following, once your eyes have adjusted to the shapes and shadows that surround.

    To maintain the complacent self-congratulatory mantras that tell us it's the best system because it's what we have, because it's what we've used, because it works as a justification for not seriously discussing alternatives, flies in the face of back patting bank ads that tell us ours is a nation of innovation and new ideas. Murderers on the streets peoples. The time is now.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Brickley Paiste,

    Thanks for posting that column. It was really well reasoned and hits the nail on the head in my view. Bain was either guilty OR the least lucky person on earth. Which is more likely?

    And, next time Karam maintains Bain is innocent, he should be asked why this innocent man, who had nothing to hide, decided not to give evidence.

    He may have said all he needed to say, but this jury should have heard it again.

    That's problematic. He didn't have to give evidence. He had a right to silence and was presumed innocent. You only have to talk in Gitmo. And whether he had said all he needed to say before is irrelevant because the Privy Council properly quashed the convictions after our Court of Appeal forgot what appellate courts are for.

    And why is it an issue that former jury members attend a party hosted by someone who is guilty of no crime? I agree there is something slightly off about it but they do have a freedom of association.

    Thanks again for posting the piece.

    Since Mar 2009 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    And why is it an issue that former jury members attend a party hosted by someone who is guilty of no crime?

    To state the obvious, Brickley, it's an issue because it raises doubts about the impartiality of these jury members.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Who buys Investigate?

    Ok, I admit it, I bought the first edition. The story about Paul White, the floppy disks and the Wine Box affair was intriguing. However, a few phone calls to "contacts" soon revealed a much bigger situation that Wishart totally missed, stuff that I will never reveal, totally out of my league as a local column writer at the time and truly scary. As you may have guessed, I never bothered with his sensationalist little rag again.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Jose Barbosa,

    Brill piece from Martin. I was pretty bloody surprised when the not guilty verdict came through for reason he gives in his article.

    In the meantime here's another great summary of the saga in song that I just can't help plugging.

    http://95bfm.com/assets/sm/191653/3/birdboy210609.mp3

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Jose Barbosa,

    Oh and good luck to the Pounder tonight. May I recommend a ruler to whack over people's knuckles to keep them in line?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Martin never did that, so he can't engage in "self-analysis" about it. And it's not his job to be a media commentator either. That's my gig!

    Heh... fair enough. Can't be doing you out of work when you've got two sons and kidney stones to support. :) Its just what I find frustrating is that we both know newspapers, radio and television bulletins don't spontaneously generate themselves on deadline. Sniffing about "the cult of Bain" or expressing your disquiet off the record is all well and good, but I'd sure appreciate a little insight into what thought processes were going on.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Thanks for the track Jose, nicely succinct.I'm sure even Mr Zimmerman would approve.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Meanwhile, a commenter at The Standard has some Hansard

    I was watching that, and I was appalled. But it was part of a consistent pattern yesterday: no answers, so slander instead.

    (thread crossover) And so we had the absurd situation of Judith Collins claiming that Labour had been too tough on crime when they were in government to dodge responsibility on why they were wasting money on new prisons. Which conveniently gnores the fact that she and her party spent that time screaming that they weren't being tough enough...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Who buys Investigate?

    I bought it once because Wishart said something about me.

    Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. Ecclesiastes 1:2

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    While I'm not convinced by that article, I must admit that I heard rumours, before the verdict, that the jury had made up their minds pretty early on in the piece. It didn't sound like a greatly impartial panel - though, after all the publicity and thirteen years, I'm kind of surprised they managed to get a jury the prosecution and defence agreed on, so.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    That bit of Hansard is disgusting. No matter what kind of games Labour are playing around National's appointment of Rankin - and National have only themselves to blame because they appointed the silly bitch - to accuse people of "not caring" about child abuse is so far below that belt that Key should be thankful for parliamentary privilege.

    As for the Bain article, he does a nice job of glossing over the fairly substantial doubtful elements. The computer timing was a huge hurdle for me, when so much hinged upon the time. Likewise the bloody footprint, since it's rather difficult to make a full-size footprint that's smaller than your own feet.
    The better-made point is that the jurors sound like they weren't actually taking it seriously. I am curious as to why the judge didn't call out the ones who were reportedly writing notes to each other and giggling. Enforcing courtroom decorum is, after all, the judge's job, amongst other things.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    The better-made point is that the jurors sound like they weren't actually taking it seriously.

    Well, yes. The impression is that at least a few of them had already made up their minds and had ceased paying attention to the trial and were just killing time, so to speak.

    As for the computer timing, I thought that the point about it was that it was inconclusive and not particularly useful to either camp.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

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