Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Secret Code

91 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If I can just run a counter-factual here: If Bill English had gone on Alt TV and said that if National loses, he would be in the running for leadership, do people here think the media should have ignored it?

    That's not an equivalent question.

    Driver asked, if Labour loses, and Helen Clark resigns as leader, would you...

    I think if John Key resigned at leader of the National Party, then the news that Bill English (deputy leader) would be in the running for leader should be non-news.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    <blockquote>That's not an equivalent question.

    Driver asked, if Labour loses, and Helen Clark resigns as leader, would you...blockquote>

    Took the words right out of my mouth. Also, the relative polling positions is a factor that relates, if not to the answer, then the validity of the question.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    ack! formating... you get the drift.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    If Bill English had gone on Alt TV and said that if National loses, he would be in the running for leadership, do people here think the media should have ignored it?

    The media ignored it when John Key expressed the same kind of interest before Don stepped down

    Good Enough For Key But Not Goff?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I think if John Key resigned at leader of the National Party, then the news that Bill English (deputy leader) would be in the running for leader should be non-news.

    You don't think people should know that?

    I guess we have a different idea about what should be reported.

    I'm not going to argue some of the coverage yesterday was not overheated.

    But that's nowhere near the same as saying Goff's comments should not have been reported, and reported prominently.

    That's only partly because of their content. The significance was that someone with as many miles on the clock as Goff was saying them at all.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    The key part of the interview is here on YouTube. One does tend to wonder at the fuss...

    Thanks for the clip Russell, it's the same one as shown on Breakfast on TV1 this morning. Which left me dumbfounded. Oliver Driver is so clearly laying out a hypothetical question and he even qualifies it by telling Goff he knows the political answer already ... so it is to Goff's credit that he doesn't try to wriggle out of it by just giving the political answer anyway (albeit he does stress some qualifications of his own when answering).

    So I'm very PISSED OFF (hence the bold caps!) with the MSM for what really is a genuine and obvious example of a media beat up. What also (especially!) pisses me off is that if we are to ever get meaningful answers from our politicians we can't invite them to 'be frank' and then jump all over them when they do. Is it any wonder politicians have become evasive when asked a direct question?

    If anyone has a transcript can we post that somewhere too so (in addition to the video) we can all savour the actual words used by both interviewer and interviewee -- and try to marry those with the MSM clamour to construe it as a leadership-coup-in-the-making. It's BS.

    I'd have to dig through my audio archives from my RDU days but I'm pretty sure I've got John Key on record saying something along the lines of "I'm not interested in taking the leadership from Don Brash right now but if that opportunity came up and Don decided to step down..."

    No need to look because we all know Key would have said exactly that to the MSM at some stage.

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    What was "big tits" doing a promo on Campbell Live the other night? And 3 news wonders where the viewers are going...

    Hey, it worked for these guys ...

    Softcore:

    Hardcore:

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm not going to argue some of the coverage yesterday was not overheated.

    But that's nowhere near the same as saying Goff's comments should not have been reported, and reported prominently.

    I think it was worth reporting, just not in the ridiculous way it has been. The "rules" of the "game" are as much a construct of the handful of people who cover politics as they are of the politicians themselves. The Herald's "clobbering machine" headline was so utterly divorced from what was actually said in the interview as to be, frankly, dishonest.

    And I think Gordon Campbell's point was well made. The same people who bitch about politicians not telling the truth or avoiding the question are now standing up and screaming "But you didn't lie! You're supposed to lie!"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    The "rules" of the "game" are as much a construct of the handful of people who cover politics as they are of the politicians themselves.

    Of course. Think of Parliament as a teenage clique in high school, with the press gallery as the harpies, and it makes a whole lot more sense.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Think of Parliament as a teenage clique in high school, with the press gallery as the harpies

    Um... harpies at high school?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You don't think people should know that?

    I guess we have a different idea about what should be reported.

    I think 'Bill English possibly next leader if Key quits' is only news for the bleedingly obvious.

    Which is pretty similar to what we have here... Goff possible next leader after Clark quits (because we all know Cullen is going to retire soon).

    I mean really, if you're #3 in a queue at the supermarket, and #1 and #2 both pay for their food and leave, you're likely to find yourself at the front of the queue.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    "But you didn't lie! You're supposed to lie!"

    Which is of course the thing that is so infuriating about the usual practice. When I worked in parliament I tended to divide politicians into three groups, those that were leadership material and knew it (few), those that weren't but fortunately knew it (few) and those that weren't and didn't (many).

    There was damn near no politician I ever had anything to do with was both talented and didn't believe that if only the right circumstances arose I could be PM. One who fit this category was Brian Donnelly; a bright and hard working politician who was a very good Minister but didn't want the top job.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    with the press gallery as the harpies, and it makes a whole lot more sense

    I've got a picture of Mathew Hooton in my mind, make it stop!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    I mean really, if you're #3 in a queue at the supermarket, and #1 and #2 both pay for their food and leave, you're likely to find yourself at the front of the queue.

    Unless Obama walks in ...

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    harpies at high school?

    The people who dictate status within the clique. Usually by making up the rules as they go along, and sneering at those who fail to jump through the hoops in just the right way.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Thorpe,

    I think the story does the party's election campaign some harm, but it does much greater harm to Goff's chances of ever taking over.

    Phil Goff is not a well liked person. I suspect most party members regard him as a rather clever weasel

    who happens to be in their team.

    His many years of well organised energy for in the cause have given him a respected place in the Labour Party,

    but this is the destructive behaviour of politician getting desperate - and clumsy in his declining days.

    Hokianga • Since May 2007 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Of course. Think of Parliament as a teenage clique in high school, with the press gallery as the harpies, and it makes a whole lot more sense

    And it probably says nothing about me that I read that and thought "Herpes? Is being a teenager in Palmerston North really that bad?" :)

    I think it was worth reporting, just not in the ridiculous way it has been.

    Sure, just as I have little sympathy for the Press Gallery when Chris Fafoi stalked Brian Connell to the loos, asking the same inane question 17 times. And getting a rather pissed off MP to bark 'piss off' was treated like Watergate. Net result: hacks getting barred from the corridors outside select committee rooms. (And need I add there's something seriously FUBAR when I feel any sympathy for Brian Connell.)

    I don't think it's even as subtle as the observers wanting to be players. We're seeing hacks doing these lame "gotchas" because, to put it bluntly, everyone wants a 'gone by lunchtime' sin-sational soundbite under their byline. And let's be honest, they do it because people like us eat shit and beg for more.

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

  • Wammo,

    but this is the destructive behaviour of politician getting desperate - and clumsy in his declining days.

    I think that assumes that politics needs to be a game played on a chess board or poker table as opposed real world people answering real questions in an honest manner.

    Everyone knew what he said is fact before he even said it, just as we know Helen will get a job at the UN.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I think 'Bill English possibly next leader if Key quits' is only news for the bleedingly obvious.
    Which is pretty similar to what we have here... Goff possible next leader after Clark quits (because we all know Cullen is going to retire soon).
    I mean really, if you're #3 in a queue at the supermarket, and #1 and #2 both pay for their food and leave, you're likely to find yourself at the front of the queue.

    Bogus analogy. You can't take it for granted someone is simply in a queue like that. They get older, other things happen in their lives. Russell Marshall stood against Lange in 1983: you could not take it for granted he was in the running in 1989.

    And I think plenty of people commenting here would be scathing - rightly - about media taking something for granted without having it confirmed from the horses mouth.

    So if they confirm it they're in the running if certain quite likely things happen, then its news.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    (And need I add there's something seriously FUBAR when I feel any sympathy for Brian Connell.)

    [polite cough]

    You are not the only one who felt that way over that particular incident, believe me.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Rob said:

    Russell Marshall stood against Lange in 1983

    What for? The leadership? I thought the second attempt to replace Rowling simply installed Lange (after of course a vote, but was it contested)?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Bogus analogy. You can't take it for granted someone is simply in a queue like that. They get older, other things happen in their lives. Russell Marshall stood against Lange in 1983: you could not take it for granted he was in the running in 1989.

    I didn't say they were in a queue for leadership.

    I said, Phil Goff is probably third in the party list. If the top two quit politics, it's not a stretch of the imagination to assume that he might "possibly" be leader.

    It's not shocking news, it's not headline news, it's just plain logic.

    Whether or not he ends up being leader, that's another story, but that won't be news for another 6 months or so.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    So has anyone here actually met Key - I just can't get a read on him - is he real? acting? what does he believe in?

    The only context for his life I have are those pictures of him from last year in front of a somewhat sterile holiday home. I guess he's trying really hard to be a cypher that people will project their own image/desires on

    I've worked in the tech industry for many many years - to me he reads as one of those guys in sales we have to have, they're always trying to be your best friend, but we feel a bit queasy when we have to hang around them and see how they actually operate at trade shows (sorry guys).

    As I said above the nothing there there thing may just be an act, but it sets my BS detectors off .... I'm waiting 'till he takes the mask off and we discover who's really under there ....

    maybe we should start a pool ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm waiting 'till he takes the mask off and we discover who's really under there ....

    And would I be wrong in saying that if that miraculous event happened (because if you don't have a closetful of masks that allow you to function, you're either a saint, a madman or a damn liar) and you don't see exactly what you want... What then?

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

  • Felix Marwick,

    I can't let Rob field this one alone.

    Parliament and politics is a strange beast. Sometimes its what people don't say that's significant and then at other times it's what they do say and the context in which they say it that's crucial.

    Setting aside for a moment the way some of my colleagues covered this story here are a few points to consider:

    1) A important part of politics is to protect your position and not letting your opponents seize advantage. Discussing potential leadership scenarios will create that situation.

    2) Even when your position is dire avoid acknowledging it. Promote the positive. To do otherwise will give your opponent a large stick with which he will club you. (as an example Bill English got roundly lambasted by Shipley back in 1999 when he tacitly accepted defeat on election night in an on-air interview -this despite the numbers being clear and Shipley conceding around an hour later)

    3) Phil Goff is a canny politician with 25 years experience and knows how to play the game. In fact he'd have to be one of the most circumspect politicians I've seen when it comes to on the record interviews. For him to say what he did, while it might not seem that big a deal to the lay observer, it is out of character.

    Politics is a murky business with occasional Machiavellian overtones. It's rarely black and white and is more often varying shades of gray. What we see on the surface often conceals something more substantial that's underneath. So what a politician says sometimes has to be considered in the context of the nature of the beast that is politics.

    For the record Russell made a good point earlier. Sometimes politicians do let stuff slip to smaller media outlets that they wouldn't to the more established operators. And if that's the case, and it was a spontaneous burst of honesty, then my argument above may be null and void.

    Still for what it's worth I think it was worth reporting. When a senior cabinet minister talks about future leadership options 4-5 months out from an election it is a story.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.