Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Ups and Downs

128 Responses

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    I accept that Chris is a prominent cultural figure and worthy of news, but that story was irresponsible.

    Irresponsible and the Sunday Star-Times. In the same sentence. Again. Wow...

    I was really hoping that a new editor would see the SST de-tabloid a bit, but experience kicks hope's arse again. Meanwhile, I hope that Chris' partner and family are going to get an apology of some kind. I'm sure they're going through enough without having to deal with people responding to that thing.

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

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Did The Cars do a song called Surrender? I am thinking of the Cheap Trick song.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Did The Cars do a song called Surrender? I am thinking of the Cheap Trick song.

    Duh. Still a bit fuzzy today ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    My son's almost the same age - his first vote will be on whether parents are allowed to beat their kids ... he's against it .... we've been talking about how the wording of referendum questions can be made purposely obtuse in an attempt to bamboozle the voters ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And some other random thoughts

    Redbaiter, as you might expect, takes the cake:

    He can keep it. OK, Russell, were you really expecting good grace from that corner? Truth now. I'll stick to my default position that the only party the media supports (to thoroughly mung Mill) is the stupid party. Yes, I do think Shearer wasn't exactly put on the grill at any point and Lee could have farted and had Duncan Garner predicting the end of the world. But some vast left-wing conspiracy? Poo.

    "I felt like I was famous!" said Jim as we walked out.

    Congrats to Jimmy -- quality over quantity any day of the week. :)

    Now, I'd have linked to The Standard's Ralston vs Ralston post, but they appear to have forgotten to pay their domain name fees, so here goes my version …

    So, Ralston changed his mind? Fancy that. Meanwhile, it would be nice if a few more pundits could do so and acknowledge it.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    So, Ralston changed his mind? Fancy that. Meanwhile, it would be nice if a few more pundits could do so and acknowledge it.

    It was the not-acknowledging part that was funny in Ralston's columns. He was just reheating the received wisdom of the moment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Thanks, Russell, for the bulletin about Chris. I was extremely distressed to read the SST story and, if it was inaccurate and alarmist, I am bloody pissed off about it. Perhaps Public Address readers with connections to the SST editor would like to suggest he logs in and posts an explanation. Kia kaha, kia manawanui, Chris, Barbara and family.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As I said elsewhere, Master Baiter aside, it might be worth comparing and contrasting the Mount Albert by-election and the cluster-fuck going down in Iran. Even if you don't much like the outcome free, fair and credible elections without riots in the street afterwards are nothing to sniff at.

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

  • Alan P,

    Great set list. If ever a set list deserved to be called eclectic, that one does.
    btw, I know that a: you probably already knew this, and it's just a typo, and b: I'm just being pedantic, but - isn't "Surrender" a Cheap Trick song?

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I know there's a lot in that post, and I'm bumping in this thread a little early, so I hope I don't threadjack here. However, the #iranelection tag on Twitter is amazing to watch, and has been for the last 24 hours. PA's @tzemingdynasty has been stellar in retweeting and directing to twitterers from within Iran, and is probably the best first place to go to catch up.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Alan P,

    Dang - in the couple minutes it took me to type that, there's a number of replies already. Don't let it be said there's no life here...

    Auckland • Since Jun 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    One of National's big mistakes was to allow an early win to its online spin meister DPF to inflate expectations. The early media meme was the possibility of an upset to National in Helen Clark's old seat. From then on, anything less than a moderate loss was going to be portrayed by the media as a disaster.

    Mt. Albert for Labour was a "must win," while for National is was a "nice to have." Both sides resourced their campaign accordingly. Having said that, Labour ran a faultless campaign with a candidate who kept his ego in check and mouth moving only when relentlessly on message. Making no mistakes is actually harder than than it seems, just ask Melissa Lee.

    Despite people saying Russel Norman was the best candidate, David Shearer will be an excellent electorate MP. He knows how to use the system, knows how to get the bits and bobs trivia that interest constituents done and he won't be an absentee MP.

    I woukldn't write off Melissa Lee. She was John Key's hand picked candidate who was woefully unready for the political dogfight she was tossed into. Once she made her early stuff-ups she was left to hang out to dry by a party leadership which was disgracefully disloyal to her. She was humiliated and yet by the end appears to have learnt to be humble. She will have learnt a lot. If she has the thickness of skin all successful politicians need she may be back for another go somewhere else.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It was the not-acknowledging part that was funny in Ralston's columns. He was just reheating the received wisdom of the moment.

    I think from now on he should be known to us as June Ralston, which is a lovely name.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Fish,

    I liked Chris Trotter's musings (as reported in the Central Leader last wednesday):

    But he is impressed with Act’s campaign, considering the party registers relatively poorly in national opinion polls

    This was days after a poll was released putting John Boscawen on 3%!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps Public Address readers with connections to the SST editor would like to suggest he logs in and posts an explanation.

    Well, I've sent a polite (really) e-mail to the SST suggesting that the paper needs to lift its game and privately apologise to Knox for the entirely gratuitous invasion of his privacy and the needless distress I'm sure was caused to his family. Otherwise, I've not much interest in Mitchell Murphy trying to defend the indefensible.

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

  • George Darroch,

    OT on Iran again, Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish is also a standout, and has been constantly providing useful information.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Though to be fair, that Knox story wasn't quite as bad as the Herald on Sunday's breathless announcement that a "close family friend" had revealed -- with extensive quotes -- that Sharon Shipton was divorcing her convicted rapist husband. A story that came as a great surprise to her. The HoS's editor had to completely retract and apologise for that story, but it shouldn't have seen print in the first place.

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

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    My son's almost the same age - his first vote will be on whether parents are allowed to beat their kids ... he's against it ...

    Against it? Sounds like a "no" vote...

    we've been talking about how the wording of referendum questions can be made purposely obtuse in an attempt to bamboozle the voters ....

    hmmm

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Although to be fair the complete quote is "according to a close family friend who was clearly messing with us".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Although to be fair the complete quote is "according to a close family friend who was clearly messing with us".

    Yes... but in that case, I guess it was one of those stories that were just too good to check. And while my sympathy for Sharon Shipton is at a premium for all kinds of reasons, I don't blame her for being a bit pissed at finding out she was getting divorced through a tabloid newspaper.

    It's also a pretty extreme case study in why I don't put any store in stories entirely based on anonymous sources. In the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, the New York Times tightened up their rules on such stories and think it would be a good idea for media outlets here to follow suit. Atrribution is a blunt instrument, granted, but it is a way for readers to assess what agendas are in play. "Just trust me" isn't always good enough.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One of National's big mistakes was to allow an early win to its online spin meister DPF to inflate expectations. The early media meme was the possibility of an upset to National in Helen Clark's old seat

    Well, you've got a point there Tom -- but, seriously, am I the only person who though there was an element of egregious sexing up going on there? The only arguments I was hearing for that was a seriously dodgy extrapolation of the party vote last election through to the by-election, which didn't make a lot of sense to me. And still doesn't when Nigel Roberts half-heartedly ran it out on Morning Report this morning.

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

  • Simon J Taylor,

    Mt Albert's winnability for National: No it was simply not winnable; a thirty-point percentage lead simply cannot be overturned, particularly by a governing party... but yes, it could have been significantly narrowed.

    For National: an awful result with no redeeming features, except for still finishing second. ... but Melissa Lee can still live to see another day politically, as Tom S points out.

    For Labour: a morale booster? Quite definitely, but as the Mangere byelection 1977 and the Timaru byelection 1985 showed, there were still stones in the road to the next election victory for the respective opposition parties.

    Mt Eden, Akl • Since May 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Mt Albert's winnability for National: No it was simply not winnable; a thirty-point percentage lead simply cannot be overturned, particularly by a governing party... but yes, it could have been significantly narrowed.

    The big margin was a personal vote for Clark -- the party vote margin last year was only about 2000 -- so it was certainly possible that Shearer's margin could have been less than that, and even that he might not even win, especially with Russel Norman standing.

    In the end, both a very strong campaign behind him and a disastrous one for Lee procured a landslide.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    but, seriously, am I the only person who though there was an element of egregious sexing up going on there?

    Well that is true. But if that meme had of continued with a barn-storming National candidate then a Labour win by less than, ohh, say 4000 votes would have had all the talking heads proclaiming Labour was out for the count.

    Melissa Lee needed to be blooded as an electorate candidate during a general election campaign before being pitched in the spotlight of the biggest political circus in town. It was just awful how her own party threw her to the wolves.

    I also heard Matthew Hooten as late as last week saying the SuperCity is a non-issue to Aucklanders. I think this is plain wrong. I am sure the SuperCity kept at least some National voters at home as a protest. Hooten and the rest of the Wellywooders seem to have a very low opinion of the intelligence of Aucklanders, and they haven't grasped that Aucklanders are quite capable of wanting a SuperCity whilst at the same time recognising a naked power grab by an ACT Party minister with no mandate when they see it.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    On this beautiful sunny morning I was walking across the parliamentary forecourt on my way to an appointment (as you do in Wellington), and came across a gaggle of journalists, cameras and school girls clustered around a familiar figure. In the clear air I distinctly heard, 'Where were you on Saturday night?'

    Craig, you have a point - you couldn't do that in Iran.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

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