Hard News by Russell Brown


Safer Communities Together

You don't know what you've got till it's gone, and when the internet was abruptly deprived of probably the greatest moment of real-life television policing in New Zealand history this week, loud was the wailing and, um, gnarly was the gnashing.

Well, I'm here to tell you that it's back – presently only in sucky Facebook format, but hopefully coming back to YouTube later today.

I checked this morning with the people at Screentime, which makes Police Ten 7, and it appears the copyright takedown was simply standard practice. The automated systems that notify rights holders flagged the clip and a production assistant, as per her instructions, clicked to have it removed.

What they didn't know was that they'd killed a meme – one embedded even in the places where police talk amongst their own. But now it's back. I hope everyone had a key learning today.

Update: It's back!


Garth George has never let reason and research stand in the way of expression in his New Zealand Herald columns. His editors have been prepared to go along with it because, clearly, there's a market for that sort of thing. But I fear we may not be hearing too much more of Garth.

Gareth Renowden of Hot-Topic has caught Garth in a substantial act of plagiarism: more than 300 words of an 800-word column lifted verbatim from a screed by an Australian climate change denier. He's way too old to plead ignorance.


Last night's Media7 is here. The panel discussion on coverage of the tsunami story with journalists who were on the scene is moving in places. Also, a good look at the state of the book trade in NZ.

The new TVNZ iPhone app is excellent – and I'm very flattered that Media7 is one of seven programmes displayed on its slidey podcast navigation. Unfortunately, our podcast seems to crash the app right now. I'll look into it.


I plan to renew Public Address's relationship with Amplifier, which has rather lapsed at both ends this year. But pending that, they have a couple of things I think are worth your digital dollar.

Amplifier favourites Shapeshifter have 'Dutchies', the first single from their forthcoming album The System is a Vampire for sale as an MP3 now.

And then there's Birds of New Zealand – 320kb MP3 files of the calls of 38 native birds, plus a Dawn Chorus (which, when you think about it, is really like the bonus DJ mix) for $19.95; or $1.99 each for single files. Perfect for pining expats, they reckon.

If you haven't shopped with Amplifier before, I find the best way is to bung a few dollars into an account with them on registration, so you're not making small credit card purchases all the time.


Meanwhile on Hype Machine, Friendly Fires cover Lykke Li's 'I'm Good, I'm Gone' to very tasty effect.

And I also like the Fred Falke remix of The Gossip's 'Heavy Cross', and I don't care if my darling thinks it's "too gay".


NZ On Screen's new Nature collection may further tug the heartstrings of the diaspora.

And when I re-tweeted something about people's favourite On the Mat wrestlers this week, there was quite a response -- but people replied to me rather than posting their thoughts in the relevant thread on the NZOS forums. Perhaps you could do that for me.

Auto-Tune the News #9:


And finally, am I the only one who senses a seething, sinister subtext to the 1970s internal tourism promo posted recently on the Archives NZ YouTube Channel?

Pure evil is only a mash-up away.

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