Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli

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  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to martinb,

    the story has been a bit exhilarating compared to the berms of last week.

    Mine got mowed and the buggers wouldn't do the rest of the front and sides of the house. Most disappointing. Had I known about Len I could have demanded he serve penance for the good of the Nation. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    In context being worried about a politician "cleaning the rough edges of your lawn" might, um, well, have a different meaning ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I never said it was a good US tv Drama. ;)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    As a follow on .... I was thinking, in a rather tongue in cheek moment, that maybe the sex lives of politicians shouldn't be off the table, first person reports from exs might give voters useful insight into the people we are electing, certainly more than the couple of paragraphs of self serving twaddle we're faced in the voter booklet. The advice of spurned lovers of course should be taken with appropriate grain of salt

    For example whether or not a politician puts their pleasure ahead of that of their partner's could be telling when trying to figure out their motives for running public office.

    Equally "didn't bring a condom ... trusted in god .... gave me the clap" tells us more about their world view

    "My partner and I caught him staring through our window" - this could indicate someone who prefers to engage with the political process from a distance, perhaps a Brethren fellow traveler ....

    "Wanted to use a condom twice" might indicate someone who would be frugal with the public purse, to the point of stupidity

    "Cried out Milton Friedman's name at orgasm" could have helped us understand where the Lange government ended up ....

    While "doesn't always honour safe words" could well indicate someone who is unwilling to live within our normal constitutional boundaries

    I'm sure the good people of PA can think of more ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But here’s another thing: Like it or not (and I think it’s fair to say O’Sullivan and Co. don’t), Len Brown did win a free, fair and credible election. Who elected the editorial writers and columnists who want to nullify that election? How are they “accountable” to the people they’ve been energetically concern-trolling this week?

    What exactly do the politically schizophrenic O'Sullivan and Armstrong have to lose? Parliamentary swipe card access and Bellamy's discounts?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Jeremy Rees, the editor of the Weekend Herald has confirmed to me that deadlines prevented the columnists being informed of the poll results, which were still being compiled yesterday afternoon.

    The same seems to go for the Palino story, which leaves Fran a bit stranded:

    These revelations have made Brown a figure of fun. But there is also a sinister element to them. Particularly the pressure which Bevan Chuang claims was put on her by Palino’s PR man (one of her other lovers) to try and get her to entrap Brown in making “dirty talk” on the phone.

    We know now, of course, about about Palino’s highly active role and his idiotic cunning plan. The paper is reporting this as fact, backed by an affadavit from Chuang and multiple messages, not as a claim.

    Fran says:

    There should be a proper wide-ranging council inquiry into whether Brown abused rules by creating favours for Chuang.

    She doesn’t explain how the current inquiry wouldn’t be a “proper” one, or what a “wide-ranging” inquiry would do that the one already underway would not. And more to the point, Chuang – who has been extremely forthcoming – has given no indication there is anything beyond Brown agreeing to be listed as a referee.

    There’s no sign at all that Brown “created favours” for Chuang, or indeed of any situation in which he might have even been in a position to pull strings. It’s proper that it be investigated, but I’m not quite seeing the case for a Royal Commission.

    Also, note this, right at the bottom of the front page lead:

    Mr Brown also denied claims by Ms Chuang that some hotel rooms he booked for the pair were offered free of charge.

    In a written statement to the Weekend Herald, the mayor’s head of communications, Dan Lambert, said: “He was not offered, or has accepted, free hotel stays in connection to the relationship and paid the standard rate out of his own pocket.

    “Any expenses he incurred in connection with this relationship, he has paid for out of his own pocket."

    That’s a very clear denial. I wouldn’t think they’d make it if there was a chance of being found out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    She doesn’t explain how the current inquiry wouldn’t be a “proper” one, or what a “wide-ranging” inquiry would do that the one already underway would not. And more to the point, Chuang – who has been extremely forthcoming – has given no indication there is anything beyond Brown agreeing to be listed as a referee.

    YES! And it's about time someone sat down with the entire press corps and explained that adultery is not a criminal offence under New Zealand law and certainly not within the scope of any kind of legitimate inquiry Auckland City could conduct. To be even blunter than usual, Sullivan, Armstrong, Roughan and Old Uncle Tom Cobbley all need to front up with some rock hard evidence Brown has done anything improper besides fuck a woman not his wife, or shut the fuck up.

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

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sorry I’m late to the conversation but I have been busy doing plumbing, not plumbing the depths of depravity but doing the real thing. ;-)

    We know now, of course, about about Palino’s highly active role and his idiotic cunning plan.

    Indeed, a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Prime Minister.

    And more to the point, Chuang – who has been extremely forthcoming – has given no indication there is anything beyond Brown agreeing to be listed as a referee.

    If only Monica Lewinsky had been a little more forthcoming with the facts and not just blindly “Following Instructions” the world may just have been a slightly better place but as with all these Right Wingers with their over inflated sense of entitlement and purity their vision of a “Better World” does not include sharing the spoils of growth with the Hoi Poloi.
    I said at the time, and risking being abused by the usual suspects. “What is the point of becoming the most powerful man in the world when you can’t have a bit of totally legal fun with another consenting adult in the privacy of your own Whitehouse”

    I have to admit that I phrased it slightly more crudely back then but there are some sensitive souls here and God forbid I should upset anybody.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It is a valid story Craig. A story that has snaked around to bite the biter and then bite those running the biter. The Herald columnists opine: they do not report; a crucial difference in newspaper journalism. The columnists may indeed be employed on the basis that their world view reinforces that of the newspaper's owner -- and that has always been the case: they are not charged with or pretending to be objective.

    A lot of your arguments about this are just that: arguing. Get a new newspaper if the Herald annoys you. I often switch around online because reading only Fairfax becomes soul-destroying: "determinental" is this morning's new word??

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    "The columnists may indeed be employed on the basis that their world view reinforces that of the newspaper’s owner – and that has always been the case: they are not charged with or pretending to be objective."

    I wonder what percentage of the Herald's readership make that distinction? I don't think it's TOO unreasonable to ask that a newspaper remain both objective regardless of who owns it. I would argue that in New Zealand we should expect that.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I’m sure the good people of PA can think of more ….

    Shouted out "who's the boss?", indicating a tragic obsession with 80s television.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Can someone confirm I have my scorecard right?:

    Liars
    Cameron Slater and/or Stephen Cook - apparently fabricated quotes for Chaung calling for Brown to resign
    Luigi Wewege - denied having a relationship with Chaung
    John Palino - denied any knowledge of the affair prior to Whale Oil's story
    John Slater (probably) - denied any knowledge of the affair prior to Whale Oil's story, seems unlikely to be in the dark given that Palino knew

    Not known to be liars
    Len Brown

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "[...] (one of her other lovers) [...]"

    That’s a gross bit of innuendo too.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    That would kind of defeat the purpose of “a reference”, wouldn’t it?

    Well, it doesn't have to be glowing. So for people who were very poor employees, the reference can be limited to saying the barest minimum - what their dates of employment were, and maybe their job title. Which is effectively saying "this person was total crap" without actually saying it, thus avoiding any legal headaches whatsoever. It's effectively the same, but playing very safe.

    You can refuse to give a reference, I think, or write a negative one. But that would invite a possible legal action. Why would you, if the employee had been OK at their job? The legal department in practically any large organization will instruct you to do so. If Chaung was OK at her job, she gets a reference, and that's just how things are. I can't see that part being unethical, even if it was handwritten by Brown himself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Hebe,

    A lot of your arguments about this are just that: arguing. Get a new newspaper if the Herald annoys you.

    Thanks, Hebe, because that’s not even a little bit patronizing.

    I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but an unelected and unaccountable newspaper (which happens to be an effective monopoly player in Auckland) has decided to try and drive an elected mayor out of office.

    It’s doing do in a manner that is (IMO) dishonest, hypocritical, profoundly unethical and with scant regards for the standards of a trade I used to be proud to be a part of.

    And, yes, you bet your fucking arse I’m going to “argue” about this because I am a citizen and elector of this city, and this country. If I can’t expect the best from the media – which I’d argue is as influential as politicians – I at least expect them to meet basic standards of professional and ethical conduct.

    The columnists may indeed be employed on the basis that their world view reinforces that of the newspaper’s owner – and that has always been the case: they are not charged with or pretending to be objective.

    I guess they’re also not charged with or pretending to have any regard for telling the truth either. Glad you don’t see anything problematic with that, Hebe. We’re just going to have to agree to disagree, and am thankful to the various editors in my career as an opinionated arsehole (including Russell) who’ve held this truth firmly in my view: Everyone may be entitled to their own opinion, nobody is entitled to their own facts. And there’s more than one way to tell a porkie pie: Lies of omission and wrongful emphasis do the job as well as those of commission.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hebe,

    Get a new newspaper if the Herald annoys you. I often switch around online because reading only Fairfax becomes soul-destroying: “determinental” is this morning’s new word??

    And therein lies part of the problem. It reminds me of a post by RichofObs a few years back:

    Because ours are worried that if they explicitly declared themselves to be National party pamphlets, a non-National government might notice that they are an unregulated and abusive monopoly?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There’s no sign at all that Brown “created favours” for Chuang

    He did invite her to events. Some of the other advisory boards and their members might have wished for similar access to influence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I at least expect them to meet basic standards of professional and ethical conduct

    Please do lodge a press council complaint. You sound motivated enough over this one to see it through.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Please do lodge a press council complaint.

    Not a bad idea once I’ve got the paying work firmly in the OUT tray, though no harm in invoicing Shayne Currie if I’m going to do his job for him ex post facto.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    I at least expect them to meet basic standards of professional and ethical conduct

    Please do lodge a press council complaint. You sound motivated enough over this one to see it through.

    I'm struggling to see grounds for a successful complaint.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I’m struggling to see grounds for a successful complaint.

    On reflection, I’m also struggling to justify wasting time time better spent at least trying to make a living.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Now Slater is actually denying he was part of a plot.

    He is lying.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Now Slater is actually denying he was part of a plot.

    Wonder how many were injured when his trousers spontaneously combusted…

    And this is where things get truly bizarre...

    Slater also denied he tried to sell the story to Woman's Day. He said the magazine approached him after the story broke, not before.

    M'kay... should be easy enough for both parties (who I presume keep comprehensive phone and e-mail logs) to settle that one. Shouldn't it?

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I know a bit more than what has been thus far published, and I'm starting to think that this could all turn out very, very badly for Cameron Slater.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa_J, in reply to Lilith __,

    Agreed. And while I feel somewhat for the young woman for caving in to pressure from her new boyfriend and his boss, she is an adult and should have realised that by making private details of her sex life public she would be, well, ending her privacy.

    Banks must be thanking his lucky stars that this happened when it did, to take the attention off his alleged criminal activity.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2013 • 8 posts Report Reply

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