Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It's not OK to just make stuff up

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  • dc_red,

    some very real scientific research

    As opposed to the largely unreal research? Or the mildly real?

    Putting "scientific" in there is a curious ploy too.

    Science = quantitative and objective = good?

    But if Ralston had any understanding of (or interest in) research, he'd know you can't read any one study in isolation (or even, y'know, ignore the qualified conclusions of the one study you've actually bothered to look at?)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    six times as many men in New Zealand are apprehended for family violence offences as women . . .

    Doubtless due to the political correctness of our brainwashed lesbian police force. Wake up man!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Agree. He's a lazy bugger. But if you are employed to write a light-hearted opinion piece, do you need to use sweet reason? And did you see Garth George's Herald column about the Gaza War - nothing to do with us etc.

    This sort of provocative, lightweight, knee jerk reaction sort of stuff makes me wonder about the worth of these sorts of columns. Hmmm.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    They were cemented into a blindly feminist position of "women good, men bad".

    Oh yes. Because that's *exactly* what feminism is about. FEH.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Y'know, I'd been wondering what was wrong with Bill Ralston, after he had a go at the 'It's Not Okay' campaign in an otherwise excellent article on John Kirwan in last week's Listener and then again in his column in this week's. He appears to have some kind of very disturbing fixation -especially the way he keeps talking about the campaign as if it belongs to you.

    For the record (I'm cooking dinner and I know I'm going to cock something up trying to express this) I have real concerns about domestic violence regardless of gender . I think that 16% from the Dunedin study is higher than a lot of people would expect, and I find the attitudes around female-on-male domestic violence displayed in the clip here really creepy and disturbing ("he must have done something to deserve it").

    And none of that is relevant. That doesn't make the It's Not Okay campaign condescending, unnecessary, or any of the other things Ralston calls it. (Serious, what gives? Did nobody ask him to be in them?) One of the local organisations down here was saying that over Christmas they got more calls from men wanting help to stop hitting than they'd ever had before, and attributed that to this campaign.

    Meanwhile, if violence against men or by women is such a big deal for Bill, I'd suggest he gets off his arse and does something himself instead of just carping.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    This sort of provocative, lightweight, knee jerk reaction sort of stuff makes me wonder about the worth of these sorts of columns. Hmmm.

    Yeah, my only potential criticism of Russell might be that Ralston's comments were so obviously ill-considered that it should be beneath him to even bother refuting it. (The only time I ever read Ralston's column is when Russell links to it.)

    But Ralston's column may be reasonably widely read, so maybe it's worth it, especially given his attempt to present it as though "the reasearch" catagorically says one thing, and the Labour Government just disregarded it.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    For the record (I'm cooking dinner and I know I'm going to cock something up trying to express this) I have real concerns about domestic violence regardless of gender. I think that 16% from the Dunedin study is higher than a lot of people would expect

    Quite, especially given that it's serious violence that that study was tracking. Then there's violence within same-sex relationships, which stays just as far under the radar.

    As I noted, the "Are You Okay" website addresses partner violence largely in non-gendered terms, and I presume that's no accident.

    But if you're running a big TV campaign, you kick off by addressing the big problem. Which, sadly, is men assaulting and intimidating women.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I have real concerns about domestic violence regardless of gender. I think that 16% from the Dunedin study is higher than a lot of people would expect, and I find the attitudes around female-on-male domestic violence displayed in the clip here really creepy and disturbing ("he must have done something to deserve it").

    And none of that is relevant. That doesn't make the It's Not Okay campaign condescending, unnecessary, or any of the other things Ralston calls it. (Serious, what gives? Did nobody ask him to be in them?) One of the local organisations down here was saying that over Christmas they got more calls from men wanting help to stop hitting than they'd ever had before, and attributed that to this campaign.

    And if it's also getting the men around that 16% getting the hell out of their enabling and/or denial, even better. I might be a bit of a queer bird here, but when it come to abuse of children or spouses, the configuration of the perpetrator's genitalia is so far beside the point its not funny.

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

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    BTW, Ralston name-checks you in his latest Listener column. The context is a bit unclear - something about a touch rugby game?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Ralston might've had a better point if he'd objected to the very one-eyed programme to have only women asked at hospitals if they'd been subjected to any kind of domestic abuse (made to feel afraid, been physically attacked, etc). No matter what they were in the hospital for, they were to be asked. And only women. The message that a lot of people took away from that was that trying to get information about violence toward men was just too hard/expensive/pointless/all of the above.
    Much as I disagree with the slant, I do understand that an expensive advertising campaign works better if it's got a clear focus. Asking questions that exclude half the population, giving one hell of a selection bias, is just bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I think that 16% from the Dunedin study is higher than a lot of people would expect

    Not really. But then you really have to look quite hard in the stdy to get the real answer.

    We might also look at the 2001 study Domestic violence as witnessed by New Zealand children, which was based on interviews with subjects from the Christchurch study's counterpart, the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, on their experience of family violence as children. Only 16% reported partner violence perpetrated by mothers only, 28% by both parents and 55% by fathers only.

    Took me a while to find it, but the real number (the equivalent of 16%) appears to be 3.9%. I'm surprised the article doesn't headline that a little more. When you're trying to discus the prevalence of domestic violence, it would be nice for the write-up in the medical journal to make a little more of the fact more than three-quarter of respondents reported that there was not a single act violence during their entire childhood, and over 80% that the most violent it ever got was a threat.

    I read 16% (and add the 28% for 44% all up) and think yeah, Emma's right, that is kinda high. Then I look at the study, do the numbers thy don't seem to want to do themselves, and get a figure of 10.8% of women have at least at one time in their domestic life done something violent (which might e a threat) and maybe it's not as high as it first seems.

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

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What are Bill Ralston's qualifications? The only information I can find on him talks about his job career, but did he study at all? Has he worked in jobs that have required research over above reporter/commentator/tv host/news editor?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    What are Bill Ralston's qualifications?

    He is another example of someone who has excessive access to the media. Like others of his kind (Richard Griifith, Joanne Black, Michelle Boag, Ian Wishart) etc etc, he just won't go away and leave us in peace. I no longer tune into Jim Mora's The Panel, for these folk regularly pop up there, like some sort of rash. It might sound 'smug' but I love PA because it welcomes and celebrates dissent.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    well said.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Vaughn Davis,

    | I love PA because it welcomes and celebrates dissent.

    Well, haven't seen any dissent on this thread just yet. Is it OK to disagree with Uncle Rusty? (Not that I happen to on this point – I've worked on a campaign for the same client.) Surely there must be some Ralstonites out there among the, erm, Brown-nosers?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Took me a while to find it, but the real number (the equivalent of 16%) appears to be 3.9%. I'm surprised the article doesn't headline that a little more. When you're trying to discus the prevalence of domestic violence, it would be nice for the write-up in the medical journal to make a little more of the fact more than three-quarter of respondents reported that there was not a single act violence during their entire childhood, and over 80% that the most violent it ever got was a threat.

    Thanks Graeme. You're right, of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Well, haven't seen any dissent on this thread just yet. Is it OK to disagree with Uncle Rusty

    Well, Russell does check his facts, and is able to distinguish between informed opinion and ill-informed opinion.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, haven't seen any dissent on this thread just yet. Is it OK to disagree with Uncle Rusty?

    People disagree with me quite a lot. But I think the column in question is quite hard to defend, because its argument is so obviously flawed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "Brown-nosers" - heh. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    I no longer tune into Jim Mora's The Panel, for these folk regularly pop up there, like some sort of rash.

    Didn't Ralston pretty much write the book for that sort of format with The Ralston Group? It regularly featured the dreary rent-a-curmudgeon Trevor De Cleene, probably the most reactionary Labour MP of the Lange era. Now Ralston seems to be reduced to channeling the old bugger.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But I think the column in question is quite hard to defend, because its argument is so obviously flawed.

    Which is something you can get away with in a print publication (although you shouldn't) but not in a blog (even though sometimes we should probably all chill and let a few minor quibbles alone).

    As for the credentials bit, since when do columnists need credential? And Ralston didn't exactly fall off a tree, he's been around a few times and has had visible and important roles in the media. Add the fact he's a good writer, I don't begrudge him his column. He could and should be treating the job with a lot more respect, is my feeling. It's a privilege to have that kind of platform.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    after reading the listener i have to wonder if ralston just hates on the campaign becuase he seems to not like you.
    Which is really stupid.

    domestic violence is so horrible and truly does scar people for life, it never leaves you so if even one little kiddie is saved through that campaign i say we need to see more of it on tv.

    those kirwan campaigns are equally awesome and important in this country, one might say they are targeted at men as much at the 'it';s not ok ones are' and guess what who gives a fuck
    if those ads help someone that's all that matters.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Add the fact he's a good writer, I don't begrudge him his column. He could and should be treating the job with a lot more respect, is my feeling. It's a privilege to have that kind of platform.

    He is a good writer, and it's the slapdash nature of those columns that irks me. I realise not everyone is an op-ed nerd, but it's also the reason I get exercised about poorly-argued editorials in the Herald when hardly anyone else even reads the things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22849 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Add the fact he's a good writer, I don't begrudge him his column.

    Hell, I know what it's like when your on deadline, and your argument isn't as tight as it should be -- a sloppy construction here, or some stat that's been misquoted or not fully placed in context. Everyone does it, and I think everyone deserves a pass. But not every other week.

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

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Well I for one have been known to disagree with the Owner
    And in all truth people who disagree with the general view do tend to get hammered

    But (and we PA people know what that indicates) I think Ralston is way off the mark when it comes to the "It's not OK " series of ads

    Great series that are hard hitting and I feel are right on the mark

    End of story

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

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