Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Why we thought what we thought

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  • Richard Aston, in reply to Cecelia,

    He made David Cunliffe look statesman-like – a major gaffe and unmade points notwithstanding.

    Yes I noticed that , Key did the school yard larriken thing and showed us that nasty little side we see in Parliament debates , he seemed obsessed with "beating" labour
    and as you said Cecelia David Cunliffe looked quite statesman like in comparison even to the point of acknowledging National had done a good job of getting through the recession .
    The production values were bloody aweful through , audio levels all over the place , the intros were far too long and it was very hard for me to hear what Press Editor was saying.
    I think Cunliffe did really well and it restored my faith a little .

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Not innuendo. I wouldn't be surprised if Key was cracking under the strain of Dirty Politics and the ways it's developing. If he wasn't literally drunk, he had cast himself in a silly, schoolboy role which was most unbecoming of a PM. Last time people said, "Why wasn't John Key as funny as usual?" So he wound himself up to be funny and overdid it.

    Or was it meant to be a schoolboy debate? Maybe I missed the point?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    a clutch of straws...

    instead of whining...

    Shouting 'Show me the Money!'
    or 'Whatever, whatever...'
    is way more déclassé.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Cecelia,

    Attachment

    The AC / DC knitting book...

    he had cast himself in a silly, schoolboy role which was most unbecoming of a PM.

    purls before swine - pt II

    [edit: Pull those socks up boy!]

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    After the last few weeks and the first debate, Key needed a performance that re-energised the base. Hard-core Nat supporters love his snarky wit and put-downs, and they gave Key a clear win. He definitely did what was needed there.
    Not so sure it will have worked on swing voters. Cunliffe is auditioning for Prime Minister, and he played that fairly well – apart from the one moment. Labour’s problem is we may see that one moment again and again, and it will play poorly.
    When the core narrative was controlled by National, it was all about Cunliffe being tricky, unlikeable, or gaffe-prone. So the slightest gaffe was amplified.
    But they don’t control the story now. It could go anywhere over the next two weeks. I don’t think McCarten or Joyce will be getting much sleep.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ha! Can't think of any knitting puns but Macbeth crying for sleep comes to mind, "sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care". Way off topic unless you can think of a link.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    I see where you are coming from now, a graph depicting something along the lines of relative scores on each question. That, surely, would become quite cumbersome and open to "cheating" yes?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Cunliffe should actually have known his own policy (and one IIRC he developed while finance spokesman before the last election) well enough to zing Key right back

    While this is true, I don't see why the CGT gaffe has become the most important thing in the news today. We have had a two hour debate and the most important thing was that DC didn't have a rehearsed answer for a question about family trusts and CGT? Really??

    More important points from the debate for me were that JK was stating that we already have a CGT on investor profits on house sales (interesting rebuttal to CGT), and that I now know more about JK's mum than about the Nat's policy.

    Also, JK has got a lot of praise for condemning Cam Slater during the debate but it was a pretty limited censure of Slater's behaviour, only related to the SFO. This seems to have been lost. Overall it looks like news doesn't do subtlety.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    To which sin do you refer? Greed, Averace, Guutony, Sloth, wrath?, I could go the full seven but

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    he had cast himself

    Knit one, purl one, cast off into a boiling sea
    made treacherous by hidden monsters with needle teeth
    that clatter like the hooves of an aran jumper
    The cable knit ties that anchor are dropped
    And sew to sea Lord Cardigan...

    I do like a good knitting yarn.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to nzlemming,

    I counter with Commandments... 13 of them.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Well presented as a single number for each candidate you’re comparing with, sorted in order, it’s not that cumbersome. It depends how much analysis you really want to do. It’s not outrageous to aggregate the answers to related questions, I just think that there could easily be more than 2 aggregates (which is what the political compass does). If you want a multidimensional view then a pairs plot with each of the aggregates against the others could be made.

    One of those plots would look just like the political compass, but you could easily plot religion answers against social progressivism, or stance on women’s rights against stance on the rich/poor divide. Or all of the aggregates against them. Or even all of the questions against all of the other questions (but you’re talking about thousands of graphs there). I think you’d learn a hell of a lot more about your position relative to the candidates. Your choice of the most important plot would say a lot about your views to yourself (since that is the point of this – it’s a self-analysis tool).

    As a corollary of this, is it not apparent that the choice of axes made by the designers of the political compass says a lot about them? It’s not anywhere near as impartial as it might seem. Doesn’t it seem odd to you that the NZ projection has all of the points close to a diagonal line? In other words, the two dimensions are strongly correlated. If that is really so, then they’re actually quite a poor choice of dimensions, showing very little, since the candidates form a left to right line anyway.

    ETA: Further to that point, choosing those two aggregates means that the designers can really only ask questions that actually relate to those two dimensions. Your stance on alien abductions doesn't separate you, so they don't ask. But actually, I want to know if the candidates believe in that kind of thing. Because that makes them people I want to avoid.

    Basically, if you're going to go multidimensional, I see no reason not to do it properly. The questionnaire could ask any questions whatsoever, then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    You've said so well what I wanted to say but ...

    Who are the hard-core Nat supporters who gave him a clear win? The Herald people?

    Weren't the snarky wit and put-downs more forced and desperate this time?

    Was the one gaffe in the context of the whole debate really worth the prominence it has been given in the Herald this am?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    You could do that with a Pie graph, although you may have to blow on it first and in Brownlee's case make sure he doesn't take a big bite out of it.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    If I even mention a pie graph online I might be failed out of a statistics major on basic principles.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Cecelia,

    Or was it meant to be a schoolboy debate? Maybe I missed the point?

    As I said, I turned it off after five minutes because two adults shouting over each other seemed like a waste of my host's broadband. I know, as they say in Boston, politics isn't beanbag but I really don't get the kind of advice that says chipping in and shouting over people is "strong." There was one train wreck of a televised debate back in 2000, where Rick Lazio, Hillary Clinton's Republican opponent for the Senate, was obviously told to "get in her face" and it just read as epic man-tronization that lurched into the downright creepy. It's a tricky line to stay on the right side of, because what "reads" well in a room can come across differently on television and vice versa.

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

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to BenWilson,

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I don't mean to say that the Political Compass is useless. It's better to use a 50 year old idea than a 225 year old one. But we could use even more modern ones, since the software is there to do it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Cecelia,

    Was the one gaffe in the context of the whole debate really worth the prominence it has been given in the Herald this am?

    I looked at the online Herald. Almost nothing on the debate- the first two election stories were 'Hacker hits back at Collins' denial' and some 'Nick Smith pilloried at housing debate' -neither what National would have wanted.
    I guess the print version led with 'Another Gaffe from Tricky Dave'?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The print version has a smallish sidebar "PM lands tax blow" on the front page and a double page spread pages 4 and 5. Banner headline: "Cunliffe's tax stumble brings back memories". There's a story where Cunliffe refutes Key's CGT claim but the dominant feature of the page is a grey box around the large central photo with four colourful articles by Herald journos (including Manhire!) saying that Key won.

    I read the online reviews of the debate last night but I'm handling the Herald with tongs today. I'm so upset. Does that make me "tribal"?

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    What a great poem that you have written
    It's like a damn fine piece of knittin'

    I knit my brows in some dismay
    That Herald folks opined that way

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Richard Aston,

    The production values were bloody aweful through , audio levels all over the place , the intros were far too long and it was very hard for me to hear what Press Editor was saying.

    That's a valid point Richard. We tuned in around 7:35pm and found numerous technical problems. For a start the pictures were out of sync by about two seconds. I closed and reopened the page, switched to the lowest quality offered, but nothing improved that.

    The audio levels were poorly mixed and I found myself riding the volume on my PC to try and hear what was being said. It didn't help that the Press journos often stood some distance from their mics - radio mics would have been a better call. And when Key was shouting over Cunliffe his audio took precedence, suggesting a poor or even unattended sound mix.

    It appeared to us that Key was trying too hard to score cheap points by trying to get laughs - or relying on noise over substance. In reference to what a couple of people have already mentioned, I actually said to my wife, "Is Key pissed?" Because his performance at that point was looking increasingly unhinged. We gave up after five minutes.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    For Pie graphs, I would rather credit the "colourful" William Playfair

    http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/a-visionary-and-a-scoundrel

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    The production values were bloody aweful through , audio levels all over the place , the intros were far too long and it was very hard for me to hear what Press Editor was saying.

    That’s a valid point Richard. We tuned in around 7:35pm and found numerous technical problems. For a start the pictures were out of sync by about two seconds. I closed and reopened the page, switched to the lowest quality offered, but nothing improved that.

    The audio levels were poorly mixed and I found myself riding the volume on my PC to try and hear what was being said. It didn’t help that the Press journos often stood some distance from their mics – radio mics would have been a better call. And when Key was shouting over Cunliffe his audio took precedence, suggesting a poor or even unattended sound mix.

    I tweeted last night that it showed how hard producing this kind of live video on a limited budget actually is. The Green Room webcast I did last week had its rough edges too -- our director couldn't hear the discussion and had to cut on what he could see (which did seriously well).

    But The Press event was, even given the inevitable challenges, bloody poorly produced. The difference in volume between Key and Cunliffe in the first half actually influenced the debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I tweeted last night that it showed how hard producing this kind of live video on a limited budget actually is.

    Good or poor production -- they both require the same setup -- the same number of mics, etc. The difference with a good production comes down to having a decent sound engineer controlling the mix. I've worked with soundies who can mix six radio mics simultaneously and successfully. Just pre-setting levels and letting a limiter take care of the peaks doesn't work when once person consistently interjects at a higher volume.

    I think part of the problem with the current debates is the candidates being encouraged to shout over each other. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer debates to be more balanced and reasoned with each speaker being treated with a little more courtesy. If necessary, mute or at least dip the other mics when someone has the floor.

    The cacophony of noise experienced last night and at times in the TVNZ debate may fuel the adversorial, game show style we're seeing this election, but it adds little to audience understanding of the issues. Give me controlled, intelligent debate any time.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

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