OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Bar brawls aren't my thing

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  • Span .,

    So I'm kind of getting the impression here that this standard of journalism (Coddington's of course, not Keith's), applied to a specific individual or a specific organisation, would be seeing a rather large antidote in the next N&S to overcome this month's bane? Plus a compensatory payout of some description.

    I could almost understand if Coddington were still an MP. She'd be looking for some column inches to push her profile up, and she wouldn't really have that much time for proper research etc. But that's no longer the case.

    It would be very interesting indeed to know who wrote the comment on the cover. Perhaps the same person who put that notorious tag about Grammar on the front of Metro a few months back?

    Good work Keith.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Leech,

    Well, she can hardly lie low now, can she. It will be interesting to see whether she dares to reply via Public Address, or whether she will stick to conventional print in order.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Keith, this has nothing to do with poor journalism. It's all about politics. Coddington is pushing the same barrow I heard Stephen Franks push earlier this year. The audience was smaller and the message more nuanced but the message is clear, these ex-Act MPs are attempting to push some buttons to appeal to our innate xenophobic tendencies. Whilst Coddington has a reputation as an enthusiastic messenger she is not renowned for her original thinking.

    To paraphrase their 2006 message, its all about "new" immigrants who simply "don't fit in". They are either going to blow us out of the sky or hide the fact that they are a bunch of hardened criminals by having the effrontery not to tattoo this fact on their foreheads. Oh, they also have no respect for mainstream NZ values. If you are a recent immigrant like me, white, then you are generally ok, despite the fact that my "cultural fit" with the Asia Pacific societies is pretty pathetic.

    "Old" immigrants, by the way, are generally ok. Irish Catholics are a better "cultural fit" then they used to be and so are Asians who have been here for period of time that is hard to define but is not recent. So, please give us your votes.

    As you point out this is a message used by other political leaders in the past, it is not new to NZ. Someone is trying to swipe one part of the NZ First vote. What I am not clear on is whether Coddington or Franks and others are floating an Act lead or a National one. I have not heard Rodney Hide push this line and given recent Brash's Orewa speaches I am inclined to suspect more defections from Act to the National banner.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    How does such drivel ever get published ?!?

    Surely the editor is as much to blame as the biased, shoddy, pretending-to-be-a journalist.


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Bol,

    You're a failed right-wing MP and born-again journalist for whom desperate attempts at getting publicity are a way of life. Your latest excuse for an article has been comprehensively exposed as an error-ridden sham. Do you...

    (A) Avoid any comment on the matter, implying that any criticism of said article is not worth responding to? (The problem with this approach is that many may assume that your silence means that you have admitted that the criticisms are accurate).


    (B) Loudly and proudly take the role of a martyr crucified by the evil PC forces of Helengrad? Ignore that your arguments in question rely on distortion of statistics. Your views are those of "mainstream New Zealand" - a part of society which has long been "ridiculed by the politically correct elites". The "social engineers", "extremist left-wing bloggers" and "PC thought police" cannot cope with your "legitimate duty to spark debate".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • james cairney,

    Hi all, to me this is not political, DC has merely exposed herself as lazy.

    In my opinion she started this story based on anecdotal evidence with the expectation it would prove true. When the opposite proved the case she was either too lazy or too intellectually inept to alter the work already completed, primarily because on the facts the sensational story simply disappeared, and hard work appeared in its place.

    Is the MSM on a continual quality slide, as I am now boycotting more (formerly respected) media than I consume?, or is it just me becoming more of a pretentious w$#%*r?


    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    James, I hope you are correct. All I was pointing out was that the article was an echo of similar noises being made by close associates of DC. This is not a one off, isolated incident.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Duane Griffin,

    This sort of shit needs to be called out. Good on ya for doing it. Who cares whether it is incompetence or malice, neither is acceptable.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    There's an old saying:
    If it happens once, its a mistake
    If it happens twice, that's clumsiness (or incompetence)
    If it happens three times, you're doing it on purpose!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Normally, I would argue that you shouldn't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by near-terminal stupidity... but, in Coddington's case, they're the two crutches supporting her faulty arguments.

    Take this Herald column on the upcoming Telco regulation of hers for example.

    In it, she compares Telecom's monopoly to having a restaurant with a good location, accuses the government of National Socialist - yes, she Godwins herself - policy, and shows a total lack of understanding of the issue at hand.

    If Steve Maharey is to be believed, getting facts right isn't Coddington's strong suit, whereas media attention certainly seems to be her forte.

    And... that's her raison d'etre, unfortunately. Editors looking to fill the whitespace between the ads with sensationalist blather instead of good journalism will always have a place for the likes of Coddington.

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    I echo James - are standards slipping or are we all just more onto it now (and pretentious about it)? I'm thinking about the number of Herald articles I see that have mistakes in them.

    In particular an article in their The Business supplement a few months back when it was newly hatched which had a completely, totally, utterly incorrect definition of constructive dismissal, but was purporting to give bosses advice on how to sack without getting in trouble. There seemed to be no correction of this in future issues, except for a few letters to the editor (printed in the same section, not the main section) saying the original article was wrong. But no stepping up to the plate and saying, oops, our bad.

    But then I can't even watch the telly news anymore because I end up yelling at the senseless screen about various inaccuracies, gloss-overs and vital questions left unasked.

    Hmmm, maybe I need a holiday.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    to be honest, complusive shouting at the TV is what got me into blogging...

    but on the subject of debs, i'm hardly surprised. based on the aforementioned names associated with her "thinking" then xenophobia and outright bullshit is the order of the day. ACT's concept of treaty politics and race relations are just off the planet.

    i think i'm more suprised that N&S bought it. maybe someone got a hug as encouragement.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Beer,

    Where's Kenneth Wang in this debate?

    Since Nov 2006 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    kia ora keith

    just heard that darling deborah is going to "defend" her article on the panel this afternoon (national radio). be ready to ring in... or better still, why not ring them now & see if you can get on as well. i think it would be great for you to provide an alternative viewpoint on this.


    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Coddington will be defending on National Radio this afternoon. I can't picture Jim Mora being especially savage...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,


    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    span & che,

    no, this is not just you. it's the reason i don't watch tv anymore.
    as for the quality of herald journalism...lets just say that the ones with half a clue stand out like a sore thumb.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Verpal Singh,

    A few questions:

    1. This isn't the first time Coddington and Cone have exposed themselves as mediocre "journalists" at best. So why do they continue to find space in the media? [Remember Cone's comment made on "Eye To Eye" during discussion on the lock-out of Progressive distribution workers -"I can't understand why the company needs to pay the same wages to those working in Auckland and those in Palmerston North? Obviously Auckland is a more expensive city than Palmerston North." only to be informed by Laila Harre that Auckland workers were being paid LESS than their Palmerston North counterparts! (Paraphrasing is mine)]

    2. What exactly is this "PC Brigade"? Seems to me that those who expose or fight the biases and prejudices of right-wing conservatives are branded "PC" and dismissed out of hand without answering any of the questions raised by them. For instance, would those who claim to oppose "political correctness" please stand up and say what "extraordinary rendition" really is - state-sanctioned kidnappings. Or how about "collateral damage" ? Or "deal with extreme prejudice" ? As Bertrand Russell pointed out, the army of the enemy exists to attack, while "our" army exists to defend - anyone who says otherwise is "unpatriotic" or a traitor. The same is the case with those using ridicule to target that section of a population which advocates an unbiased and unprejudiced language for a public discourse.

    3. Does one need to be "courageous" to pander to a population's biases and prejudices or is the courage needed to stand up and challenge these inclinations ?

    4. Obviously, Coddington or Cone can't be termed "objective" by any stretch, so should they be called journalists? Isn't objectivity the prerequisite for a journalist, just as an unbiased and unprejudiced approach is a prerequisite for a Judge?



    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    What exactly is this "PC Brigade"? Seems to me that those who expose or fight the biases and prejudices of right-wing conservatives are branded "PC" and dismissed out of hand without answering any of the questions raised by them.

    This reminds me of Ben Elton's definition of politically correct - someone who's more left-wing than you.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    Good call Robyn - I most recently suffered the label of PC for refusing to remain in the same room as someone who had just said "But I tell you who I really hate, and that's those Maoris".

    I quite liked what Marcus Lush said about PC on a Radio Live TV ad that was up a while back - basically equating a lot of what is labelled unnecessarily PC as simply good manners, eg inclusive language.

    But back on point - did anyone hear Coddington's defence this arvo? Sadly I missed it and the Nat Rad site is not up to it yet in the audio archive.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    To veer wildly back OFF point again, I think the concept of PC just died...

    Revenue Minister Peter Dunne is defending the right of Christchurch schoolgirls to run around in their undies, saying that stopping them is "political correctness gone mad".

    Now we know what United Future actually stands for, teenage girls running through Christ's in the knickers. And I never thought we'd agree about anything.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,


    It was dreadful - I argued with my radio all the way along the Hutt Road.

    Coddington dispatched a few strawmen. Mora savaged her with a wet bus ticket, and the other two guests clucked away merrily in the background. No one actually got round to mentioning the fact that her stats were all wrong.

    The two absolute nadirs:

    1. Mark Blumsky saying in a determined voice (paraphrase): “if they commit a crime here in New Zealand then they must be sent home” [as if ‘they’re’ not]. “And if they’re citizens then we should lock them up”. [as if we don’t]

    2. Deborah Coddington claiming (and everyone agreeing) that we didn’t have organised crime before we had Asians. Presumably she thinks that Mr Asia was an Asian. Or something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed6502,

    The way things are going, I can smell the molotov cocktails before someone has even thrown them. In David Slack's "Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions", Chris Trotter made the rather unorthodox diagnosis of a "race clash for the nation to clear its collective head."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Lee Wilkinson,

    Rabid xenophobics should be ashamed of themselves.
    Oh, wait a minute, they have no sense of shame or anything other than self, this probably equates their social EQ to that of a 3 year old.
    Perhaps re-education in some nice state sponsored Caribbean resort in eastern Cuba would be helpful to their outlook. I hear Gitmo has some empty motel suites at a great price.
    The thing that gets me is the MSM failure to actually bring the Coddingtons and Hides of this world to account, or is it the golden rule in practice? He who has the gold makes the rules.

    Whangarei Heads • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • james cairney,

    Terence: "presumably she thinks Mr Asia was Asian", very funny.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 25 posts Report Reply

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