SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, but the whole news industry is moving this way

Hosking CrosshairsSo I am in shock at the decision by newly launched gossip magazine SCOUT.co.nz to use rifle cross-hairs to target Mike Hosking in what they apparently call an ‘exclusive’ which was that he vacuumed his car in a public street…OMG Stop the presses!!! I’m shocked that this is a story, I’m shocked that this is the way the whole news industry is moving (more on that soon) but I’m mostly shocked that whoever made the ‘cross hairs’ decision seems to have no knowledge of what terrible occurrences that exact idea has lead to in the very recent past.

Anyone remember Sarah Palin targeting Gabby Giffords?

If not let me remind you. Sarah Palin has targeted 20 Democratic seats to encourage Republican voters to do all they can to win them back for the Good Old Party using rhetoric like ‘don’t retreat, reload!’  The map that was drawn up had cross-hairs on the seats and on one fateful day, a mentally unwell person took Sarah Palin’s advice a little too literally and stormed a Gabby Giffords event and shot her in the head.

Now I am not saying that NZ has the same culture that exists with guns in the US, but anyone with half an ounce of intelligence would know this is not the way to report ‘news’ even gossip but the post on SCOUT.co.nz mentioned the salary that Hosking was on, the price he just paid for his house and the street where he lived. The only outcome from the post was to engender a negative feeling, a feeling of jealously and hatred towards Hosking and if an imbalanced person felt like checking him out he or she now has a pretty good idea on how to find him after hours.

Hilary Barry posted a brilliant retort to the ‘story’ by posting an image of herself vacuuming her car with the hashtag #stalkingisnotok and the best item I’ve seen written on SCOUT today is from Russell Brown who goes into a lot of detail on the story, behind the story.

Many of her former Herald colleagues believed she had, at best, jumped before she’d been pushed, and that the final straw had been not her unethical treatment of waitress Amanda Bailey but her ludicrous “conifers” column. The belief was that she was due to be dispensed with in a reshuffle after the departure of editor-in-chief Tim Murphy.

I am also saddened that this is the path that all the media is taking. I am saddened to see when I visit TVNZ News that most of the video on that site is 40 seconds or shorter and focusing on things that rate heavily on Facebook, I think that content producers are missing the point and assuming what we, as consumers, are prepared to spend our time watching and reading and I think they are wrong. Yes there is a place for ‘bite sized’ content, but not at the expense of serious, interesting, challenging news that informs and entertains. We are focusing too heavily on the ‘entertains’ and it’s becoming very un-entertaining.

News radio shows doing 2 minute interviews on the international intricacies of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, television news spending 23 seconds of video on a tragedy where 4 people died…it’s not right and it sure as hell is not good broadcasting which is why most people I know, most people under 40 are turning to alternative sources of news online to get what we need and want, not what is dictated by 9 ad breaks an hour or a necessity to have a certain number of click throughs.

SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, it’s a product that doesn’t work in NZ as we don’t have celebrities, we have people with high profile. Peter Jackson and Lorde. they’re celebrities, daylight is second to the next highest profile person in NZ and they come in well below the thresh hold of what one needs to be classed a celebrity.

If anyone is interested in starting a Give a Little page with the object being to raise money to put a Private Eye on the people running SCOUT.co.nz to expose their lives and put all the excitement of them walking their dog, or washing their car online for all to see, then I’ll happily donate the first $100 and write the story.

Questions for Deadheads

TWDAbout a month ago I discovered The Walking Dead and have spent the past four weeks watching the first four and a half series and now I’ve caught up to where the series is at.

With my overdose of TWD I have a few questions that I hope some other aficionados of the show may be able to answer.

  1. Why don’t the survivors sleep in/live in the trees? I mean if they can assemble walls and communities then surely they could make a community off the ground. But even if they didn’t live in the trees, wouldn’t sleeping in them at night be a better idea than on the ground?
  2. Why don’t the survivors head to the water? If there are vehicles that have petrol, then surely there’d be boats etc that could be utilised to live off shore.
  3. Why doesn’t anybody refer to the ‘dead’ as Zombies? Series one was set in present time. This means that every character that lived in the world before it fell would have had an understanding of the mythical idea of Zombies, these are Zombies, why does no one use the word?
  4. How did the dead get such strong teeth? As the rest of their bodies seem to fall apart at the slightest touch, what has happened to make their teeth so strong to tear through skin and muscle.
  5. Why does it seem there can only be one main male black character? T-Dog dies the same episode Tyresse turns up, Tyreese dies just as Noah becomes part of the core cast.

Anyway I realise that it is a drama and doesn’t need to always connect the dots, but maybe you have some thoughts around the programme or maybe just want to share you love of TWD

Why the Government, the Opposition and the Media may help Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail walk

On the weekend when the story broke of the diplomat invoking diplomatic immunity to flee potential charges over a sexual assault I was amazed and concerned as to the tone of the reporting, and the comments made by many as to the alleged incident. Notice I used the word alleged there, I did that on purpose and it’s what many who have spoken publicly have not done, which now may be a genuine defence for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s lawyers.

We have a think in our justice system called Sub Judice where “it is generally considered inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice, which can be an offence in itself, leading to contempt of court proceedings.” This is also linked quite closely to the legal requirement for a court case that all accused are “innocent until proven guilty” but in a more basic way it’s all about not speaking publicly about a case that may influence the jury, and therefore the outcome of that case. It applies only when charges have been brought so I acknowledge this technically isn’t in breach of that convention, but I would argue that there has already been an atmosphere created that may not allow Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail to get a fair hearing. If someone cannot get a fair hearing…they walk.

Some specific comments that I would point to.

John Key

“Our hands are effectively tied, but we still expect justice for the victim”
“we will do everything that we possibly can to make sure this person is held to account”

David Shearer

“…justice is not done for the victim here and we don’t see that that person is brought properly to justice”

Now these statements (which are a couple of many, many public comments made by politicians, talkback hosts, bloggers, commentators etc…) paint a picture of justice needing to be done for a victim, If there is a victim there is a crime and they are associating that crime to the diplomat. They are saying he committed the crime and needs to face justice for the victim.

A quick Google on the subject around the time the news broke shows many headlines that talk in the affirmative of a crime being committed and linking it to the diplomat.

HeadlinesNow this post is in now way a support of the diplomat, or a defence of attacks on women so please don’t see it that way, I am purely looking at how this may, or may not proceed in a legal sense. I am left wondering, due to the environment flamed by John Key, Murray McCully, David Shearer and all in the media who have inadvertently, or blatantly, convicted Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail of committing a crime, have now also given his lawyer the ability to argue that his client cannot get a fair hearing.

And I think he may have a point.

Cyber bullying?

The team at TVNZ brought to the public attention how cyber-bullying happens to anyone who has even the smallest modicum of public presence by having some of their presenting staff read out tweets they have received or have been said about them on Twitter.

Here is that video

As a quick guide Matt McLean was called a “lying corporate whore”. Ruth Wynn-Williams was called a “c***”. Seven Sharp’s Dean Butler was told: “Don’t take this the wrong way but I really hope someone punches you.”  Helen Castles received a comment saying: “if you had babies I would want to punch them in the head.” Business presenter Nadine Chalmers-Ross was told: “you are dead boring…hot…but f****** dull”, while weatherman Sam Wallace was tweeted: “who do you think you are no one wants to see you strutting around you ruin my morning I hate you.”

I thought that maybe I’d get in on the act. Truth be told I pretty much never used twitter while I was working on air at various radio stations, but I received plenty of, shall we say, forward opinion on myself and my performance as an announcer.

Some selected statements from emails I received over the years

If Pat thinks that this is not true, or thinks he’s tough enough or righteous enough to battle the force of my indignation and the strength of conviction it has given me, then you have the address you useless dickhead -come over any time. Justice is here waiting for you, you hypocritical, overrated, wannabee.

Isn’t the show tonight a vast improvement without Pats idiotic presence.

Enough from me , but believe me , Brittenden is just not what ZB needs . He thinks he has all the answers , but unfortunately he does NOT .

It took me under 2 minutes to find out the address of your home

Would you please remove Pat Brittenden as a talk back host. He does not meet the standards required by the public and his attitude is shocking

Can you please tape Pat’s mouth for the rest of the evening, so I don’t have to hear another rubbish out of this man’s gap

You are a shocker, my 8 year old son could read the news better then You do, You read the news sort of like a rhyme the sound at the end of the sentences turned up an octave and on top of it there is a lisp and a lot of tongue around the wrong spots. Overall your program sucks, You are righteous and naive and at times sickening,

I had the misfortune to wake up briefly in the early hours and heard Pat (Pratt) Brittenden on air

At least that will highlight your stupidity.

You’re ugly brother

Know your belly was fake, but, the fat face double chin fake to??? What happened to weight watchers

PLEASE think before you open your mouth and put your foot in it in future

but I won’t really have to worry as will be listening to some other
programme!  

You obviously have no humour & the show is very boring & straight jacket style.

What an irresponsible parent you are.

You think You can fool the listeners, all You want out of it is a fat salary to support your family, there is no passion there – people can feel that- learn to deal with critics and don’t be insulting to your listeners, then maybe You’ve got a chance to better yourself

And although I wasn’t a big user of Twitter at the time, we did give listeners to connect with us via text. Here are some of the more colourful ones of those (spelling, grammar etc…hasn’t been corrected)

Please dont let that screaming lefty liberal pat come on.

You should quit talk back before someone comes up to radio works and smashes the Shit out of ya. You fucken wanker.

Hi pat i will tell you about you you are a know it all jumped up turd j

Sorry pat,please find alternative employment,u r not at all popular and regarded by most listenrs as a nieve sub-intelligenced geek.Try burger fliping at McD’s.

Pat your program is ‘shit’ we dont need 2 hear same thing repeatly!!

U fat FAGGOT BRITTENDEN.Ya all false.C u at Maungawhai.

yor so fuking thik u stupid cunt

Ur a fukn idiot how is a labour supporter automaticaly a peters supporter, no wonder u get th shit shifts

U twat, we all like childrens stories dont we! Yr not at school now. U r crap

Pc pat u SO TOTALLY SUCK .Pull your head in its talkback if we wanted music,we would be listening tn another station.Yeh yeh yeh U suk rsoul

There u go again i i me me ur such a bore no wonder the 0ratings are goin down u wont be there mch longer i hve on good authorty..

Hi pat, its maree from tawa here. I warned u not 2 upset me. U arshole. Please dont mes me about.

For me personally I don’t feel bullied, this kind of thing never bothered me, still doesn’t. I had instances where there were TradeMe treads talking about me and I remember one guys saying on one of them that I must have had the thickest skin in the world…when it comes to anonymous morons having a crack I do because I don’t really care what strangers think about me.

So I put some of these up in solidarity with my TVNZ brothers and sisters and to all those who think just because someone is in a job where you see or hear them in your home, it doesn’t give you carte blanche to have a crack whenever and where ever you want.

I  hope, if nothing else, at least you had a little smile at the spelling mistakes in the texts above 😉

 

Interesting what ‘we might like’

It’s always interesting when websites have permanent titles for sections without thinking about the story might follow.

Example, “You might like Justin Bieber bottled on stage”

You may like

Actually that’s something I kind of would like…

Sadly thought TVNZ has considered Justin Bieber being ‘bottled’ as being hit on the hip by an empty plastic container…as opposed to ‘glassed’ as one would maybe have expected…more of a new age, 21st century ‘bottling’ as opposed to what Billy Connolly might describe about life in Glasgow in the 1970s.

If you do want to see Justin Bieber being ‘bottled’ you can go here

And just in case, in this current highly intense time around violence, someone has missed it…this is said with the utmost sarcasm and in no way do we want to see the sweet Mr. Bieber hurt or injured whilst performing to thousands of teenage girls.

No Beliebers were harmed in the writing of this post.

Thanks for the precedence Kim Dotcom

I think there is a lot to thank Kim Dotcom for.

Personally I’d like to thank him for making me feel small (and there ‘aint that many people who can do that) but there is also much the country can thank him for and the most obvious is showing up the flaws in the GCSB and how our spies operate, although I think we shouldn’t thank anyone for where it’s gone from there into new legislation.

I would also like to thank Kim Dotcom for one more thing, I want to thank him for being the unwilling catalyst for the legal precedence that we will all be able to use and abuse for years to come to get out of many infringements that we made by mistake.

TVNZ reported last night that no charges would be laid against anyone at the GCSB and Detective Superintendent Peter Read told media “that in spite of the GCSB committing one breach under the provisions of the Crimes Act, no criminal “intent” by the GCSB could be established.

The official statement by DS Peter Read was

“While GCSB staff did commit the act prohibited by section 216B of the Crimes Act 1961, they did not have the necessary intent to satisfy the elements of the offence and be considered criminally liable,”

In other words because it was a mistake, and there was no intent, no one would be liable.

So, next time you don’t intend to speed…it just accidentally creeps up, or genuinely forget to file your GST, or you infringe on a law genuinely by mistake or misunderstanding there is a legal precedence for you to say “well officer, much like the GCSB, I had no intention of committing that crime, it was an accident” and they surely must be obliged to let you off…he says sarcastically

The first to forecast the winner in the 2014 election

https://i1.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/-GqbVz37uqXg/Ty9qg3hSsQI/AAAAAAAAGGc/500mT-VfX1M/s400/David%252BShearer%252BYcjlD9-Ky9nm.jpgI was speaking with my parents on Thursday and the subject of John Key and David Shearer came up, I quickly said that ‘Labour will win the next election’ which was met with a few chuckles…but mostly fear from the lifelong National supporters, however I think they will.

The polls of recent times have seen the rise of ‘the left block‘ and like in Australia the left, for the foreseeable future, will be a Labour/Green alliance. It culminated on Sunday night with TVNZ’s last poll of 2012 having the left block ahead of National. From their analysis TVNZ says…

If those were election results, Labour would hold 45 seats out of parliament’s 120.

When combined with the Greens’ 17 seats, the centre-left would have 62, enough to form a government without relying on any of the minor parties.

I heard a political commentator say a couple of weeks ago that if just 1% more of the Labour base had turned out at the last election, then Labour would have won. If that is the case and the trend towards the left block building and staying between 45% and 50%…then it’s a done deal. Labour will be the next government and David Shearer will be our next Prime Minister. There have been some questions around the February vote to move away from Shearer and towards Cunliffe, this won’t happen…unless Labour has a death wish.

Cunliffe is liked by many in the left of Labour, but not the centrists and not the public. Going with David Cunliffe would gift the next election to National.

Parties win elections when they appear to the public of NZ to be pragmatic and centrist. John Key used those exact words to describe himself and his vision when the media quizzed him over the potential inclusion of Sir Roger Douglas in 2008 to allay the fears of a far-right governing style. Mr Key said…

“If ACT are hell bent on following a radical right-wing agenda and won’t fit in with a moderate pragmatic agenda then we can’t work with them. They’re ruling themselves out if that’s what they are doing,”

The unions and far-left of Labour like David Cunliffe, the centre sits more comfortably with David Shearer. Labour needs to be seen by the public as centre-left at the next election, with Cunliffe they will not be.

It’s also interesting to see political parties, once elected, then move towards what I would call their ‘natural position’ politically. In 1999 NZ removed what had become a far-right National government and brought in what was then a fairly centre-left moderate Labour. Over the following 9 years Labour moved with their policy and practice, further to the left until the public of NZ again removed what many describe as a far-left government, which worked as we had a moderate, pragmatic, centre-right National under John Key which has since started moving more to the right. So the plan for Labour is that they need to remain as close to the centre as possible, then when NZ freak out over a user-pays, asset-selling, big business far-right government we will toss them out and bring in the moderate centre-left, David Shearer, Labour led party along with their new ‘best buds’ in the Greens and we have a change of leadership.

So let’s be the first to state this officially and publicly (more than just over the dinner table to my parents) that in 2014 National will still be the biggest single party, but will be in the opposition seats as the left block takes the seats of power with David Shearer as the Prime Minister and Russell Norman and Metiria Turei holding some significant ministerial portfolios.