Is NZ too dumb for news?

In an interesting article at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi sifts through US politics to arrive at the problem with modern news media.

This is a horrible thing to have to say about one’s own country, but this story makes it official. America is now too dumb for TV news.

It’s our fault. We in the media have spent decades turning the news into a consumer business that’s basically indistinguishable from selling cheeseburgers or video games. You want bigger margins, you just cram the product full of more fat and sugar and violence and wait for your obese, over-stimulated customer to come waddling forth.

The old Edward R. Murrow, eat-your-broccoli version of the news was banished long ago. Once such whiny purists were driven from editorial posts and the ad people over the last four or five decades got invited in, things changed. Then it was nothing but murders, bombs, and panda births, delivered to thickening couch potatoes in ever briefer blasts of forty, thirty, twenty seconds.

What we call right-wing and liberal media in this country are really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism. The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it’s just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.    Read more »


Richard Harman on Angry Andy’s reshuffle

Much of what was announced had been flagged privately some time ago by the Little team to journalists and therefore wasn’t surprising.

But what was slightly surprising was the way some of the veterans of the old “anybody but Cunliffe” faction have kept their seniority.

The standout decisions were:

  • Phil Twyford replaces Nanaia Mahuta as Number Four in the caucus.
  • Nanaia Mahuta slips to 12.
  • Jacinda Ardern jumps from 9 to 5.
  • Kelvin Davis goes from 8 to & but is now the highest ranked Maori MP and spokesman for Maori Development.
  • David Parker goes from 15 to 11 but loses Trade which goes to David Clark. Parker picks up Environment.
  • The biggest loser – apart from Nanaia Mahuta is former leader, David Cunliffe who has gone from 14 to being unranked.

Below the top 12 Shadow Cabinet Ministers and two whips are another 10 unranked shadow cabinet ministers.

This group includes several members of the “anybody but Cunliffe group” – David Shearer, Damien O’Connor, Clayton Cosgrove and Stuart Nash— as well as new MPs, Jenny Salesa and Peeni Henare.

The whole unranked group will find themselves in something of a Ministerial idol — promotion to an assured Cabinet position will depend on performance.

And Mr little emphasised several times during his media briefing yesterday that performance would be largely measured by work rate. …

Basically, those on the back benches are either as wanted as shit on a shoe or they are too lazy to do a decent job.   The list troughers and the permanently damaged.   Read more »

That’s why they are so good at marching backwards

I was reading an article about the downfall of the leftists in Argentina and the mad socialist bint leading them, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, when I came across this quote about Argentina.

“The thing you have to remember about Argentines,” a former Chilean government minister once cautioned me, “is that they aren’t like other Latin Americans. They’re Italians who speak Spanish, but dream in French.”

And that more than anything else explains why Argentines became one of the best armies in the world at marching backwards…they learned by copying the cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Right enough hilarity…the rest of the article is about the collapse of socialism in South America.

Regionally, the collapse of Kirchnerism represents both a sign of the public’s dissatisfaction with the 21st century socialist model espoused by Kirchner and her regional allies, and a potential catalyst for further weakening of South America’s socialist status quo. Whether this weakening really comes to pass will depend on how closely Macri the president mirrors Macri the candidate. Should he continue to speak out against violations of human rights and civic freedoms in countries like Venezuela and Ecuador, as he has done, this will do much to undermine a shameful legacy of silence that has deeply damaged the region’s democratic norms.   Read more »

Mental Health Break

Bad journalism or pro-Palestinian bias?

Truth Revolt reports on an interesting experiment on the streets of Paris:

Jewish journalist and correspondent for NRG Zvika Klein took to the streets of Paris to get reactions to a curiously worded and very bogus headline that puts the focus on the deaths of the Islamists who just terrorized their city, not the victims. It’s an experiment meant to expose the bias from world media as they regularly paint Israel as the aggressor when Palestinians launch terrorist attacks against them.

The fabricated headline read:

“7 Men Shot Dead During Paris Attack; 129 Dead”

Incredibly, this parody is almost identical to a BBC headline that was posted after one of several knife attacks in Jerusalem in October perpetrated by Palestinians against Jewish victims; in this case, two Israelis killed, and a mother and baby wounded. It read:

“Palestinian Shot Dead After Attack Kills Two”    Read more »


Map of the Day

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Auckland council is catering for transsexuals, intersex and transgender toilet users


Auckland council is going to cater for transsexuals, intersex and transgender toilet users, but only if they are staff.

Watch for the outrage from the luvvies that this isn’t going to apply to all public conveniences.

Auckland Council is looking to formally cater for intersex and transgender communities in the way it labels some of its staff toilets.

It would involve updating the signs on 35 accessible toilets in two council buildings in the city centre – 26 at the Albert Street premises and nine at nearby Bledisloe House.

At the moment, council staff offices have dedicated restrooms for men and for women, and accessible restrooms that are signposted with a wheelchair symbol.    Read more »

Air New Zealand calls Jetstar out


I love attack ads in politics, and I equally love seeing them in the commercial sector.

Jetstar’s new regional services are due to start today but the airline is flying into flak from rival Air New Zealand, which has placed a pointed advertisement in today’s New Zealand Herald.

Jetstar’s 50-seat Bombardier Q300 is due to take off from Napier around 9am and get a water arch welcome from fire trucks on the runway at Auckland Airport an hour later.

The Napier-Auckland-Nelson service will be followed next February with flights to Palmerston North and New Plymouth as the Australian-owned airline challenges Air New Zealand on regional routes that have been very lucrative, depending on the number of full-fare passengers aboard. Read more »

John Key turns climate conference into a trade barrier negotiation

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Most recent available OECD figures on fuel subsidies

Prime Minister John Key has led a call at the Paris climate change conference for an end to inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, but Australia has baulked at backing it.

Mr Key is one of about 150 world leaders at the United Nations conference, which began on Monday with most of them making opening addresses.

Mr Key said Paris must produce a meaningful agreement.

“New Zealand wants a deal that puts the world on a pathway towards limiting global temperature rise to no more than 2C,” he said. Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: HBO. Robert Durst (above, in a still from an HBO documentary) has been under scrutiny since his wife Kathleen (inset) disappeared in '82.

Photo: HBO.
Robert Durst (above, in a still from an HBO documentary) has been under scrutiny since his wife Kathleen (inset) disappeared in ’82.

Family of Robert Durst’s First Wife

Sues Him for $100 Million in Her Disappearance

Stranger Than Fiction? Try Fact. The life of Robert A. Durst could be the stuff of legend. The shrewd, enigmatic scion of a prominent New York family, Mr. Durst has come to be known not for his deal-making prowess, but for the cloud of suspicion he has lived under for more than 30 years.

Durst, the scion of a New York real estate empire, has long been a suspect in the notorious 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathie. Further suspicion was raised with the unsolved killing of his confidante, Susan Berman, thought to be a key witness in the investigation into Kathie’s disappearance in 2000, as well as the subsequent killing and dismemberment of a neighbour in Galveston, Texas. Durst has consistently maintained his innocence.

Since his first wife vanished more than three decades ago, Robert A. Durst, the eccentric and estranged son of one of New York’s most prominent real estate dynasties, has lived under the suspicious gaze of law enforcement officials in three states.

He was investigated, but never charged, in the mysterious disappearance of his young, beautiful first wife and the mob-like execution of a close friend in Los Angeles. He beheaded a cantankerous neighbour in Texas in what he described as an act of self-defence, cross-dressed to conceal his identity and then escaped the police, whose nationwide manhunt took them to Northern California, then New Orleans and, finally, Bethlehem, Pa., where Mr. Durst had gone to college.

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