The Dim-Post

January 18, 2012

Very, very cautious.

Filed under: tv — danylmc @ 3:07 pm

I missed this. Via Tim Watkin, who writes on the Inside New Zealand child poverty doco:

Scoop reports that NZOA board member Stephen McElrea raised concerns about this screening several days earlier, on November 17. Seemingly under the misapprehension this was a comedy rather than a documentary, McElrea wrote to the NZOA Chair and CEO, “To me, it falls into the area of caution we show about political satire near elections.”

NZOA’s policy seems to be that no political satire will be produced in New Zealand in the three year period immediately before or after a general election.

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105 Comments »

  1. Probably because satire can never top the real thing in terms of comedy value.

    Comment by Gregor W — January 18, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

  2. “…that no political satire will be produced in New Zealand in the three year period immediately before or after a general election.”

    That’s probably a fair evaluation of local tv comedy…

    Comment by Sam — January 18, 2012 @ 3:22 pm

  3. I’m loosely of the opinion that you have to have reached a particular level of intellect or perception in order to detect satire. Mr McElrea appears to confirm that view.

    I can’t help but smile at the mental image of Mr. McElrea chuckling along to the doco though, evidently his taste in humour veers towards the slapstick.

    Thank goodness he is not married to Ms. Bradford.

    Comment by Eric Blair — January 18, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  4. I could mention that NZOA board member Mr McElrea is John Key’s electorate chairman and National’s northern region deputy chairman, but I won’t. Nor will the Ruling Party’s bloggers, such as Farrar and Ludemann, who are busy spinning McElrea’s Key lines with no mention at all of his role in all this.

    Key lines indeed.

    Comment by johnsonmike — January 18, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  5. While we are talking about spin…we could just continue to have NZOA fund more documentaries to be used in a partisan manner just before general elections, hey why not add local elections to the mix.

    Comment by merv — January 18, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  6. @ merv

    You did catch the election result, right?

    Comment by Gregor W — January 18, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  7. The National government’s MO in regards to the media is pretty well established now.

    1/ All informed debate is to be shut down. Take the politics out of politics and just use the media to remind everyone how much we all love John Key.

    2/ Anyone who is uncritically prepared to tow the above line gets easy access to ministers for patsy interviews (Mike Hoskings and Steven Joyce on this issue this morning). Alternatively, if you let John Key have an hour of free airtime during the election campaign your company can get a forty three million dollar taxpayer loan.

    3/ If all else fails, anyone who disagrees with them can expect to made to say they were wrong (“I’d like to see wages fall”) or smeared (Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager) or vexatiously sued (the tea tapes guy).

    So far this carrot and stick approach has rendered most of our media tamer than a tame Cocker Spaniel who’s just been appointed Professor of tameness at Oxford University, so why would they change tactics for something as trivial as child poverty?

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 18, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

  8. We could also just send a public message via the helpful media that anyone who wants to put together a nice political documentary can then find some affluent advertisers to make it worth a media organisation showing it just before the election.

    There’s another possible side to this – any politically orientated documentary shown in election week in the future will be taken how seriously? Probably as seriously as the rest of the campaign coverage by media.

    How much did Dilmah advertise in late November? Maybe they didn’t need to.

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  9. “a tame Cocker Spaniel who’s just been appointed Professor of tameness at Oxford University”

    nice

    Comment by nommopilot — January 18, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

  10. @8

    Thank you, thou eternally smug, sanctimonious twit, for your reminder on how futile any criticism might be. Instead I’ll do something really meaningful as your great leader and exemplar has shown by his eternal constant example emulating the divine example of the Vicar of Bray. I shall spend my earnings and efforts on procuring hair product instead of doing anything else because surely that will deliver a ministerial limousine unto me, and that at least will reduce my own poverty. Instead of being politically motivated, a big tub of hair gel will show that I am indeed genuinely neutral and representative of common sense.

    Which we surely all need.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  11. To elaborate then, what is the proper, seemly time that one should infelicitously raise the issue of children in poverty, if I may be so impertinent or so impractical? When, strategically thinking, when might it might be brought to the attention of at once, simultaneously, the… how might I say this… the “masses” and those determined by fate and breeding to be in command? I mean, how might I present the matter in a matter that might navigate the fine boundary between indifference and offence?

    Pray tell, dear sir.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

  12. Really, come on, what is the “proper” time?

    When might it be calculated to be most efficacious dear fellow?

    On what dates would one might be likely to find the potentially receptive audience most.. um… receptive? When is the “Window of opportunity”?

    Hmm?

    I’m waiting, my dear old chap. I hope you don’t mind that I’m being impertinent.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 7:12 pm

  13. Yeah, Sanctuary, Rhino and the rest of the collective wit badgering, baiting and bad mouthing anyone who points out the shellacking that Labour and the union groups layered across the media pre election at tax payer expense again.

    Comment by will — January 18, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  14. Oh William, do try harder dear boy. A “yeah”? It’s all so cut and paste! Honestly, you’re losing your spirit and your wit… oh that’s right, you never had any!

    I’m trolling the troll – let’s see how he reacts to this!

    …and out of character and speaking honestly – I don’t give a dingo’s kidney about “Labour”. They’ve been Absent Without Leave for years now.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

  15. One thing you have to give James, him (and his old pal the Universe) were much more trollworthy. These are beneath your talents, Rhinocrates.

    L

    Comment by Lew — January 18, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  16. I want almost, in my idle way, to train William. I want him to learn how to really get under someone’s skin, to find their sore spots, the things that really provoke them… at at the moment, he’s still to naive, too lacking in perception…he’s not even really interested. All I get is a few talking points that aren’t even tangential, let alone distracting (as true trolling should be). All I get is a few talking points… but maybe, if he tries, something could come of it. I live in hope.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

  17. I want him to learn how to really get under someone’s skin, to find their sore spots, the things that really provoke them…

    Is that the intellectualocracy method of addressing poverty? Should lift a few out, huh?

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

  18. More Chardonnay beltway socialists banging on Pete, you know how they love to show off their superior intellects to the grubby merchants and plebs, on the taxpayers dime.

    Comment by will — January 18, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

  19. No William, that’s just stereotyping – you’re being lazy. Think: try some real satire. Do you know what satire is? First, try to find the real essence of someone’s beliefs, not just what you imagine to be the superficial indicators. Look at the logical contradictions, try a reductio ad absurdam (without making the hyperbole too obvious). Then you work your way up, okay?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

  20. @17 As United Coiffure has so spectacularly succeeded in doing? Come on, your party has had a presence not only in parliament, but in government too – you’re just opening yourself up for more criticism. Common Sense. Moderating Excesses. And so on. You can’t say “It’s all their fault now”, can you?

    Let me tell you a story.

    Nell Gwyn leaned out of her window one morning to see her servant fighting with her neighbour’s servant. “What are you fighting about?”, she asked. He replied, “He called me the servant of a whore.” “Well that is what I am,” she said. “Be about your business.”

    Nell Gwyn had wit and spunk. Does Dunne have either?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

  21. Stereotypes are suitable for you and your clones Rhino. OK.

    Comment by will — January 18, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  22. That’s not even a non sequitur, William – it’s a a cop-out. You strike me as a party volunteer out of his depth. Try harder. I have real conversations with real conservatives that are far more interesting, but you just look like the sort who staffs a call centre. If that is the case, tell me; how does it feel to be so patronised by those whom you serve? Do you imagine that you’d be a candidate one day? Will you (pardon the pun) crawl through ordure in hope? Perhaps stand in Epsom?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  23. @20 I’ve never said “it’s all their fault”. I have said “it’s as much our fault if all we do is moan”.

    I’ve been quite familiar with criticism for a long time.

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

  24. @23

    … and achieved … um… a families commission that even John Key barely… well, I would say he pays lip service, but paying lip service is as natural as breathing for him.

    The point is, United Coiffure has been in a position to actually act, not just “endure criticism” for years now.

    You’ve achieved nothing for families in poverty, but worse than that, you’ve had to ENDURE CRITICISM! Oh the horror, the ennui!

    So how much are those BMWs with heated seats worth?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  25. “@20 I’ve never said “it’s all their fault”. I have said “it’s as much our fault if all we do is moan”.

    Come to think of it, considering the facts of the last few years, that’s an admission of your utter ineffectuality and pointlessness. Thank you.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  26. Again the ceaseless abuse from Rhino, diverting and obfuscating when he’s called out for shellacking and astroturfing. And yes yes, I work in a call centre and wish I was a political candidate for a right wing fringe party in a Auckland, or maybe I just love sipping C.O Pinot Noir on Lambton Quay bitching about the merchant classes.

    Comment by will — January 18, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  27. The real issue here is not about freedom of speech and the restricting of debate or opposing views. That should not be tolerated.
    The issue is that NZ restricts the amount of money politicians can spend on their electioneering and also restricts the amount of taxpayers’ money they can spend for the same end. I do not agree with restricting how much of their own money they can spend. I certainly do not think taxpayers should pay for any of it. However, once we have decided that we should restrict how much they can spend and that taxpayers should fund it but with set limits we have started down a path that must inevitably lead to restricting other forms of taxpayer funded political opinion during the election.

    Bryan Bruce should be able to express any political view he likes at anytime. Just don’t ask me, as a taxpayer to pay for it, or any other political view at election or any other time.
    Bruce’s problem is he wants to stay on the taxpayer’s tit. If he has the courage of his convictions that the story needs telling then have the courage to fund it also.

    Comment by Bob — January 18, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

  28. Oh you poor boy, enduring my ceaseless abuse. Yes, ceaseless! Unendurable! You must be black and blue!

    Shellacking and astroturfing”? Care to be specific? Come on. Discipline, rigour! Define these! What phony faux grassroots organisatiojns have I set up? Name them, please, because I gather “astroturufing means setting up a fake grassroots organisation.

    Now you’re just being a drama queen… can I try this button? Dare I say it, a VICTIM?

    “I just love sipping C.O Pinot Noir on Lambton Quay bitching about the merchant classes.”

    Is that a reference to my supposed class in some sort of recursive facsimile of satire? Sorry, it’s always Johnnie Walker Red Label or Mac’s Sassy Red in my particular case.

    Do you want a cuddle?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  29. “I work in a call centre and wish I was a political candidate for a right wing fringe party in a Auckland”

    Metaphorically, and existentially, that is exactly what you do.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  30. @25 you’re obviously not basing that comment on many facts.

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  31. 3/ If all else fails, anyone who disagrees with them can … [be] vexatiously sued (the tea tapes guy).

    1. The tea-tapes guy wasn’t sued.
    2. The tea-tape guy did the suing.
    3. The government opposition to it wasn’t vexatious (not least because they won).

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — January 18, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  32. @30

    Well, there aren’t many to point to that support the narrative of United Coiffure’s valiant efforts to help families out of poverty, are there?

    Therefore any evidence that shows lack of social mobility has to be propaganda, doesn’t it?

    Again, you’ve had years now. The excuses have run out and so whose fault is it now? Is it still the last government’s or this one’s – of which United Coiffure has been an integral component?

    So of course you have to try to dismiss the real facts as reported.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

  33. If it’s any consolation, I don’t hink that you’re wrong necessarily… I just think that you’re useless.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  34. Though NZ On Air is the funder, did it make the decision about *when* to broadcast?

    Comment by TomYum — January 18, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  35. It’s not hard to dismiss the “real facts”, you’re showing a distinct lack of knowledge of them. I haven’t “had years” with UF. And I don’t really care how useless you think I am, that doesn’t mean anything to me at all.

    And you’re useless at getting under my skin if that’s your aim, you’re relatively mild.

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  36. Let’s try the various reports here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport

    And the government’s attempts to suppress reporting on such “political” matters before an election… sorry, not “the government” actually, just someone who happens to be the campaign manager for … someone…

    “I haven’t “had years” with UF.”

    OK, so United Coiffure’s failure is not your fault at all. It all happened before you were there. Right, got that, sorry. I’m sure He of the Exaggerated Quiff will appreciate your loyalty.

    Do you care that the party you have now decided to support has done nothing at all of substance to deal with the issue?

    Do you have a plan to change all of that…. if you do in fact care?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  37. Policy?

    Come on… You’re a political candidate. You stood for United Coiffue, your statements are represerntative of United Coiffure’s. What is your policy? What will you do?

    Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. You took advantage of this blog to stand as a candidate under the name of “Peter George”, and now you statements must be taken as representative of United Coiffure’s policy because that is your public persona. So what then is United Coiffure’s policy on poverty in New Zealand, and what will you do? Anything you say will be taken as a policy statement by United Coiffure. If not, are you disagreeing with Peter Dunne and if so, why?

    Policy please, and if you are not in 100% (to borrow a phrase from John Key) agreement, why not?

    Tell us. Now.

    Speaking as a representative of United Coiffure, what is United Coiffure’s policy on poverty in New Zealand and specifically, both the documentary on the subject and the statements of a board member of New Zealand on Air, considering that the party commonly called “United Future” and which I satirically call “United Coiffure”. Remember, you are speaking – as you have done – as a representative of that party, which is now a part of the government.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  38. I suspect the party I have decided to support is doing and is in a position to do more than than any party you might support.

    But, this might be a bit complex for you, it’s not a single issue that has suddenly appeared and for which there is some miraculous solution just waiting for the right government that has suddenly learnt since it’s last go.

    I’m currently working with six specific plans/entities that are related to these issues. One of those only is UF. My public persona is much wider than UF – I’m working with people from a number of other parties in some projects, some are non-political.

    What are you doing?

    Comment by Pete George — January 18, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  39. Erratum…

    “considering that the party”

    should be “considering that you are an avowed representative of the party”

    and that there’s a question mark at the end.

    In any case, I await “United Coiffure’s” official reply.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  40. Sipping CO Pinot Noir whilst bitching about the merchant classes and shellacking over the deficiencies of the left mainly. The usual.

    Comment by will — January 18, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  41. No William that simply won’t do. Try harder.

    To wit: the sentence is in fact merely a phrase, lacking any indication as to its subject. Also, you show inappropriate usage of words, specifically “shellacking”, which conventionally, is taken to mean, according to http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shellacking,

    shel·lac
       [shuh-lak] Show IPA noun, verb, -lacked, -lack·ing.
    noun
    1.
    lac that has been purified and formed into thin sheets, used for making varnish.
    2.
    a varnish (shellac varnish) made by dissolving this material in alcohol or a similar solvent.
    3.
    a phonograph record made of a breakable material containing shellac, especially one to be played at 78 r.p.m.: an LP that can hold nearly 10 times as much as the old shellac.
    verb (used with object)
    4.
    to coat or treat with shellac.
    5.
    Slang .
    a.
    to defeat; trounce.
    b.
    to thrash soundly.
    Also, shel·lack .

    Origin:
    1705–15; shell + lac1 , translation of French laque en écailles lac in thin plates

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  42. But then, considering the last definition, 5b, I have thrashed you soundly?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  43. “My public persona is much wider than UF”

    Thank you, I’m sure Peter Dunhill will appreciate that admission.

    You speak almost as if you were a celebrity. Have you met Charlie Sheen? If so, how did you get on?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  44. … and anyway, since the topic of this thread encompasses both media freedom and poverty, what do your multitudinous personae have to say on either?

    If you need help, refer to the following:

    http://www.medicinenet.com/dissociative_identity_disorder/article.htm

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 18, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

  45. “To me, it falls into the area of caution we show about political satire near elections.”

    That could be read as it is _like_ the area of caution w.r.t. satire, not that is said satire. JK’s electorate chairman may have been a bit more subtle in his politicking than you give him credit for

    Of course somebody else may have made this point, but it may have been lost in the to-and-fro.

    FM

    Comment by Fooman — January 19, 2012 @ 12:37 am

  46. Media freedom – ideally anyone should be free to say anything at any time in the media with no restrictions. Our laws have evolved with a number of restrictions, protections and means of addressing things like slander, including restrictions regarding electionms. There’s reasonable grounds for most of this but all can be misusued, as they are.

    Media responsibility should not be forgotten in this. It’s common to see media acting as if they have the right to interview anyone any time, I think most people including me think media need to recognise people’s rights to privacy and common decency.

    Miedia freedom and the ‘poverty’ documentary – theoretically Bryan Bruce and TV3 should be free to show documentaries whenever they like without restriction but it’s not that simple. For example:
    – If a political party or an anonymous religious group commissioned a documentary and it was aired on election eve would that be ok? Parties are known to push electoral law boundaries.
    – Bryan Bruce and TV3 are not free to show an explicit sex documentary in the early evening (and some explicitness is not allowed at all)

    I think the documentary was free to be aired when it was but I think TV3 were irresponsible to time it then – it looks like they were trying to influence votes in a timeframe that didn’t allow reasonable response. If they were serious about adding to the campaign debate it would have been shown a few weeks earlier – and I think it would have been more effective shown earlier anyway, a few days out from the election most people had made up their minds how to vote.

    Also, how many people that would swing their vote based on one documentary would be the type of person likely to watch a documentary? Selling happy Goff meals, having a poverty week sale (up to 50% off) or running a soap all week that featured a promiscuous voter who kept changing parties but in a Friday night cliffhanger decided to vote for x would probably have had more chance of reaching the target market.

    In short:
    – with media freedoms there are (or should be) responsibilities
    – Bryan Bruce got the placement he wanted, good on him (but probably not the election result he preferred)
    – this was one of a number examples of Mediaworks pushing boundaries for profit (TV3 ‘journalists’also blatantly tried to influence the election, and pushed personal agendas)
    – pushing for media electoral freedom may deliver programmes next time that the pushers may have a bad trip on

    Final word – it’s curious how many of those lauding the placement of this documentary seem to be the same ones who bitterly criticised the placement of a Key political figure in a radio programme a few weeks earlier.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 7:13 am

  47. LOL, good old Rhino. Drinking alone and talking to himself, again – we have found the new Blanket Man.

    Comment by will — January 19, 2012 @ 7:25 am

  48. “…we have found the new Blanket Man.”

    Classy, will. Poor guy isn’t yet buried and you’re using his mental illness and drug dependency issues to score cheap points in a flamewar. Real classy.

    Comment by Grassed Up — January 19, 2012 @ 8:09 am

  49. ‘I think the documentary was free to be aired when it was but I think TV3 were irresponsible to time it then – it looks like they were trying to influence votes in a timeframe that didn’t allow reasonable response.’

    The doco was quite apolitical. It did point to poverty and most certainly it provoked a consideration as to what political parties policies were. What on earth is wrong with that?
    Nothing wrong with the timing…parties still release policy in the week before the election. Some, like charter schools, never get released until after the election. It would be way to easy for a party to reply to the effect that folk should wait until the policy is released, and then allow the noise of an election to never address anything that could be negative.

    ‘a few days out from the election most people had made up their minds how to vote.’

    Then the showing of this doco…or any of a similar nature, won’t make any difference. Why then the fuss? And no doubt your leader will be telling Key this.
    Will we be hearing Key on the radio ,in an entirely non political role, on a regular basis Pete. More than triennially?

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 8:16 am

  50. Nicely put Peter (Martin). Pete (George) has quite unknowingly demonstrated how political pressure is brought on the media and justified. One can’t say that something that might be embarrassing to a government or its utterly, prostrately servile coalition partner that is bought off by a limousine and a hairstylist and is otherwise useless and then be locked up… because that would be too obvious. Instead it’s “irresponsible”. One is accused of being “partisan” and not exercising sufficient forethought and saying something that indeed, we all acknowledge, should be said… but not right now. You’ll find this passive-aggressive tactic employed time and again and it’s never exactly the most appropriate time.

    You see, it’s not sedition to embarrass the government and its hangers-on that so closely resemble male angler fish. Oh no, that’s just rude and irresponsible.

    But Pry Mincer’s Our on the radio devoted to cats when our nation’s credit rating is being downgraded? Oh that’s different. It’s always going to be different, and not political at all.

    Grassed Up, don’t worry about William – according to his own words, I have purified him and formed him into thin sheets that are used for making varnish.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 9:05 am

  51. I think Pete George’s last 461 word waffle shows why it is so hard to be a satirist. I mean, as a parody you couldn’t make up that verbose pile of meaningless horse shit if you tried.

    As a piece of prose, it neatly sums up the vacuity of United Future – a party of aging white blowhards who above all else enjoy the sound of their own voice and the sense of self-importance that it gives them.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 19, 2012 @ 9:17 am

  52. The doco was quite apolitical.

    It was deliberately targetted at influencing the election. You can hardly call that apolitical.

    Then the showing of this doco…or any of a similar nature, won’t make any difference.

    There’s no guarantee a future documentary won’t make any difference is there?

    Why then the fuss?

    Ask those making a fuss. I think it was a cynical attempt at electoral manipulation. Journalism and reporting are largely quaint historical notions, media are more interested in making the story and being the story. It’s just how it is, a part of the whole imperfect game.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 9:18 am

  53. … and PG just proves my point. Anything embarrassing is cynically “politically motivated” (but not coherent or worthy of comment and really not politically motivated after all, but just after ratings or whatever) … but anything done by the governing party is not. Passive-aggressive and paranoid.

    On angler fish:

    At birth, male ceratioids are already equipped with extremely well developed olfactory organs[dubious – discuss] that detect scents in the water. The male ceratioid lives solely to find and mate with a female. They are significantly smaller than a female angler fish, and may have trouble finding food in the deep sea. Furthermore, the growth of the alimentary canals of some males becomes stunted, preventing them from feeding. These features necessitate his quickly finding a female anglerfish to prevent death. The sensitive olfactory organs help the male to detect the pheromones that signal the proximity of a female anglerfish. When he finds a female, he bites into her skin, and releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood-vessel level. The male then slowly atrophies, first losing his digestive organs, then his brain, heart, and eyes, and ends as nothing more than a pair of gonads[4], which release sperm in response to hormones in the female’s bloodstream indicating egg release. This extreme sexual dimorphism ensures that, when the female is ready to spawn, she has a mate immediately available.[5] Multiple males can be incorporated into a single female.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglerfish

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  54. Sanctuarymoanious.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  55. Rhino n. bombastic horn and poor vision.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  56. ‘It was deliberately targetted at influencing the election. You can hardly call that apolitical.’

    So it savaged one or more parties and promoted one or more parties then?…or perhaps it indicated that poverty had been non party political ( that is, no party had done much but tinker). If highlighting a (perceived) issue is influencing the election…then again, what on earth is wrong with that? Are you afraid of voters being white anted? *l*

    ‘It’s just how it is, a part of the whole imperfect game.’

    So what is United Future’s attitude towards the playing of the doco then? Resigned indifference as you personally suggest?

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  57. The doco was quite apolitical.

    It could only be apolitical if child poverty had nothing to do with govt policy.

    I think NZOA has a point. They do exercise caution already around election time already in terms of the satire genre so it’s not exactly completely out of the blue that they should be concerened about docos.

    i’m not 100% convinced that this particular doco is worth the fight but I can see why as a matter of principle a tax payer funded doco that might otherwise go to air without issue could be problematic if shown just prior to an election.

    My understanding is that NZOA approached TV3 with there concerns and TV3 took no notice. TV3 is a business, they can’t be relied upon to act in the greater good.

    Now I’m not saying that this particular doco should have been delayed gogin to air but I can see NZOA’s concern and some guidlines would be worth having, legisation is probably going to far.

    Comment by NeilM — January 19, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  58. PG:

    Thhhbbbttt!!! You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

    See – now you and I and William are all at the same level. That’s democracy!

    Or it could mean that I have got under your skin after all.

    Smooches.

    A little more seriously, note how PG is steadfastly refusing to comment on the content of the documentary? He has nothing to say about poverty… should it be raised in the proper, deferential and tactfully apolitical manner at an appropriate time.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  59. “exercise caution already around election time already in terms of the satire genre”

    And that in itself is disturbing.

    Now let’s look at the buzzwords.

    “Tax payer funded” Oh yes, those are good ones.

    Translation: “You’re free to speak, but only those who don’t ruffle the government’s feathers will be paid to… now they themselves are free to be critical, but they know how to be tactful and bite their tongues, whereas you don’t, so you don’t get funding.”

    Likewise, Bomber wasn’t sacked… he simply didn’t have another invitation to participate.

    “some guidlines would be worth having, legisation is probably going to far.”

    No, because that would just be too obvious, wouldn’t it? Instead it’s just a polite word here and there, in the right ear, from someone who might or might not be helpful later when it comes to a grant or access…

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  60. I haven’t seen the documentary so have nothing to comment on it’s contents.

    Re poverty, income inequalities, benefit dependence, social ruts, violence, drug, alcohol and tobacco dependencies, lack of employment opportunities, large education cracks, poor parenting skills, etc etc I don’t have a simple answer.

    With your intellectual and political superiority (maybe Sanctuary could help) why don’t you come up with a solution, it should only take you about three posts.

    1. Define current day poverty in a New Zealand context
    2. Detail all the associated factors and interdependencies
    3. Solution.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  61. ‘I haven’t seen the documentary so have nothing to comment on it’s contents.’

    *lol*

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 10:06 am

  62. “I haven’t seen the documentary so have nothing to comment on it’s contents.”

    Danyl, you really can’t make this up! Here’s a political candidate saying he has no ideas and – with the intent to mock – asking other people for solutions! What more demonstration could be needed for United Coiffure’s empty, cynical cupidity?

    You’ve mistaken a political debate for a personal pissing contest.

    Now PG, with your intellectual and political inferiority as you say (which I suppose puts you in touch with the real, salt of the earth man on the street rough diamond working people real… er… real… generally REAL people), tell me and everyone who’s reading why they should have voted for United Coiffure.

    Oh, and don’t forget to add “ivory tower” at some point. I do work for a university some of the time.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  63. “…It could only be apolitical if child poverty had nothing to do with govt policy.

    I think NZOA has a point. They do exercise caution already around election time already in terms of the satire genre so it’s not exactly completely out of the blue that they should be concerened about docos…”

    @NeilM – A documentary about child poverty in New Zealand could scarcely be made without reference to politics. After all, how we got from there to here is a story of political choices. Poverty is a political issue, and child poverty doubly so. What you are really saying is political debate at election time can only be of the most timid and superficial kind, and that substantive questioning of the status quo should now be equated with subversion of the electoral process. Is that what you think politics has become? Should elections really be reduced (with apologies to Shakespeare) to the role of a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more? A tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing?

    In that case (George Orwell now!), if you want a vision of the future, imagine Pete George holding the balance of power – forever.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 19, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  64. What you are really saying is political debate at election time can only be of the most timid and superficial kind…

    no I don’t think that.

    I’m in favour of NZOA funding docos that make politicians uncomfortable, that challange, that are even partisan and at times unfair. That adds to robust potical debate. The issue I see is that showing such docos just prior to an election raises issues that are already established re political broadcasting during the election period.

    I can’t see that this current incarnation of NZOA has shied away from hard hitting docos – the child poverty one an obvius example. If they raise concerns about the timing of the broadcast then I think that should be considered.

    Comment by NeilM — January 19, 2012 @ 10:32 am

  65. War is Good For Your Hairstyle

    Freedom is Certainly Having Serious Concerns But Not Voicing Them In a Manner That Is Obviously Political And Designed To Influence An Election and Is Moreover Likely To Be Counter-Productive, All Things Considered

    Ignorance Is Appropriate In A Political Candidate And Even More Appropriate In The Proles If One Desires Not To Be Seen as Pretentious And Generally Not The Right Sort Of Good Common-Sensical Fellow

    I could waffle on more.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  66. Here’s a political candidate saying he has no ideas

    Danyl, you really can’t make this up! Apparently not seeing one documentary can mean you have no ideas.

    Rhino, are you trying to claim your comments on this thread have amounted to some sort of political debate? Maybe you should watch some documentaries.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 10:42 am

  67. “Apparently not seeing one documentary can mean you have no ideas.”

    No, saying, “Well Mister Smarty-Pants, YOU tell me, a political candidate for a fig leaf of a party that has been adorning a government whose leader campaigned on the issue of an ‘Underclass’ in 2008 for years now and has just asked YOU for ideas” means that you have no ideas.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  68. McElrea’s actions seem to be just common-garden variety National Party cronyism in the corridors and boardrooms.
    However I wondered why Neil Walter was being a “tame cocker spaniel” for McElrea.

    On reflection, I think Walter, a former career diplomat and MFAT mandarin, has played McElrea (and National Party cronyism). I think Walter has deliberately parroted the McElrea/National insider viewpoint to the media in order to make it public. As for seeking a legal opinion on their powers – I think Walter already knows exactly what the advice will be.

    Comment by Mr February — January 19, 2012 @ 11:09 am

  69. “Rhino, are you trying to claim your comments on this thread have amounted to some sort of political debate?”

    Yes, actually. You see the Cheka can take you away to the Lubyanka in the middle of the night and that’s a restriction on freedom of speech (and your metabolism), but freedom of speech can also be restricted by words in ears between powerful members of mens’ clubs. It can be restricted by intimidating lawsuits against journalists. It can be restricted by people saying it’s too political, that its inappropriate, that it’s not the right time. By people who happen to be the Prime Minister’s campaign manager and sits on a board controlling funding and who sees no conflict of interest.

    It can be restricted by shills and lackeys who wag their fingers and tell us not to get ideas above our station, not to be impertinent.

    Sometimes mass protest is appropriate, sometimes revolution is appropriate.

    And sometimes those shills just deserve ridicule.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 11:11 am

  70. That’s just as inane. Apparently asking someone what they think of something means you have no ideas.

    You’ve asked me a lot of questions, what does that mean?

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  71. To take another example, the NZOA funded Operation 8: deep in the forest would not be considered fair and balanced by a lot of people, I certainly don’t but I have no objection to NZOA funds going towards it (I don’t believe that every doco should be fair and balanced). But I think there would have be an issue had it aired days out from the 2008 election.

    Comment by NeilM — January 19, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  72. “You’ve asked me a lot of questions, what does that mean?”

    It means that I am expecting you, someone who campaigned for a political party under the name you use on this blog, who claimed to have answers… to actually start delivering on your claims.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  73. “But I think there would have be an issue had it aired days out from the 2008 election.”

    NeilM, I see your point, but I’m inclined to say “Damn the torpedoes”. News does not arrive at convenient times.

    The Prime Minister might want to talk about his cat, Moonbeam, but – whoopsies! – news of a credit downgrade arrives. Sorry to ruin the vibe, guys, but we’ve got to report it… but hey, let’s bury it.

    And then sometimes the pretence of “neutrality” becomes the suppression of facts.

    Now yes, it was a documentary and not breaking news and maybe – just maybe – could have been presented earlier, but it may simply not have been ready due to post-production, advertising deals and any number of factors. Now suppose if it was not available for broadcast well before an election, and therefore it had been delayed until afterwards? That would mean that the public had been deliberately deprived of information that would have informed their choice. There is a reason why the state of the nation’s books are not withheld to suit the governing party’s chances in an election and I think that the same principle applies.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  74. What answers did I claim to have??

    I didn’t claim I would remove GST off fresh fruit and vegetables – why don’t you ask Labour to deliver on their claims?
    I didn’t claim I could lift 100,000 children out of poverty – why don’t you ask the Greens to deliver on their claims?

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  75. Diversion PG, and you know it.

    What are United Figleaf’s policies and how does it intend to deliver? Specifically, how does it intend to address child poverty instead of petulantly demanding that those nasty people who talk about just hold their tongues.

    United Figleaf is a part of government now – or have you forgotten?

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  76. ‘What are United Figleaf’s policies and how does it intend to deliver? ‘

    And without wanting to focus on any particular party…this looks suspiciously like the sort of question on an issue that some parties don’t want asked just prior to an election, were said issue to be…say highlighted, and said parties not have an answer.

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  77. @75 You’re the one diverting, I asked you direct questions, you’ve chosen not to answer.

    instead of petulantly demanding that those nasty people who talk about just hold their tongues.

    And then you’ve chosen to make something up – unless you can answer who in UF did that.

    What are United Figleaf’s policies and how does it intend to deliver?

    It’s not party policies that matter. In the first instance it’s what has been negotiated in the Confidence and Supply Agreement. Apart from that it’s too soon in the term to tell, it will depend on what relevant bills come before the House, and what Peter Dunne is able to work in within his portfolios (he only plays a smal part of the total government, I’m sure you will undertsand that). I’ll find out more but I won’t know for a couple of weeks.

    If you have any worthwhile suggestions I can put them forward if you like. I don’t think getting under skin will be well received, come up with something a bit more useful to impoverished people.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

  78. ‘he only plays a smal part of the total government’

    He has the balance of power.
    *sigh*

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  79. “And then you’ve chosen to make something up – unless you can answer who in UF did that.”

    Oh no, nothing ever as direct as that… just your typically mealy-mouthed nagging about it being “politically motivated” and wagging your finger while reminding those pesky journalists that “- with media freedoms there are (or should be) responsibilities”

    “It’s not party policies that matter.”

    Yours certainly don’t. To paraphrase the remainder of that paragraph, you’re going to first, do what you’re told and second, make it up as you go along.

    “come up with something a bit more useful to impoverished people.”

    And

    “What are you doing?”

    I’m one of those “coalface” workers Mr George. I work daily with impoverished people, those who have learning difficulties and those who simply need to catch up. Solo mothers, ex-cons, immigrants, people with autism and dyslexia and “normal” (whatever the hell that is) people too. I listen to their stories and that’s why I find your smug, complacent sanctimony so galling and your precious “Families Commission” such a sick joke.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  80. He has the balance of power.

    He hasn’t.

    And he also follows the practice of not wielding a disproportionate amount of power, this principle is generally accepted as how we do our MMP.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  81. Every time the Maori Party doesn’t side with the Govt, Dunne has the balance of power.
    I think yer right though…he is lickspittle and will not wield a disproportionate amount of power. As opposed to making a difference…say on poverty.

    Comment by Peter Martin — January 19, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

  82. @79 Ah, so you’re blaming me for everything UF has done (and not done) over the past decade. Surely you’ll allow me a few more weeks to sort all that out.

    Are you settling in to blog bitch for the next three years? You might get some pleasure from being a skin prick but as you will know with poor and sick people, being enveloped in negatives doesn’t usually achieve much.

    Maybe political blogs are destined to remain as general grump zones, outlets for venting frustration amongst sore political losers, but just imagine what might be achieved if all the smugness and fighting and point scoring was converted into something more positive and practical?

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  83. What do you do, Pete?

    Comment by Rob — January 19, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  84. @ NeilM – I think the point here is that, no mater how biased or shonky the doco on child poverty may (or may not) have been, NZoA is not the mechanism to address such concerns – the Broadcasting Standards Authority and Electoral Commission are.

    What most National party people seem to be saying is they think the doco was electioneering, but they think the BSA and EC are toothless tigers who can’t address that promptly in an election campaign. I would agree with that claim.

    But…. the solution is to beef up the ability of the BSA and EC to rapidly respond to complaints about politically biased stuff on air during election campaigns. NZoA should only be focused on the giving out cash based on:
    – the ability to complete a work up to point of broadcast
    – the technical quality (ie is it well made technically?)
    – is the content topical, of interest to NZ, etc

    NZoA should not be looking whether content is biased or not – that is the BSA’s job!

    Comment by bob — January 19, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  85. anyone seen the wikipedia blackout? – just thought I’d mention it. . .

    Comment by Eric Blair — January 19, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  86. @82

    You’ve allied yourself with United Figleaf and actively campaigned for them, as a representative, highlighting their record. “I don’t know, I wasn’t there at the time” isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s close to a lie.

    “sore political losers”

    Is that aimed at me, if I may make the vain presumption?

    I’ve had more than one student tell me that I’ve prevented their suicide. I don’t consider that losing.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  87. bob – the problem with the BSA even if it can do something it’s always well after the event, TV3/and TVNZ will know that when showing something just before an election there is nothing that can be done about it. And if the BSA was beefed up with an immediate response capability it would probably run into political difficulties – who is on the BSA (doesn’t matter who, bias will be accused whoever it is)?

    Rob – day job, I’ve worked in IT from before it was called that. Apart from that, as you’ll know I stood for UF in the election, apparently that makes me responsible for feeding John Keys cat now. I’m working with anti-violence groups, and I’m helping establish a people’s lobby in Dunedin that will work cross-party on issues important to Dunedin (I expect poverty related issues will be prominent in that), all parties that contested the election in Dunedin and all four Dunedin MPs have indicated they will work with this, as well as various community groups (including social services working in poverty related areas). And in my spare time I’ve got a few acres to let off steam on and develop some semi-self-sustainability. Oh, and I get a bit of information and entertainment from blogs (actually blogs have contributed to developing the lobby, they’ve been a good way of experimenting with ideas, and given me a good practice at dealing with people in politics – it’s a lot diferent and easier in person).

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

  88. Scoop has the OIA documents showing the communications between the NZOA board after the doco screened.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1201/S00105/nz-on-air-independence-tv3-poverty-doco-oia-documents.htm

    What’s astonishing is they appear utterly terrified all because of three people:

    1) Concern from NZOA board member (and John Key’s electorate chairman and the National Party’s northern region deputy chairman) Stephen McElrea
    2) A blog post by anti-welfare Karl du Fresne
    3) A complaint from Alistair Bell, who I’m sure isn’t the same Alistair Bell who is on the National Party’s board.

    Sometimes it seems like it’s impossible to change the world we live in. But apparently all it takes is three biased criticisms.

    Comment by James W — January 19, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  89. You’ve allied yourself with United Figleaf and actively campaigned for them, as a representative, highlighting their record. “I don’t know, I wasn’t there at the time” isn’t good enough. In fact, it’s close to a lie.

    It’s nothing like a lie. I’ve only been involved with UF for the election campaign and had nothing to do with what the party did last term (or last decade). I doubt David Shearer will be blamed for Rogernomics.

    “sore political losers”

    Is that aimed at me, if I may make the vain presumption?

    It’s aimed at political blogs generally, it’s prevalent more on Kiwiblog and especially The Standard than here, but you do show some signs of it.

    I’ve had more than one student tell me that I’ve prevented their suicide.

    Good on you. Uni can be a very stressful time for some. And mentioning suicide – that’s another big issue that deserves much more attention, although as usual there aren’t simple solutions.

    Comment by Pete George — January 19, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  90. Thought censorship might be more important to the “National-owned NZOA”, but I guess I was wrong. Truth is, Key doesn’t have a problem with sexual innuendo and drug references at 7.30 and 8.00 pm on Wednesdays because it doesn’t affect him: he’s over on Sky watching rugby

    Comment by DL — January 19, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  91. > “I think Pete George’s last 461 word waffle shows why it is so hard to be a satirist.”

    You mean you counted them? The lengths some will go to fan the flames of war.

    Comment by insider — January 19, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  92. Came for amusing satire, left because of Rhinocrates’ tediously unfunny white noise posting.

    Comment by Trouble Man — January 19, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  93. “…You mean you counted them..?

    Absolutely. I matched each word to a picture of a sheep, counted the sheeps legs and divided that by four.

    Actually, I was in word at the time, so I whipped the old cut and paste trick so I could be accurate.

    Comment by Sanctuary — January 19, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

  94. {gets popcorn and soda, waits for Rhino to get pissed up and repeatedly post white noise, smug academic put downs and anti merchant class rhetoric until midnight – again}

    Comment by will — January 19, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

  95. Comment by Trouble Man

    Hi William, I thought that you’d varnished.

    Oh really, you keep blurring across your sock puppet personae. I have to say, you really are the laziest troll I’ve ever come across.

    “White noise”? Be a bit less obvious, please – it’s insulting.

    Actually I’ll call it a day. Pete George has actually earned my respect. He’s sincere. I disagree with him, but he honestly believes in what he’s doing and sticks to it. Good luck to him.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — January 19, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  96. I suppose with the amount of piss you sunk last night on your rampage you need an early night. Good night bubba.

    Comment by will — January 19, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  97. @ Pete George (comment 87) – yes, beefing up the rapid response of the BSA and Electoral Commission runs the risk they are accused of censorship (if they penalise or censor a programme in the election campaign).

    But they have strict criteria they must justify their decisions by. The whole point of the NZoA’s hamfisted response is that it is not an agency that is supposed to deal with political influence in election campaigns.

    If a TV show is biased, people can (and do) complain to the BSA. If people complain to NZoA instead, what are NZoA supposed to do? NZoA are a body who fund projects that will be created in the future; they have no ability to retrospectively shut down or punish abberant or biased docos. All they can do is tweak their funding criteria, which as the current public farce shows, just degenerates quickly into open censorship to appease the govt.

    The BSA by contrast, is specifically designed and empowered to deal with broadcasters who run biased shows or shows in an unbalanced manner; they have power to punish, even ordering broadcast shutdowns for limited periods. But to wield such powers they must clearly justify their decisions, and are subject to appeals. Which NZoA aren’t. Which is why McElrea should resign and NZoA shut up.

    Comment by bob — January 20, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  98. @68 Mr February

    “…I think Walter has deliberately parroted the McElrea/National insider viewpoint to the media in order to make it public.”

    Interesting.

    Comment by Alistair — January 20, 2012 @ 12:24 am

  99. @95 “I disagree with him”

    That’s a curious blanket statement. You obviously disagree with my political association but even regarding that you have no idea of most of the situation, what’s behind it, what it may make possible, what it could lead to.

    And you sort of disgree about what else I’m doing and the way I’m doing things? As far as I know you know stuff all about me and what I’m doing. It seems to be based less on logic and more on the instant enemy syndrome that’s prevalent on blogs. I’m very familiar with that, it happened at Kiwiblog when I started there, it happened at The Standard when I started there, and elsewhere like here a few have taken that stance, knowing stuff all.

    What I’m doing in Dunedin is not party orientated, and it’s not about my opinions or associations or supposed leftishness (KB) or rightishness (TS). It’s about getting politics and democracy working better at a people level, as inclusive as possible – and all MPS and all parties who contested seats in Dunedin have expressed support. I stood to get into that network. So when we look at poverty related issues it won’t matter what you think about me, it will combine as many voices and ideas as possible, and it will be a greater Dunedin voice that speaks, lobbies, and does. It’s already starting to work.

    Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to in person about this project say it’s a good way to try and do better things.

    People in other parts of the country are working along similar lines. We don’t know how it will end up, that depends on the ideas and will of those who get involved. It may just change how we do things in Dunedin a bit. Or it may help change how we do democracy in New Zealand. Action from the grassroots up, not sitting back expecting parliament to fix everything.

    http://yourdunedin.org/dunedin-voice/

    Comment by Pete George — January 20, 2012 @ 6:55 am

  100. Whew! Thank goodness that’s over.

    Actually, the saddest thing about this whole sorry business is the apparent fear that a provocative documentary might damage election chances only if people see it just a few days before they vote. Show it a couple of weeks earlier and that’s OK. They’ll have forgotten.

    What have we come to?

    Comment by Neil — January 20, 2012 @ 7:06 am

  101. Spoke too soon.

    Comment by Neil — January 20, 2012 @ 7:06 am

  102. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

    Comment by merv — January 20, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  103. There were plans tabled for a British-style Ofcom super-regulator, but the Key Govt scrapped it because they thought it would mean SKY would be ‘unbundled’ like Telecom. Even so, it still wouldn’t have applied to print media.

    @Neil #100: it’s just one indication that the Stepford veneer of the whole ‘Project for a New Aotearoan Century’ doctrine is starting to crack. Nothing unhinges its architects more than exposing its dirty secrets or otherwise shaming them.

    Comment by DeepRed — January 20, 2012 @ 10:09 am

  104. The ‘Project for a New Aotearoan Century’, is that like an extension of the ‘Knowledge Wave’ economy???

    Comment by merv — January 20, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  105. > “so I whipped the old cut and paste trick so I could be accurate.”

    This is a blog. What’s accurate got to do with it?

    Comment by insider — January 20, 2012 @ 2:42 pm


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