The Dim-Post

September 26, 2009

O’Sullivan on media

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 7:43 am

Fran O’Sullivan is unhappy (this is a bit like saying ‘Fran O’Sullivan is breathing’):

Why is it that the travelling press troupe following John Key about in New York are sending back mountains of celebrity-focused drivel (“colour” as it’s known in the journalistic trade) at the expense of substantive reporting on what’s really going down?

I’ve also felt that the tenor of the coverage has been pretty silly, but since my wife is one of the journalists over in New York with Key I know she’s written stories about climate change, the PM’s bilateral meetings, Afghanistan and NATO troop levels and the Iran protests, as well as the color stories O’Sullivan is complaining about. The Herald has carried most of these stories but they’ve given bigger play to the softer stuff. O’Sullivan claims:

Many New Zealanders will not care one whit that Barack Obama ostensibly told Key, “He’s got a friend down there . . . Or that Bronagh Key said she thought Michelle Obama was “lovely” . . . Or whether or not he mangled his English on David Letterman last night.

But they do – and should – care about the big issues under discussion in New York this week. We don’t know whether Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was able to give Key an assurance that putting more Nato troops on the ground will enable a win in what Obama previously called this “war of necessity”.

I’m guessing that the reason that the Herald and all the other media covering the trip gave prominence to the celebrity based color pieces is because all of them have done extensive market reasearch and they know for a fact that New Zealanders really do care about celebrities and Obama and Letterman and don’t care about any of the issues O’Sullivan is passionate about.


  1. Sorry Fran, i wuz 2 bizzy looking at Pamela Andersons Booobies!

    The NZ herald online (above the imaginary fold) this morning is Pamela, nicky watson in bikini, trinny (of trinny and Suzanna:Fashion), fiji holidays, real estate, barbie doll and a lawyer ripping off legal aid by $1M.

    Boobies, boobies and big glossy pictures of sharks (and throw in a little real estate red meat)! It worked for The Sun, so the NZ Herald should just give up the broadsheet pretence and go straight tabloid.

    Comment by andy — September 26, 2009 @ 8:18 am

  2. “Color pieces”. You learn something new every time you visit here!

    One thing you can bet, the likes of Rush Limbaugh would have carefully scrutinized the Key-Obama meeting for any sign of a sneaky hi-five that might have outed the NZ PM as a possible Person of Color. While not as Brown as Hugo Chavez, he is a furriner.

    Comment by joew — September 26, 2009 @ 8:22 am

  3. Ohhhh poor Fran dissatisfied with the journalism produced in a free market.

    Comment by EbolaCola — September 26, 2009 @ 9:18 am

  4. perhaps the NZ herald is intellectually ‘bankrupt’ and needs to be ‘bailed out’

    Comment by EbolaCola — September 26, 2009 @ 9:27 am

  5. Maybe it has all been tightly scripted.

    Have you noticed the similarity between Key’s trip
    and a certain Flight of the Conchords episode…
    Key antics hit deja vu high

    Comment by Adhominen — September 26, 2009 @ 9:44 am

  6. Ah, your wife is Maggie? One of the most professional journalists I have worked with. As evidenced by her coverage from the US of A.

    Comment by poneke — September 26, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

  7. “Many New Zealanders will not care one whit that Barack Obama ostensibly told Key, “He’s got a friend down there. And he says he hears fantastic things about great golf courses, fabulous places for skiing and a great place for kids.”

    I cared. Does that make me a bad person? And my partner REALLY cared because he’s a greenkeeper so anytime anyone overseas talks about NZ golf courses he gets a boner.

    Comment by Boganette — September 27, 2009 @ 11:34 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: