The Dim-Post

November 2, 2009

Rhapsody in Blue

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 10:24 am

During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form: that of a giant Slor!

The Herald’s fawn-a-thon continues with a profile of Judith Collins. The Police and Corrections Minister was on Q & A yesterday discussing the new laws around asset confiscation, suspension of the right to silence and expanded search and surveillance powers for an extraordinary range of government departments: Collins seemed awfully vague about the new legislation and I was left with the impression she didn’t know much about any of it (possibly because it was drafted under the previous government)  – even though it’s been red-flagged by numerous civil-rights groups, the privacy commissioner and her own Attorney General Chris Finlayson.

Naturally none of this troubles the sunny obsequiousness of the Herald article, although I love these faux-objective grace-notes:

The Corrections portfolio has been a graveyard for many a minister, and at some point Ms Collins will have to start taking responsibility for its problems if she cannot solve them.

Well, duh. There’s a quid-pro-pro here obviously: most of Collins’ policies are leaked exclusively to the Herald so there’s probably a reciprocal relationship between the newspaper’s gallery office and the Minister and her notoriously crafty press secretary. But still  . . .


  1. Your caption is AWESOME. 🙂

    The article is hilarious – she’s been publicly embarrassed, overcrowding in prisons is getting worse, a guard strike is imminent etc – yet she gets an 8 out of 10 because of a bit of populism and that the Police “feel” she is on their side!

    It’s understandable why politicians feel they need style as much, or more than, substance, but I can’t think of any good reason why the media should applaud it like this.

    Unless the Herald has completely given up on being a critical “news” paper and is just trying to be some kind of “watering hole” where the public’s ideas can “mingle”.

    Comment by gazzaj — November 2, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  2. Frontline police feel Ms Collins is on their side.


    This image of a “minister for police” has helped quell criticism from the frontline about her budget restraints that led to large-scale cuts to the police car fleet and radical proposals such as selling police stations being floated.


    Comment by andy — November 2, 2009 @ 11:14 am

  3. The article is hilarious – she’s been publicly embarrassed, overcrowding in prisons is getting worse, a guard strike is imminent etc – yet she gets an 8 out of 10 because of a bit of populism and that the Police “feel” she is on their side!

    Let’s be honest – she’s been given 8/10 because her nickname is ‘crusher’. Never mind that she hasn’t actually crushed anything yet.

    I’ve met Patrick Gower a few times, he seems like a very sharp guy and I can’t quite believe he’d write something this innane, but here we are.

    Comment by danylmc — November 2, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  4. Yeah, but just because she hasn’t crushed anything yet, that doesn’t mean that she’s not determined to. If you go on about crushing – a final, distinctive course of action – then you don’t have to talk about the fact that the last resort of crushing is being touted to cover up the police’s operational failings.

    Comment by chris c — November 2, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  5. WTF? Is that article a joke? They’re talking about the army taking control of the prisons and this idiot gives her an 8/10? And when has anyone ever compared her to Clint Eastwood???

    Comment by Kate — November 2, 2009 @ 11:33 am

  6. To be fair, Andy (comment at 11.14 am), the selling of police stations was a policy left over from the previous Labour government. I too thought “WTF?” until I listened to a more complete analysis of the policy. Gotta love National Radio.

    Comment by David in Chch — November 2, 2009 @ 11:35 am

  7. It is standard for a press secretary like Herrick to put together a profile kit with news stories and ready made quotes and send it through to a journalist who rewords it into a story. I’m surprised you don’t know this and that you’re picking on the Herald. Everybody does it.

    Comment by The Old Hack — November 2, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  8. @ David in Chch

    My WTF, was directed at the ‘frontline loooooves her, when they are not hating her for cutting frontline vehicles’ contradiction, and the un cited extra frontline police throw away line.

    Comment by andy — November 2, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  9. I don’t know which was funnier, your caption or the Heralds puff piece??? Classic.

    Comment by Sue — November 2, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

  10. yup. many many puff pieces on the current government.

    i was surprised you didn’t pick up on the truly great story of the star-crossed lovers that are hide and his girlfriend.

    a complete blank on the question of the minister spending taxpayer money flying his GF to engerland, but a lovely description of their romance.

    the herald really has lost its way.

    Comment by Che Tibby — November 2, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  11. Did you miss this Che?

    They even made it a Your Views topic. Urrrggh.

    Comment by gazzaj — November 2, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  12. i wonder how many solo mums could live for a year on the cost of those flights.

    ah well. [toddles back to his taxpayer-funded tea-room]

    Comment by Che Tibby — November 2, 2009 @ 1:50 pm

  13. I’m surprised it’s taken you this long to figure out that the Herald is the house newsletter of the National Party. What else did you expect?

    Comment by Hoffman — November 2, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  14. Holmes: …the citizen will have to prove it is not, so you are no longer innocent till you’re proven guilty.

    Collins: It’s fantastic isn’t it?

    Comment by George Darroch — November 2, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  15. Collins: It’s fantastic isn’t it?

    Yeah, I saw that – hard to remember a more obviously pre-scripted line.

    the Herald is the house newsletter of the National Party.

    Yeah, the Standard keeps saying this – I don’t think it’s true: their journalism is still high-quality, objective stuff – it’s in the analysis that they’ve lost their way.

    Comment by danylmc — November 2, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

  16. High quality? Objective? Huh? Did you see this story about the cycle way?

    “The first sod will be turned on Prime Minister John Key’s national cycleway network within a month – and a Herald DigiPoll shows four in five New Zealanders will be cheering the occasion along.”

    There is no balance and no history of the funding problems and changes of plan. Just pure PR for the government.

    Comment by Sara — November 2, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  17. I actually feel Danyl is being too kind to the herald. One wonders why?
    Anyhoo, personally I am enjoying the lefties getting their tits in a tangle about this in much the same way that many of you probably did when Clark and her Renfield made the press cower in terror for nearly a decade. Perhaps it is simply a case of the herald reflecting the views and wishes of their readers?

    Living in the virtual police micro state of Kerikeri I am very unhappy with the avalanche of new and sinister rules that they are forcing upon us and I take no comfort from the fact that the new search and surveillance laws are actually Labour’s idea.

    That is all.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — November 2, 2009 @ 4:06 pm

  18. Did you see this story about the cycle way?

    I did, alas. Claire Trevett is usually an excellent journalist. I think there was a kind of mass hysteria over the government aniversary coverage.

    Clark and her Renfield made the press cower in terror for nearly a decade

    I think this is probably similar to the praise Clark got in her first term – but the media in general did spend the last three years of Clark’s reign ripping her to pieces so it was hardly a decade of terror.

    Comment by danylmc — November 2, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  19. Felt like one.

    The wheel will turn.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — November 2, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  20. That Q+A transcript is an endictment. Later she say we’re testing the DNA before arresting people so’s to reduce false arrests.

    Comment by lyndon — November 2, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  21. Barnsley Bill perpetuates the popular myth that Clark got the same media treatment as Key. It’s a conveniently hard one to disprove, of course, because back in 2000 it was the Internet Stone Age, and little from that time survives online (a blog – what’s that?).

    But here’s some “one year on” Clark coverage from the Herald – and Patrick Gower too. It looks to me like normal journalism, not adulation:

    Does anyone have better examples of this supposed sycophancy?

    Comment by sammy — November 2, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

  22. The fawn-o-thon continues, this time with Paula Bennett.

    She broke up a fight in Henderson in January, put Christine Rankin on the Families Commission in May, and hit back at two women who criticised restrictions on the training allowance in July by releasing details of their personal welfare files.
    The last two of these were divisive. But they all made her look like a down-to-earth “bad girl” who plays tough and dirty when she has to. She is strong and sometimes wrong, but she is “one of us”.

    Was there ever any outcome from the investigation that was launched after she abused her power?

    Comment by mjl — November 3, 2009 @ 8:51 am

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