The Dim-Post

June 27, 2010

Pop quiz hotshot

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:18 am

This would be a pretty good test to set during a job interview for a PR advisor.

‘Your client is a senior politician. His daughter gets arrested smuggling four ecstasy tablets into a dance party on New Years Day. The drugs are concealed in her underwear and when questioned by the police she explains they were for personal consumption. The media calls for comment. Do you:

(a) explain that this is a family matter, that it has been dealt with by the courts, that you consider it closed and will not be making any comment.

(b) have your client tell the reporter that “my daughter has never taken drugs, never taken drugs. I’m not being naive as a father, I know she has not taken drugs apart from the legal drug of alcohol.”


  1. If she has never taken drugs does that mean she was dealing them?

    This would be a nothing story if Marshall had got answer A at the airport yesterday but as usual Goff manages to make cancer from a blister.
    Lets hope no evidence of any favours being asked shows up on this one.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — June 27, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  2. Another reason for potential PMs to be childless
    You never know what the little dears are doing or going to do

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — June 27, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  3. Goff got thrown under the bus by his own daughter, the next family dinner is going to be unusually quiet in the Goff household.

    She is 25 ffs, who cares, she made some bad choices and apparently likes to get monged and not tell her folks. Just like I didn’t want to know of the personal household arrangements of Paula Bennetts daughter.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — June 27, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  4. My guess is he is trying to protect her career as a public servant. I hate this bloody muck racking that the NZ press is turning to, what is this the News of the freakin world?

    Comment by max — June 27, 2010 @ 11:27 am

  5. In Jonathan Marshall’s case it’s News of the World…

    In Goff’s case, it’s like a bad episode of The Thick of It, only there’s no Tucker to clean the mess up.

    Comment by Dav — June 27, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  6. You’ve hit the nail on the head Danyl – it really was the wrong response. Not only could he not possibly know if Sara has or not, he has actually exposed her to more publicity as this opens the door for friends or colleagues to say “Hey I once saw her …”

    To be fair to Phil though, you often react emotionally when it involves your family.

    Comment by dpf — June 27, 2010 @ 11:52 am

  7. It is just a nothing story (like most things Marshall writes) but these tabloid hit pieces are also the most popular type of story newspapers run. With their ad revenues still falling it’s hard to fault the media for giving the public what they desperately seem to want.

    Comment by danylmc — June 27, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  8. Yawn.

    Yet another example of the New Zealand media in decline. I haven’t bought a Sunday newspaper this year and don’t think I will again. The Sunday Star-Times used to have some good articles but lately the whole rag is wall-to-wall shit.

    The relevance factor here is as high as it was with Paula Bannett’s daughter and Peter Goodfellow’s messy divorce.

    Comment by Fuzzy Dunlop — June 27, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  9. You’re right Danyl but for the fact of Goff’s exceedingly foolish response. That’s where the real story lies. Can a dope like this be expected to handle the PM’s job?

    Comment by Adolf Fiinkensein — June 27, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  10. The only good part of all this is perhaps the best Redbaiter post ever:

    “I feel very sorry for Sara Goff.”

    I too pity Sara. Pushed into a social niche that she probably isn’t genetically suited to. Look at her photo. To me that looks like a woman. A woman with traditional motherhood innate, but like so many other NZ wimmin, told from a young age that motherhood demeaned the status of her sex, and that she had to go out there and compete with men.

    Party hard, work hard, succeed, be independent, play your part in the revolution.

    When all she really wanted to do, deep down inside, was find a nice guy and have four kids by the time she was 25. The age she is now, and where she no doubt often reflects upon what a shallow and meaningless charade life has become, in a mood that can perhaps only be lifted by stimulants.

    I reckon this woman, like so many others, would have been better served by satisfying her innate maternal urges and having a family whereby at 25 she would be too concerned with guiding them in life to put herself in a position where she becomes the kind of spectacle she is today.

    Sarah Goff is a generic NZ woman, pushed down the wrong path by a society that has its value system completely arse about face.

    Comment by JD — June 27, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  11. “…It is just a nothing story (like most things Marshall writes) but these tabloid hit pieces are also the most popular type of story newspapers run. With their ad revenues still falling it’s hard to fault the media for giving the public what they desperately seem to want…”

    Do you think such a bunch of lowest commondemoniator, ratings driven mongrels deserve to keep their offices at parliament then? If journalists are just people who deliver purient ruubbish to their audience, then surely they should have any legal status they possess around protecting sources and priveleged access they have to political leaderships stripped from them, so they can take their proper place in the pantheon of public opinion – alongside used car salemen and finance compnay directors?

    Alternatively, you could making excuses for you wife and demand the fucking fourth estate actually lives up to the responsibilities implied in that title?

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 27, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  12. Holy shite JD…

    Comment by max — June 27, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  13. Jesus JD, are you channelling Anna Pasternak?

    Comment by Ataahua — June 27, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

  14. JD and Sanctuary – poster children of tolerance.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 27, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

  15. Whoops – everything south of “best Redbaiter post” should have been in italics, as it came from Redbaiter at Kiwiblog and not me…

    Comment by JD — June 27, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  16. JD got the quotation marks in the wrong place, that’s all. The poetry was all Redbaiter’s.

    And Adolf, don’t be such a dick. Was Bill English’s tetchy response when one of his kids made headlines, evidence of his ability (or lack of) to do his job? I know you’re irony-bereft, but trying to wring some partisan advantage out of every story is a tiresome trait you can be proud to share with your comrades at the Standard.

    Comment by sammy — June 27, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  17. The DimPost comments have been a goldmine of embarrasing typos lately 🙂

    Comment by kahikatea — June 27, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  18. Ah, that explains it, red quoting…

    Comment by davy crockett — June 27, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  19. Danyl and others have (quite rightly), been bagging Goff’s advisors lately, but I’m wondering how much of this is actually Goff ignoring, or not involving, his advisors.

    The old “I’ve been in politics 30 years, and I know exactly how to handle this” problem.

    Comment by J Mex — June 27, 2010 @ 4:54 pm

  20. I’m wondering how much of this is actually Goff ignoring, or not involving, his advisors.

    I think that’s the case – sounds like he was directly asked about it at the airport and ‘went Dad’ – ‘not my daughter, no way’. Understandable when its a member of your family but it means he’s on the front page of a major newspaper looking like a fool. Again.

    Comment by danylmc — June 27, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  21. I think the media smears now jump the shark when it comes to kids being fair game. Taking on the morals of da redstabator i.e. McCarthy-ism.

    Comment by davy crockett — June 27, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  22. Ah, Redbaiter – it all makes sense now.

    Comment by Ataahua — June 27, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  23. With apologies to Fuzzy Dunlop, .Yawn.

    Yet another example of the Danyl media in decline.

    Comment by Galeandra — June 27, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  24. How about this for a question.

    You are a newspaper editor and one of your reporters comes to you with a story about a high ranking opposition MP whose daughter is 25, not living at home and (we can assume) responsbile for the choices she makes, was found with three ectasy tablets at a dance rave on New Years Day in a foreign country, do you:
    a) go there is actually no story here and this is complete mud-raking that has absolutely no political value and as a newspaper organisation we do not stoop to hanging the children of politicians out to dry just because of who their parents are. Or:

    b) we are a sleazy newspaper that really needs to sell some extra papers because readership is dropping like mad and no-one wants to read our bullshit excuse for journalism. Maybe an outrageous front page will do us some good. Hell…lets just put it out there. Who cares. No-one else can cancel there subscription, we are just going to have to dump more papers before audit to prove the numbers are up for advertisers anyway.

    I don’t care what Goff said. I care what New Zealand journalists now think is an acceptable story.

    Comment by Tim — June 27, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  25. Your choice of handle has sent Russell Redbaiter into a terrible froth Davy. Odd to think that according to him you’re a filthy progressive fascist socialist commie knuckle-dragging Nazi (and probably a pederast to boot). How does that make you feel?

    Comment by Guy Smiley — June 27, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  26. Guy, to be honest it makes me laugh like a drain 😉

    Comment by davy crockett — June 27, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

  27. Here’s the real question nobody has bothered asking: Would Sara Goff have been discharged without conviction if she wasn’t a tertiary-educated middle-class white-collar (and whisper this, WHITE) woman. Call be a cynic, but I don’t think any judge would have given a shit about a drug conviction affecting her ability to travel and future career prospects if she was some Abbo from Redfern…

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — June 27, 2010 @ 11:35 pm

  28. What Craig said. Absolutely. She’d have been done like a dog’s dinner if she’d been brown.

    Comment by annie — June 28, 2010 @ 1:10 am

  29. The Herald angled on Goff’s comment:

    Comment by danylmc — June 28, 2010 @ 7:05 am

  30. “She is not the first daughter of a high-ranking Labour politician to have a conviction for possessing Ecstasy overturned.

    In 2001, Annette King’s daughter Amanda was convicted of dangerous driving causing injury and possession of Ecstasy after she crashed her mother’s ministerial car.

    In 2002, the conviction for possession was overturned and the dangerous driving convictions were downgraded to careless driving causing injury.”

    Ah yes, the great left-wing ecstasy conspiracy.

    Comment by JD — June 28, 2010 @ 9:53 am

  31. Ah yes, the great left-wing ecstasy conspiracy.

    @JD: How about white middle-class privilege perpetuating itself, again? Regardless of who Amanda King’s mother is, you really think she would have had her convictions overturned if she wasn’t (one more time) a nice middle-class white girl with access to (and the money to pay) good lawyers?

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — June 28, 2010 @ 10:06 am

  32. Craig — instead of speculating, why not find some examples that prove your point?

    Comment by bob ricketts — June 28, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  33. @Craig

    Oh, no doubt! But it’s still a rather silly statement to make in an article – Sara and Amanda got off lightly because they’re white middle class girls, not because they’re up and coming kingpins in some sort of global socialist conspiracy to, like, really SEE colours, you know?

    Comment by JD — June 28, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  34. Nice reference in the title, although speed does not appear to have been a factor here… as far as we know.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — June 28, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  35. “How about white middle-class privilege perpetuating itself, again?”
    Rather than simply nod like a liberal, I thought “How many times does a non-white, non-middle-class person come before the courts, before a judge convicts?”
    I don’t know the answer to that. It may be that most NZ citizens get ONE chance on a “minor” first offence such as this.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 28, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

  36. When I lived in Dunedin, I remember a lot of frustration about students from rich families on Wellington and Auckland driving drunk and shoplifting and smashing windows and stuff, and getting discharged without conviction on the grounds that a conviction ‘might hurt their future career prospects’

    Comment by kahikatea — June 28, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

  37. hhhhmmmmmm I seem to remember a white boy university student who thought it was a good idea to rob a pizza delivery man.

    Assulted him , robbed him ……………………. and got discharged without conviction.

    jesus if those rich white kids got dem convictions they might find their lives ruined.

    The poor and brown folk are already stuffed ……………. convictions dont matter to them.

    Comment by nz native — June 28, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  38. How on earth did they know ecstasy was in her _underwear_? I never went to a dance party quite like that…

    Comment by George D — June 28, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

  39. Rather than simply nod like a liberal

    Clunking Fist: Instead of assuming I’m a “liberal”, how about assuming I did my time as a noob journalist on the bread and butter end of the court round. And, yes, I’ve seen judges where discharged without conviction most certainly was NOT their default position for first drug offences.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — June 28, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  40. Thanks Craig, that’s the answer to the question I asked.

    I didn’t mean to imply I though you were a liberal: I have a liberal streak in me that I have to work hard omn to supress. It isn’t stirred when folk say then need to take my money off me (and it’s not just when they need it to fence their pool when drug receipts are a little light). But when someone states that folk with brown faces get treated differently than folk with white faces, up it jumps and causes me to accept the assertion at face value. So, as I say, I try to put it to one side while I find out if it is true.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 29, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

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