Praise where it’s due…

datePosted on 08:52, August 15th, 2016 by E.A.

I did little this weekend except walk on the beach, watch the roller derby and surf the interwebs, where I found…

After bagging New Zealand’s political media last week about low budget reporting (specifically Stacey Kirk’s article about Labour/Greens being “neck and neck” with National in the latest polls) and previously for similar bland and mediocre work (in that case Tracy Watkins for reporting on Winston Peters) I was pleasantly surprised to see that both reporters had filed rather good pieces over the weekend (here and here).

Now my inflated ego would love to think that this was due to the persuasive words in my posts about their work stinging them to produce better but the reality is that they simply turned in good work, because they are professional journalists after all, and would not know me (or my rants online) from Adam.

So in that case praise where praise is due for both of them turning in sharp and interesting articles on the current situation in Labour (you would think Labour would try to build off their recent jump in poll results but noooooo).

And for those who might wonder if I am simply trolling Stuff for all my political reportage I link this piece from Gordon Campbell (previously from the most excellent Scoop but now on his own site, Werewolf) who I consider the gold standard to which I strive in my blogging but rarely achieve.

Campbell is always incisive and on point and his recent post on the China situation where he describes Todd McClay as “the sock puppet otherwise known as the New Zealand Minister of Trade” is a fabulous combination of scathing political commentary and actual grim truth (given how McClay took the bullet meant for Key on China’s dodgy behavior) as he relates the latest on and then compares the National Governments response to that of a PR firm fronting for China.

Finally I watched this rather excellent video of Jon Stewart talking with David Axelrod (yes that David Axelrod!) about the US elections and wondered, like many others, what great work he would have made from things this time given how he covered the last round of clown politics in 2012 (my all-time favorite being the Dope Diamond).

Have a good week.

8 Responses to “Praise where it’s due…”

  1. Barbara Matthews on August 15th, 2016 at 20:27

    The ‘sock puppet’ seems to have disappeared off the radar. Where do old sock puppets go when they forget their lines? Just sayin.’

  2. E.A. on August 16th, 2016 at 07:26

    The sock draw!

  3. Barbara Matthews on August 16th, 2016 at 09:24

    Nice one!

  4. paul scott on August 17th, 2016 at 14:08

    Almost unbelievable. Axlerod and Stewart
    Pretentious, squeaky, progressive blindness from a couple of prissy little intellectuals in a Chicago University studio.
    Laughing about the @‘Visogoths at the wall’ and preaching how stupid Conservatives are.
    The cognitive dissonance of all others, who oppose @ peaceful Immigration and the criminal Clinton foundation monster.
    Precious little jerks, No wonder the alt right regards Jewery with such suspicion.
    All the while outside Chicago and Milwaukee are burning.
    These people make me sick.
    USA is burning you morons, but before USA and Europe goes down, stand against that wall.
    Over here in New Zealand we will have selective immigration after we rid ourselves of Whitehouse.
    Next year, November. Take my word for it.

  5. E.A. on August 17th, 2016 at 15:09

    Paul:

    Stewart was not laughing in much of the hour or so he spoke with Axelrod. In fact if you look at his body language throughout the piece he looked rather upset about the situation and certainly not making many jokes about it.

    Axelrod was a bit different but then his position vis a vis Stewart is rather different and it was clear at several points Stewart disagreed with what Axelrod was saying but for reasons of politeness was not going to get into an argument about it.

    Not sure if their religious background has anything to do with it as Stewart has been critical of all political actors in the US for as long as his show ran, if the GOP was making a bigger hash of it then the Dems that is/was their own fault.

    I do agree with the idea of the US is burning but disagree with feeling sick about watching two people discuss the situation, as we have seen those with skin in the game, as we would be in NZ, have a much greater emotional attachment to the situation and its not a happy thing to watch your country fail, specially when it is so spectacular. Its the powerlessness of the situation that gets to people, or at least the feeling of being powerless and lets be honest, trying to fix whats going on in the US now, will require an intense effort to make it even remotely possible. I think Stewart has grokked that and that’s why he is so downbeat throughout the whole thing.

    As for November next year, lets see how it plays out, I believe that Winston will be Key, no pun intended, but no party will willingly drink from the essentially poisoned chalice he is offering unless Stakes are high.

  6. paul scott on August 17th, 2016 at 17:10

    I am trying to break through the NZF wall, in an attempt to see latest information on immigration.
    Copy of letter here, as it refers to influential blog sites

    Paul Scott. BVSc // Christchurch // ph +64 022 1024 740
    NZ First Central Office//New Zealand Parliament//17aug 2016

    # Mahesh Bindra,
    Mahesh , You wrote to me in reply before, thank you, that letter below. I write to you now on two matters.
    1 / The difficulty in contributing to NZ First success
    2/ Immigration policy New Zealand
    Background .
    Paul Scott I am a white New Zealander, I practised as a small animal Veterinary Surgeon Christchurch, now retired. I have one daughter Jacqui, also a Veterinarian practising in Canada.
    I married a Thai woman in 2011, and I have a very positive outlook on the value of the Asian community in New Zealand.
    I have an extremely negative view of the value of Islam community, because I do not hear of assimilation success,
    but we do hear of terrorism and intended colonisation..
    For whatever reason, the middle East has culture which seems utterly opposed to Western standards.
    Difficulty with NZ First.
    Your people at NZ First facebook, and nzf.website@parliament.govt.nz do not appear to answer any enquiries with substance.
    I did not expect to receive a personal reply from Winston, but a Prosser email informed me he was just too busy, but that he did read emails.
    Letters to nzfirstmembership@gmail.com did not appear to elicit any response or interest at all.
    This, frankly, Mahesh is bad. It is a lousy way to treat your members.
    If nobody is interested in the replies on facebook, I will tell them all so. .
    If we have no value, you could have an auto reply that just says sorry, we do not have the time or interest in your views.
    I am left defending NZ First on influential blog sites without any support or knowledge from you people.
    The policy as stated on your web site though is clear, which is more than I can say for the other parties.

    Immigration .
    Do you have a research team here, who I can correspond with. The world wide situation on Immigration is very grim. Some people say that Britain and Europe will collapse as Western Societies.
    There are similarities in population changes, and colonisation which resulted in the collapse of the Roman Empire.
    Please let me know where I can contribute on the Immigration portfolio.
    I do not know much about corrections or customs, and unable to contribute in that way.
    Sincerely, Paul Scott

    ends letter

  7. E.A. on August 18th, 2016 at 08:11

    Paul:

    Firstly good luck with getting a policy job with NZ First, I suspect they might have some roles open but that’s probably because Winston would veto or override anything not to his tastes. Consistent policy positions, or even any real policy is not NZ First’s forte.

    Secondly I would have to disagree with your position on Islam. Its a pretty broad brush to tar all Muslims with.

    Keep in mind that the media has not helped this over the years by reporting and at times sensationalizing the actions of a very small group of Muslims rather than putting it into context. Think of it like someone is Iraq looking at the behavior of criminals in NZ and thinking “Bloody Christians!”.

    Having lived and worked in countries which are mainly Muslim and with quite a few Muslim friends I see little to differentiate them from anyone else, most are as annoyed and upset with the actions of a few claiming to be doing things in the name of religion/god/Allah as we are with christian fundamentalists and their extreme behavior.

    Also parts of Western culture come from Middle Eastern culture so things are not always so distinct as we might imagine.

    I do agree that current immigration policy has lead to many people seeking to access NZ for work and education reasons but the blame for that lies with employers just as much as the government.

  8. Barbara Matthews on August 18th, 2016 at 21:27

    Jon Stewart is part of a very long tradition of satirists and social commentators. Think Jonathan Swift, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens who in their different ways critiqued society with their caustic wit, insight and superior command of language. We need people like this to be brave enough to stand up. Cartoonists and comedians serve this same function in society. Raybon Kan serves NZ well in this regard. Stewart’s YouTube video with Bill O’Reilly unmasks this dreadful man who Stewart characterises as permanently angry and righteous. I notice that Sky News Australia is similarly infected. Just sayin.’

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