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A Week of It: Nazis, Parties & Media Matters

A Week of It: Nazis, Parties & Media Matters


By Kevin List

In this edition:
Anonymous Hidesight Reader Seeks Help And Provokes A Witch-hunt
Media Matters – The Dangers Involved In Working For The Sunday Star Times
When is 'Off The Record' Actually 'On The Record'
Journo With Special Insight Into NZ's Political Processes On Job Market
What Has Happened To Budget Festivities?

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Anonymous Hidesight Reader Seeks Help And Provokes A Witch-hunt


Real (Not Health) Nazis

Dear A Week of It,

Due to nearly all the media in New Zealand being controlled by Fidel Castro from Havana through communist brain implants, the only place I can get real news and current affairs is reading Rodney Hide's web diary Hidesight and the NBR. On Hidesight I can get the real stories that should be leading TVNZ news every evening like "ACT stands for lower taxes and more freedom". As well as this stunning insight I also get a lot of good scandalous stuff as well.

Recently Mr Hide very correctly pointed out on his web diary that 'politicians who declare opponents "fascists", "Hitlers" and "Nazis" belittle fascism's true horror'. Mr Hide was referring to comments made by Mr John Tamihere. Following Mr Hide's strong statements your esteemed column outed Mr Murray McCully as a belittler of fascism's true horror for referring to health officials as "health nazi groups". Recently I have heard rumours that Mr Hide has himself belittled fascism's true horror by his own use of Third Reich-type terminology. Can you please assist with a month-long investigation?

Many thanks, (anonymous)

A Week of It can sadly reveal after a month-long investigation carried out this week that Mr Hide has in fact belittled fascism's true horror in the past. As recently as November 2003 during a debate on the Smokefree Amendments Bill, Mr Hide referred constantly to those who would be enforcing the smokefree laws as "health nazis". When offence was taken in the House at Mr Hide's frequent use of Third Reich-type terminology Mr Hide declared, "It is typical of this Government that it would not let members of Parliament call it like it is - [they are] health nazis." As well as belittling fascism's true horrors, Mr Hide also belittled the true horror of the Taleban regime when discussing the likely outcomes of the legislation.

"The 'Nazis' will kick the door down, and the 'Heleban' police will come in," said Mr Hide.

In a good old Salem-type witch-hunt for any other members who have used Third Reich-type terminology frivolously, A Week of It urges readers to forward the names of any other MPs who have belittled fascism's true horrors.

Roll of shame so far: Mr John Tamihere, Mr Rodney Hide and Mr Murray McCully.

The names of the culprits will be forwarded to Rodney Hide's electorate headquarters. It is expected that Mr Hide will currently be giving himself a stern ticking off, having previously pointed out that the Prime Minister had lost all moral authority following Mr Tamihere's outbursts.

"Her own team can get away with anything now," said Mr Hide in early May.

****************

Media Matters – The Dangers Involved In Working For The Sunday Star Times


Dangerous Places – Vulcan Lane & Baghdad At Night

Last weekend it was the Qantas print awards season. A Week of It was there and was horrified that staff of the Auckland suburban newspapers conglomerate would find it funny to hiss "V8s" at Wellington's noble mayor Kerry Prendergast.

Following the awards, the weekend papers had proud editors pointing out how good their papers and staff were. After shelling out two bucks for the Sunday Star-Times, looking for spy scandals and being sadly disappointed, A Week of It noticed that editor Cate Brett was congratulating her award winners for risk-taking.

"As an editor it is great to see journalists rewarded for risk-taking. Lauren Quaintance did it as she documented the bloody attack on Te Puke farmers Peter and Maggie Bentley ... war correspondent Jon Stephenson did it with his Iraqi assignment last year," wrote Ms Brett.

Reading this made A Week of It mad as heck. When the police took hours to respond to the Bentley's plight it would seem a brave journalist of the SST was right there in the thick of it scribbling in her shorthand pad as the blows rained down on Mr Bentley's head. Staggering through the latte-free streets of Te Puke the next day must have been nearly as distressing for this normally Auckland- (now Sydney-) based insert magazine editor and journalist.

It was no wonder Fairfax whisked Ms Quaintance back from her new career in Australia for the awards. The swarthy Mr Stephenson was however nowhere to be seen on the night. A Week of It understands he was probably relaxing in Baghdad with a hookah and a decent cup of coffee.

*************

When is 'Off The Record' Actually 'On The Record'

Sticking with New Zealand's most popular paper (though probably not with the PM), A Week of It was mystified by the John Tamihere story in the 'Off the Record' column from last week's SST. Although there seems to be some sort of clause in the Political Editor's contract that there must be a mention of Mr Tamihere in the news section every week, the outing of Mr Banks as a source seems to be taking things a bit far. Surely if Mr Banks had declared to the reporter that Mr Tamihere's treatment of his cats was "unforgiveable" his name should have been left out of the final copy . When will this paper learn to protect its sources!?

************

Journo With Special Insight Into NZ's Political Processes On Job Market


Ms Deborah Coddington

Cunningly getting a few months jump on her eight ACT colleagues, Ms Deborah Coddington is understood by A Week of It to be putting out the feelers in the Wellington media scene looking for job opportunities. While attending to her duties as a high profile ACT MP, Ms Coddington didn't entirely shelve her nose for hard hitting stories during her stint in Parliament. Every week, lucky readers were able to find out the latest PC (politically correct) outrage through reading her Liberty Belle column. In the late 90s Ms Coddington wrote a book of the same name. Current political editor for Prime TV, Lindsay Perigo wrote of this freedom lovers bible ...

" Liberty Belle is a poignant stock taking of one courageous freedom-lover's progress to date. In the new freeland of the future for which we libertarians are fighting, it - and she - will have an honoured place."

Could Prime TV be a bastion of that new freeland with Ms Coddington's talents? Along with Free Radical editor Lindsay Perigo and perky multimillionaire host Paul Holmes, could New Zealand TV finally have a 'classically liberal' current affairs dream team?

*************

What Has Happened To Budget Night Festivities?


Kris Faafoi Of TVNZ Giving Budget 2005 100% Of His Attention
Click for more media Budget 2005 images

Budget 2005 was something of a first in a number of new areas. For starters it was, A Week of It suspects, the first budget for many a year to fail to lead the nightly news on both TV3 and TV1 both of which led last night with the Bay of Plenty floods.

Notably when the budget did make an appearance it appeared to be played as if nothing much was in it. However, after an afternoon slaving in the Scoop press release mines A Week of It can confirm that there was in fact a great deal in this budget. Thousands and thousands and thousands of words!!! (See… http://www.scoop.co.nz/features/budget2005.html)

The budget was also a first insofar as was A Week of It can recall in being the first budget not to result in any on the night legislating. Instead the house went into recess at 6pm last evening, and today, the day after, the Molesworth St press corps appear to be also in recess.

According to A Week of It sources much has changed in terms of budget night festivities, and not for the better.

Traditionally the author of the budget holds a party for the media and treasury boffins in his office. The atmosphere of this occasion is usually enhanced by the fact that the house is sitting under urgency debating such urgent matters as raising the price of petrol, cigarettes and booze.

Bill Birch's parties were somewhat legendary, as were those of Winston Peters. On one memorable occasion an A Week of It confidant saw his eminence Paul Holmes turn up and engage in enthusiastic discussions with his political doppleganger.

At the height of the budget party phase under Jim Bolger in the 1990s the 7th floor parties in the Finance supremo's office were supplemented by parallel functions in the PM's office on the 9th floor. These were typically attended by most of Mr Bolger's cabinet and in usual National Party style generously catered to on the libation front.

Under Helen Clark and Dr Michael Cullen the tradition has been continued but in name only.

Helen, of course, would far rather be climbing a mountain than allowing her ministers to mix drinking and fraternising with the media in her office.

Two floors down Dr Cullen's 7th floor budget doos are now typically rather short and involve a great deal less intoxication than was previously de rigeur. As treasury boffins sans alcohol do not tend to be much of blast the media contingent has also been dropping off of late.

ENDS

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