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A Week of It: Culled Leaders and Dirty Politics

A Week of It: Culled Leaders and Dirty Politics

TV3 Committed to Providing Best Election Debate Possible Minus Govt's Coalition and Support Partners
Prime Minister and Opposition Beg to Differ over What Constitutes 'Dirty Politics'
Larry Williams Provides A Readers Digest News Brief For His Struggling Listeners
Hold The Front Page - Abdullah Drury's Sent An Email!


TV3 Committed to Providing Best Election Debate Possible Minus Govt's Coalition and Support Partners

Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton and his deputy Matt Robson share a joke some time prior to finding TV3 don't want them anywhere near their election coverage.


This week the parties that have provided the Labour Government with formal support arrangements for the last three years were culled from TV3's upcoming election debate.

A poll in which 16 people chose to vote ACT and 14 people chose to vote United Future means that Rodney Hide will be steaming under the halogens and Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton will be steaming at home.

TV3 news and current affairs producer Keith Slater told A Week of It today that for "sound practical reasons" the election debate had to be limited to an hour.

Mr Slater explained that an hour [with ad breaks] was considered an appropriate duration by TV3.

"[TV3] is committed to providing the best election coverage," he said.

Mr Slater understood TVNZ had all eight leaders of the parties currently represented in Parliament.

"That's great for a Government-owned broadcaster that is well funded to meet the charter," said Mr Slater.

Mr Slater denied that TV3's News was compromised by cost, insisting that for an hour-long programme that engaged the audience six leaders was as many as could be handled.

Mr Slater also assured A Week of It there was no agenda behind the decision to exclude Mr Dunne and Mr Anderton. According to Mr Slater the TV3 poll that was published on 28 July was the final and only arbiter on who gets to participate in TV3's election debate. The poll of 1000 voters, was carried out between July 21 and 27. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

A Week of It: This is an MMP parliament. You have knocked out the Government's coalition and support parties on the basis of one poll and you are saying that TV3 is committed to providing the best election coverage?

Mr Slater: What I'm saying is that we are doing this debate in the way that we feel is the best way to present it. We've used what we felt was the best way to arrive at who would participate. The poll determined that.

Note: Mr Hide, who had considered it possible that he might miss out on participating in TV3's election coverage and was very grumpy with TV3, assured A Week of It today that he felt "very sorry" for Mr Dunne. Mr Hide would not be drawn on what sort of feelings he had for Mr Anderton's predicament. Mr Hide also told A Week of It his internet diary would be back online in a couple of days following some temporary maintenance.


Prime Minister And Opposition Beg To Differ Over What Constitutes 'Dirty Politics'

The Prime Minister considers calling someone 'rotten to the core' a tad rotten.

This week at her post-cabinet press conference, the Prime Minister scoffed at suggestions that targeting the National Party leader Don Brash by highlighting his statements on foreign policy was "dirty politics". The Prime Minister pointed out that it is important that "people are fully informed".

The Prime Minister then gave an example of something that she considered could be construed as "dirty politics".

"It [highlighting Dr Brash's past statements] is certainly not in the category of leaders calling others petty, spiteful, deceitful, 'rotten to the core' and corrupt which is what I was described as by Don Brash in a speech in the Hawkes Bay quite recently," she said.

A spokesman for Dr Brash said the Prime Minister may have taken Dr Brash's words out of context, helpfully pointing out that the PM "was criticised for playing petty spiteful party politics for the extraordinary attack she launched on Tim Groser, our highly respected Ambassador to the WTO, whose crime was to stand for National as a candidate".

With regard to the Prime Minister being "rotten to the core", evidently what Dr Brash had meant was the Prime Minister and a number of her colleagues are rotten to the core.

"Her administration was described as rotten to the core because eight Cabinet Ministers had departed for a variety of reasons, including telling lies, and the PM had been caught out spreading false information, five times, to the Sunday Star Times in order to discredit the former Police Commissioner Peter Doone," explained Dr Brash's spokesman.

The speech in question was made in late May and in it Dr Brash also stated:

"Today, I want you to know that the credibility of Helen Clark, the ability of our Prime Minister to tell the truth, the ability of her Ministers to tell the truth and to give honest answers in our Parliament, is firmly on the agenda as an issue for the 2005 general election.

Despite Dr Brash having put the credibility of the Prime Minister and her statements regarding the Doone case on the agenda for the 2005 election, some venerable commentators still seemed a bit iffy at Dr Brash's statements being given the same amount of scrutiny.

This concern had been notably absent when National launched its recent billboard campaign which featured a rather unflattering portrait of the Prime Minister on the left-hand (red) side compared with a happy and sage-like Dr Brash on the right hand (blue) side. This campaign was called 'brilliant' and 'slick' by many venerable political commentators.

Today, a million pamphlets are being distributed around New Zealand by the National Party. On these pamphlets is a picture of a smiling Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who are referred to as the Prime Money Waster and the Wastemaster General respectively. No doubt this campaign will be seen by some as yet another example of 'slick and brilliant' campaigning.

Click for big version

Click for big version

An example of 'brilliant slick politics' and a low down dirty smear campaign.


Larry Williams Provides A Readers Digest News Brief For His Struggling Listeners

This week the Labour Party launched its policy to speed up the Treaty of Waitangi process. After interviewing the Prime Minister regarding this policy, NewstalkZB afternoon drive host Larry Williams helpfully summarised his recent interview for his more intellectually challenged listeners.

"Is this a definitive date? Answer… no. Is this finality? Answer… no. Is the door still open for the gravy train to keep chugging along? Answer… yes. What else did I ask? Will this speed up the process or not? Ummm doesn't look like it so… no. Aaahh, well what did I ask? Has this got more to do with other parties policies than anything else? Yes I think so!"

A Week of It would like to give Mr Williams a big thumbs-up for assisting his listeners with difficult concepts that may have been beyond their understanding without his insightful and informative comments


Hold The Front Page - Abdullah Drury's Sent An Email!

Recently the Sunday Star-Times broke the story that Abdullah Drury, social secretary of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, sent a message to Muslim email groups objecting to Ethnic Affairs Minister Chris Carter's attendance at an Auckland mosque because he was a "raging homosexual". There was only one place for a story this big - the front page of the Sunday Star-Times.

A Week of It considers though, that despite being filled with credibilty and integrity, this story is yet another example of those in the media giving preference to Muslim intolerance whilst decent honest Christian intolerance goes unnoticed. Surely New Zealand's largest-selling newspapers news editors should get their noses out of the couscous and give mainstream intolerance a fair suck of the sav?


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