Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009: Bad luck edition

Misleading headline of the day: From the top of the front page - "Series win on the cards", next to a picture of New Zealand cricketer Luteru Taylor. For those of you not au fait with the cricketing situation, New Zealand and Australia are tied 2-2 in the best of five series - the bastards from across the sea having clawed their way back from 2-0 down - so the winner tonight will, well, win the series. Now, as far as I know, "on the cards" has two different meanings:

1) A series win is possible: Well, it's been possible twice already - is this the third time you've reported this 'news'?
2) A series win is probable, as in "oh look, the cards just came up with this result": Well, Australia just beat us twice in a row, and the TAB have them at $1.42. I would say a series win is definitely less probable than it has been any time in the past week.

Yeah, yeah. It's just a headline. But I have one that is actually considerably more timely and accurate: "Series loss on the cards".

Happy Valentine's Day!: You may remember James Ihaka from my posts over the last month; along with "social affairs reporter" Simon Collins, he is becoming one of the first stars of 'Editing the Herald'. Today he broaches the hard-hitting issue of cheating on one's partner, just the kind of thing everyone wants to be thinking of before Valentine's Day. Apparently, "while men are more likely to be away at 'urgent' meetings or show less interest in sex, women are more devious in their infidelity and often recruit their friends to cover for their deception." Other signs of a cheat? 'Excessive' texting, more time spent at work and "cyber cruising", which is like regular cruising except with virtual bananas. This is hardly socially responsible reporting (what would Simon say?), but that's never stopped the Herald before. One can tell it's a nothing story not only because almost everything in the already short article is mentioned twice, but also because the source of the 'story' is not an article recently published in the International Journal of Infidelity. Rather, it's one Kerrie Pihema, a private investigator clearly trying to drum up some business in a less than savoury way. James Ihaka even goes to the trouble of sourcing a "Signs of a Cheat" infobox from Rokez Investigations, Ms Pihema's business, so that newly suspicious partners can Google the site and have their suspicions confirmed - for a small fee. The Herald loves to combine articles and advertising, but I think this may be the first time I have seen articles, advertising and bad-taste fearmongering combined into one. And for that, James Ihaka deserves some recognition.

OK, now it's your actual, actual last chance: Bailey Kurariki, New Zealand's youngest murderer and, subsequently, a celebrity who would be in the papers if he sneezed in prison, was back in court yesterday after allegedly breaching his parole. Thirteen when he was jailed, he is now 19 and, it seems, more or less a lost cause. If he weren't screwed up enough as a 13-year-old, spending his teenage years in prison probably hasn't helped much. So it seems pointless for Judge Semi Epati to warn him and give him "final chances". Even more pointlessly, he warns Kurariki's mother to "give him the supervision that he needs". Unfortunately, Judge Epati, I suspect that if that were likely then we wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place.

PR pitstop gets 'lapped' up (see what I did there?): I realise that some of my potential readership (small as it is) will be attending 'Top Gear Live' this weekend so, despite my visceral dislike for the show and its adherents, I will keep my comments relevant. I heard a radio advertisement for the show, describing it as "the greatest automotive theatre ever seen", a claim that ought to be filed with "world's tallest lobster parliament". You mean better than... monster truck events? Are they theatre? You probably wouldn't want to describe them so to attendees. But I digress. The show's "formidable PR machine" has well and truly bowled over those careful and critical custodians of society's truth - our journalists. According to a handout, Jeremy Clarkson loves New Zealand! But, rather strangely, he'd rather be performing a medical examination on Angelina Jolie (??). Etc etc. "Reporters were also treated to a brief sampling of the show's offerings - including an extended sequence in which blah blah blah..." I'm sure all this motorised fellatio of the assembled journalists had nothing to do with the glowing review that is printed right below. "Top Gear Live is definitely worth the admission price - it's fast, funny and highly irreverent." Well, I'm two out of those three, and you get to read my blog for free.

The new face of Fonterra: Andrew Ferrier, the CEO of Fonterra, has had a bit of bad press recently. Lowered dairy payouts and contaminated milk killing babies have had Andrew's photo in the paper more than he might have wished. But it's good to see that the Herald today have taken a different approach to a story on the reluctance of cheese and butter prices to fall for consumers. Instead of the CEO, the picture is of a small child happily eating cheese on toast. (Yes, the photo appears in both the paper and online editions.) When I first saw it, I didn't know which reaction to go with: a) "She's mighty young for a Fonterra executive!" or b) "So that's what cheese looks like!". Cast your votes at

Shoepinion: I don't really understand the popularity of Noelle McCarthy. I mean, I have never met her, but apparently quite a few people have and she's very nice, and she has done good stuff on bFM or whatever. And anyway, people I don't really understand are allowed to write in newspapers if they want. Until today, her column on fashion or being a girl or whatever has been hidden away somewhere and I haven't had to read it; now it appears on the opinion/dialogue page, which is a whole different kettle of fish, whatever that means. I confess, I have only skimmed her piece. It is about shoes (happily, there's a photo of a shoe to make things clearer), and evidently it also somehow involves the economic crisis. However, I suspect this is merely a fig leaf to justify its inclusion on a page which is supposedly dedicated to the discussion of heavyweight issues - the other pieces on the page are about healthcare reform and creating employment. I don't think anyone is going to claim that there is too much discussion on such issues in the Herald.

Edit: On closer inspection, shoes seem to be being used as some kind of metaphor for the crisis. Or something. Still: shoes.

1 comment:

  1. i dont want to gush, and i still hate you a bit, that was the most entertaining read i've had in a week.
    Good work on top gear, surely the most overrated show on TV. Monster Trucks, effen A!!!