Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to write a political article, by Claire Trevett

Step 1. Take an event that is entirely normal - the Greens, the country's third-largest political party, running a candidate in a byelection.

Step 2. Make up some sort of controversy to sex it up - alleged approaches from "Labour people" to ask the Greens not to run a candidate against them.

Step 3. Dedicate a third of the article to what someone who is completely uninvolved and uninformed about the made-up controversy - Rodney Hide - thinks about the made-up controversy.

Step 4. Collect undeserved paycheck.

Quite why the Green Party running a candidate in the Mt Albert byelection is news is never adequately explained. The approaches to the Greens consisted of "'informal discussion round the traps' between Labour and the Greens about potential vote-splitting". Here is an informal discussion about vote-splitting:
Phil Goff: Hey, we're both centre-left parties. I hope there's no vote-splitting in this byelection.

Russel Norman: Yeah, same.
And as for Rodney 'The Values Party' Hide, I have no idea how he weaseled his way into the story to deliver the fascinating news that Act would also stand a candidate. But he did manage to give his views on the controversial approaches that almost certainly didn't happen:

If Labour had tried to encourage the Greens not to stand or to get their candidate to encourage voters to support Labour's candidate it showed they were concerned about losing the seat [said Hide].

"It's a bit poor of Labour to be running so scared that they're trying to restrict the democratic options of Mt Albert."

Well it's lucky that Rodney's job (and party) don't rely on National, shall we say, taking it easy in Epsom at the election. Because that would make him a hypocrite.


  1. I'm not one for conspiracy theories but I simply can't believe that this drivel is a unconscious by-product of the drive for profit. No one could be stupid enough to write this, it just has to be more sinister.

    The final line of Ms. Trevett's article promises us a lot more of this shit in the future:

    "The focus of Act's campaign was likely to be the economy and law and order."


    yes, I'm angry.

  2. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice how, well, actually retarded that article was. I mean wow, the greens are running in it too. But it's ok, because ACT have something to say about it. It's written as though the Greens have 'backstabbed' Labour (can't trust a lefty narrative) and are turning a National shade of blue.
    What a wonderful piece of journalism.

  3. I would take this opportunity to thank you. Some 12 months ago I decided I would drop the herald off the list of websites I read owing to general poorness of editoral slant.

    This site explains why that decision was right every day. This article above is a good case in point. Seriously: asking Rodney Hide's opinion on the Greens and Labour? Pure beat up.

    Keep up the good work, I know it must pain you to read such crap everyday, and you suffer for your public. We can only hope that Auckland will get a quality news outlet sometime before you or I die.