Tuesday, May 12, 2009


1) The following tidbit appears on the front of today's paper under the title "Fact v Fiction":
Details released by the police yesterday make it clear that the Weekend Herald's front-page report on Saturday was right.

Despite widespread claims in other media on Saturday morning that we were wrong and Molenaar was still alive, it is clear that he died on Friday afternoon.

His last communications with his partner and brother were just after 1pm, and a single gunshot was heard at 1.28pm.

From that time there was no further sign of life from the house through phone contact or shooting. As the Herald correctly reported, Police believed him to be dead.
The self-congratulatory tone is bad enough. But it seems reasonably clear that the reason other media outlets questioned the Herald's claim ("GUNMAN DEAD" in giant letters on the front page) was that the police hadn't told any media outlets that he was dead, because they weren't sure. In other words, the Herald smelled a scoop and guessed. This time it paid off - the equivalent of putting everything on red, winning and then boasting about what a great roulette player you are.

2) On page A2, the "Napier Siege" page (four days after Molenaar died), John Key declares that all frontline police will get tasers in the upcoming Budget. At the same time, Key says that he does not support the arming of police. But arming them with tasers is ok? I don't really see it as a huge distinction - but this blog isn't about what I think. More to the point:
Police Association president Greg O'Connor told Radio NZ he hoped the Napier shootings would show those opposed to Taser use that police did need more tools at their disposal.
Meanwhile, at police headquarters:
He [Key] said Police Commissioner Howard Broad had told him there was nothing to show being armed would have prevented other police deaths.
Frankly, I don't see anything that would have stopped Len Snee getting killed in this situation other than:
  • not carrying out class C drug busts
  • shelling the house before driving a LAV through the front door
But the Herald, having successfully internalised the practice of doublethink, is quite happy to interpret the taser move as justified in the wake of Napier, while reporting in the same article that they wouldn't have made a difference.

As for Key:
"I think there is genuine concern about the widespread retainment [ugh...] of arms on an unregistered basis by New Zealanders, but whether it is possible to control that situation is difficult," said Mr Key.
Too difficult, huh? Oh well, we'll just give police tasers then.


  1. "but this blog isn't about what I think." - I'm sure I could find a few blog entries with snippets that contradict this statement :P

  2. Time and time again you re-affirm just why I don't read the herald anymore. Their treatment of this issue was foul and those wee tidbits you have posted today are even worse. How smug they are in knowing a man is dead, whatever he did before that. It reminds me of primary school: na na nanana I put my hand up first. I got it riiiiight.

  3. Do you think that the placing of the Cronulla league player rape piece under sport is a major fuck up? Or is that just me?

  4. Not at all....rape is a new sport for league players