*Probably not, really.
Here's a classic example of an interesting story turned boring by over-reporting. When news came out that Rodney 'Perkbuster' Hide had used taxpayer money to take his girlfriend on a luxury trip around the world in a time of recession and unemployment, people were rightly outraged. Here was a legitimately newsworthy political story - a waste of taxpayer money with the added frisson of hypocrisy.
Act leader Rodney Hide took his girlfriend, Louise Crome, to an amusement park in Los Angeles during their taxpayer-funded trip that was also timed to coincide with her brother's wedding near London.
The Herald has learned Mr Hide squeezed in a visit to Universal Studios after an official meeting with a top Los Angeles City Council official.
Mr Hide's spokeswoman confirmed that the couple had some time before their flights home to New Zealand and thought, "We've got a couple of hours downtime, let's have some fun".
And now it's dead; it's been pummelled, trampled into the ground by this humourless report. They took a weekend off - as I suspect many of us did - to go to his girlfriend's brother's wedding? They decided to do something with their pre-flight downtime instead of sitting around self-flagellating? I await with bated breath the next report - "Hide in meal scandal" - where it is exclusively revealed that Rodney Hide went to a restaurant for dinner and didn't eat a bowl of steamed rice in his hotel room like Patrick Gower would have done.
Not a story.
"Staff gaffe costs dog's life" (Page A3, Friday 6 November)
Let me just say, first off, that I love dogs. I think they're great. Let me now qualify that with this: if I want to read articles about dogs, I will pick up a copy of Canine Monthly or Dog Fancier. Short of a dog being elected super-city mayor, I don't want to read stories about individual dogs in the news section of the Herald. Ta.
A staff error at an animal pound has led to a pet dog being killed before its owner could collect it.
Kaos, a shar pei-cross belonging to Michelle Griffiths of Manurewa, was impounded on September 17 and killed eight days later.
"I got a little handwritten card - they said they would hold her until the 26th," Ms Griffiths said.
"I went to the pound to pick my baby up and they said, 'She was killed yesterday. Sorry, we got the kill date wrong'."
Secondly, there's something fishy about this 'story', a 'story' an actual 'reporter' spent time 'researching'.
Right. So on September 17 your dog was picked up by the pound when you were 'at work'. It then took you eight days to go to the pound and pick up your 'baby'? Were you at work the whole time? Oh, I know how it is - I always leave things to the last minute. Last day to pay the power bill, last day to get my warrant of fitness, last day to pick my puppy up from the pound before it gets euthanised... Yeah. Moving on.
Mr Gillingwater said Kaos was originally impounded because of welfare issues, but Ms Griffiths believes the situation could easily have been avoided.
She said although Kaos was seized on grounds of abandonment, she had simply been at work and thought her pet was safe at home.
Not a story.
"If music be the food of love... let's eat" (Page A11 ("Opinion"), Friday 6 November)
I'm sorry, what? Other articles on the Opinion page: Gwynne Dyer on the geopolitical importance of the elections in Afghanistan; and Professor Andrew Bradstock on the importance of relative social equality for making a better society.
I thoroughly enjoy listening to you on Radio New Zealand National when I get the chance. However, I stumbled on your blog on the Herald website, which was a pleasant surprise.
I was intrigued by your comment about Jeff Buckley. I'm wondering perhaps if that is where I am going wrong with my relationships. Is Jeff Buckley like some sort of relationship repellent? On second thoughts, I doubt Jeff is of any concern to my relationships - it doesn't seem to get to the "let's get to know each other's music taste" stage. Nonetheless, I'd love to hear your opinion.
God, Jeff Buckley. Where to begin? We can begin with me at 19. Predictably naive, with a penchant for knee-high boots and short skirts, Rimmel Black Cherry lipstick and good-looking boys in flannel shirts. So far, so textbook. [...]