Monday, March 30, 2009

He said, she said

Remember when you were back at primary school, being taught how to write? I do. Now, that was a long time ago, and the lessons might be fading a bit, so when I was reading the lead front-page article in the Herald today, about the serious, pressing and not-at-all-hysteria-driven issue of boy racers, I actually got confused. I could not tell whether I was reading the Herald or Finnegans Wake.

The threat to crush boy racers' cars for repeat offences has moved forward with the Government drafting legislation aimed at getting their souped-up vehicles out of circulation.

Oh yeah. Now what does Police Minister Judith 'Crusher' Collins have to say about this?
Police Minister Judith Collins said legislation currently being written would allow courts to order the crushing of cars belonging to recidivist offenders.
Wait, was that all?

Ms Collins said yesterday that she believed crushing had benefits over selling the seized car and giving the money to charity.

Anything else? Here are the openings of eight consecutive paragraphs in the same article. I kid you not.
  • "At the time, Prime Minister John Key said..."
  • "Ms Collins told the Q and A..."
  • "Ms Collins said the legislation was..."
  • "Ms Collins said crushing was for..."
  • "ACT leader Rodney Hide said Ms Collins..."
  • "Labour law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said..."
  • "Mr Cosgrove said there were..."
  • "Mr Cosgrove said a boy racer's car..."
Well, at least on this occasion we get to hear what opposition parties have to say on the issue. Other than that, I don't really have anything more to tell you about this article than Miss Jones told you in Standard 3.


  1. Miss Jones would have given that a D for lacking imagination.

    I like the imaginative effort displayed in the HOS (you need a Sunday edition BTW, that paper is pure gold). The following story; Nuke Ship Ban Queried- had all the hallmarks of a Woodward and Bernstein exclusive - right up until the point you actually read it.

    OK, the fact that they were breathlessly reporting the fact that a small number of NZ'ers had... been asked what they think... was monumental enough. But no, it was actually a rumour (claimed by the Unite Union) that this had taken place. They claimed it was even on behalf of the National party. To really add to the mystery, none of the accused (National, umm Maxim, umm ACT, umm) had even heard of the marketing company in question.

    So lets recap shall we? Somebody from a union claimed that a small number of people were asked their opinion on something that anyone with a brain knows to steer clear of in the first place. The people accused of this crime claim to know sod all about it.

    I think Woodward and Bernstein may have waited a little longer before telling their editor they might have some material for a story.

  2. Oh, come on. The Herald on Sunday? I mean, there's fish in a barrel, and then there's fish nailed to a table.

  3. Yep - Fair call. Even the National Enquirer has the sense to use the word "claims" in a headline.

    How about this then... from todays Herald.

    Triathlon: Doctor warns of sudden death risk

    There is a chance you could have a Heart Attack while competing in a Triathlon (about 15 people per million).

    As the author states, that is not inconsequential (Or a bloody surprise??!?). Statistically* it's about 10 times more likely than death by polar bear, and on a par with "having a heart attack while straining to relieve constipation".

    *Disclaimer: May be statistically inacurate due to low numbers of polar bears in NZ (Canadian statistics used) and higher proportion of Wheatbix kids lured into death defying sport by Hamish Carter.

  4. Again, what appears on the website is largely nothing to do with the newspaper. You really need to discern between the two entities if your 'rage' is to be justified. Otherwise you just don't understand your targets.

  5. I'm sorry - what? What part of "lead front-page article in the Herald today" did you not understand?

    You realise that what gets put in the paper ALSO gets put online, right?

    And you also realise that THE SAME PEOPLE put together the articles on the website and the newspaper?

  6. Anonymous's argument that your rage on the Herald is getting tenuous is getting tenuous.

  7. gazzaj seems to have figured out the anonymous comment... but... I'm still confused.

  8. Hey can you configure the website so that it puts Webnomix's comments first, and then the blog post?

    I think this should be Webnomix's website.

  9. If you're so fucking good James and Webnomix, why haven't you got jobs in journalism?

  10. If you're so fucking good James and Webnomix, why haven't you got jobs in journalism?

    Ouch. Good question! I vote for something related to personal hygiene, or "having a face for blogging".

  11. First - I have no connection to James. I only post on this site because he lets me (I'm sure he could delete my comments if he wanted).

    Second - How do you know I am not a journalist?

    How do you know I wasn't once a top investigative reporter, set to blow the lid off a government secret that would destroy a dynasty? Who, following a drunken argument with a corrupt editor was confined to the classifieds department; now spending my time reviewing classifieds and removing fake ads by people wanting to "Satisfy Mike Hunt" or "searching for Ivor Biggun" - just plotting to get my revenge. The only clue to my existance, the well placed spelling mistakes - a signal to those in the know that I will return.

    Oh shit, wait. That was the plot to Spiderman, episode 127.

  12. It must be said, if James' blog is so bad then why does anon choose to read it let alone comment. This is the internet after all, the number of bloggs and tossers out there is litterally staggering...

    based on that statistic (Thats right, staggering is a stastical measurement) James's blog must be quite good.

  13. Personally,, and I can't speak for 'Webnomix' as I don't know him, I blame a massive international media conspiracy to keep out the truth.

    Also, I don't have a journalism qualification from a community college, so I'm clearly unqualified for such a career.

  14. I suspect it's your experimental use of the double comma that's keeping you out of the journalism profession. The traditional media just isn't ready for that.

  15. And I think the traditional media is somewhat diminished because of their inability to embrace such innovative thinking. Let’s face it; most of them think a comma is the plural of "medically induced sleep".

    Sorry, weak. It's a slow news day.

  16. "How do you know I wasn't once a top investigative reporter?"

    I can tell.