Monday, March 7, 2011

Newsbreakers or newsmakers?

We have pondered before the relationship between the MSM reporting the news to us each day, or being the news, and creating it. It seems to be an opportune moment to raise this again.

For the last two weeks we have had saturation coverage from Christchurch in the wake of the 22 February earthquake. Both TVNZ had 3News had large teams down there, and the disaster was brought into our homes in often graphic fashion. The networks have done a sterling job for the most part, in the most trying of circumstances.

Things started to return to normal (mediawise) as last week rolled to a close, and over the weekend, the news coverage, whilst still headed by earthquake stories, has been less dominated by it. But this morning, TVNZ has been in boots and all, suggesting that there is division between the government and the Christchurch City Council.

Both Bob Parker and John Key have denied any division. In this interview this morning, Parker was adamant that Christchurch could only be rebuilt in partnership with the government, and that the scale of the disaster was "bigger than we are able to handle". When the leaders of the two stakeholders are talking of the need for unity, why has TVNZ taken it upon itself to promote division?

Then there's the matter of John Key's reported "farcical" comments. TVNZ alleged last night that Key had offended those working tirelessly to identify the dead by calling delays "farcical". Key emphatically denied that when interviewed this morning, and although being quoted out of context is a convenient excuse, we reckon that this time it is 100% valid. Have a watch of this video, from around the 4 minute mark. Key is clear about what he said, in response to specific questions. He stated that the word "farcical" was used when a member of the media raised the issue of families releasing names of deceased or missing persons into the public domain when the police were not. And on that issue, he's quite right.

But what is even more concerning is this comment from Key at the 5min mark, after viewing a video clip dfrom last night's Sunday programme where the allegation was made; Key says:

That wasn't the question that was put to me, and honestly, Sunday know that because they've seen the transcript.


If TVNZ's Sunday programme has deliberately and knowingly misquoted the PM, then an immediate apology should be forthcoming; not just to John Key, but to Sue Johnson, the Christchurch Coroner, and to all her staff. They have been caused considerable distress by a comment which simply was not made in the context in which it was alleged.

And lastly, the cynic in us cannot help but wonder if TVNZ's conduct over the last couple of days has anything to do with the arrival on the scene of a rival morning news show this morning. Coincidence?

37 comments:

robertguyton said...

By 'farcical' Inv2, you mean this sort of thing?

"The Prime Minister’s office has complained to a leading women’s magazine after it digitally altered a picture of John and Bronagh Key for its earthquake edition."

They altered the colour of her dress and the Prime Minister's office complained.

Oh, and there's the aftermath of an earthquake to attend to Mr Key, but first, that dress!!.
F
A
R
C
I
C
A
L

Inventory2 said...

You must have been reading The Standard this morning Rob. They seem to be more concerned with that, than with anything else.

Personally, I would have thought that a deliberate attempt by the state-owned broadcaster to deceive would have concerned a principled person such as your good self.

Christopher Thomson said...

It is totally right to complain. If they take this inch what next? and then any complaints about further manipulation of the truth they can go back and claim that there was no protest about the dress issue.

Murray said...

For the left altering reality with photoshop is just another day at the office.

Inventory2 said...

@ Murray - touche!

robertguyton said...

Taking a leaf from the Right Wing Holier-than-Thou book, used freely by righty bloggers over the past few weeks, I'd say,
"How low can the Prime Minister's office go? There are still quake victims unburied, and the PM's office is quibbling about a dress!.
Etc.etc.
Farcical.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Another good reason to sell them off, lock stock and barrel.

Use the proceeds to rebuild a Christchurch road and rename it 'Sudsbury St."

robertguyton said...

Christopher - well said!

"It is totally Right to complain"

Inventory2 said...

@ Rob - "right" in whatever sense of the word you care to use it.

BTW - I'm still interested to know what you think about TVNZ deliberately misquoting the PM, and upsetting a number of people (the people who are staffing the mortuary at Burnham) in doing so. I would have thought you'd have an opinion on that, and I didn't really think you were the women's magazine type...

robertguyton said...

Haven't looked at the issue yet Inv2 but will do soon.

Inventory2 said...

Might I respectfully suggest that you watch the video I linked to Rob. The body language of Corin Dann when the camera flicks to him after Key fisks the Sunday programme is telling; looking down, shuffling his papers (about 5:45) - possum in the headlights stuff.

robertguyton said...

And now Gerry Brownlee is calling victims of the quake who are leaving 'deserters'.
Good grief!
That's disgraceful!
Farcical Inv2 - you've called the state of things right there!
Brownlee's statement around Christchurch - it's heritage buildings and its people has been farcical!.

Inventory2 said...

You can authenticate that allegation, of course Rob?

robertguyton said...

http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/03/07/gerry-builders-slip-reveals-view/

Christopher Thomson said...

Guyton, don't use a statement of integrity and personal standards to offer a snide remark. You should know perfectly well what I mean. And if you don't shame on you. I will assume you are a green supporter and the nonsense you are making is well in keeping with the lies and perfidy that has recently been coming from your party officials. So far 2 of them have been caught out in lies. Still, it appears the greens have no standards or ethics.

And unless you live in Christchurch I would suggest you keep your opinions to yourself. You should be here trying to find bodies and cast an eye over the devastation on a daily basis if you want to have credibility on that front.

robertguyton said...

Christopher - you are arguing about the colour of a dress.

ct said...

No, I am arguing about a principle. the dress is merely the hook on which a principle can be hung.

That you can't understand that is confusing.

ct said...

.....or disingenuous.

Which I would suspect is the case.

robertguyton said...

"the dress is merely the hook on which a principle can be hung"

lovely mix of metaphors!
I agree, of course, that issues like the one you described should be pursued and resolved,

CT said...

I can smell your own sense of moral superiority from here.

Anonymous said...

Pest

Anonymous said...

pssst

CT Scan said...

"And unless you live in Christchurch I would suggest you keep your opinions to yourself."

Unless you have a brain (and I scanned you and it appears you don't) I would suggest you keep your opinions to yourself.

Unless anyone is anywhere or not, just keep their opinions to themselves. About anything. Ever.

Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Robert,
Difficult understanding you. You are mild and understanding on your own blog- a good one, on topics you are comfortable with.
Yet,on other blogs,and here,for example,you vituperate.
Not too sure what you are trying to achieve. Whatever. Your message is being lost and adds nothing to any argument you have.

Anonymous said...

Blowing others' candles out to make his own seem brighter.

robertguyton said...

CT - "I agree, of course, that issues like the one you described should be pursued and resolved."
You can smell moral superiority on that?
You've a sensitive nose!
Anon - I vituperate where I believe there is a need. I do use 'bright' language, because I like to add creative tension to arguments that might otherwise be pappy and self-congratulatory. If you'd like to do the same on my own blog, recognising that I'm not a keen ad hominem-ist, you are very welcome.
CT Scan - perhaps your are right about my empty cranium - I certainly couldn't get my brain around this!

"Unless anyone is anywhere or not, just keep their opinions to themselves. About anything. Ever."

robertguyton said...

CT Scan - ooops! Clumsy me!
(must mind own business.)

Inventory2 said...

Watched that video yet Rob. What about those nasty TVNZ guys then? Good grief Rob!

Anonymous said...

As Spooner would say, Robert Guyton is a shining wit.

robertguyton said...

Ah Anon - I do love a good helping of ad hominem!
When you can think of something original, serve it up!

Inv2 - I've been in the Chamber most of the day and haven't seen the vid. I'll take your word for it - Key's been badly misconstrued.
Much like Gareth :-)

gravedodger said...

Annonymous @ 08 40, The spoonerism of the month.

robertguyton said...

Inv2 - you'll note that I made no challenge to your post on the misrepresentation of Key - not a word.
Bomber Bradbury has something to say in support of your position. Don't read the lead-in about Brownlee's 'Hulk Hands' - it'll just upset you :-).

http://www.tumeke.blogspot.com/

Inventory2 said...

Duly noted and appreciated Rob; that you do not dispute that Key has been badly misrepresented by TVNZ (and neither does Bomber) suggests that TVNZ has made a major cock-up.

I cannot begin to imagine the job that the DVI people are doing, but to play with their emotions whilst delivering a calculated smear against Key is indefensible. Heads should roll.

Inventory2 said...

Of course, it doesn't stop SOME lefties from repeating the smear:

http://thestandard.org.nz/for-gods-sake-be-straight-with-us/

CT Scan said...

@Robert. My comment was directed at CT, not you. I enjoy your comments here. They are some of the very few that are entertaining and well thought out. Most seem to be part of a strange echo-chamber and lack credibility. The people who write them must be very immature. Or right wingers blinkered by the policies of the early 90s.

Anonymous said...

Apologies time.

I concede the Spoonerism about Robert Guyton being a shining wit is probably not original. He has probably heard it several times before.

Had I called him a shining wit myself, I would have been on much safer grounds for originality. I would not wish to deny others the chance to be first, however.

He could refer to himself as a shining wit, for which, given his recent status of politician, he would have the endorsement of the commonsense Jacqueline.

robertguyton said...

Anonymous - I accept your apology in the spirit it was given.
I did laugh though (out loud too!) where you say that your use of a Spoonerism is 'probably not original'.
Probably!
Oh dear, you slay me, you wag!