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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

$35,000 to groom a hero


$35,000 to groom a hero
The Defence Force spent almost $35,000 on public relations advice - including news media training - for SAS soldier Willie Apiata to maximise coverage of him receiving the Victoria Cross, new figures reveal.
The spending included "between five and 20 hours of media training" for him with a public relations firm, figures obtained by The Dominion Post under the Official Information Act show.

So it costs $35 000 to make a hero does it? See I had doubts about awarding medals to people in a war that is highly questionable in the first place (sorry – what are we doing in Afghanistan again? Hunting Bin Laden? Fighting terrorism for Women’s rights? Building schools with semi-automatic weapons? – pick your bullshit excuse) and now we find out it cost us $35 000 to groom this hero, which is funny, cause as Mark Todd showed with his announcement today that he would protest what China is doing in Tibet if he is chosen to go to the Olympics – his announcement shows us you don’t need to spend $35 000 or get involved in a questionable war to make a hero.

14 Comments:

At 18/3/08 8:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Apiata did some courageous things to help his friends in danger. But the reasons for that war in Afghanistan are just total bullshit. The Afghani's are gonna kick the US's asses just like they did to the Soviet's. All George Bush will have to show for wasting billions of dollars in the place will be a few holes blown in the rocks.

 
At 18/3/08 8:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Mark Todd is now your hero for standing up to the Chinese?

But he is not bycotting it though?
So he is slagging the host, but accepting the hosts hospitatilty.

Sounds like Mark Todd wants to have his cake and eat it too.

Not my definition of a hero.

 
At 18/3/08 9:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that freedom of speech was allowed, unless you are in China.

 
At 18/3/08 1:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've gotta be fucking kidding me.

A guy runs through gun fire to save his friends life, commits heroic acts and you fucking whine about the amount we spend aknowleging his acts of bravery?

This has to be the most pathetic blog Ive ever seen put on here, normally its really relevent but this is absolute nonsense.

Bravery, no matter where and under what circumstances deserves to be aknowledged. Slagging him off from behind the safety of a computer keyboard is extremley low.

(And why does some cocaine snorting horserider desrve the 'hero' status?)

 
At 18/3/08 3:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a brave man Mr Apiata is, if only he could have used his bravery in some more positive space, other than to support some war that is being fought for f..k all.

 
At 18/3/08 4:15 pm, Blogger Jon said...

Mr Apiata, did what,I hope, most of us would do, given the situation - (or perhaps not),- doing what they know they have to do, at risk to their lives. He marked himself as a brave man and I think we all recognise that. Grooming him for the press is a bit over the top, but, it seems that is the way of the world - no show without PR! However,I think Bjork, yelling "Tibet,Tibet" from the stage in Beijing, also showed courage.

I am often reminded of a Samuel Clemens quotation - "It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."
100 years on and nothing seems to change.

 
At 18/3/08 5:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe bomber should try rebuilding schools in afghanistan without the protection of armed soldiers.

His inability to run from jihadist should see bomber making an special one time only guest appearence on the latest online al queda beheading video.

 
At 18/3/08 5:48 pm, Blogger Norm said...

I am a veteran media trainer in the US, with some of our largest corporations and government agencies as clients. You folks in New Zealand ought to be absolutely outraged at the rate charged -- particularly if it was paid with tax money collected from your citizens. In the US we would provide top quality media training for Mr. Apiata either free -- as an acknowledgement of his achievements, and be honored to do so -- or at a much reduced rate. Even at our full rate -- and we're among the most expensive -- the fee would be significantly less than half what you were charged. At 20 hours, the fee paid comes out to $1,750/hour. I've never even heard of anything that high. As we say up here, "You wuz robbed!"

 
At 19/3/08 6:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now he can no longer go back into the field because he had his face shown.

 
At 19/3/08 5:57 pm, Anonymous deano said...

Willie Apiata is a real hero who risked his life in battle.

Mark Todd is a rich queen who rides horseys. I admire him slightly for standing up to the Chinese but really there is no comparison.

 
At 19/3/08 8:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble with this media saturated world in today is that it disconnects us from reality. Bomber thinks that all that is required to he a hero is to take some stance against what the powerful do or the conventional wisdom of the day.

Unfortunately he fails to note that this is at no cost whatsoever. Its so easy in bomber's world to be a hero because he has nothing to lose through a little moral posturing.

The fact that bomber feels the need to denigrate Apiata, who risked his life to save a wounded comrade, speaks volumes about what he would class as heroic.

People like bomber seem to equate outrage with action. Merely voicing an opinion doesn't make one any more special, let alone heroic, than anyone else.

Maybe you should stop being infatuated with your self image.

 
At 20/3/08 9:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you not hear Mark Todd on the radio?

He was most chagrined that it was made public, and you could tell he really wish he could retract what he said.

Instead he said he was taken out of context.

So, not a hero, more a gutless prick who doesn't want to stand by his own words.

All for the sake of competing in the Olympics.

 
At 20/3/08 1:33 pm, Blogger Chris said...

NZ's deployment of PRT's in Afghanistan is part of an internationally sanctioned effort to extend the writ and authority of the democratically elected Afghan state. There are many compromises within the context of this effort, due to the failed state nature of Afghanistan for the last thirty years. However it is a worthwhile endeavour - what alternative forms of governance does Bomber propose?

What the SAS is secretly up to on the border regions is however very suspect, purely because of the unaccountability of their operations. But this secrecy is arguably necessary due to a very real terrorist organisation. - Unless you're a retarded conspiracy theorist and believe Al Qaeda doesnt even exist, and they never co-operated with the Taliban

 
At 24/3/08 11:35 am, Blogger Bomber said...


Ooooooh, didn’t things get bitchy here?

Maybe bomber should try rebuilding schools in afghanistan without the protection of armed soldiers.

His inability to run from jihadist should see bomber making an special one time only guest appearence on the latest online al queda beheading video.


Interesting isn’t it, as a taxpayer funding our war in Afghanistan I’m not allowed to comment on anything unless I go to Afghanistan and build a school – what world are you living in Anon? And Anon tops it off with my murder at the hands of Jihadists, who said the right had no answers and relied on bullying tactics to win arguments?

But that’s nothing on this, sometimes people come here to explain their different point of view, and then some come masquerading a point when really it’s a personal attack, this piece uses my name 4 times, but still pretends to not be a personal attack at all…

The trouble with this media saturated world in today is that it disconnects us from reality. Bomber thinks that all that is required to he a hero is to take some stance against what the powerful do or the conventional wisdom of the day.

Where did I say that? I simply pointed out the discrepancy between paying $35 000 to be a ‘hero’ when Mark Todd was able to be heroic by saying he’d stand up and make a point against China.

Unfortunately he fails to note that this is at no cost whatsoever. Its so easy in bomber's world to be a hero because he has nothing to lose through a little moral posturing.

Where did I say there isn’t a cost? Why are we suddenly ‘in bomber’s world’, what has this to do with the point I made?

The fact that bomber feels the need to denigrate Apiata, who risked his life to save a wounded comrade, speaks volumes about what he would class as heroic.

I questioned $35 000 of taxpayer money spent on a man who is in a very questionable war to sell that effort through the media, I don’t denigrate Apiata at all.

People like bomber seem to equate outrage with action. Merely voicing an opinion doesn't make one any more special, let alone heroic, than anyone else.

Again what has this to do with the point I’m making? Nothing at all….

Maybe you should stop being infatuated with your self image.

…ahh, the icing on the shit cake, a little personal dig wrapped up in something supposed to look like an argument, bit of a yawn really.

Did you not hear Mark Todd on the radio?

He was most chagrined that it was made public, and you could tell he really wish he could retract what he said.

Instead he said he was taken out of context.

So, not a hero, more a gutless prick who doesn't want to stand by his own words.

All for the sake of competing in the Olympics.


So it turns out he isn’t as much a hero as I perhaps hoped, and that voicing an opinion does require a little more courage than our above Anonymous poster is prepared to admit Merely voicing an opinion doesn't make one any more special, let alone heroic, than anyone else.

Finally though some actual thinking…
NZ's deployment of PRT's in Afghanistan is part of an internationally sanctioned effort to extend the writ and authority of the democratically elected Afghan state. There are many compromises within the context of this effort, due to the failed state nature of Afghanistan for the last thirty years. However it is a worthwhile endeavour - what alternative forms of governance does Bomber propose?

What the SAS is secretly up to on the border regions is however very suspect, purely because of the unaccountability of their operations. But this secrecy is arguably necessary due to a very real terrorist organisation. - Unless you're a retarded conspiracy theorist and believe Al Qaeda doesnt even exist, and they never co-operated with the Taliban


Chris just remind me, what reason is it today we are in Afghanistan? Hunting Bin Laden? Why are we fighting the Taliban? Was Alexander the Great the last invader to hold Afghanistan?

 

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