The Sunday News Roast
On the Sunday News Roast tonight at 7pm, Sky Digital 65, Alt Tvs News and weekend newspaper critique show that is Unfair & Unbalanced, THE SPIN STARTS HERE with the best political news team on television with your host, Bomber - head of Current Affairs at Alt Tv, Blogger, Phoebe Fletcher from the Auckland University Media Studies department, Tim Selwyn - the last man to be convicted of sedition in NZ and Ben Thomas the Political Editor of the NBR.
News that caught the eye this week
1: John Key and his Thomas the Tank Engine lies.
After weeks of savaging Helen Clark’s honesty over the Winston fiasco, turns out John has been less than honest about his Tranz Rail Shares. Key’s family trust held 50,000 shares in Tranzrail at the same time he was asking parliamentary questions about Tranzrail, twice in October 2002, and again in April 2003. He met representatives of Rail America on 20 May 2003 to discuss Tranzrail, two weeks after he himself bought a further 50,000 share stake in Tranzrail without disclosing it.
Key bought these shares two weeks before he had sought in Parliament the minutes of confidential meetings held between the government and Tranzrail, he was denied these on the grounds of commercial sensitivity. Three weeks after he had bought those 50,000 Tranzrail shares, Key appealed to the Ombudsman to help him overturn the commercial sensitivity decision. He doubled his money on those personal shares but lost on the overall family shares. Key pretended all he had done was make a dick of himself while the Herald sucked up to him and praised him on how honest he was about own up to his silly mistake. Interesting how Key looks when he is presented with a question he doesn’t want to be honest about, just like meeting Lord Ashcroft, when first asked about Tranz Rail and Ashcroft he tries to be immediately dishonest and then he gets caught out and admits he was wrong to have tried to pretend otherwise. A good week for John Key?
2: Winston and the slow death of Hubris
He was censured this week in Parliament and came out attacking everyone – why would the Greens and the Maori Party who don’t have an axe to grind plot against Winston? Was the coverage of Winston’s lie and John Key’s lie balanced? As Steve Braunias in todays SST calls it, “(Winston’s) apparent failure to disclose the $100 000 gift from Owen Glenn seems a far lesser sin than John Key’s self-serving and brazenly dishonest attempts to conceal his Tranz Rail shares”. Is it astounding that the Labour party MPs on Privileges Committee honestly couldn’t find that the email with bank account details minutes after a phone call between Owen and Winston was suspicious?
3: Maori Party inch closer to a National Party Coalition.
As we have been predicting on SNR for some time, the next government could be a Maori Party National Coalition. Dr Pita Sharples came out swinging this week attacking Labour over pressure on the vote against Winston and in an interview on TVNZ7 said Helen was ‘near the end of her time’, we have Dr Pita Sharples on Let’s be Frank on Tuesday night – Chris Trotter in his SST column has suddenly woken up to what Maori are up to with their call for a Treaty partner rather than a coalition partner and it is the effective creation of a Maori upper house in Parliament. Does National understand what it ius getting into, there is rumoured deep disquiet within National’s hard right front bench over what John Key is putting on the negotiation table for the Maori Party and National’s redneck fringe will go purple with stroke induced rage over the concessions – can the Maori Party hold the line against National’s privatization fantasies – or could it be an age of Aquarius where the combination allows unprecedented progressive movement in NZ?
4: The financial Meltdown and corporate welfare.
$700 billion socialist bail out for the corporate elite in the country that champions unregulated free market capitalism? Have I swallowed 15 tabs of acid brothers and sisters? The hyper deregulated financial markets humped by George W Bush who coaxed a mass borrowing campaign for an illegal war based on a pack of lies that created half a Trillion dollar annual deficits inspired a corporate environment of unbridled greed that has threatened the entire economy of the last superpower in decline. Will the bailout work?
5: From our ‘only in American pop culture’ file.
This story may be the psychopathic pop culture story of the year – An 18 year old Colorado teenager hired men to kill his mother so he could use her money to get breast implants for his 21 year old girlfriend. Does evil get any more banal than this?
In the Weekend Newspapers
STORY 1 – Leaked memo alleges milk 'cover-up'
Dairy company Sanlu allegedly cut a $640,000 deal to cover up negative reports about poisoned babies more than a week after Fonterra was alerted to the melamine contamination crisis, according to a leaked memo. Carried on Chinese weblogs, the memo, purportedly from Sanlu's PR company, notes growing numbers of damaging references to the company, which is 43% owned by Fonterra, in connection to infant kidney failures, and lays out strategies for addressing the issue. These included silencing victims, and paying off Baidu, China's largest internet search engine, to remove negative references from its web searches. The memo recommended Sanlu "do anything to pacify victims, and accept all they want to keep them silent for at least two years". The memo also said a "PR protection" deal had been negotiated with Baidu, in which Sanlu agreed to buy $640,000 of advertising with the search engine, in return for having negative stories blocked from search results.
The memo is dated August 11, nine days after Fonterra was alerted to contamination of Sanlu's popular infant formula with melamine, a chemical used in the manufacture of plastics and glue.
Remember 2 weeks ago when I asked why we had to read about one of our largest Dairy companies being involved in the possible poisoning of infants in the world section – well since then hasn’t this turned into a media tumor for Fonterra. Now we are talking a scandal that has seen over 50 000 infants poisoned, I interview Sue Kedgly for Green Core this week and put to her if 6 weeks was simply too long to save Chinese face during the Olympics and she said it should have been a week at most, now it is alleged that Sanlu paid off search engines nine days after Fonterra was alerted to the problem. Doesn’t Fonterra’s lack of oversight border on the negligent and isn’t the feral defence of the Farmers best corporate mate on Talkback an interesting backlash to criticizing Fonterra.
STORY 2 – Police open rape files - sst
Startling new details about the 14-month police investigation into Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum's 1989 gang rape case are revealed in documents recently released to the victim. The revelations come as the former policemen face parole hearings next month and November, which could see them released from prison after serving sentences of eight-and-a-half years and eight years respectively over the Mt Maunganui gang rape in a lifeguard hut.
The documents reveal:
* Police investigated claims a police officer paid a Rotorua woman $60,000-$70,000 "hush money" over an incident.
* That one witness alleged as police officers, Shipton and Schollum would pull over women drivers, targeting solo mothers, and strike up relationships with them.
* An allegation was made that a senior Hamilton police officer accessed secret police files to help defence lawyers fight the case and seriously jeopardised the prosecution's case.
These are allegations of a rogue Police force out of control, $60 000 Police bribes, targeting solo mothers to pull over for sexual relationships and the possible gross misuse of the NIA ( National Intelligence Application) by a senior Hamilton police officer on 4 people to hand over to the defence is an allegation that demands a formal investigation. Remember the new Police Conduct guidelines put together in the wake of the Shipton, Schollum and Rickards rape cases REFUSED to mention sexual misconduct AT ALL. Got better work stories yet?
STORY 3 – Clark, Key hog TV debate – Weekend Herald
Minister Helen Clark and National Party leader John Key have refused to share the stage with other party leaders in an election campaign TV debate. They say only their head to head debates really matter because one or the other will lead the next government. TV3 and TVNZ wanted the leaders of all eight parties represented in Parliament to take part in an MMP debate, which has happened in previous campaigns. But the two leaders refused, and did not change their minds when both networks asked them to reconsider.
How arrogant and what a sad day for our democracy, how outrageous is it of National and Labour shutting down the democratic debate by forcing out the other political leaders – this mindset is disgusting and the msm shouldn’t go along with it!
STORY 4 – Polls give Obama clear lead after first presidential debate - hos
WASHINGTON - A pair of one-night polls gave Democrat Barack Obama a clear edge over Republican John McCain in their first presidential debate. Fifty-one per cent said Obama, the Democrat, did a better job in Friday night's faceoff while 38 per cent preferred the Republican McCain, according to a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. survey of adults. Obama was widely considered more intelligent, likable and in touch with peoples' problems, and by modest margins was seen as the stronger leader and more sincere. Most said it was McCain who spent more time attacking his opponent. About six in 10 said each did a better job than expected. Seven in 10 said each seemed capable of being president. In a CBS News poll of people not committed to a candidate, 39 per cent said Obama won the debate, 24 per cent said McCain and 37 per cent called it a tie. Twice as many said Obama understands their needs than said so about McCain.
I can not wait for the Vice President debate, we have a clip of Palin coming up that just suggests it is going to be the first televised murder of a Vice Presidential candidate. Has McCain lost the edge, foreign affairs was supposed to be his strong card.
FINAL WORD – Isn’t the Sunday Star Times coverage of this incredibly touching story of Austin Hemmings’ murder in down town Auckland in sharp contrast to the cheap hysterical and awful coverage of the Herald on Sunday – honestly when it comes to Sunday papers - the HOS is that cheap one night stand you pick up gonorrhea from where as the SST is your first true love. They carry across the real humanity of this tragic loss of life of an Aucklander who did what any other decent Aucklander would do, and that is immediately go to the aid of another in need. I live diagonally across from this crime scene so this sad story has a personal immediacy, my partner even put down flowers on Mills Lane for him and his very brave family who in his death have done more to show NZers a more compassionate example towards violent crime than we have been privileged to have in the past. Perhaps a really fitting tribute to Austin Hemmings’ Good Samaritan example would be Auckland City Council renaming Mills Lane, Austin Hemmings’ lane.