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Sunday, November 30, 2008

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, Phoebe Fletcher from the Auckland University Film, Television and media department Blogger Tim Selwyn - the last man to be convicted of sedition in NZ and Ben Thomas the Political Editor of the NBR.

Week that was

The great communicator – Minister of Health Cuts, Tony Ryall setting unrealistic new limits for hospital waiting times with no extra funding so that the hospitals fail those standards so Tony can claim we need help from the private sector and start the health privatization agenda. The only difference between the National Party Health policy Mallard leaked and the version National released was the 20 new clinics National intended to build, Private Public Partnerships in health by building 20 clinics for the private health industry anyone?

Local Government Forum latest report this week is proposing a mass privatization of local council assets, here’s a line from it – “The benefits of reading a book are largely enjoyed by the borrower, not by other people. Alternatives to public libraries, such as bookstores, second-hand book shops and DVD and video stores, illustrate the point that similar services can be provided privately”. Is it any surprise that the genially named Local Government Forum is comprised of Business NZ, the Electricity Networks Association, Federated Farmers, the Business Roundtable, Chambers of Commerce and the New Zealand Retailers Association. With Rodney the Razor as the Minster for Local Government Privatization by stealth, I wonder if he will be following his buddies advice?

News this week that Treasury have presented the new Government with some extreme free market options and Bill English says he’s unimpressed from the yet to be released report. Treasury with their free market zealots and late night Adam Smith rituals where they weekly sacrifice a virgin in Accounting to appease the economic gods, always try it on with a new Government and present Chicago school of economics wet dream privatization fantasies as policy suggestions. The question has always been, will National resist the sirens from their own philosophical fold because resisting Treasury when they are telling you things you secretly want to go along with but know would be politically unsustainable is a game National will find difficult with ACT clearly pushing for those results with major changes like TABOR.

News this week that Lincoln scientists have been given approval to continue their controversial experiments on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Saftey measures include laboratory-bred fly pupae with special double-layered cages all to prevent any of the Genetically Engineered crop from escaping into the environment and the reason for it? So the crop can be genetically resistant to massive doses of pesticide so that farmers can drench crops in pesticides to the levels necessary to kill all the pesticide resistant weeds. All that research with the possible threat of releasing this unintentionally so that the makers of pesticides can drown crops in chemicals when we have organic options looks desperately like a corporate solution looking for a corporate problem.

John Key on his trip overseas gushing that it was great meeting George W Bush, because George is famous and Gerry Brownlee after leading the charge against the Nanny State stormtroopers from the HelenGrad Dykocracy kicking your door in to force power saving lightbulbs down your throat campaign has quietly pointed out he won’t be changing them, reminding us the Nanny state stuff was always bullshit.

In the Weekend Newspapers
STORY 1 – Experts at a loss to explain Airbus tragedy sst
EFFORTS TO explain the mystery crash of the Air New Zealand Airbus in France may take months as experts rule out the most likely causes for its abrupt plunge into the Mediterranean Sea. Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe is due in Perpignan today with a support crew and relatives of one of the five New Zealanders killed, vowing to "bring our team home".

Air NZ crash: Hero crew sacrificed lives to save town - HOS
The crew of Air New Zealand's doomed Airbus jet were last night being hailed as heroes - a witness believes they saved dozens of lives by crashing the plane into the sea to avoid a small French town.
Sunday Star Times goes with the mystery of the crash while HOS does the hero sacrifice line based on the info from one witness. 29 years to the day Air NZ suffers another tragedy – most impressed with Rob Fyfe’s leadership so far on this issue. Has the media done an appropriate job covering the story?

STORY 2 – India, Pakistan simmer over Mumbai attacks – sst
Indian accusations of a Pakistani link to the attacks on Mumbai that killed nearly 200 people threaten to damage attempts to improve ties between the rivals.
I think what is more important than who actually carried these attacks out is who India decide to blame for it. Pakistan's recent and rapid destabilization has allowed extremists to operate there and project into Afghanistan and the fear now is that has also been widened to India. If India blames Pakistan because they believe it, or because they wish to take focus away from domestic religious tensions that will become exacerbated by the oncoming global economic meltdown, they will find a fan in America, who have become increasingly hawkish towards Pakistan with their current drone assisted assassination campaign that is so effectively killing dozens of innocent Pakistani civilians and turning the population against the west-leaning government. Who India blame will be crucial.

STORY 3 – No on-air apology for Noelle McCarthy's cut-and-paste essays- sst
IRISH BROADCASTER Noelle McCarthy is off air until Boxing Day, with no public apology to Radio New Zealand listeners for her unattributed use of other journalists' work.
Kim Knights hate campaign against Noelle McCarthy continues this week as Kim proclaims Noelle as an ‘Irish’ broadcaster in the same way Millie Eldar always gets called the ‘adopted’ daughter of Paul Holmes whenever she’s up on drugs charges. I am really stunned by the sheer venom so many have spat at Noelle on different blog sites, it’s become some sort of Oprah on meth venting session. It’s odd because the exact same vitriol was heaped on Oliver Driver’s appointment to Sunrise and Driver has ended up doubling the ratings AND has asked the hardest questions in the current affairs spehere over the elections. It’s not so much tall poppies syndrome as poppies on stilts amongst a sea of 3 foot angry bloodthirsty dwarves with baseball bats. I don’t think Noelle was purposely plagiarizing any more than anyone of us do day in day out as we discuss the news of the day, which is what she does. Now of course you have to acknowledge where things come from, and she will be much more careful of that in future, but to try and have her publicly flogged for the grossest of intellectual dishonesties is just ludicrous, give the girl a break and go hunt down your next media victim, why the hell don’t the public do something useful and crucify Garth George, for the love of God, hasn’t he earned it yet?

FINAL WORD – Look at the way NationalACT are pushing through changes in bail and parole, by misusing the power of Urgency, no discussion, no debate on such a radical change to our bail and parole laws from “real or substantial risk” to any risk at all – you would need to go back to 1998 to see another example of a misuse of urgency and prior to that you need to go back to Rodger Douglas, who surprise surprise just happens to be back in parliament. If the debate is so clear cut why will NationalACT hijack the power of urgency and misuse it to stifle and shut down any dissenting opinion on such a fundamental change, a change that will see our prison population balloon in size – oh and NationalACTs response to this is to import Dick Cheney’s corrupt private prison industry. Let’s be very clear, Private Prisons don’t care about the welfare or rehabilitation of prisoners, they care only for profit and they make their profit through longer and harsher sentences, and remember under NationalACT these prisons will be gulags, forced prison labour where the prisoner gets paid 60cents a day and the company pockets the $12 per hour – they’re vested interests will pervert the prison system in NZ as horrifically as they have done so in America and this is all being rammed through without any discussion while the mainstream media are asleep on holiday.

Let’s be Frank replay tonight, Oliver interviews American Foreign Affairs expert Paul Buchanan on the challenges confronting Obama and what effect his election will actually have on foreign affairs.

That’s this weeks Sunday News Roast – unfair and unbalanced, the spin starts here with the best political team on television, stay classy Alt-eroa, here’s this weeks moment of media zen


17 Comments:

At 30/11/08 8:07 pm, Anonymous Michael said...

Just watched the show for the first time, really enjoyed it. I just wanted to comment on the GE crop trial discussion - I think maybe some more pre-show research into the subject might have been good on this one, most of the comments were speculation with obviously very little reading into the reality of what is proposed. Phoebe's comments about worms in particular I hope were very tongue in cheek, as any 5th form biology study could see the gaping hole in that logic. Anyway, my main point was just to say good show, I'll keep watching for sure.

 
At 30/11/08 9:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that the bloggers are sticking up for her but the journalists aren't?
Why ever could that be?

A commentator does not automatically a journo make.

 
At 1/12/08 9:40 am, Blogger Phoebe Fletcher said...

Hi Michael,

Only got the topics at 3pm and am due in there by 6pm.

Admittedly, GE is something I used to follow closely but haven't been enough up with the play on recent developments.

However, Monsanto has even expressed concern about pests and cross-contamination and there are a wealth of scientific studies out there on how this is inadequate containment for a field test - hence why we have some biotechnologists alarmed.

The key points stand however, which is that we are a) unable to control it and b) we need to listen to a variety of scientific opinions. Like pharmaceuticals or climate change (as in Rodney's commission), biotechnology is another area where commercial issues often obsfucate a well-rounded discussion of the science behind it.

The notion of containment is also an incredibly Newtonian statement, which newer developments in quantum somewhat challenge.

Cheers for the feedback.

warmest
p

 
At 1/12/08 10:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, don't know what's up with the hate Noelle campaign, but I know why TV3 morning TV ratings have doubled. We're all waiting for the chick to get her top off!

 
At 1/12/08 10:43 am, Anonymous Michael said...

Thanks for replying to that Phoebe. I completely agree with your follow up comments here. This topic is one that frustrates me a bit as I talk to so many uninformed or misled people on it who often have formed very strong views either way with almost no understanding.
Totally agree about well reasoned scientific debate being what is needed.

 
At 1/12/08 11:09 am, Blogger Phoebe Fletcher said...

No worries - you are making me think I should do a follow up post tomorrow when I have a moment! Hang over from birthday was not the best yesterday for fast mental response time, ha ha...

 
At 1/12/08 11:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In relation to the worms/soil thing, there is actually evidence that certain soil-dwelling micro-organisms can incorporate plant DNA into their genome, transgenes included. The chances are very slim but nonetheless, it's one of the many reasons that 100% containment can never be achieved in practice.

 
At 1/12/08 11:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s odd because the exact same vitriol was heaped on Oliver Driver’s appointment to Sunrise...

No it isn't. Driver got the vitreol because he is an enormous dick - see the music awards when he slagged of Don Brash like an immature tool - he has proven himself to be very good at interviewing over the course of the election and more power to him for that.

Noelle McCarthy is getting the abuse she deserves because she is a plagiarising thief, pure and simple, it isn't some grand conspiracy against your lefty buddies.

Just think how indignant if some right-wing columnist or dj got caught plagerising foreign news articles. How pissed off would you be if some one in the MSM started ripping off Tu Meke articles and passing them of as their own?

 
At 1/12/08 12:03 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

The point anon was that we love to rip people in the media apart like hungry dogs, based on the venom spat at Driver in the lead up to Sunrise appointment one may have thought that Oliver had personally assaulted some anonymous posters pets. I don't think Noelle intentionally did a thing, we just love to rip into tall poppies in NZ - it's what we do.

 
At 1/12/08 12:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

based on the venom spat at Driver in the lead up to Sunrise appointment one may have thought that Oliver had personally assaulted some anonymous posters pets

Fair point, but I would say most people wouldn't have seen Driver's (very good) interviews on Alt tv, most people would think of him as the actor.


I don't think Noelle intentionally did a thing

You'd be pretty naive then, it is obvious when you compare the articles that she copied English ones.

we just love to rip into tall poppies in NZ - it's what we do.

Having a news paper column and being on the radio doesn't make you a tall poppy it just means that you have a high profile - they are two different things.

But putting that aside, I don't see how pointing out Noelle's plagiarism is ripping into her - should we just ignore it when media types get caught out doing something very unprofessional? Having a media profile just means that more people are going to hear about it when you fuck up, if someone can't handle that then perhapos the media isn't a good place to make a career.

 
At 1/12/08 12:38 pm, Blogger porc-épic said...

Tall poppies is an Australian expression. In NZ the second-rate and incompetent practice featherbedding, the mutual support of one another's incompetence.

It's not about 'hate Noelle", it's about RNZ's contempt for their audience.

 
At 1/12/08 1:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% containment can never be achieved in practice.

Right... but so what? The entire ecosystem of the planet is a melting pot of mutation in which there are trillions of attempts to improve upon highly successful structures daily. Meanwhile in our laboratories, our genetic science, still in its infancy, has tried to take a few identified traits (which have always had the potential of being copied away from their native hosts but seldom have been) and splice them into other genetic recipes to create strains that are probably only useful to us. Don't our prospects for creating a camality from that pale into utter insignificance when compared to the witches brew of nature that boils away incessantly?

 
At 1/12/08 2:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right... but so what? The entire ecosystem of the planet is a melting pot of mutation in which there are trillions of attempts to improve upon highly successful structures daily. Meanwhile in our laboratories, our genetic science, still in its infancy, has tried to take a few identified traits (which have always had the potential of being copied away from their native hosts but seldom have been) and splice them into other genetic recipes to create strains that are probably only useful to us. Don't our prospects for creating a camality from that pale into utter insignificance when compared to the witches brew of nature that boils away incessantly?

And where in science can a Potato and a frog mate? Science isn't just as you are suggesting taking a few traits and splicing them together in a world where those spiles would occur naturally, they are going well beyond that.

 
At 1/12/08 2:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course McCarthy "intentionally" stole the work of other journalists! She consciously cut and pasted paragraphs from the Observer, Independent and the Guardian!! Are you telling me she was on the nod while this took place?
With seven examples of her plagiarism now in the public domain it is patently obvious she DIDN'T intend getting caught.
How arrogant. How stupid. How over her we all are.

 
At 1/12/08 3:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear Hear.

She's a rip off artist with an accent and not much else and she damages the radio New Zealand brand.

If RNZ was a listed company, then the theft of ideas, which is what she specialises in, would have had a significant impact on the capital of the company. In the RNZ case it is reputation that is at stake.
and she is no tall poppy, just a partay girl did anyone see her in the paper again brazen as yuk yuk yuk

 
At 1/12/08 3:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't our prospects for creating a camality from that pale into utter insignificance when compared to the witches brew of nature that boils away incessantly?

Um.. No, they don't. Natural ecosystems are very finely balanced. The continuous changes you refer to are incremental - they take place over millennia. Drastic changes to ecosystems, rapid climate change or the introduction of a foreign species for example, throw that balance out the window and so, tend to have devastating results on biodiversity. Any genetically modified organism with a novel trait has the potential to fall into that basket as well.

I'm not saying the science should be thrown away, but sprinkling these GMOs throughout the world's ecosystems is both irresponsible and unnecessary. GM food crops will not solve any of the world's problems, almost all of which are rooted in exploitative political and economic systems, not shortages. They are however, extremely profitable for the businesses involved. As Phoebe said, the biotechnology debate has been distorted by corporate interests.

 
At 1/12/08 5:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we just love to rip into tall poppies in NZ - it's what we do."

Yes bomber, judging by your hatred of the rich you are a case in point.

 

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