Brian Edwards Media

Archive for June, 2011

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Meet some of the supporters of the Macsyna King book “boycott” here:

And the last word to Tapu Misa:

Thanks to The Culture Vulture.


“I want to be a sex-object.” – A Masculinist Perspective

I want to be a sex object.

I want to attract wolf whistles from cheeky female chippies on integrated building sites. I want comely middle-aged matrons to press lasciviously against me in crowded lifts and huskily inquire, ‘Going down?’ I want graduates from assertiveness training courses to come up to me in bars and say, ‘Hi, my name is Jane. I’ve been watching you from across the room and I find you terribly attractive.’ 

It never happens. It’s not that women find me unattractive. It’s just that they find me attractive for the wrong reasons.

So I’m introduced to Dale over cocktails at the James Cook or the Hilton. She’s 35, gorgeous and the managing director of a multi-billion dollar Canadian logging conglomerate. By midnight all the other guests have gone. It’s Dale, me and Ron Brierley. Dale slips Ron  the money for the bus fare home and he shoots through. Now it’s just me and Dale.

‘It’s five twenty-three,’ she murmurs.

‘My god, is that the time?’

‘No, that’s my room number,’ she replies, a note of irritability entering her voice for the first time that evening.

Her room turns out to be the presidential suite. She pours Dom Perignon, changes into something more comfortable, dims the lights, puts on a record and joins me on the couch – not necessarily in that order. It’s all on!

‘You know, I don’t normally do this,’ she purrs, refilling my already brimming glass, ‘It’s just that I find sensitive, intelligent men such a turn-on.’    Read the rest of this entry »


The producer of Campbell Live responds to my criticism of its interview with Alasdair Thompson and I reply.

Pip Keane, Producer of Campbell Live, writes:

I produce Campbell Live and I would argue,  Brian, that we were being honest. Yesterday was a huge day for Christchurch and after the good work we have done there for the past two weeks (I would argue a combination of our caravan of complaint, compelling stories consistently night after night and John’s interviews over the past fortnight put some pressure on the Government to bring yesterday’s zoning decision forward.)

On a day that meant so much not just for Christchurch but for the rest of the country too, we’re hardly going to run a 27 minute interview with Alasdair Thompson. In fact, if we had you would probably have written a column about it! We had to choose the best part to put to air. That’s our job. When John does an interview with someone in the field, e.g. John Key on budget day, he might speak to him for 20 minutes. We don’t put the whole interview to air. We put the best bits to air. I had four spare minutes yesterday and now the whole interview is on the internet for people to watch, judge and draw their own conclusion. That’s what good journalism is all about (I think you taught me that during my journalism course?)

If it wasn’t on the internet, you wouldn’t have seen it. You wouldn’t have known what else Alasdair said or the context of the interview so to say we are dishonest I would argue is wrong. What didn’t go to air in the TVNZ interview? Would you have watched the first four minutes of Alasdair speaking with Mihi? The middle four minutes? The last four minutes? It was pure coincidence that he was interviewed by two TV3 female reporters. I asked Mihi to ring Alasdair and she did. She then went down to his office for an interview. At this point he had already done two other interviews. He had every opportunity to tell her to go away but he didn’t and instead spoke with her for 27 minutes. At no point did he ask for the camera to be turned off or the interview to be stopped.

Re the poll. The story had been around all day. John promoted the poll at the top of the show but people didn’t see Mihi’s interview until the last segment of the show. People were voting on what they had seen and heard all day and in the news. They must have been because 80 per cent of our votes were in by the time the story went to air. Others rolled in after the show and after the interview but were not included in the result that went to air. Interestingly, the percentages didn’t change.

Read the rest of this entry »


Dishonest journalism from Campbell Live and why Alasdair Thompson should refer it to the BSA

Photo: Richard Robinson

Here’s a little quiz: Who said this?

“I believe that in life most women are more productive totally than most men. I absolutely believe that. When you take into account the things that women do in their lives compared to most men. They often do all the arranging of the finances for the whole family, they run the household, they care for the children, they do all manner of things and they go to work. Their total productivity in life, in my opinion, is higher than most men.”

The answer? Alasdair Thompson. Where? In an interview with Mihingarangi Forbes for Campbell Live.

How come you didn’t know that? Because that part of the interview wasn’t shown on the programme. In fact only 4’18” of this 27 minute interview was shown. Read the rest of this entry »


What actually happened on Jetstar flight JQ262 and should Martin Devlin have been taken off the flight by police? I investigate.

At 2.01pm on  Tuesday 24 May this year the New Zealand Herald ran a story on its website headlined “Martin Devlin Escorted off plane”.

At 5.48pm it updated the earlier report with a longer story headlined “Devlin says cabin staff ‘overreacted’”.

A front-page story in the next morning’s paper was headlined: “Air Rage: Evicted Devlin speaks out”. Its billboard that day read, “Air Rage – TV Star Speaks Out”.

All 3 stories claimed that “witnesses said Devlin was ‘making a scene’ and being ‘abusive’ toward crew.”

Wednesday’s front page story reported that sports broadcaster Martin Devlin had been removed by police from Jetstar flight JQ262 which had left Wellington the previous morning destined for Auckland, but, after circling for an hour,  had been forced to return to Wellington because of fog at Auckland airport. The plane eventually landed in Wellington at midday. It had been in the air for approximately three and a half hours.

According to the Herald:

“Witnesses said he [Devlin] made a scene and was abusive after it was diverted back to Wellington.

“A Jetstar spokeswoman said there was ‘just the one’ passenger who had caused trouble.

“A person who was on the plane said that when passengers were later let back on the plane, Devlin did not return. On the diverted flight Devlin had been abusive and making a scene, the passenger said.

“Police said no charges had been laid.”

The Herald story went on to remind readers that, “In December, Devlin was charged after an incident on Quay Street, Auckland, in which he jumped on the bonnet on his wife’s car.”

The Herald’s claim that “witnesses said” Devlin had been making  a scene and was abusive to cabin crew was subsequently reported by One News (on its website), 3 News, Newstalk ZB, The Otago Daily Times and Stuff whose network includes ten newspapers, including the Dominion Post and The Press. All mentioned the earlier event when Devlin had jumped on his wife’s car.

It is true that Devlin was escorted off the plane by police when it landed in Wellington. They did so in response to an in-flight call from the captain who (I am assuming) had received a complaint from one of his cabin crew.

It is almost certainly not true that Devlin had “made a scene” or “been abusive to cabin crew”.   Read the rest of this entry »


The (second?) coming of Hone Harawira – a non-believer’s perspective

Returned home from a week in Sydney. It hosed down for the entire time, forcing us to stay indoors reading. “Forcing” is entirely the wrong word for Judy whose idea of heaven is a limitless supply of books and limitless time in which to read them. I, on the other hand, find reading difficult and only read when there is nothing else to do – on holiday, in bad weather, with nothing on the box.

The iPad comes close to providing Judy with her limitless supply of books, courtesy of Kindle and at a fraction the price you’d pay in the shop for “the real thing”. Curiously, I’ve started reading more thanks to Mr Jobs’ wondrous invention. It may be that the illuminated screen suits me better than the printed page. And there’s the added advantage that I don’t have to go searching for a dictionary when, as is often the case,  there’s a word I don’t understand.

This was particularly helpful as I ploughed my way through Christopher Hitchins’ memoir Hitch-22. “Ploughed” is the right word. This is heavy going, but every now and then you dig up a thought gem that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Hitch, a take-no-prisoners atheist, would have been as entertained as I was, when I returned home, to read that Kereama Pene , a senior minister of the Ratana faith believes that Hone Harawira may be the fulfilment of a prophecy by the Church’s founder, T.W. Ratana.    Read the rest of this entry »


From the website that gave you the solution to Kiwi unemployment, how to fix the international economy!

Ivan ponders his solution to the world economic crisis over wine and cheese in the South of France

My old friend, Ivan Strahan (I use the word ‘old’ advisedly – we were at school together.) is a devotee of this website. He emails me occasionally from his home in the charming little seaside town of Donaghadee in County Down where he lives with his lovely wife Claire. The purpose of his emails is usually to put me right on some arcane point of Medieval French syntax or Greco-Roman architecture or to engage in that most delightful of old men’s pleasures – complaining about one’s health.

Occasionally, however, he takes issue with something I have written. This was the case with one of my recent posts,  I devise a failsafe recipe for full employment – lower the Minimum Wage! (with thanks to John Key),  in which I proposed lowering the New Zealand minimum wage to $2 an hour. Ivan saw this as little more than barely disguised Socialism and an entirely feeble response not only to New Zealand’s but to the world’s economic woes. Though he doubted that it would receive widespread acceptance, he had, he claimed, come up with a brilliant solution to the economic ills that beset the planet. I reproduce it here without comment.


Read the rest of this entry »


Darren Hughes – Sometimes you just know you got it right.


The Darren Hughes case in a nutshell:

An 18-year-old male student lays a complaint of a sexual nature with police against a prominent Member of Parliament who has what is generally agreed to be a glittering career ahead of him. 

Speculation as to what may have happened dominates the media for weeks to come. It includes talk of a naked man fleeing from Hughes’ lodgings in the early hours of the morning.

Hughes eventually resigns from Parliament on the grounds that this speculation and the widespread publicity make it impossible for him to effectively do his job as an MP and a Labour Party spokesman.

He repeatedly denies having done anything wrong.

The police take three-and-a-half months to reach a decision on whether or not to lay charges against Hughes.

They finally decide that: ‘After this careful consideration, the allegations do not reach the evidential threshold required to bring charges. As a result, no charges will be brought against Mr Hughes.’

Well, that’s all right then. Or is it?   Read the rest of this entry »


Why you should trust Brian’s Bountiful Bonds. (With Money-Back Guarantee and Free Advice for other TV personalities!)

Another 'Brian's Bountiful Bonds' winner!

Perhaps the most important precept in consumer affairs is ‘caveat emptor’ – let the buyer beware. I would have thought this applied as much to investing one’s life savings in a finance company offering above average returns as to buying a flat screen TV or washing machine from a discount store. More really, since in the first case we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars while, in the second, maybe a few hundred bucks will be at stake and the product will be covered by the Consumer Guarantees Act anyway.

In the first instance, therefore, a sensible investor might be wise to get some advice from someone in the finance advisory sector, though preferably not from an advisor employed by the same bank that has a controlling stake in the finance company flogging the product. That advisor just might not be entirely objective… or honest.

On the other hand, an investor  might take the advice of Richard Long, a former television newsreader, on what to do with their retirement funds, or former sports broadcaster, Keith Quinn, on preparing for his or her own eventual demise, or former cricket captain, Stephen Fleming, on how to best warm or cool their home, or (if they prefer fencing paddocks to news-reading) former All Black, Colin Meads, on what to do with their retirement funds, or funny man Mike King on where to buy… well…  just about anything.

In every case that would be a pretty stupid thing to do, since Richard has no expertise in investing for retirement, Keith, despite appearances, is not  dead, Stephen probably couldn’t wire a fuse, Colin,  well, just  listen to the man, and Mike King tells jokes for a living, which really ought to be a warning in itself.   Read the rest of this entry »