Brian Edwards Media

Bouquets and Brickbats (an occasional series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Shane Taurima whose interviewing performance on Q & A I have savagely attacked on Afternoons and elsewhere. Shane’s interviewing has markedly improved over the last few weeks. He no longer has his nose in his notes and has developed a much more relaxed and conversational style when talking to guests. Yesterday, in the continued absence of Paul Holmes, he hosted Q & A and made a considerably better job of it than any of the previous stand-ins.

To Campbell Live which continues to put Close Up to shame. Campbell himself is unafraid to engage in advocacy journalism, to campaign against injustice  on behalf of the neglected and dispossessed. The conundrum as to why Close Up continues to out-rate Campbell Live can perhaps only be explained  by the conservatism of New Zealand viewers who continue to regard TVOne as the official news and information channel.

To Kate King, a newcomer to me on Campbell Live. She fronted an excellent series of reports on Kiwis living and working in the mining areas of Western Australia and followed it up with a superb piece of investigative journalism on why New Zealand mothers can’t find the New Zealand baby formula Nutricia on their supermarket shelves.  This is a young woman going places. 

To Rachel Smalley who, in addition to fronting Firstline, not merely fronts The Nation as well, but has established herself as an accomplished political and current affairs interviewer on both programmes. (Disclosure: I also appear on the Sunday edition of The Nation with Bill Ralston. We’re both very good and should not be missed at around 8.50am. Bouquets to both of us!)

To Graham Norton, the most accomplished and entertaining talk-show host ever. Norton’s ability to put three hugely famous, completely different and sometimes prickly guests at their ease not only with one another but with the show’s somewhat eccentric format, borders on genius. He makes Parkinson, who relied almost solely on anecdotal material provided by his researchers to conduct his interviews, look like an amateur. Norton is a brilliant interviewer and the most imresssive ad-libber on the box.

To Herald cartoonist Emmerson, to whose brilliance I was probably blinded by my role as media advisor to Helen Clark, but who, both graphically and in terms of  his ability to get to the entertaining nub of things, is a master of his craft.

To 7 Days for the same reason that it always gets a bouquet – it’s wonderfully tasteless and very funny.

 

 

To the New Zealand Herald which accompanied a report today on the National Party Conference with deliberately chosen, highly unflattering photographs of Paula Bennett, Hekia Parata and John Key (with double chins) and a laboured attempt at a humorous caption. There can be no journalistic defence for this sort of offensive demeaning of public figures in a news story.

(And, while I’m at it…) To the editors of every newspaper and magazine that publishes ‘lookalike’ photographs of famous and not-so-famous people. Are we really meant to be amused or astonished by the fact that among a world population of more than seven billion, or even 4.5 million here in Aotearoa, there will be people who look very like other people?

To John Key and Len Brown who have joined the thousands of other Kiwis who begin almost every answer to a question with ‘So’ or ‘OK, so’. I’m assuming that the words are space-fillers indicating that the listener has understood the question and is preparing to answer it. But ‘so’ really has to connect to something that went before, meaning ‘as a result of’ or ‘therefore’, as in: ‘Michelle actually tidied her room for once, so I gave her a slice of carrot cake’.

To all the music station and talk-back listeners who describe even the smallest prize they’ve won (perhaps  by being the 9th  caller) as ‘awesome’. We now appear to have a generation of Kiwis who are unfamiliar with words such as ‘really good, great, terrific’ or even ‘fabulous’. No, the prospect of receiving a free copy of Adele’s latest single fills them with AWE!  My Collins dictionary defines the word as ‘overwhelming wonder, admiration, respect or dread; the power to inspire fear or reverence’. Now maybe catching a glimpse of Justin Bieber…

To TV1 and TV3 news producers who think that stories of child or domestic  abuse are insufficiently shocking in themselves and need to be accompanied by video ‘re-enactments’ of women or kids being beaten or assaulted. These clips have absolutely nothing to do with the actual case described and their use is gratuitous and sick.

To Sky television whose near monopoly of international sports coverage makes it possible only for those who can afford their exorbitant fees to watch live coverage of international sports events involving Kiwi players or teams. That, in my view, is a national disgrace.  

To New Zealand On Air for funding a TV documentary on the Crewe murders which said absolutely nothing that hadn’t been said before.  I’m something of a fan of Bryan Bruce, but $203,000 is rather a lot of money for retelling a story that’s been told and retold in a host of books and documentarues,  and then failing to come up with a new or credible suspect.

[Over to you, dear readers.]

46 Comments:

  1. I criticise media a bit so should add to the bouquets, credit where it’s due.

    I thought Shane Taurima started well on Q+A, seemed to lose his way a bit but is gradually finding it again.

    When John Campbell is good he can be very good, a pity there’s still too much dross on his show though, I guess that’s the nature of the slot – but won’t that audience be switching to Shortland Street?

    Rachel Smalley fronts Firstline, not Breakfast, and I like her and it much better than the TV1 smoochfest. If I want something chatty in the morning my preference is my wife.

    And Rachel does very well on The Nation to, I’m almost inclined to start watching it on Saturday rather than wait until the re-run on Sunday, but am resisting losing more of my weekend. The two blokes at the end are ok I guess.

    BE: Don’t care much for ‘ok I guess’, but thanks for the correction. An ‘elderly moment’, I’m afraid.

  2. “To the New Zealand Herald which accompanied a report today on the National Party Conference with deliberately chosen, highly unflattering photographs of Paula Bennett, Hekia Parata and John Key (with double chins) and a laboured attempt at a humorous caption. There can be no journalistic defence for this sort of offensive demeaning of public figures in a news story.”

    I agree entirely with you on this one Brian. As much as I enjoy a joke at the expensive of our esteemed Education and Social Development Ministers, I thought the item was crap.

    Why bother to invite reporters to an event if their photog’s will just spend the day trying to get a stupid picture of you.

    This says more about the NZ Herald than it does about the National Party. The pictures weren’t even particularly funny (like, say, those of John Key sashaying down the catwalk).

  3. Come on Brian; don’t you remember how Free To Air networks treat live sport? Live sport on advertising driven FTA often gets moved or cut off at key points for advertising or other programming that RATES better. Overall Sky do a good job with live sport and one just can’t imagine TVNZ or TV3 devoting multi channel space to a major event like the Olympics; instead they would have to interrupt coverage for NEWS and other regular programming. Sport, in my view, primarily belongs on subscription TV not broadcast.

    TVNZ and TV3 could run more live sport, if they were prepared to pay for it; but thankfully they have chosen not to.

    BE: They’ve bought the rights, John, I understand that of course. But an outcome is that tens of thousands of Kiwis can’t see their national teams compete live because they can’t afford it. I think that’s unfortunate at best and wrong at worst. As a Sky subscriber, I find I’m constantly expected to put my hand in my pocket for things that ought to be part of the basic package.

  4. Excellent, Brian! I find myself in complete agreement with your choices.

    A small brickbat to TV3′s weekend weather presenter for gratingly gross overuse of “will be”.

    And to Sky TV for an excessive number of adverts on a paid service played at ear and temper-damaging volume.

  5. My brick bat goes to all media for their abilities to counter political spin…. All it takes is a question along the lines of, “how much of that is what you and your party actually believe and how much of it was cooked up in the back room.” Even the papers seem to just print press releases these days. The politicos aren’t being put to task enough.

  6. Brickbat for every interviewee who starts a reply with: “very good question”.

  7. Brian, not as many New Zealanders care about live sport as you seem to think. My bet is that a large section of the public just don’t care, especially among the younger demographics. The other point is that sports organizations sell to the highest bidder and if they really cared about viewing numbers they would take less cash and opt for FTA. Sky are not the bad guys here, just a business providing their customers with a product they like so much they are prepared to pay for it. The sports orginisations themselves treat their sport as a business, so why criticize Sky for doing likewise?

  8. @Mike Boon: In the words of George Orwell, “journalism is stuff that people don’t want published. Everything else is public relations.”

  9. Taurima has improved out of site, no one on a Sunday morning in a long format interview wants to hear Mary Wilson type ripping guests to pieces. We want to hear positions explained and we are bright enough to make up our own minds.
    Brickbat to NZ media in general for not actually asking the opposition Greens some harder questions, why would putting a capital gains tax reduce property prices and divert investment to other areas that will also have a CGT. Also our super scheme is pretty easily affordable and even at its peak will be a lot less than what other countries are already paying. Also not everyone wants smokers burned at the stake and the vast majority of Kiiws like a drink after work and having a flutter at sky city is not the end of the world. The media suffer groupthink IMHO and it would be nice to have some things challenged of the opposition.

  10. Thoroughly agree on Bryan Bruce’s effort on the Crewe murders.

    The programme he did on the Bain murders was outstanding, courtesy of the one question that cut through so much of the lawyer bluster – “What physical evidence is there connecting Robin to the murders…?”

    The episode on the trial of Jesus wasn’t so great. I have my theological biases, but to dismiss the highly sophisticated oral culture of 1st Century Palestine as little more than “Chinese whispers” was trite.

    But the episode this latest examination of the Crewe deaths was an exercise in self-publicity, with the supposed “new angle” nothing more than a whinge that the police refused to release their files to Bruce…

  11. A large brickbat to TVNZ for removing all the NZ-made TVNZ7 programmes from TNNZ OnDemand. I was looking forward to watching them (or watching again) and now they have all gone without any warning.

    BE: Well said!

  12. Brian you old fossil, the meaning of words evolves and you need to keep up. Awesome now means ‘here is your change’.

    BE: ‘old fossil’ is a pleonasm. Shame on you, you young whippersnapper!

  13. To the New Zealand Herald which accompanied a report today on the National Party Conference with deliberately chosen, highly unflattering photographs of Paula Bennett, Hekia Parata and John Key (with double chins)…

    Our local paper,the DomPost repeatedly publishes photos of people staring down the barrel of the camera at the photographer who is kneeling in front of them.This is almost always unflattering to the poor subject,and I have never understood the reason for it.

  14. I just don’t understand why on earth viewing sport, National, International or otherwise – on TV, should be considered as some sort of right. I find the notion quite bizarre. The mere fact that in a different era some sporting events were shown on FTA Television is simply historical and nothing more. There are many things that i would like to see on TV but I understand that I have to pay to watch them. The world has changed – sport especially and the related costs are now astronomical it will never return to FTA television and I like John am very glad about that as i think it has found a great home on SKY – where one months viewing for a family of 5 equates to one movie at the cinema. I just wish that TVNZ would spend some of the money they now have from not covering sport in a more productive manner. Then again I want to see a complete restructuring of our public broadcaster and I’ve got about as much chance of seeing that as I have watching the All Blacks on TV ONE.

    BE: MySky at the moment costs us $28 a week and that’s without sport. It includes the movie channels, where you’ll struggle to find anything worth watching among the endless repeats and Soho which is nothing but re-runs of drama series. This of course is our choice and we can afford it. But your assumption that the average Kiwi family can afford $81.27 a month for the basic package and sport (including rugby) strikes me as naive. And maybe they’d like to take the kids to the movies once a week. For 2 adults and 2 children to see The Dark Knight Rises will cost $39 and that’s without any ice creams, popcorn or sweets which, you may be interested to know is where the cinemas really make their money. I make that $237.27 a month. But hey, you’re absolutely right, if they can’t afford to see their national teams on Sky or take their kids to the movies, they shouldn’t do either. Fair enough!

  15. A bouquet — together with hugs and kisses — to TV One, for keeping up its “tradition” of showing Wimbledon. Mucho appreciato.

    BE: High Five!

  16. I’m not sure when you wrote this Brian but I have to add in a bouquet to New Zealand on Air for “The Golden Hour” on TV One last night. I was a little reticent about watching this at first, but found I became totally absorb in the docudrama about Arthur Lydiard and his group of successful athletes at the 1960 Rome Olympics – inspiring stuff.I also agree about 7 Days nearly the funniest show on TV.

  17. Bouquet for Julian Wilcox on Native Affairs. Brilliant appointment current affairs viewing – every Monday at 8.30pm on Māori Television. Ka mau te wehi!

    BE: I agree. I see that he’s to be appointed head of news and curren affairs at MTS. I hope that doesn’t mean he’ll no longer be fronting Native Affairs.

  18. Too many B & B’s to list, so I’ll just be Brian’s yes-man. In the area of comedy and current affairs (there’s a difference?) TV3 programmes are consistently smarter and funnier than TV One’s.

    I strongly support public broadcasting, but TVNZ is now a national embarrassment. Close-Up is like an Alan Partridge parody. How do they keep a straight face?

    A revealing insight into the stupidity infecting TV One was provided by Jono and Ben last Friday night, when they featured some obviously spoof Justin Bieber fans. So obvious that TV One thought they were real – and reported them as such. Yes, TVNZ “news” reporters have become such a joke, that they can no longer recognise one.

    BE: Is your last paragraph true? Where did you see this TV One report?

  19. What a great read in bed with my cleansing cup of lemon water. Thanks Brian agree with most things. I hate the misuse of Awesone, Lyn of Tawa would have loved it I bet cant you just hear her?

  20. The Herald article you link to shows only Key and English.

  21. I think your criticism of Bryan Bruce is over the top. I am not sure the point of the doco was to present a credible and new suspect. Nevetheless he did suggest that there was a suspect to whom police had not given much attention. As for Bruce regurgitating old material, he provided info that I wasn’t previously aware of. And he disagreed with the likes of Keith Hunter and Chris Burt, among others, who believe that Len Demler was the likely murderer. It is apparent that Bruce did a lot of research into his subject.

    BE: As I said, I’m usually a fan of Bryan’s work. Trouble is he heavily promoted this doco as revealing a new suspect in the Crewe Murders. No new suspect was named and the farmhand referred to was never a serious candidate.

  22. A big brick bat to Simon Mercep on RNZ at 7.26am this morning for adopting the annoying journalistic habit of wasting everyones time by trying to turn the interview into an attempt to trick David Shearer into making a possibly contradictory statement. Mr. Mercep – asking a politician to answer a complex question with a nonsensical yes-no answer then hectoring him just makes you look like a dick who can’t conduct an interview. In an ocean of cartoon news RNZ offers the only in-depth news around, and it pissed me off having to listen to your drivel. Next time, try and produce some light.

  23. “BE: ‘old fossil’ is a pleonasm. Shame on you, you young whippersnapper!”

    Have to disagree and agree Brian – some fossils are old and some are young, with ages ranging from a generally-accepted 10,000 years old to billions. But I do agree with the ‘shame on you’ to Adrian. You’re a clearly not old in fossil terms :-)

    I, of course, won’t comment on the use of ‘young whippersnapper’. It was clearly a purposeful labour of the point.

  24. I so agree with you about “so”. It’s inane and one of those received affectations from youth culture that grownups have adopted, but which has no obvious purpose – unless as a small time-filler. It’s incredibly pervasive. The only good thing is, it seems to have replaced the trend for people asked a question to begin, “Okay…” as if somehow registering benign approval of the question before deigning to answer it.

    BE: So, lovely to hear from you, Jane.

  25. “…I just don’t understand why on earth viewing sport, National, International or otherwise – on TV, should be considered as some sort of right…”

    Wow, right wing Alzheimers strikes again.

    Who owns these sports? Who created all the traditions, the warp and woof of the game that has made rugby such a part of the fabric our life and our culture? Here is a clue: It wasn’t Sky TV and it isn’t the professional managers of the game since 1995.

    Rugby as a tradition is a creation of millions upon millions of hours of volunteer work and of amatuer players and legends over 100 years. Is it to much for all New Zealanders to expect to see at least their national representative team for free on telly? Sure, Super 15 is the modern money circus, but the All Blacks? Rugby has been privatised and commodified and stolen from a lot of the people who made it what it is. Sky is a parasite that free-loads on the legacy of the free labour and love of generations of New Zealanders. It is a national disgrace that poverty means many New Zealanders cannot participate in what was once one of the great shared cultural rituals of our land, the free to air test match. The poor can’t go to the game anymore – go to Eden Park on match day. Ticket prices for the big games means the live audience is over-represented with pot bellied middle aged white men from the better ‘burbs. So they are shut out from what was once the game for all New Zealanders, shut out and lectured that poverty means they have no right to want to participate. Told that taking part in our national game costs money and if you can’t afford it, tough shit cos Nigel Godfrey is all right.

    BE: Great stuff, Sanctuary!

  26. A tumbrel-load of brickbats for Sky:

    For making me pay extra for Soho, extra again for the Arts channel and for Rialto. Obviously they expect the types who prefer higher quality to also be the richer types. Egregious extortion, and exploitation of class snobbery!

    For interrupting with loud commercials.

    For repeating their own promos, the same one, for months on end, till viewers nearly heave the remote through the screen in their haste to find the mute button.

    For turning the Knowledge channel (“knowledge”, for Pete’s sake!) into a moronic fanboy loop of Top Gear repeats.

    For its apparent devotion to crap US crime shows, which have several channels of their own.

    For the abomination of its Comedy channel, which offers no UK comedy shows fresher than the 1970s, and turns into a de facto porno channel after 10.30pm.

    For the gutter-level, low-IQ Hollywood fixations of its “Entertainment” channel. My definition of entertainment would be a lot broader…

    For offering the viewers so little ability to choose which channels they want to pay for within its basic package – inflexible.

    For having no letters column in its listings magazines.

    For failing to screen a number of the documentaries they have listed, over the last few weeks, but shoving on Any Old Repeat instead (probably Top Gear) without notice. I suspect they have had to pay so much for the Olympics rights that all other expenditure has been canned, and that this situation will prevail for some time.

    One could go on, but I have already…

    BE: My feelings exactly. But they have the ear of government and, with Vodafone having swallowed up Telstra Clear and cosying up to Sky, things can only get worse.

  27. @Daz
    For making me pay extra for Soho, extra again for the Arts channel and for Rialto.

    It grates a lot having to pay extra for Rialto while being forced to pay for a heap of channels I don’t want and will never watch.

    What’s worse is the deterioration in quality of Rialto in prime time (when I can watch) – there are an increasing number of foreign language fillers, an increasing number of documentaries (why not on the Documentary channel?) and they have now started showing short TV dramas on Monday nights (there’s a UK channel already paid for in the package).

  28. Sky appears to be taking a lot of flak. Who were the clowns that allowed Sky to assume such a dominant position? Successive governments of course, including three Labour governments who did sod all to protect New Zealanders from the rapacity of organisations such as Sky and who presided over a general decline in standards at TVNZ in spite of a so called charter that was totaly worthless.

  29. So agree, can you please keep doing these?

    I’d also add Brickbats to both main news channels for overuse of the ridiculous live cross, quite funny when it’s freezing or raining!

    It is a national disgrace that the Olympics are on Sky not free to air telly, I remember the being such a big deal when I was at school now the kids without sky can’t follow at home. Just awful.

    Also a brickbat for Radio NZ food segments on all shows having really inaccessible recipes, I would just like some good family food ideas or tips. Plus I hate how RNZ journalists are interviewed as experts rather than talking to an actual news maker. Also, Jim Mora’s refusal to have a opinion is a bit tiresome although he is quite pleasant to listen to. Don’t get me started on Simon Mercep, so soft and unable to respond to answers.

    Big brickbat to John Key for refusing to go on Morning Report most of the time.

    Rant over, thanks for chance to air my grumps!

  30. “To John Banks and Len Brown who have joined the thousands of other Kiwis who begin almost every answer to a question with ‘So’ or ‘OK, so’.”

    John Key is another who has fallen into this habit.

    Another equally common grammatical error that has crept into the system is beginning an answer with “I mean…”. Like “so”, “I mean” could be used to correct to clarify a preceding statement, but it is being used now as an opening.

    BE: Whoops, ‘John Banks’ was a mistake and should have read ‘John Key” as you rightly point out. I’ve corrected it.

  31. John Key and Paula Bennett use the word “so” to preface just about every answer to a question and both use the word “actually” (pronounced akshully) ALL THE TIME. It’s annoying and also makes you realise their vocabularies are very limited. So, akshully, could they desist from now on?
    While we’re at it: Mark Sainsbury is the master of prefacing questions with the word: “look.”
    there are others he uses all the time but I have forgotten…

  32. @ Sanctuary

    “Who owns these sports?”

    In the case of the sport your post refers to, the NZRU, on behalf of all the participants (players/coaches/administrators/club members) who are actively involved in the game.

    “Rugby as a tradition is a creation of millions upon millions of hours of volunteer work and of amatuer players and legends over 100 years. Is it to much for all New Zealanders to expect to see at least their national representative team for free on telly?”

    Indeed. Which is why plenty of rugby clubs have Sky Sports coverage of big games, where you can watch for free after playing/coaching/administering/actively supporting amongst the convivial and informed atmosphere. That’s where I watch the big games.

    Let me know what part of the country/suburb you are in Spectator, and I’ll be happy to point you in the appropriate direction.

    I presume you are active in the game at present?

    It’s just that most active rugby folk long ago realised the inevitability and desirability of the game going pro, with pay TV as the main revenue stream – even though we don’t all agree on every administrative decision. However, that is something you’ll be able to do something about once you volunteer for your club’s local committee…

  33. Kimbo, well said.

  34. Brian says “Soho which is nothing but re-runs of drama series”

    Brian, sorry but you obviously do not follow this channel very closely as your statement is mis-information. Sure the format contains many repeats of past drama and comedy successes but the key factor of the channel is the new excellent and successful shows the channel regularly screens, such as MAD MEN, THE HOUR, TOP BOY and soon THE NEWSROOM.

    I do however share your concern regarding Sky’s ever increasing prices and having to buy “bundles” of channels rather than being able to select and pay for just those I want.

  35. I have to agree with you about Sky TV. Esepcially the fact that the previous night’s programming is repeated the following afternoon. Great if you miss something, not so if you feel that your 58.66 perhaps is better of going towards your broadband internet account so you can download hours and hours of way more interesting stuff (getting sick of ‘Time Team’).

    And really, ‘Dumb and Dumber’ a ‘Sky Movies Great’?

    As for sport, it really needs to reach the widest audience possible, and putting it behind a paywall isnt going to do that. Richie Benaud always understood that, being an advocate of his sport being on free-to-air TV.

  36. Awesome, incredible, fantastic; consider the literal definitions and compare them with everyday applications. The progression in recent times to increasingly extravagant adjectives and adverbs seems to have gone as far as it can go. Where to from here?

  37. A brickbat: to The Listener – who now has more readers than Close Up has viewers – for dropping Rebecca Macfie’s weekly (or fortnightly) feature on the de-build and re-build of ChCh. Important journalism. Important issues. The economy turns on this,for a while.

    Now, it seems, an “occasional” theme.

    Shows what the Nth Island cares, really.

  38. The timing of your coments about Campbell are unfortunate: http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv/7338091/Campbell-Live-fined-over-privacy-breach
    There’s nothing wrong with investigative journalism but let’s tell the whole story not just the parts that support Campbell’s whole “oh the poor lady” schtick. He has no qualms about playing a role in potentially ruining a small business in a provincial town. His carry-on looks similar to the “judge, jury and executioner” role of Fair Go.

    BE: I’m not sure how the timing of my comments a couple of days ago can be ‘unfortunate’ when the offence you’re talking about happened months ago.

  39. @BE

    Where did you see this TV One report?

    It was on Breakfast, and subsequently included in a clip on “Jono and Ben”. Check with TV3 if you wish (TVNZ could also confrm, but may not want to).

    http://www.tv3.co.nz/Shows/JonoandBenatTen.aspx

  40. “BE: I’m not sure how the timing of my comments a couple of days ago can be ‘unfortunate’ when the offence you’re talking about happened months ago.” But recently reported though, hence my comment…
    Anyway, that’s a red herring. What do you think about the actions of Campbell’s journo there?

  41. Bricky asks: “The progression in recent times to increasingly extravagant adjectives and adverbs seems to have gone as far as it can go. Where to from here?”

    Sick, evil, wicked – we’re here already. Like, I mean, so totally – absolutely, yah. (note totally is said toadaly)

  42. “To Sky television whose near monopoly of international sports coverage makes it possible only for those who can afford their exorbitant fees to watch live coverage”…etc.

    Totally, 100% correct. And I for one refuse to pay $80 or whatever a month to condem myself to watching 35 hours of pap a week just to get my money’s worth, as opposed to the 8 hours of pap I do now.

    It truly is a bloody disgrace. Our mainstream TV companies can’t afford to show us what’s going on. I guess I’ll just have to agree with those previous posters who said “user pays – let TVNZ7 just sink without a trace”.

  43. To Herald cartoonist Emmerson, to whose brilliance…

    Emmerson’s “brilliance”? What is it about any of his work that has struck you as witty, insightful or plain funny?

    He only has the job because Malcolm Evans was forced out after a firestorm of abuse and threats after daring to publish cartoons critical of the Israeli regime’s brutality in the West Bank in early 2002.

    The Herald had a right wing cartoonist (Minhinnick) for several generations, and he often irritated readers—but he was always funny, and his draftsmanship was of the highest order.

    Emmerson, on the other hand, exhibits none of these qualities. He is to political cartooning what Garth George is to intelligent column-writing, and “Sir” Graham Henry is to fair comment on rugby matches.

    I’m intrigued, Brian, that you now see fit to praise this fellow’s drab work. Have you met him socially or something? Is he now a friend? Whatever the reason, your judgement has been grievously affected.

    BE: “I’m intrigued, Brian, that you now see fit to praise this fellow’s drab work. Have you met him socially or something? Is he now a friend? Whatever the reason, your judgement has been grievously affected.”

    Here it is again – another commenter unable simply to express disagreement without searching for some base, alternative explanation for the other person’s views. This sort of comment reflects more on you than it does on me. It reveals the arrogance of someone who cannot find any reason for someone else’s disagreement with his own view, and must search for evidence of corruption instead. Totally pathetic.

    And your view of Emmerson’s cartooning reflects little more than mindless prejudice. I can’t be bothered replying to it.

  44. Here it is again – another commenter unable simply to express disagreement without searching for some base, alternative explanation for the other person’s views. This sort of comment reflects more on you than it does on me. It reveals the arrogance of someone who cannot find any reason for someone else’s disagreement with his own view,

    I was expressing dismay at your contradiction of your own disparaging views of Emmerson’s abilities, which you have expressed vehemently on several occasions on both radio and in print.

    and must search for evidence of corruption instead.

    Well there must be some reason for such a volte-face. The answer surely does not lie in any discernible improvement in Emmerson’s wit or drafting skills.

    Totally pathetic. And your view of Emmerson’s cartooning reflects little more than mindless prejudice.

    I pointed out that he lacks wit, sophistication and technical proficiency. That’s hardly “mindless”—in fact it’s exactly what you said about him, repeatedly, when it was your clients who were on the receiving end of his limp attacks.

    I can’t be bothered replying to it.

    You “can’t be bothered replying”. That’s very interesting. In your book The Public Eye you expressed contempt for the timidity of New Zealanders and their reluctance to engage in debate. Obviously it’s not only fourth-rate cartoonists that you’ve changed your mind about.

  45. 45

    A belated but well-deserved brickbat to the Herald on Sunday’s self-promoting financial columnist, Bernard Hickey.

    Surely this week’s effort has dredged the bottom out of his empty barrel in his tiresome campaign to stir up inter-generational warfare.