Posted by BE on November 27th, 2012
For around 45 years I’ve been broadcasting and writing in New Zealand. My occasionally forcefully expressed liberal/left opinions have over that time attracted both agreement and disagreement, approval and condemnation, sometimes deserved, sometimes not.
Rob Muldoon used to refer to himself as ‘a counterpuncher’, adding that he always hit his opponent back harder than his opponent had hit him. I like both the term and the approach and readers of this blog will know that my responses to critical comments can range from reasonable disagreement to dismissive rejection to outright cruelty. I generally regret the outright cruelty and have been known to apologise for it when taken to task.
But, whatever my faults, I have at least always put my name to my opinions. In those 45 years I have never said or written anything anonymously or hidden behind an alias or nom de plume.
There are of course occasions in which anonymity is prudent and justifiable. But the commonest reason for not putting one’s name to one’s opinions is not having the courage of one’s convictions – cowardice. And nowhere is this more evident than in comments on blog posts where opinions are rarely expressed under the writer’s own name. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by JC on August 30th, 2010
I measured the front page of the NZ Herald this morning. Excluding the top and bottom margins, 25cm was taken up with advertising and glaring promos. Only 29cm was news content, and if you exclude the photos and headlines, there was precious little of that – a mere 47.5 column centimetres of copy.
The front page of the Herald has become a travesty of journalism. Today the headline screamed: KIWI UMPIRES CAUGHT UP IN CRICKET SCANDAL. The implication is clear: our umpires were in the thick of the match-fixing.
Squinting at the front page while I made the first cup of tea I wailed, “Oh no, not Billy Bowden!” I’ve always been a fan of the outrageous Bowden and the concept of him being involved in match-fixing damn near curdled the milk.
So it was both a relief and an anticlimax to discover that Bowden’s involvement in the “cricket scandal” amounted to umpiring the fourth test between England and Pakistan, and calling the staged no-balls for what they were. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by JC on August 11th, 2010
Shock! Horror! A disastrous earthquake!
North Island? South Island? The big one’s finally hit Wellington?
No. It’s in VANUATU, for god’s sake!! There apparently wasn’t much damage and no-one was hurt.
So what does the Herald do? Puts a great, blazing, misleading headline up to sell a few papers on the street.
This was once a serious newspaper. Now it’s just a tabloid rag.
Posted by BE on June 20th, 2010
I was never any good at sport. At secondary school I was known as ‘Hat-Trick Edwards’. At cricket practice, bowlers used me to see how many hat-tricks they could score. I was no better at any other sport. I didn’t enjoy it. We tend not to enjoy doing things we aren’t good at.
I’m very good at watching television. I could do it all day. There’s lots of sport on television, but I refuse to increase Sky’s profits to get live coverage of events that every New Zealander should be able to view as of right. It’s a bloody disgrace actually, but Sky has the ear of government, and that story can wait for another day.
Anyway, it was television that stirred my initial and ongoing interest in sport. Just some sports – tennis, netball, one-day cricket, soccer, lawn bowls, gymnastics, weight lifting. (Note the absence of the world’s most tedious game – rugby union!)
To be precise, my sporting interest is restricted to sport on television. I would never think of abandoning the couch to actually go and watch something. And yes, I know, I’m missing ‘the atmosphere’. Thanks, but the atmosphere in our living room is perfectly nice and you can actually see what’s happening, and see it again and, if there’s any doubt about a ref’s or umpire’s call, ‘go upstairs’. You see, I’ve even got the lingo.
As for reading about sport, it will not surprise you to know that at our place the sports pages go straight into the recycling bin. Well they did, until a couple of months ago when I discovered sports journalism. I can’t remember what it was I read, but it was probably something about Roger Federer or Irene van Dyk or David Beckham. I’m more into personalities than teams. It’s a TV thing again. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on May 27th, 2010
Fair Go (TV1) – Despite the OTT set, had returned to its knitting – sorting out viewer complaints – by programme 3. The yellow circles were gone and none of the stories were split into two or three parts to increase the tension and keep you watching.
Sunday (TV1) – A really excellent programme which I’ve neglected to praise in the past. Cameron Bennett is the consummate professional and enough time is given to issues at home and abroad to make you feel you’ve had a satisfying meal and not just a side-salad.
Comedy Central – for Live at the Apollo, Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show (But see below!)
And Comedy Central again for The Gruen Transfer, an entertaining and somewhat enlightening Aussie show on advertising, though host Wil Anderson makes my flesh creep.
7 Days (TV3) – irreverent humour in the worst possible taste. Perfect.
Desperate Housewives (TV2) and The Graham Norton Show (UKTV) – Oh, you are awful, but I like you!
The Panel on RNZ’s Afternoons with Jim Mora – Great listening and not just because I’m often on it. Well, partly because of that.
Toms Scott’s cartoons in the Dominion Post. Things of beauty and a joy forever.
Throng – ‘New Zealand’s TV watching community’. The essential website for anyone interested in New Zealand television. Find it at http://www.throng.co.nz/
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on September 21st, 2009
A week or so back in ABSENCE OF SHOCK LEAVES READERS SHOCKED I suggested that our daily metropolitan newspapers were broadsheet in format but tabloid in content. I’m indebted to The Herald for so promptly providing me with incontrovertible evidence to back up my claim. Today’s front page titillates readers with:
WIN a $60,000 Subaru Legacy
CAN PAMELA REALLY SPICE UP FASHION WEEK?
The dead billionaire, her ‘boy toy’ and the $US4 billion will
Revealed: biggest killers on our roads
And sport of course.
The only thing missing is the Page 3 girl. Though, come to think of it, Pammie is on Page 3.
Hence my new and improved headline: Miracle on Albert Street: HERALD TURNS INTO THE SUN
Posted by BE on September 9th, 2009
Taking a break in Queensland can make you dissatisfied with home. It’s the weather mainly – warm, sunny, reliable. And Queenslanders drive at the speed limit with the result that, paradoxically, you get there faster and with your nerves intact.
And then there are the papers. Or one paper at least. We arrived at our Brisbane hotel on Friday evening and woke the next morning to find the Weekend Australian outside our door.
There is really only one word to describe the Weekend Australian and its weekday siblings – quality. We have no quality newspapers in New Zealand. Our metropolitans are broadsheet in format, but tabloid in content. The experience of reading them is rarely enjoyable, often not even informative. Read the rest of this entry »