Tag Archives: Journalists

[FUT] There will be an SAS inquiry

Photo via publishers pottonandburton.co.nz

█ Website: HIT AND RUN – https://www.hitandrunnz.com/

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N U T S H E L L S ● S I N C E ● B O O K ● L A U N C H

At Facebook:

### ODT Online Mon, 3 Apr 2017
No SAS inquiry: PM
There will not be an inquiry into allegations an SAS raid in Afghanistan led to civilian deaths. Prime Minister Bill English revealed that decision at his regular post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, saying there was no basis for an inquiry. It came after formal advice from Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating. “After considering Mr Keating’s briefing…and viewing video footage of the operation I have included there is no basis for an inquiry.” Mr English said if new information changed this it would be reconsidered. He said the allegations had caused distress to NZDF staff and their families. […] Hit & Run by journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager claim six civilians were killed and 15 were injured in the 2010 raids in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, and those facts have been covered up by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).
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### radionz.co.nz 4:17 pm today
From The Panel with Jim Mora
No inquiry into the Afghanistan SAS operation #
Are there gaps in the NZDF account of the SAS operation in the Hit & Run book?
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (6′57″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am today
PM trusting military’s word ‘a joke’ – Hager
By Craig McCulloch, Political Reporter
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager has accused Prime Minister Bill English of joining “a seven-year cover-up” by refusing to hold an inquiry into a 2010 raid in Afghanistan. Mr Hager and Jon Stephenson’s book Hit & Run claims six civilians were killed in a raid on two Afghan villages involving New Zealand’s SAS in 2010. Mr English yesterday ruled out an inquiry after being briefed by the Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, and watching video footage of the operation shot by some of the aircraft involved. But Mr Hager said it was “a joke” for Mr English to trust the military’s word. “These are the people who are in trouble, so of course they don’t want an inquiry … No experienced minister should fall for that.”
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### radionz.co.nz 12:39 pm on 3 April 2017
RNZ News
Soldiers’ honour hinges on inquiry – Transparency International
By Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor
A global anti-corruption group has added its voice to calls for an inquiry into allegations in the book Hit & Run, relating to raids on a Afghan village in 2010. The book alleges several civilians – including a three-year-old – were either killed or injured in the raid, which involved New Zealand special forces. The Defence Force has confirmed Operation Burnham took place on 22 August 2010, that New Zealand had a leading role, and there were fatalities that could have included civilians. However, it said the troops followed rules of engagement and the only people they could definitively say were killed were insurgents. Along with some parties and the book’s authors, Transparency International New Zealand chief executive Janine McGruddy wants an inquiry.
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The New Zealand Special Air Service was formed on 7 July 1955 and is the special forces unit of the New Zealand Army, closely modelled on the British Special Air Service (SAS). It traces its origins to the Second World War and the famous Long Range Desert Group that a number of New Zealanders served with. The New Zealand Government states that NZSAS is the “premier combat unit of the New Zealand Defence Force” and it has been operationally deployed to a variety of locations, including the jungles of South-East Asia, the Pacific region and Afghanistan. The NZSAS was accorded Regimental status in 2013 and presently has the responsibility of conducting domestic Counter-Terrorism operations and international on request, overseas Special Operations missions and performing the disposal of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive hazards for both the military and civilian authorities. #

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At Twitter:

█ Read more at Twitter #HitandRunNZ

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### radionz.co.nz 8:35 am on 26 March 2017
From Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
Jon Stephenson – Hit and Run #
Co-author of the book, Hit and Run, Jon Stephenson, joins Wallace to talk about what he and Nicky Hager uncovered in their book and why there needs to be an official enquiry into what happened in Afghanistan.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (19′36″)

### radionz.co.nz 7:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson and Guy Espiner
New book claims Govt, NZDF covered up civilian casualties #
Journalist Nicky Hager says it is beyond belief government officials deny New Zealand SAS troops were involved in civilian deaths during a botched raid in Afghanistan in 2010.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (12′51″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:11 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Guy Espiner
Blanket denial made about claims SAS soldiers killed civilians #
Journalist Jon Stephenson says SAS soldiers involved in a botched raid in Afghanistan have told him and fellow writer Nicky Hager that lies were told to cover up the fact civilians were killed.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (8′56″)

### radionz.co.nz 8:20 am on Wed 22 Mar 2017
From Morning Report with Susie Ferguson
War crimes specialist says NZ could face problems #
War crimes specialist Alison Cole says Hit and Run contains enough information for International Criminal Court prosecutors to begin an investigation.
Audio | Download: Ogg MP3 (5′40″)

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S A T I R E

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C I R C L I N G ● T H O U G H T

COOL! Published on Mar 25, 2017
Sia – Blank Page ft. Christina Aguilera (Mashup)
“Blank Page” is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera, taken from her seventh studio album, Lotus (2012). It was written by Aguilera, Chris Braide and Sia Furler, with production done by Braide. Aguilera had worked with Furler on her previous two albums Bionic and Burlesque, both released in 2010.

Artist: Francis Perreault
https://www.facebook.com/perreaultcreations

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Democracy, Events, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Public interest, Stadiums, Travesty

RNZ Sunday Morning —The Decline of Reason #mediapoliticsculture

Updated post Sunday, 25 Jan 2015 at 3:16 p.m.

Radio New Zealand National – Sunday Morning with Wallace Chapman
11:40 Helen Razer – The Decline of Reason

Cover, A short history of StupidHelen Razer and Bernard Keane were going mad over the deteriorating quality of public debate and the dwindling of common sense in media, politics and culture.
So they wrote a book about it: A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream.
Helen joins Wallace to talk about why so much has gotten so dumb.

Audio | Download: OggMP3 (13′ 47″) Link

BOOK REVIEWS

A Short History of Stupid – The decline of reason and why public debate makes us want to scream
By Bernard Keane & Helen Razer
Published by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781760110543

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Reviewer: Gordon Findlay
Posted on December 15, 2014

It would be great to make this compulsory reading for every journalist, blogger and aspiring politician, but I can’t imagine them persevering with it. It would ruin their life’s work.

I think that the deterioration of public debate, and the absence of common sense and moderation in both media and politics, are pretty much givens now. But why? And where did this come from? These are the questions that this apparently light-hearted, yet fundamentally serious, book seeks to answer.
For these authors, stupid comes in many forms, and damages us in many ways. And yes, ‘stupid’ is a noun for these 329 pages. Many different types of stupid are identified, and an attempt is made to find their origins. Far too many ‘species’ of stupidly are identified to list them all here. But the rise of individualism over social responsibility, vaccination denialism, excessive partisanship in politics, the conflict between sentimentalism and reason, postmodernism, fallacious opinion polling and reality TV might be a representative sample. For me the most important forms of stupidity identified were three: the inability to understand numbers, the preference for emotion over facts, and the ignorance of historical contexts.
A real attempt is made to pin down the development of stupidity in its many forms. This takes us into an elementary, and often light-hearted, discussion of the development of some core ideas in western thought. The authors also make a determined effort to be seen to be in touch with popular culture, invoking as many memes from popular culture as can be squeezed in, from Dallas to the Bond movies. The authors are Australian commentators, and quite a lot of the stupidity is taken from Australian sources.
[…] A broad-gauge rant, which is based on gently concealed erudition. But a rant nonetheless. And that becomes the book’s weakness. The writing is always turned up to eleven. In places the F-bomb becomes a carpet bomb. This continuous bombast makes reading more than a little tiring. But it’s a great source of one-liners.
Cont./ Booksellers NZ blog

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Reviewer: Frank O’Shea
Posted on December 12, 2014

The problem with a book like this is that it encourages the reader to become more alert to Stupid.

This book sets out to show how much of public discourse is guided, not by reason, but by Stupidity. It is the work of two writers for the online magazine Crikey, and even those not sympathetic towards that journal’s independent take on the news, will find much in the book to stimulate and delight.
[…] There are phrases that pull you up with glee: “… the cheap meth of personal development seminars”, “the Oprahfication of wisdom”, “the well of homeopathic opinion”, “a prostatariat of old white male journalists”, “holistic healing … rip-off bollocks with a whale-call soundtrack”. And you feel like cheering aloud when you read psychiatry described as an “iffy branch of medicine … a pseudo-science … an impotent practice”.
The level of Stupidity in public debate in Australia is probably no higher than in other Western countries. It is unlikely that politicians, for whom the luminous vest photo op is more important than any discussion of complex issues, will be changed by what they read here. But then again, their success is based on the well-founded belief that the rest of us are Stupid.
Cont./ Sydney Morning Herald

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Reviewer: Martin Hirst
Posted [2014], undated

The writers have very different tones and registers in their prose; but the bigger issue is that the book doesn’t seem to really know whom its enemy is.

I am a big fan of both Crikey political editor Bernard Keane and freelance writer Helen Razer. They are intellectually sharp, write with good humour and come across as eminently rational in their thinking. […] Keane and Razer are friends and obviously share a dislike for stupidity in all its forms (and they are many); but they are not cut from the same cloth. Keane comes across as a socially-concerned individualist, verging on the libertarian, while Razer is more than willing to own up to her own proto-Marxist and critical feminist intellectual development. Razer is also a bit of a potty mouth, so if you are offended by the occasional use of c—t, f—k and s—t in your reading material, perhaps you should only read the chapters by the more (ahem) refined Mr Keane.
But I’m not fazed by Ms Razer’s crudities because I love her razor wit and sharp insights. Her chapter on reason and unreason is one of the best in the book and one paragraph in particular sums up her (and my) take on the psychological pressures of modern working life: “When we fail at life as it is so broadly and meticulously prescribed, we call it mental illness. We have failed life. We are not permitted to think it is the conventions of life that have failed us.” (p. 164)
[…] both authors, but particularly Bernard Keane, have a blind spot to the ultimate form of Stupid: the problem of the system itself. Razer calls it “liberal democracy” and Keane calls it “liberal capitalism” and they ultimately concede it is all we’ve got. However, this is an ahistorical approach that denies the evidence of the past that it is the economic system that breeds inequality and that ultimately needs a certain level of ideological Stupid among the general population in order to prevent mass (and organised) public opposition that would be capable of overthrowing it. Previously Stupid systems of political economy such as slavery and feudal aristocracy have been defeated and replaced, so why not stupid Capitalism? If Stupid is in the way, then it is serving some purpose of the ruling class. After all, as Marx once wrote in his critique of Hegel: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Insert “Stupid” into that sentence instead of “Religion” and read it again—it makes perfect sense!
Cont./ Academia.edu

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZ journalism, Ean Higgins got it in one #knowwhatwethinkofGerry

Come back Ean Higgins, too true — ALL IS FORGIVEN !!!!!

Ean Higgins, 29 Miners Still Missing [zimbio.com]Journalist Ean Higgins of The Australian newspaper asks a question during a media briefing [zimbio.com]

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 07:47 27/07/2014
Brownlee lashes ‘tosspot’ journalist
By Steve Kilgallon and Neil Reid
The Australian journalist who fled New Zealand after being labelled a “boorish tosspot” by National minister Gerry Brownlee for his insensitive approach to the Pike River mine disaster has declared it the finest moment of his career. Brownlee, however, has told the Sunday Star-Times that Ean Higgins remained a tosser, but had also proven himself a fantasist and an “obnoxious twerp”.
[…] Higgins’ self-congratulatory essay about his brief Pike River coverage was certainly inflammatory.

He called New Zealand “a small, meek and mild democracy” and said: “The New Zealand journalists didn’t ask any uncomfortable questions, being happy to accept whatever the police, the company and the miners’ rescue people told them . . . the Australian journalists, coming from a more robust tradition . . . did ask the tough questions”.

He describes the two groups of journalists dining separately in “the only good restaurant” in Greymouth and the Aussies deciding “we were really going to get stuck into the company and the authorities and show the Kiwis real journalism and workshopped a few really brutal questions”.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Jim Sullivan on DCC culture

On February 25, 2011, the DCC customer services manager, Grant Strang, purchased for $69.38 two books from Whitcoulls. They were charged to his DCC credit card. Both books are held at the Dunedin Public Library.

### ODT Online Mon, 15 Oct 2012
All will be revealed – it’s on the cards
By Jim Sullivan
OPINION For Dunedin journalists, given that the opportunities for being knocked off by a drug-crazed Afghan tribesman are limited, attempts at fearless investigative journalism usually involve an unflagging pursuit of information about credit card use by Dunedin City Council staff. The result is a shining beacon to those who espouse the cause of freedom of information. Recent revelations tell us much about the DCC culture and, while having the latte put on the DCC credit card is being rigorously stamped out by executive orders (the pun is irresistible), other examples of profligacy remain. The $1202 bill for a meal for delegates here for matters relating to the Chinese Garden certainly helps to explain the deficit facing the garden.
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● Jim Sullivan is a Dunedin writer and broadcaster.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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