Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Herald on Sunday needs a butt-kicking over Rankin report

post updated this afternoon
I used to be a journalist and I know shoddy journalism when I see it. I saw it today and it was the lead story in the paper that won the newspaper of the year award in the Qantas awards. The story, written by the paper's assistant editor, was all about Christine Rankin's fourth marriage, a quarter of it being editorial comment and quotes from an anonymous close friend - possibly a workmate - of Rankin's husband's former partner who committed suicide.

The Herald states Rankin's "insensitive" marriage is drawing "fury". Rankin married Kim McIntyre less than six months after his wife, successful real estate agent Margo McAuley took her own life. I was aware for some time that McAuley had committed suicide but I think it is the first time I have read it in the MSM - and I really didn't need to read it in the context of Rankin becoming a Families Commissioner - and then have a quote from McAuley's former boss Tommy Heptinstall, only for the HOS to spell his name incorrectly.

People are allowed to marry when they want to, it doesn't mean the media has to tell everyone about it. Where was the media when some of the current and former lefty MPs were cheating on their wives and why was it all of a sudden there when Don Brash was? Where was the media when Steve Maharey allegedly swore at Rankin at meetings - he's now the Massey University chancellor. Why didn't the media question whether State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham was fit to do his job when he offered to visit Rankin in Australia if a job could be organised for her there, but added that any such encounter would be platonic, because he was celibate?

But Wintringham wouldn't say that to Carolyne Meng-Yee, who wrote the story. She's not exactly as slim or as attractive as Rankin, and doesn't wear short skirts - for obvious reasons - but that has nothing to do with anything either. She does, however have a penchant for writing stories about well known people outing problems their family members have, such as Millie Holmes drug offending, Anna Paquin's sister's cancer, and stories surrounding Tony Veitch's partners - as well as the silly Veitch glass of water assault story. Like, that was important! Meng-Yee is an ex TVNZ producer who also asked Peter Davis if he showered with his wife and also asked Davis, "do you like sex"? Her first HOS piece was a page three story which investigated a prominent doctor (who) cat-napped a neighbour's cat (Max) and released it across the harbour bridge. Then there's this, also in today's paper:
By day, advertising executive Reece Shadbolt worked hard to convince New Zealand women that Toffee Pops were all they needed for a satisfied sex life.
But by night, the man behind the Carlos Spencer chocolate biscuit ads demanded far more to satisfy his own sexual appetite.
Oh Puhleeeease! The guy was stabbed to death, and they angle it on his toffee-pop ad!

But thank God New Zealand finally has a Govt that is prepared to appoint individuals who are willing to step outside the PC safe zone and act in accordance with what the majority actually want.

UpdateAnd guess which well known journalist wrote tonight that he likes Christine Rankin. Very much. Also Rankin's statement and TVNZ interview are both online now. Oh, and this, from Ali Ikram is worth reading.

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Blogger Steve Withers said...

The Herald journalist clearly doesn't like Rankin. There seem to be a lot of people who don't like Rankin. Sometimes, that fact alone is the real story that deserves looking into....but rarely is.

Why is it so many have it in for Rankin? There will be reasons. Some are already obvious, but the personal aspect to many of the attacks suggest other reasons aren't as obvious....but do lead one to speculate.

May 17, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger vickytnz said...

Nothing worse than a valid opinion getting ruined by tabloid style reporting. The papers could point out some of the less salacious reasons why Rankin may not be appropriate (e.g. that her high public profile may not be appropriate) ... but no, they take low road and pull out the sleazy tactics.

I believe our papers are becoming much more like those in the UK - the Veich manhunt was disgusting new low in our reporting history. I personally don't agree with Rankin getting the job, but agree even less with a respected paper acting like a gossip mag. Definitely in the gutter.

May 17, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really dislike Christine Rankin, I think she's a horrible woman, but I really dislike this type of crap journalism more. I wouldn't wish today's fry up on anyone.

Thanks for letting me know the journalist's name to avoid!

May 17, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

I wonder if the HOS journalist flogged the picture of Margo McAuley from her online tribute site, set up to pay tributes to her death. It's the same pic.

May 17, 2009 at 10:25 PM  

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