Media watch – Monday

10 July 2017

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

53 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 10, 2017

    New York Times may depend on a biased jury to save it from a big defamation award: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/the-new-york-times-is-in-trouble.php

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 10, 2017

    The social sciences spiral into loony Left hands in academia. Is journalism in the same vortex?
    http://quillette.com/2017/07/06/social-sciences-undergoing-purity-spiral/

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  July 10, 2017

      But what’s going on in business and law? The opposite?

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  July 10, 2017

        Business needs economic and social freedom to prosper in general. Crony capitalists like Fletcher make hay in socialist pockets but most entrepreneurs and small businesses want nothing to do with Muldoonism.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  July 10, 2017

          I meant at Universities. (you know, in the context of the article you put up, which is about US Universities, not Fletchers and Muldoon, Nice tangent though.)

          I wouldn’t imagine that the Law or Business schools are hotbeds of lefty liberalism.
          That article does tend to cherry pick one department, and as someone in the comments notes why would the sciences be populated with republicans when the GOP is the home of creationists, climate deniers and monsanto shills?

          • Mefrostate

             /  July 10, 2017

            Speaking from my experience as an economist, there’s considerably more money to be made working in the private sector than in academia. So the libertarians tend to be drawn toward private think-tanks where they can make more money by pushing the business agenda.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 10, 2017

            My guess would be US law schools are well staffed with Lefties, AC. I’ll see if there is any data.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              Well, who would have thought, AC. Law schools staffed 82% Democrats: https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/24015/

              And Mefro implies there won’t be many libertarians in business schools either.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 10, 2017

              Thanks for that link, Alan. Plenty of interesting research and food for thought on political bias in the media & academia, the effects of self-selection bias, the role of financial incentives and relative values, etc.

              Of course, your framing of “social sciences spiral into loony Left hands” is a complete bastardisation of others’ rigorous research and thoughtful commentary. Speaking of bias, you seem to be throwing stones from inside a glass house.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  July 10, 2017

              Is Lefties in the Unis the new Reds under the beds?

              The Republican lawyers are probably all on Wall St making hay, having been ably taught by the Democrats in the Unis.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              @Patzy, you’re probably right. Most of the Democrat students probably became teachers, journalists and politicians not having the brain-power to qualify for Wall St.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  July 10, 2017

              @ AW Maybe the Democrat’s moral compass kept them from Wall Street’s bear pit.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 10, 2017

            It’s not my framing, Mefro. I just accurately headlined the article I linked.

            As for bias, I merely add a corrective lens to the demented Lefty lunacy we are surrounded in.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 10, 2017

              The article does a pretty thorough & balanced exploration of the issue, as do the article it links to.

              You were just happy to confirm your prior beliefs and throw some more slurs towards people who think differently to you. This makes you seem less credible, more hostile, and therefore infinitely less likely to change anyone’s mind (least of all your own). Thus the glass house.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              B.s. Mefro. Here is the quote from the article:

              In other words it appears that social science is undergoing a purity spiral towards an increasingly radical left-wing ideology.

              and

              the pursuit of truth is being hampered in the quest to support the liberal progress narrative, and where there appears to be a disturbing lack of learning from the disasters of communism.

              That is the essence of the loony Left.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              And non-leftists and increasingly also moderate leftists are being excluded from the social sciences

              The usual intolerance of any other views from the loony Left.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 10, 2017

              You’re not hearing me, Alan. I think the article was an interesting perspective, and appreciate that you shared it.

              It’s your additional commentary that was useless and unhelpful.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  July 10, 2017

              So we have the Loony Left, are you saying that the Right have a monopoly on sanity.

        • Gezza

           /  July 10, 2017

          Some intending labour voting hussy told me on Skype last night that National & Fletchers control the building Industry & are stopping builders from importing building materials 15% cheaper from Australia? Is this right – anyone?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 10, 2017

            I’ve heard those allegations, G. Don’t know if it’s true. I do know that twenty years ago it was cheaper to buy NZ timber in a container from Australia than to buy it locally.

          • Gezza

             /  July 10, 2017

            One thing I really can’t get my head around Alan is why building materials & houses is so bloody expensive. I keep thinking surely to God SOMEONE has figured out a system to knock up good, cheap, reliably-constructed, regulation-compliant, modular houses, in quantity, to a variety of select-your-design choices by now, and making a fortune out of it in the process as a reward – but I’m not seeing it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              There are modular houses available, G. I’m looking at a project now. A good kitset for a nice little two bedroom house costs about $120k. But by the time you add foundations, roof, fittings, consent fees and and builder costs it will be more than double that. Or you can get a pre-assembled home for a similar price but it will still need much of the above additional costs. And then the land and consents for that.

            • Gezza

               /  July 10, 2017

              There’s a challenge – design modular roofs.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 10, 2017

              Roofing is not hugely expensive. Long run steel is pretty quick and efficient. Though the H&S lunacy has probably tripled the price now by requiring very many thousands of dollars of scaffolding and road cones.

            • Gezza

               /  July 10, 2017

              1st house was built for us in 1980. $40k. Hill section, great view. 1dbl, 2 single bedrooms, (dbl should’ve been a bit bigger we later realised), lounge dining room kitchen laundy bathroom/shower separate loo – central hall connecting all. Cheap cladding, decramastic tile roof. Built on stilts over double open carport – 3 years later built in when we’d saved the $10k – just a double garage, long music room, shower/loo. Fibreboard sheeting. Everything was solid & looked good, painted & maintained.

              The builders’ scaffolding was four by two’s. Nobody was harmed in the making of this house.

            • Mefrostate

               /  July 10, 2017

              $40k in 1980 is $200k in today’s money, Gezza

            • Gezza

               /  July 10, 2017

              You’re right mefro. The mortgage was $40k. Between us we’d saved i think $10k as deposit. We lived downstairs with the wife’s parents for a year after the landlord put the rent up. The loan was a State Advances one & the interest rate to start was 3%. It was built out of weatherside – a failed product – & had to be reclad with hardiplank about 10 years later.

            • Gezza

               /  July 10, 2017

              It was a cheap house with cheap fittings that lasted for years on a back section with a fantastic view in an expensive area. Sold it for $311k in 2005.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  July 10, 2017

              Al, don’t forget the netting and bean bags, i kid you not

  3. MaureenW

     /  July 10, 2017

    When did the Pope morph from leading the Catholics – to being an expert on all world affairs?
    He’s free to take down the wall around Vatican City and welcome migrants there, but as for other countries I wouldn’t have thought this was his business.
    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59622772e4b02e9bdb0d3ad2

  4. One of the Government’s biggest challenges continues:

    • MaureenW

       /  July 10, 2017

      What an interesting interview for a number of reasons:
      Bill English says nothing about the rort that’s seen affordable housing fail in Auckland. If the problem concerns the government so much, I would have expected more than his wishy-washy waffle.

      Kim Hill is a good interviewer, but she’s difficult to watch.

    • duperez

       /  July 10, 2017

      It’s easy to look past “affordable housing” as a phrase expressing a commonsense societal hope, past a business conundrum, to glib political propaganda.

      In its latter reality it served its purpose as something to pour from Nick Smith’s mouth as some sort of noble aspiration giving hope. It is now being depicted as just words, something to come from his mouth to fill the space not able to be filled with real, practical solutions to achieve the simple description the words seem to imply.

      It must be said the shelf life of “affordable housing” has been longer than the famous “comprehensive housing plan.”

      • Mefrostate

         /  July 10, 2017

        Worth noting here that ‘Affordable Housing’ under the SHA Act 2013 was quite specific. Either:
        A.) 10% of the houses must be sold for less than 75% of the Auckland region median house price. Currently that would mean below $650,000. Or
        B). 5% of houses are sold at a price where the monthly mortgage repayments do not exceed 30% of Auckland median household income.

        • duperez

           /  July 10, 2017

          So that’s the reason the PM is so pleased to trumpet Auckland prices being static? The problem is just going to be bad not get worse?

          • MaureenW

             /  July 10, 2017

            Yes, he did trumpet that didn’t he, as though somehow the matter that prices are static this week, will be the fixer. As I said above, it was a long, wishy-washy interview, where Bill English was unable to impress any encouraging point on what will be one of the primary election issues.

        • MaureenW

           /  July 10, 2017

          From what I’ve read whatever affordable housing stock there is, isn’t being sold because the banks introduced new loan to income ratios which has meant that those who qualify for an affordable house income-wise don’t meet the bank criteria.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 10, 2017

      Government regulations ensure affordable housing cannot be built. There is a dire shortage of rental homes in Russell – precisely none available and a waiting list of renters. This makes it so hard for businesses to get staff that the owners of shops have to work long hours themselves. The hotel has resorted to buying properties themselves to accommodate their staff. Yet to build a simple small house will cost $250K without paying for land. And land is locked up to prevent it. I have 75 hectares ten minutes away on which I am currently allowed to build just three houses under the absurd constraints of the RMA. I am not interested in jumping through their hoops to try to do anything practical and everyone else is the same. If you take all the risks and costs of the RMA processes you are not going to market to the affordable low cost sector.

  5. I see that ALCP ‘has come of age’ ; 21 years as a registered party.. maybe time the Drug laws (cannabis) followed suit & GREW UP too ?! :/

    • Gezza

       /  July 10, 2017

      It might not be happening fast enuff for you but I think it’s going to happen Zedd.

      • @Gz
        one thing is certain; If youz vote Natz.. It will NOT happen anytime soon (even Med-use reform ?)

        What are they NOT telling us ??
        Is it about keeping the ‘Prohibition industry (Cops. customs, judges. lawyers, prisons) in Gainful employment’.. even if they know its a total waste of time/resources, as many other OECD countries now admit !

        • Gezza

           /  July 10, 2017

          @ Zd
          I haven’t decided on my party vote yet. One thing’s for certain. If National’s attitude to cannabis laws was the only issue about governance of this country that I considered important they wouldn’t be getting my vote.

          • @Gz

            you could go further right.. vote ACT, they ARE pro-reform
            Mr Seymour said ‘he would change the law ASAP’ (& commercial it) 🙂

          • Gezza

             /  July 10, 2017

            PS: The cops, customs, judges, crown solicitors, prisons, guards, these things all cost the government money. I’m not sure that keeping their industries going actually produces more income for the government than they end up paying out to keep them going – so an open to the possibility other factors are actually driving their refusal to change their paradigm & liberalise drug laws that I now agree are a failure.

            • Gezza

               /  July 10, 2017

              Oops, sorry – more below Zedd. Posted it in the wrong place.

  6. Gezza

     /  July 10, 2017

    The drug policies, housing situation, social housing situation, lack of skilled labour, cost of education, jobs/employment/low wage situation, infrastructure shortcomings, continued low Maori achievement & high incarceration rate, fatherless kids of welfare mums, cultural & societal changes & impacts of immigration – these are the issues I probably most care about at the moment.

  7. MaureenW

     /  July 10, 2017

    I expect the media would have been pissing down their legs had it been Chelsea Clinton sitting in for Hillary (had things turned out differently).
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/94555641/unelected-unqualified-the-internets-reaction-to-ivanka-trump-taking-her-dads-seat-at-g20

  8. MaureenW

     /  July 10, 2017