Media watch – Sunday

30 December 2018


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.

Previous Post


  1. Gezza

     /  December 30, 2018

    A perspective from one of Aljazeera tv’s regular commentators on Middle Eastern politics

    What would the US withdrawal from Syria mean for the region?
    Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria could mark the start of a new ‘all-against-all’ war in the Middle East.

    Mainly as a result of the Obama administration’s reluctance to act as a hegemon, Syria’s conflict rapidly transformed into a full-blown proxy war. The unwillingness of the US to play a more active role in the conflict enabled regional powers – such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia – to step in and try to influence the course of events in Syria and the Levant at large. Russia also joined the fray in September 2015, when it became absolutely clear that the US had become utterly uninterested in the outcome of the Syrian conflict.

    When Trump moved into the White House in early 2017, despite his known disapproval of most of his predecessor’s policies, and the well-known reluctance of some members of his administration to end the US military presence in the Middle East, he chose to continue with Obama’s hands-off approach in the region.

    And only a year later, he expressed his intention to go even further than Obama and order a full withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

    Trump first announced that the US will be “coming out of Syria, like very soon” in March 2018. Regional allies and advisers convinced the US president that ISIL was not completely defeated, so he agreed to give the Pentagon and State Department another six months to finish the job, still refusing to commit to an open-ended military presence in Syria.

    Implications for Syria and the region
    Now that the Trump administration officially announced its intention to leave Syria for good, regional powers who have been active participants in Syria’s war will likely increase their efforts to gain control of the areas that are currently under US control.

    • Gezza

       /  December 30, 2018

      I reposted this into comments on PG’s post on Trump changes Syria’s war.

  2. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 30, 2018

    Patricia Arquette in the Herald is holding forth about how women over 50 are ‘not allowed to be sexy.’ ??? Is there a law that on one’s 50th birthday one is forbidden to be sexy ? Who enforces this and makes sure that women obey the edict that after 50 they are not allowed to be sexy ? Horrors. I know women who are innocently disobeying.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 30, 2018

      Just another silly season silly story, Kitty. Any age can be sexy and someone is certain to disapprove whatever it is. Be yourself and enjoy it.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 30, 2018

        It is just someone trying to get herself some free publicity.

        The idea of not being allowed to be it is insane; I didn’t read the whole article as I didn’t want to annoy myself.I imagine that it was the same old chestnut about men being considered desirable at all ages whereas women become invisible blah blah blah.

        • Gezza

           /  December 30, 2018

          I thought it was quite a good, thoughtful article. I liked the end too.

          “Arquette has been married twice to actor Nicolas Cage, had a child with musician Paul Rossi at 19 and was married to actor Thomas Jane (with whom she has a daughter, Harlow) for five years. She is now happily unmarried to the artist Eric White. At home, however, she admits, her activism is tempered by “a lot of old-fashioned gender dynamics that I’m okay with. I like to make my boyfriend dinner. I like that he takes out the trash,” she shrugs.

          “I think that people think I sit around throwing darts at men’s heads.””

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 30, 2018

          It’s personality that matters for either sex, not age. And there is a big difference between being looked at and being loved.