‘God deeply frustrated with Auckland’s gay people’

This is the best response I’ve seen.

God is reportedly feeling “extraordinarily” frustrated that the gay people of Auckland – estimated to be the large bulk of New Zealand’s gays – are located nowhere near a fault line that could cause them sufficient devastation.

God, who punished Christchurch’s gays in 2010 and 2011, Seddon’s gays in 2013, and Kaikoura and Wellington’s gays earlier this week…

Go read it all: God deeply frustrated Auckland’s gay people live nowhere near a fault line

And here a couple of people explain how Tamaki doesn’t understand Leviticus: Porkies, Brian, Porkies!


Current affairs going online

Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand on Sunday looked at Current affairs drifts online – will funding follow? (includes audio link of the programme)

Current affairs programmes that once aired on national networks are now reappearing online. Is this a trend that could loosen the broadcasters’ hold on the bulk of public funding?

Two weeks ago, broadcaster Willie Jackson and left-leaning blogger Martyn Bradbury launched a daily discussion show called Waatea 5th Estate. It screens on on Auckland’s local channel Face TV, which is available nationally on Sky TV. The show is streamed live on YouTube, and on the websites of Willie Jackson’s Waatea News and Martyn Bradbury’s The Daily Blog.

It’s a multimedia counterpoint to, in Bradbury’s words, “dumbed down tabloid trash served up as current affairs on other channels at 7pm”. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does show what can be done on TV and online these days with a small budget.

On an episode last Monday about broadcasting, AUT media lecturer Dr Wayne Hope said government broadcasting funding agency New Zealand on Air “should broaden its remit to fund more programmes like this one”.

It’s not clear how Fifth Estate is funded.

NZ on Air already fund some online content:

Last year NZME – owner of the New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB – launched an online video channel called Watch Me.

Two video series on it were funded by NZOA to the tune of $100,000 each. One is a video version of satirical political website The Civilian, and a recent online episode tore into contemporary television news.

If public money is available to satirise TV journalism online, there seems no reason not to use it to put journalism which TV broadcasters have abandoned – such as 3D – online as well.

It will be interesting to see whether public funding of current affairs moves online.


NZ’s Trump, Bob Jones?

Does Bob Jones deserve the title of New Zealand’s Donald Trump?

Or is Donald Trump the United States’ Bob Jones.

But Jones says that Trump is spectacularly ignorant.

I haven’t seen Ben Uffindel or The Civilian for quite a while. He has NZ on Air funding and a website called Watch Me.

He compares Trump and Jones, and asks Jones about it.

Season 1: Episode 7 NZ’s Donald Trump? PG

The Civilian tracks down Sir Bob Jones and accuses him of being New Zealand’s Donald Trump. Bob responds with a critique of our reporter’s questions, intelligence and fashion sense. It would be safe to say Sir Bob Jones does not see himself as New Zealand’s Donald Trump. He does however see Gareth Morgan as a ‘goose’.

“You should get Gareth on, he’d talk about himself for ever”.

Oddly satirical

I just had a weird satirical experience.

I read this at The Civilian: Labour proposes repeal of National Government

And straight afterwards read this: What Rough Beast? The Political Meaning of Aaron Gilmore’s Fall

Colin Craig – binding referendum on satire

Colin Craig has had his feelings hurt by satirical website The Civilian and has responded with legal action for defamation – see Colin Craig versus The Civilian.

I am a politician on the rise, Maurice Williamson is a fading old fogey. The Civilian should have headlined me and Williamson should have been the one who had a small mention at the bottom of the article.

As a strong advocate of democracy and binding referenda Craig may make the redefinition of satire the next public issue.

“The day of reckoning on the redefinition of satire is still to come.”

“Last night was not a vote of the people of New Zealand. If it had been, the answer would have been no to making fun of me.”

“It is a failure of democracy when those purporting to entertain the people end up making jokes the public oppose,” he says.

“We have seen the public vote disregarded on law and order, on the number of MP’s and on the Anti-Smacking Bill.

“The blogosphere’s willingness to put satire to the people while disregarding my feelings sadly comes as no surprise.”

“The Conservative Party began on the foundation of binding referenda, and last night’s lampooning only reinforces the need for us to enter Parliament.”

“Next year’s election will be the opportunity for New Zealanders to finally have their say.”

“The economy is kind of important, but smacking, gay marriage and satire need to be decided by the people and if I get enough attention without being ridiculed they will decide the election.

“As the only party with Binding Referenda as a bottom line, we expect our support to continue to increase.”

A binding referendum on the redefinition of satire may be the next Conservative bottom line. Talking of bottoms, the Conservative Party seems to be bottoming out:

  • Smacking bottoms
  • Bottom love and marriage
  • Scraping the bottom of the humour barrel

NOTE: Real quotes from Colin Craig were used in the making up of this post.


Reaction to Colin Craig versus The Civilian

Colin Craig’s legal action against a small satirical website – see Colin Craig versus The Civilian – has predictably been well publicised and discussed in social media, but it has blown up into mainstream media attention.

3 News – Colin Craig threatens satirical website

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has threatened a satirical news website with defamation after claiming it published a story designed “to make him look ridiculous”.

MSN News – Website skewers Colin Craig’s legal threat

Mr Craig demanded a retraction and apology on the website and also $500 in legal costs.

He could not be reached for comment, but a spokeswoman told NZ Newswire he was aware the website was satirical.

Mr Craig, a millionaire, has previously complained about being defamed in satire pieces by Steve Braunias and Josh Drummond, published by Fairfax.

Radio New Zealand – Legal action threatened over satirical item

It’s also gone international, in Pink News in the UK: New Zealand: Conservative Party leader threatens to sue satirical website for ‘big gay rainbow’ article

And Craig responds via NZ Herald – Craig warns on satire quote

Conservatives leader Colin Craig says his threat of legal action against a satirical website for a post on the gay marriage bill does not mean he lacks a sense of humour – but warned any attempts to attribute false quotes to him would get similar treatment.

Mr Craig said he knew the post was satire, but others had not recognised it as such.

“I’ve had people say ‘gee, I’m surprised you said that Colin’. Not everybody is able to tell the difference

“I take these things pretty seriously. We are a serious political party and want to go a long way, so making sure that what is reported on what I have said, is accurate is important.”

When the Civilian’s response was read out, he laughed and said he would consult his lawyers about whether it was enough to halt further proceedings.

“It does clarify the point and that was what was important for me.”

Mr Craig said he did have a “well developed sense of humour”.

“But when it comes to statements being reported in the public sphere … there is no room for humour.”

Craig was interviewed on Firstline this morning: ‘No room for humour’ in politics – Craig (video)

and Story:

Speaking on Firstline this morning, Mr Craig said he enjoys “a good laugh”, but draws the line at false quotations.

“The problem is not everyone will understand what satire is,” says Mr Craig.

“It looks like it’s a quote from me and it’s clearly not. I take that pretty seriously.

“We’re a party doing very well, we intend to be in Parliament after the next election – and should be, all things being equal – so we’re serious about this, and if people want to quote me, fine, but they do have to actually make sure it’s correct.”

The Civilian has “quoted” a number of politicians in previous satires, and the main focus of the post getting all the attention was Maurice Williamson:

In contrast Mr Williamson, whose “big gay rainbow” speech became a worldwide internet hit, told 3 News the article is “a very funny piece of satire and I had no problems with it”.

Colin Craig versus The Civilian

The Civilian is a recent addition to the New Zealand political commentariat, providing a usually very good satirical look at politics and politicians.

But Colin Craig has taken exception to a recent post on the marriage bill – Maurice Williamson looking pretty stupid after floods. – where he gets a mention:

But now that the rain has caused widespread flooding in and around Hamilton and Nelson – while more bad weather looks set to make it worse – Williamson has been forced to concede that he was wrong.

“It was a bit of a silly thing to say, in retrospect,” said Williamson before getting into a car. “Of course rain is a bad thing.”

Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig was among the first to point out the National MP’s mistake.

“Williamson likes to talk about big gay rainbows,” said Craig, “but it would help if he understood what the rainbow actually means. After Noah’s flood, God painted a giant rainbow across the sky, which was a message that he would never again flood the world, unless we made him very angry. And we have.”

The Civilian has now posted Chapman Tripp legal notice – 23 April 2013

The following is a legal notice issued to The Civilian by Chapman Tripp on behalf of Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig.

A displayed letter from Craig’s lawyer is headed:


And it says:

3. We are instructed that Colin Craig never made the Statement. It is a fiction created
by you to make him look ridiculous and the use of quotation marks is designed to
give it the appearance of fact. The Statement cannot be dismissed as sati re in the
circumstances, particularly when it is published alongside quotes from Maurice
Williamson which we understand may largely be accurate.

4. If you wish to avoid being served with defamation proceedings, you should remove
this Statement immediately and permanently from your webpage, but in any event
by no later than 4pm today, 23 April 2013.

And it demands a retraction and an apology, even providing a pre-written apology sheet with provision for a signature.

There has been a large reaction to this on Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere. Not surprisingly most of it is critical of Craig. And of course it has increased exposure of the post on The Civilian hugely, multiplying the ridicule of Craig substantially.

It does seem to be a remarkable heavy handed reaction by Craig.

6 Mr Craig also seeks a contribution of $500 towards his legal costs and reserves all of  his rights in respect of this matter.

If I received a contribution of $500 every time I have been ridiculed in social media I would be as rich as Craig, and would be able to afford to launch spurious legal attacks.

Anyone getting involved in politics in New Zealand must know that it invites political attack and ridicule. A bit of satire should be well down the scale of worries for Craig – as he might now be discovering.

The Civilian is free to take whatever risks it likes lampooning politicians, and Craig is free to attempt any legal action he likes. Both have to deal with any consequences.

The popularity of The Civilian is likely to soar.

The popularity of Colin Craig probably won’t plummet, he has a loyal base of support, but this action is hardly likely to improve it either. For someone needing to increase his party’s support substantially to succeed in politics he has something to learn about dealing with criticism, and especially satire.

I hope he has learned from his over-reaction.

And the latest post at The Civilian is well worth a read: Opinion: I am the man who decided to insert a hot dog into the crust of a pizza. I must be stopped