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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

BePop thread at OldFriends

The NZPA has kindly identified the OldFriends thread on BePop. Most of the posters are supportive, but then if I had such allegations to reveal about a Cabinet Minister I wouldn't be posting them on an openly readable bulletin board.

A few of the recent posts mention Russell Brown's column in the Listener - which was on the topic of the OldFriends thread. Apparently the thread was started by a Prime reporter, which Brown gets his panties in a twist about. He could have written an entire column about the allegations and the seriousness of them, but instead he chooses to attack a reporter from a rather insignificant TV broadcaster.

And you'll love this paragraph by Brown:
The Benson-Pope story has also revived an allegation made by John Tamihere: that TV3 reporter Duncan Garner, who covered both the allegations about Tamihere's actions at the Waipareira Trust and then the Benson-Pope story, is in cahoots with Act leader Rodney Hide. The Prime Minister and others have claimed that TV3 and Hide worked a sting on her government.
Brown could have written an entire column about the Prime Minister lying to and misleading a Sunday Star-Times reporter and editor, but instead he attacks a TV3 reporter for possibly receiving a tip-off from Hide. Hmmm.

Is this not a free country where truth is more important than political partisanship? Apparently not if you're Russell Brown and the matter under discussion is the Labour Party. If the allegations were against a National Party MP then I imagine Brown would have already declared the man guilty as charged, and that 'this reveals the true cruel behaviour lurking below the calm surface of conservative men' or some such garbage.

I have a mental picture of Brown sitting at his computer, being controlled by a cackling joystick-holding Helen Clark... 'Thats right Russell... stick it to Hide again... and again... and again! -cackle'.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 5/31/2005 01:19:00 pm


Blogger Kimble said...


5/31/2005 03:29:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

I went and read all the threads.

If they are indicative of B-Ps general performance at school (largely positive), then maybe he was having a bad day?

As I said before, if he had just fronted up and said "I was having a bad day, I regret that action and apologise" I think the issue might have died off. It was the denials that brought out a fresh round of allegations. Of course, if he was telling the absolute truth, the investigation should clear him. Sworn statements from the class members at the time perhaps?

RB pushing the conspiracy theory is very weak. Jornalists are supposed to ferret out stories, respond to rumours and then go print them after researching and backing it up with facts (they seem to get stuck on the last bit).

There is nothing in this story that suggests Rodney or reporters did anything wrong - H1 is far more guilty of that with what she "confirmed" what Doone said to SST (I guess that's what happens when you think the source provides facts).

The emerging issue I see is working out a code of conduct on how scandals get introduced into the public debate, and how far parliamentary privilege can go.

What Winston did by naming a prviate citizen over extremely serious allegations was unforgivable (for example). Individual politicians copping flak would seem to be part of the job, but maybe we can come up with a better process?

The RB opinion piece in the Listener is disappointing in that he focuses on silly conspiracy theories, and there is little in the Listener to balance that story by a discussion of the more serious issues at hand.

5/31/2005 05:56:00 pm  
Blogger Craig Ranapia said...

Yes, I thought it would have been useful to to a compare and contrast on how the MSM have covered allegations of assault against Benson Pope and equally serious 'historical' allegations of rape or child abuse. (i.e. Anyone recall an item where police officers lined up to call Louise Nicholas a liar for example?)

5/31/2005 07:34:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

The Louise Nicholas allegations are far more serious though.

5/31/2005 07:45:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

Louise Nicholas has admitted in court that she made false allegations about being sexually attacked by some Maoris. Which makes the issue of deciding whether her complaints against the police are credible to be a real mess to sort out. What's not in dispute that the officers had sex with her when they shouldn't have -the issue is whether she consented at the time and that hinges on her credibility.

5/31/2005 10:31:00 pm  

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