Friday, 8 February 2019

Does Wendy Petrie ever think about what she reads out on air? (Feb. 11, 2015)

“President Barack Obama says that Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine….”
Does Wendy Petrie ever think about what she reads out on air?

Television One 6 p.m. News, Tuesday 10 February 2015
Wendy Petrie first came to television viewers’ attention for a minor gaffe, caused by nervousness, on the very last evening of 1999. She was the weather presenter for TV3 at the time…
After her stint at TV3, Petrie moved to TVNZ, where some pathetic old git in management obviously noticed that she was a good looking young blonde. She was eventually promoted to the position of main news co-anchor and a huge swathe of taxpayers’ money was soon being spent on a slickly produced campaign to promote her, ridiculously and demeaningly, as a sex object. TVNZ viewers were inflicted for several months with a series of toe-curlingly embarrassing station promos, showing sad middle-aged males taking a break from their work to leeringly yell at the camera: “Wendy, she’s HOT!”
In other words, TVNZ’s disgusting campaign treated her pretty much like the morons promoting the 2001 Heineken Open had treated Anna Kournikova. Eventually, however, someone—probably friends and family of Petrie’s—must have had a concerned word with someone in authority, because after a while the sex kitten thing was quietly retired, and Petrie was no longer the face of the future for the struggling channel.
Petrie escaped the axe at TVNZ, but her star had faded; by 2009 she was reduced to doing live crosses from the street—the television equivalent of being the No. 11 batsman in a very poor cricket team. Even in that humble position, she managed to upset many viewers by crassly signalling her approval of the Bain retrial verdict….
These days, despite being a regular fill-in newsreader, she has pretty much managed to languish in obscurity—deservedly so, for she doesn’t seem to have a single thought in her head. Of course, that makes her not a lot worse than the likes of her colleagues Rawdon ChristiePeter WilliamsSimon Dallow and Greg Boyed.
As any thoughtful and discriminating viewer is all too painfully aware, much of what is presented as “news” on television is nothing more than handouts from corporate PR firms, barely if at all modified, and extremely biased political cant. In spite of many years of watching television news, I’m still astonished when newsreaders manage to keep a straight face and read out some of the outrageous scripts they are given. Hearteningly, though, now and again these people DO register some kind of reaction, contriving to subtly undermine and cast doubt on the nonsense they are forced to mouth. Greg Boyed sometimes flinches and raises an eyebrow at the absurdity of the crap unrolling on his monitor, and Simon Dallow occasionally comes up with a troubled, conflicted look. I even saw Peter Williams frown last July, as he read out brutal and shameless canards, as if straight from the Israeli embassy, about the massacre in Gaza.
But Wendy Petrie? No, I have never detected that there’s a thoughtful or serious person underneath that carefully maintained, pleasant exterior. Tonight she read out, in the most serious tone she could muster, another of those pieces of nasty propaganda masquerading as a news item: “President Barack Obama says that Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine….”
What an honest and impartial news script would have said was: “President Barack Obama says that what he calls Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine….”
Wendy Petrie, however, didn’t register even a flash of discomfort at what she was reading. This is only an instance, of course, but it’s a telling example of the way that newsreaders play a vital part in campaigns of disinformation, whether they’re compliantly using National Government distortions such as “reform”, “changes” and “restructuring” instead of “government cuts”, or reading out equally cynical, but far more ominous and dangerous, statements saying it is Russia rather than the neo-Nazi junta that is the aggressor in the Ukraine.
  • Te Reo Putake5.1
    You missed the obvious pun involving ‘Petrie’ and ‘dish’, in your gender focussed assessment, Moz. And you also missed the bit where newsreaders are paid to read the news not editorialise. Despite your sexist summary of Petrie’s alleged weaknesses, the essence of your complaint is that she is too professional. Weird, huh?
    • Colonial Rawshark5.1.1
      And you also missed the bit where newsreaders are paid to read the news not editorialise.
      Yep, they are repeaters not reporters
    • Morrissey5.1.2
      You missed the obvious pun involving ‘Petrie’ and ‘dish’
      DAMN! I completely missed that slam dunk. That’s why you’re the man, Te Reo—fair play to you.
      in your gender focussed assessment
      In what way was my analysis of Wendy Petrie’s seeming lack of consciousness a “gender focussed assessment”? I mentioned that four of her male colleagues were more or less just as bad as she was. You need to read what I wrote once again, my friend, and I’m sure you’ll realize that what I was attacking was her almost preternatural lack of awareness, not her gender.
      newsreaders are paid to read the news not editorialise
      They editorialise all the time—like Petrie did after the Bain verdict—about things that don’t matter at all. So most of them manage to say something censorious about the silly antics of Kim Kardashian or Kanye West or some petty criminal, but they are too frightened to comment on the crimes and seriously outrageous words of Barack Obama, David Cameron and, of course, John Key.
      Despite your sexist summary of Petrie’s alleged weaknesses, the essence of your complaint is that she is too professional. Weird, huh?
      Could you point out how what I wrote was “sexist”? I pointed out that some old fool at TVNZ obviously salivated over Petrie and set in train that risible–and mercifully short-lived—advertising campaign. Obviously TVNZ was—maybe still is—an organization riddled with sexism as well as racism: does pointing that out make me somehow, magically, become the same as them?
      • Te Reo Putake5.1.2.1
        Petrie didn’t celebrate the Bain verdict, she was celebrating a successful live cross. And importantly, she turned from the viewers and celebrated with a single other person to her right, maybe her producer, having thought the camera was off. So clearly not editorialising as you claim.
        Your review emphasised gender in a way you do not do when you critique males of the media. You suggest her entire early career at TVNZ was based on her looks not her ability. Without any evidence other than a single 30 spot among many supposed vox pops from the ad campaign for her and Dallow. You twice suggest she is empty headed and in one of those references you define her as being more empty headed than four male colleagues. You use phrases like “good looking young blonde” and “underneath that carefully maintained, pleasant exterior”.
        I reckon you should have a good think about your own rhetoric and see if you aren’t the real salivating old fool.
        • Morrissey5.
          Petrie didn’t celebrate the Bain verdict, she was celebrating a successful live cross.
          Sure. By the way, Te Reo, I have a bridge in Whanganui you might be interested in buying.
          You suggest her entire early career at TVNZ was based on her looks not her ability.
          It was, just like the entire career of the great gorgeous emptiness that is Simon Dallow. Can you perhaps point the rest of us to an example of this “ability” you suggest she possesses?
          I reckon you should have a good think about your own rhetoric
          I explicated her failure to register any human emotion as she read out a frightful, preposterous piece of political propaganda. I did not use rhetoric, except to describe the old goats at TVNZ who treated her as little better than a porn star.
          and see if you aren’t the real salivating old fool.
          I assure you that I have never salivated over Wendy Petrie. I did nearly choke last night, however, during her dreadful performance.
          • te reo putake5.
            Again with the sexism. It’s not “old goats” at TVNZ who see her as a porn star, it’s you. Why don’t you give up while you’re behind?
            ps glad you’ve accepted that she wasn’t editorialising. That was only central to your argument, after all.
            • Morrissey
              Some people would be upset, but I know you well enough now to simply be amused by how quickly you turn to personal abuse after failing to convince others that black is white and up is down.
              I don’t know what’s funnier—your insisting that it’s me, instead of the people that marketed her with the “Wendy, she’s HOT” slogan that treated her like a porn star, or your bizarre interpretation of her triumphal fist-pumping after the Bain verdict.
              • It’s not personal abuse, it’s pointing out an aspect of your behaviour in print. Remember, it’s you who claims that there was a ‘Wendy, she’s HOT’ campaign, you who claim that TVNZ exec’s hired her for her looks and you who wrote the sexist descriptions of her. Own it mate, it’s entirely your invention.
                and re: the fist pump, all I can suggest is that you actually watch the video. My explanation fits the evidence, yours is complete and utter bollocks.
                • Morrissey
                  It’s not personal abuse
                  You called my analysis of Petrie’s robotic news-reading “sexist” and “gender focussed”. If Petrie were Māori rather than Pākehā, I have no doubt you would have called me a racist.
                  Your behaviour on this occasion was abusive. Sadly for you, I do not get intimidated by that kind of nonsense, any more than I did by the desperate tactics of Messrs McFlock and Populuxe when they bayed that my criticism of a couple of incendiary hate comedians was anti-Semitic….
                  You’ll no doubt be encouraged to see that dear old McFlock has waddled up to support you. He’s a bit slow to the party, as always, but you need all the help you can get—even if it’s about as useful as mighty Tonga’s contribution to that surreally comical “Coalition of the Willing” in 2003.
                  • I would only have called your analysis racist if you’d focussed on race. In this case your analysis (and fantasies about Petrie’s career) were sexist, so I called you on that.
                    Still, no matter, I’m sure no one thinks any less of you because of one thoughtless piece. And I’ve no doubt you’ll be even more skillful in your future skewerings of other talking heads as a result of this discussion 😉
                  • Morrissey
                    And cheers to you too, Te Reo.
        • McFlock5.
          don’t let facts get involved.
          Moz’s little line about Petrie “signalling her approval of the Bain retrial verdict” links to the “fist pump” clip that took place before she even knew what the verdict was. They just knew that the jury were coming in, as is evident from the clip.
  • vto5.2
    Couldn’t agree more morrissey about the crap that newsreaders have to read out.
    Of course it was the USA which overthrow the democratically elected government in the Ukraine.
    Yes that’s right – the USA effectively invaded Ukraine and threw out a government put in place by elections and voting of the people, by the people and for the people.
    The USA is the biggest rogue state in the world.
    The USA is a liar and a traitor to the people.
    The USA is out of control – of that there is no doubt. We must all be very very wary of such a state, particularly as our own leader is so in love with it.
    • thatguynz5.2.1
      +1. There is an interesting youtube video of a Ukrainian politician addressing the Rada prior to the Maidan protests about a coming civil war within Ukraine fomented by the US Embassy. What happened subsequently? You be the judge.
  • So it wasn’t Russia who took over Crimea then? Damn Martians…
    Don’t trust the Russkies any more than the Yanks mate.
    • vto5.3.1
      Of course not, but so many New Zealanders, who have been swamped by massive anti-ruskie propaganda since WWI and before, seem to think the yanks are different and can be trusted more.
      History and facts indicate bullshite
    • Draco T Bastard5.3.2
      So it wasn’t Russia who took over Crimea then?
      No it wasn’t. What happened there is that the Crimeans voted, under the UN guarantee of self-determination, to move back to being Russian. The US didn’t like this after they’d gone to a lot of effort to overthrow Ukraine’s elected government and thus bring the Ukraine into their sphere of influence.
      Now it appears that East Ukraine doesn’t want to be a part of the Ukraine either and the US is even more upset that people just won’t do what they’re told.
    • Colonial Rawshark5.3.3
      Don’t trust the Russkies any more than the Yanks mate.
      Indeed. But Ukraine is not the US security neighbourhood. The Ruskies are naturally concerned about the USA wanting to put NATO missile bases in the Ukraine, just a few hundred kms from Moscow.
      The US wouldn’t look kindly on Russia trying to put missiles back on Cuba now, would they.
      • Ovid5.3.3.1
        The US does not have any intermediate range nuclear missiles in its operational arsenal. Neither does Russia, for that matter. Under the New START treaty, they are both limited to 1550 active warheads on ICBMs, SLBMs and heavy bombers. There is an in-depth verification process that both parties follow to ensure transparency.
        Ukraine in 2015 is not Turkey in 1962.
        • Colonial Rawshark5.
          Tactical nuclear warheads with yields of less than 10kt delivered by drones or nuclear tipped cruise missiles or various other delivery systems can take the place of intermediate range cruise missiles.
          Ukraine in 2015 is not Turkey in 1962.
          It’s not but the point remains – Moscow is not going to allow adversary nuclear forces to be stationed just hundreds of kilometres from it.
          • Colonial Rawshark5.
            Sorry I meant Intermediate Range Nuclear Missiles.
            I understand your point that the two situations are not analogous. Still you can guess what the US reaction to a new Russian airbase in Cuba would be.
  • DoublePlusGood5.4
    That’s strange, saying the junta is the aggressor. I mean, Ukraine didn’t invade Crimea. Ukraine didn’t invade Donbass. I mean, yes, their government is unsavoury and the US is playing Xanatos Speed Chess manipulating in Ukraine, but Ukraine hasn’t invaded anywhere.
    • vto5.4.1
      No, the EU and the US have. In the exact same way the EU and the US claim the Russians have
    • Draco T Bastard5.4.2
      I mean, Ukraine didn’t invade Crimea.
      Russia gave Crimea to the Ukraine back in the 1950s when both were part of the USSR. The Crimeans didn’t like it then and have now decided to go back to being Russian.
      Russia didn’t invade the Ukraine, Crimea, of their own free will, left the Ukraine.
      • DoublePlusGood5.4.2.1
        I’m aware of the history. There’s no ‘free will’ when there’s Russian troops and tanks everywhere. Chechnya, Ossetia, Ingushetia and Dagestan show that. And Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars didn’t get much of a say in things did they?
        And if Russia didn’t invade, did they give back to Ukraine the military equipment they stole in Sevastopol? Thought not.
        • Draco T Bastard5.
          There’s no ‘free will’ when there’s Russian troops and tanks everywhere.
          The reports were that neither Russian nor her troops pressured the civilians.
          Of course, the real question is: Did you say that when Iraq first went to the polls after the US invasion in 2003?
        • Colonial Rawshark5.
          Most of that “Ukranian military equipment” was Soviet era Russian military equipment.
          And who are you to deny a population the right to self determination? A vote was held and 96% of Crimeans under massive turn out voted to join the Russian Federation.
          Are you trying to suggest that another Crimean election held now under independent UN supervision would show us that the populace would majority vote to go with the morally, politically and financially unstable Kiev government?
          • DoublePlusGood5.
            You simply cannot fairly hold a referendum in such a short interval after troops have piled into an area. The actually responsible, mature country thing to do for Russia and Crimea would be to pressure Ukraine to give Crimea a referendum on independence, rejoining Russia or autonomy.
            The same could be worked towards in Donbass, Luhansk (both ~40% Russian, and ~70% native Russian speaking, though historically much less than this) and other eastern provinces of Ukraine.
            But no, tanks and guns. Mess everything up so Putin can claim the wreckage. And the coal.
            Regarding Iraq, I was thoroughly opposed to the US invasion. I was not following political affairs as closely in 2003, so I do not know the particulars of the vote you refer to.
            • McFlock
              But the troops “on leave” in the crimea were/are just sharing their goodwill. Rapidly. At 700m/s.
              Couldn’t affect a referendum at all 🙂
              • Colonial Rawshark
                Well it was Russian regular military who invaded Crimea.
                It’s Russian troopers who are “on extended leave” who are hanging around in the Donbass…
                • McFlock
                  Indeed. With so many rounds of goodwill.
                  If soldiers “on leave” but wearing “army surplus” uniforms and National party rosettes were hanging around election booths in otago, how free would you feel to vote left?
                  • Colonial Rawshark
                    You’re right, they should hold the elections again, run and monitored by neutral international observers.
                    Given what a shite job Kiev has done of ruling Ukraine (and bringing it to the edge of financial and energy bankruptcy) in the last 12 months, I think the pro-Moscow vote will go up on last time.
                  • McFlock
                    You’re as bad as fisi.
                    edit: I note you didn’t say that the first thing “they” should do is get their troops back to their side of the border
                  • Colonial Rawshark
                    Well, Russia is never going to let Sevastapol become a NATO base, so at least I am being realistic.
                    By the way are you against re-running the referendum? Like I said, the pro-Moscow vote is likely to increase. No one is Crimea is going to want to subject themselves to Kiev’s suicide draft.
                  • McFlock
                    Actually, I am against rerunning the referendum. The Russians screwed the pooch. They should pull out and let things stabilize, refugees return, that sort of thing.
                    But as you say, not realistic. So I think that if Russia is prepared to escalate, Europe should as well. They’ve seen how appeasement just results in more territorial demands. Maybe the next one will be further down the caucuses. At least Chechnya gave them a bloody nose for a while.
                    The nato base line was funny. Russia losing Sevastopol was as much an issue as the US losing guantanamo.
                    But at least you’ve stopped hiding behind the sham legitimacy of a so-called referendum, pleading realpolitik instead. “Pro-moscow vote is likely to increase” – lol. I’m sure RT reckons so. /sarc
          • Te Reo Putake5.
            The “massive turnout” was 30-40% apparently. And that was in a referendum held at gunpoint in which the retaining the status quo was not even an option on the ballot paper. It was a crock.
            • Colonial Rawshark
              “It was a crock”?
              You mean in your opinion if a referendum was held under fairer conditions, the people of Crimea would choose to return to Kiev control?
              “At gun point”
              There were barely two or three casualties in the Russian takeover of Crimea. Totally minimal resistance at “gun point.” Shows you the pro-Russian mood of the people there.
              • Te Reo Putake
                No, I meant it was a crock. The option of staying in the Ukraine was not on the ballot, so it’s a completely moot point what might have happened in a fair referendum.
                However you quibble, the vote was taken under the rule of the gun. It doesn’t matter if it was 3 deaths or 300, it was not democratic or legitimate.
                • Colonial Rawshark
                  As I said to McFlock above, maybe you are right and they should re-run the referendum. Given what a political and financial shit fight Ukraine has descended into over the last 12 months, I think the pro-Moscow vote will increase.
            • Draco T Bastard
              The “massive turnout” was 30-40% apparently.
              I see you’ve been drinking the Kool-aid again. Wikipedia:
              The official result from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 96.77 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout.
              With that sort of turnout and that result I’m pretty sure that the people of Crimea, if they held the referendum under the ideal conditions that you demand, would still vote to join Russia. As the saying goes: Quantity has a quality that’s hard to argue with.
              • Te Reo Putake
                Keep reading the wikipedia page, Draco. There’s more info there than just the Russian state sponsored Koolaid you’ve been swallowing. For a start, you need to factor in the thousands who fled the Russian advance who couldn’t vote, then the thousands still there who just denied the opportunity to vote, then those that were too scared to either register or vote.
                Funny old world when someone like you goes into defence mode for an oppressive state invading its neighbors. I was pretty sure you stood against that sort of thing.

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