Monday, 12 January 2009

What did you say?

In an article on the UK banning energy-hungry plasma TVs, the New Zealand Herald asked the Green Party for an opinion. The result is this paragraph;

"Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said yesterday the National Government's latest stand on televisions would put it at odds with the Conservative government in England, which just over a week ago withdrew 100W incandescent lightbulbs as part of a drive to slow the rapid growth of electricity consumption in homes."

England has a Conservative government? When did this happen? Has anyone told Gordon Brown, leader of the UK Labour Party, who persists in the delusion that he is Prime Minister?

More to the point, did Russel Norman actually talk about a Conservative government, or did some fresh faced young reporter insert this "fact" into the story? And where was the sub-editor, whose job is to check for such factual slip-ups?

As newspapers cut costs to cope with sagging circulation, these gaffes are more and more likely to occur. The management response seems to be to sack experienced journalists and keep cheaper junior staff. Or raise cash from company assets, as the New York Times is doing.

Of course, if Mr Norman actually said this, it proves a different point - that it's hard to find intelligent politicians these days.

Moving on; the prize for the weirdest baby name of the last few months goes to Lisa Bonet (Denise Huxtable from the Cosby Show, for those with long memories). Her third child rejoices in the name Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa. Try fitting that on a school report card!

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