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Edwards and Latta

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, July 19th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: blogs, Media - Tags: , ,

Edwards and LattaThere’s an interesting discussion that’s broken out on brianedwardsmedia between Brian Edwards, who writes a fairly excoriating piece on Nigel Latta’s Politically Incorrect Parenting Show), and Latta who responds at length in the comments.

The show’s title, which frames a recurrent theme, always did strike me as shameless populist exploitation that’s more about vacuous, dog-whistle marketing than informing, and it’s reassuring to see Edwards and some of his commenters pick this apart. Latta also does a brave job of defending himself against some razor sharp ripostes.

Very cat and mouse.


12 comments on “Edwards and Latta”

  1. Ianmac 1

    Yes. Have been following that discussion. It seems to be largely about whether the life experiences esp. awful childhood ones, should be taken into consideration when later crimes are committed. Reasons V Excuses. I can’t see how you can avoid taking note of your childhood conditioning, yet in law it probably isn’t an excuse. Nigel does seem to be working hard in self-justification, but why not?

    • Ag 1.1

      It seems to me that Latta, like many people, has a strange reluctance to give up the idea of free will.

      People say they believe in it, but they really don’t, since virtually everything that human beings do is entirely predictable (imagine society if you couldn’t predict the actions of others with reasonable accuracy).

      My guess is that a lot of people want to hang on to free will for religious reasons, since most religion doesn’t make any sense without it (and therefore most religion doesn’t make any sense period).

  2. RedLogix 2

    Reasons V Excuses. I can’t see how you can avoid taking note of your childhood conditioning, yet in law it probably isn’t an excuse.

    Why does it have to be one or the other? I totally agree with Nigel’s position that violence is never excusable, that the individual who commits it should always held personally accountable. That is what we have Police, Courts and prisons for.

    But at the same time, there is always a reason why violence has occured, and society has an equal duty to determine, and if possible, take measures to mitigate the underlying causes. That is what we are supposed to have a Political system for, but in recent decades it has been captured by an dysfunctional, populist auction on who can be toughest on law’norder.

    It’s not a case of Reasons versus Excuses…. it’s both.

    • Bill 2.1

      “But at the same time, there is always a reason why violence has occured, and society has an equal duty to determine, and if possible, take measures to mitigate the underlying causes.”

      But that might involve a revolution of our political and economic spheres. Might. And liberals don’t want to go there.

      On the other hand it’s far easier for liberals to support and encourage those in power to regulate the behaviours of individuals (legislation, punishment for transgressing ever more narrowly defined norms…in short, unwittingly(?) pushing a bandwagon of fear in the name of caring and safety) while leaving all the political and economic shite untouched.

      BTW Linked off the thread to the paranormal stuff. Latta merely said that he believed the medium was genuine in her belief….not that he believed in the paranormal.

      Similarly I remember comments he made around S59 which I thought were fair enough…that the message would not get to the people society was concerned about. (Makes some middle class liberals feel better about themselves though ’cause ‘something is being done’) The bracketed bit is mine, not Latta’s.

      Back to the point. I have to say that some of Edwards’ underlying assumptions..or what I assume to be his underlying assumptions…start the bile rising. It appears he wants parents directed on risk aversions and all types of shite…he wants cotton candy wool.

      Thankfully, cotton candy wool burns nicely.

      • Ianmac 2.1.1

        I think that you must be thinking of a different Edwards! I am sure Brian is anything but the cotton wool (candy?) sort. Taking risks is the learning ground and the mistakes therefore are the great producers of later judgement and self-confidence. I bet Brian thinks this way.

        • Bill

          This Brian Edwards, Ianmac….”The trouble is that when you tell people it’s OK to feel angry with their kids, but don’t say how angry or what they should do with that anger; or when you say it’s OK to tell your children to go out and play, but don’t say for how long or how often; or when you say kids should be allowed to engage in risky activities, but don’t define an acceptable level of risk; or when you categorise aggression as a desirable quality in young people, but without giving any clear definition of what you mean – when you do any of that, you are effectively giving carte blanche to a range of attitudes and behaviours far wider and potentially far more destructive than you may have intended.

          The ‘ear flick’ man was angry and punched his kid in the face. OK? ‘Why don’t you go out and play?’ is a common parental mantra disguising lack of interest in the kids, their interests and ideas. OK? High-risk activities among young New Zealand men are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal accidents in that demographic. OK? And aggression – is aggression ever really OK?”

          quick edit. Note Edwards confounds aggression and violence? Two completely different things, but hey.

  3. BLiP 3

    I – sort of – know Nigel and, yes, he’s a helluva nice chap. When he’s “on” he is one of those lively people who thrive with banter, agrument, pushing buttons, and the enlivening of animated conversation. I’ve watched as he takes views opposed to his own fundamental beliefs just for the devil of it.

    His persona has become a little puffed up since his emergence as a bit of a tv star. I imagine it must be incredible flattering being on the telly – what, with all that recognition and having an input into the national discourse and so on, not to mention hours in makeup and being with the “creatives”. Perhaps, for Nigel, having the his real message skewed downwards so as to appeal to the very bottom of the lowest common denominator, the advertisers, is a price he is prepared to pay. Long gone are the days when television feel obliged to inform and educate and cemented into place is the profit motive. It seems to me that

    Edwards’ criticism seems to me disingenuous and exploitative. Disingenuous because he is attacking the person and not the fact, which he knows full well himself, that the message has been filtered through the sewer of corporate greed. And, exploitative because in attacking the latest darling of the white-trash twittering middle class he is bound himself to receive considerable attention.

    Its also another example of the media feeding off the media – see further Naom Chomsky – which we see every night when one journalist on the news turns to another journalist (“live”, even) for comment as if the answering journalist is some sort of oracle worthy of attention when really the media corporation just wont fund the resources to contact and interview the real players in the drama. I’d rather The Standard just highlighted it with considered criticism rather than also fed at the trough,

  4. Ianmac 4

    In society at large we have to grapple with the myriad forms of abuse, especially in the formative years, as preventions of later violence. True. But how do you address the particular event which comes before the court? Should the Court be blind to causitives when suppose the lad was repeatedly sexual abused as a kid who then goes on to carry out the same acts himself? If he does so to someone in my family, I would want revenge no doubt, but …..

  5. Bill 5

    “Should the Court be blind to causitives when suppose the lad was repeatedly sexual abused as a kid who then goes on to carry out the same acts himself?”


    But in considering the sentence, no.

  6. Really shows who the audience of that show is when they have to have a lightbulb appear on the top left-hand corner of the screen indicating sarcasm.

    • Bill 6.1

      Gee, I thought that was subliminal advertising to do with global warming and my duty as a consumer to turn off some lights when watching TV!

      Worked too, so it did.

  7. Love to see Latta ‘do’ Gay Oakes and her crime.

    But that wouldnt fit the soap powder/Harvey Norman viewer demographic that they are going for .
    I didnt see all the episodes but they seemed to be men killing women and children with scrubbed clean victims. No hookers or gang girls
    A sort of CSI without the who- dunnit

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