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Old editors don’t fade away – it’s a pity

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 pm, July 6th, 2011 - 15 comments
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I feel sorry for Bernadette Courtney, current editor at the DomPost. The paper’s getting slimmer by the day and it’s comment pages suffer from a surfeit of ex-editors. We’re used to Richard Long in his weekly role as a National Party adviser but this Tuesday’s piece by Karl du Fresne attacking  the general reaction to Alasdair Thompson’s views on women in the workforce was particularly bad. Here’s a sample:

Much of what he said simply reflected the reality of the employment market: for example, that women are more likely than men to take time off when children are sick, and that many women’s careers are interrupted by motherhood, with a consequent impact on their earning potential.

That’s all? In du Fresne’s piece Hitler got a mention, female journalists got a spray, as did the”spineless” EMA Board of Directors and “a former Prime Minister who apparently suffers from the delusion that she’s still the Queen Bee”.

I don’t know why the DomPost keep him on unless it’s payback for past services. I think it’s time the Fairfax Board or whoever’s in charge also got some spine.

15 comments on “Old editors don’t fade away – it’s a pity ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Don’t these newspapers ever wonder why their paying circulation is dwindling year by year?

    • Alwyn 1.1

      Yes of course they do.
      The circulation was much, much higher when Karl was the editor.

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Wellingtonians offer their morning greetings and warm embrace to the new Dumb Post.

    • Frank Macskasy 1.2

      I have a friend who works at the Dom Post and his observations about the management and production of that newspaper confirm that it is becoming dumbed-down and irrelevant. They have lost many excellent, qualified staff; incliding sub-editors; and the management seem to be blissfully unaware that their paper is going down the toilet.

      In it’s pursuit of profits, it has cut out it’s heart and soul, and left it as a skeletal remains only. And there’s not much you can do with bare bones.

      Personally, I very rarely buy it anymore. To all intents and purposes, Wellington no longer has a newspaper of any substance.

      As for Karl du Fresne – perhaps they are trying a Michael-Lawsian-trick; shock tactics to draw in the punters? It sure as heck can’t be his worldly knowledge; insights into the human condition; or constructive suggestions on how we might better ourselves…

      At any rate, I doubt if he has much of an audience left. One can only blame beneficiaries, women, the Greens, and god knows who else for the world’s ills, for so long, before one becomes predictable. And he is predictable.

      • UncleGeoff 1.2.1

        Do *any* of the four main centres still have a newspaper of any substance? I stopped buying copies of the ‘Toe (aka the NZ Herald, thus-labeled from a photograph of a misogynist nature located on the bottom half of the front-most page in the 21/10/2005 edition) earlier on this year after reading a totally toxic and snide leader concerning inheritance taxes — and I consider that numerous leaders since then have vindicated my decision. More recently, I’ve even started wondering whether it’s trying to channel Fox News, given its brain-dead reporting and shameless support of the current government’s “policies”.

        At one time I regarded (Colonel) Blimp (Christchurch’s Press) as being even worse than the ‘Toe, but even though I now have doubts as to whether that would still be true, I still continue to think of Blimp as yet another newspaper that I would never want to buy any copy of ever again.

        And while the ODT doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as appalling as either the ‘Toe or Blimp, I still think that its integrity has been compromised by its attitude to the Awatea Street stadium. (Recent comments by some of its readers strongly suggest that the DCC is borrowing money in order to pay the interest due on the money that it previously borrowed to build the stadium — and maybe that situation could have been avoided if the ODT had been more active in questioning just how much benefit Dunedin could expect to derive from its construction.)

        I had been buying copies of the Compost up until the end of last month, but since then the Countdown stores in Auckland have apparently decided that they don’t want to sell it anymore. And there’s no other stores within walking distance (of where I live) that sell it, so I’m currently only viewing it online.

        I don’t think that Karl du Fresne has always been as bad as what he currently is, though I fully concur that most of his current columns are ghastly. For all that though, I don’t think that his columns are anywhere near as vile as those of Richard Long (also a former editor of the Dominion), many of whose columns bring to mind what Jonathan Chait had to say in The New Republic about a leader in the WSJ as follows:

        One of the things that has fascinated me about The Wall Street Journal editorial page is its occasional capacity to rise above the routine moral callousness of hack conservative punditry and attain a level of exquisite depravity normally reserved for villains in James Bond movies.

        ( Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_duckies )

  2. jackal 2

    I do enjoy reading print media. Although the Internet is faster and more up to date, being stuck in front of a computer all day get’s a bit tiresome! There’s a certain permanency that I like when articles are published in material form.

    The only good thing to the dying print media is that less trees need to be chopped down. Print does seem to contain a dearth of relevance and balanced opinion in New Zealand, so it’s no real loss that their readership is dwindling.

  3. Tigger 3

    Agreed, this was a horrid piece from him. The bile is barely contained.

  4. grumpy 4

    Pity, I thought it one of his best. Suppose it just depends on your point of view…….

  5. Jilly Bee 5

    I wonder if Karl du Fresne happens to know Garth George – his comment in the N Z Herald today was up to his usual high standard – NOT.

  6. feijoa 6

    They are a pack of Tories at Dompost. Even today’s article about Labours Capital gains Tax – the first half of the article had John Key and Bill English’ opinion of it, and the latter half Phil actually got to have a few words. The lack of balance is scandalous. They’re playing with our minds.

  7. M 7

    du Fresne needs the old Yeller treatment – he’s well past it.

    Maybe there’s a apse somewhere at Te Papa for him.

  8. Craig 8

    Karl is a bad case of overly religiose sock con male menopause. He just can’t come to terms with contemporary New Zealand social change over the last four decades. Yawn…

  9. Morrissey 9

    Did anyone read Du Fresne’s incompetent attempt to defend John Howard’s reputation after Kim Hill had pinned Howard down for 45 minutes one Saturday morning last year?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      after Kim Hill had pinned Howard down for 45 minutes one Saturday morning

      Has the DVD of that been rated by the censor? 🙂

  10. Morrissey 10

    Maybe it should have had an R-16 or R-18 certificate. Listening to that old criminal squealing in protest at being asked a few hard questions might have led the more gullible to think he was being slowly tortured on a rack.

    Clearly Karl Du Fresne was distressed at Kim Hill’s lack of respect for a serial liar and lickspittle.

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