Sharp as a tack

Written By: - Date published: 1:07 pm, October 22nd, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

I’ve just listened to the reporter’s tape of Lockwood Smith’s racial gaffe and it is hilarious.

Not for his appalling comment but for the marvelous follow-up question the reporter (I presume it’s Marlborough Express reporter, Cherie Howie) makes about whether Smith is more guarded in his statements after the secret agenda fiasco.

Smith’s response? “it doesn’t trouble me much as I don’t say anything that would trouble me.”

It was comedy gold and a textbook example of recognising the importance of a statement and following it up without missing a beat. It warms my heart to know there are still some very smart journos out there.

Update: Audio of Key trying to inoculate the situation. He uses his “range of factors” line. One day maybe someone will ask him what these mysterious factors he keeps talking about are.

20 comments on “Sharp as a tack”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Oh dear, not the most self-aware follow-up I’ve ever heard.

  2. I also love that whoever has cut the clips has chosen to put that on even though it’s not part of the quotes in question.. clearly having a bit of a laugh

  3. bobo 3

    the more I listen to Lockwood the more he reminds me of Alan Partridge .

  4. Felix 4

    “there are still some very smart journos out there”

    Yep, now how can we get them to work for the herald, tvnz and tv3?

  5. Felix 5

    bobo, an excellent observation.

    Also the recording of Key trying to play it down reveals him, yet again, as the David Brent of NZ politics.

    Factors indeed.

  6. johnny be good 6


    You have to be kiddin’ me! “i don’t say anything that would trouble me” how naive is the fool?

    … like a neo-liberal in the rubble of the financial markets naively wondering wtf just happened …

  7. Pete 7

    The thing I enjoy most about this situation is that its not really the accuracy of Lockwood’s comments that are being critiqued but simply the fact that he made them. Indeed his comments are perfectly measurable. Ah politics… it’s a beautiful game.

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Heh heh, David Brent… actually, though, wouldn’t Lockwood be David Brent, making the appalling gaffe, and Key be Gareth (or, even closer still, Dwight from the US version), fiercely defending his boss’s right to be incalculably stupid? (though in this case Key is the boss…). Okay that’s getting convoluted… but you know what I mean.

    There’s all sorts of defences being run for Lockwood at present, but let’s test this gaffe, made as a senior and experienced politician, against his having said it in a past career…

    Lockwood: Alright children, a starter for ten. Pacific Islanders make bad workers because they don’t know how to use the toilet. True or false?

    Contestants: *stunned silence*

  9. Ben R 9

    “The thing I enjoy most about this situation is that its not really the accuracy of Lockwood’s comments that are being critiqued but simply the fact that he made them. Indeed his comments are perfectly measurable. Ah politics it’s a beautiful game.”

    Of course the accuracy of them isn’t being challenged. The media well know that claims of racism will gain more attention than an analysis of the pros/cons of the LSE.

  10. Lew 10

    Ben R: The pros and cons of the RSE aren’t at issue. Even Lockwood Smith didn’t raise them.


  11. bobo 11

    Why do we need fictional satire like “the pretender” just film lockwood for a few weeks on he hustings 🙂

  12. Paul 12

    How incredibly sad. Imagine holding those views (look I know it’s hard, but just imagine). Now imagine a senior MP holding those views (possibly not as hard). Now imagine a possibly senior Cabinet Minister holding those views (terrifyingly evident), and we wonder about the future direction of this country under a possible national government?

    BTW I raised this over at the ‘land of hate’. What actually is to become of Kiwiblog if (god forbid racists run the country in a few weeks time)? I mean they’ve chased the politicians out, do they come for us because we hold differing views to them. Will it die away to a trickle of “aren’t we great'” mutual admiration society smack on the backs?

    DPF must be shitting himself with regard to the potential loss of income from those adds.

  13. Sharp as a tack title on a gormless standard blog? Holly Hell Robin things are deteriorating on blogosphere. Must start another scandal – like that girls and Paul? I think you meant land of fate as Miss Clark ate the cake!

  14. Lew 14

    Heh. Five non-controversial propositions, and an argument which follows from them:

    Proposition 1: Asians have smaller hands than others.
    Proposition 2: Females have smaller hands than males.
    Proposition 3: Children have smaller hands than adults.
    Proposition 4: Female infanticide exists in some Asian cultures since male children are considered more valuable.
    Proposition 5: Earning minimum wage picking fruit is better than being the subject of infanticide.

    Argument: National plans to import all the Asian girl-children who would otherwise be subject to infanticide in order to ensure the ongoing viability of NZ’s fruit and wine industry.


  15. higherstandard 15

    Paul what do you think is worse a dimwit making stupid comments while an opposition MP without considering whether they’ll offend people or a dimwit making similar comments while he’s the Minister of Foreign Affairs for political gain that he knows are offensive.

  16. Why import a labour force when you got prisoners sitting in Hotel Hilton’s scattered all over the countryside lew? Prune the deadwood, so the vine can produce socialist champagne that you enjoy so much.

  17. Lew 17

    D4J: I believe it was Dostoevsky who said a society’s civilization should be measured by how it treated its prisoners. Not on the quality of the wine its prisoners produced.


  18. Must go and comment on the fashion thread. That’s so important for the state of the country. Liberal suckers.

    [lprent: I guess that you’re referring to the Act party. Possibly Liberterianz… Or maybe Liberal as in aussie. I think you could offend people all over the spectrum.
    Ummm you have to be as sharp as a tack around here…]

  19. Ianmac 19

    Anyway I would think strong hands would be more useful in a vineyard than small hands, unless the small hands were also strong hands- of course.

  20. Phil 20

    No Ian – nimbleness of fingers and dexterity is the paramount skill – you don’t want to bruise the fruit.

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