From The Hood : Factual Correctness Gone Mad

In which we hear about the journalistic standard of accuracy and think it sounds like a fantastic idea.
by Lyndon Hood

In light of unspecified recent events, we thought it prudent to conduct a thorough review of recent statements to confirm their rigorous factualness.

Not just our statements – although you can imagine my shame when I discovered that nothing I had written for Werewolf during the sample period passed a basic fact check. Even the one about John Key’s cat. Oh, how I blushed.

We were more reviewing statements, generally.

In the interest of accuracy, we present some of our findings.

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The “all-powerful Privileges Committee” is not in fact omnipotent. Nor is it “all-knowing” and “all-loving”. We regret any confusion this may have caused.

We have often asserted that New Zealand has no lèse-majesté laws and that offending the dignity of the supreme ruler of the state is permitted. However, since the passage of the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill, protesting against offshore oil and gas company activity is in fact punishable by imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000. We regret the error.

Turns out “the Government’s Mr Fix-It” Steven Joyce isn’t actually that good at fixing problems that can’t be solved by smugly patronising anybody who offers an actual solution. We regret the error and apologise to Mr Joyce for use of an incorrect title.

Colin Craig’s habit of threatening to sue satirists, thereby massively boosting readership of said satire and provoking indignant storms of further satire, is not the Conservative Party’s new arts policy. But you can see how we might have thought that, right?

In March the Deputy Auditor General confirmed her own report did not ‘vindicate’ ministers over the SkyCity pokies deal. At that time we reported the Prime Minister as responding that, actually, it did vindicate them. We have since discovered that he’s just one Prime Minister and, like lawyers, I can provide you with another one that will give you a counterview.

We have also previously used the term “blind trust” to describe the Prime Minister’s financial arrangements. The phrase should in fact be used to describe the thing you need to think that any of his policies will have the effect he says they will. We regret the error.

When we said “children growing up in poverty are a priority”, it may have been assumed this referred to caring for them. Or to reducing their numbers. We apologise if any readers were misled.

Also, it’s still technically a “brighter future” if it’s on fire.

And speaking of ‘corrections’: isn’t it mostly the Department of Punishments?

We’re going to go out on a bit of a limb and say the only surpluses we are track for in 2013/14 are surpluses of shameless crony appointments, ‘forgetful’ politicians, Internet cat pictures, ministers trumpeting welfare results based on deliberately dropping people through the gaps, buskers who are at it all day but only play Bob Dylan songs, specific state sector targets – many of the a bit ‘aspirational’ (n: made up) – pursued so relentlessly the rest of the system collapses, satirical denunciations of litigious homophobes, “relaxed” Prime Ministers, and feijoas. We are sorry if any other impression has come across.

Turns out most people are on benefits because they need them. The welfare system may need to be radically restructured to take this into account. Our bad.

A secret coalition of New Zealand satirists is not, in fact, going to simultaneously vanish from society to build an idealistic and acutely self-aware utopia in a concealed valley in the Southern Alps. This despite the fact that, if Colin Craig’s approach to literary criticism is taken seriously for even a second it renders the whole business of satire untenable and the fact you would totally miss us when we were gone and who’s going to chastise your follies now, eh?
The author wishes to emphasise that any recent references to “Going Butler“, queries about untraceable remote Internet connections or twitpics of Kathmandu rucksacks full of very sharp HB pencils, were meant entirely in jest. He also wishes to clarify the “IT HAS BEGUN!” thing was just confusion caused by David Slack going for a particularly long bike ride.
The error is regretted.

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