Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add spice to an otherwise pointless article. (MacDoctor definition)
I see the Tabloid on Sunday is continuing its vendetta against Christine Rankin today. This objection is so absurd that I have to place in my spam collection:
“Christine Rankin has the worst attendance record among elected members of Greater Auckland’s major councils.
“The North Shore resident and newly appointed Families Commissioner skipped almost half the council and committee meetings to which she was invited since the local body elections in October 2007.
“The attendance records of the 84 members of the Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere City Councils and Auckland Regional Council varied widely.
“Rankin attended just 51 per cent of the 100-plus meetings to which she was invited, but Auckland City councillor Bill Christian attended all of his 68.”
Where to begin? So little space; so much crap to wade through.
Perhaps we should start by pointing out that these are not Rankin’s normal council meeting (though , I assume, they are included) but all of the meetings she was invited to, including the ones that include people saying things like “We must dialogue on the issues pertaining to moving forward vis a vie the municipal ISO 9000 audit”. I used to call these “treacle meetings” – everything moves really slowly and eventually ends up in a sticky, tangled mess. If these are the meetings that Rankin avoided (and I would guess they are, given her experience with the many-fold WINZ treacle meetings), she has just gone up in my estimation.
If Bill Christian attended all 68 of his meeting he is either amazingly diligent or extraordinarily dumb, depending on exactly how useful the meetings were. In my experience, about 10% of meetings are truly useful, making me partial to the latter opinion on Mr. Christian. (Note: Bill, I’m quite prepared to change my opinion and apologise if you can show that, against all probability, most of your meetings were productive)
I would tend to assume that Ms. Rankin attended 51% of her meetings because she could not get out of the non-productive 41%. Her low rate of attendance merely suggests she is skilled at spotting mind-blowingly boring wastes of time. Well done, that woman!
Frankly, if Heather McCracken, the writer of this egregious piece of spam, truly thinks that productivity is measured by the number of meetings you attend, she should get into health administration immediately, because she is wasted as a journalist.