New Zealand media is in a lather. It quivers with gelatinous excitement. The leader of the Australian Labour party Kevin Rudd has admitted that he went to a strip club in New York.
At the time he wasn't leader. He was on taxpayer funded business. It's not certain who paid for the excursion. He was accompanied by another politico and a tabloid journalist.
Rudd's popularity has increased, according to the polls, since the 'news' was allegedly leaked by his political opponents in the run up to the Australian federal election.
Mainstream media's reporters are now confronting New Zealand politicians in the corridors of power. "Have you ever been to a strip clup?"
Lets ask a few question of our own.
(note the cunning use of language - the pluralisation of the question when actually it is just me)
What's wrong with strip bars?
Many young New Zealanders fund their university studies by dancing in clubs like Show Girls and Mermaids. Whilst they remove their clothing it is wrong to assume that dancers are, by default, prostitutes. That is rubbish. Given the cost of student loans to New Zealand - an economic diaspora - which is the lesser of evils?
By the way I take my clothes off every day. Often more than once. Sadly I don't get tips for it. But showering is a dirty business.
Why would you criticise a legal economic activity?
Auckland's downtown strip bars contribute to the cultural and economic life of the city. Visitors from overseas spend time and money in legal, well managed establishments (which pay taxes, employ people and collect excises from alcohol). They are significant contributor to the tourist and business traveller economy. Politicians are representatives not ideals
The term representative is important.People in the parliament are chosen by the community to represent themselves. When I vote I don't vote for an airbrushed fantasy. I expect
that politicians will have had parking tickets, speeding tickets, disputes of one kind or another; I am suspicious if they promote themselves as without guilt or vice. Helen Clark is the prime minister and while she may not represent what I
regard as normal or 'moral' I think she is fine. Who cares?
That she is married but assumes the title Miss (Clark), has no children and has never (so far as I know) had a job in the private sector…- it's all less than representative.
I don't think Helen Clark is representative of New Zealanders by some kind of deomgraphic analysis.
But she is a very effective political operator.
There is an election looming here.
Politicians should be taking care.
The mainstream media is creating 'news' where there is none.
We must all be vigilant.
If you can't bring yourself to go to a strip club then simply watch State Owned TV here in NZ. On Monday night this week: Nip Tuck promoted strip clubs; on Thursdays the Sopranos routinely feature a strip club as the home base of the gang.
I'm not sure of the ad rates for these high rating shows but the people of New Zealand seem to be significant beneficiaries from the promotion of stripping.
As a footnote here's a funny thing: I reported the death of Tony Wilson - the father of the Manchester sound on Monday, August 13. TV3 got around to it tonight on Nightline.
So the traditional news media now engage in 'creating' 'news' (fiction) where there is none while humble bloggers bring you stuff as it happens
(oops slipping into their hyperbole).
By the way: if a man in his 30's (+) says he's never been to a strip bar/club - he'll lie about other things as well. (or he has other skeletons in his 'closet')