Sunday, March 14, 2010

Louder than bombs

Our reporters

- Entered Eden Park during Thursday's cricket international between New Zealand and Australia dressed as construction workers – wearing hard hats and reflector vests hired from a costume shop. Despite having no tickets or ID, the two reporters had unfettered access to construction areas and other restricted zones within the stadium, walking past at least six security guards and getting within arm's-length of Australian Doug Bollinger while he was fielding. At one point the reporters stood next to four police bomb squad officers as they surveyed the new grandstand. At no point were the reporters questioned or asked for ID.

The Australian players are particularly concerned about security right now, following threats by al Qaeda against this month's IPL tournament in India, and have demanded that rigid security be put in place before they take part in the tour.

- Took toy explosives and detonators, as well as alcohol, in a bag and on the body, into Waikato Stadium during the March 5 Chiefs-Reds Super 14 rugby game, with Red Badge security staff failing to search one reporter's bag. He walked freely around all parts of the stadium, approached the Reds' bench and shook hands with a team manager, entered the VIP corporate box area and spoke with boxer David Tua, got players including All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu to sign the bag containing the toy explosives and walked unchallenged through the players' tunnel, getting within a metre of the changing rooms before finally being asked to leave by a security guard.

Breaking news: New Zealand is not a police state. Sunday Star-Times journalist are able, if they so wish, to dress up as members of the Village People and hang around with sportsmen. They can even take concealed toy explosives with them.

Does anyone else find a certain Chris Morris quality in this reportage? Not, it seems, Superintendent Grant O'Fee, who said: "I am absolutely amazed anyone got near the players' tunnel, with or without [toy] explosives." The SST also managed to find an unnamed source (probably a bloke with no neck who hangs out in the same pub as the writers and who claims to have served in the SAS) to say "that shouldn't happen, full-stop. A person shouldn't get from one zone to another, especially near players. That's a poor breakdown, I'd be kicking arse."

Meanwhile, the Herald on Sunday is frothing about the SST's irresponsibility, possibly because the HoS could not get find any stories, other than a plane being diverted and the usual car-crash heroes story. Some points should be given for effort, though, for attempting to build the golden triangle of Celebrity-Property-Tragedy in a story in which the "talented" younger brother of the heir to a property firm flies his plane into a van.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

If all they were going to do was blow up a few sporting types, I can't say I'd be that bothered.