AnalysisSeptember 14, 2015

From Hosking’s Vacuum to Influential Avocados – Power Ranking Scout’s Launch Stories


Today marks the launch of Scout, the new entertainment news site forged in MediaWork’s basement furnace by Rachel Glucina, the twisted firestarter of New Zealand gossip. Today she emerged: charred and smokey, holding Mike Hosking’s petite vacuum cleaner in her hands. Whatever you think of the website: there’s no denying that this is a moment in New Zealand’s pop cultural landscape.

With the Bachelorettes constantly topping headlines this year, our 7pm shows slipping further into the celebrity cesspool, and Kanye running for president, ignoring the rich and famous is a nearly impossible task. But do we have the local talent to fill the daily needs of the internet – let alone come even remotely close to breaking it? Here’s a look at ten of the stories that launched Scout this morning.

1) Hosking cleans his Ferrari sometimes

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The lead story, the enormous Scout scoop for the ages, is that Hosko likes to hit to hit the hoover on the regular. And we’ve got more than enough creepy footage to prove it. History will remember this moment. Hosking’s blurry butt waggling out of his Ferrari door is Glucina’s Zapruder film. The camera follows his red Ferrari zipping down the motorway, an ominous lime green target hovering, waiting. Wait, maybe this isn’t Zapruder, but more Oswald with a go-Pro?

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The conclusion of the piece is “good to see he’s not above getting down and dirty.” It’s actually true, nothing screams ‘everyman’ like using some sort of gilded steampunk vacuum from the future to suck up the diamond dust and dried caviar from the floor of your Ferrari.

2) MediaWorks’ most compelling ‘Story’ yet

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This is a mile high diary entry ghost-written by M. Night Shyamalan, surely. The sordid tale starts with a person sitting at the back of the plane, just wanting to “drink away the pain and bullshit”, and ends with a blindsiding twist that has absolutely nothing to do with celebrities or entertainment.  

Sinking a few “cat piss” savvies, the writer found themselves taking a scandalous trip to the lavatory, mystery man in tow. “We slipped into the toilet, and onto each other.” Later they found out that he was, in fact, their sister’s fiancé. If this is going to be a regular feature, I can’t wait for next week when someone goes all the way with a lifejacket and a small bag of cassava chips.

3) Garner has a ropey day out

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An exceptional idea to get Garner, TV3’s shark in a suit, swearing his way through the Rocket Ropes course for kids. MediaWorks might have stuffed up X Factor, but they are nailing this lo-fi Fear Factor to a post. Duncan has garnered a deep fear of heights from childhood, after falling through several storeys of flooring, ending up in the basement of his house. I thought that was something that only happened in cartoons! Good move by the cameraman to wear this hard hat for when an ACME anvil inevitably drops from the sky and crushes their car.

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Garner gets harnessed up for the 9m ropes course, “it’s like a nappy… watch the crown jewels”. He’s palpably phased by the whole experienced, cheeks flushed and gaze focussed well beyond the Rocket Ropes world all the way to the Pirate minigolf. Bet he wishes he could have some of the synthetic weed to take the edge off now.

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Wimping out from the 9m course, he conquers the 4.5m option with only 40 swears and 67 instances of “shitting himself”. Thank god for the nappy harness. At the end of the challenge he nominates Paddy Gower, who I can’t wait to watch wrestle with an alligator at Butterfly Creek next week.  

4) Sharyn’s supermarket stalking

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The first in a vlog series by The Edge’s Sharyn Casey delivers some lessons in how to take photos of hot guys at the supermarket. It’s edited in the classic YouTube style of the moment, all bloopers and dog-wrangling skilfully included. Sharyn claims that she tried to snap a shopper with her phone the other day, and was humiliated to find out that the shutter sound and flash were still turned on. It’s the vlog version of How Embarrassment, made even better by the victim being actually quite famous. Just don’t go sitting at the back of a Jetstar flight Shaz.

5) Ben fails the Masterchef boss level

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Ben quit Masterchef last week, a mild upset among not much else than Al Brown’s hat parade and Josh Emmett swaying gently in the background like a scarecrow. But according to Scout it wasn’t the high pressure cooking, it wasn’t Marco Pierre White making them all weep into their bowls of potatoes – it was his pesky old bossy girlfriend Tammy Askew that made Ben throw in the teatowel. “As for love, that’s likely to remain the domain of his girlfriend – much like his once flourishing celebrity chef career.” A Scout exclusive: girlfriends are either nags… or WAGS….

6) Should have flagged the WAG

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There are some elements of the international gossip world that are better left unused, particularly the sexist approach to the female partners of male sportspeople. Apparently WAGS (wife and girlfriends) are really holding their own in representing New Zealand, not like oh, you know, are actual women in sports. “Does Gemma Flynn have it all? Pretty much, Although no sign of a rock yet.” That’s right, no fulfillment for a women in this life without the ol’ diamond. Have you considered looking under Hosking’s car seat? Quick! He’s coming with the vacuum again.

7) Lydia Ko wins big, gets owned

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“She’s a major force in women’s sport – even though she’s only a girl.”

8) Glass houses on the red carpet

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“Who is this woman and why is she wearing a Grecian sack? Answer: she’s Australian. Worse, a fashion blogger” Yeah yuck, who would ever write about clothes on the internet? Artistically atrocious.

9) Street style captures a certain spirit

The Street Style section, run by Stephanie Lai of Reality Trip who famously “has a black belt in shopping” captures well-dressed New Zealanders (Aucklanders). Unfortunately, a lot of the subjects looked like they were being fast approached by a Greenpeace volunteer with a clipboard for some reason. Maybe that’s just the fashion. 

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10) Groundbreaking interview with a male modelScreenshot 2015-09-14 at 9.58.11 AMBatman can’t fly. Nor does he have superpowers.

11) Lorde gets Maxxed Out

A late addition to the rankings: why has Max Key beaten Lorde as the number one most influential New Zealander under 25? Why is someone who is about to be on The Block at number 16? What is Brodie Retallick doing with all those avocados?


Feature illustration by Jose Barbosa

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