Dusty old Radio NZ have managed to set a dreary double standard.
When a person in the public gallery attempted to self harm themselves by jumping into the debating chamber in 2011, John Key responded by making slashing gestures across his throat and extraordinarily bellowed at Labour that the event was the fault of the Labour Party.
I described that incident of Key trying to blame Labour for this as behaving like a Meth addict on a bender. For that comment, Radio NZ gutlessly self censored themselves and banned me for life being a commentator on the Panel because- get this- my comment was deemed ‘defamatory’.
Here is the script of what I said in 2011 on Radio NZ…
What does a $43 million loan to Mediaworks buy you on Radio Live – apparently an hour of John Key avoiding answering any questions on politics. Why pay Mediaworks $43 million for that, when John Key can appear on Close Up and not answer questions for free.
Whanau, I have been critical over our mainstream media’s no ending love affair with Key, it’s our first cult of no personality, but Radio Live takes fair and balanced to a whole new level of Fox News crazy.
Radio Live didn’t offer any other political leader an hour of free talkback and went on to claim that allowing the Prime Minister to host an hour of radio minus any hard questions at all about his policy isn’t political. Which is kinda like arguing that allowing George W Bush to write editorials in the New York Times about his favorite cake recipe during the invasion of Iraq isn’t ‘political’.
Radio Live say it’s because of electoral law that John Key couldn’t answer questions on politics. Really? Put Key in there for an hour with an interviewer and ask him questions, that would have side stepped those issues, but to give him an hour where he gets to hide behind a ‘no politics’ zone on the very day our credit was downgraded is simply disgraceful!
This is NZ, not Cuba, the Dear Leader doesn’t get to drone on on about his personal crap 50 days out from an election. Rather than answer questions about the country going to hell in a hand basket, John Key talked about his cat and his views on Coronation Street moving timeslots.
No wonder the sleepy hobbits love Key so much, with media as uncritical as Radio Live, I’m surprised Key isn’t registering 80% support.
And John Key’s attempt yesterday to blame the Labour Party for a mans attempted self harm in Parliament is a new low, even for Parliament.
Yelling, “It’s your fault, it’s your fault” while making a throat slashing gesture at Phil Goff (as a man with mental health issues dangled from Parliaments balcony) is the sort of ravings one expects from a meth addict on a bender, not the political leader of a country.
Topping this nonsense off is Key’s excuse that he was actually talking about Labour’s criticism of his over spending on the Diplomatic Protection service?
What could justify making a throat slashing gesture at Phil Goff for an event that had all the implications of an attempted suicide if the guy had actually fallen?
What a lovely little piece of work our Prime Minister is when he is caught off guard.
Gordon Campbell goes into my dismissal far better than I, but again for the record and responding to the 3 reasons why I was banned here were their reasons with my responses:
- Not true, the Producer would ask you what you were discussing as your opinion piece and I did so as I always did and emailed back to them that I would be talking about Key’s behavior during the self-harm incident.
- I had been on RNZ as a commentator for 2 years and I always read out blogs as my opinion section – it had never been raised as an issue previously.
- I’ve been in this game for a while, I am very well versed in defamation law and by describing John Key’s behaviour as that of a meth addict on a bender I don’t believe there is anyway such a colourful opinion inside a clearly defined opinion section called ‘soapbox’ could ever cross into a defamation case.
Fast forward a couple of years to yesterday’s 9 to noon where Matthew Hooton amazingly gets away with calling David Cunliffe a liar not once, not twice BUT FOUR TIMES!
So – I describe John Key’s behaviour where he blames Labour for a member of the public self-harming themselves as the actions of a meth addict on a bender and I get banned for life – Matthew Hooton calls David Cunliffe a liar 4 times in the same interview and there’s no ramifications?
If describing Key’s behaviour as a meth addict on a bender is defamatory in an opinion piece section, what is repeatedly calling the leader of the opposition a liar in a clearly defined political commentary section?
A dreary double standard.
When I was told that I was banned I asked if it was permenant – the scornful laugh by the RNZ staff member made it perfectly clear a Labour-Green Coalition would have to be in power before I was ever let back on.
Roll on 2014.