Radio NZs dreary double standards?


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:

    1. I didn’t tell the Producer my topic for the opinion segment of The Panel:

  • 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.
  • 2. I read out a blog.

  • 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.
  • 3. I defamed the PM.

  • 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!

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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.


  1. Glad you got banned though. It was highly annoying listening to your ranting and shouting. Your tone was wrong for the show.

    Now if only they’d get rid of that horrible harridan Rosemary McLeod.

    • If anybody can be accused of having the “wrong tone” for RNZ National it’s Matthew Hootin’ an’ Hollerin’. He rudely defamed Nicky Hager on Katherine Ryan’s show this year too, to my utter disgust.

    • I used to like Martyn on the “The Panel” – he used to liven it up and get them all thinking. It was nice to have a young energetic person on pushing at the establishment rather than the gentle admonishments of the rest.

      It also annoys me that the only “young” people who get on to the Panel appear to be mouthpieces for the hospitality industry – always yammering away about how the alcohol industry is hard done by because of government regulation.

      I like Jim Mora thought because he is gentle with everybody and gets some ridiculously difficult interviews to pull off live.

  2. Bring back Bomber! I look forward to the afternoon of his return in 2014 carrying a 99 cent plastic bucket for Mora to chuck into.

    Classic hypocrisy from RNZ which has good archival features but a piddle pants running scared management.

  3. Bomber, if your colourful metaphor likening “John Key to a meth addict on a bender” is defamatory, then in the same vein I have just defamed you as a “bomber”. Maybe I have. And maybe, just maybe, RNZ seriously consider that our multimillion dollar fiinancier Prime MInister is not naturally nasty, but really think he could be mistaken for a poor suffering meth affected addict on a bender.

    Suggesting that John Key’s throat slitting gesture could be excused because his better judgement was impaired by methamphetamine intoxication could be seen as doing his image a favour.

  4. Yes I can’t stand Matthew Hooton he sounds like John Key even mimics the high pitched joking annoying ‘key’ in his voice…. I heard that 9 to noon, and was yelling at the radio with a paint brush in my hand, he annoyed me so much I had the turn it off before he might contaminate the painting I was working on. Radio N.Z seems to be like everything else these days pro rich, white, national party lovers and never ending show offs all prattling on about mindless crap. I used to really enjoy RNZ but find it more and more often boring and snobbish these days. Except Jim Mora he is great at his job, he probably finds half the panel these days exceptionally dull but it doesn’t show. Being back you Bomber you rock, keeping it alive and kicking. I was so disappointed they canned you.

    • Yes to Jim Mora, but I find it interesting that on “our place” he never talks to the town poor, or someone who’s lost their livelihood thanks to changing times or politics. Still it keeps a bit of a broader view going. All we need now, is Bomber back on Radio NZ. If Hooton has freedom to slander, Bradbury should have freedom to colourfully describe an insidious politicians actions.

    • @ Kate: there was much amusement in this household at your comments: sure she’s not talking about you? I was asked. I’m also given to yelling at NatRad – more and more, unfortunately, and often with a paintbrush in hand (though of the renovation type). But I still listen to it: I love radio, and it’s preferable to the utter garbage on commercial radio.

      I frequently yell at Morning Report, usually because they’ve let a polly get away with crap. I’m ok with Geoff being good cop, provided there’s a bad cop, but Mercep doesn’t qualify. It was great having Kim Hill back briefly: she does the rottweiler thing so well when she’s on form. And she’s by far the best interviewer RNZ’s had in a very long while; it’d be necessary to go back to the likes of Sharon Crosbie to find someone as good. Having said that, I don’t yell at Checkpoint very often, because Mary Wilson is very good at pinning pollies and other blowhards to the wall.

      I was one of many who protested to RNZ at Bomber’s banning; I’ve also often written to Kathryn Ryan when Hooton’s on, taking issue with his comments. His rants, and that irritating little snigger of his makes me want to chuck things, not just yell.

      I’m a frequent correspondent to the afternoon programme, challenging the claims of Jim Mora’s guests, some of whom are irredeemably right-wing. In fairness to him, he does quite often read out my e-mails. And he frequently makes me laugh: not all bad, then…

  5. add in the shameless repeating of what john key thinks of the labour party as some kind of credible insider knowledge

  6. Keep up the good work Martyn. Don’t let the buggers get to you. TDB is a great and refreshing alternative to the mainly right wing mainstream media.

    Seems like the new RNZ CEO having moved over to from Fairfax media, is towing the party line of National! The network used to be quite objective. Obviously not now with the new chief!

    I always thought the media was the proxy of the people. But that one has been well and truly debunked over the past five years, since John Key became PM. Mainstream media are still way too soft on him and won’t ask the hard questions or dig, for fear of finding something likely to blot Key’s already soiled copybook!

    Am I the only one to think certain corrupt politicians have the media in their pocket?

  7. Totally agree with Bomber on this. Like DoC, Radio NZ has been politicised by fear.

    On a different RNZ subject – someone’s got to do something about Geoff Robinson’s delivery on Morning Report. He always sounds like he has just managed to drag himself out of his death bed to present the show. Maybe its is his normal manner at any time of the day, but he sounds like someone who is absolutely not an early morning person. After about two syllables of his voice I have to switch Morning Report off because its such a dreary start to the day.

    • On the other hand, Nights with Bryan Crump is excellent, not just for Crump’s interviews and the documentaries that get played, but the excellent music, influenced no doubt by the good taste of producer Robin Rock Girl

  8. Apart from listening to the occasional Kim Hill interview and focus on politics via the website I have well and truly tuned out of National Radio. I contributed a fair bit of info to Jim Mora when he was discussing the mining in national parks issue and I’ll give him his due he did change his line of questioning as the evidence against mining is so overwhelming . I lambasted National Radio when they banned you and I’m quite frankly enjoying seeing the lunatic Hooton get some long overdue shit!. That asshole needs to go down and be kicked until he never breaths again….metaphorically speaking of course.

  9. Hooton either lost the plot – or the plot is to undermine Cunliffe’s reputation before he begins to rise in popularity.

    I might be imagining it, but there seemed to be an element of premeditation to Hooton’s outburst. I’ve never heard him rant like that before and his tones are usually a lot more measured than that.

    So either he’s off his meds (unlikely) or, there is an orchestrated campaign afoot to destroy Cunliffe’s credibility.

    I suspect it the latter. And I suspect their internal polling has the Nats breaking out in a heavy sweat.

    As for your banning, Martyn, it was a low point for Radio NZ and did them no credit whatsoever.

    The media are the first ones to hold up free speech when defending racists like Al Nisbet – but they sure as hell don’t extend the same standard to others who dare criticise the Establishment.

    • Ever since the very reasonable Mike Williams has been the ‘lefty’, Matthew Hooten has been behaving like the school tattle, talking over the top of both his host and his co-presenter, so excited by his own insider status and role as an ‘expert opinion’.

      The only person who seemed to moderate his self-conceit was Sue Bradford.

      And, if this is a transcript quote, “is the sort of ravings one expects from a meth addict on a bender, not the political leader of a country” – well, I still can’t see how that comparison is defamatory. An insinuation, perhaps. Nothing more. Quite pale beside the deadly shafts flung about by Aussies. 🙂

    • @ Frank Macskasy – there will definitely be a campaign afoot by the nasty Gnats, with a bit of help from the sycophantic right wing leaning media, to destroy David Cunliffe’s credibility. Even more so now, with the latest Herald digi poll out, with Labour soaring ahead! If it was an election result, Labour would be able to govern comfortably with the Greens as a coalition partner.

      Watch mainstream media of the right dig for some dirt on Cunliffe, paid for by their Gnat masters!

  10. Ah , the Neo World of Neo Liberalism . Plasti-land . Where everything and everyone must be beige , pink , clean , preferably white and of course … rich . It’s a world where a spirited monologue to get ones point of view across is a ‘ rant ‘ , it’s where gathering and protesting is labeled rabble rousing and don’t dare use metaphors or adjectives for Christs sake . That’d make you a dirty , hippy , pointy headed intelecshul .

    It’s my view that those who criticize passionate discourse from others for the sake of the sanctity of the status quo are little more than jealous cowards and they should just shut the fuck up . Pointers and whiners . Tall poppy whackers .

    It’s also my humble view that Martyn Bradbury is a fucking icon so get over it ! RNZ should rejoice that they had such an electric character to entertain and invigorate us if nothing else . And it’s a pathetic , pitiful , weak kneed ball-less attack on the freedom to express ones self by RNZ , the pompous cunts , by refusing to have Bomber back . God only knows , they need some spice to kick start their anaemic hearts after years of dreary old Jim ‘ Kitten Hugger ‘ Mora and that aural anesthetic that seeps out of the speakers like a dull fart from the bed clothes that is Katheryn Ryans voice . As for Mathew Hooten ? He’s not much more that the dribble on the bib of the snarling Right . The terminally dull . They’re so stupefied by the smell of other peoples money they can’t see the Class for the crass darling .

    I’m incensed that RNZ was lobotomized by fools and cowards . I’m distressed that TV One has dumped the BBC in favour of vacuum cleaner salesmen and Jesus freaks . It’s all going , one good thing at a time . It’s very worrying .

  11. To be fair to Kathryn Ryan she did try to tell Hooten to shut up about 4 times, so his comments weren’t left to stand. You should formally complain to them, as should I.

    • Ryan is paid very to do a job she has never had any real command of. She does not care for her voice and for someone supposedly well educated she is poorly informed and not well read.
      She has an abysmal interview style. Lacks personality of any distinction or depth and quite frankly I find her show as interesting as a stale biscuit crumb!. Turned her off sooo long ago! Compared to Maggie Barry, Sharon Crosbie, Kim Hill or Mary Wilson she is crap.
      Hooton has been walking all over her due to her lack of control and outright skill as an interviewer since forever.
      Oh and as a qualified, registered and practicing teacher of voice and speaking I know what I am talking about.

  12. Hooton is a pustulated milk bleb who will hopefully soon burst at the rate he is swelling. As noted by others above, he and his fellow tory insiders like DPF have got one hell of a sweat on. As a result, they are willing to poison Cunliffe’s rep by any means necessary, and this is where Whale and co. come in with their ‘third party campaigning’ mythology.
    They plan to do the dirty work for the Nats, without it becoming apparent to the electorate that the Nats are the nasty party with nothing good to sell. The job for us, as their opposite numbers, is to step up the exposure of this myth. The word needs to be out there that Hooton, Whale, DPF – the whole gang – are not third parties at all.
    Once the nature of their work becomes apparent, a spell is broken forever. It can’t be re-cast. That’s the challenge for the left leading into this election. So far it’s all on Cunliffe, but expect to see the same tactics deployed against the Greens and Mana as time goes by. Expose their little game, and this will be a lot less effective. It may even staunch the bleed of their issue-framing into the MSM a little.

    • DPF reminds me of Grima Wormtongue. At least with Slater he doesn’t try and pretend to not be a complete wanker. But Grima tries to present himself as giving a fair or balanced perspective whilst skulking, sneaking and sniveling around his far right wing closet in the overall nature of most of his posts. He’s a skin crawler, ick!

    • @SYD: After being a reader since childhood, I gave up on The Listener some years back. One too many articles about diet and self-improvement – and which school you should send your children to – aggravated by the fact that I was getting inserts in my copy (I was a subscriber), indicating that they’d sold their mailing list to some peddler of low-rent tat.

      Sadly, it looks as if RNZ is heading in the same direction, content-wise.

  13. Martyn,
    ( OF COURSE what you actually said, was NOT defamatory!! )

    You see, It’s part of the general Dumbing Down taking place in NZ.

    eg. Surely you’ve noticed how The Listener, has been “devolved,
    Well , Radio NZ now, lately fallen victim to the same, very sadly.

    What that means effectively, is (lowering of standards) ..people on there now, who simply do not have the level of english /grammar comprehension to be able to discern the difference between what is a”defamatory statement” and what is mere “simile” .

    Yes it’s very disturbing and most disillusioning. But you can’t take it personally. Naturally they (as part of dumbing down) dont want people like you who provoke independent thought, so of course you happen to have become an early victim of the “culling” process.

    • (PS Re “Dumbing Down” , This is (DELIBERATELY)) in preparation for the coming younger generations,
      who as I’m sure you already are aware, because of declining literacy(education) standards lack the proper skills to discern/think properly in any depth…esp lack critical thinking skills..
      …which suits the AGENDA of the ruling class. (Neo Liberal)
      They don’t want people to be able to question. They only want those who easily submit to rule..(too dumb/distracted/short attention spans)
      (texting, Facebook, & myriads of other distractions)

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