Is John Drinnan an apologist for rape culture?


John Drinnan, (or ‘The Drin’ as I like to call him) is  the NZ Herald’s media writer.  The Drin gets it right a lot, but gosh sometimes he just gets it really wrong.

Todays entry in ‘shit-The-Drin-has-gotten-terribly-wrong’ is his weird attack on Giovanni Tiso in the latest NZ Herald.

Whatever you think of Tiso, and I’ve clashed with him from time to time, his activism against Radio Live was one of the best things social media has generated, but for The Drin, Tiso’s activism is hypocrisy because he hasn’t complained about a sexist advert on the back of an Auckland bus.

I know, wtf right?

Here is The Drin…

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Zealots away

New Zealanders take offence at many things in the media … but attitudes differ according to the medium involved.

Last year blogger Giovanni Tiso and other social media zealots campaigned for an advertiser boycott against the Willie and JT show on RadioLive, after John Tamihere asked what were seen as the wrong questions in a discussion of the Roastbusters case.

Yet a highly sexualised advertisement on the back of an Auckland bus does not rate a mention. An ad for a new MTV show called Ex on The Beach is dominated by a close-up of a bikini-clad woman, her legs apart and backside pointed at onlookers.

No doubt the ad is reaching its target market – and every following motorist. It’s tacky, but not a great outrage. It just seems weird that a broadcaster got the boot because of what he asked an anonymous caller, while the soft-porn bus ad is there for all to see. The zealots have not noticed, probably because there was too little publicity value in it.

…so The Drin’s beef is that Tiso and ‘other social media zealots’ used social media to call for a boycott against Radio Live after their dreadful handling of John Tamihere’s offensive line of questioning to a rape survivor BUT because Tiso and ‘other social media zealots’ haven’t used social media to complain about a tasteless and sexist MTV bus advert, then they are insinuated as hypocrites?

Complaining about a live interview on a topic as monstrous as the Roast Buster case and demanding corporate responsibility from the advertisers is one thing. Another tasteless and sexist advert by MTV on a bus is a completely different other thing. The Drin is trying to compare the two and draw unfair conclusions on those who fight one but not the other.

I know, when you actually lay out The Drin’s argument it looks pretty vapid, weak and intellectually shallow doesn’t it? But closer inspection actually shows it is far worse.

The Drin’s choice of language regarding Tamihere’s offensive line of questioning is eye opening. The Drin calls criticism of Tamihere’s line of questioning as, “what were seen as the wrong questions”.

What. Were. Seen. As. The. Wrong. Questions? Not, offensive questions that helped perpetrate rape culture, oh no, the questions were seen as wrong. Seen as wrong by who? People who think the perpetration of rape culture is grossly offensive by a NZ Radio broadcaster? According to The Drin, the questions weren’t offensive, they were just ‘seen as wrong”.

How belittling.

This seems to come across more as rape culture apologist rather than critical thinking by a media writer. Slagging off activists who use social media to hold broadcasters to account on the important current affairs issues of the day because they haven’t complained about a tasteless MTV advert is baseless bullshit.


  1. Strange logic considering daily blog use of the picture on top – maybe it will get your numbers up

  2. OK – Ill tell you what Tiso and ‘other social media zealots’ have done.

    If the police dont lay charges re the Roast busters – or if they do and they are all found not guilty (and Ill bet they are not charged because if the police thought there was half a chance they would have done so by now) then all thats been done is to notify every young moron in the country that the way to ‘get your way’ is to get young girls (preferably under aged) and get them drunk.

    I heard the radio live interview live – much by chance – and I certainly didnt think anything wrong about it. Some searching questions were asked and there was no hesitation by the girl to answer. Perhaps what everyone is pissed about is the they found out from (I think her name was ema) that its been going on for a long time and that the girls all knew what was involved. Maybe that bit of ‘evidence’ is something that some people thought would ruin any chance of a prosecution – but it would have come out sooner or later.

    In the end Tiso and ‘other social media zealots’ will have achieved absolutely nothing and probably made the situation worse by advising all and sundry about the matter – and inadvertently advertised the best way to get away with a decidedly dodgy activity.

  3. Every day I have to explain to my daughter about sexist advertising and how it is directed at us. I pray she won’t have to do the same to her daughter in 20 years. But I don’t like my chances. The ads just seem to be getting more vile and pornographic. AAAARRRG!

  4. Why is Drinnan writing about this when the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria are much more important? What a total hypocrite!

    Please note that there is a logical error in the above, presented for the purposes of illumination.

    • The girls in Nigeria are part of a corrupt society in a corrupt continent. They are part of a society where its tribe versus tribe and there is virtually no respect for human life or any sort of rule of law. It’s a dag eat dog continent.

      Until the leaders are literally put up against a wall and shot – then nothing will ever improve (yes – even the aid that’s sent mostly finishes up in swiss bank accounts.)

      Africa was at its best the day the colonial powers left. They had shot the trouble makers and had (in most cases ) had basic legal, health and education systems in place. In some countries a good transport system. I know that Rhodesia (Now the impoverished state of Zimbabwe) was a meat and grain exporter when the British were in charge. The only thing it exports now are people to S.Africa.

      The place wont change until similar discipline is put in place – and the trouble is the modern world doesn’t like shooting bad leaders – so nothing will change.

      The girls are just fodder for the endless violence that Africa has become – thanks to political correctness and its influence to have the ‘bad’ colonials removed.

      • The girls are just fodder for the endless violence that Africa has become – thanks to political correctness and its influence to have the ‘bad’ colonials removed.

        Yeah, ‘cos being enslaved, rape, and transported to work on plantations is the White Man’s prerogative, eh, Barry?

        Well, that seems to have been the attitude in the Southern States of America, Haiti, and elsewhere in the Caribbean.

        So. You’re a fan of slavery, are you?

        Got any other mad-as-a-box-of-cats ideas?!

  5. It would take either a complete fool at best or a morally derelict miscreant at worst to be unable to comprehend the difference between:

    an ignorant and insensitive interview with a chauvinist overtone amidst the unfurling events of a highly controversial scandal involving rape


    a raunchy advertisement on the back of a bus in Auckland

    The questions were not only wrong, it was the attitude and tone as well – a chuckle during the interview for example.

    “Social media zealots”? I can easily imagine if these “social media zealots” had acted according to the sentiments expressed in the column there would either be griping over such an event in the column, or, headlines decrying the loony actions of “social media zealots”. Considering the scandal plagued National Party making prominent headlines recently such headlines would be helpful to take the heat off.

    Because inane opinions are printed in a big paper doesn’t make them authoritative, quite the contrary. Is there also a personal grudge at work in all of this? Trolling through a big paper now?

    Anyway, I thought Tiso is based in Wellington? Don’t know if the buses there have the same advertisement.

    An occasional quick skim through the New Zealand Herald is sufficient considering how vacuous the content is. Frankly, printed toilet paper is more interesting, or for that matter, more useful.

    Anyway, if “social media zealots” aren’t campaigning against someone’s perceived outrage, they are hardly deserving of the zealot moniker. Those who strive to address the plight of the downtrodden I respect. The real zealots are those crusading for the All Mighty Dollar. We can “thank” that “god” for the creation and proliferation of such demeaning advertisements or skewed opinions contributing to social injustice.

  6. The harsh grilling those girls will get in court, will be far worse than one radio interview. They need to be able to survive the court processes which are currently in favour of the accused rather than the victim/s.

    I agree that having that pic on the back of the bus is wrong. We don’t live in a John Wayne, Clarke Gable, or 007 society any more. You cannot force sex on a woman any more!

    Men need to ‘man up’ about this, and stop thinking with their trousers, and stop encouraging others to think with their trousers.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting and encouraging a decent minded society.

    Opinion and belief.

    • So you want to have different laws for rape (sexual physical assault) where the victim doesnt have to go to court – but in all other cases the victim has to go to court – and give evidence.

      One of the qudi-pro-quo’s for haveing a police force (where the taxpayer pays the bill) is that you have to co-operate with the system. the alternate is that you undertake the legal process at your own cost – you have to get the evidence and assemble the case etc.

      And then you have to have a balanced human rights situation – both parties have the same rights. Now – I cant see why rape victims need to have a lower thresshold for providing evidence than any other situation – keeping in mind that the accused – if found guilty – is facing a very long sentance.

  7. Honestly, I see nit picking. Tamihere comments, arse on bus, all are part of the same scenario. It’s about the ‘arse shot’.
    Watch a contemporary ‘music’ vid, chances are there’ll be up to 10 ‘arse shots’ (unless it’s a quasi-snuff w. zombies or foul clowns etc). It’s about pushing the envelope.
    So, in my mind, this is relevant to the constant thought-bulldozing involved in the agenda to desensitise the planet’s population.
    People are commodicised or commodificated or made into commodities.
    What’s that all about?

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