Is Karl du Fresne happy now? How ‘neutral’ is Radio NZ really?

By   /   August 14, 2016  /   19 Comments

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In March 2013, former Dominion editor and right-wing columnist, Karl Du Fresne, spat an almighty dummy when he launched a diatribe of accusations of “bias” against Radio New Zealand;

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In March 2013, former Dominion editor and right-wing columnist, Karl Du Fresne, spat an almighty dummy when he launched a diatribe of accusations of “bias” against Radio New Zealand;

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RNZ's bias needs to be tackled

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I responded shortly thereafter with my own interpretation of Du Fresne’s accusation, writing;

Du Fresne referred to RNZ as “left wing”. And then listed all those people whom he thinks are guilty of being “left”. People like,

Kim Hill

Chris Laidlaw

Jeremy Rose

Kathryn Ryan

Obviously, these people all need to be brought before Parliament’s House Committee for Un-New Zealand Activities. (Which, we don’t have – yet – but I’m sure one of Mr Du Fresne’s right wing colleagues such as Maggie Barry could easily organise one. More on Maggie Barry in a moment.) Then the H.C.U.N.Z.A.  can ensure that Hill, Laidlaw, Rose, and Ryan never work in this town again.

Du Fresne claimed;

“So what might the new RNZ chief executive do to enhance the organisation’s standing in a political climate that is less than favourable? One obvious step is to take a tougher line against the editorial bias that still permeates some RNZ programmes.

Public broadcasting organisations, by their very nature, tend to be Left-leaning.”

Left-leaning“?!

Du Fresne did not hold back in his trenchant criticism of the state broadcaster;

But publicly funded broadcasters have an obligation to make programmes that reflect the views and interests that I’m comfortable with – not just those the broadcasters happen to favour for the rest of New Zealand who are a bunch of leftie, pinko, mung-bean eating, hippies.”

I responded by listing the right-wing commentators who were regular or semi-regular guests and commentators on Radio NZ;

  • ex-National President, Michelle Boag;
  • National & ACT supporter and anti-MMP campaigner, Jordan Williams
  • rightwing blogger and National Party apparatchik,  David Farrar;
  • ex-ACT MP and Party President,  Rodney Hide;
  • ex-ACT and later, ex-National MP, Stephen Franks;
  • former speech-writer and press secretary for National and right-wing commentator, Matthew Hooten;
  • and former police officer and front-person for television’s “Police Ten 7″, Graham Bell (who holds right wing views on many issues).

Not forgetting also;

  • Richard Griffin, Radio NZ’s one-time political editor, who worked for National Party ex-Prime Minister Jim Bolger, as his  press secretary in the late 1990’s, and is on Radio NZ’s Board of Governors
  • Maggie Barry (who I referred to above), was the morning presenter on Radio NZ’s ‘Morning Report’  in 1986, and hosted  ‘Nine To Noon’ show in 1990. Later, in November 2011, Ms Barry stood as a political candidate in the general election, and won the seat of  North Shore. She stood as a National Party candidate.

On Wednesday 10 August, another guest featured on Radio NZ;

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The Panel with Jeremy Elwood and Karl du Fresne - radio nz

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Karl du Fresne – his name pointed out with a big, ‘pinko’ arrow.

So, is Radio NZ still biased?

Especially when the only person to be publicly banned from that broadcaster was left-wing commentator Martyn Bradbury;

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State Media Bans Dissident - frankly speaking - frank macskasy

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Not so self-righteous with indignant cries of “Bias!” now are we, Mr Du Fresne?

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References

Manawatu Standard: RNZ’s bias needs to be tackled

Radio NZ: Board of Governors

NBR: Maggie Barry selected as National’s North Shore candidate

Radio NZ: The Panel with Jeremy Elwood and Karl du Fresne

Additional

TV3: Blogger Bomber banned from RNZ for criticism of Key

Other Blogs

Tumeke: Banned from Radio NZ for criticizing the Government

Previous related blogposts

State Media Bans Dissident!

Karl Du Fresne has a public baby waa-waa cry-session

Karl Du Fresne has a public baby waa-waa cry-session – part rua

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RNZ's bias needs to be tackled - smells like bullsit

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= fs =

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19 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    News Flash Maggie Barry & Karl du Fresnie,

    ALL COMMERCAI; MEDIA IS TENDING RIGHT WING SO GET OVER IT OR DONT YOU WANT MEDIA BALANCE IN NZ?

  2. Nick says:

    Without Martyn and, now Chris Trotter gone there is very little from the effective Left on the Panel. Bryan Edwards has long abandonned virtually everything but self-identification as a Leftist which once made him an eloquent voice on political issues, while other voice are muted by the encouragement of Bradbury’s execution.

    All we can hope for are the occasional crumbs of some centrist commentator expressing unexpected sympathy with Liberal-Progressive positions.

    With the Governments general antagonism toward the State media, the arrogance with which they regularly refuse to front on this or that news programme where they might expect meaningful interrogation and their long-standing freeze on funding it would be entirely understandable should RNZ adopt a stridently antagonistic stance. It speaks at best for their professionalism that they bend over backwards not to do so.

    Just one point to Karl duFresne: the Government does not own RNZ in any editorial way. RNZ is owned, at base, by the people of New Zealand and their obligation is to their professional responsibilities alone.

    If that leads them to disproportionately criticize the National government, then that may only illustrate the Truth to Power concept of good journalism, along with the possibility that the current government is guilty of an endless series of errors, wrongheaded policy and misdeeds.

    What I find unacceptable are patsy questions from RNZ journalists to Ministers. Now that is truly biased reporting. How do you feel about that, Karl?

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    “I responded by listing the right-wing commentators who were regular or semi-regular guests and commentators on Radio NZ;

    ex-National President, Michelle Boag;
    National & ACT supporter and anti-MMP campaigner, Jordan Williams
    rightwing blogger and National Party apparatchik, David Farrar;
    ex-ACT MP and Party President, Rodney Hide;
    ex-ACT and later, ex-National MP, Stephen Franks;
    former speech-writer and press secretary for National and right-wing commentator, Matthew Hooten;
    and former police officer and front-person for television’s “Police Ten 7″, Graham Bell (who holds right wing views on many issues).”

    Some of the above are still regular “panel members” when Mr Mora has his weekday’s panels, others appear now and then on various shows, and those that may no longer appear on RNZ, they have mostly been replaced by like minded ones, indulging in silly chat or political spin enhancement, generally soft on, if not openly supportive of, the government.

    As for the ones that Karl du Fresne listed, Kim Hill only has her Saturday morning slot now, Chris Laidlaw is no longer there, and Jeremy Rose, please enlighten me, who is he?

    Only Kathrin Ryan is still a regular, and she has over the last two years noticeably shifted to the right, or at least avoids it like the plague now, to say anything that may even give a hint of sounding critical or even “liberal”.

    That tells me that RNZ has to a large degree been neutered, and I worry how long John Campbell will be tolerated, especially when he may raise issues like homelessness and improper dealings in government departments.

    I notice a heavy breathing fat, slightly bald man breathe down his neck, from the scenes in the background, not directly visible at RNZ, but I am told he has some influence, can pull strings and is by some referred to as the Nat’s modern day version of late Mr Goebbles.

    RNZ has not received additional funding for years, and expectations have increased, and neutrality now seems to mean, avoid anything that rocks the boat too much, it is too dangerous to do so.

    Any ‘Insight’ program shows this, no matter how controversial the topic, they go to great lengths, to make it sound balanced what they present, giving the same amount and time for arguments, pro and contra all the time.

    This morning it was on labour hire, and of course, the employers had to be given equal chance to present the “pros” of exploiting vulnerable (often new migrant) workers.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      100% Mike well said.

      We need to have all opposition MPS parties to seize the half of the public media now.

      SAY IT AGAIN-

      WE NEED TO HAVE ALL OPPOSITION MP’S AND THEIR PARTIES, FILE A CLAIM IN COURT IMMEDIATELY TO TAKE HALF BBACK OUR LEGAL RIGHTS TO HALF THE MEDIA ASSET!

      THE VOTING PUBLIC HAVE THE RIGHT WHO VOTED FOR THOSE OPPOSITION PARTIES TO TAKE OVER RADIO NZ AND TVNZ NOW!!!!

      AS WE NEED TO INFORM THOSE VOTERS OF THE TRUTH THAT IS BEING WITH HELD NOW BY THIS CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE CALLED NATIONAL.

  4. In Vino says:

    Thank you Frank for taking Karl du Fresne to task so well and conclusively. He obviously wants to silence the Left, then proclaim impartiality. I am always amused at the way Right-Wingers regard them selves as impartial, when they are obviously not. Left-wingers are usually aware and intelligent enough to know and acknowledge that they are Lefties. I am now wondering if Karl is stupid enough to be genuine, or just downright disingenuous? I suspect the latter.

  5. Mike the Lefty says:

    Chris Laidlaw might once have been regarded as left but that’s all in the past now!
    Kim Hill is neither left nor right, she is Kim Hill and that’s all one needs to know!
    Kathryn Ryan is hardly left, but hardly right either, she keeps us all guessing.
    Jeremy Rose, I wouldn’t like to comment.
    Du Fresne doesn’t know what the f… he’s talking about, as usual.

    • Gosman says:

      Kim Hill isn’t left wing!?! And I presume you don’t think the Pope is Catholic either?

      • Mike the Lefty says:

        Obviously your idea of left wing Gosman is someone that asks awkward questions.
        Shouldn’t people who make extraordinary claims about how great they are, like your favoured National politicians, actually get asked to back up their claims?
        I suppose you think Pope Francis is left-wing too because he dares to challenge the G7 leaders.
        Typical right-wing bullhead attitude – anyone who asks a tough question is automatically a leftie.
        You people never change do you?

        • Andrew says:

          Mike, the main issue I have with all NZ interviewers is that they don’t ever ask the *really* awkward questions. Media in NZ is really weak, regardless of your political standpoint, when compared to say the UK or Aussie.

          They generally ask a set of facile pre-prepared questions that all too often are pandering to a particular cause rather looking at an issue from all sides. Campbell is the worst offender in this instance: He’s just a drama queen pushing a personal crusade. Kim Hill is OK doing book reviews on radio but crashed and burnt when trying to step up to political debate on TV.

          If you want to see how it should be done, check out some of the late great Robin Day’s interviews on youtube.

  6. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Hilarious, and Orwellian.

    Radio NZ’s agenda is a business-as-usual, which means promotion of the international money-lenders’ Ponzi scheme, promotion of the squandering of energy and resources, and promotion of planetary meltdown. Anyone who attempts to seriously challenge any of those agendas doesn’t get a mention on RNZ.

  7. RightOn says:

    If you don’t like RNZ, don’t listen. In the recently released radio ratings it knocked Mike Hosking off the number one perch. So it can’t be all that left, right?

    • In Vino says:

      More likely because it is less biased to the right than all the privately-owned stations. Don’t think that the majority of the country are all that addicted to right-wing drivel. They try to get away from it, as well as the horrible, insulting commercial advertising that goes with it. Radio NZ is a refuge.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      One question, RIGHTON, do you wear two right foot fitting boots on both your feet?

    • Righton, are you directing your “don’t like/don’t listen” to Karl Du Fresne? (Which would make sense.)

  8. Theodore says:

    Karl Du Fresne and Paul Henry are of the same ilk; bigotted. His nose got all out of joint because of what he perceived was a “leftwing bias” in RNZ. But now he’s a happy little toddler because he got what he wanted.

    What a pillock.

    Thanks for exposing this ego-driven, privileged creep. Another informative expose, Frank.

  9. Farmer Guy Farmer Guy says:

    A rightwing zealot that thinks any radio station not funded by advertising is Marxist.
    I would actually pay not to hear Leighton Smith and his climate change denying tripe.

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