TVNZ as ‘fair and balanced’ as Fox News
English: 'no influence' over controversial TV ad
Finance Minister Bill English says he had no influence over a promotion for a television show which Labour says could be mistaken for a National Party political broadcast.
Labour MPs asked questions about the TVNZ 7 Focus on the Economy ad in Parliament yesterday.
It features Mr English and has played more than 30 times since October 18.
It is set to continue to run on TV One, TV2, TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 until November 21.
Labour leader Phil Goff said people had complained to him about the ad.
"People have rung up and mentioned it to me, concerned that it seemed like a bit of a promo for Bill English being funded out of the television budget."
That was nonsense, Mr English told Radio New Zealand today.
"The TV people put up the script and the idea and I just went through with it," he said.
"We haven't had any influence over it at all."
A spokesman for Mr English had earlier outlined the process to The Dominion Post:
The script, showing Mr English using financial jargon and then a translation in everyday language, had been written by the broadcaster's advertising department. It was checked with Mr English for accuracy.
"They suggested the promo and came up with the scripting," the spokesman for Mr English said.
"We checked it for accuracy and made some minor changes [to the plain English version]."
But the spokesman said that turned out to be "irrelevant" because TVNZ came back with a revised script.
Mr English told RNZ this morning that the programme was getting attention because people were interested in the economy and what was going to happen to their jobs and their mortgages.
Don’t you love it, Bill doesn’t see a problem with getting a 60second free multi-rotated unchallenged pap pep talk on the public broadcaster, but then again Bill didn’t see anything wrong with double dipping his house allowance either did he?
I love his claim people are interested because it’s about the economy, no Bill, people are interested because the public broadcaster is supposed to hold you to critical account, not give you free air time to cheerlead unchallenged party propaganda. This month you were telling us it will take 2 decades to regain the losses of the last year and have told public service workers to expect a wage freeze for a decade, now you are on TVNZ7’s party political broadcast singing for us to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
Why couldn’t TVNZ have put a reporter in there and asked Bill those questions while he was cheerleading?
I’ll make it easy for TVNZ, I’ll even script you the question you could’ve asked while filming so that you could’ve made a promo that showed you fulfilling your public broadcasting critical responsibilities rather than the party political broadcast you’ve made instead….
“But Mr English, only this month you were explaining the scale of the economic great recession, now it’s all happy, happy, joy, joy. Aren’t you simply trying to spin things Mr English?”
See how easy that could’ve been? But it gets worse.
Don’t you love the response to criticism of bias from TVNZ? They’ll have Sir Rodger Douglas on the actual programme with Bill English – THAT’S BALANCE IS IT? That’s supposed to make it okay? The right wing and the really, really, really, really, really, really far right? Having the most right wing economic Milton Friedman love nut on alongside Bill English somehow makes it balanced?
We pay 163 people over $100 000 a year and this and this is what we get for public broadcasting? Are you kidding me? A dozen of their bloody wages would’ve run ALT TV for a year, surely you can put out this intensely biased crap with only 151 people earning over $100 000 each year dammit?
TVNZ just became as fair and balanced as Fox News.