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Monday, October 10, 2011

Banned from Radio NZ for criticizing the Government



Folks, the rumors are true, I've been banned from Radio NZ for criticizing John Key. I was phoned last Friday morning and told that my criticism of John Key was over the top and as such I had broken RNZ editorial policies. I thought they were joking.

I was first on RNZ over a decade ago with Kim Hill and have since then been a regular on the Panel, a show I very much enjoyed participating in. I have given dozens of opinions with the same bite in the past and thought the entire situation was a wind up.

I was wrong, this was no joke. I was told I would be banned, I asked if that was for life and was left with the impression that a Labour-Green Government would be in power before i was ever let back on the station.

On current polling that could be 2017 or 2020.

Here is the transcript of what I said...

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 none 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.


...now I accept that I have my detractors. Failed ACT Party candidate and hate monger Cathy Odgers, Mr Sulky pants Cameron Slater and the bore of babylon David Farrar from the right and from the aesthetic left, Mr Smug at Fundy Post, the Bryce Edwards Fan club and Imperator Fish but despite the bitching about my style or presentation, I don't think anything I raised there as part of my opinion piece broke any editorial rules.

The people currently flooding RNZ with complaints about my banning also don't think I broke any editorial rules when lined up against the right wing pundits who pronounce their Gospel as accepted faith.

I also want to clarify some of the spin Slater is using at the moment to suggest I didn't inform RNZ of my opinion topic, giving them the justification to ban me. As usual Slater is wrong. I emailed RNZ at 2.38pm with my topic of John Key and before the show even began, when Jim was asking me about my topic off air, I read the first paragraph from my piece and we all had a laugh.

Well no ones laughing now.

If you can't criticize the PM on State Radio, and the private radio give him free air time during the credit downgrade where he doesn't answer any criticisms, then where the hell in a democracy can you criticize him?

In the same week as I was banned from RNZ for criticizing the PM, the Herald was banned from Parliament for 10 days and Key got his Radio Live freebie. If Helen Clark had pulled any of this in her time as leader, the voices from the right so quick to denigrate me, would be in full voice for the support of freedom of speech. Their hypocrisy should surprise no one.

I would like to thank the staff at RNZ who do an amazing job with the ongoing budget cuts and the courage of media watch to bring the story forward in the first place.

In the near future I am focused on hosting the new 7pm weeknight election campaign show on Stratos kicking off on the 31st of October.

It's been a joy to have the opportunity to share my opinion on Radio NZ, I note the irony that I am being banned from a station that I spent much time a couple of years ago saving by promoting the 'Save Radio NZ' facebook site, but life is full of irony.

Finally I am more disappointed for Radio NZ and the ideas of public broadcasting that I always held them up to. Banning someone for criticizing the Prime Minister is a terrible look, not just for RNZ, but for us as a democracy.

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35 Comments:

At 10/10/11 8:11 am, Blogger Lady said...

Well said Bomber.

Perhaps it was the meth comment, but you are just saying what a lot of people are thinking.

Even if Slater's spin was true, the issues you were talking about are major stories and RNZ should have known you were going to talk about such things.

It's yet another sad step towards a fascist dictatorship.

 
At 10/10/11 8:22 am, Blogger mickysavage said...

Appalling. If comments like yours are going to be banned by the Authorities then democracy in NZ is in for a rough time.

 
At 10/10/11 8:24 am, Blogger Frank said...

In the late 1970s, I organised a support group in defense of Soviet dissidents, who were being rounded up and imprisoned for "anti Soviet slander" and the other popular charge, "anti Soviet agitation and propaganda".

Never in my mind did I think that, one day, I's be supporting a campaign in defense of a New Zealand dissident.

If people aren't frightened and angry at what has been done to you, Bomber - well, they damned well should be.

As for Cameron Slater and his ilk - one day it may be their turn. By by then, "there will be no one left to speak up for me".

I hope people let RNZ know their feelings; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/

 
At 10/10/11 8:33 am, Blogger Tiger Mountain said...

Bring back Bomber! email/text/twitter campaign to RNZ please.

All the ANZAC WWII remembrance are mere hypocrisy if the righties don’t jump up and down about this too.

 
At 10/10/11 8:38 am, Blogger countryboy said...

Jesus ! That's sad news ! I'm sorry to hear that Bomber . I'm also deeply disturbed that the regime has the power to reach down public broadcastings throat and rip it's guts out ! Oh my God ! I feel panicky ! Some years ago I heard the fabulous and horrifyingly brilliant Kim Hill hunt down roger kerr , Business Round Table sociopath and psycho farmer , mummies boy . She let him think he was what he believed himself to be ... Much more clever than her . Then , as I listened with baited breath , she , ( unfortunately metaphorically ) hunted him down , disemboweled him and stretched his pelt out to dry . I heard him wither in his chair under her blast furnace interrogation and I said to myself ' Well , that's the end of Kim Hill on RNZ ' . I was right . She mysteriously left RNZ , tried a stint in the enemy's camp , television which failed miserably because the TV audience was to dumb to comprehend her show . She can now be heard discussing banal and trite shit like recipes and media personalities on Saturday mornings . Having her brilliant mind shut away is like keeping great works of art locked up in a hermetically sealed safe because they're more valuable as ' investments ' than they are valuable to the eye , the heart and soul . Fascist key and his minions need a very , very big fright ! There needs to be a show of strength ! Now ! You could kick that off Bomber ! How about these working titles ? ' The United Tribes of New Zealand / Aotearoa Party ! How about ' The Angry Mob Party . ' ? How about the New Zealand Grow a Pair Party ! ? I'd bloody join !

 
At 10/10/11 8:46 am, Blogger Schemie said...

Stunned! Those idiots at Radio live should all jump in the lake. Karyn Hay and Fagan were critical of Radio live's decision to allow Key's propaganda exercise. We all know the glorious leader who runs Radio live is a right wing nut, who actually admires George "Put them in a field and bomb the bastards" Bush! I've listened to his rhetoric and he is in awe of right-wing media, like FOX. Good on ya for standing up for freedom of speech! Obviously, radiolive are just another wing of the National propaganda idolisation machine.

 
At 10/10/11 8:56 am, Blogger Nitrium said...

So John Key is like New Zealand's version of Silvio Berlusconi. If you want to control the people, you must control the media. Not sure how Key is doing it, but it seems to be working.

 
At 10/10/11 8:58 am, Blogger Hans Versluys said...

If you can't speak truth to power we are in deep trouble indeed.

 
At 10/10/11 9:01 am, Blogger dr whohoo said...

language was offensive... so a blatant ban on free speech.. Disgracefll.

 
At 10/10/11 9:03 am, Blogger dr whohoo said...

Inofensive language, so it comes down to a blatant restriction of free speech. Its a sad day for New Zealand as we make one giant step backwards :(

 
At 10/10/11 9:28 am, Blogger Canichett said...

Obviously Radio NZ are being threatened with more budget cuts by National if they let anyone be nasty about John! Seriously disturbing to hear what has happened to you Bomber!

 
At 10/10/11 9:39 am, Blogger Frank said...

RNZ's email address:

rnz@radionz.co.nz

 
At 10/10/11 10:45 am, Blogger AAMC said...

Have e-mailed RNZ and have forwarded my email and RNZ contacts to family and friends.

Time to roll this old mainstream media into obsolescence, time for twentieth century thinkers and their twentieth century media to feel the bite of some 21st century networking. But it involves participation, not apathy.

Get spamming people!

#occupyeverywhere

 
At 10/10/11 10:54 am, Blogger Ada said...

hey people, never underestimate the power of social media(not sure if this will get posted, will give it a go)on Twitter -#Asher Wolf, #99percent,#Umairh for a start will lead to more independent factual journalism sources, links & the bigger global picture happening. Sorry not able to share hashtag links on here. Cheers everyone

 
At 10/10/11 11:53 am, Blogger udon said...

Hi Bomber, I was listening to your spot on the panel and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't hear the Radio Live slot but thought your opinion piece was spot on to take JK to task. Its in fact why I listen to Radio National in the first place to get some decent counter balance to the news reporting and journalism that doesn't seem to want to offer any opinion. Keep it up, RN will be a sadder place for not having you around.

 
At 10/10/11 11:59 am, Blogger alex said...

Bad luck mate, you said what a lot of people are thinking and paid the price. Hope to hear you on again soon.

 
At 10/10/11 12:59 pm, Blogger Dr Syn said...

Gah, they took down the podcast recording of that episode. Shitstorm incoming.

Time to go email radio NZ and voice my displeasure at their actions.

 
At 10/10/11 1:39 pm, Blogger 3410 said...

Bomber,
Any chance you'd share your 2:38 email?

 
At 10/10/11 1:43 pm, Blogger Frank said...

The Dompost hasn't run the story yet, but this relates to it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5739737/Spat-after-man-tries-to-jump-at-Parliament?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

Leave a comment folks!

 
At 10/10/11 1:48 pm, Blogger dave said...

Wow what a stink! All of this proves that the NACT regime is VERY fragile as it has to resort to urgency, edicts, Tsars, attacking juries, legal aid, and banning Bomber to suppress exposure of its bankster ripoff of the economy.
Behind this ss Tumeke breaking the monopoly of the MSM and exposing NACTs daddy state autocracy. I call it Bonapartist regime where the leader is elevated as a military or otherwise 'non-partisan' figure to stand for the nation to keep the lid on the huge divisions between rich and poor. But such a regime is inherently unstable because its sitting astride a economic fault zone it can't control.
Key is now in danger of being seen as the emperor with no clothes. More power to the Tumeke blogsters!

 
At 10/10/11 1:51 pm, Blogger Paul said...

Greetings from the aesthetic left.

I think you were wrong to perform one of your posts on the radio - the Panel is not that sort of forum. You should not have talked over the presenter. However, that same presenter allowed Sir Mad Butcher to make a political broadcast on behalf of the PM, including a voting recommentation, without interruption or any censure. Besides, Hooten says the funniest things every week without complaint.

So, yes, I think you were wronged and ban is excessive.

 
At 10/10/11 1:54 pm, Blogger Paul said...

Greetings from the aesthetic left.

I think you were wrong to perform one of your posts. The Panel is not the forum for that sort of thing. You should not have talked over the presenter. However, that same presenter allowed Sir Mad Butcher to make a political broadcast on behalf of the PM, including a voting recommendation, without interruption or censure. Besides, Hooten rants every week without suffering any consequences beyond a sore throat.

So yes, I think you were wronged and the ban should be lifted.

 
At 10/10/11 2:11 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Comments can be left here, on RNZ's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/RadioNewZealand

 
At 10/10/11 6:25 pm, Blogger McSparrow said...

Sorry to hear that Bomber, I was listening to you on the panel and I was surprised to hear of the antics of our prime minister Mr John Key. I try telling others about his throat slashing gesture and taunts and they either don't believe me or show total apathy, such is the power of the spell our public is under. We are being spoon fed the friendly image of our Johnny From the Block Prime Minister by our media with no opportunity for debate. If there aren't people like you getting information contrary to what's being slopped out to the public then National will continue to meddle further while John Key smiles and waves at his adoring fans. This is getting to be frightening stuff. Keep fighting the good fight Bomber!!

 
At 10/10/11 6:25 pm, Blogger McSparrow said...

Sorry to hear that Bomber, I was listening to you on the panel and I was surprised to hear of the antics of our prime minister Mr John Key. I try telling others about his throat slashing gesture and taunts and they either don't believe me or show total apathy, such is the power of the spell our public is under. We are being spoon fed the friendly image of our Johnny From the Block Prime Minister by our media with no opportunity for debate. If there aren't people like you getting information contrary to what's being slopped out to the public then National will continue to meddle further while John Key smiles and waves at his adoring fans. This is getting to be frightening stuff. Keep fighting the good fight Bomber!!

 
At 10/10/11 7:18 pm, Blogger beautifulmusicfreak said...

Go Bomber - my new hero!

This is a brilliant point:

"If you can't criticize the PM on State Radio, and the private radio give him free air time during the credit downgrade where he doesn't answer any criticisms, then where the hell in a democracy can you criticize him?"

It's actually extremely insidious:
constant chipping away at democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law - it wouldn't take much of a crisis for them to go all the way to tyrannical dictatorship...

 
At 10/10/11 9:01 pm, Blogger Mclean blogspot said...

McSparrow, can I suggest that you suggest (spam them) your friends watch this clip of the event, especially Key's look at 2min40 when Goff calls him out..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyRSaJWxtL8&feature=player_embedded

 
At 10/10/11 9:35 pm, Blogger Gem said...

This is typical behavior from the National party and their lackeys.

Richard Griffin, the current board chair of Radio New Zealand, was formerly Jim Bolger’s press secretary. It is clear where Griffin’s loyalties lie. I have noticed an increasing amount of editorializing from Radio New Zealand reporters to downplay anything that might reflect poorly on John Key and National as a whole.

If any issue crops up that looks bad for Key, most media outlets attempt to extinguish it as soon as possible. The same is true of anyone, such as Bomber, who dares to question Key and his cronies.

For example, tonight (Monday 10 October), TVNZ 6:00 pm news did not mention Key lying by saying that Standard & Poor’s said a credit downgrade would be more likely under a Labour-led Government. TVNZ is lying by omission to protect Key. I applaud TV3 for screening this item.

Also, as previously noted in the comments about this post, Key using a mentally ill person’s possible suicide attempt to get political traction, and his making offensive, throat-slitting gestures, has been downplayed.

If the above-mentioned matters had occurred under a Labour Government, I can imagine the headlines: “Clark lies to Parliament,” “Goff menaces Key”, “Suicidal man threatens to jump while Goff scores points,” etc.

Key seems to have the media as a whole eating out of the palm of his hand. The way Bomber has been treated shows what happens to people who are brave enough to try to highlight the treacherous goings-on behind the smile and wave façade of the National party.

As an aside, if there are any National supporters reading these posts and comments, I’d be grateful if you could list the specific National policies that you support, and provide an account of how these policies have benefitted all New Zealanders, not just the wealthy tax evaders and those who have been given tax cuts.

 
At 10/10/11 9:42 pm, Blogger Tim said...

Surely the best protest would be to turn off "the Panel", or indeed "Afternoons with (that lovely-everyman's-best-friend) Jim Mora"
,,,,,,,,,,no....maybe not. I hate to think what they might replace it with. "Irene Gardiner plays favourites maybe"? ...or "Radio Police 10-7"?

 
At 10/10/11 10:13 pm, Blogger Wake Up Blog said...

This is the transition phase of the end of the old order, when targets will be chosen as a display of autocratic authority. This galvanizes the opposing position so extreme polarities will increasingly face off over the coming years. Key is a Dark Master who has perfected the role of Mr Nice Guy - as any great con man exemplifies - but his fortunes have begun to turn...

 
At 11/10/11 1:54 pm, Blogger Tim said...

WHere is that bastion of journalistic integrity now (Kathryn Ryan)?
...and yes - what Paul said - you should NOT have talked over such a VERY NICE man Jim - friend to all.
You forgot your "spot". Would have been OK if your name was Mat(t)hew Hooten and you were on Nine-to-Noon, but Bomber - THIS just simply "ISN'T ON"".
Radio NZ will learn ya!
Step into line or we'll put you in the army to show you some discipline

 
At 11/10/11 1:59 pm, Blogger Frank said...

Tim said... " Surely the best protest would be to turn off "the Panel", or indeed "Afternoons with (that lovely-everyman's-best-friend) Jim Mora"

Tim, I thought of that as well. There's an Upside and Downside to that. For example, Neil Miller was on the Panel yesterday, and made a very brief remark about having to mind his language in case he gets banned. Evidently he got some "worried looks" from RNZ technicians when he said that.

There are still things we can do, and it's a matter how we can each act to make our feelings known.

I'm waiting for "Bring Back Bomber" graffiti to start appearing around Wellington and Auckland... *whistles innocently*

 
At 11/10/11 3:16 pm, Blogger Red Nech said...

Just in the interests of balance - or fact - the MediaWorks $43ish Million is a deferred payment for the renewal of liscence fees for the coming 20 years - so it's money in the bank really. It's not a bailout - it's not a loan either. No money has moved.
What is has probably done is let them keep staff on, rather than ditch them when Ironbridge, the owners suddenly needed to see some cash during the GEC. That's called economics. I agree it sucks - but you can't call it a "loan" - just sayin

 
At 11/10/11 4:11 pm, Blogger Hensy said...

I am furious - that is censorship and it is appalling.

 
At 13/10/11 12:46 am, Blogger Ross Calverley said...

Hey Bomber,

Despite you listing the Bryce Edwards Fan Club as a detractor, I do not believe there is such an organisation at all.

Bryce even listed this article on his NZPD. He has never listed my blog, so count that as an honour to yourself.

If I were you, what I would do is either circulate this story among your contacts overseas, and blind message overseas news agencies. They would probably run on it, due to that corporate oval shaped ball tournament.

Good luck!

 

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