Research?! Who needs it?
The Broadcasting Standards Authority has found Television New Zealand's Breakfast Show guilty of the unbalanced presentation of an important issue, after hosts Paul Henry and Alson Mau gave the Sensible Sentencing Trust's Garth McVicar freedom to expound his 'right-wing populist' views about crime and justice without any opposition. In the complaint which prompted the BSA's judgement, Roger Brooking pointed out that 'no attempt was made to present the other side of the argument on sentencing and law and order issues.' No academic expert or lawyer was invited onto the Breakfast Show to reply to McVicar's claims that the justice system was 'soft' on criminals, and Henry and Mau openly supported McVicar's hardline stance on sentencing.
Over at the yahoonews forum, there was little sympathy for the BSA's decision. This comment is probably representative:
It never ceases to amaze me how some people (the minority thank goodness) always seem to side with the criminals. No wonder our prisons are overflowing. It is high time that our judiciary get tough with those who break the law "willy nilly".
Comments like this one reflect a misunderstanding of the BSA's decision. The BSA was not passing judgement upon the rightness or wrongness of McVicar's views - it was objecting to the context in which these views were presented. The Breakfast Show's failure to get the opinion of an expert and to balance McVicar's hardline views on sentencing meant that it was in danger of misrepresenting an important and complex issue, and stifling rather than stimulating public debate of this issue. As the example of Fox News should have shown us all by now, the presentation of highly partisan opinions about inflammatory issues by unqualified or underqualified individuals is not good for democracy.
I didn't see McVicar on the Breakfast Show, but back in April I did have the misfortune to witness the appearance on the show by Lloyd Pye, the anti-evolution conspiracy theorist. Pye, who believes that human beings are related to aliens rather apes, was in New Zealand to attend the symposium organised by the circle of anti-semitic conspiracy theorists that publishes Uncensored magazine. Pye rests his bizarre theories on the strangely-shaped 'starchild skull', which he claims belonged to an alien-human hybrid, but which in fact belonged to a deformed native American child.
Henry and Mau gave Pye a friendly welcome, and were deeply impressed by the replica of the starchild skull which Pye showed them. Pye was allowed to present himself as an expert on craniology, and to assert that a series of scientific tests had failed to prove the inauthenticity of the starchild skull. In fact, Pye has no academic qualifications, and a 1999 DNA test at a credentialed Vancouver lab found that the 'starchild' skull was fully human. Pye used his appearance on the Breakfast Show to repeatedly advertise the Uncensored seminar, and to give out the magazine's web address.
Anyone who logged on to the Uncensored site in the days after Pye's appearance would have found articles dismissing the swine flu as a conspiracy by 'occultists' of the 'New World Order'. According to long-time Uncensored contributor Clare Swinney, the numbers associated with the arrival of swine flu in New Zealand have an eerie significance:
On the 28th of April, the TV3 news mentioned there were 66 suspected cases of swine flu and that New Zealand was the 6th country in the world to officially declare it has the virus. The following day news in the US included a reference to: “66 confirmed cases across 6 states.” Time to pay attention? Is the writing on the wall, or was this use of 66 and 6 in relation to what some believe is the elites’ Endgame, a mere coincidence?
While it could be a coincidence, bear in mind that the psychopaths in control like giving a sign before they strike and as bizarre as it may sound, those who are in the process of implementing a One World Government and reducing the world population, are Satanists, and obsessed with the occult.
Older posts on the Uncensored website charge Jews with responsibility for 9/11, and defend the reputation of a 'highly talented British historian' named David Irving.
Why, we might ask, did a publicly-owned television channel with a mass audience give free publicity to a site like Uncensored, and to a man like Lloyd Pye? I don't believe that either Henry or Mau is stupid enough to believe in Pye's absurd ideas. Nor do I believe that either wanted to promote the crazed conspiracy theories that are the stock in trade of Uncensored. I think that Henry and his sidekick are bad journalists, rather than bigots. A five minute google search ought to have shown Mau and Henry the truth about Pye, and about Uncensored, but both of them seem to spend more time on their make up than on research.