There was a public meeting in my home town last night to protest against the impending closure of TVNZ7. As a firm believer in the virtues of public television I might have been tempted to attend, but for one thing.The crusade to save TVNZ7 started out with sound motives but gives every impression of having been hijacked by the Left. While this was probably inevitable, it does nothing for the campaign’s credibility. In fact it’s counter-productive, since it ensures an already indifferent government will dismiss the campaign as just more bleating by its habitual enemies and therefore not worth bothering about.
I mean, who can take seriously any campaign in which the neo-Marxist loudmouth Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has been assigned a central role? Bradbury was the “moderator” – hardly the most appropriate word in his case – at last night’s meeting, as he has been at several others. Personally, I’d rather be roped to a chair and forced to sit through endless reruns of MasterChef New Zealand than endure one of Bradbury’s splenetic rants.He was to be joined on the platform last night by Green MP Julie Ann Genter, Labour MP Kris Faafoi and Wayne Hope, a leftist academic (almost a tautology) from the Auckland University of Technology. It’s hard to imagine a more highly politicised roster of speakers, or one the government would be more happy to ignore.
There is a broad constituency of people who support public broadcasting and it shouldn’t be assumed they are all on the Left. It’s unfortunate that the promoters of the Save TVNZ7 campaign have risked alienating so many of them by allowing a worthwhile cause to be presented as just another skirmish in the ideological wars.