Tuesday, June 19, 2012


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.


Keeping Stock said...

Right on the money Karl; well said.

Pete George said...

That's pretty much right. I was invited to speak at the Dunedin meeting. Generally I found it worthwhile, especially some of the audience participation, but it did feel like a Labour Party meeting at times. I do think it has become yet another faux campaign vehilce to an extent.

Myles the organiser was a good guy and is doing what he believes in with little politics (as far as I saw), but seems to be outflanked and overrun by Labour and Greens.

Bomber was late (flight) which was good, he didn't add much useful to the discussion. I was interested in meeting him but he pretty much snobbed me.

The panel was leaning one way:
Clare Curran, means well but hard out politicking.
Julie Anne Genter was reasonable, admitted there was little chance of saving TVNZ 7.
Aaron Hawkins (Radio One Producer/ Save Radio One campaign) and Erika Pearson (Senior Lecturer Otago Uni, Dept Media Film and Communication) were reasonable but obviously pro.

I was they only non-lefty, I presumed I was asked because Peter Dunne has spoken strongly for TVNZ 7, but I spoke about "failed experiment, too late" - and what can we do about getting something multi media to replace it. I want to explore that but thought it best to leave it until after the end of this month.

I got asset sales etc directed at me quite strongly, Dunne would have been swamped with rabid diversion from the topic if he had gone to one of the meetings.

So, who's up for a think tank on what to start from July 1? Outside the square, forward looking, multi media rather than one old fashioned 24/7 channel format? A people's media sort of thing?