[Radio New Zealand] said the way [Matthew Hooton] expressed his opinion was unacceptable, and fell well short of our standards for fairness and balance, so this week we also asked Radio New Zealand how can you be sure Matthew Hooton won’t make further politically-motivated claims in future, which might also jeopardise that even-handedness and political neutrality they value.
Well, Radio New Zealand replied that Matthew Hooton had raised a legitimate subject on Monday, in the context of Nine to Noon’s robust political debate, from the left and from the right, but its concern was the accusations of lying, which were addressed, they say, by Nine to Noon on Thursday morning’s apology and clarification.
Well Radio New Zealand also added, in live radio we can never give an absolute guarantee that comments won’t be made by contributors which might jeopardise our reputation for even-handedness and political neutrality, but we will continue, they say, to do all that we can to maintain that reputation.
From Mediawatch, 29 September 2013.
Segment starts at 9:23, quote from 16:51-17:47
You know what actually “jeopardises your reputation”, Radio NZ?
1. Claiming that Matthew Hooton’s comments were raising a legitimate subject but that it was the accusations of lying which were the problem. The subject he raised WAS the accusations of lying. THAT’S ALL HE SAID.
2. Crying about the dinnamic environment of live radio when you’ve already set a precedent for refusing to re-hire commentators who spew crap all over your microphones.
3. Saying you’ll do “all that you can” to maintain your reputation while also [GO TO 2].
4. Referring to anything which happens on Nine to Noon involving Matthew Hooton and Mike “I agree with Matthew” Williams as “robust political debate”.
(Oh, and obviously we now have a new bar for measuring one’s political gullibility: when Matthew Hooton says “There’s a growing sense”, do you assume it’s only growing because he keeps mentioning it? If so, congratulations: you can grasp basic political strategy. Moreso than Nine to Noon’s producers, apparently.)