BSA decisions

December 27th, 2009 at 11:29 am by David Farrar

Fun summer reading can be decisions of the . Some recent decisions:

  1. They reject four complaints against for ’s satirical piece of Maori TV getting the Rugby World Cup rights. It wasn’t that funny a piece of , but no way should it be illegal!
  2. They also turn down two complaints against and over his comments re the Maori flag.
  3. ACT member Peter Taskhoff is sucessful against TVNZ for a story at an arms show than unfairly portrayed him in a negative light.
  4. Kerry Bolton wins against Radio NZ for Chris Laidlaw’s programme which made holocaust denying accusations against him withotu verifying them.
  5. Henk van Helmond loses against TV3 for door stopping him at is home in relation to threats about Sue Bradford.
  6. A complaint against TV3 for coverage of the parade was not upheld.
  7. A complaint fron a Patty Towl against Solid Gold FM for the joke that Ellen DeGeneres is the second most powerful lesbian on the planet, and being the first – was not upheld.
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12 Responses to “BSA decisions”

  1. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    What concerns me is that we’re paying for this waste of time crap.

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  2. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    You call this ‘fun summer reading’, David?

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  3. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    I was interested in the case of Kerry Bolton and his victory over RNZ.

    The BSA “requested background information from the broadcaster about Dr Hamilton’s credentials so that it could understand why he was selected to speak as an expert on the topic of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in New Zealand… RNZ stated that Dr Hamilton had been invited by the programme’s producer to participate in the programme ‘on the basis of the blogs he had written'”.

    Jesus, on this basis there must be dozens (if not hundreds) of bloggers who would qualify as experts. You know educational standards have slipped when an academic (and blogger!) can be caught out by someone who was once Secretary of the National Front. :)

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  4. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    The holocaust denier apparently managed to “insinuate himself into things like the anti-war movement in New Zealand, the Palestine Solidarity movement. ” Insinuate ? Those nutters would probably welcome him with open arms

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Mr Tinman is right (although the BSA is jointly funded by government and broadcasters) that this is a waste of time and money. If the silly pricks writing the complaints just realised that the best way to deal with such issues is to turn off their TVs or whatever, then this nit picking artifice staffed by a group of sponging no hopers could be shut down.

    Never ceases to amaze me what the tax taken from hard working New Zealand families is used for. Even more amazing that such families are apparently happy with their money being taken and used for such things when they could be keeping it and using it to help their own situation.

    Why the hell do people keep voting for this crap….????!!!!

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  6. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Hi David,

    I think the BSA’s decision to find against Radio NZ on the grounds that they can’t find evidence that he is a Holocaust denier (they actually say they can’t decide whether he is or is not, and thus take a ‘neutral’ position) must raise serious questions about their competence, given that Bolton is the best-known neo-Nazi in the country and has published an entire book denying the Holocaust, as well as numerous articles and letters on the subject. I’ve run through some of the evidence against Bolton in this post:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2009/12/broadcasting-standards-authoritys.html

    As someone said to me after the decision was announced, if Bolton is not a Holocaust denier, then the term loses all meaning.

    Ross: I don’t think blogging’s anything to be ashamed of, but as well as the blog posts I have written a PhD which is importantly concerned with facism and anti-semitism, and it’s being published next year by Manchester University Press, so I do feel I have some qualification to talk about the phenomenon that Bolton represents. Even though most of the visitors to this site probably have political views well to the right of mine, I think we can all agree that neo-Nazism and anti-semitism should be exposed and condemned wherever they raise their ugly heads. That’s why I consider the BSA’s decision such a retrograde step.

    [DPF: I think you raise some very valid points. Would be a good issue for Media Watch to look at!]

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  7. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Scott,

    There are a number of issues here.

    First, you had a go at Kerry Bolton – whom I don’t know and have never met – when you didn’t need to. The BSA made it clear that you were on safe ground talking about anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial but not so safe when referring to Bolton. It’s unclear why you didn’t confine yourself to dicsussing the former.

    Second, I find it curious that RNZ argued that your comments were “not statements of fact, but an expression of expert opinion and, as such, the accuracy standard did not apply.” Isn’t it odd that RNZ – in its defence – argued that you were merely expressing your opinion? If that is true, why should your opinion be given more credence than say Mr Bolton’s or anyone else’s for that matter?

    Third, the BSA said the evidence that you provided to it in relation to Bolton’s alleged Holocaust denial was “scant”. What evidence did you supply the BSA?

    Fourth, you say that Bolton is the “best-known neo-Nazi in the country” as if that should be the end of the debate. As an academic, you must surely realise that making a comment such as that is no substitute for proof of your argument. For instance, it’s a well-known fact that Mr Farrar has been fomenting mischief for a number of years and should be banned from blogging. :)

    I get the feeling that you and Bolton have some major ideological differences, which of course is fine. But raising those differences in the way you did suggests that the issue is also personal. By all means condemn neo-Nazism and anti-semitism but at the same time you might like to stress that you fully support Mr Bolton’s right to speak freely on such matters. I don’t necessarily agree with what Bolton says but I’d stand beside him to defend his right to speak.

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  8. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Scott,

    I’ve also read your blog post on this issue. You say:

    “The Broadcasting Standards Authority is made up of journalists, and one might have expected them to be capable of doing a little empirical investigation, and discovering the many Holocaust-denying texts which Bolton has been unable to bury.”

    Rather than expect the BSA to do a “little empirical investigation”, why didn’t you simply provide the BSA with the necessary material proving your claims? It appears that you did not provide the BSA with said material, which sort of confirms their argument that your evidence was scant.

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  9. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Hi Ross,

    saying that Kerry Bolton is a Holocaust denier is a little like saying that Jeanette Fitzsimons opposes nuclear power, or asserting that the Act Party favours the privatisation of public assets – that is, it is a statement of the politically obvious. The evidence for Bolton’s Holocaust denial is not ‘scant’ – it is overwhelming. My post cited, as examples of Bolton’s denialism, his book – which is called, rather tellingly, ‘The Holocaust Myth’, his Open Letter to the War Generation from 2003, his letter to the Listener in support of Joel Hayward’s Holocaust-denying MA thesis in 2003, and his recent book ‘Thinkers of the Right’? Here’s a quote from the 2003 Open Letter:

    ‘German Jews were rounded up as enemy aliens, since their own leaders publicly declared “war” on Hitler the very year he achieved Government, 1933, at a time when there were few restrictions put on Jews. The Jews, under Samuel Untermeyer organised a world economic boycott to try and wreck Germany economically. Jews and their communist allies organised boycotts of shops that sold Germany goods. People were beaten up by Jewish-communist thugs if they tried to resist…

    So what was Hitler’s “crime”. And why is he still being demonised, even though his alleged “war crimes” have now been shown to have been inventions of Allied war propaganda (of the type that told Britons during World War I about the bayoneting of Belgium babies and the crucifixion of Canadian soldiers, etc.). Why is he still so feared?

    It is because he inaugurated a new form of government that was based on the folkish community, where “the common interest {comes} before self-interest”? Youth were given a sense of purpose, were clean living, worked at a stretch of Labour Service regardless of class or family wealth. Even William Shirer remarked on the callow, unhealthy English youth, in comparison to the healthy vigour of German youth.’

    This passage is a pretty unambiguous denial of the Holocaust. Its author should not be able to hide from the implications of his words.

    Why did the BSA fail to acknowledge Bolton’s obvious history of Holocaust denial? The most charitable explanation I can give is that they failed to read all the material I directed them to. I sent them several sets of references and links, and I notice that their report only mentions the first set – and that it misunderstood even that set. The BSA’s report doesn’t mention that my PhD thesis was the key reason why I went on Radio NZ, which was something I explained in one of my later communications to them, and this reinforces my feeling that they’ve been sloppy and failed to do their reading.

    The BSA’s task may have been made a little harder by Bolton’s frantic efforts to delete references to his Holocaust denial from the internet – but this should not have stopped the authority. After all, his denailism is recorded in printed as well as electronic media.

    This is an issue which involves free speech, but not in the way you imagine. If we are unable to call a spade a spade, and hold political figures to their words, then the foundations of rational political discourse disappear. I hope Radio New Zealand appeals the BSA’s bizarre judgement. I certainly agree with you that the question of ‘personal opinion’ is quite irrelevant: these are questions of fact.

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  10. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > After all, his denialism is recorded in printed as well as electronic media.

    It may well be, but it seems you failed to give the BSA copies of the relevant material and simply expected the BSA to take your word. That’s not how the system works. Would you expect the legal system to work that way, or would you epxect it to demand evidence? And the quote you’ve provided, allegedly from Bolton, doesn’t in any way infer Holocaust denial, only that German Jews were not passive bystanders in the lead up to war. You cannot and should not say that Bolton is a denier on the basis of that.

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  11. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > If we are unable to call a spade a spade

    You did call a spade a spade by referring to Bolton as a Holocaust denier. Thank goodness for free speech, eh? I wouldn’t want any restrictions placed on your right to speak freely, nor would I want restrictions placed on anyone with whom I may disagree.

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  12. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Read the quote again, Ross:

    ‘So what was Hitler’s “crime”. And why is he still being demonised, even though his alleged “war crimes” have now been shown to have been inventions of Allied war propaganda’

    This is quite clearly a denial of the Holocaust, which was, incontestably, Hitler’s greatest crime.

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