Houston, we have a winner.
The column published on September 1, 2012 discussed the impact of US astronaut Neil Armstrong’s moon landing and compared his achievements to those of cyclist Lance Armstrong, who had been stripped of his awards that same week because of drug cheating.
Mr Golden said the column was untrue because the moon landings did not happen and it was improper for The Dominion Post to suggest otherwise. He claimed that the columnist and The Dominion Post editor knew the moon landings were a fiction and they were propagating “false propaganda”.
He said the column breached six Press Council principles, including accuracy, fairness and balance. He also cited principles covering children, discrimination, subterfuge, conflicts of interest and corrections.
Oh dear God. This complaint must have had the Press Council and the Dom Post staff in hysterics. Sadly they have to treat it is as a valid complaint. I’d be tempted to just ask the complainant for proof the moon landings were faked, but I suspect he would have then never stopped corresponding.
It is widely accepted that Neil Armstrong did land on the moon and The Dominion Post’s column is reflecting many reports over many years that have assumed the moon landings to be fact. Mr Golden believes the reports to be propaganda and The Dominion Post a willing vehicle for that propaganda.
The difficulty for the Press Council is Mr Golden has not supplied any evidence to convince it that the moon landings did not happen – except his own opinion.
I don’t think the fact of the moon landings really is an assumption.
Press Council members considering this complaint were Barry Paterson, Tim Beaglehole, Pip Bruce Ferguson, Kate Coughlan, Chris Darlow, Sandy Gill, Penny Harding, Keith Lees, John Roughan and Stephen Stewart.
That’s five minutes of their lives they’ll never get back.
Mr Allan Golden appears to be a serial complainer. I’ve found three other Press Council complaints and a BSA complaint. The BSA complaint was about a TVNZ news item that referred to the price of gold in US dollars rather than NZ dollars! Another BSA complaint from him is here. Of and a Press Council complaint here alleging a Fairfax conspiracy.