Brian Edwards writes:
The television consumer programme Fair Go returns to TV1 tonight. This means work for Judy and me, work which we would ideally prefer not to have at all. Dealing with frightened and distressed people, who have been harassed and intimidated by Fair Go reporters and who see their businesses, reputations and lives being destroyed in the interests of television entertainment and advertising revenue, is both harrowing and frustrating. ….
For some years now Fair Go has been a programme out of control. Its reporters, with the notable exceptions of Hannah Wallace and Kevin Milne, about whom we have never received a single complaint, are power-drunk bullies, its journalism is suspect, its honesty open to question.
It’s time to even the odds for the victims of Fair Go.
So here is some free advice to anyone contacted by a Fair Go reporter:
*Have nothing to do with them.
*If they send you an email, do not reply.
*If they phone you, hang up.
*If they come on to your property, ask them to leave. Repeat your request more than once. If they remain on the property, call the police.
*If they harass you in a public place, ask them politely to go away and leave you alone. Do not run, hide your face or say ‘No comment’.
*If the harassment continues, write a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive of TVNZ as soon as you return home or to your business. Send a copy of your letter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, marked FYI.
*Talking to Fair Go is the worst thing you can do. Your replies will be taken out of context and used against you.
*Do not send the programme a written statement. Your statement will almost never be broadcast in full. It will be heavily edited, parts taken out of context and used against you.
*Engaging with Fair Go is almost certain to do you more harm than good. They have already made up their mind about you.
That’s the most damning critique of a show I have seen, and coming from a former host, more so. I have not watched it for years so can’t judge. Has Edwards gone from gamekeeper to poacher or has Fair Go become a bully?