Radio NZ is held by the right in about the same esteem as CBS is held in the US. Shockingly biased. Not in a deliberate way, but in the sense that the worldview of almost all their management is somewhere squarely between the Greens and the Alliance.
We saw one sign this week when Sean Plunket was spoken to by management because he was too confrontational to Jeanette Fitzsimons. I would bet a large amount of money that if the interview had been with Don Brash, he’d be getting a round of congratulations from around the office.
Another is today’s revelations that Radio NZ management’s big idea to deal with issues of bias, is to to preface contributions from political commentator Jane Clifton with a disclaimer informing listeners her boyfriend is Murray McCully.
And staff like Plunket and Linda Clark who objected to this were censured by management for objecting. Mad mad mad.
I don’t recall them starting Chris Laidlaw’s show with a disclaimer every week that he is a former Labour MP. I don’t recall them starting Brian Edwards with a disclaimer he trains the PM and Ministers up on how to avoid answering questions. I don’t recall them stating the head of their election unit is a union activist every time he is on air.
This reminds me of the time the BBC put out an edict banning staff from mentioning that Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Mandelson was gay.
Note that my criticisms of Radio NZ are not criticism of individual staff. Their current press gallery head is very fair and professional for example. The criticism is at the management culture.