Harawira’s asset sale comments ‘insightful’ – BSA
NZ Herald 23 July 2012
A news story in which politician Hone Harawira described the Prime Minister’s comments on asset sales as “bullsh*t” was insightful rather than offensive, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. Lobby group Family First complained to the authority after the comment was aired in a 3 News item at 6pm on March 6. The report on the Government’s asset sales plan included a comment from Prime Minister John Key, who said share prices from asset sales would be set a level that was “affordable for a lot of New Zealanders”. The item featured comment from opposition MPs, including Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, whose blunt response to Mr Key’s comment was: “Bullsh*t.” Family First complained that the inclusion of the comment was unnecessary and offensive. It said the comment breached the standard of good taste and decency, and the standard of children’s interests. The group argued the inclusion of the comment normalised the language and was “a particularly bad example when it’s said by a political leader”.
…Family First national director Bob McCoskrie responded that the “B.S. Authority” finding confirmed the 8.30pm watershed for family-friendly viewing was a “crock”. “Parents are sick and tired of lunging for the remote to protect children from offensive and inappropriate content during family viewing hours – including promos for upcoming adult-rated programmes and sleazy stories on news and current event programmes. This decision continues the trend of flawed decisions.” Mr McCoskrie said the ruling removed a level of respect previously afforded to political leaders. He said schools should be wary of recommending television news to students because of “the increasing level of offensive and sexual content disguised as news”.