During the programme Tim Roxborogh & Tim Beveridge Afternoons, the hosts discussed Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. In response to Roxborogh’s question of ‘how do you stop Putin?’ Beveridge answered that the only thing would be ‘…a bullet to the back of Putin’s head. He has to be taken out by someone.’ The complainant alleged that these comments breached the good taste and decency, violence, law and order, and fairness standards as they incited violence. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the comments did not reach a threshold justifying regulatory intervention. In particular, the Authority noted the comments did not amount to a threat or call to action, were not likely to incite action against President Putin, and were made in the context of a discussion about President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to significant loss of life and the displacement of Ukrainians. The fairness standard was not relevant to the complaint.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence, Law and Order, Fairness
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on 1 News focusing on social-media-based misinformation, which included brief footage of an unnamed individual displaying what appeared to be convulsions in a wheelchair, and other social media material featuring influencer Chantelle Baker. The complainant argued the item reflected poorly on these individuals as it implied both were ‘spreaders of misinformation’ and, in the unnamed person’s case, ‘strongly inferred’ their injuries were not vaccine-related. The Authority did not consider the item resulted in either individual being treated unfairly, in the context of the item. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached.
Not Upheld: Fairness, Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy
A segment on AM interviewed the complainant regarding his documentary, Milked, which focused on the environmental impact of the dairy industry. Following the interview, the presenter interviewed DairyNZ CEO, Dr Tim Mackle, on the same topic. The complainant stated the broadcast breached the fairness standard as he was not informed of Dr Mackle’s involvement and he was not given a right to respond following the interview. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the nature of the broadcast did not materially deviate from what was consented to. The Authority also found the interviews were conducted fairly and the audience would not have been left with a negative impression of the complainant.
Not Upheld: Fairness
The Authority has not upheld a complaint that it was inappropriate to broadcast images of spiders due to viewers potentially having arachnophobia. The Authority found the images were unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, and the introduction to the item gave viewers who did not want to see spiders the opportunity to switch off. The programme information and discrimination and denigration standards did not apply.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration.
The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the discrimination and denigration standard in relation to a segment on Jack Tame on Saturday Morning. The complaint alleged several comments made by a guest on the programme were racist, including that numerous Chinese and Indian climbers attempted to summit Mt Everest for kudos, and that many Nepalese tour companies had to compete for the bottom of the tourism market, by providing cheap tours and cutting corners. The Authority acknowledged the comments had the potential to cause offence, but found they did not meet the high threshold required for a breach of the standard.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a brief 1 News report on a leaked draft decision from the United States Supreme Court, which had the potential to overturn the landmark decision of Roe v Wade concerning abortion rights. The complaint alleged the broadcast was unbalanced as it did not include footage of pro-life activists or arguments for the ‘rights of the child’. The Authority found that the broadcast was a straightforward report focused on the development of the reported leak. It did not discuss views for or against abortion access, therefore the balance standard did not apply. In any event, the Authority noted the broadcaster had provided balance over time in other 1 News coverage.
Not Upheld: Balance
The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding a 1 News item. The item opened by referring to ‘weeks of tension between Jews and Christians in Israel’. This was inaccurate as the item reported on tensions between Israelis and Palestinians during a period of overlapping religious holidays. The broadcaster acknowledged the reference to Christians was an error, but did not uphold the original complaint as the error was ‘implicitly corrected by the full context of the story’. The Authority found, given the item immediately following reported on violence between Muslim and Jewish people, the inaccuracy in the introduction was unlikely to mislead the audience overall. The fairness standard did not apply.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness
The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of Travel Guides Australia breached the discrimination and denigration standard by featuring one of the show’s participants stating he grew hair quickly due to his ‘wog genetics’. The Authority noted the word ‘wog’ can have different meanings; typically referring to non-white people in British English and to people with Southern European ancestry in Australian English, and that these constituted recognised sections of the community for the purposes of the standard. While the Authority acknowledged the potential harm in the use of the word, in this particular context (being used by someone of Greek heritage to describe themselves), it did not reach the high threshold of condemnation necessary to find a breach of the standard.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
An episode of Crowdscience broadcast on RNZ National discussed whether it was possible to engineer plants to make them edible (by removing toxic compounds) or more nutritious. In doing so, the broadcast investigated advances in genetic modification technology. The complainant stated the broadcast breached the accuracy and balance standards as it allegedly omitted relevant information, resulting in an exaggeration of the benefits identified in the broadcast of the advances mentioned. The Authority considered the complaint to be most appropriately addressed under the accuracy standard. It found the majority of the broadcast was materially accurate, and in any event, reasonable efforts were made to ensure accuracy as it was reasonable to rely on the experts interviewed.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance
The Authority has not upheld a complaint about comments made by Mike Hosking on Mike Hosking Breakfast that he ‘can’t wait’ to be a close contact of a person with COVID-19, and that ‘there’s so much more fun to have’ in relation to the ‘Omicron experience.’ The Authority found the comments did not breach the good taste and decency standard and were likely tongue-in-cheek, referring to the possible difficulties Hosking would face if working from home. Taking into account audience expectations of Newstalk ZB and Mike Hosking as a host, as well as the flippant, humorous nature of the comments, the Authority found they were unlikely to have caused widespread undue offence or distress or undermined widely shared community standards. Accordingly, they did not reach the threshold for regulatory intervention.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency