During a voice break on the radio music show Selectah, the presenter said, 'If you are a scooter rider, in the city, in Auckland, let me give you one piece of advice: Don't get your scooter fixed by Scootling, they charge way too much.' MediaWorks upheld a fairness complaint from the owner of Scootling and offered him a number of options for redress including an on-air apology and free advertising. The Authority disagreed with the complainant that this action was insufficient. It also declined to uphold his complaints that the broadcast otherwise breached standards relating to law and order and accuracy.
Not Upheld: Fairness (Action Taken), Law and Order, Accuracy
During the Jay-Jay, Mike & Dom show one of the hosts commented that ‘Louise Nicholas is the woman who was raped by a pack of cops in Rotorua’. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that this statement was inaccurate, because it did not form part of a news, current affairs or factual programme to which the accuracy standard applied.
Not Upheld: Accuracy
The song ‘Smile’ by Lily Allen was broadcast during MORE FM Breakfast with Si and Gary. The song included one muted use of the word ‘fucking’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached standards of good taste and decency as the word ‘fucking’ was not clearly audible and occurred only once in the song.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
The George FM Breakfast show contained a discussion about the complainant’s use of the dating application Tinder, during which derogatory comments were made about him. The broadcaster upheld the complaint this was unfair. However, the Authority found that the action taken by the broadcaster was insufficient, as the apology broadcast by the show’s hosts was insufficiently specific or formal to effectively remedy the breach. The Authority ordered a broadcast statement including an apology to the complainant.
Upheld: Fairness (Action Taken)
Not Upheld: Privacy, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming
Order: Section 13(1)(a) broadcast statement including apology to the complainant
During Talkback with Karyn Hay and Andrew Fagan, the host Mr Fagan made comments about a regular caller, the complainant, who went by the name of ‘Alex’. He said ‘back in 17-something… I’d meet him on the beach as the sun came up and I’d potentially kill him or let him kill me in a duel’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the host had made a ‘veiled death threat’ against the complainant. It was clear the host was not making a serious death threat, but was using provocative, metaphorical language to express his strong views about the complainant.
Not Upheld: Law and Order, Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration
In an election advertisement for the National Party, John Key referred to ‘Labour, The Greens and Dotcom’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the reference to ‘Dotcom’ was misleading because there was no ‘Dotcom Party’. The advertisement did not explicitly refer to any ‘Dotcom Party’, Kim Dotcom has been a prominent figure in the election, and most listeners would have understood it to be a reference to the Internet Party, and that political party advertising is broadcast in the context of a robust political arena in the lead-up to a general election.
Not Upheld: Election Programmes Subject to Other Standards (Accuracy)
During The Edge Afternoons with Guy, Sharyn and Clint the hosts ran a segment called ‘Shaz Dog’s Love Shack’, where listeners could text and call in to ask for advice on love and relationships. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that ‘a discussion of sexual positions’ breached standards. The segment was consistent with the style of content and humour regularly broadcast on The Edge, and was unlikely to surprise or offend the target audience of 15- to 39-year-olds. Most of the content was in the nature of sexual innuendo and would have gone over the heads of younger listeners.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming, Controversial Issues
In a ‘Showbiz news’ segment on MORE FM Breakfast, a joke was made about the marriage breakup of Kim Dotcom and his wife. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the joke breached standards of good taste and decency. It was light-hearted and humorous and typical of breakfast radio, and the Dotcoms could reasonably expect some coverage of their breakup.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
During Talkback with Sean Plunket, one caller expressed views opposing drilling including the fact drilling resources were sent to China who manufactured it into ‘crap’. Later in the programme, the host sarcastically referred back to the caller’s comments, referring to the ‘Damn Chinese’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that his comments were offensive and disrespected Chinese people. The host was being sarcastic, and was actually defending China, not being derogatory. In any case the comments did not carry any invective and did not encourage the denigration of, or discrimination against, Chinese people.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration
During MORE FM Breakfast the hosts discussed ‘age-appropriate’ movies and invited callers to phone in and tell them what movies they watched ‘before they should have’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the programme’s treatment of ‘underage viewing’ breached the law and order standard. Personal anecdotes were standard fare for breakfast radio shows, and reasonable listeners would not have taken the programme as a serious encouragement to break the law or to allow young children to watch unsuitable films.
Not Upheld: Law and Order