by Dave Witherow

It is hard to remember now that we once had a respectable national radio service that used to broadcast news, conduct wide-ranging interviews, commission interesting material, and generally behave like a miniature version of what the BBC used to be before it too bit the dust.

All gone. But twice a week or so I still switch on the creaking cadaver of our once-admirable broadcaster — just to check how the rot is progressing. And this morning, with Katherine Ryan and “media commentator” Andrew Holden, was a fine reaffirmation. The disjunction is complete. Katherine and Andrew, like the rest of their hapless nodding crew, share a view of our present situation somewhat comparable to that of a tick on the arse of an elephant.

Nothing has been learned at Radio New Zealand. The rest of the world, now waking up from a two-year superfluous nightmare, is in truculent mood, edging towards rebellion. The wreckage of our economies was unnecessary, the “science” was mostly a fairytale, and our democracy has simply been stolen. Even the slow-learners are beginning to see that the vast legions of covid dead were in fact just your ordinary everyday crop of dead – and that global mortality, over the past two years has actually been less than normal.

But at RNZ the shutters are up, the useless masks in place, and a terminal terror of Omicron has, so to speak, become mandatory. Never mind the fact that a dose of Omicron, before the “pandemic” fried people’s brains, would have been the flu – or a subset of the flu – and no-one would even have noticed.
Catherine and Andrew are puzzled. What, they wonder, is all this protesting about? Why are they camping outside Parliament? Could there, muses Andrew, be hidden agendas in play. The Nazis, perhaps, or QAnon, or the Flat Earth Conspiracy back again, scuttling the established “science”? Or are they all just simply deluded – led astray by all that misinformation flying around on Facebook?

Worst of the lot — and an unfathomable mystery to Katherine and Andrew — has been the hostility to the Media. How could this be? Here are reporters being jeered at, spat at, and made to feel unwelcome. Heroic reporters just doing their jobs. Risking their lives, Andrew seems to believe, to bring back the unvarnished truth. Shades of Sarajevo.

There are none so blind as will not see, and Katherine, along with all her colleagues, all her counterparts in the press and on TV, have without demur allowed themselves to be blinded. How can they speak Truth to Power when they are living on Power’s dollar?

We are two years behind the rest of the world, thanks to our visionary Prime Minister. We flattened the curve, beat the bug, mobilized the team of five million. And now we’re stuck with a dog that won’t hunt, and a story that no longer holds water.

So we’re going to be lied to, nonstop, to save Jacinda’s bacon. Wear your discredited masks, self-isolate, self-flagellate, dob in your neighbours, and ignore the fact that the wonderful Canadians are attempting to arrange your deliverance. And listen to RNZ now and again. It’s always good for a laugh.