by Christie on the BFD

The first thing that I would like to say is that our Prime Minister is clearly at the end of her tether. She should never shout at Ryan Bridge like that. She was rude when he questioned the levels of government spending in a cost of living crisis. She claimed – very testily – that the government was ‘tightening its belt’. Yet, after hearing the recent announcements of $350 million for cycleways (that no one uses), bus lanes and on-demand buses, I can’t see how they’re doing much belt-tightening.

But that was not the subject of the interview. Bridge was questioning whether or not the cost of merging TVNZ and RNZ was money well spent right at the moment. We all know the answer to that: not in the least.

But if you listen to her rather tetchy, bad-mannered response to Bridge, it was illuminating. First, she reveals that the audiences for both entities are falling and that the state-owned broadcasters are at risk and this is why the move to combine them is so important. It is all about ‘saving’ them.

It never enters her woolly little head that one of the main reasons why audiences for both TVNZ and RNZ are falling is because most people simply cannot understand them anymore.

I wonder why that is?

Listeners to RNZ are subject to so much Maori these days that many of their programmes are simply incomprehensible. TVNZ is not much better, particularly when it comes to weekend weather presenters. Although all the news and current affairs programmes are peppered throughout with Maori phrases, most of it can be understood by English speakers. But I will never forgive TVNZ for allowing a weather presenter who gives her presentation almost entirely in Maori to report on the bad weather heading Nelson’s way in August. I believe that many people watching that bulletin would have had no idea how their lives and property were at severe risk.

TVNZ doesn’t care. Virtue-signalling trumps everything.

But that is not all. Later in the interview with Bridge, Jacinda let slip the real reason for the RNZ-TVNZ merger.

She states that the biggest concern for national security at the moment is ‘misinformation and disinformation’. Not organised crime. Not money laundering. Not gangs or drug dealers. Not China or Russia. Misinformation and disinformation.

There has always been misinformation. The world is full of it. From predicted times when the world was going to end to conspiracy theories about how the USA blew up the Pentagon itself, it has always been out there. Jacinda doesn’t really care about any of that, though. What she really hates is when people disagree with the government – you know, like those pesky anti-vaxxers and people who protested at Parliament. Their crime was disagreeing with the government – and Jacinda absolutely loathes that.

I have news for you, Jacinda. There will always be people who disagree with your government, and every other government. It is called free speech and freedom of thought. Oh, wait. Yes. You’ve tried to shut that down too, haven’t you?

She then went on to say that “people want to have trusted places they can access” for reliable information. Yes, we do: of course we do. But somehow, a government-controlled state broadcaster is not my idea of an independent media outlet. It sounds more like a propaganda outlet to me.

Jacinda wasn’t kidding when she told us all in 2020 that her Government would be our ‘one source of truth’. Clearly, she meant it. And now she is creating that ‘one source of truth’ in perpetuity, by restructuring our state broadcasting into one authority that peddles government propaganda and very little else.

One Source of Truth. Image credit Wibble. The BFD.

Instead of spending a fortune that the country does not have in finding a new brand name for the entity, why don’t we, in the spirit of the modern world, recycle an old name? How about Pravda? That sounds about right to me.

Our state broadcasting authority is now destined for the scrap heap. People who have listened to RNZ for years are giving up on it because of all the Maori that is spoken. People for whom English is a first language are switching to other media outlets in droves. This new entity is not going to save the state broadcaster. If the government wants to save it, then they need to take a good hard look at why audiences are reducing. But that is not what this exercise is about. This is about entrenchment (a favourite word of the current Labour government) of a state broadcaster as our ‘one source of truth’. That is why they will accept no criticism of the costs involved. This is also why she is so tetchy when the subject is raised.

But you know what they say. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. Nothing will make me watch or listen to the new state broadcaster. I suspect most of you will be the same. Dictators no longer wear military uniforms. They wear skirts and make-up. And Maori is the new Russian.

The best answer to allegations of ‘misinformation’ is government transparency — but the Jacinda regime is exactly the opposite: as opaque as the KCDC was under Dougherty/Maxwell and Power. We don’t entirely agree that “People who have listened to RNZ for years are giving up on it because of all the Maori that is spoken” — it’s much more likely because the blatant political bias is becoming too hard to take for many, just like the rest of the government-paid mainstream media. On the last comment above: Russian was a compulsory language in the Iron Curtain countries before the fall of the Berlin wall and the peoples of other Soviet block countries saw it as the language of the oppressor — is that what Christie means? —Eds