Opinion: TVNZ is blasé about the need to appear politically neutral. On Thursday a rant by SevenSharp’s Mike Hosking showed the state broadcaster captured by a conservative commentator. Hosking attacked New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd who featured in a thoughtful item about his backing assured Maori representative on the local council. The public had voted against the idea, and Judd was not standing again due to public abuse of him and his family. The attack appeared personal.
He had been itching to have a go even before the start of the item, saying nobody would be interested outside New Plymouth anyway. After it ran he dismissed Judd as “completely out of touch with Middle New Zealand.” TVNZ will insist Hosking’s take on what was normal was his personal view. But he reality is that he is seen by many as reflecting the editorial position of the state broadcaster. The outburst was “clarified” on Friday when Hosking said he might have been misunderstood. On Saturday the millionaire commentator Gareth Morgan went into high dudgeon saying Hosking was “using State-owned media to amplify the ignorance of bigots” and “that was surely something the managers of TVNZ should be held accountable for” he said. In my opinion Hosking can say what he likes in his Newstalk ZB show. He is entitled to a view and there are many people who will agree with him. However, after all this time TVNZ remains incautious about his editorialising and the way it reflects on the State broadcaster. Picture: YouTube