Hard News by Russell Brown

50

Media Take and Godwin's Election

Sean Plunket and I have a bit of a barney on tonight's Media Take. There's no ill-will -- we enjoy butting heads -- but having got him on to talk about his new, serious Friday night show Prime Time with Sean Plunket, I did feel bound to suggest that it was a bit rich of of him to open last week's debut programme by declaring it an "FJK and sugar-daddy-free zone" when he'd spent the preceding days wallowing in all that in his Radio Live day job.

Sean's Newstalk ZB counterpart Leighton Smith -- who has spent years creating his own reality -- seemed convinced last week that the Party Party video had unleashed a nationwide Nazi threat (and I really only slightly exaggerate there) and Sean certainly didn't go that far. But he had strongly endorsed his listeners' right to compare a bunch of boisterous students with, ahem, "the Hitler Youth".

He also claimed to me, days after that baseless claim was debunked, that Kim Dotcom had filled the Party Party punters full of free booze to whip them into a frenzy.

I was surprised by that, but not as surprised as I was this morning when Rawdon Christie put the same claim to Laila Harre. Given that Harre had been invited on Breakfast to respond to John Key's equally baseless claim that her party was responsible for (and had "promoted") the daft burning-in-effigy video, you'd think someone would have done some basic fact-checking. Christie's defence was effectively that it seemed like it might be true and it was up to Harre to "clarify" it.

Don't these experienced journalists get that they're being fed this stuff in a deliberate fashion? More to the point, don't they read my blog? At any rate, Harre tore strips off Christie, who, as someone observed on Twitter, looked like he might cry.

Anyway, Prime Time With Sean Plunket has an interesting format (opposing experts alongside opposing politicians) and it's worth watching, even if it is rather high in fibre for a Friday night.

As is, of course, our show tonight, which also includes Jon Stephenson discussing Gaza's media war and Toi's interview with Frank Stark, CEO of the new merged media archive Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. That's 10.20pm on Maori Television, right after the Wasteland documentary. Go on, have a look.

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