McVicar: officially reactionary, unqualified, right-wing

datePosted on 10:02, June 16th, 2009 by Lew

The BSA has upheld a complaint against TVNZ’s Breakfast on the grounds of balance after it allowed Garth McVicar the free and unopposed opportunity to rant about sentencing.

Complainant Roger Brooking argued that the programme privileged “the reactionary views of an unqualified right wing individual as if he was the oracle on sentencing law”, and that the show’s hosts were unduly sympathetic toward him. The authority upheld the complaint on the grounds that Breakfast producers and interviewers failed to challenge or question McVicar’s “controversial” views, simply accepting them at face value, and internalising them for use as a frame for viewer responses.

This is an excellent decision, for a couple of reasons. First, it reinforces the expectation that the media have a responsibility not to naïvely accept the statements of their commentators or interviewees; that the interview process ought to be adversarial. Secondly, it provides a line in the sand as to what constitutes a controversial topic of public discourse, by implicitly agreeing with Brooking’s characterisation of McVicar and his pronouncements. It goes counter to some previous decisions, such as the rather alarming case last year in which the authority effectively declared that talkback was legitimately a balance-free zone.

L

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6 Responses to “McVicar: officially reactionary, unqualified, right-wing”

  1. Giordano Bruno on June 16th, 2009 at 12:12

    Another RNZ ‘interview’ with a USA heavy-prison advocate brought out by Sensible Sentencing
    12June09 or before?
    …..Katherine Ryan’s interview with Jennifer Walsh: JW said there is no connection between crime and economics -this absurdity should have been caught – JW then said something about low crime states being ‘rural’.
    JW said ‘a few’ then said 7000 people (in California) had these 25yr sentences. KR asked about non-violent offences being included, JW said something like ‘absolutely not’ then immediately said ‘ serious and violent’ offences being required. ‘Serious’ begs the question.
    Many other verbal absurdities from JW, i trust [they] will publish a transcript so a full critique can be made

    I have a deep disdain for “sensible sentencing” rednecks who brought this execrable person here,
    particularly since they said the guy that knifed Pihema Clifford Cameron should get no time at all.

    KR said something about ‘3rd strikes’ for small drug possession. JW then said something about stoppint these people before they get back into crime. KR did have the nous to interject that we oughtnt imprison people for what they might be about to do.

    So there was some light critique from KR. Not a case for official complaint, perhaps.

  2. Lew on June 16th, 2009 at 12:23

    Giordano,

    So there was some light critique from KR. Not a case for official complaint, perhaps.

    All that’s required for the balance test is a little bit of light opposition. This is as it should be; we don’t want coverage to converge on a false mean by requiring the media to taking a contrary position on every matter. Gods know they already do this, see any coverage of climate change.

    L

  3. clare on July 25th, 2009 at 08:36

    i’ve been trying to find anywhere that gives information about what qualifications garth mcvicar has? so far as i can find out he has none.

    so where does he get off? sian elias has professional qualifications of a very high standard plus 40 years experience in the criminal justice system. who is garth mcvicar? nobody. why does the media never ask what qualifications he has to comment on the subject?

  4. JAMES on July 26th, 2009 at 17:13

    so where does he get off? sian elias has professional qualifications of a very high standard plus 40 years experience in the criminal justice system. who is garth mcvicar? nobody. why does the media never ask what qualifications he has to comment on the subject?

    I understand he’s a farmer – probably well qualified in bullshit.

  5. denis stewart on June 8th, 2010 at 01:30

    I do not know why victim in crime Nzers get led like sheep to the slaughter by garth mcvicar and his hate monger members and shows that NZ are like (mushrooms kept in the dark from reality) and back ward thinking country although I see people are starting to wake up and see through the clown.
    NZ herald must be hard up to still tell stories from Mcvicar as they 100% know Mcvicar has [defamatory allegations excised by L]
    NZ you make me sick

  6. Lew on June 8th, 2010 at 08:02

    Denis, if you’re able to substantiate the allegations made about Garth McVicar in your comment, please inform the NZ Police. Whether you do or don’t, this forum is not the place for them.

    L

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