I see New Zealand has been voted the 2021 Least Corrupt Country. That status is something for which we can all feel proud. Whatever our political persuasion it is in our best interests to live in a country where trust is not misplaced. We do not want to follow rogue nations, such as the United States where “trash” seems to drive their news. One Representative recently thought it was a great idea refer to another politician as a terrorist, prompting a reply, in all-caps describing her accuser as “TRASH.” 

Certainly, that is not the behaviour I want to see imported into New Zealand. However, we do need to be on our guard. New Zealand is not the place it was when the Prime Minister’s personal telephone number was listed in the phone book or when the Prime Minister could stroll down The Terrace in Wellington to work. There are those who take advantage of our good nature and use it to distort and corrupt. This past weekend I was party to a conversation where the current Prime Minister was being torn to shreds. The conversation ended with me being aggressively told, “I’d like to put a bullet through her head.”

An hour later I filed a complaint with the police. In another thirty minutes a police car pulled up outside the author of the threat’s house and a policeman and woman went inside.

I seriously doubt the person involved would be capable of carrying out an attack on the Prime Minister. However, whether Luxton or Ardern occupy that office, New Zealand cannot be a place where threats to the office holder are tolerated.

The incident did cause me to wonder, how on earth did she get the idea that threats like that are acceptable behaviour? Who led her to a place where she thought shooting the Prime Minister was a good idea? Had she been watching too much Fox News or was there a home-grown New Zealand version of Fox News that was subtly stoking hatred. Hatred that in the hands of the crazies becomes “a bullet in her head”.

Sadly, in News Talk ZB I think we do have a Fox News. Just like Trump encouraged the storming of the United States Capitol, News Talk ZB would never admit to encouraging “a bullet through her head” behaviour. But the hatred that spews from their station is potentially deadly, nevertheless.

On my way home tonight, I heard Heather du Plessis Allen interview the Deputy Prime Minister Robertson and conclude by calling him a liar and hoping the rest of 2022 would not be a repeat of that behaviour. Insult heaped upon insult can eventually become a bullet. The Broadcasting Standards Authority have already found du Plessis Allan guilty of racism. Was tonight’s attack on Robertson just the latest iteration of an opinionated and dangerous journalist?

Mike Hosking is no better. Everything Labour is bad and needs to go. Of course, he has, or I hope he has, the next election in mind. But Hosking should know there are crazies he is talking to who can’t wait that long. Perhaps he does not care. The lust for power is all that matters. Problem is one of those listening could well be my neighbour – unable to wait for the next election.

Even Hosking’s holiday stand-in, Tim Dower, could be accused of exciting violence. Last week, in an opinion piece on Jacinda Ardern, he said, “If I hear that woman say the word team one more time, I’m turning off the radio.” The contempt in his voice as he uttered the words, “that woman” was stunning, disgusting, and dangerous. What school of manners did Dower go to that taught him it was just fine to refer to any female as “that woman”? His opinion displayed utter contempt for women, for the Prime Minister’s office and for Ardern. I wonder if my bullet-in-the-head neighbour heard Dower’s opinion and arrived at her own solution.

Beware of News Talk ZB. New Zealand will no longer be the Least Corrupt Country if that lot have their way.  

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