Home > The Body Politic > Letter to the editor: Shane Taurima and Maggie Barry

Letter to the editor: Shane Taurima and Maggie Barry

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FROM:   "f.macskasy" 
SUBJECT: Letters to the editor
DATE:    Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:24:12 +1300
TO:     "Dominion Post" letters@dompost.co.nz 

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The Editor
Dominion Post
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The witch-hunt against former TVNZ presenter, Shane Taurima,
can best be described as hypocrisy on a National scale.

It is a bit rich for the likes of National MPs, Tau Henare,
Judith Collins, and Paula Bennett to be crying into their
beersies and alleging bias in Taurima's interviews when
amongst them sits their colleague, former radio presenter,
MP Maggie Barry.

On 5 March 2011 she stood as an unsuccessful  National
Party candidate in the Botany Bay by-election. That was only
three months after leaving her position as radio host at
Radio Live.

For six years prior to that,  Barry worked as a host and
interviewer at Radio NZ, interviewing many left-wing
politicians, political figures, activists, etc.

In 2011, she became a National Party member of Parliament.

There are other examples of journalists, television and
radio hosts, and other media personalities entering politics
- many working for the National Party.

Did anyone complain of undue bias from Maggie Barry or
indeed Richard Griffin - one time Radio NZ political editor,
and subsequent Chief Press Officer and Media Adviser to
Prime Minister and National Party leader, Jim Bolger?

Not a squeak.

The stench of hypocrisy is over-powering.

-Frank Macskasy
(address & phone number supplied)

 

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References

Dominion Post: Labour links at TVNZ revealed

Wikipedia: Maggie Barry

Radio NZ: Richard Griffin

NZ Herald: TVNZ manager resigns after Labour Party revelations

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elections 2014

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

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= fs =

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  1. RedM
    18 February 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Yes but did Maggie Barry use TVNZ premises and resources for the National Party? this is what is Shane Taurima is being accused of. Any journalist is entitled to belong to a policital party in their own spare time, but not entitled to use TVNZ material to promote that party. This is what Labour have done.

    • 18 February 2014 at 5:17 pm

      RedM,

      “Yes but did Maggie Barry use TVNZ premises and resources for the National Party?”

      We don’t know. Does using a telephone to make telephone calls to friendly political parties count?

      It also boils down to what Judith Collins has accused Taurima of; biased interviews. Nothing to do with TVNZ resources.

      The question that can then be asked; was Maggie Barry also biased? Richard Griffin?

      “This is what is Shane Taurima is being accused of. “

      Note the appropriate word; “accused”.

      “Any journalist is entitled to belong to a policital party in their own spare time…”

      I think you’ll find employment contracts are more prescriptive in what employees can/can’t do, especially if it reflects on the employer. This would be even more so for a media organisation where public perception is all important.

      “This is what Labour have done.”

      No, this is what Shane Taurima is alleged to have done.

  2. RedM
    19 February 2014 at 7:32 am

    Personally I don’t care about bias, I think that “robust” interviews are good, and if anything NZ journalists are slightly too deferential generally when interviewing politicians.

    But this is not the main issue: the main issue is the use of employers resources in order to favour one political party.

    And Shane Taurima has resigned, and admitted to a lapse of judgement. To me this is an admission that the allegations are true, I don’t know what else you need. Otherwise he’d defend himself.

    [quote]I think you’ll find employment contracts are more prescriptive in what employees can/can’t do, especially if it reflects on the employer. This would be even more so for a media organisation where public perception is all important.[/quote]

    Employment contracts have to comply with privacy and human rights law – you are entitled to belong to any political party or union and your employment contract cannot deny you this right. There are limits as to what employment contracts can impose, whether you work in media or not – this is one of the fundamentals of employment law. I refer you to the NZ employment regulation summary http://www.business.govt.nz/laws-and-regulations/employment-regulations

  3. ray
    20 February 2014 at 6:46 am

    RedM, so what you’re saying is that it’s ok for journos to become politicians, but only if they’re aligned to National? Because that’s what I’m getting from you.

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