Hamas Hugging Smalley gets spanked by BSA for inaccuracy

Who is the 'serious' journalist now eh Rachel?

Who is the ‘serious’ journalist now eh Rachel?

Hamas Hugging Rachel Smalley has been spanked by the Broadcasting Standards Authority for making up claims about Israel in her mad rant on her show earlier in the year.

During KPMG Early Edition, the host read out an opinion piece criticising Israel’s actions in the Israel-Hamas conflict. She referred to a recent bombing of a UN school which ‘killed everyone inside’. The Authority upheld the complaint that this was inaccurate, as in fact 16 out of 3,300 people sheltering in the school were killed. It did not uphold the complaint other statements were inaccurate, as they were clearly the host’s opinion. The Authority did not make any order, as publication of this decision is sufficient to correct the error.

Upheld: Accuracy


[11]  The third statement however, and specifically the host’s assertion that the bombing of the UN school ‘killed every civilian inside’, was in our view a material point of fact. Unlike her other statements, this claim related to a specific incident and was capable of being assessed as factually accurate or inaccurate.  

[12]  This statement was inaccurate. Other news coverage of the incident reported that up to 16 people were killed and 200 others injured in the bombing of the school, where some 3,300 people were sheltering.2 We reject TRN’s contention that the number of people killed in the UN school ‘makes no difference to the point that the host is making, that the attack was unacceptable’. While the death of any number of people is a tragedy, it was a significant overstatement to say that all civilians sheltering at the school had been killed, when in fact, 16 out of 3,300 people were killed. The difference between 16 and 3,300 deaths was material, as the host used the incident to bolster her strong position against Israel’s actions toward civilians.

[13]  While hosts are entitled to express their opinions in editorials within news and current affairs programmes, and this is a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression, they must ensure that if they make factual statements material to the issues discussed, these are accurate so that the audience is not misled.

[14]  Accordingly, we are satisfied that upholding the complaint would not unreasonably limit the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression, and we uphold this aspect of Mr Cumin’s accuracy complaint.

For the above reasons the Authority upholds the complaint that the broadcast by The Radio Network Ltd of KPMG Early Edition on 1 August 2014 breachedStandard 5 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.

You have to wonder how a ‘serious journalist like Rachel Smalley can continue to hold her head high after such a finding.

Perhaps she should be called Rachel ‘inaccurate’ Smalley from now on?

Rachel Smalley…making stuff up since forever…


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  • Sooty


  • GoingRight

    She lost my respect many moons ago. Switch her off if I can, and never put Newstalk on now till after 6am. She has a vindictive sort of style of presentation and is an attack mongrel. Very unbecoming of a serious female journalist.

    • Simo

      Between 5.00am and 6.00am ZB gets the boot in our house – anyone mentioned to KPMG their ads air time is getting panned because of this mad bint?

  • Billythekid

    Folded arms protecting the heart. Very staunch body language.

  • caochladh

    “You have to wonder how a ‘serious journalist like Rachel Smalley can continue to hold her head high after such a finding.” You have to wonder why Smalley is still employed as a “journalist” as it is evident she would be more suited to running one of those horoscope pages in a women’s magazine.

    • Cadwallader

      Her personal horoscope would read something like this:” You are vital to the world as a news source and you are entitled as such to embellish, contort and manufacture news.”

  • Bluemanning

    How often does this happen? If the ongoing misleading breaches of the MSM particularly Television and the likes of ‘inaccurate Smalley’ were held to account the BSA would certainly be earning their money. Inaccurate S is suited to her very early time slot on 1ZB fortunately I am fast asleep at that time.

  • InnerCityDweller

    IS – Inaccurate Smalley!?

  • Blue Tim

    The TRN “excuse” is appalling as well. Time for Ms Smalley to go and work for the Hamas Huggers at Fairfax. Over at Fairfax, both in NZ and Australia it seems to be a prerequisite of working for them

  • Cadwallader

    I have a real issue with this moronic leftie. I have been a listener with Newstalk for about 20 years. During that time (other than hiring Corkery) the station has had a stable of rational hosts, who by and large are entertaining, balanced and rational. Smalley is nothing like her compatriots at the station. I now avoid her like the plague. Her hour is essentially a series of ill-informed sound-bites hashed togather with her unique brand of glibness and stupid background music. If I were a partner/director at KPMG I would revoke the advertising budget without hesitation
    . Her slip re lardos displayed her contempt for whatever audience she may have….tiny and decreasing I suspect. This was not her worst moment. Last week’s rave about who the PM can converse with displayed her contempt for the democracy this country enjoys. If freedom of association can be so readily disposed of in what passes for her brain she oughtn’t be anywhere near any media. Come on Newstalk sack the creep!

    • shykiwibloke

      I also cannot understand why KPMG would want to be associated with mis-information – especially given the business they are in.

  • Chief Wiggum

    She sounds intelligent [and sanctimonious] when she plays her pre-recorded “opinion pieces” but when she is ad-libbing she really shows her true colours. She cannot advance an intelligent debate at all and is incredibly light-weight. She irritates me like nails on a chalkboard.

  • Ian

    It was obviously a blatant lie. Why is she still employed?

  • Bart67

    Regretfully, I suspect she will learn nothing from this censure. She has demonstrated repeatedly that she cannot, or will not entertain any other point of view other than the one she has already formed. Her bias is clear, her inability to consider any other possible point of view shows she is unsuitable as a journalist. Where she has an autocue to read, fine, but the moment she attempts to articulate an opinion at odds with her own, she fails. She is a drain on advertsing revenue, a drain in the patience of the listeners, and contributes nothing but vapid soundbites and ill concealed contempt. Let her go!

    • Guest

      Especially as the BSA ruling has no direct consequences – they state that the upheld complaint publication is enough for them. In this case BSA ordered nothing to happen.

  • Greg M

    I have a problem with para 13 where it says in part “While hosts are entitled to express their opinions in editorials within news and current affairs programmes”.
    While I absolutely agree with this, I think it needs to be made more clear that the “editorial” is only the hosts opinion, and not verified and checked facts.
    Too many people take what people like Smalley say as the unimpeachable truth, when far too often it is nothing but the host pushing their own personal biases and agendas. This one was a very good example.

  • Isherman

    The same Rachel who was happy to describe Israel as a ‘Killer Regime’, without stating that was her own opinion, but nevertheless made no such critical statements of the Hamas regime, because they don’t seem to qualify as a “killer Regime’ in her eyes. Never mind that Hamas stated publicly that civilians were legitimate targets, or that they carry out extra judicial killing of suspected collaborators, political rivals etc. I dont like having to switch to Radio Live when Rachel’s on ZB, but I do…every time.

  • Dairy_Flat

    That preachy sanctimonious voice and air headed opinions really grate with me. It’s got to the point where I now turn on Hosking’s show later just to avoid hearing her. ZB are doing themselves no favours employing this one.

    • mommadog

      I wonder if ZB management know how many people are switching off or more accurately not switching on until Hoskins starts at 6am because we don’t want to listen to her? GoingRight said the same thing below and I have seen others post similar thoughts over the past few weeks. I think the same but I haven’t done anything. So I will spend a few minutes this week sending a polite but to the point message to management outlining why I will not listen to ZB during her show and why I turn her off if she is covering shows for other announcers.

      • shykiwibloke

        It’s not just the dreaming hour – its the dreaming sound bytes that are replayed incessantly throughout the other shows.

        • mommadog

          You are right. the soundbites throughout the day are worse because by the time you go to turn them off they are over.

    • 1951

      Me too, I luv it when news/Neva&co, sports/Mark&co, pile into the studio and give Mike heaps, but because of the delightful airhead I tend to miss it altogether now. She really is just another follower in the pack.

  • I stopped listening to this empty- headed self gratifying drama queen some weeks back.
    At that time I had formed the opinion that she wasn’t a journalist’s backside. But I’m now thinking that she probably is ……

    • Sooty

      I go to the music station, till Mike comes on! She’s not worth listerning to. Would change stations if she took Leighton’s show.

  • sarahmw

    I think because smalley is an inept media person she latches on to what will allow her something to ride on. A women’s weekly type job is her forte I think. Lots of innuendo, stretching of facts and shock horror stories. This woman has 1 hour on ZB every morning and has shown her true colors, yes she can have an opinion but it should be stated at the start that it is her personal opinion. She would not last 5 secs amongst the Hamas, females are to be used especially blonde europeans. Silly and dippy.

    • Teletubby

      “Lots of innuendo, stretching of facts and shock horror stories” ~ sounds like she is qualified for a job on Campbell Live

  • phronesis

    Epic fail KPMG, not worried about accuracy? like to make stuff up? work for KPMG!

    • Honcho

      That’s a bit far fetched, Smalley doesn’t work for KPMG, she works for ZB, KPMG sponsors a prime time spot on ZB … it’s not fair to tar them with the same brush

      • Curly1952

        Why would KPMG want to be associated with her program? If I were KPMG, a respected business, I would be withdrawing my sponsors. .

        • burns_well_eh

          If you think KPMG is a respected business, you’ve obviously never had dealings with them.

  • JustanObserver

    I’m surprised she doesn’t have a hyphenated surname …
    Rachel Smalley-Truth

  • jethro

    That must have been the morning she wasn’t persecuting fatties !!

  • Mav E Rick

    I have never respected Smally and never find myself agreeing with her comments or opinions. Even when she has a small segment on Larry Williams show discussing what she will talk about the next morning, it is enough time to grate me as she makes her wild assumptions on what is going on in the political world. I heard that she may be considered to tale over Leighton’s Smith’s job. I hope that ZB read this blog as they will see from the comments that she is not respected and would destroy Leighton’s audience within a couple of weeks. I’m sure they would find Shaun Plunket are more moderate and reasonable host.

    • sarahmw

      I do not think she has the stamina or intelligence to host a 3 hour show to be frank. I like listening to hosts who have a variety of opinions just not the same old same old. Israel is not the enemy rachel.

    • Cadwallader

      Absolutely. When she speaks, albeit briefly to Larry, her conversation is melded together with 4th form attributes…”you know” “sort of” “mmmh don’t know.” On occasions Larry questions one of her “opinions” and she collapses like a burst balloon. She is not a journalist or even a reporter. She is a talking head spouting whatever may fly on the day. Last night she was bleating on about the dairy sale price lowering…she had no idea how it is structured and calculated, but undeterred, “We’ll be looking closely at this developing problem in the morning!” Her brand of news isn’t investigative but rather self-satisfied and masturbatory.

      • edee

        “She is a talking head spouting whatever may fly on the day”.

        Why did David Cunliffe suddenly spring into my mind when I read that statement. Careful Rach, look what happened to him.

    • sin-ic

      As long as 2 weeks?

  • JC

    “While hosts are entitled to express their opinions in editorials within
    news and current affairs programmes, and this is a legitimate exercise
    of the right to freedom of expression..”

    Since when was hate speech and anti-semitism “legitimate”? We have laws which say its not.


  • sarahmw

    Just read in The Press a clarification re a story in Weekend Press. It says former Cera comm staffer Tina Nixon was involved in a personal grievance claim against Cera where she was accused of bullying a female colleague. It was in context of wider personal grievance claim. Nixon believed some allegations were made but “HR did nothing further” and she was not disciplined in any way. Cera seems to be quite toxic all round going by what has been revealed so far.

  • Catriona

    Great now. Ms Smalley has had her armour busted. We know for sure that her reporting is inaccurate. So why should we believe anything you say – ever.

  • Bruce S

    A real contradiction this girl is. Tells the truth about heifers and lardo’s then apologizes. Lies about Hamas and Israel and does nothing.

  • Nige.

    Yeah well I hope at the very least zb change her promo bit to reflect this ruling.

    • sarahmw

      should not ms smalley be asked to do a retraction of her ‘lie’ which would be broadcast over a period of time. Maybe Larry will question her on this.

    • Eddie

      Why should ZB or Smalley do anything different – “The Authority did not make any order, as publication of this decision is sufficient to correct the error.”. It seems that blatant inaccuracy in “journalism” gets a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket.
      The BSA is happy to let the world know when standards are breached but only if the world is constantly refreshing the BSA decision pages. What a toothless waste of space. The whole debate about professional journalism is not aided by an impotent regulatory system.

  • CheesyEarWax

    ZB should move her to an earlier time slot, the grave yard shift.

    • Cadwallader

      Yes from a Studio on the Gaza Strip….see how long the local blokes would tolerate a blonde bimbo tart lecturing them each morning before prayers!

  • sarahmw

    One of the best or best woman journalist I would have to say is Christiane Amanpour. Has been on CNN for ever but she is a real journalist of the highest order. Iranian I think and banned from that country. Amazing woman. ms smalley not even a starter.

  • Eddie

    “The Authority did not make any order, as publication of this decision is sufficient to correct the error.” says the BSA.

    “Your honour, he did commit the crime and publication of that fact is sufficient to correct his mistake.” said no lawyer ever.

  • Cadwallader

    Having a day off so have taken the time to write an apology/retraction for Rachaelly Smallbrain:

    “I wish to apologise to my loyal band of listerners, all fourteen of you, for breing a liar and a you know bigot. You know, it isn’t my fault that that damn autocue comes up with ideas for me to blah-on about. I wish they’d never brought that thing into the studio as I suspect it was you know designed sort of by a fart lardo from Israel who doesbn’t care if my reputation is you know damaged by the stuff it spews out. I find myself wishing to turn it off but I can’t you know find the switch. I resent that a you know quality journo sort of like me should have to sort of share a studio with a contraption with a greater intelligience and you know depth than I have.”
    There you are Rachael I have saved you a you know task….

  • Aucky

    ……..and hopefully Kim Hill is next in the firing line after her appalling ‘interview’ with Tom Scott.

    • Frosty78

      Have you listened to the interview? I thought she spanked him pretty good when he went out of line

  • terrynaki

    This cant be right?.
    She is after all a “serious” Journalist

  • LesleyNZ

    Good stuff! NewstalkZB now need to take a good long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves why they are promoting her so much (as opposed to other talkback hosts) on just about every page link on the new NewstalkZB website. I wonder what kind of contract she has with NewstalkZB? Maybe her special website promotion is part of her contract.

    • Salad Dodger

      because Leighton Smith is retiring and Smalley is earmarked for the morning slot.
      Would this be APN (Herald) influence???

      • mommadog

        Please tell me that’s not true. I don’t watch TV news anymore except Prime as cant stand the bias on 1 and 3. I wont have a radio station to listen too if she is on in the mornings. Oh well – sounds will be all music or nothing while news will be Whaleoil, Freed when it comes and a dash of prime thrown in.

      • LesleyNZ

        Hope not. Leighton better not retire. He must still turn up in years to come even if he has a zimmer frame.

      • Lindian

        They may as well can the show then. No one will be listening. She has a low opinion of so many. I guess she doesn’t have enough brains to realise what the general public think of her. Supercilious, rude and feather brained.

      • coltheman

        Would not suprise me if Gurney gave Corkery that slot. God help us.

  • Kip_Dynamite

    Smalley and McRoberts lost all credibility with their shilling for Hamas and blatant anti-Israel bias. I can’t stand to watch or listen to either of them. They make me sick. .

  • Curly1952

    Smalley is a very dangerous “journalist”. She pontificates about things she has very little knowledge about and mostly makes a complete hash of it. I think she likes the sound of her own voice and obviously has a low opinion of heifers & lardos

  • edee

    Rachel Smalley as a “serious journalist’ is another significant overstatement.

    • Patterson

      Her promo should say “Liar liar pants on fire….”

  • Liberty

    “Killed everyone inside” as in 3,300 people in Truth it was 16.
    As expected the Media close shop and say nothing.
    Yet the media went totally ballistic over Key forgetting a harmless text.

  • celebritydave

    Whenever I hear her voice on ZB all I can think about is the anti-Israel rant. It was absolutely disgusting and I’m glad someone took her to task.

  • steve and monique

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she was accusing central government of short sitedness in not wanting to shell out more money for Len’s train set. It shows just how bias and one eyed this blonde planet with a pocket book actually is. Where is the money coming from? The debacle has already blown the budget and ask many Aucklander’s and I think they would rather have their core services, decent public transport of any kind, not an overpriced project that seem to be more about the ego of a hapless Mayor. When rates go up in some cases to 40% Rachel, you as a journalist should know that it will be a money pit and where is the cash coming from for that? If it doesn’t set alarm bells off in your rather large head then there is something wrong.

    • Albert Lane

      The 1 a.m. news on ZB yesterday morning (8 Dec) included a rave by a greenie MP that the traffic congestion caused by the crash on the bridge would have been avoided if the new rail link had been constructed. She then went on to say that the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway extension should not be built. I’ve never heard such a biased and ill-informed news broadcast in my life. I thought it must have been April Fools Day, but sadly, no. The stupid and inane political statement, made under the guise of a news item, was not repeated on the 2 a.m. news. So what’s going on in the ZB newsroom? And what’s going on in ZB?

      • Dave

        ZB were once a quality unbiased and common sense organisation, the name said it all, News & Talk. Now, its meerly loaded political opinion thinly sliced and served as news, but having the Herald in the family, I will put it down to undue influence from a big bully sibling.

  • Eddie

    Smalley is a journalist employed by a company that pays levy’s to an independent organisation while signing up to a code of practice that is enshrined in our laws.
    A complaint was made, citing those laws, and found to be upheld (i.e. the agreed standards were breached).
    The repercussions of that breach are a report filed by the authority to be found by those who want to find it and, thanks to WOBH, a citation on a blog that the company will likely see as a bit of a joke. Nothing else.
    I can see them now sucking on a cigar and laughing at the damage that’s been caused and the lack of any consequence for reporting inaccurately. They stand behind [rightly-so] high thresholds for opinion and freedom of speech yet when there is a breach, there is a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket.
    Does anyone know what proportion of upheld BSA decisions actually force a broadcaster to do anything at all or is this really a waste of time and money?

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I have no respect for her. She is just a left wing nutter. The way she was going just before the election, she could have called her show “John Key Hater’s Hour”. What is it with “Small”ey, Little?? Size of their brain?

  • kloyd0306

    Leighton. Retiring?
    Smalley. As replacement?
    Are ZB THAT stupid?
    Sadly, yes.

    • Albert Lane

      Have you noticed that Leighton is concentrating on social problems and legislation rather than political aspects? In fact he’s not discussing politics at all at the moment. I think he’s been given the message.

      • kloyd0306

        What message? No Free Speech?
        Are ZB THAT stupid?
        Sadly, yes.

  • Damon Mudgway

    Blond women nationwide would have to be mighty peeved at Smalley for reinforcing the negative stereotype they’ve been fighting for decades.


    Just another sad example of the never ending stream of anti-Israel reporting by the media here and abroad…..It really saddens me.

  • Albert Lane

    Interestingly, Sean Plunket on Radio Live this morning, interviewed a very intelligent observer of the Middle East, who very accurately outlined many of the problems in the Middle East and in Israel. There is, of course, blame on both sides, but one side in particular is aiming for the elimination of the other side, which explains why the reactions from Israel seem to be disproportionate when faced with rocket attacks, tunnel building and vitriolic pronouncements.

  • Norheim Revfem

    Not many folks take this ‘journo’ seriously since the retracted lardos commentary. Mind you, most of the go-getters in the media space probably cleared out of the country after the failed Americas Cup defence of 2002 when Dean sunk the vessel in the harbour. Ha!

  • Steely Man

    She is blonde and pretty. Why are you all ganging up on her?

    • Bretto

      “Pretty”… you’d need some serious Stellavision before taking that home…

    • Kiwibabe

      Just blonde…

    • coltheman

      should gone to specsavers

  • Kiwibabe

    More of these journos need exposing for laziness and bias over facts.
    Which is why I have tipped a few $ into WOBF and Cam’s legal battles.
    Go Cam, get um!

  • All New Iain

    Oh so only 16 killed and 200 injured in a SCHOOL where 3,300 people were sheltering was hit by an Israeli bomb.

    And your article attacks Rachel Smalley with a headline calling her a Hamas hugger.


    • Eddie

      It is disgusting that a journalist cannot report fairly or honestly. Her bias is supportive of Hamas. The alliterative headline reflects that. If you think it had breached a standard then do file a complaint with the BSA.
      The school was housing munitions and was a rocket launching pad. THAT is disgusting, wouldn’t you say?
      Yes, children and innocent civilians were killed. That is tragic. The UN figures show a 1:1 ratio of combatants:civilians killed in Gaza. That is tragic. It is also the reason US and UK forces are asking Israel for help to reduce their 1:4 ratio in similar conflicts (Afghanistan). Israel takes extraordinary care to avert innocent deaths.
      Regardless of all that, professional journalists must be held accountable for honest reporting. Smalley has been found guilty of misleading by the Broadcasting Standards Authority. She is being “attacked” by due process.
      It does make you think what other lies have been told. Why did Mike McRoberts not see any Hamas fighters, for example? Why has there been no reporting of the cement being sold on the black market in Gaza or of UNRWA teachers preaching Jew-hatred and martyrdom? Our MSM has a lot to answer for on this and many other issues!

  • seismac

    Does the name used by the foresaid Journo Rach S relate to brain size or value of her contribution of world events or is it just the truth of her worldly experience