Plunket cleared for his attack on “ungrateful hua”

Sean Plunket has escaped sanction for his comments on Eleanor Catton:

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has rejected two complaints about Radio Live host Sean Plunket’s reaction to comments made by author Eleanor Catton.

In January this year, Plunket called Catton an “ungrateful hua” and a “traitor” for comments she made criticising the New Zealand Government while she was at a literary festival in India.

“Here’s the woman who’s a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and works at a publicly-funded institution, and has received a lot of financial help during her career to write things,” he said.

“Then she turns around and says, ‘I don’t get a fair crack’…

“That’s my opinion, that’s her opinion, we’re in a free country.”

The BSA received complaints that his comments were “bullying” and a personal attack on Catton. 

However it found Plunket did not breach broadcasting standards.

“Eleanor Catton was powerfully exercising her right to freedom of expression and has had to suffer the responses including those from the broadcaster,” the decision said.

“Conversely, the broadcaster has exercised its right to freedom of expression and it will have suffered consequences from those who objected to what Mr Plunket said and the way in which he said it.”

The BSA also found Plunket’s comments were within audience expectations “in the context of a robust, opinionated, and sometimes provocative or challenging forum such as talkback radio”.

No doubt the left wing will claim the BSA is controlled by the crypto-fascist military industrial complex and that is why this decision is of no surprise to them. John Key and his bankster mates win again.

Though I wonder if Sean Plunket will be similarly principled on the right to freedom of expression the next time his girlfriend is trying to shut down free speech – some consistency would be nice.

Of course with the new law about to come in, Catton could have had a whinge about her hurt feelings and likely won since Radio Live also deliver its content online, and hence it is a digital communication.

 

– Fairfax


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