Stephen Franks on speaking freely

Stephen Franks is a brilliant guy, and has seriously strong principles.

His blog about his refusal to comment on the “boat nigger’ scandal without redacting the word nigger shows his mettle.

I was recently asked for a legal perspective on the RHOA Boat Nigger story, but told expressly not to use the N***** word when talking about it.

I declined to speak under that gag.

Nigger is not a word I’ve used for years, since it was part of Eeny Meeny Miny Mo. I have no interest in using it. But I will not appear to show respect for a gag. Not a gag imposed by people who have no problem with broadcasting words like ‘motherfucker’ in songs.  

For me it would be demeaning  to submit to the media airheads manufacturing the uproar. The recent invention of new taboos around words, not even words that have been important in New Zealand, is insulting to New Zealanders. People who pander to those who claim to feel faint at the ghastliness of a verboten word are abandoning their own dignity (and accelerating the loss of freedoms to the neo-puritans).

The effete elite have found a way to recreate the frisson they got as weedy kids running screeching to Mummy that ‘Alfie’ is using rude words after they’d got him to say “album”, and “shampoo”.

So I won’t add support to their neo-puritan religion. Accepting that kind of gag to pretend respect for an alien culture, from New Zealand, is implicit support for the book burners. It is endorsement of those who think free speech comes second to not giving “offence”. People refused to play rugby with race selected teams and decline to appear on stage in line-ups where prejudice has eliminated a view-point, for the same reason.

A brilliant explanation of how gagging people is affecting our ability to have decent and serious discussions of issues.

 

– Stephen Franks


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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