Spineless NZ Herald caved after one complaint on Bassett article
Michael Bassett had an article pulled from a NZME paper last week, and was told he would never write again for that publication. Well, Dr Bassett has his own blog and his story on the event shows NZME and the editor of Northern Advocate to be exactly the kind of weak stand for nothing cowards we all think them to be. He writes
A not very literate fellow claiming to be a “Communications Specialist” lodged a complaint with the Herald dated 4 March demanding that my column be removed from the website or he would complain to the Press Council. Three minutes after receiving it, Shayne Currie, Editor of the Herald, sent a note to his fellow editors Murray Kirkness and Rachel Ward, asking them to “review this urgently”. An hour later my column was off the Herald’s website. An apology to readers was in its place. At 12.30pm that day Rachel Ward sent me a terse note telling me that my column “didn’t meet NZME’s standards, shouldn’t have been published”, and had been removed. She added: “I also wanted to let you know that NZME won’t be publishing any more of your columns”.
Shayne Currie and Rachel Ward couldn’t wait to surrender to the woke mob, which strangely was apparently represented by only one person.
When D. Bassett asked that a comment calling him a white supremacist be taken down, he was told by NZME in house lawyer Allison Whitney that
she’d remove an observation in the letter accusing me of being a “white supremacist”, but the rest of the criticism would remain because it was “honest opinion based on fact”.
Which if you think about it is pretty much the same reason that Dr Bassett’s article should have been left up. Media frequently tell us of how brave they are in taking stands to bring us news, but here they are in matters of “wokeness”, running off like yelping dogs with their tails between their legs.
Most NZers hold the mainstream media in utter contempt. Many regard them as the enemy of the people. This atrociously weak and unprincipled backdown by NZME does nothing to dispel those two impressions.