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UPDATE: The Broadcasting Standards Authority upheld the right of Radio New Zealand to broadcast such appalling statements under the Broadcasting Standards. Here is their decision in response to my complaint: http://bsa.govt.nz/decisions/show/4312
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Original post: 29 October 2011
I was listening to Radio NZ’s Afternoons with Jim Mora on Thursday 25th October just after 4pm and believe the host and a panelist made discriminatory remarks about the Muslim community. I am making a complaint to Radio NZ, and if not satisfied with their response, will take it to the Broadcasting Standards Authority .
The panelists suggest names such as “terrorist Barbie” and “suicide bomber Barbie” with an explosives belt. John Bishop (‘panelist’) and Paul Brennan (host) are the offenders.
Here’s my letter of complaint:
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On Radio NZ’s Afternoons with Jim Mora on Thursday 25th October just after 4pm the host and a panelist made remarks about the Muslim community that I believe breached the Radio Code.
John Bishop (a ‘panelist’) and Paul Brennan (the ‘host’) suggested names such as “terrorist Barbie” and “suicide bomber Barbie” with an explosives belt would sell well in the Muslim world.
This is a formal complaint regarding those remarks.
I believe these comments breach the following standards:
Standard 1: Good Taste and Decency.
I believe the comments were bad taste in the extreme.
Standard 5: Accuracy
I believe the suggestion that there may be a market for terrorist and suicide Barbies in the Muslim world is quite inaccurate – if there were any Muslims interested in getting suicide dolls for their children, a Barbie doll is the likely to be the last option Muslims who admire terrorists and suicide bombers would consider purchasing.
Standard 7: Discrimination and Denigration
I believe the comments discriminated and denigrated the Muslim sector of our community on the basis of their religion and culture as implying some inherent connection between the Muslim faith and culture and terrorism and suicide bombers has no factual basis. While the comments may be couched as the presenters views, I do not believe the comments were factual in terms of the link made between people of the Muslim faith and terrorism or suicide bombers, if the comments were based on some kind of serious analysis I can’t understand what that would be and I’d be surprised if anyone found the comments funny or satirical.
Standard 8: Responsible Programming
I do not believe that the programme content was socially responsible. After school is a normally accepted radio listening time for children and the comments in this broadcast could encourage children to associate all adherents of the Muslim faith with terrorism and suicide bombing.
I look forward to a response from Radio New Zealand on this matter within the required timeframes.
21 Cambridge Tce,
Tel. 0274 202 957
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I expect a response from Radio New Zealand on this matter within the statutory timeframes and encourage others who are similarly concerned to send their complaints to Radio NZ via their Online Complaints Form.