Laws' comments breach BSA standards
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 8:15p.m.
Comments talkback host Michael Laws made on RadioLIVE have been ruled to have breached certain broadcasting standards.
Claiming the media had gone “mad”, Mr Laws said “if I had a gun I’d shoot them – put them out of their misery”. He went on to call the Herald on Sunday newspaper “rapid all the time”, asking why nobody had “taken a shotgun there and cleaned out the entire newsroom”.
Mr Laws also urged listeners to “put down a bit of cyanide somewhere in a newsroom and just hope there isn’t too much collateral birdlife that’s killed”.
The comments made on the November 2011 morning broadcast were found beyond “standards of good taste and decency, in the sense that it had the potential to distress of offend” in a majority decision by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).
“We do not think that any small group of identifiable local people should be subject to language of the kind that Mr Laws used in the central part of his comment,” said the BSA panel.
The panel said the complaint set a precedent for a boundary to be set.
“We think that the broadcaster went over the boundary.
“Having endeavoured to mark the boundary more clearly, and expecting broadcasters to take care in the future, we do not consider that any order is warranted.”
The BSA acknowledged Mr Laws did not intend for his comments to be taken literally by listeners, and did not breach law and order standards.
BSA member Mary Anne Shanahan was of the minority view that Mr Laws had not beached the good taste and decency standards because of his non-literal tone. She believed the comments were a provocative challenge to the media in line with freedom of speech privileges.
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10/07/2012 10:02:11 a.m.
Although I don't agree with Michael all of the time, I do agree with him the vast majority of time. There's alot political backstabbing to shut him up as he is the only one who actually says what people think. Maori try to shut him down all the time because he attacks their negative statistics. This country needs more people like Michael Laws.
10/07/2012 8:59:23 a.m.
Typical - the Chair of BSA again panders to the political masters, thus a step closer to his knighthood, while the ever clever, wise expertise of Mary Ann Shanahan again gives the erudite and precise legal answer, demonstrating her courage and wisdom justifying her appointment. Dear me! Chair will be still charming and faux-polite, but secretly throwing the toys out of his cot with fury.
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