reverse ferret is a sudden reversal of an organisation’s editorial or political line on a certain issue. Generally, this will involve no acknowledgement of the previous position. We are about to see the political equivalent of the reverse ferret on policy. The first one to go will be the Radio NZ/TVNZ merger. Sir Peter Gluckman has produced a report on it that says it’s a dog:
Auckland University academic Sir Peter Gluckman, who previously served as the Government’s chief science adviser, has given the planned merger of TVNZ and RNZ a fail.
A parliamentary select committee released its report on a law change paving the way for the merger on Thursday, recommending amendments that are designed to better enshrine the editorial independence of the proposed new Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media entity from government interference.
But Gluckman, who now heads a think tank at Auckland University, Koi Tu, said that although the select committee had improved the legislation, it remained unfit for purpose and “unsafe”.
Gluckman said it was disappointing that the law change would still establish the new entity as an “autonomous Crown entity”, which is a type of entity that must have regard to government policy when directed by its responsible minister.
Make no mistake, this is deliberate, and signals the beginning of the end of this policy.
What Gluckman is saying is the proposed merger, which was supposed to strengthen media, actually creates a massive propaganda outfit, directed by its Minister in accordance with the Government’s policy.
While Labour might like to think this is a good thing, eventually governments change and then National or Act could direct this new entity to be more conservative in outlook, and ditch all the woke nonsense, and there would be nothing the clowns in Labour could do about it.
The select committee has proposed amending the public media bill to include a clearer instruction that ministers could not direct the new entity with regard to any “editorial matters” and a clause stipulating they had to exercise their powers in a way that was consistent with its editorial independence.
But Gluckman said “fundamental flaws” remained in the legislation even after the proposed amendments.
In theory it was possible that future governments would have more ability to influence the new media entity through its funding arrangements than they had to influence TVNZ and RNZ through their funding arrangements today, he said.
“If the public is to place their trust in the entity that will replace TVNZ and RNZ, they need to be in no doubt that it is independent from any potential political interference.
“The bill still has a long way to go before that is achieved,” he said.
Willie Jackson’s proposed legislation should really be named The Willie Jackson Pravda Bill for State Propaganda.
This will be the first policy ditched by a desperate Chris Hipkins, in a bid to stem the tide of discontent with his Government.
We will see more reverse ferrets coming thick and fast. They think we are stupid and, after a few quick reversals, will forget what they have done. We must not let them trick us.
Chris Hipkins is going to be very familiar with ferrets up his trousers.
Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE