TVNZ skit on Colin Craig unfair - BSA

UPDATED: TVNZ says it will not appeal the decision but will broadcast an apology as directed by the BSA.

TVNZ says the apology statement will appear on screen during Wednesday's Seven Sharp broadcast and be voiced over by one of Seven Sharp's team - not a presenter,  as per the BSA's decision. 

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has ordered TVNZ to apologise to Conservative Party leader Colin Craig for an item on Seven Sharp.

TVNZ must broadcast an apology to Mr Craig for unfair treatment and pay $1500 to the Crown.

A skit on the programme lampooned Mr Craig in reference to his threat of defamation against satirical website The Civilian.

The broadcast, called “Jesse’s guide to making fun of Colin Craig,” has since been removed from the TVNZ website.

In it, Mr Mulligan gave advice on how to lampoon Mr Craig without getting in trouble with the lawyers.  

He had called Mr Craig a “nutcase,” a “doofus” and a “smarmy rich prick,” saying he felt comfortable using these terms, as they were his honest opinion.

The BSA decided these comments were “personal abuse masquerading as satire” and breached the fairness standard.

The BSA says comments about Mr Craig’s personal character and attributes went too far and turned the item into a sustained personal attack. It says the attack was childish and unfair, and in circumstances where he had no chance to defend himself. 

Five people had complained of the skit to the BSA, Ross Craig, Tom Frewen, Derek Parrott, Andrew Wilson and Dennis Walker. 

vyoung@nbr.co.nz

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