Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Loose talk

Television New Zealand and TV3 are coming under fire for their controversial decision to screen weather reports in the run-up to last year's election.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority says it is deeply concerned that some of the reports could have influenced voting.

It has had a flood of complaints from National Party members who claim that repeated references to a depression moving onto New Zealand were clearly prejudicial to National's election chances.

Many complaints have also been received from Labour Party members objecting to forecasts that a large high would soon cover the country with fine spells increasing.

The Green Party has formally protested about the use of the term 'blue skies,' pointing out that at no stage did any presenter refer to green skies.

The TV networks say they are giving consideration to running neutral weather reports in which presenters do not commit to a particular forecast but give viewers balanced options instead.

The funding agency New Zealand on Air says it doesn't fund weather programs but if it had done so, it would now be really, really worried about its own reputation and would probably want to run and hide and put its head in a toilet bowl.

Meanwhile, the police in Auckland are interviewing a man about an incident on a city street the day before the election. The man is understood to have been saying something out loud that sounded like it was political in nature, as a result of which several women fainted and two men had nervous breakdowns.

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