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Sequence of Letters to the Broadcasting Standards Authority on Feminist Bias and Sexism -- Letter No. 1

© Peter Zohrab 2012

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(address)

23 July 2002

Broadcasting Standards Authority

PO Box 9213

Wellington

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hereby refer to you, for the purpose of an investigation and review, the decision of TVNZ not to uphold my complaint about TVNZ News’ deliberate refusal to screen an interview with me, or any other Men’s Rights activist, opposing any Feminist spokesperson on any Men’s/Women’s Rights issue.  TVNZ News interviewed me once (with no Feminist opposition), as a result of a demonstration I was on, and its Assignment programme once screened small parts of a lengthy interview of me in a programme on boys’ education. So they know that Men’s Rights activists exist. 

I gave two examples of this deliberate failure, but the only one that I documented related to an item on Thursday 20 June 2002, at about 6:30 PM on the TV One 6 O’clock News, when TVNZ screened a propaganda-piece about the so-called “gender pay-gap”.  I have quoted my original letter to TVNZ at the end of this letter for your reference.  I will therefore not repeat my arguments here.

In his reply, of which I enclose a copy, David Edmunds said that my use of the term “feminist propaganda” implied that I saw “the information contained in this news item as coming from some feminist source seeking to change the order of things.”  He states: ”In fact the source was the latest census, and the figures were part of the unofficial statistics emerging from that census.”  

David Edmund’s interpretation of my complaint is completely unmotivated by the evidence and is untrue.  As is obvious from the large number of times I have attacked TVNZ’s Feminist bias, the most influential Feminist propaganda that is disseminated in New Zealand emanates from TVNZ itself.  My complaint was clearly not against the source of the statistics, but against the broadcaster’s use of them for propaganda.  If I had wanted to attack Statistics NZ, I would have done it by writing to them.  It may well be that there is Feminist influence in the types of questions that are asked, and that are not asked, in the census, but that was not the issue in my complaint to TVNZ.

Moreover, it is in itself part and parcel of Feminist propaganda to claim that feminists are “seeking to change the order of things”.  Most Feminists, such as the institution of TVNZ, are seeking to preserve the status quo – and part of that status quo is the official Feminist doctrine that women are oppressed and constantly need to be “seeking to change the order of things”.  Feminism has been going since the 1790’s, and has changed the order of things in many ways since that time.  Whether those changes were for the better or for the worse is a separate issue.  In order to facilitate further change in a Feminist (pro-women, anti-men) direction, media organisations such as TVNZ constantly put out propaganda pieces which purport to show that women are disadvantaged, relative to men.

David Edmunds further states, “The item was not a Men’s Rights vs Women’s Rights issue.”  This is a blatant lie.  I hereby request that the Broadcasting Standards Authority demand from David Edmunds evidence that he knows anything at all about Men’s Rights.  Has he, for example, read my book, Sex, Lies & Feminism, which the Assignment team bought as part of their research for their programme on Boys’ Education ?  There is a chapter there about Employment Issues for men, where the present issue is addressed.  The whole substance of my complaint was that TVNZ News knows nothing, and cares less, about Men’s Rights, and is determined to keep its viewers at the same level of ignorance.  As David Edmunds himself states, the issue was about women earning less than their male counterparts.  Since the issue is a comparison of men and women, and TVNZ knows nothing about Men’s Rights, the only way for TVNZ to find out if there was a Men’s Rights angle to this issue would have been to interview me, Stuart Birks, or someone (if there is anyone else in New Zealand) with similar qualifications to speak authoritatively on this issue.

As I said in my original letter to TVNZ, the item interviewed a disgruntled woman, who gave the Feminist line that she was being disadvantaged or oppressed.  David Edmunds’ letter ignores this point, and concentrates on the fact that the reporter reported some un-named employers’ views – but they were clearly just the views of the employers, rather than the views of the reporter, or of TVNZ, as David Edmunds pretends. 

Since TVNZ interviewed a disgruntled Feminist, it should have interviewed a men’s activist.  The news item did not “discover” the reason for the statistical disparity, as David Edmunds states – it merely reported the views of an unbalanced selection of people on the issue. 

It is not true that the employers’ views were portrayed as being “constructive”, as David Edmunds says, since they did not affect the well-known “Pay Equity” argument that the pay of female-majority professions should be brought up to the level of male-majority professions.  If I had been interviewed, I would have confronted this issue, which will probably be on the Labour Party’s agenda, if they get re-elected.  In fact, and in their usual manner, TVNZ were deliberately laying the groundwork for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs discussion paper “Next Steps Towards Pay Equity”, which was about to be published (in July).  It has now appeared.

Here is my original letter to TVNZ:

‘I am writing to make a formal complaint about TVNZ News’ deliberate refusal to screen an interview with me, or any other Men’s Rights activist, opposing any Feminist spokesperson on any Men’s/Women’s Rights issue.  TVNZ News interviewed me once (with no Feminist opposition), as a result of a demonstration I was on, and its Assignment programme once screened small parts of a lengthy interview of me in a programme on boys’ education. So they know that Men’s Rights activists exist.

As two examples of this censorship, I will mention domestic violence and the so-called “glass ceiling” or “gender pay gap”.  TVNZ has never, to my knowledge, allowed Ms. Raukawa-Tait to be opposed by a Men’s Rights activist on the subject of the anti-male propaganda about domestic violence that the Women’s Refuge Collective puts out – despite my having written to Phil Wallington on 24 January 2001 suggesting this course of action, and detailing the issues involved.  Dr. Greg Newbold, who apparently did once appear opposite Ms. Raukawa-Tait, is not a recognised Men’s Rights activist.  On Thursday 20 June 2002, at about 6:30 PM on the TV One 6 O’clock News, TVNZ screened a propaganda-piece about the so-called “gender pay-gap” – as part of its continuing contribution to the long-term Feminist plan to re-introduce pay-parity legislation into Parliament.  Instead of straightforwardly putting a Men’s Right activist opposite a Women’s Rights activist on this issue, TVNZ put a unionist (Phil Goulter), together with a disgruntled woman (probably a Feminist) onscreen, followed by the reported rebuttal of some unidentified employer(s). 

This is not the place to go into the arguments I would have raised, if asked to contribute to this “news” item.  This item breached Code Requirements (s21(1)(e) that the Authority shall encourage the development and observance by broadcasters of codes of broadcasting practice appropriate to the type of broadcasting undertaken by such broadcasters, in relation to

·         fair and accurate programmes and procedures for correcting factual errors and redressing unfairness, and 

·         safeguards against the portrayal of persons in programmes in a manner that encourages denigration of, or discrimination against, sections of the community on account of sex, race, age, disability, or occupational status or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religious, cultural or political beliefs

Specifically, it is unfair of TVNZ to have treated this issue as an employer-versus-employee issue, since it does not relate to any specific employer, and relates only to the relationship between the income of males and the income of females – possibly including the self-employed and beneficiaries, who are not employees, anyway.  TVNZ was acting out a scam, in order to put across the Feminist propaganda on this issue, without giving my organisation (or one like it) the chance to refute it.  Secondly, it portrays male employers as likely to discriminate against female employees by paying them less than male employees in identical circumstances.  This encourages the denigration of male employers as “sexist”, by attaching a negative stereotype to male employers (as males and as employers), because the unspoken assumption is that most employers are male.  It also encourages the denigration of and discrimination against Men’s Rights activists such as myself, as a consequence of my legitimate expression of our political beliefs, because the news item perpetuates the myth of the glass ceiling, causing viewers to assume that people with my sort of political beliefs are diverting attention from discrimination against women by “pretending” that men are discriminated against.’

Sincerely,

Peter Zohrab ,

Acting President,

New Zealand Equality Education Foundation.

 

Letter No. 2

 

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