28 Feb 2021

It's newsworthy, I swear

From Mediawatch, 9:07 am on 28 February 2021

When Simon Bridges aimed an unparliamentary insult at the Speaker in Parliament, media pondered whether this was fit to print (or broadcast). They all decided it was - with one surprising exception. Meanwhile, much worse could be heard during the cricket . . .

Hawke's Bay Today headlines the bad word Simon Bridges called the speaker - and himself in 2018.

Hawke's Bay Today headlines the bad word Simon Bridges called the speaker - and himself in 2018. Photo: screenshot

Bridges' blurt on his way out of the House on Wednesday was certainly undignnified - and also unparliamentary language. He apologised for calling Trevor Mallard a "twat" the next day. 

But Heather du Plessis-Allan had no qualms about using the same word twice on her Drive show to tell listeners what had happened while ZB’s news bulletin that night did so too - with two different pronunciations. 

RNZ broadcast the word in its bulletins - and in an online story all about the spat and an analysis. The Herald and the ODT also decided it was fit to print what the MP had said. 

And Newshub wasn’t bothered about offending people watching their 6 pm news either: 

Political reporter Jenna Lynch went on to tell viewers Bridges  "acting up" could even mean a leadership spill was coming - though didn't say how the ‘Nat’s twat spat’ could escalate to a top Nat scalp. 

Newsroom.co.nz published the insult too - and Hawkes Bay Today even put it in a headline - on page 34 on Thursday. 

However, Stuff decided to be discrete - saying only that Mr Bridges had sworn at the speaker and printng the term as "t***".

But two years ago Stuff reported that Simon Bridges had called himself a twat (for liking a tweets by Cameron Whale Oil Slater).  

And they were probably OK to do that. 

In it’s not in the top 20 of the broadcasting watchdog's list of most offensive words - known as What not to Swear - and complaints about Paul Henry saying it on air five years ago were not upheld by the BSA

The Authority said anyone tuning into his talk show could expect "robust language." 

However, who people who turned to The Herald's site for live scoring of Thursday 's T20 international - and clicked on the 'watchalong' video of the Alternative Commentary Collective embedded on the page - might not have expected what they heard on the livestream coming from a bar in Napier.  

Matt Heath posting Instragram pictures in a bid to become "a big league influencer." 

"If you do that, i'll come to  your house and kick you in the c****,"  a colleague said, as fellow host Jason Hoyte gasped.  

(This word is at the top of the charts in the BSA's What not to Swear)

"Is that even possible?" Matt Heath asked in reply.

Anatomically? No.

Some find the ACC hilarious. Others find them too boozy and too blokey. The bosses at NZME must think few women are listening in to them - or men who prefer their cricket commentary without gratuitous sexual references.