Deeply Insulting: race-baiting in mainstream media; Don Brash, "the go-to media voice on Maori issues"

What should be a week of celebrations as we commemorate Maori Language Week has turned, once again, into something nasty, in large part due to those who decide what will be fed to us as news, and those they select to represent the anti-Maori among us.  

As Madeleine Chapman points out  in this first article, "If Don Brash can be invited onto national television to speak about Māori language week, then I can speak about almost anything."







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"There's plenty of uninformed takes to be heard on the radio. People call into talkback and air an opinion that isn’t shared by a single listener, but those same listeners know this caller is just a random New Zealander. They know this person isn’t an expert and they’re subsequently prepared to process what outrageous thoughts this person may have on a topic they know very little about.


"Don Brash is not a random New Zealander calling NewstalkZB at 3am. Don Brash is a former National Party leader and Reserve Bank governor. He’s also been eligible for the pension for over half my life and I commend his stubborn refusal to just fade away into an extremely comfortable retirement.

"Brash is an expert voice. He’s 2012 Olympics Usain Bolt when he’s talking about inflation. But when it comes to talking about the haka, Brash is 2018 Usain Bolt trialling for the Central Coast Mariners soccer team.
"Brash was given a national platform to air his strongly held opinions on RadioLive yesterday. He was also apparently a planned guest on The AM Show this week to discuss te reo and its usage as part of Te Wiki O Te Reo Māori. There’s an easy win to be had with booking someone like Brash. He makes some people feel ‘heard’ and ‘understood’ (good for engagement) and angers the rest of them (great for engagement)"
The second article


Ātea editor Leonie Hayden and Newsroom’s Emma Espiner sat down to talk race-baiting in mainstream media and why they’re not doing the heavy lifting anymore.
"If there’s a scenario I’m familiar with, it’s being asked to be the voice of te ao Māori/rangatahi Māori/Māori media on panels for mainstream radio, TV and live events. It’s not a complete list, but there are a handful of easy go-tos: myself, Mihingarangi Forbes, Stacey Morrison, Emma Espiner, Morgan Godfery, Moana Maniapoto, Miriama Aoake. Media types armed with enough information over a range of subjects to put up a fight but still seem approachable. 

"The motivation behind the invite varies from tokenism to race-baiting to a sincere desire for inclusion and representation. If at first it’s hard to tell the difference, practise makes it painfully easy."


Leonie Hayden: I’ve been asked twice to appear with Dr Brash. And I’ve said no twice, because that’s a waste of everybody’s time.
Emma Espiner: Yeah but then you get ‘Oh but you need to put up your side of the story’. You actually don’t.
"He’s heard our side of the story enough, from people who are far more knowledgeable than us. He’s not listening.
"It’s frustrating. They invite him and then they backfill you as racist bait… I’m not trying to burn any bridges; The AM Show have been good to me. But the producer called me and said she had been talking to the show’s presenters. And I think she said in the interest of ‘both sides’ or a ‘balanced view’ they had Don Brash coming on the Monday of Māori language week. It just seems driven by this bizarre controversy journalism."

                                                 *** This is not the way to celebrate Maori Language Week, and those who decide what we read and view should know this. 

They are responsible, even more than Brash.

---ACW

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