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Scott and The Radio Network - 2014-125

Members

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga

Complainant

  • Andrew Scott of Auckland

Dated

3rd December 2014

Number

2014-125

Channel/Station

Radio Hauraki

Broadcaster

The Radio Network Ltd


Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision.]

A host on Hauraki Breakfast Regurgitated was required to argue that free-range eggs were ‘penis’ (stupid or absurd). The Authority did not uphold the complaint that his comments were disgusting and unsuitable for broadcast in the middle of the day. While parts of the broadcast were crude, the content did not go beyond audience expectations of Radio Hauraki or this programme. Most regular listeners would have taken the comments as humorous and light-hearted, and would not have been unduly offended.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency


Introduction

[1]  In a regular segment called ‘Penis or Genius’ on Hauraki Breakfast Regurgitated, one of the hosts was required to argue that free-range eggs were ‘penis’ – used by the programme to denote something that is ‘stupid’ or ‘absurd’.

[2]  Andrew Scott complained to The Radio Network Ltd (TRN) that the comments made by the host were ‘foul’ and unsuitable for broadcast during the middle of the day.

[3]  The issue is whether the broadcast breached the good taste and decency standard of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[4]  The item was broadcast on Radio Hauraki at 12.30pm on Saturday 9 August 2014. The members of the Authority have listened to a recording of the item and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Did the broadcast threaten current norms of good taste and decency?

[5]  The good taste and decency standard (Standard 1) is primarily aimed at broadcasts containing sexual material, nudity, coarse language or violence.1 The Authority will also consider the standard in relation to any broadcast that portrays or discusses material in a way that is likely to cause offence or distress.2

[6]  The host made the following comments while arguing that free range eggs were ‘penis’:

  • ‘Disgusting, weird embryo cases blasted out daily from fat birds’ fannies’
  • ‘Smeared on toast… scramble, fry them, poach them, they’re all still reproductive membranes’
  • ‘What is it you like, the sticky mucus part or the yellow blob bit, that if mixed with chicken love juice, starts growing veins and blood?’
  • ‘In conclusion, [free-range eggs are] expensive, gross and farted out of evil, soon-to-be axe murdered beings’.

[7]  Mr Scott described the broadcast as an ‘obnoxious discussion on eating unborn embryos’ and said the comments were deliberately ‘foul’.

[8]  TRN argued that in context, regular listeners would not have been surprised or offended by the comments. This context included Radio Hauraki’s target adult audience, the fact that the station has very few younger listeners, and audience expectations of the programme, which was said to ‘regularly push the boundaries of acceptability’.

[9]  While we recognise that parts of the broadcast were crude and would not have been to everyone’s taste, we agree that the content did not go beyond audience expectations of Radio Hauraki or this programme. The comments were deliberately exaggerated and ridiculous, and typical of the style of humour regularly broadcast on this station. The item formed part of a regular segment in which the hosts debate random and bizarre topics. Most regular listeners would have taken the comments as humorous and light-hearted, and would not have been unduly offended.

[10]  Accordingly, we decline to uphold the complaint.

For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

Peter Radich
Chair

3 December 2014

Appendix

The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

1                 Andrew Scott’s referral to the Authority (treated as his complaint) – 20 September 2014

2                 TRN’s response to the complaint – 23 September 2014

3                 Mr Scott’s referral to the Authority – 23 September 2014

4                 TRN’s response to the Authority – 25 September 2014

5                 Mr Scott’s final comments – 25 September 2014


1 Turner and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2008-112

2 Practice Note: Good Taste and Decency (Broadcasting Standards Authority, November 2006)