I’ve been trying to avoid blogging about Louis Crimp because his statements were, well, ridiculous and I didn’t want to give him any more attention than he had already received.
However a tweet from one of the cuzzies, Leonie Simpson, inspired me to write this post.The tweet read: “#CampbellLive why did you gave Crimp tv oxygen? More ridiculous than news”.
And that is exactly the point – why do media outlets continue to give people like Crimp space?
Almost every major media outlet has jumped on the story, which appeared first in the Weekend Herald, about Crimp’s comments that he donated $125,000 to the ACT Party because he believed the political group would stop what he considered special treatment for Maori.I can understand the purpose of that initial article - the Banks-donation affair has been one of the biggest new stories in the last three months and here was a fresh angle which moved things forward, fair enough I get that.
I even get stories like this one where the political fall-out from such comments is analysed but what I don’t get is that you allow someone like Crimp time and space to spout his bigoted views to the nation as seen in this story by the New Zealand HeraldSure, you may think that he is painting himself as some sort of lunatic but what is this adding except fuelling an already tense situation?
As part of the fourth-estate journalists in New Zealand have a responsibility to the public and democracy depends on citizens having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context.Far too often the country’s media indulge in Maori bashing just to lift the ratings but it is a form of the lowest-common-denominator-type journalism.
Today it is Crimp, last month it was John Ansell and next week it will probably be another raving bigot. It is nothing new – Maori have had to face these sorts of tirades ever since – but I do not think I am alone when I say that I am tired of it. What about you?