The Law rather than emotions

The more insane members of Labour caucus and the left wing blogsphere are outraged, firstly that John Key even went on Radio Live for an hour and secondly when he was on the show he talked about cats and Coronations Street.

Even journalists who should know better climbed into the debate.

Once again it has been left up to the blogosphere to teach the trained journalists things that they get paid for, that is research. Graeme Edgeler explains the law in terms that even John Hartevelt should be able to undertand.

No broadcaster is allowed to give time to someone to run an election programme. Broadcasters can?t give one party or another a better deal on ad space. And no-one is permitted to broadcast an election programme before ?writ day?. Which is pretty much why?John Key?had to talk about his cat and?Coronation Street, when he was given an hour today on Radio Live.

In 2008, Newstalk ZB gave slots to?Rodney Hide,?Tau Henare,?Winston Peters?and?Shane Jones. Shane Jones went so far his time was an election advertisement (as defined under the Electoral Finance Act). Winston Peters didn?t go as far but his show (along with Shane Jones?) was found by the Electoral Commission to be an election programme. The incidents?were referred to police.

So Radio Live, either better advised, or just sensibly cautious, told the Prime Minister today that he had to stay out of politics.

And the last paragraph is a real slap to the journalists.

There?s an exception later in the Broadcasting Act about how the prohibition on broadcasting election programmes doesn?t restrict ?in relation to an election, of news or of comments or of current affairs programmes,? but giving over the airwaves for politics is over the line. But if the result is?going to be like this, you?ve got to wonder why they bothered. And a note to Stuff: this isn?t prohibited by ?Electoral Commission rules?, they?re a offence created by Parliament.