National Press Club president answers questions on a mainstream moral panic

Your organisation has a view on the mainstream media colluding in censoring itself in covering the trial of the mosques murders suspect?

The decision should more properly reside with the presiding judge at this pending trial. As it is the mainstream in its rush to make a cooperative compliant compact has given an impression that they do not trust each other and/or that they willingly fall into uniform line with authority and its prevailing wishes.

Is this self-censorship going to work?

The degree to which this agreement will be adhered to by the foreign press and social media of all varieties and everywhere is yet to be explored.

Why not simply ban foreign correspondents from the courtroom and also anyone who is not accredited to the mainstream?

You might add to that a constraint on accredited court reporters in the form of a covenant not to act as stringer for any foreign media.

Even as we talk there is a Royal Commission underway on the mosques shootings?

Again, we find this same mainstream media standing aside from asking awkward questions this time to the effect that if secrecy is paramount, was a royal commission the most suitable vehicle? Or that it might have been wiser to schedule any such inquiry until after the main trial…..

Are you saying that the mainstream is by nature self-censoring?

The mainstream is prone to falling into line with any prevailing moral issue when the thrust of this fervour is seen to be coming from figures who are deemed to be avant garde, fashionable, cool. The result is that instead of applying a brake to this hysteria, slowing it down, the mainstream multiplies it.

Is this politically biased?

It is about the song, rather than the singers. The current fervour can certainly be interpreted as favouring the government with its proven mastery of symbols. But if you cast your memory back to the Helen Clark led Labour era we will recall how mainstream television pilloried her government by associating it with genetically engineered crops, the moral panic of this particular time, and in doing so wrecked her chance of the outright mandate that she wanted, needed.

Is it an appeal to a younger audience or readership of the category that the advertisers want?

A feature of the mainstream runs counter to this theory, and it is that its content is aimed at the young. In contrast its advertising is directed at an elderly audience…cruises, rest homes, discount funerals.

You have conjured up the image of a choir and it is hard to deny that in the moral issues they are in perfect tune with another?

The institutionalisation of induction into engagement in the mainstream has long been complete and therefore the attitudes inherent in universities have crashed through into the finished product which is what you see and what you read.

Do you see any commercial benefit to the mainstream in allowing itself to be substantially sidelined in official proceedings surrounding the mosques massacre?

There are several consequences visible. One is the forbidden fruit syndrome in which the mainstream’s cooperative decision to ignore proceedings will increase the public appetite for the news of these same proceedings that they are so pointedly being denied.

Will the mainstream benefit in any way?

The print version of the mainstream has always been preoccupied in the balance it gives its readers between what they need to know as opposed to what they want to know. This is one of the reasons they alternate between tabloid (want to know) and the more severe broadsheet format i.e. need to know.

Be definite…..

In New Zealand, probably through isolation, there is this constant veering between extremes on moral issues such as this. My prediction is that the judiciary on the grounds of the futility of seeking to regulate foreign media and social media will intervene and devise a modus operandi, a middle ground, which will allow the mainstream to navigate a righteous and reasonable course.