The spirit of the NZBC circa 1960 lives on as NatRad imposes a lifetime ban on Martyn "Bomber" Bradbury.
I was listening to the wireless last week as Bomber appeared on The Panel, as he read his blog post on his thoughts pummeling John Key's Radio Live marketing stunt. Yes, his rant was polemical. Yes, his characteristic screeches set off my tinnitus. But that's our Bomber.
Whatever problems NatRad had with Bomber's polemic, it seems there was not even a shot over his bow. No temporary sanction, just dialled straight up to "Off With His Larynx".
The other week I had to put up with Graham Bell and his contemptuous "I've Been Thinking" spiel. Sometimes there's Michelle "Bury Me in a Y-Shaped Coffin" Boag on the air, who helicopters in and dumps smugness over all she surveys. Or the milquetoast Brian Edwards, who bemoans his neighbours using water blasters or leaf blowers.
That's the price to pay when you listen to "Our Voice". There's a kaleidoscope of views. It's bad enough that there's the self-censorship of indigenous sweariness, which impinges on a few of The Panel's regulars, especially from the redder end of the guest spectrum. It's one of the handicaps that forbids me from radio airtime. I can't guarantee a G-rated sound bite.
Banning such a prolific Leftie right before an election sounds like something the Nat appointed NatRad Board would lash out with. Was it Dick Griffin decanting poison down the line? Who did Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman meet in the corporate box in the weekend? Or was it the Smiling Assassin who kicked away Bomber's soapbox?
I really doubt we've heard the last of this.