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Chris Ford: The Roast Busters Fall Out: Willie and John - you're gone and I'm so glad you are!

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford

Willie Jackson and John Tamihere - I'm so glad you're gone!

Radio Live today finally caught up with public opinion and forced the two of them off air - until after Christmas. It took the station, though, about a week to act in any way, shape or form.

And it took the actions of fellow blogger Giovanni Tiso to finally bring the curtain down on them after their appalling interview with rape survivor 'Amy' last week. I have to congratulate Tiso for his highly commendable action which has now succeeded in silencing those two. It just goes to demonstrate the power that ordinary consumers have when it comes to supporting or not supporting certain television or radio programmes which (even implicitly) condone violent or aggressive behaviour towards women and/or other minority groupings.

Very unusually, I would also like to praise the actions of National Party-aligned blogger and commentator Matthew Hooton who rightly stormed out of Willie and JT's show last week. He was absolutely right to do so (even if it was a predetermined act on Hooton's part - in the same circumstances I would have done as well). I particularly agreed with Hooton when Willie and JT even tried to drag the socioeconomic/class element into it. Rape and sexual violence are just that - rape and sexual violence, irrespective of whoever does it and whatever social class they happen to be from originally. Nothing should EVER excuse sexual violence against women or men!

And one more thing - I think Radio Live should not have not just taken Willie and JT off the air temporarily - they should have done so permanently as a warning to other shock jocks! They must realise, as do all bloggers and journalists and media, that there are reasonable limits to freedom of speech in our community and that sometimes those reasonable limits are not prescribed by law but sometimes by public opinion itself.

That's the major lesson to be learned for Willie, JT and all other commentators. Now the Police just have to learn theirs in the continuing Roast Buster case too!

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