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March 19, 2012 | by  | in News |
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The Week That Wasn’t

Gerry Brownlee is [redacted] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED]

Gerry Brownlee was caught interfering in state-owned media for the second time this week. On Wednesday night, Close Up ran a poll asking the audience who they thought was the most handsome politician. The result showed 84 per cent of the 1200 participants thought Winston Peters was most handsome, with only 2.4 per cent voting for Brownlee.

It was revealed to Salient by an anonymous source that Mr. Brownlee contacted Close Up demanding he be given the chance to dispute the result on live television. Having his request declined, Brownlee then contacted the chairman of TVNZ, John Anderson demanding to be put on the show. Salient’s source confirms that he was patched through to stake his claim.

Peters, never one to miss an opportunity, took the chance to flash his million dollar grin, remarking “I think it’s disgraceful that Gerry stuffs his face at the public trough all day long only to sell the trough to his rich mates.”

“The average New Zealander needs to own a share of the trough, or else we will become the runt of the world’s litter,” Peters said.

Free speech and anti-smacking law activists around the country are protesting the tyranny of the minister, claiming that his interference— based largely on political and personal difference—is unethical and inappropriate in the context of a free and democratic society.

Paul Webster, Victoria University’s expert on media policy, said that it is highly unusual for a minister to demand a right of response to a live show, especially one that doesn’t concern his policy portfolio. He further warned that this is not a path that should be taken lightly, lest we end up with a media system like that of Fiji’s in recent years.

Brownlee’s attacks on the freedom of the media have seen many wonder where he will draw the line. Salient is vehemently opposed to censorship at any level and shall be following the issue closely.

As of midnight on production night, Salient understands that Brownlee is in talks with Victoria’s Chancellor Ian McKinnon about canceling this (and all subsequent) issues of Salient because [REDACTED]. It was implied that, due to recent changes to the operation of student unions, the University should gain complete editorial control of the magazine. For further developments, read any further issues of this magazine that may or may not be printed.

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