Laws shot down over outburst

By Kathryn Powley

Michael Laws. Photo / APN
Michael Laws. Photo / APN

A pelt processor from Ashburton has been able to do what many a talkback caller has tried - put shock jock Michael Laws in his place.

When RadioLive talkback host Laws shot his mouth off at Herald on Sunday journalists in November, Simon Blisset complained.

This week that complaint resulted in the Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that Laws had breached good taste and decency standards.

The complaint arose from his broadcast last year, on November 18, at the height of the so-called Teapot Tape saga, when Laws took to the airwaves to vent his anger at the media for going "mad" over the issue.

He said: "If I had a gun I'd shoot them, put them out of their misery, because they have gone rabid and they may infect others.

"The Herald on Sunday for example, which is rabid all the time, no idea why somebody just hasn't taken a shotgun there and cleaned out the entire newsroom."

Blisset said he couldn't believe his ears when he tuned in on November 18.

"It's only talk, but who knows what loose cannons are out there?"

In a majority decision released on Monday, the BSA endorsed Laws' right to publicly and strongly criticise the media.

"We do not, however, endorse the use of specific and violent language directed at small groups of identifiable people ... we see little value in the words, which on their face may normalise violent behaviour."

Laws declined to comment, except to say the matter was over a long time ago. Soon after making the comments, Laws spent several weeks off air.

- Herald on Sunday

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