How to get a radio host foaming at the mouth…

I don’t know about you folk,

but to me when a talkback host resorts to presonal abuse, they seem to have lost the plot. Unlike the blogosphere where open slather tends to run amock, nation wide radio is where one would expect the standards to be somewhat higher. Let me explain.

Recently, I have taken to picking at the scab that is NewstalkZB and Leighton Smith in particular. (why do I let myself get so worked up and listen to this guy?). Last week while reading a press release from Sue Bradford, he got half way through, screwed up the paper, tossed it away with the none too sublte “Stupid Bitch”. What astonishing radio I thought to myself, is this typical or is this man just having severe PMT?

Then today I felt compelled to question his proposition that male boys need physical punishment to stop them going off the rails as they are irrational creatures.

Below is the interchange of correspondence. First my email to Leighton Smith NewstalkZB.


Having been a teacher who was unable to smack a child for irrational behavior we needed to develop strategies that would deal with these children. On the whole issues were solved with talk and time, never violence.

If one was to take your argument that we hit children because they are irrational and a short sharp physical/emotional correction will provide the stimulus for behavioral change, then surely me must hit the intellectually handicapped? Some of these people are totally irrational and act like my 2 year old running towards the fireplace, to take this argument hitting them will correct this behavior. Who will do this? I suggest Chester Borrows draft some guidelines for the hitting of the intellectually handicapped.

As incorrectly stated by Helen Clark, it is not human nature to hit children (this is not a trait practiced across the world), it is a poor cultural learning that must be over come, it is weak parenting and has no place in a civil caring society.

Also do not confuse the issues of the nanny state in the home etc, smokescreen. Get over that, we already have laws to moderate all manner of behavior and actions.


– – – – –

Somehow this engraged him so much that his retort on air was ” go away you tosser”. How wonderfully classy for a takback host, but this seems to be the standards allowed on this station. He only read the first paragraph, then jumped into an irrational and wonderfully suspicious argument drawing the conclusion that the removal of corporal punnishment from schools is responsible for the rising crime and murder rates in NZ. This is of course incredibly erronous and wonderfully one dimensional in thought. I would have loved his thoughts on the second paragraph – defending the indefensible.

Of Course I felt somewhat agrieved having been called a tosser on Nationwide radio, and felt a counter parry was necessary. My email follows.


what a wonderfully eloquent reply to my email. Nice to see the role of the talkback host has been elevated to abusive commentator.

For your interest I was a teacher for 10 years in a range of schools with any multitude of social problems across a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Who am I to hit another human being, who appointed me god lord emperor? No body. I was charged with the intellectual, emotional, cultural and physical development of the youth of this country, one which I took most seriously. So teachers don’t hit children these days – society has gone to hell in a hand cart, nice one.

Keep fighting the good fight for the frenzied masses, your ability to belittle and abuse those whom you disagree with does you a disservice.



Below is his email response, I will give him this, he took the time to tap the keyboards.

“you sound like a guard at Belson.”

Seriously that is all there was, no Dear Paul thank you for you time on this issue, glad to hear that you are listening to the debate and hopefully we may be able to change your mind, yours most sincerely Leighton. Oh no somehow I’m implicatd in the death of 50,000 allies and civilians?

Thankfully time had run out on radio, there is only so much public ridicule one can take ( I hope me dear mum wasn’t listening). To my second email his response was…

“Peace be with You.”

Oh well at least I am no longer associated with the great atrocoties of the middle 20th century, how magnanimous of the man.

I would not like to cast aspertions as to the mental well being of the man, I am sure he’s a normal functioning member of society. However, one seems so corrupted by his callers each day that he allows his standards to sink so low, mind you if Ma and Pa average rang moaning to me each day I’d be a little bitter and twisted too!

The rantings and ravings about conspiracy theories of a Green world domination, hell in a hand cart, nanny socialist state controlling our every moves etc etc aren’t exactly the thoughts of a rational or reasonable talkback host.

It seems that those most fervently opposed to the Sue Bradford Bill have serious anger management problems.

So taken by the wonderfully elloquent rants and raves of the man, I have written to the sponsors of the show stating that my financial support for their companies will no longer occur as long as they provide sponsorship of such an irrational and irresponsible host for whom personal abuse is deemed acceptable behavior. (this is huge and incredibly difficult for me as I am an Apple fanatic – you know the type – this will hurt me hard).

Deary me, I wouldn’t expect my 3 1/2 year old to talk like that to anyone, there would have been sever loss of TV rights and a mighty boring time out for that sort of discourtesy.

Still at least from now on I can expect my child to have higher standards than one Leighton Smith.



Filed under S59

2 responses to “How to get a radio host foaming at the mouth…

  1. alec

    Good for you Paul. Talk radio is the refuge of hate mongering neanderthals. Hitting them where it hurts – like writing to the shows sponsors – is an excellent idea which has worked well in the US.

  2. cheers alec.

    prize of the stylish can opener for being the first to post a comment on this blog ever!!!

    Unfortunately the bogosphere is the middle class equivalent to talk radio, however it does allow for a little more thorough discussion, and levels of debate may be a little more reasoned(?).

    My somewhat token gestures to their sponsors will have little or no effect, but when one feels as frustrated as I have, there needs to be an outlet and consequences for such vitriol.

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