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Checkpoint shroud-waving over Queensland politics?

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, September 10th, 2020 - 12 comments
Categories: broadcasting, health and safety, journalism, radio, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Today’s Checkpoint descended into shroud-waving in the case of a New South Wales family not able to visit their dying father in Queensland because of the strict border closure. As our health officials note, “bereavement issues” are where most care is needed to prevent the virus spread.

In the Checkpoint clip, Ros Bates, the Queensland Liberal shadow health spokesperson, was given free rein to slag off Queensland Labor Premier Anastacia Palasczcuk at length in an interview with Checkpoint producer Bridget Burke.

Queensland goes to the polls at the end of next month. The strict. border lock-down is very popular in Queensland. Palasczcuk’s popularity is rising because of the lock-down, as Queenslanders see what has happened in Victoria. Palasczcuk is obviously a target for the Liberals, and she has come under heavy pressure from Scott Morrison, the Federal Liberal Prime Minister, to the point of reporting extreme bullying to the Queensland parliament over similar cases.

Checkpoint giving the Liberal MP a free shot will probably not make much difference to the Queensland election, which raises the question of what did producer and presenter see as its relevance to us in New Zealand, other than another opportunity for one of their favourite heartstrings’ stories?

In my opinion, Checkpoint in particular does tend to focus overly on these stories of personal pleas for exception, at a time when our general, communal and national health depends on wholehearted observance of the rules that are made to protect us all.

And it should be noted that the most recent Covid cases in New Zealand are described as being related to bereavement issues:

The Ministry of Health’s Director-General, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said four of the new cases were linked to “bereavement activities”, connected to visits to a household and a funeral.

One can understand why health authorities are careful about that environment. It is likely to be highly emotional, and people want to touch and hold. But there is no universal right to such contact. Many thousands of us cannot hold our loved ones and do not know when if ever we will do so again. But in this age we can still talk to each other and laugh and love – and grieve – at long range.

In my opinion Checkpoint needs to be careful it doesn’t turn into Radio Whinge. It’s already Radio Gotcha. And the Covid issues are much too serious to be taken over by self-interested virtue-signalling politics.


12 comments on “Checkpoint shroud-waving over Queensland politics? ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Queensland goes to the polls at the end of next month. The strict. border lock-down is very popular in Queensland. Palasczcuk’s popularity is rising because of the lock-down, as Queenslanders see what has happened in Victoria.

    Did checkpoint actually report that or was it implied that her lockdown was causing massive voter disfavour?

    • Gabby 1.1

      It was more about the contrast between their situation and the ease with which movie stars and footie players and hangers on seem to be able to move around.

  2. tc 2

    Rnz long overdue for a purge the way it povides a soapbox for views.

    A balance fail that should cause a please explain from higher up…..yeah right. Kim’s a gem, the rest a lightweight bunch of appeasing club members like espiner, ryan, mora…..

  3. RedLogix 3

    Many thousands of us cannot hold our loved ones and do not know when if ever we will do so again.

    Yes. Without delving into inappropriate detail we've been dealing with exactly this issue all year. People should start thinking more about the idea of memorial services held at a later time when conditions permit.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Just been to my brother's memorial service a long time after the crematorium. It was a great way to send him off.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Thank you for this. I must confess that in the course of so many work trips overseas I was always worried about getting home quickly in case of the untimely passing, but when I finally realised that a memorial service was a reasonable alternative, and that everyone was happy with this, it took a lot of pressure off.

        Good to hear it went well for your family Ian.

  4. mike 4

    Using the particular to insinuate the general is usually media shock horror thinly disguised as compassion, and is very often sickening, since the real aim is to attack.

    Given this kind of shallowness, todays dear wee thing, becomes tomorrows devilish bastard, and the next days discard.

    Hundreds of thousands of humans have been unable to hold or see loved ones at life's end. How about those countless soldiers killed in the battle against fascism. Parents held only a flimsy telegram and had to piece together the rest – alone. No checkpoint interviews for them.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    35 years of pervasive neo liberal psychology has helped install this default–“what about meeeeeee, did I mention meeeeeee…?” culture in a lot of people.

    Mike @ #4 lays out how it could be in analogue times. In this digital world, people often expect more–and be quick about it! Checkpoint is certainly flogging individual exception stories, and it rather seems a wedge tactic attack on lockdowns and other C19 security generally.

    The fact is so many of us are just a sore throat, or unsmelt dinner away from a lonely death in an ICU, and we better get used to that likelihood and be diligently distancing and wearing masks.

  6. fender 6

    The way RNZ used the distraught mother of missing crew member from lost ship to criticise the govt. was poor taste IMO. Soyman Bridges apparently had a role in getting them into contact with each other.

    Lisa Owen invariably gives me a guts ache, while Dann and Suzy put me off my breakfast.

  7. Peter 7

    Imagine Checkpoint being Real Radio Whinge and real Radio Gotcha if exemptions were given or rules broken in sad cases involving funerals which ended up to be massive breakouts of the virus.

    Strident Owen would be calling for the heads of Hipkins and Ardern and whomever.

  8. kejo 8

    It is important to understand that defending all of society is a greater good than mourning a single family member.

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