NZ Herald manufactures rage towards Seven Sharp

seven-sharp-domestic-violenceLast Thursday, Seven Sharp ran a story about domestic violence in a staged enactment in an Auckland street.  This morning (five days later), the New Zealand Herald has a story that claimed “Women’s Refuge has criticised a Seven Sharp story on bystander reaction to violence against women which used the song Smack My Bitch Up as a backing track”.

The New Zealand Herald has a history of inciting anger when there is none and this latest escapade is no different.

We spoke to Women’s Refuge this morning and a spokesperson told us that they had been completely unaware of Seven Sharp’s story until the NZ Herald had contacted them for comment.  Colour me surprised. 

Getting upset over a backing track that features no lyrics on an issue that is increasingly problematic in New Zealand is incredibly petty and completely misses the point.  The fact that the issue is getting raised at all is something that should be congratulated, not lambasted for such trivial and inconsequential points.

TVNZ communications manager Georgie Hill’s statement said exactly that. “The background song was a music only excerpt; no lyrics were played. We acknowledge the song is controversial but its use shouldn’t overshadow the importance of the story’s subject matter; it was a compelling social experiment about public attitudes towards domestic violence. There was certainly no intention to cause offence.”

Women’s Refuge are in the middle of promoting their own “Be a Shero” campaign.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • its not an inconsequential point… there are literally millions of other songs they could have used… but someone chose this one – why?

    • My guess is they picked it because editors like to make music puns in their stories. It was a silly choice and it’s unfortunate that someone didn’t exercise better judgement before putting the story to air.

  • It doesn’t matter that the lyrics weren’t heard. For those of us who partied to the Prodigy in the ’90s (and are now smack bang in the middle of Seven Sharp’s target audience) the music is clearly identifiable as “Smack My Bitch Up”. After all, it is a largely instrumental song. It’s enough for viewers to make the unpleasant connection between “Smack My Bitch Up” and a serious story about domestic violence. The Herald’s coverage of the story is one issue. Seven Sharp’s thoughtless, unpleasant choice of music for the story is another issue.

    • Sam

      You partied to that??? What does that say about you???

  • Anon

    The NZ Herald is petty and pathetic. It may have been a little insensitive but the story itself was extremely well done. Surely at the end of the day that is all that matters…
    Must have been a slow news day for the NZH

  • The whole of Ericsson partied to that.