While courting controversy psychologist turned TV host Nigel Latta has if anything increased his celebrity status. So who is this man? How did he get where he is today? It started with the 2003 publication of ‘Into the Darklands: Unveiling the Predators Among Us in 2003. The book is a non-fiction account of of Latta’s psychological profiling of violent criminals. Publisher HarperCollins saw this book as way to profit from the public’s growing fear of crime; “Would you recognise a child molester standing in a supermarket queue?” reads the first sentence of the books blurb. In reality, most child sexual abuse is committed by someone known to the child, not by strangers buying their groceries.
The television media, always wanting to capitalise on the public’s fears and make itself seem relevant in an age of a diversified media landscape, turned ‘Into the Darklands’ into a documentary series ‘Beyond the Darklands’. TVNZ came as close as they could to admitting their reasoning for the show in its online promotion; “Beyond The Darklands promises to deliver a wider perspective on violent crime…and what we need to be aware of in order to protect ourselves” In other words, watch this show or you’ll be at risk of violent crime.
Latta remained on TVNZ to capitalise on another social phenomenon, public disdain for “political correctness” hosting first ‘Politically Incorrect Parenting’ and now ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers’. While some of Latta’s parenting tips are common sense many are outrageous and dangerous, a survey of registered psychologists gave him an average score of 2 out of ten, with most respondents giving him zero. It was also revealed on another TVNZ crime-themed reality show, ‘Sensing Murder’ that Latta believes Deb Webber has psychic powers. Trusting a psychologist, someone who supposedly has studied the mind, who believes in psychic powers seems a bit like getting your geology information from a young Earth creationists. It may appear that the ‘politically incorrect’ aspect of his shows is a bit of gimmick but Latta has been on this bandwagon since the Darklands book;
I hate the suffocating gasp of political correctness. It is noxious weed choking the soul out of the world … It is bullshit dressed up as divinity and I hate it to the very core of my being. (pg. 147)
Interestingly “bullshit dressed up as divinity” is also the basis of Deb Webbers career. TVNZ defended their former morning news star Paul Henry though every criticism that came his way; for example when he called Scottish singer Susan Boyle ‘retarded’ and suggested tomatoes carried diseases ‘because of those Hispanic people that pick them’. He was sacked only when his bigotry was wielded against people in high places. Executives of the commercially driven state broadcaster must be ringing their hands in glee now they have a new star to carry the anti-PC torch. Their major private sector competitors, MediaWorks, haven their own politically incorrect celebrities; Michael Laws, the talkback host who advocates sterilising the underclass on Radio Live and the shock-jocks of bland music station The Rock who’s misogyny is almost the stuff of legend.
The mainstream media is crowded with these conservative crusaders, where is this oppressive political correctness coming from? The government? It seems unlikely, prior to the last election the now-ruling National Party appointed an official spokesperson for “political correctness eradication” (your tax dollars at work). While a large section of New Zealand society laments that they can’t say retard and faggot any more, tomorrow will see the implementation of new laws that constitute the biggest attacks on workers rights in two decades. If there is an ideology destroying this country, it sure as hell isn’t ‘political correctness’.