#buythisbeachNZ is a complete waste of time

Sorry to be a party pooper but this #buythisbeachNZ campaign is a complete waste of time and will not work. It’s a lovely idea…but a waste of time.

If you own property let me ask you this. If you purchased a house close to a decade ago for say $400,000 would you sell it today for $400,000? Answer ‘No’.

If you were very interested in purchasing a property and you knew exactly what you competitor was going to offer would you offer a smidge more to get that property? Answer ‘Yes’.

The Able Tasman beach in question was purchased by Michael Spackman in September 2008 for $1,925,000. Presently it’s rating valuation is $1,580,000. That means when he purchased the property the ‘RV’ was likely far less but he still purchased it for two or three times the RV value. This means that on today’s market it could sell for somewhere between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000 so unfortunately the $2,000,000 being raised by the #buythisbeachNZ campaign will be well short of what the beach sells for. Also if you wanted to purchase this property and you knew that these vendors had raised, lets say, $2,100,000 then in your vendors bid you would make it $2,150,000. Everyone knows what this group is going to bid on this property. From Mr. Spackman’s point of view (or anyone who was selling their property) his expectation would be to get much more than he invested nearly a decade ago and with revelations yesterday that he is being chased for millions of dollars by the BNZ it’s not very likely that he will choose to gift the million or so that the campaign will be short to the people of NZ and, if we’re honest, who would?

Gareth Morgan has since come out of the woodwork and pointed out some of these points and offered to put in a million more if he can use one of the buildings on the property for 15 years. So NZ would get 99% of the property now, then the remaining 1% of the property in 15 years when Morgan relinquished it to the people of NZ. Seems like a fair idea to me…I mean if the choice is that or losing it to a private owner for ever more. But the group behind #buythisbeachNZ has said ‘No’ which makes me question both their motives and intelligence.

So who are the protagonists in this story? Gareth Morgan is the guy who has a track record of donating large sums of money to people and groups in NZ for the betterment of the country, like the $47 million he gave away after the sale of trademe and who are the people behind the #buythisbeachNZ campaign?…dunno…Duane Major is the man fronting it but what is his background?…dunno…what is his track record with vast sums of money?…dunno…what is his credit like to be able to handle large sums of money?…dunno…what happens when the $2 million mark is hit, but the property does not get purchased?…dunno…what is the recourse for all the people who have given money that, when the $2 million is hit, will go through but then not used to purchase the property as I’ve spelled out above?…dunno…why does he want so much control that he has rebuffed Morgans offer, then only offer that will possibly secure the beach for NZ?,,,dunno but I am far more comfortable with Gareth Morgan using a small crib on the property for 15 years than the unknown Mr Major having unaccountable access to $2 million.

There are only two possible conclusions here. The first is that Major is a well being moron and doesn’t understand that $2 million won’t purchase the property, or he calculating and incredibly smart, knows exactly what he is doing and knows that in a few days he’ll have access to $2 million dollars and nothing to spend it on. Both conclusions lend me to state again that whilst this seems to be a nice idea, at best it is a complete waste of time and at worst it is a con of the highest magnitude.

Police ramping up the hype to arm themselves

TVNZ reported tonight that the incidents of police confiscating illegal firearms is at record highs. Notice the title of the item is “Significant spike in illegally owned firearms” but the graphic we were shown demonstrates both “legal AND illegal firearms seizures” from 2010/2011 to 2014/2015.

TVNZ Graphic on both legal and illegal firearms seized

How many of the 1504 firearms in 2014/2015 that were seized were illegal please? Surely that’s what the story is about.

We then get the voice over that confiscation of “the number of cut down shotguns has increased four fold.”

So when a media outlet doesn’t mention numbers, but goes to percentage increases it always raises a red flag with me because a four fold increase could be from one confiscation to four confiscations, or it could be from one hundred to four hundred, the devil is in the detail.

Currently the Police get about 1.7 million calls per year to their call center, from that there are 1500 firearms seized each year, of which we don’t know how many are illegal and we don’t know how many firearms are seized per call out, in other words there may be six firearms taken from one incident. But as you can see growing from roughly 1,000 firearm confiscations to 1,500 over five years out of potentially 1.7 million call outs does not support Greg O’Connors statement that “all of a sudden there’s a lot more firearms around out there.”

To their credit TVNZ does suggest that the number of call outs that involve firearms are “less than 0.5% of total recorded crime” although I wager that’s probably a little high of you think that 1,500 firearms confiscations out of 1.7 million calls is only 0.09% but I guess I can give them credit to painting the picture that this is not as dramatic as perhaps Mr. O’Conner is painting it.

Overall I am really concerned about this kind of story, it’s not actually about arming the police to me, it’s about how the media disseminates information and passes it onto us. It seems that TVNZ hasn’t asked the pertinent questions here or, if they have asked them, the Police haven’t given them the answers, either way it’s a lose for the NZ public in being informed.

It’s also completely clear now that Greg O’Connor is hell bent on arming the Police and for my part I am open to that conversation but only when all the information is on the table and the hype and hysteria about ‘four fold increases’ is turned into metrics that are open and obvious for the public of NZ to enable us to make an informed decision.

SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, but the whole news industry is moving this way

Hosking CrosshairsSo I am in shock at the decision by newly launched gossip magazine SCOUT.co.nz to use rifle cross-hairs to target Mike Hosking in what they apparently call an ‘exclusive’ which was that he vacuumed his car in a public street…OMG Stop the presses!!! I’m shocked that this is a story, I’m shocked that this is the way the whole news industry is moving (more on that soon) but I’m mostly shocked that whoever made the ‘cross hairs’ decision seems to have no knowledge of what terrible occurrences that exact idea has lead to in the very recent past.

Anyone remember Sarah Palin targeting Gabby Giffords?

If not let me remind you. Sarah Palin has targeted 20 Democratic seats to encourage Republican voters to do all they can to win them back for the Good Old Party using rhetoric like ‘don’t retreat, reload!’  The map that was drawn up had cross-hairs on the seats and on one fateful day, a mentally unwell person took Sarah Palin’s advice a little too literally and stormed a Gabby Giffords event and shot her in the head.

Now I am not saying that NZ has the same culture that exists with guns in the US, but anyone with half an ounce of intelligence would know this is not the way to report ‘news’ even gossip but the post on SCOUT.co.nz mentioned the salary that Hosking was on, the price he just paid for his house and the street where he lived. The only outcome from the post was to engender a negative feeling, a feeling of jealously and hatred towards Hosking and if an imbalanced person felt like checking him out he or she now has a pretty good idea on how to find him after hours.

Hilary Barry posted a brilliant retort to the ‘story’ by posting an image of herself vacuuming her car with the hashtag #stalkingisnotok and the best item I’ve seen written on SCOUT today is from Russell Brown who goes into a lot of detail on the story, behind the story.

Many of her former Herald colleagues believed she had, at best, jumped before she’d been pushed, and that the final straw had been not her unethical treatment of waitress Amanda Bailey but her ludicrous “conifers” column. The belief was that she was due to be dispensed with in a reshuffle after the departure of editor-in-chief Tim Murphy.

I am also saddened that this is the path that all the media is taking. I am saddened to see when I visit TVNZ News that most of the video on that site is 40 seconds or shorter and focusing on things that rate heavily on Facebook, I think that content producers are missing the point and assuming what we, as consumers, are prepared to spend our time watching and reading and I think they are wrong. Yes there is a place for ‘bite sized’ content, but not at the expense of serious, interesting, challenging news that informs and entertains. We are focusing too heavily on the ‘entertains’ and it’s becoming very un-entertaining.

News radio shows doing 2 minute interviews on the international intricacies of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, television news spending 23 seconds of video on a tragedy where 4 people died…it’s not right and it sure as hell is not good broadcasting which is why most people I know, most people under 40 are turning to alternative sources of news online to get what we need and want, not what is dictated by 9 ad breaks an hour or a necessity to have a certain number of click throughs.

SCOUT.co.nz is terrible, it’s a product that doesn’t work in NZ as we don’t have celebrities, we have people with high profile. Peter Jackson and Lorde. they’re celebrities, daylight is second to the next highest profile person in NZ and they come in well below the thresh hold of what one needs to be classed a celebrity.

If anyone is interested in starting a Give a Little page with the object being to raise money to put a Private Eye on the people running SCOUT.co.nz to expose their lives and put all the excitement of them walking their dog, or washing their car online for all to see, then I’ll happily donate the first $100 and write the story.

Has Duncan Garner been playing the field?

Duncan Garner is on Ashley Madison and he is denying any knowledge of how he got on there. I think someone needs to educate Duncan Garner on how membership websites operate.

Firstly when you sign up, you get a notification email confirming that your address is valid, if someone signs up your email address for you, you would stop the process but not confirming your address.

There is also the question of costs. Not having any experience with Ashley Madison my understanding is that this is a paid service and you would only receive email from potential suitors if you paid for them. Now if this is incorrect I’d appreciate someone letting me know as it wouldn’t be fair to Mr. Garner to cast aspersions, but if it is correct that one needs to pay to receive correspondence from potential sexual partners then we are to believe that firstly someone used Duncan Garners email address, then figured out a way to confirm that address without Garner knowing, then paid for him to receive propositions from females.

Add that to Mr. Garner’s admission that he is on Tinder ‘for research purposes’ and this looks all a little suspicious.

With Garner and his crew being the masters of ambush journalism (scroll to 2.21) I think a journalist should have popped over to his New Windsor home to ask his wife, or him, about why he was on these services with a camera in his face

I think someone needs to ask Duncan what his Story is (sorry I couldn’t help myself)

Questions for the media to ask Colin Craig

Dear NZ Media,

After my post yesterday about Colin Craig and his booklet being ‘spammed’ across NZ, I’ve noticed talkback lines lighting up today with people asking, “why did we get a Colin Craig pamphlet when we have a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on our letter box?” A question that I answered yesterday in some detail including the possibility that Mr. Craig may face a financial penalty for said pamphlet going into those letterboxes, but to recap for those who missed it.

  1. Colin Craig pamphlet arrived in my letterbox
  2. I questioned on Facebook if anyone else received it, and in the conversation it came up that it was being put into ‘no junk mail’ letterboxes
  3. I wrote a blog piece on this happening to me and passed on information about the Marketing Association‘s Mailbox Help, which is a group set up to investigate this kind of occurrence where I was told they had many complaints the length of the country.
  4. Soon after my post was uploaded, a reader gave me information that explained that Reach Media had given instructions to it’s delivery people to ‘include all no circ letterboxes’
  5. I contacted Reach Media and was informed it was booked as a ‘Government piece’ which can legally be placed in letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers
  6. Reach Media admitted when they took the booking, categorising it as ‘Government piece’ they didn’t know what the item was
  7. The individual I spoke to at Reach Media acknowledged, knowing the product now, that it wasn’t eligible to be a ‘Government piece’.

I heard an interview with Mr. Craig today with the host asking him why he was sending junk mail to all of New Zealand, an interview that unfortunately didn’t ask the pertinent questions that Mr. Craig should be answering about his pamphlet, so as an…ahem…international award winning producer, writer and broadcaster 😉 I’d like to offer my services as set up producer to member of the media who interviews Mr. Craig about this, by offering you the following questions to ask on behalf of the rest of New Zealand.

  1. Why is your pamphlet being put in letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers on them?
  2. Who decided to categorise this pamphlet as a ‘Government piece’ at Reach Media giving your pamphlet the ability to get around the ‘no junk mail’ rule?
  3. Do you consider that this pamphlet, that is authorized by you and your wife, is correctly categorised as a ‘Government piece’?
  4. Are you aware that a watchdog group in the Marketing Association is getting complaints from up and down the country about your pamphlet?
  5. Are you aware that you could be in breach of local bylaws by having this pamphlet delivered to letter boxes with ‘no junk mail’ stickers on them, bylaws that in some regions can carry a fine of up to $20,000?
  6. Are you aware that along with a fine, if investigated and found to be in breach, you may need to offer a formal public apology?
  7. Would you like to offer that apology now?

You’re welcome to the questions, you don’t need to credit me, but if Duncan or Larry or Mike or Guyon or Sean or anyone get a chance to ask the questions of Mr. Craig then we, the public of New Zealand, would appreciate it.

I’m on the bridge – Support for Same-Sex Marriage from within the Church

Turnaround Tuesday as portrayed in the movie Selma
“Turnaround Tuesday” as portrayed in the movie Selma

The post I wrote last week about marriage equality was partly brought about by the movie Selma.  The movie documents the three marches (or part marches) from Montgomery to Selma in 1965. It’s an incredible movie to watch – it brings the civil rights movement to life – and it also impacted me as an example of how intense and dangerous the fight for any civil right can be. As I covered in my previous post, one of the key leaders of the Selma march, John Lewis, has publicly stated that he thinks the resistance to marriage equality for the gay community comes from the same “fear, hatred and intolerance” he himself witnessed in “racism and bigotry” during the civil rights battle in the sixties.

The movie depicts the first march, often referred to as “Bloody Sunday“, which had 525 black protesters who began the 80 kilometre march without Dr. King at the helm. At the outskirts of Selma, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were stopped by Alabama State Troopers who were ordered there by Governor George Wallace. The Troopers turned back the protesters with brutal violence – you can read about it here from a reporter on the scene – it makes for horrific reading.

In complete contrast, the third march was safe and legal with a federal Judge ruling in favour of the protesters saying it was a Constitutional right for them to march and that right could not be quashed by the State of Alabama.  On the third march there were no police roadblocks, no legislative restrictions, no legal way for the march to be stopped. 25,000 people marched to Selma. It was an incredible moment.

But it is the second march, known as “Turnaround Tuesday”, that I think is the pertinent march for the church at this time.

After Bloody Sunday Martin Luther King decided immediately that they would go back to that bridge and finish what they started. He made a public call to Americans to get involved in the fight, “I am appealing to men and women of God and good will everywhere, white, black and otherwise,” he said, “If you believe all are created equal, come to Selma and join us, join our march against injustice and inhumanity. We need you.” This appeal caused thousands of people from all over the country, many white and many ministers, to travel to Montgomery for the second march.

On Turnaround Tuesday again the marchers got to the Pettus Bridge and this time the number of marchers was 2,500 individuals. They made it half way across the bridge and stopped. Dr. King prayed briefly, then turned the marchers around and walked them back to Montgomery. That night three white preachers were attacked by members of the KKK for supporting civil rights. The injuries sustained by Rev. James Reeb led to his death two days later.

The first march was dangerous, but the danger was unknown. The marchers didn’t realise what was going to happen to them on the Pettus Bridge. They were acting in good faith, having no idea what lay ahead. The second march was dangerous, but this time the danger was known. The 2,000 new marchers knew that they may face the tear gas and night sticks again, but they went anyway to support the cause. The second march gave clear evidence of the widespread growing support for black rights amongst white people. And amongst those people, ministers were a significant number.

It’s apparent, as evidenced in the weekend’s US Supreme Court decision, that the world outside the Church is well on its way to the third march. It is now ‘safe’, in most Western nations, to support Marriage Equality. However there is no denying that LGBTI issues and causes within the church are still on the second march. Turnaround Tuesday is not a safe place to be and there may be consequences ahead for the LGBTI community and their allies within the church. But if history teaches us anything it’s that now is the moment to get on the bridge and show our support for the LGBTI community. It’s not completely safe yet, but it is the right thing to do and I believe the Christ-like thing to do.

My willingness to stand on the bridge stems from these firm beliefs:

  • That marriage is a government institution
  • That marriage provides many legal and social benefits, and that it is discriminatory to withhold those benefits from same-sex couples
  • That recent scientific and psychological developments, as well as the personal experience of thousands of gay Christians, show that gay people don’t “choose” to be gay, and that efforts by the church to “cure” gay Christians have failed (see the closure of Exodus International)
  • That as a Christian, Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40) carries more weight than the passages that have been traditionally viewed as anti-homosexuality in the bible (and there are alternative readings for those passages of which Gushee’s Changing our Mind, and Vines’ God and the Gay Christian are two of many)
  • That the LGBTI community are a minority that are often discriminated against, and in many places persecuted, and that to stand with them in support rather than protest, imitates Christ
  • That Christians should support the LBGTI community even if they believe that gay Christians should be celibate (see Marin’s Love is an Orientation, and the explanation of the “side A and side B” debate on the gay christian network)

If you choose to publicly state you are on the bridge, what you are doing is standing side by side with the LGBTI community and saying ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality and the full inclusion, as Tony Campolo recently stated, and “full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” You are positioning yourself as an ally and as a friend to those who have been denied full welcome in the church, who have been rejected and who have borne the brunt of the church’s spite and violence. It’s time for that to change.


I’m on the bridge and my prayer for you today is to join me on that bridge. Stand with me on that bridge, as an ally, side by side with the LGBTI community.

I echo the words of David Gushee who recently wrote in the Washington Post

“I am pro-LGBT in just the same way I hope I would have been pro-Jew in 1943 and pro-African American in 1963. I stand in solidarity with those treated with contempt and discrimination. And I do so because I promised in 1978 to follow Jesus wherever he leads. Even here.”

If you are already on the bridge, or you want to use this as a chance to join us, then please use the hashtag #imonthebridge to let people know where you stand and spread the word.

The new Paul Henry show

PHENRYI have had some dealings with people inside the new Paul Henry show of recent weeks along with some of the sales team at Mediaworks and I find it intriguing to see the nature in which they are ‘selling’ the new venture.

It’s being spoken of as a Goliath of a show that is going to take the world by storm which makes sense as Mediaworks is currently trying to ‘big up’ the product.

I’m as interested as anyone to see the final product, but I wonder what the new show is actually going to achieve…other than save money.

Radiolive has been the bit-player in a theatre that is talkback radio since it’s inception in 2005 with Newstalk ZB being dominant and not ever taking a hit from having competition in the market place. As an example when I was working 3 – 4 overnight shows on ZB I had the number one show in the country with an average or 100,000 – 120,000 listeners nationwide, per week consistently for 5 years. Over the same period, in prime time day slots, Michael Laws and Willie and JT on Radio live, 5 days a week had about 50,000 listeners. The same discrepancy could be seen if you compared drive show and breakfasts shows on the two stations and things haven’t really changed all that much. Yes there’s been a 5% growth here and a 2% drop off there, but for the most ZB is correct in their advertising that “daylight comes second.” Why there is such a discrepancy between the brands is for another day, but I think I can speak to that as well having worked for both brands.

Up until 2014 there were two products on the Mediaworks brands, Firstline on TV3 and Marcus Lush on Radiolive, so to take both products and make them one will undoubtedly save money, not necessarily in year one as there is a major capital outlay for a new studio etc…but if you now have half (my assertion) the staff you had you are going to see savings long term so I can see the new Paul Henry product as a money savings product but as a challenge to ZB or indeed Breakfast on TVNZ…I don’t see that in the stars.

I see no evidence that people will turn off ZB or TVNZ and head to the new hybrid show. TV3 and Radiolive, as individual entities, have put up good options in the past to challenge the status quo to no avail, in fact Paul Henry was one of those people when he work on the Drive show on Radiolive, which made no depreciable difference to Larry Williams audience on ZB. I don’t see this Paul Henry as anything other than the next incarnation of an attempt to take down the established order. Now, I like Paul Henry, so don’t see me as a ‘hater’ but we have seen very talented broadcasters before try and fail…why should this be any different.

When Sir Paul Holmes went to PrimeTV the audience didn’t follow, we are creatures of habit and those stations which the industry calls ‘heritage brands’ have loyal audiences who don’t travel. TVNZ and ZB are heritage brands. You might see that people float around for a few months then it’s highly likely normal transmission will resume. I’m sure we’ll see press releases that point to a 5 point swing in the 25-54 demographic, but if you see that it usually means “we’re still getting our butts kicks and we need to find any positive point in this whole thing.”

There is also one last issue that the producers of Paul Henry’s new show have to address, and it’s the elephant in the room right now, and that is that this idea that a cross media platform may actually deliver an inferior product to what is currently available. It might actually turn people off both products as the show tries to be a jack of all trades as it may end up being the master of none. The radio game especially has some very exact nuances that may be lost, overlooked or just impossible to achieve when making a television product. Is this going to be a television show that is broadcast on the radio, or a radio show with pictures…both of which will leave viewers/listeners of the lesser valued medium unsatisfied, or will it be a genuine hybrid of both radio and television? But my question is how will that work and is it even possible?

My suspicions are that you will see an improvement on the audience for TV3 that won’t effect the Breakfast audience, and not a significant change to the Radiolive audience.

The truth about Lorde finally revealved

Finally the secret is out, Lorde isn’t actually a teenager from New Zealand, but Randy Marsh from South Park and he makes ‘her’ music mostly in the bathroom at work…well that’s what the creators of South Park would have you believe



In all seriousness this is a pretty huge coup for Lorde. South Park today is like the Muppets were in the 70s or the Simpsons were in the 90s and 00s, it’s the place you want to be mentioned on (or ripped on) as it shows the world wide influence you have. Lorde will be stoked.

See the full episode here

Why the Government, the Opposition and the Media may help Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail walk

On the weekend when the story broke of the diplomat invoking diplomatic immunity to flee potential charges over a sexual assault I was amazed and concerned as to the tone of the reporting, and the comments made by many as to the alleged incident. Notice I used the word alleged there, I did that on purpose and it’s what many who have spoken publicly have not done, which now may be a genuine defence for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s lawyers.

We have a think in our justice system called Sub Judice where “it is generally considered inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice, which can be an offence in itself, leading to contempt of court proceedings.” This is also linked quite closely to the legal requirement for a court case that all accused are “innocent until proven guilty” but in a more basic way it’s all about not speaking publicly about a case that may influence the jury, and therefore the outcome of that case. It applies only when charges have been brought so I acknowledge this technically isn’t in breach of that convention, but I would argue that there has already been an atmosphere created that may not allow Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail to get a fair hearing. If someone cannot get a fair hearing…they walk.

Some specific comments that I would point to.

John Key

“Our hands are effectively tied, but we still expect justice for the victim”
“we will do everything that we possibly can to make sure this person is held to account”

David Shearer

“…justice is not done for the victim here and we don’t see that that person is brought properly to justice”

Now these statements (which are a couple of many, many public comments made by politicians, talkback hosts, bloggers, commentators etc…) paint a picture of justice needing to be done for a victim, If there is a victim there is a crime and they are associating that crime to the diplomat. They are saying he committed the crime and needs to face justice for the victim.

A quick Google on the subject around the time the news broke shows many headlines that talk in the affirmative of a crime being committed and linking it to the diplomat.

HeadlinesNow this post is in now way a support of the diplomat, or a defence of attacks on women so please don’t see it that way, I am purely looking at how this may, or may not proceed in a legal sense. I am left wondering, due to the environment flamed by John Key, Murray McCully, David Shearer and all in the media who have inadvertently, or blatantly, convicted Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail of committing a crime, have now also given his lawyer the ability to argue that his client cannot get a fair hearing.

And I think he may have a point.

Why Jeremy Clarkson is going no where

Ever heard of the phrase “too big to fail”? Well it’s apt to use when it comes to Jeremy Clarkson and consequences to his actions. He, and by definition Top Gear, is too big to fail for the BBC. It is the holy grail of television shows and the golden calf of all cash cows.

Here’s some things you may not be aware of.

Top Gear has no budget, by that I don’t mean they scrape together favours to make it one the skin of their teeth…I mean their budget is limitless…they have no budget and it shows when they want to test a car and the company won’t comply and lend them one, they buy one.

Evidence of this excess in spending has been seen in NZ when the Top Gear team were on an island in the Hauraki Gulf and Jeremy Clarkson wasn’t able to purchase the correct brand of cigarettes, so a helicopter was sent back to the CBD to pick some up for him. As I said…they have no budget.

On top of that, the series is shown on over 200 territories, and each episode gets watched 50 times, that’s right each episode is watched once, then repeated on average 49 more times in those territories. Shall we do the maths? One episode, times 212 terrotories, times 50 viewings is 10,600 viewings. And there has been 166 episodes in total. That’s a mind blowing 1.76 million episodes that have been, or will be viewed thus far.

It’s been revealed today that “Jeremy Clarkson is on his last warning“. It was always going to be a slap on the wrist, he was never going anywhere. Jeremy Clarkson and the whole Top Gear team is likely one of main funders of dozens of other BBC programmes purely due to the amount of money that they bring in.

Money talks in this days and age and you need to understand that the hugely successful model that has built up around Top Gear means their hosts are almost untouchable and for the BBC they are too big to fail.