The New Zealand mainstream media is so entangled with the political establishment that the concept that they are the 'fourth estate' investigating the rich and powerful is empty nonsense. These days the mainstream media is more likely to attack the poor and vulnerable while cheerleading for the rich and powerful.
And when that rich and powerful person happens to be a member of the British royal family, the media drops any semblance of journalistic independence and integrity and simply kisses the royal backside. Such is the case with Prince Charles
So this evening's Prime News, One News and 3 News all thought that Charlie's 64th birthday bash was of such crucial importance that it warranted being one of their leading stories - complete with simpering smiles from the newsreaders. It was the leading news story for Prime and the second story for both TVNZ and TV3. It would of probably been the lead item except for the fact that a verdict had been delivered in a high profile child murder case.
Such has been the media's sycophancy that Charles has been omitted from the media's coverage of the Jimmy Savile case. Just like what Joe Stalin did to his political opponents, Charlie has been airbrushed out of the picture.
When Savile died last year at the age of 84, a spokesperson for Charles said: “The Prince of Wales and the Duchess are saddened to hear of Sir Jimmy Savile’s death, and their thoughts are with his family at this time.”
Savile was well in with the British establishment. He was a close friend of Margaret Thatcher and is reported to have spent thirteen consecutive Christmases watching television, 'shoes off in front of the fire', with the Thatchers at Chequers.
He was also good friends with Charles. This has led to veteran broadcaster and entertainer Bill Oddie to suggest - as have others - that Jimmy Savile’s abuse was covered up because he was friends with royalty.
Oddie recently backed claims made by other former BBC presenters that Savile’s activities were well known at the time.
He said: “The idea that youngsters were prey – everybody knew that. I was not surprised at all. And the surprise is in a sense that it didn’t happen years ago. The establishment or who ever it is decided to keep it all quiet and decided to give him a knighthood. He was, to a certain amount, a friend of royalty. I do not know why it took so long to come to light. That is what I am curious about.'
Now we learn that police investigating complaints of sexual abuse in the Church of England have arrested a former bishop and 'loyal friend' of Charles.
The alleged incidents are believed to have taken place during the late 1980s and early 1990s
The Rt Rev Peter Ball, 80, resigned as Bishop in 1993, only two years after he was appointed. He quit after receiving a police caution for committing an act of gross indecency against a trainee teenage monk.
Shortly afterwards he was given sanctuary by Charles who personally invited him to live in a cottage on one of his many properties.
But it looks like Charles isn't going to be asked about any of this. He is going to breeze through New Zealand with a docile and dozy local media in tow. More banal stories are to come - you can count on that.