Rachel Smalley leaving Firstline? Noooooooooooooo!



Oh bloody hell, the insanely talented Rachel Smalley is leaving Firstline, but it get’s worse than that.

She’s leaving to go to ZB. I have never actively listened to ZB ever once in my entire life and I’m certainly not intending to start tuning into far right knee-jerk talkback radio this late in my life , so I’ll never hear her again, but it gets worse than that.

It seems the razor blades are out at TV3 and the first thing they are going to do is kill off quality morning news and replace it with a shaggy dog version of blah to compete with the clowns on Breakfast TV at TVNZ.

So we lose Rachel, she’s moving to the willfully ignorant ZB AND Firstline is to be dumbed down.

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This is a lose, lose, lose situation. As much as I respect Nadine Chalmers-Ross, the others on Breakfast are as palatable as repeatedly slamming my hand in a car door. I’d tune into Radio NZ, but those two dreary ducks in the morning are like being forced to watch Russell Brown, sure it’s good for you, like cardboard muesli, but no fun at all.

Rachel has been dynamite on Firstline and her loss and the demise of intelligent interviews in favor of dickhead dribble is another sad indictment on what passes as public discourse on current affairs in NZ.


  1. Oh Fuck !

    They’re taking every possible precaution to remove all threat of producing thought .

    I watch Al Jazeera these days . It’s about as remote from New Zealand life as you could get but anything is better than those two smug ninnies on One .

    That’s outrageous ! I’m deeply upset and saddened that , that small blond mantle piece I could lean against for a breather is being taken away . Fuck TV3 !

    • Countryboy – you are right again! I feel Al Jazeera is way ahead of all international news channels we have now. It leaves BBC in second place. There may be some good services from Europe also, but they may not put so much effort into English language services, so many here would not even know about them.

      As for NZ television, it is utterly disappointing, all over the place now. I have watched a bit of FACE TV, which used to be Triangle TV, but they are now forced to go digital and we have to sign up with global corp Sky for that. I will not do so for mere ethical reasons!

      What about real public broadcasting, like TVNZ 7 used to offer. It seems too many have just forgotten about such opportunities and agreed to bury it. How shockingly disgusting, as we should all know the value of that channel, and what it provided.

      But it seems information is not wanted anymore, in a commercial dictatorship, where programs on upcoming stars, on young hyped up middle class up-starters wanting to build a house in Australia, how endless cooking shows show us diverse ways to cook stuff, that is all we get now.

      Once the news hint some danger from bacteria in milk extracts the whole nation goes berserk and over the top, losing all rationale. I feel NZ is struck by some modern version of “mad cow disease”, as the brains of too many are not functioning anymore to allow rational thinking.

  2. I’ve never understood your attachment to TV as an information source, Martyn.
    TV hasn’t had decent news and commentary for two decades, so all you are lamenting is loss of the last thin shreds of sinew from a well and truly dessicated carcass.
    Yet RNZ remains (morning report, checkpoint etc) – just.

  3. I NEVER watch TV One news as I cannot stand the mindless twaddle. I have always admired Rachel for her sharp mind and excellent interviewing techniques. Now I will watch Press TV for my world news coverage and get the local news from the web and the daily blog.
    This is a sad day for New Zealand.
    (Press TV is only available via the web as the sattellite broadcast has recently been stopped after US pressure)

  4. As much as I respect Nadine Chalmers-Ross

    Really? She has absolutely no clue about either economics or business – just parrots whatever bullet points she got from some investment group (almost always the sponsor Craigs)/random analyst/bankster shill/Bill English/Wheeler etc, with seemingly not an iota of understanding about what she is saying let alone offering informed critique. She represents everything that is wrong with financial literacy in New Zealand.

  5. RT has some good stuff on it. Breaking the Set, Keiser Report and some good docos. Headline news contains a lot of in depth news that never gets near our news or we get a few seconds eg. Edward Snowden, Guantanamo hunger strikes, NSA spying, Monsanto, TPP etc.

    • Agreed. RT really is the go to place now if you want some genuine critical discussion on the state of the global economy. You certainly won’t find it on CNBC, BBC World, CNN or Sky News, let alone our local channels.

  6. But on ZB she will get to mix with the real intelligentsia, movers and shakers like Mike Hosking! And of course deal at the front where the Prime Minister does his really serious work like announcing NZers are in terrorist training in Yemen.

  7. I’ll be watching Sesame Street on Four. Got to get some morning intellectual stimulus somehow.

  8. Hey, Martyn, is there anything called “quality broadcasting” in the early hours of the day? I have not found it. Maybe I live on another planet. The only “at times” reasonable morning broadcast I saw was the odd edition of The Nation or Q+A on either TV3 or One on the weekends. This Firstline and Breakfast television is to me nothing much more than advertising fodder, clad in pretentious “infotainment news”, none else.

    As for Smalley, I feel she is overrated, for sure, as she has only at times shown good quality interviewing. I admit she is not the worst, and it may be a pity to replace her with inferiors, but what the hell is happening on NZ television anyway? I do hardly bother watching it. I mostly now watch FACE TV, and I dread having to sign up to Sky soon, to keep watching it.

    I am about to sell my TV set for good, and just rely on the internet in future.

    Damned, this country is surely getting it’s soul and mind sold out now.

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