Another media gaffe – this time it’s TV3’s Brook Sabin



Foot In Mouth Award - Brook Sabin


Every so often (quite regularly, in fact), a media personality will say something outrageously offensive, or just plain gormless, that results in an uncontrollable  *facepalm* reaction. On 19 July, on TV3’s “The Nation“, it was Brook Sabin’s turn.

Brook was one of three panellists on “The Nation“;


(L-R) 3News political reporter Brook Sabin, RadioLIVE political editor Jessica Williams, and Metro magazine editor Simon Wilson
(L-R) 3News political reporter Brook Sabin, RadioLIVE political editor Jessica Williams, and Metro magazine editor Simon Wilson


The discussion centered around coalitions and pre-election deal-making. Colin Craig from the Conservative Party and Jamie Whyte from near-defunct ACT Party, had just been interviewed by a very competant Lisa Owen (unlike the uber differential performance between a very chummy Patrick Gower and NZ First Leader, Winston Peters).

TDB Recommends

At  1.42 into the panel discussion , there was this extraordinary exchange between Sabin and Wilson;

Sabin: And if John Key says ‘no’ to Colin Craig, he can say why is Labour not saying ‘no’ to doing a deal with Kim Dotcom, and I think that’s quite powerful as well-“

Wilson: Actually, I think that’s, that’s unreasonable. Now, Labour hasn’t done a deal with Kim Dotcom. They are saying maybe they will do some kind of deal after the election, in the same way that National would do a deal with the Conservatives. But right now, Labour’s made it very clear they’re going to do their best to win Te Tai Tokerau. They’re going to do their best to win all the Maori seats. They’re not doing a deal to give Internet-Mana a seat. On the contrary they’re going to fight them. They may need to do a deal later, but it is very different from the Epsom-Ohariu scenario.

Sabin: Yeah, absolutely. But David Cunliffe is leaving that door open…

Wilson: I think… I think they’ve said very clearly Kelvin Davis…[interuption]…

Sabin: …And I think he needs to try to close that door a little bit more…

Wilson: …Kelvin Davis has the party support to win that electorate and they’re going to do that.

Where has Brook Sabin been? Holidaying on Pluto?

The last few weeks have been rife with Labour MPs excoriating Mana-Internet. Simon Wilson  was 100% correct that  David Cunliffe has made it abundantly clear that Labour is not prepared to do Epsom-Ohario style deals – as the Labour leader pointedly made explicit on “The Nation“, just the previous week;

Patrick Gower: If Internet-Mana get there and you need their numbers will you use them to form a government or will you rule them out?

David Cunliffe: We’re not doing any pre-election deals with anybody.

Patrick Gower: But you would perform-

David Cunliffe: Paddy, with this team to win the election, campaigning for the Labour party vote.  After the election we will work with whoever we need to work with to change the Government…

Seems fairly clear to me.
Is it clear to you, the reader?

Evidently it was not clear to Brook Sabin.

Does Sabin not watch his own current affairs show?

The media appears full of political journalists and reporters who simply don’t seem to know what they are talking about and put a ‘spin’ on things that is misleading and damaging to the process of democratic debate. (Note the irony here; even whilst Cunliffe and Labour bend over backwards not to engage in any pre-election deal-making – the media will still portray them as doing precisely that! Labour might as well nut out a full-scale deal with the Greens and Mana-Internet, as media commentators have already convicted them on the charge. All the while, the same media commentators look on in awe at Key’s deft handling of deals with ACT, Peter Dunne, and possibly Colin Craig. My poor little Hypocrisy Meter, which goes *DING!*, has melted down from over-excitement at the double standards of mainstream media commentators.)

If the media cannot be trusted to report what a party leader has said, unequivocally, in black-and-white terms that a five year old can understand – then we are not well served for information.

Brook Sabin tried to ‘lump’ David Cunliffe with John Key when it came to pre-election deal-making. He failed because luckily Simon Wilson was onboard “The Nation’s” panel to correct Sabin’s patently untrue assertions.

Either Sabin was truly ignorant of Labour’s position, or he was indulging in sloppy, lazy “they’re-all-the-same” style of political commentary. If it is the latter, Sabin needs to find a new job.

Are they looking for bar-staff on Pluto?




The Daily Blog: Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?

TV3 The Nation:  Interview – Jamie Whyte & Colin Craig (video)

TV3 The Nation: Interview – NZ First Leader Winston Peters (video)

TV3 The Nation:  Panel – Brook Sabin, Jessica Williams & Simon Wilson (video)

TV3 The Nation: Interview – David Cunliffe (transcript)

Previous related blogposts

Labour’s collapse in the polls – why?

The secret of National’s success – revealed

Patrick Gower – losing his rag and the plot

The GCSB law – Oh FFS!!!



Lorde wants you to vote

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =


  1. Sadly it just another sign of how much the MSM is an extension of the National party press release department.
    And to the eternal shame of New Zealand, they will get away with it, as the ‘main street people’ will say and do nothing about this utter bias.
    Never mind the head of TV3 and TV1 and the owner of the Herald will probably get a Knighthood from an extremely grateful John Key.

  2. Of course it could possibly that like many of us she does not entirely trust the answers Mr Cunliffe gives.

    • Brook Sabin is a “he” – and the son of Mike Sabin, National MP.

      Now you are a bit more informed on current affairs in NZ…

      • So you’d say the same about Katie Bradford would you!

        I always take offence when people apply this biblical “sins of the father on the sons” rationale. My politics are not my parent’s politics. Their fostering of independence & free-thinking meant I was able to formulate my own ideology and I vote accordingly. I am sure Mr Sabin is as neutral as any other undeclared politico within the MSM.

        • “I am sure Mr Sabin is as neutral as any other undeclared politico within the MSM.”

          I just came across this post after watching a recording of The Nation and was dismayed at the unreserved bias of Sabin, so much so that I had to watch the commentary again. Clearly when the question was about National, and not ruling out Crazy Colin, Sabin tried to take the heat off Key and put it on Cunliff
          He was obviously deflecting, associating a smear where there was none.
          If it hadn’t been for Simon Wilson calling him on his crap it would have become another bogus theme the media would have run with, in fact they might still do it and only those of us who watched the program or who are politically aware enough will realise the beat up.

          Neutral my arse.

          I might add that every time Simon Wilson spoke Jessica Williams either sighed or pulled a “shut the fuck up face” with a raised eyebrow/scowl and she foolowed the theme of Sabins comments throughout.

          They should be ashamed, Wilson kicked them both to the gutter and they’re lucky it finished with Sabins last comment or he was going To get it again.

        • @Yabby,

          Yes, I’d say that Katie Bradford is the daughter of Sue Bradford.

          That is what disclosure is.

          I didn’t mention anything about bias. That was your addition.

        • @ Yabby – “So you’d say the same about Katie Bradford would you! ”

          Not until you give me reason to, Yabby.

          Until then,you are using precisely the kind of deflection of “lumping-together-to-discredit” tactic that Sabin and National ministers use when faced with an uncomfortable accusation of malfeasance.

          The rest of your post is meaningless noise.

      • BEN says:
        JULY 20, 2014 AT 9:49 AM
        Of course it could possibly that like many of us she does not entirely trust the answers Mr Cunliffe gives.

        MOLLY says:
        JULY 20, 2014 AT 10:19 AM
        Brook Sabin is a “he” – and the son of Mike Sabin, National MP.
        Now you are a bit more informed on current affairs in NZ…

        … yep about as “informed” as all the other National Party media muppets and intrinsicvalue trolls and sycophants At 1.47 in the interview, you can actually see a Hollow Man move underneath Brook, making him squirm a little more. Cold hands, warm Tory heart though….

  3. Sabin was continuing the media’s narrative in doing its upmost to destroy Cunliffe’s credibility and without doubt taking his instructions from Textor/Crosbie. The son of a National MP cannot be an impartial political commentor as much as Jane Clifton is compromised by being the partner of a cabinet minister

  4. Thought you were going to talk about Brook Sabins lumping InternetMana with Conservative Party as both belonging in the whacky sphere. Husband who is not really been a Harawira fan or wasn’t until now, said Hone Harawira is not whacky. He’s open, clear and grounded about what he says, doesn’t come out with outrageous statements like Craig does. InternetMana you may have a new voter but he’s not that young though.

    • Win – I’ve met Hone Harawira as well. And I concur, he is indeed open, clear, and grounded. The chats I’ve had with him showed a level, thoughtful person we don’t often see in the media.

      I have a pretty good ‘spidey-sense’ when it comes to fakes – but Hone Harawira definitely doesn’t come across that way.

  5. Frank, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Hardly anyone watches The Nation, MSM readership is on the decline. It seems most politically aware people read Whale Oil these days.

      • I thought the Whale Oil gag was quite witty…

        The only current affairs show I watch is Mike Campbell, and, say what you like about him, his heart’s in the right place, and he goes in to bat for the little guy.

        For the rest – they have nothing to say that I haven’t already run the rule over and sussed for myself.

  6. Labour need to get out there – on the billboards.

    Yesterday when I was driving into town I passed 2 giant billboards on the side of the road – both giant blue National Party ones:

    The first one was John Key – “vote John Key Working for NZ”
    This one made me feel quite ill – being forced to see his face like that, and then my mind drifted off into seeing myself go into Bunnings and get a can of spraypaint, and then, in broad daylight, crossing out the ‘NZ’ and replacing it with ‘ME’, and then doing the little rectangular square under his nostrils to finish it off – so it would be more honest.
    I was just figuring out that this could be done in less than 60 seconds, when Oh No! There’s another one, and on this one, there he was again, with his arm around Nick Smith. Ooh how disgusting – lucky my car didn’t run right off the road and smash into the 2 ugly faces on that billboard. I have insurance, and I don’t believe insurance companies should allow such horrific billboards on the roadsides – for driver safety reasons.
    So right then I’m seriously of the mind to get that can of spraypaint, and on this one spray a great big swastika, and write the words under the National logo – “where corruption and evil dwells”.
    Surely that pic had been Photoshopped, because who in their right mind would want to embrace Nick Smith. Oooooh!


    • There is a great artist called Ron English, who replaces corporate billboards with his satire take on them, it’s brilliant. You could be the NZ version 🙂

        • It actually crossed my mind while travelling into town …
          Jumping up and crossing out the ” 4 NZ” when I saw the billboards and replacing it with ” Working for…….” we all know a few names we could put in there lol

      • “Dear Mark,

        Said consignment actually belongs to us, to assist our campaign in conspiracy-messaging targeted at Kim Dotcom.


        S. Joyce
        National Party Poliburo”

  7. There are no gaffes; everything you say and everything you write could have been written or said with different words. If you are not aware of those choices with your opinions, you should not be in broadcasting. It isn’t that difficult.

  8. Brook Sabin has a clear conflict of interest as his father is a national party MP. Sabin should not be commentating on politics, let alone hosting political shows like the Nation.

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