The moves by right wing mates of the Government within MediaWorks to cull Campbell Live! are directly and indirectly political.
Directly because as TDB has pointed out, the CEO Mark Weldon is a close personal friend of John Key’s and the long, long, long list of their work together suggests a very clear political direction of this ‘review’.
Is Key capable of having critical media killed off? Of course he is. His Office colluded with the SIS to falsify evidence smearing Phil Goff in the lead up to the 2011 election. Key’s Office ran a dirty ops team working with a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater to vilify and take out critical voices and even managed to contaminate most mainstream media outlets with it.
During the Epsom Tea Pot Tape scandal, Key attacked the journalist and defamed him and raided the offices of media companies to seize the tape.
When challenged by journalists like Jon Stephenson, Nicky Hager and Glenn Greenwald, Key has resorted to name calling and smear tactics to counter their research.
Key has done all that without blinking so I doubt he would even hesitate to apply pressure via his good mate Mark to kill off a Current Affairs TV show that has challenged him on the Christchurch rebuild, child poverty, clean rivers and mass surveillance lies.
As someone who has been banned from Radio NZ for life because I criticised the Prime Minister, I can smell a dead rat when one is rotting.
Fran O’Sullivan, hardly a card carrying member of the Communist Party, acknowledges that the attempt to end Campbell Live is politically motivated…
Campbell Live’s producers — and the MediaWorks news hierarchy — have stood staunchly by their star during the periods of occasional outright Government hostility.
But with new management at MediaWorks, the driving considerations have changed. Within the senior commercial world, it is said that when Mark Weldon applied for the top job at MediaWorks he drew on his relationship with Key and the public-spirited work he did outside of his prior role as chief executive of the stock exchange such as chairing an economic summit after the GFC to help build credibility for a role in a sector in which he had no prior experience.
He was also passionate about the role media could play in ensuring success of the broader New Zealand Inc.
The issue is whether his strong — and very loyal — relationship with Key has clouded his view as to the extent to which a strong media protagonist like Campbell should challenge a personal friend.
..and the disgusting gloating by National Party Tobacco lobbyist and corporate Aryan, Todd Barclay, while being as nauseous as a fascist mob bake sale at a book burning, gave us very clear signals of where National view Campbell Live.
MediaWorks is of course Steven Joyce’s old company and the $43million loan the Government gave MediaWorks at an interest rate the company couldn’t get on the open market seems to have paid off an incredible dividend.
There will be those who claim this is just commercial. Seeing the huge amount of help the Government has given this private foreign owned media company, and seeing the dominance lax media regulation has given MediaWorks in our media landscape, one would argue their obligation to providing a critical fourth estate is higher to us than their profit share for their corporate overlords.
That brings us to why this is indirectly political. The neoliberalism Weldon aspires to demands the public broadcasting sphere is splintered and fractured so individualism and fake choice kill off any actual critical space that threatens to highlight the inequalities that choke democracy. Corporate Feudalism requires the next generation are brainless consumers, not aware citizens.
This picture tells us everything wrong with commercial yuff media…
…The Edge are a depoliticised wasteland where a multi-millionaire money trader can waltz onto a youth station and rather than face the wrath of youth being betrayed, he gets to wear a T-Shirt mocking Cunliffe’s statement on domestic violence and sexual abuse while the gormless hosts grin on.
This is the future Weldon wants, manipulated consumers, not thinking citizens. I just can’t see Jono & Ben holding the Prime Minister to account over inequality and the death of NZ egalitarianism, can you?
The most terrifying reality of this truth was spelt out in an interview with MediaWorks …
“We put news on, but only because it rates. And we sell advertising around news. This is what this is all about.”
Not, ‘we put on news because it’s a fundamental part of our fourth estate responsibilities to the free democracy we enjoy’, oh no. We just put it on to rate, so TV3 would then presumably play to the bigotry and ignorance of the largest percentage of that audience to make money right?
If you aren’t feeling sick yet, you should be.
People who give a damn are fighting back. Ratings are up and the social media sites and petitions are running hot. Tonight we live stream a discussion hosted by Wallace Chapman with Fran O’Sullivan, Bill Ralston, Simon Wilson and phoebe Fletcher.
We must refuse to lie down and allow corporate and political interests gag one of the last remaining journalists that holds the powerful to account.