Why the axing of Campbell Live is being driven by dirty politics



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.

Remember this?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com


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.



  1. But John Key says Campbell Live is ‘entertainment”. So if this is true [which you’d have to be an idiot to agree with] why is he trying so hard to kill it off! The only thing transparent about National and JK in particular is that we can all see through him!

  2. Great job Martyn ! ! and know that even though we are in the minority, there are many of us who agree with you and know that our media and PM are controlled and owned by sleeze and greedy corporations.

    I consider it a badge of honour and a compliment when my writings are blacklisted because I write about exposing the truths they want to suppress.
    Expose them and tell the truths every chance we get.
    They are the ones running scared and hiding from the truth as Profit is their God, not the people /environment.

    We have a dirty govt in bed with dirty corporations and in so much arrogance and denial that they know not which end is up. Of course they want to get rid of shows like ” Campbell Live ” who dares to report on their Dirty Politics. Of course they want to LIE and shut up and blacklist those who have the guts to challenge their psychopathic madness and attempts to put out propaganda to confuse and manipulate the masses. They play dirty games.

    Let us all keep speaking the Truth and care less about the backlash from all the brain dead; immoral; greedy / money hungry idiots who only think they have it all together. They will get their just desserts some day and that brings me a bit of solace.
    We are truly fighting the good cause and let us not be swayed ! !

  3. Great article Martyn. The Prime Minister is being well coached by his Washington friends as they wish to ensure a complicit government stays in power in NZ. The resultant mainstream media landscape is just like the US where most of the population believes the lies of their politicians because that is all that is presented on their television.

  4. Thanks Martyn. Spot on.

    And now to add insult to more dirty politics, NZH today has Mike Hosking delivering the “news of the world”, from Newstalk ZB studios! FFS!


    Not sure if this is to be a permanent situation, or a one off. Either way, it’s just another msm outlet for a Natsy face to be prominent in the media.

    Natsy, Natz, Nazi (see the evolving similarity?) out there everywhere, in your face! Obviously yet another subtle promotion for the Naz(ies)!

    Enough to make me somewhat uncomfortable about what’s happening in NZ mainstream media and right wing politics, which seem to be getting dirtier by the day!

    GO CAMPBELL LIVE. A programme such as this has never been more needed here than right now! It must be saved.

    • I challenged Hosking in the Herald to get his shoes dusty at Camp Taji, when our Brave leader visits the safe behind the wire camp, perfect selfie aint it…. Though the troops aint there yet, with Key in the region its an opportunity to prove he’s a leader, and not one that all huff in puff follow me troops, I’l be right behind you.
      At least Campbell gets his shoes dirty.

  5. Great Post!

    ….what John Key and friends are doing is all quite shameless really and transparent

    …the best thing that can be done to counter this hijacking of New Zealanders’ public interest television ( not tail wagging dog advertising dollar return ) and hence New Zealand democracy is a complete boycott

    …this means boycott of corrupted television , business interests supporting the collapse of public television, and journalists and media executives who have colluded in its collapse

    …they should be named , shamed and boycotted

    • Or perhaps you should watch Campbell live and encourage others to do the same.

      Why do lefties tend to resort to blunt instruments involving collective coercion as a first recourse?

  6. Where to start ?….perhaps the caption on Orwell is the most chilling. It is an eternal truth ….no pun intended .

    Think Rome.

    But should we be surprised ? I think not.

    Rats breed more rats and disease gets spread by rats – and disease breeds more disease.

    Of course these diseased rat neo liberals will always embed their cronies – this is how they work.

    They know very well if the public truly were party to what was being said behind closed corporate doors and by e mail – and what these neo liberal High Priests REALLY think of the public ,…the public would balk.

    And so its done as much as possible out of the public view.

    Rats do the same thing. And when seen – scuttle away into the dark corners to hide their presence.

    Hence the phrase – ‘ a cornered rat ‘…..and we all know they are supposed to be viscous as well when cornered. We have seen ample evidence of that as well.

    I would suggest that the neo liberal disease that eats away at modern NZ needs to be cut out….. And I think this is where UNITE Union can find a new use for their 50 foot tall rat.

    The only thing a rat is scared of is another BIGGER RAT.

    I can think of nothing finer on a great sunny Saturday afternoon than that rat towering over the low lying buildings down round Flower St . It would be actually very aesthetic to break the bleak monotony of the place.

    I wonder if MediaWorks would do an in depth documentary and news item about the significance of a 50 foot tall giant rat outside their premises on the 6 o’clock news that night on it.

    Perhaps Campbell could front it.

    Be rather ironic , now wouldn’t it ?

    So yes ….as the saying goes …’ birds of a feather stick together ‘ …here then is a new one I give to you all….

    Rats spread the disease and the disease is spread by the fleas.

    That’s whats wrong with this country….too many Rats in govt , using their fleas in corporate positions to spread their disgusting neo liberal disease.

  7. Something I haven’t seen tied into all this is the situation with Maori TV and Native Affairs.

    The thing is none of this needs to be an overt conspiracy because all the people who are pro right wing and pro Key already know what they need to do to keep NZ a right wing paradise – and given that National has had 7 years to appoint sympathetic individuals throughout the country and generally change attitudes I’m sure there are lots of people dedicated to the cause around the place.

  8. What they did to TVNZ7 will happen to Campbell Live.
    Despite what they say about it being a “commercial decision”, it’s clearly political.

    On 6 April 2011, it was officially announced that TVNZ 7 cease broadcast in June 2012. This was confirmed when Broadcasting Minister Jonathan Coleman stated on behalf of the government that they would not extend further funding for the channel due to low ratings.[3] This was despite viewing figures that suggested half of all households with Freeview at the time were watching TVNZ7 – around 700,000 people – and not the 207,000 claimed by Coleman.[4] In March 2012, Television New Zealand confirmed this decision and announced there would be no eleventh-hour reprieve for TVNZ7.[5]

    So however large the viewing figures are, it will have no bearing on its demise – it seems to me these pr***ks have made up their minds.

  9. Thank goodness for the Internet. Without it there would be no hope, but thanks to it a lot of people are talking to each other and know they are not alone

    • Amen to that as regards the Internet…I have almost given up watching TV1/2/3 and will be sticking to the Rialto Channel for movies.

      NZ TV seems to be swinging to ” Infotainment” where you focus on people stories but not issues , just like CNN.

      We now have a constant diet being served up of game shows, gardening shows , reality TV,Kim Kardashian , cooking shows, DIY, ad nauseum which I guess entertains the younger demographic.

      Seven Sharp is frivolous / lightweight and Mike Hoskings is a shallow fellow with implanted hair, pushing his neo liberal agenda.

      TV3’s Paul Henry is a buck toothed , gulah bird who will always focus on personality politics / attacks especially if somebody dis-agrees with him.

      People watch him because he might say something controversial and then they can say ” Did he just say THAT!!!—wow–he really pushes the boundaries” —–and his co-hosts will raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes appropriately, in response.

      A perfect example was when he interviewed the greenpeace lady and displayed his intellectual depth and rigeur by making comments about
      “whether she was having her period because she had hair on her lip”.

      I never saw Campbell Live as entertainment but as a show that delved into social issues which affect ordinary NZ’ers and affected change.

      NZ is being dumbed down by what purports to be serious journalism but is nothing of the sort ….. most of us are sleepy hobbits and the only thing that will get people up in arms is if the guv’mint touches the recreational snapper quota –that saids it all.

  10. Whatever happened to Phoebe Fletcher? Wasn’t she a regular contributor to this blog? Is she no longer involved in any way?

    • Its called paid for advertising, no mention of the 100billion in debt,
      60 billion farming debt, fraudulent statistics,
      Work & income full time employment includes anyone who has work 30 hours or in one week.
      We are heading for a few decades of recession when Key retires with his knighthood, better be prepared for that.

      • yes extended years of recession. i was not endorsing the article posted by the way, but found it interesting that all the points made, like the desire to dominate the media, were made by a supporter, rather than a left wing conspiracy theorist, that we are always told makes these kind of remarks lol

    • Not by a left wing conspiracy theorist. It’s a patsy piece from a light-weight. It’s so full of holes you could drive a herd of cows through it. Maybe she got the ‘story’ while she was having drinkies with JK in Aussie.

  11. Martin, this stuff would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    Campbell Live was slowly dying and it needed putting out of its misery.

    It was boring. It was losing viewers. It was irrelevant.

    It’s a business model which is already obsolete – basically nobody under 60 watches the News anymore.

    Time you moved to the 21st century mate!

    • @Andrew –

      Are you stupid , matey?

      Or have you had too much whiskey today?

      Or worse yet – do you have a bigoted approach to those over 60 ? To which I can only say that one day (sooner than you know it ) you too , will be in that age bracket . I suspect someone like you believes people over 60 do not have an opinion that counts .

      Perhaps your one of the snakes who think they didn’t – until it was proven they do – as Winston Peter’s humiliating landslide victory over National in Northland demonstrated.

      And last time I looked – Winston Peter’s is an over 60 – in fact – 70 now who doesn’t particularly go along with your funny little neo liberal games – too much lying and cheating and bending the rules for his ( and Northlander ‘s ) tastes.

      So don’t come the Mickey with us about your silly little ideas about how to run a bloody business , matey . And as for a ‘ business ‘ model ?…..

      I think you need to go back to business school and get educated about customer demand – and listening to what the customer wants . And while your at it – go do some political science while your at it and stop trying to convince us in your heart of hearts you really BELIEVE in Keys lying subversive crap.

      People like you are dangerous for democracy.

    • Andrew, time to put your head in the sand and pour another brandy.
      Let us hear more from those who are really in the 21st century and have a true and honest grasp of reality. With greedy corporate banksters and corporate owned politicians dominating the media, no wonder those under 60 have lost interest. We need the likes of the John Campbell show now more than ever.

    • While I don’t completely agree with Andrew, I think he does have a point. I don’t really watch the news on TVOne or TV3 anymore. I watch RT and TYT on YouTube. I know I’m surely missing out on a lot of local and national news, but at least I’m getting progressive news regarding international news, and I don’t get the soft fluff(or if there is I don’t have to watch that clip) and irrelevant bullshit about British royalty/leeches. If John Campbell went to the internet he could surely get plenty of subscribers and people like me could actually get more local and national news.

      The future is now. The revolution will not be televised.

  12. Its a maxim of mine that if something stinks, its rotten,
    and Keys desperation is starting to really pong. (think knighthood)

    This is likely a distraction for two pieces of bad news:

    1 The high profile Northlander before the court on the 19th will be named. think Winston and the Bill National yelled down.

    2 Groser admits publicly that they had to take dairy out of the TPPA, Groser is dressing up the loss thats its still worth something to dairy, =ZERO.
    Wheres the the dairy farmers protesting, the only benefit may be selling their herds as hamburgers, but the U.S. tariffs wont be reducing until year 2030.
    Its like being mugged, and being told that you havnt been robbed so its not a crime.

    • The 19th is a Sunday, the courts won’t be working that day. John Key’s mates will certainly be aiming to shut down Campbell live for political reasons, in the same way they have promoted Paul Henry for political reasons.

      • @ RBG – the 19th is the final day of the suppression order prior to it being lifted, with the 20th being the day of possible release of the name of the “prominent NZer.” The same day as the court case begins.

    • @ Greg – I’m holding out for 20 April, when the “prominent NZer’s” name will be made public. That’s if another suppression order doesn’t replace it to protect Key, as the other one did!

      If the name is released (and we all know who it is), then watch Key go into overdrive deny, deny, deny, blame, blame, blame! Like the rat he is, he will be scuttling for the nearest hole to hide out, leaving his chief of propaganda Steven Joyce to broadcast the spin!

      Lauda Finem is a good site for updates on many issues.

      • Maybe we should get the little rat Joyce and the servile USA mouse Key to talk to the hand –

        Lets put that 50 foot tall rat from Unite union on a trailer and park it as a backdrop for wherever and whenever an interview is being held with either of them.

        The penny would soon start to drop that the natives are getting restless and are sharpening their pitchforks…..

  13. Brilliantly done Martyn,

    Joseph Goebbels would be proud that his disciples Key/Joyce/Weldon are completing the “final solution” in our modern day society.

    He would leap out of his coffin and embrace these modern day copycats of his planned subversion of the free press.

    Great post frightening but real.

      • Id call it neo totalitarianism – done by stealth , backed by big business, further backed up by military muscle.

        Hardly anything ‘ Godwin ‘ about that , chump.

      • “Godwin”?

        Tell me, Gosman, do you go through the libraries and bookshops writing “Godwin!” in all the WW2 history books?

        The “Godwin” cliche is fine up to a point – after which you’re simply ignoring the lessons of history so you can look smart.

        Epic fail on all counts.

            • I’m pretty confident that the comment I called out as a Godwin was a Godwin. Do you understand that the point of Godwin’s law is purely to do with an Internet thread comparing something to what the Nazi’s would do. It isn’t to do with whether or not the comparison is valid. However in this case it is also unwarranted. NZ has a very very long way to go to be even compared to pre Nazi Germany.

  14. Campbell is potentially on the way because it is boring. Nothing more. Yet tonight he did some good stuff, another win with zero hour contracts, and house prices in Auckland. If he keeps it up, people will watch it.

    • And if Campbell live hadn’t brought zero hour contracts to your attention, would anyone else have? And they would still be going strong because the government sure as hell didn’t care beep fore.
      Perhaps you find hearing about issues in ChCh STILL going on a bit tedious? How do you think the people of CHCH feel about how long they have waited? Especially with all the money Gerry has thrown at various people to sort it.

      • “And if Campbell live hadn’t brought zero hour contracts to your attention, would anyone else have?” No – thats why I gave him praise for doing it. The people of ChCh have my every sympathy, I know the disaster was unprecedented, but things do not appear to be going as well as they could be. My point is that people will watch, just sharpen up or refresh it a bit.

  15. So are you Dan why bother saying this.

    You have the right to turn to another channel.

    Others may like stimulating thought provoking ideas of what is going wrong outside our doors today.

    Some want to help others don’t so you don’t end of story.

  16. And if Campbell live goes, what…. A wasteland?
    Maori television holds the last ember of investigative journalism, which also may be under threat, with the right-wing boss recently appointed.
    Could the reality be that before the year is out there will be no one in the MSM to hold the government to account – nicely timed for signing the death nail TPPA, I’d say. Its all so transparent, I just wish others could see it.

  17. John Key has a very Narcissistic personality his decisions will always come from that perspective . Or the lack of one i liken him to a piece of white bread tasteless , dry and no Nourishment.

  18. I have to admit it can be very entertaining watching Simon Bridges lose his s*** on Campbell Live. But it is far better to have politician being force to defend their nonsense before the public than a media that cheer leads the government at every turn.

    If 1930’s Germany had the like of press Campbell exemplifies, the 1940’s would not have so terrible.

    This government is rapidly exposing itself to the risks of Prof Philip Zimbardo’s Lucifer effect as demonstrated by the Stanford prison experiment, and Abu Graib. There is much the they want to do they could not get away with if people are watching.

  19. Does anyone recall Keith Stewart’s Saturday night show on Radio Live. He was one of the first to go and if anyone does recall him, they will know exactly why he went.

  20. One has to ask: what are the media teachers in tertiary institutions doing to prepare their students to withstand political manipulators such as we’re seeing today? Or are these institutions already the target of the politicos?

    On a possible brighter note… is the worm turning just a little?
    I hear Kim Hill back on Morning Report this morning. She was taken off that programme after giving PM Bolger a deservedly tough interview on that programme and he said he’d never be interviewed by her again. Big sook! Bolger’s office interfered and guess who took Kim’s place on Morning Report at the behest of the RNZ CE Nigel Milan (a Nat appointment, via the chair of the board)?
    Yep, Mike Hosking!

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