I don’t want a Story, I want a Fourth Estate



Ar first glance the pairing up of Garner and du Plessis-Allan had potential and suggested the backlash to the political killing off of Campbell Live had forced a rethink.

That was at first glance.

Now we get a second glance, my optimism has faded quickly.

When the press release says ‘fun’ twice, I read ‘dumb’. If this was going to be the real current affairs they are pretending it is, then why replace Campbell Live in the first place?

Because killing off Campbell Live was politically motivated, the second Garner or du Plessis-Allan start hurting the Government, the word from head office will be to be more ‘fun’.

No crusades allowed.

So it’s ‘fun’ at 7pm, and while I like as much fun as the next person, I’m wanting a Fourth Estate that for the sake of our democracy actually holds the powerful to account. If I want ‘Fun’ I’ll do it in my spare time thanks Duncs, I’d prefer you rip the Key Government to pieces for failing children in poverty

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‘Fun’ is childish pap. We don’t need “Fun”, we need to make the powerful feel uncomfortable. That’s what a vigilant Fourth Estate does, that’s what Campbell Live did and that’s why they killed Campbell Live off.




  1. It will be fun if on the programme they call John Key a lying bastard.

    Not only will that be fun, it will be a documentary because it is true, it will holding the powerful to account and it will confronting one of the biggest issues in the country. Most notably of course, (and sure to draw acclaim in the highest office of the land), that would meet the prime requirement of the time slot – it would be entertaining.

  2. This government has given the opposition and the mainstream media so much ammunition, if people were actually doing their jobs properly, Key and National would be buried in a shallow grave somewhere — politically speaking.

    But no. Instead, we get the ritual disemboweling of perhaps the only current affairs show to even attempt to hold the government to account. To be replaced by? ‘Super Zany Fun Squad With Duncan And Heather’.

    Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  3. This macabre charade …..we currently have on all so – called news and current events….is reminiscent of the tinsel and feel – good vibe we used to see running for 24 hours during a telethon.

    Its virtually the same.

    The difference was that a telethon actually behind the fun was generally for a worthy cause. And we celebrated with Selwyn Toogood and the media personalities antics accordingly.

    But we are not having a telethon.

    There are serious issues at stake in this country at the moment. And all we get is this brain- dead demonstration of trite and fluff that actually…tends to irritate after about 10 minutes.

    There are huge problems with low wages , unemployment , children dying because their working parents cant afford to warm a state house in winter because of a govt in denial about getting off their arse and getting cracking to fix the problem.

    A huge housing bubble in Auckland, evidence of foreign economic exploitation that drives that ponzi housing bubble , the looming TTPA and TISA that deny’s proper public democratic discussion….

    And on top of this a real estates glowing promise that 1.5 billion will be injected into our economy by the Chinese investor that will be good for this country because we sorely need foreign investment.

    Since when ,….Mr Real Estate man??? When ???…

    Don’t you know we are supposed to be living in the ‘Rockstar Economy ??? ‘…..isn’t that what the National party keep telling us ?…

    So who’s lying ? – you or the govt?

    Seems like your contradicting what Big John Key the hair-puller from Merril Lynch keeps telling us….you sure your not on the take , Mr Real Estate man?

    You sure those investors are really going to build new houses to ease the rental crisis , Mr Real Estate man?

    Cos pretty soon were going to need a telethon for all the homeless family’s kicked out on the streets.

    And I swear THAT telethon will contain far more serious content than the bullshit currently dished up by TV3 as news …


    • Oh sorry…oopsey….my mistake….that’s 10.5 BILLION going to be injected into this country by Chinese investors into the overheated Auckland housing market….

      Deary deary me,…I must gets those facts right …

  4. I’d say the fact that this new program will be called ‘Story’ probably sums up every that can be wrong with it.

  5. I can create my own fun thank you. I don’t need MediaWorks clowns to give it to me.

    I want news, hard news, the Fourth Estate to do its job of holding government to account and informing the public of the real issues, not watered down entertainment from NatzKEY puppets disguised as serious broadcasters!

    Still won’t watch TV3 in this household, on principle! Bring back John Campbell.

  6. With all due respect to your acute ability to smell a rat, Martyn, I’m surprised you fell for the Duncan Garner thing at all. It’s good to have hope in one’s heart but unfortunately as far as TV3 news and this government is concerned, any good that comes out of them will not be due to anything they actually have in mind.

  7. “Fun”…

    Plenty of “fun to be had looking at problems (I refuse to call them “issues”) like growing child poverty; run-down state housing; privatisatisation of State services; increasing effects of climate change; increasing wealth/income gaps…

    Maybe a couple of rape jokes thrown in for good measure.

    Oh yeah. Laff a minute.

    No wonder the ads are becoming more interesting than the actual programmes. Pretty soon we’ll be muting the programmes in between listening to advertising…

  8. ‘Fun’ needn’t be a shocking word. Metiria had a blog entry not long ago when she spoke of including rather than alienating people. Wouldn’t
    it be better to ‘attract’ viewers to a weekly review of the necessary problems/issues and their solutions? Preaching to the constant choir might not get us far enough.Of course the hosts of such a program would have to be very very good at the craft. But why not reach out to the mindless and make them mindful?

  9. Hee hee, don’t have to watch MediaWorks for some fun. I can already see some fun here, with the trolls dragging their knuckles over from the right wing blog sites, to exercise their thumbs, by doing the thumbs downsy thing.

    Enjoy yourselves. By visiting TDB, you just might realize there is a superior alternative to what you are being brainwashed with from your NatzKEY masters and their blog site puppets.

    • You’ve obviously seen what I have, Mary_A, In all of the above comments there is uniform agreement about the adverse outcomes of a ‘fun’ based program. Not a single comment in opposition yet all the voting shows more Dislikes than Likes.
      So there must be an orchestrated attack by Right wingers with nothing better to do than try to ‘fix’ the comments.
      The sad thing is that anyone with any brain would see how self-defeating this is. Why should we expect a government do any other than cheat and ‘fix’ information when they must necessarily get their MP’s from the same base stock.

      • YES all their MP’s come from the same brain dead folloow the leader non thiunking zombie stock.

  10. Hey don’t be such a spoilsport Martyn! The sleepy hobbits don’t want to hear about how totally f….d this country has become under National; Enough of that! now on to the real stuff starting with how fortunate we all are to be a part of John Key’s New Zealand. The new television format will do that nicely. Give the people what they want – that is what it is all about, and has always been. Wouldn’t want the truth to get in the way of a good story, would we?

  11. I’m confused and trying to clarify the reasons for the downticks to my comments.

    Are the downticks:
    Because it won’t be fun if they call John Key a lying bastard on the programme?
    Because it isn’t fun having a liar as a Prime Minister?
    Because it won’t be fun if the programme holds the powerful to account?
    Because having a lying PM isn’t a big issue?
    Because the highest office in the land would not be entertained by the truth being told?
    (I won’t relitigate the ‘documentary’ bit because that’s unquestionable.)

    • Looks like everyone’s got more down votes than usual. Probably a bunch of Cameron’s friends over for a visit.

  12. I was chatting with the young folks recently,some here ,some across the ditch in the land of the mad monk ,about which of the classic dystopian futures we were currently living in , the 1984 model ? certainly for the doublethink/doublespeak government mouthpiece gobbledygook that passes for media , and the endless war with the endlessly recycled passing parade of everchanging enemies , not so much the ratcage headgear … They were plumping for the Brave New World vision with it’s bland hedonism … alcohol, sport,cooking shows,reality shows, home effing renovation shows , endless talent quests with snarky judges , in depth interviews with the woman from Dipton who grew a turnip in the shape of local hero ‘ Dollar Bill ‘ English … pass me the soma

    • I think Alan Moore pretty much nailed it with the original comic book version of ‘V for Vendetta’. Of course he had Orwell and Huxley for inspiration, but his combination of the panopticon surveillance, rewriting of language and history, and constant propaganda of 1984, with the social engineering, banal “feelies” (“reality” TV and internet porn), and technocracy of Brave New World, pretty much hits the nail on the head.

      What I particularly like about V is that the masked anarchist anti-hero is the antithesis of that fascist ubermensch Superman. Where Superman uses massively centralized power to solve other people’s problems for them, leaving them just as powerless after being rescued as they were before, V attacks both the symbols and the enforcement apparatus of centralized power, and encourages people to rise up and find their own solutions to their own problems.

      Some critics, particularly those who have only seen the watered down Wachowski film version, complain that V is not a nice guy (he tortures his friend etc). In the comic version it’s much clearer that V does these things because he’s *not* the good guy! Like the Bolsheviks, he’s the lesser of two evils, but the trauma of the experiments done on him, and what he witnessed, has nonetheless made him evil. Unlike the Bolsheviks, he has the self-awareness to commit hari kari, rather than becoming part of an oppressive Party machine himself.

      The hero of V for Vendetta is actually Evey, which is made clear in the final scene of the comic, where she appears in V’s get-up, to inspire the people to decide for themselves what to do with the chance at freedom V has created in his revenge against his persecutors. The film version totally rewrites this final scene, putting everyone in the V get-up Anonymous style, which emphasizes V as a symbol of the oppressed everyman (or woman etc), but leaves Evey’s character looking weak, and ultimately pointless.

  13. We could do with a decent cooking show – all we need is Gordon Ramsay and the usual suspects – Hell’s Parliament.

    You sent $11 million worth of sheep to Saudi and let 70% of them die?
    WTF are you thinking? How are you going to fix it Murray? Tell us!

    At the end of the day? At the end of the day Bill you useless sack of shit the day doesn’t end until I say so – now get back in there and earn back that $100 billion you’ve wasted.

    No Gerry – I’m not having you – try The Biggest Loser – what do you mean you can’t compete with Bill?

  14. Its what we are NOT seeing and hearing is the story. It must be systematic. a program (mind pogrom more like.) Its being widely discussed on the web. So not just here. The ‘western’ or Bilderburg media, simply don’t acknowledge any fact that doesn’t suit their narrative. The Ukraine fratricidal war a sinister and developing example; where TV and Radio globally just ‘do not’ present facts alternate to an obviously orchestrated Anti-Putin agenda. I Don’t think radNZ knows what SVOBODA and AZOVSS are. Nor cares. What they missed in the Maidan is beyond shameful. TV seems to think Victoria NULAND is a biscuit and her infamous “f ck the EU” youtube something to do with soccer, Instead of total exposure of US command and control of the coup detat.
    missed that.

    • @ Rogermorris: “The Ukraine fratricidal war a sinister and developing example; where TV and Radio globally just ‘do not’ present facts alternate to an obviously orchestrated Anti-Putin agenda. I Don’t think radNZ knows what SVOBODA and AZOVSS are. Nor cares. What they missed in the Maidan is beyond shameful.”

      I’ve been doing my best to enlighten RNZ news: I send them links which tell the other side of the story. It feels like a lonely battle at times: who knows if they take a blind bit of notice? Perhaps you could join in, send them dissenting viewpoints from other news sites. I need all the help I can get…

      • D’SETERRE. My name is on the ‘Uki’rubbish bin at RNZ. That is if it registered atall. Certainly possible, given their disconnect with the facts from the ground.
        I sent in an easily corroborated list of USAMO involvement in the Maidan one week ago (‘WorldWatch’) without the fluttering of an eyelid in return. Infact the very next day BLEEB announced “RussianAggression” so loud, it almost sounded personal. so, SAMO. And, If not everyday, then every second day – given that this ‘US/nato/control of Ukraine news’ occurs each and every day – I’ll txt or post something to try break the set. RNZ ‘international news’ appears ‘ready to deliver’ from ‘trusted’ sources only. BBC.CNN.ABC.etc. and don’t bother them with any nonsense otherwise.
        They just ‘plug ‘it in’ and ‘turn it on.’
        Talk of the excellent debates on ‘crosstalk’ RT; of the slaughter reported through sites like http://slavyangrad.org/ or http://levantreport.com/ or http://russia-insider.com/en [just for instance,] are apriori,’ propaganda’. Assisted ably by the IIO Inform and Influence Operations as defined by the US Army : Joel Harding etc. The work of George Eliason is very detailed in this regard.

        US Psychological Warfare in Ukraine is targeting online independent Media, ‘controlling the conversation’ and we need hear about it This is a serious breach in broadcasting and sovereignty of thought. Removing any nuance of Fascist and NATO aggression in a European Land-war in 2015 from broadcast is clearly a decision MADE, and our ‘intellectual elites’ are asleep at the wheel not addressing it. (“If this is conspiracy, I’d have heard by now. And I haven’t, so it isn’t”) best written of by Canadian Prof. John McMurtry
        http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-peace-the-lost-principles-of-science-and-value/5456055 .
        Any advice, I am listening.

        • @ Rogermorris: “My name is on the ‘Uki’rubbish bin at RNZ. That is if it registered atall. Certainly possible, given their disconnect with the facts from the ground.”

          Same applies to me, I fear; but I persist. In my view, RNZ is the last hope in NZ for neutral and unbiased journalism. If we aren’t getting it there, we can’t get it anywhere. It makes me feel much less like a lone dissenting voice to hear that you’re also trying to put the alternative view.

          I’ve tussled in the blogosphere and in person with people who just accept the story according to CNN, and angrily claim that RT is just propaganda. And CNN isn’t, I enquire of them? Sadly, some of these people have seen through CNN propaganda regarding US interference in the Middle East, yet they are, it seems, unable to see that the same scam is being perpetrated on them in respect of the Ukraine.

          I wish that I had some advice for you as to strategies which would be more effective at getting the message through. I suspect sheer persistence may be the only way. Thanks for those links! I do hope others here check them out.

          • D’ESTERRE.
            I posted a formal complaint to Rad.NZ copied to Minister of Broadcasting today.

            • @Rogermorris: a formal complaint? Brilliant! Now that’s a strategy with “chops”. I think I’ll do the same; and anybody else reading this who’s equally concerned about the distorted coverage of the Ukraine should do likewise.

  15. Sorry guys,
    I’m prepared to give them a chance. Maybe not long, but a chance nevertheless. Following John Campbell, their credibility as journalists will be in play. They will walk before their individual brands are forever tarnished.
    If “Story” has some genuine legs we should be prepared to embrace it, while John Campbell devises a new format to tell other stories.

    We may desperately need another political platform, but if you think this is the end of brand Campbell you are dead wrong.

    In New Zealand we love the familiar, whatever their politics. (Viz Henry, Hosking et al).

  16. Sorry guys,
    I’m prepared to give them a chance. Maybe not long, but a chance nevertheless. Following John Campbell, their credibility as journalists will be in play. They will walk before their individual brands are forever tarnished.
    If “Story” has some genuine legs we should be prepared to embrace it, while John Campbell devises a new format to tell other stories.

    We may desperately need another political platform, but if you think this is the end of brand Campbell you are dead wrong.

    In New Zealand we love the familiar, whatever their politics. (Viz Henry, Hosking et al).

  17. It is positive to see Duncan Garner appointed. He is not a John Campbell clone and from the comments on this blog has less appeal to TDB.

    I am looking forward to watching this new programme on TV3

  18. Wait and see, I guess.

    Lets see how they play it out. If they force some big questions…

    Maybe they will get some big answers…

    If not. F*** them

  19. I commented on this modern media BS approach before, it is all about making a joke of life, of anything, nothing is serious enough or real enough anymore, it is all a gimmick to them, lighthearted “banter” and NO substance, that is the future of the MSM in New Zealand, believe it or not.

    Seven Blunt was just the beginning, so Mediaworks will up the ante, and do even more rubbish on TV, and Garner will be the Master of the Gutter, I fear. He is at times close to it, so far I see him do a careful balancing act, still attempting to be taken serious, and do the odd good media job, but with the new theme or approach, I am worried, I see this become more gutter journalism and infotainment.

    The dumber the better, that is what the ninth floor in the Beehive sent out as a message or order, to their MSM subservient idiots.

    Muldoon would never have dreamt of the power Key and his Natzy gang have, in his wettest dreams. We are heading for worse, I fear, even yesterday, a caller talking to Sean “Plonkers” on Radio “Dead or Alive”, said that Greenpeace activists climbing on top of Parliament, should really be SHOT, believe it or not.

    That is the standard now, attack, ridicule, and threat to shoot the dissidents, welcome Kim John Key, North Korea is a place where he must have learned some lessons.

    • @Mike in Auckland

      welcome Kim John Key, North Korea is a place where he must have learned some lessons.

      Well said.

      Also BF Cameron Slater travels to Israel to see how real security forces and propaganda campaigns can be run.

      The worst of both worlds, Kim John Key with Ben Net Key as his ‘bad’ side.

      Don’t let him get angry…. could escalate…

  20. The solution is simple just turn the idiot box off. The forth estate is an illusion it has never existed in any meaningful way. Or keep drinking your fluoride and tuning in for your daily dose of mind control.
    Silly wabbits being intertainment addicts keeps you dumb occupied and out of the way while sick twisted corrupt fascists screw you over for a $.
    Turn it off and Wake the F up.

    • Seconded and applauded.

      Although we could have a ‘volunteer’ each week to watch the offerings and report back…

      Or does that qualify as ‘cruel and unusual punishment’?

      • It most certinly would qualify as ‘cruel and unusual punishment.
        I would even call it being intellectually violated.
        So no, not worth it. Id rather poke myself in the eye with a burnt stick.

  21. I want to know. Were the Politicians paid to sell off our state assets? I believe that they were.

    I can’t prove it of course, but I can’t think of any other reason that would allow Politicians to think it was a good idea to sell off something so valuable to the New Zealand people.

    I’m not sure if these asset sales included ownership of the wonderful and valuable hydro power stations, that I believe were paid for by the NZ public.

    I want to hear these questions being asked by our Journalists. I want to know if some of our Politicians are crooks, because I very much suspect that they are. We need to be re assured one way or the other, otherwise we are no longer living in a democracy .

  22. No MartynYou don’t want a media that hold the powerful to account , you want a media that holds the right wing to account.
    Not the same thing sunshine.

    Why do you have a problem with right wing media?
    The majority of the country is right wing these days and the number from the far left like your self can be counted on one hand .

    Does your view of democracy mean the majority in this country shouldn’t have a voice or opinion simply because it docent agree with yours.

    • Bingo!

      You nailed it

      The fact is the far left could organise an AGM in a phone booth.

      The rest of us have moved on.

    • @ MarkM: “Does your view of democracy mean the majority in this country shouldn’t have a voice or opinion simply because it docent agree with yours.”

      It seems to me that you haven’t been paying close enough attention, if you think that’s what Martyn’s view is.

      I’ve long held the view that “right-wing intellectual” is an oxymoron; thus far, I’ve encountered nothing that seriously challenges that view. My experience of right wing media is that it mostly confines itself to plumbing the shallows of trivia, and when it does deal with serious news, it proffers a one-dimensional view, devoid of analysis, and generally reflecting the official government line.

      From what I’ve seen, I think we can be forgiven for concluding that the people who put right wing media to air think “fourth estate” is the gated subdivision in the next suburb.

    • Does “right wing” as used here mean “short memory”? Clearly you don’t remember Campbell being called a “little creep” by Helen Clark for asking her probing questions about the corngate saga exposed in Nicky Hagar’s ‘Seeds of Distrust’. Anyone accusing Hagar of being biased towards the “left” (meaning Labour) has clearly forgotten this too.

      Real journalists like Campbell and Hagar hold the powerful to account, whichever side of the mythical “left” to “right” political spectrum they claim to sit on. Whereas spokesmodels like Henry and Hoskings can’t even say the word “Labour” or the name of its leader without sneering like high school bullies.

  23. I remember one moment in contemporary history when we had a real “fourth estate” moment …
    They ,””fourth estate”” ,delivered a factual report with evidence of Government malfeasance ,cronyism and the Prime Minister of New Zealand receiving and obeying orders from the Secretary of Defense of America !

    The team behind this exemplar journalism was in fact “Campbell Live”.
    The information presented in the report should be grounds for a Royal Commission with no limit on their terms of reference.
    In an unprecedented move John Key removed the head of the GCSB and replaced him (after only serving 4 weeks) with an old personal friend .The other aspect of this action was for the first time in the history of the GCSB a non Military head was appointed !

    In the Campbell Live report linked below Key can be seen lying on numerous occasions about important matters of state. He clearly circumvented due process in the hiring of Ian Fletcher !
    He should have been held investigated for his actions.
    James Clapper’s secret (sic) visit to New Zealand is more than a coincident theory with the timing of Key sacking the GCSB head and replacing him .

    No Prime Minister should serve more than one master .


  24. There is no left or right wing media (unless maybe you listen 1ZB in the morning).

    There is mostly just low brow drivel, Campbell & Hagar included.

    Unless of course, you’re prepared to pay for it.

      • The objective of the mainstream media is to deliver your eyes and ears to the advertiser.

        It’s free, and that’s exactly what you get for free. If you want something else, there is plenty to choose from, just as long as you’re prepared to pay for it.

        And before you go bleating on about the poor – they can go to the library.

        • No thanks, Andrew. I prefer a publicly funded, non-commercial, public broadcaster such as the ABC, BBC, et al.

          Like we used to have.

          Before your lot got hold of things and everything turned to manure.

          Wouldn’t it be a lovely world if good, quality, broadcasting was free – and crap was for User-Pays?

          But I suspect you’d rankle at that, wouldn’t you, Andrew?

          • Personally I have enjoyed some of the products of various public broadcasters, including Radio NZ, American PBS and of course the BBC.

            My problem with monopolistic broadcasters is the temptation for the funder – the government – to bias and to censor them. Over the years I have personally seen this from both left and right wing authoritarian regimes. Even seemingly liberal outlets like BBC and Aljazeera have their agendas.

            TV is a very powerful medium and subtle alterations in wording, tone and selective editing can impart a message that is manipulative.

            So on the whole I vote for choice and freedom rather than being told what to think by monopolistic government media.

    • @ AndrewO: “…mostly just low brow drivel, Campbell & Hagar included.”

      Who is this “Hagar” to whom you refer? Do you mean “Hagar the Horrible”? Not at all lowbrow: very sharp and funny cartoons, as I recall. But you wouldn’t find that series in the right wing media: the producers and editors wouldn’t “get” it.

        • @Andrewo: agar slimy? Not a bit of it! If you think that, you’ve been badly misinformed. Agar is a most versatile – er – polymer, which is used in the preparation of many foods, both here and in many other parts of the world. You’ve probably eaten it today. So: versatile and much in demand worldwide: an apt metaphor for Hager – and Hagar, really.

  25. A fourth estate (‘uncapitalised’) that can also spell wouldn’t be too bad either.
    (Stuff Headline: “Colin Craig disputes his suspension”
    OPINION: The state of affairs in the Conservative Party get even more farcial.)

    • @ Once Was Tim: “A fourth estate (‘uncapitalised’) that can also spell wouldn’t be too bad either.”

      When we had a fourth estate, in general its members were good at spelling; or perhaps it was the sub-editors weeding out the chaff. Now it’s not just spelling atrocities but grammar howlers. We groan, roll our eyes and laugh uproariously by turns; sometimes it seems as if the people writing this stuff have only a passing acquaintance with the structure of our language. When one adds to that the evidently hazy grasp of science, history, international politics and analysis, the output is either unreadable or not worth the effort.

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