MEDIA WATCH: What Jacinda needs to do for the Gower Leaders Debate on Wednesday


For their Leaders Debate, TVNZ beat all the John Campbell out of John Campbell so he ended up being as quiet as a white het cis male at an intersectionist conference. They over compensated his perceived bias so much he wasn’t John Campbell with all the insight he can generate.

They don’t give two shits about perceived bias on MediaWorks.

The poster boy for Gotcha Journalism, Paddy Gower, knows his razzle and his dazzle while appreciating TV debates are a blood sport olympics.

Where as John Campbell had to disappear, Gower will be unleashed with all the gladiatorial charm that brings.

In such a debate, Jacinda can’t detach and remain aloof because Gower won’t show any of that respect.

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The expectation is for another Judith mauling so a much more directly focused Jacinda who attacks National’s ridiculous policy without radicalising Labour’s position is the smartest way for Jacinda to enter this debate.

Jacinda’s core and her new supporters want to see their PM be able to throw a punch, not just float above the fray.

They want their sacrifice to be something worth fighting for.

Judith can’t help but go low and get malicious when she’s failing. If Jacinda can strike and dance and start winning the argument, Judith can’t help but lash out in a way that shows actual anger and starkly reminds viewers what Judith is like under pressure.

Kindness is great, but this is a debate against Crusher Collins moderated by the King of Gotcha Journalism, you bring both fists for punching in a match like this.



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  1. I used to respect and admire John Campbell but not any more. He is a shadow of his former self. He cannot ask truly intelligent questions and I can only assume his bosses in TVNZ ONLY gave him the job on Breakfast on the proviso he doesn’t do the truly decent journalistic interviews like he did on TV3.
    And so even on Breakfast I reach for the remote control and press the Mute button. He has lost all credibility in my opinion.
    I didn’t bother watching the first leaders debate but what little excerpts I saw there seemed to be a biased towards National camera crew onboard. The angling of the cameras to get Judith Collins in the same frame as Jacinda so Collins could do her stupid facial expressions etc made me realise how childish that woman truly is.
    And TVNZ allowed her to get away with her expressions, snide remarks etc.etc.etc.
    Collins did herself and the NZ National Party a dis-service by behaving so badly during the first leaders debate. She is definitely unsuitable to be a representative of 5 million people of New Zealand.
    Unfortunately for NZers the mainstream NZ media is biased towards National and come across as being so deep into the NZ National Party pocket to no longer be able to see daylight.
    If the next leaders debate is a sham like the last one then we can be certain the media will show to us how incapable and yet complicit with National that it is.
    I suggest there be a major review of the mainstream NZ media. The days of it being over-satuated with National Party supporting so-called ‘journalists’ needs to end.

    • I agree JustMe’ – as John Campbell is a clown and has gone far past his good time as an ‘aggressive investigative journalist’ he used to be, so we need him replaced.

      And Matryn your comment “Where as John Campbell had to disappear, Gower will be unleashed with all the gladiatorial charm that brings” so we need to actually allow the two contestant PM hopefuls must receive the questions each two days before the event not as the TVNZ debate obviously did not give both advance questions to prepare fore a response as they obviously only gave them to Crusher Collins to get the advantage over Jacinda to be seen as ready for anything..

    • Going by the last debate, if there is not a switch this second debate is going to be an even bigger winners consensus than the last one.

      How many objective or thinking citizens are going to want to sit through another ‘pearls before swine’ show, so as these debates go on, the number of interested people capable of understanding civil things beyond lynch mob highs is going to decrease and decrease. imo

  2. I am very much reminded of Chris Hedges talking about the Empire of Illusion and the Triumph of the Spectacle.

    It is poignant that you wrote this

    ‘Gower will be unleashed with all the gladiatorial charm that brings.’

    Martyn because it was during the period of collapse of the Roman Empire that the powers that be of the time focused on bread and circuses to keep the masses distracted from the constant stream of bad news about the state of the empire.

    So, for the next so-called leaders leaders debate, those who are interested in being distracted from what is happening in the real world can be entertained by the spectacle of two ‘gladiators’ doing battle, one attacking viciously and hoping to achieve a ‘kill’ using blustering force, and the other dancing lightly on her feet and attempting to deflect any direct stabs whilst never really going in for the ‘kill’, but hoping the other will exhaust herself and trip over, leaving her [Adern] energy preserved for the next mock contest.

    What we can certain about is that not one major aspect of our collective predicament will be mentioned during the entire performance, and that everything that matters will be made worse by politicians all over the world.

    We can also be certain that there will be no acknowledgement by anyone involved in the so-called debate that it is the money-lender-corporatised-looting-and-polluting system itself that is making everything that matters worse.

    I’m sure Juedeath will highlight how bad the economy is without indentifying why is is so bad.

    And I’m sure no one will mentions the coming ‘October surprise’ because if they did it woukldn’t be a surprise, right? And then the sociopaths that constitute ‘the opportunists’ )I have frequently referred to) would be able to scam the unsuspecting general populace, right?

    If we needed any more evidence it’s all about to go kaput, here it is:

    ‘In Unprecedented Reversal, Nasdaq Shorts Hit Second Highest Ever’

    And as for ‘the recovery’; nice joke [in a black comedy sort of way].

    Against the backdrop of unravelling of Ponzi finance, hammering of the energy sector and meltdown of the environment, practically every major nation is seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

    Oop. Sorry. Not supposed to mention reality during election campaigns, are we?

    • Regards the ancient Roman Empire connection comment, New Zealand probably has as much if not more in common with what the romans called Germania (the non nazi one) & it’s peoples’ cultural characteristics as pertains to things like economy, egualitarianisms and gender equality.

  3. National has obviously been studying in great detail the American presidential form of campaigning.
    How else can you explain National’s bluff’n bluster rah-rah party and balloons style that is so demonstrably non-Kiwi?
    The only thing missing from National’s desperate manic enthusiasm is the marching girls dressed in top hats and satin hot pants.
    Enthusiasm is one thing, but when it becomes increasingly obvious to the public that National are going over the top because there is little underneath, then it is little wonder why National’s polling isn’t getting much better.
    Judith Collins acts like Hulk Hogan in the ring – putting her hands to her ears so she can hear the cheers – any cheers! where are the goddam cheers? while Jacinda Ardern cooly waits for her rival to blow herself out of the water.

    • ‘The only thing missing from National’s desperate manic enthusiasm is the marching girls dressed in top hats and satin hot pants.’

      Love it.

      Maybe campaign donations are down this year, what with businesses going under and so much uncertainty about the future of business.

      (Well, actually there is no uncertainty: it’s all going under eventually. It’s it’s just the timing we’re not too sure about).

  4. Simple! Less signalling and lame promises.
    Heres a novel idea, how about committing to something and actually ‘doing’ it! Thats all that has been absent in this governments term of nearly 3 years. Lots of talk and no dooey.

  5. A couple light hearted zingers wouldn’t go awry.

    Jacinda like Obama and Lange can be very funny when she wants to be and I reckon laughing off Judith’s spiteful attacks would earn her some points


    Nationals outdated 1952 environmental policy should be front and center for Jacinda in the Sept 30th debate .Here’s why .

    National aims to

    1. Repeal most of the clean water and rivers regulations to allow intensive corporate dairy with minimal consequence .

    2. Remove farming from the ETS , even though half our greenhouse gases come from agriculture .

    3. Weaken and substantially reduce the bipartisan commitments in the 2050 Zero carbon act .

    4. Allow the reintroduction of mining on DOC / crown land .

    5.Reintroduce permitting rights for coal ,gas and oil exploration .

    At the 2017 election Clean Water and the Environment was one of the top 3 concerns for all kiwis .

    While our 48,000 farmers may love the sound of a return to “dirty dairy drains us dry “, millions of
    urbanite NZ will not .In my opinion ,a big strategic mistake from National .

    I think a dated and unpopular environmental policy from National leaves Judith very vulnerable in debate no 2 .We need forward thinking farmers who want to improve our brand image to the world .

    With the release of Sir David Attenburoughs new movie this week , mass extinctions and recurrent wild fires the world over Jacinda needs to get on the front foot and pin Judith as the outdated planet wrecking moron that she is .

    Nail it Cindy , nail it !

  7. Gower should introduce weed to the debate. He would be relaxed and focus on something he knows about. No need for the leaders to say anything which would frustrate Judith; entertaining to watch this. It would show the debate is a farce, which some of us know now.

  8. Jacinda need to say to Judith when she forgets her manners and constantly interrupts ‘no Judith you have had your turn, I don’t interrupt when you speak’. Plain and simple and lets hope Gower does his job and asks the hard questions that need to be asked. Housing, poverty, Covid, immigration, jobs, economic policy, debt recovery, inequalities, incomes and taxes, ageing population, water, recycling, climate change as these are the main issues.

  9. Jacinda has to talk over Collins and Gower and cut into Collins when she starts making up numbers and telling lies. An example is National keep saying they created 10,000 jobs per month – just say at same time they were losing 15,000 jobs per months as the unemployment rates proved. Ignore the “inconsequentants” Gower and Collins cutting in like what happened with Campbell at the first debate.
    Someone should have undertaken a report of the time each of the three participants spoke at the last debate – probably Collins first, Campbell second and Adern third.
    Two ticks for Greens still.

  10. An open letter to Mediaworks.

    With the level of bias that exists in our media what guarantee does the public have that the questions being put to the PM in the debate are fair and Judith Collins has to account for her own record ?
    Patrick Gower is well known for his right wing bias after his treatment of David Cunliffe in 2014 so what guarantee does the public have that this debate is fair and balanced.
    I sincerely hope that any pressure from the National party wont effect the rules of the debate.


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