The ongoing attempt to cancel John Campbell


Media Insider: John Campbell’s curious career twist at TVNZ

Former newspaper editor Karl du Fresne came off the long run at Campbell this week, in a scathing column on his own website.

“This is extraordinary and unprecedented,” wrote du Fresne. “The Government’s most potent communications medium has been hijacked by one of its employees and co-opted in a highly personal political mission.”

He called on Campbell to be sacked.

“Campbell clearly decided on October 14 that New Zealand had made a grievous mistake in electing a centre-right Government and set himself the task of leading the Resistance,” wrote du Fresne.

“Someone in authority should have told him then that this was not his function as a journalist. If he refused to accept that, he should have been told to pack his bags.”

Du Fresne said his comments might sound odd coming from a promoter of free speech. But he was also committed to journalistic objectivity.

“… if the media are to retain the trust of the public, they must demonstrate that they can be relied on to report on issues of public interest in a fair, balanced and non-partisan way.”

TDB Recommends

Karl du Fresne’s crypto-fascist attack on John Campbell is a fucking disgrace!

The role of the Fourth Estate is not to became the vassal of the new Government, the role of the Fourth Estate is to critique, challenge and criticise public policy that is not in the public good, and the journalist is the professional decider of that line.

John Campbell is one of the best journalists and broadcasters this country has. He is without a doubt the most engaged servant of the Fourth Estate and as the Public Broadcaster, he has the mana, the skill and the authority to call it the way he fucking sees it!

To attempt to pressure him on the Public Broadcaster is a form of casual fascism, it’s the strangle hold of the State on the State Broadcaster, a warning shot that Journalists who challenge this hard right racist Government will be sacked or censored.

Karl du Fresne is arguing FOR self censorship and agreement with the new hard right racist Government.

Fuck Karl du Fresne.

Normally he is actually far better than this on free Speech, right up until someone says something he doesn’t like.

This is a liberal Progressive Democracy you brownshirt crypto-fascist. John Campbell has earned his right to call it the way he sees it and its the public broadcasters editorial responsibility to criticise Government policy that is counter the public good.

Attempting to cancel Campbell like some outraged woke snowflake is pitiful from the Right and we should vomit up as much contempt as we can on them!


Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media.


  1. Every prime minister left and right has gone after John Campbell not because he’s biased but because he says what everyone is thinking. The government has been poorly run since at least Muldoon. Journalism was dead not long after and is certain dead now. Wages are going backwards there’s been huge lay off’s there social media platforms designed to claw back add revenue is a big failure and in a U.S election year media across the board is down scalling. The foreign desks have all been gutted. Local news is non existent. The only things coming out of the media land scape is literal mindless dribble. News is still around in places like The Daily Blog and other such independent journals but corporate media got woke now it’s going broke. Good fucken riddens

  2. du Fresne is objective. My response – if that’s your objectivity, I have other sources even better. And I say that with deep personal subjectivity. I think it is important to keep honed as to the condition of one’s own perception of the two states. It is often (always?) hard to question oneself and be sharp about one’s own thinking, and du Fresne has leaned so long to the right from a central balanced stance that his slant makes this very difficult.

  3. The Free speech union is dominated by what the Zionists want. I have seen several pieces complaining about the lack of free speech for Jews. Well actually call them what they really are, Zionists, and of course they are on the board. The Free Speech Union does not believe in Free Speech when it comes to Israel’s atrocities.

  4. KdF is/was a something-in-law of one-time National Candidate and MP, Hamish Kynoch. No surprises there.
    KdF is an extreme right-wing ‘commentator’ whose opinions are no more or less valid than any other commentator; left, right, or ‘neutral’
    The reader/listener/viewer will be the only person to judge their worth – or otherwise. That’s how the principle of ‘free speech’ works.

    • Thank you Verity for that background on KdF. The name doesn’t have the sound of a born and bred kiwi either. I’ve read his hard right wing articles, he is appalling.

    • That example often used – that free free-speech can be a danger and like everything must be carefully used as when it is someone yelling ‘Fire’ in a packed crowd, is quite relevant. And Voltaire didn’t say that bit often quoted about him; it was a woman who was writing a piece in praise of his thinking. In verity one must view statements made without constraint with wariness.

  5. Karl du Fresne, is a trad cath who preaches ‘freedom’ yet want the state and church involved in people’s romantic and sexual affairs. He longs for the says where a women was the property of her husband, LGBT’s were locked up, and birth control and abortion were illegal.

    • millsy millsy millsy Looks like you may be confusing K de F with B English, and what’s more it’s Labour and the Greens who think that a man can become a woman just by saying so, and that women should be silenced and terrorised if they try to speak in public places. Remember Albert Park ?

      • At least I don’t want to string up LGBT’s with piano wire. Didn’t you say on this website once that homosexuality should never have been decriminalized?

  6. Question his facts and reasoning if you have a case about him as a reporter. Otherwise, no. Very straight I find. Despite knowing and appreciating him as a demo-crat.

  7. The irony of the right wingers demanding someone quits over an opinion piece is striking. I always thought these guys love free speech, so why are they so offended by someone like John Campbell penning his opinion? And then Heather du Plessis Allan of all people is also offended by John Campbell and demands his resignation! She spends all day spouting her opinions, but then as soon as John Campbell comes along she doesn’t like it?
    Sure TVNZ is a state broadcaster, but it’s an SOE. A state-owned business. That’s right, a business, an operation that exists to generate a profit. The Government of the day has no mandate to interfere in how TVNZ is run, let alone who it hires. Besides, you would think that if the Government was calling the shots at TVNZ then they would have hired Mike Hosking, Heather du Plessis Allan, Tim Beverage etc etc the moment it was sworn in.

  8. John Campbell is entitled to any opinion
    He just can’t claim to be a reporter who reports the facts in an unbiased manner

    • Tribal+Scot
      > John Campbell is entitled to any opinion
      He just can’t claim to be a reporter who reports the facts in an unbiased manner

      I think you’re getting confused between writing an opinion piece (“op-ed” in media speak) and reporting the news. Please give some examples of Campbell making biased claims in his news articles, or withdraw the claim.

      • TVNZ have said they are happy to use him in any role including presenting the Six PM news
        Who on earth is going to believe he is an unbiased presenter?

  9. I was attacked on one of my very few visits to Du Fresne’s blog some time ago with what I thought was out of the park invective. I replied in kind, and was censored. I asked why, and he made it quite clear in his answer that his friends and flunkies were allowed to use invective but others were not. His whole embracing of free speech is hypocritical.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here