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A well-earned punishment

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, June 18th, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: accountability, Media, Parliament, tv - Tags:

Speaker Lockwood Smith has removed 22 free carparks at Parliament from TV One and TV3 as punishment for their disgraceful behaviour in chasing Chris Carter around the House the other day. Good. There are a few, non-onerous, rules about where and when the media can go and take its cameras. They completely ignored those rules for the sake of tabloid journalism and injecting themselves into the story.

Carter has acted foolishly and selfishly but that doesn’t excuse their journos’ behaviour. They need to remember that the MPs are our elected representatives and have the right to do their job without this kind of fracas. They also need to remember what their job is. It’s not to act like a bunch of circus clowns and gutter paparazzi.

The glee the likes of John Campbell took over the ‘issue’ (this was the least professional, most childish thing I have ever seen on TV, and I used to watch Back of the Y) and the spectacle that we saw on Tuesday, exemplified the terrible waste of talent that too often is New Zealand political journalism.

Good on Lockwood. I reckon that losing 22 free parks worth $20 a day will cost the news stations about $100,000 a year. Maybe that’ll be enough to wake them up.

44 comments on “A well-earned punishment”

  1. Lew 1

    While I consider most of the complaints about Carter’s treatment by the media to be unjustified (or just pointless), this one (they were out of bounds) is perfectly fair enough.

    Perhaps the only thing Carter could have done worse when they pursued him, though, would be to call parliamentary security and have them remove the journalists. That would have been truly awful. Much better that it be handled this way.


    • Bored 1.1

      Perhaps we should praise Carter for allowing the press to look like the pillocks they are. The press were very quick to follow Carters lead and look like complete dorks pretending to be bloodhounds.

      All very unsavoury, full marks to Lockwood. Nact (again) 1- Labour 0, (yellow cards the press, red card Carter)

      • kriswgtn 1.1.1

        Nact only won cos the media is too chickenshit to report on real stories

        I had the misfortune to bump into that Tracey Watkins thing,My flatmate ripped into her- bitch can run I tell you hahahahahhaha

        but then my flatmate is a ballbreaker

        • pollywog

          and thats the kind of shit you need to be filming kris and the public need to see.

          show the media for what they are, nothing more than suits and cameras hiding behind a veneer of respectability as journalists.

          I’d love to do some guerilla TV shit. Kinda like Punk’d meets Jackass but all the victims are media personalities.

          Just realized, isn’t ‘the Jono project’ already doing something like this with their fake whaling lobby group and stalking Greg Murphy ?

        • Bored

          Go Kriss’s flatmate, da bomb!!!!!

  2. kriswgtn 2

    Campbell the cock is still going on about Carter.

    The guy is a tool.They had no right to go to Carter’s house.

    TV3 should be ashamed

    No longer in our house do we watch the clown or tv1@ 7pm

    We come here for our real issues

  3. Santi 3

    If exposing Carter is considered “tabloid journalism” the price is worth paying. It was priceless to see the greedy MP scampering away tail between his legs.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Actually I felt embarrassed for the media, and sorry for him.

      • Santi 3.1.1

        Tell me, why did you feel sorry for Carter?

      • Jim Nald 3.1.2

        Now that the dust has settled, it is clear the media has come out of this looking worse.

      • Tigger 3.1.3

        It would have been defensible if this is what they do. But it’s not. Georgina T refuses to answer questions yesterday, they leave her alone. Richard Worth wasn’t hounded like this (who turned up at his house with a wacky item to shame him?). They didn’t even hound Nick Smith like this when he was having a breakdown.

        Even people I know who despise Carter have said to me this was just bullying. Personally I was most shocked at how poorly Carter handled it – he did help fuel this fire. But they took delight in his misfortune and for ‘news’ organisations that’s a step too far.

        • andy (the other one)

          During the Worth affair, one of the networks did a live cross out front of his house. The reporter claimed that people were inside but refusing to answer the door. No wacky items that time. Sad all the same.

      • Bored 3.1.4

        I did not feel sorry for him at all, all that sense of entitlement and false remorse. Then the chicken livered running away. He was as bad as the press dorks who pathetically tried to corner a complete lilly liver. Very undignified from all parties. Hand bags at 4 meters.

  4. Yeah…Its not a good look watching a TV journos practically wet themselves on screen over a game of chase the pollie round the beehive.

    I reckon Chris Carter should have come out of the office holding a little video camera himself and guided his way through the throng using the viewfinder.

    Turn the cameras and the media back on itself then Youtube it. Maybe if they saw themselves through somone elses lense they’d see how retarded their behaviour is.

    If the media want to be part of the story, then Carter should start asking the questions and interviewing the interviewers. Own that shit !

    Theres something to be said about creating your own guerilla media and utilising 2.0 outlets to get your message across especially if you can get it to go viral on the blogosphere.

    I’d recommend giving out handheld cameras to MP’s and hiring a cutting edge editor to make vignettes of odius media personalities and tactics complete with contemporary soundtrax designed to seduce the web generation.

    It’s the future and Labour really needs to engage it properly if it wants to combat the mainstream media bias against it.

    • Lew 4.1

      It’d be great if you could pull it off. But if you can’t, it’d make you look sad and desperate. And pulling it off (particularly without the support of the media) requires huge skill or lots of money or (preferably) both. As the saying goes, never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

      The trouble with turning media scrutiny back on the media is: 1. they know all the tricks better than the pollies do; and 2. they are not accountable to us, while politicians are and must be, (even if the standard of that accountability is highly variable). And 3. all they need to do to score a decisive win is ask “haven’t these pollies got anything better to do?”


      • Bill 4.1.1

        Don’t know how this would work, but could be worth having reasonable quality ‘whole exchange’ type recordings to combat the worse excesses of the ‘devoid of context and manufacturing a wee story that is pure fiction’ type editing.

        Even just the knowledge that such a thing existed in the hands of others would probably be enough in itself be enough to modify the behaviour of many journos and their editors.

        And of course contextualised or full content wouldn’t get aired on TV or whatever. But a gradually building Youtube (or what not) presence that people gravitated to over time in order to get the ‘naked truth’ behind our Pravda-esque msm?

        edit Pravda a moderator trap word? Given the state of our media that’s kind of ironic methinks, anyhow….

  5. swimmer 5

    I don’t honestly know what I think of the pursuit. If a person runs from the media then it’s their natural instinct to hunt down their prey. On the other hand the guy was clearly stressed and chasing him was cruel. I think waiting outside his house with a bunch of flowers was taking the matter way too far.

  6. ianmac 6

    Yes. Good on Lockwood! There is one person who has breathed fresh air on the Media actions.

    I never thought that I would applaud Garth George but this time I wrote to him in approval.
    “At the same time there has been a revolution in the media, a transfer of emphasis from serious and objective reporting to an obsession with the sick, the sad, the salacious and the sensational.”

  7. true Lew, but if the pollies just concentrate on low budget stuff solely for web use, they wouldn’t need skill, just quantities of footage a skilled editor can use. Blair witch, Quarantine, Paranormal Activity styles.

    The choice, tried and true tricks in any sort of film making process, including generating photo op TV spin, is mostly in the editing and there’s be no ink spilled there. Besides, pretty soon they wont even be making it by the barrel.

    As for anything better to do…well, if you’re going to walk around parliament anyway, during your normal course of business, then you may as well record it as some sort of legit interactive video blog with your electorate.

    Who wouldn’t want to see or hear Hone Harawira let loose with a hidden button camera and lapel mic 🙂

    Look, its all very well if the likes of Gower, Garner and Soper want to be stars, but how about the cameraman and soundie if they’re plastered all over Youtube ? They need to be made every bit as accountable for their role as much as the journo.

    sad and desperate…haha, it’s not like Labour have anything to lose and really how much more sad and desperate could Carter look ?

  8. I remember watching Campbell live last night with the beaver. It seems pretty immature. I don’t think it’d of made it on Back of the Y either. It’s childish but not haha how childish funny.

    • Bright Red 8.1

      His body language while listening to the recordings reminded me of Glenn Beck.

  9. felix 9

    That’s the first clip of Campbell I’ve seen for a couple of years. Is this what he does now? It’s all a bit “Anchorman”, isn’t it? You stay classy, New Zealand.

    As AlbatrossNZ says, not up to BOTY standards at all.

    • kriswgtn 9.1

      more like Wankerman

      the guy is a clown

      he makes my eyes bleed and way he says Kia Ora is a fukin disgrace

      If the girls on tv3 news can get it right
      why cant he> cos hes a dick

      Wonder what has happened to that satire show FACE UP??

      they could be having a field day-but then they prob too scared to take the piss out of national cos they might not end up on slimeys xmas grog list hahahhahahah

      • Lew 9.1.1

        Face Lift. Yeah, fantastic stuff.

        Radiradirah is patchy but has its moments, 7 Days is excellent if a bit random, but I really miss Face Lift.


        • kriswgtn

          Yeah Face Lift and their portrayal of Campbell was priceless

          Back then he had ethics, not anymore- he stands for SFA

          I know how BP could plug the oil leak in the Gulf

          We can sell them Brownlee 🙂

  10. Anne 10

    Thanks Marty G. for providing a forum for us to vent our collective spleen.

    That piece by Campbell left me gobsmacked (apologies to gobsmacked) and very angry. He apparently no longer has any sense of dignity, integrity or maturity – qualities that a number of our media personalities seem to lack these days. Why? Is it because of the current money-grubbing culture that has crept into our society – courtesy of the Nact government? Or was Campbell responding to the car-park punishment meted out by the Speaker? Maybe a mix of both?

    Yes. Carter has been behaving foolishly but the man has had a ‘melt-down.’ Something that can happen to anyone who finds themselves under extreme pressure and provocation. As Trevor Mallard has publicly said: “give him some space and time to recover.” Not much to ask.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1

      When Campbell has dinged for outrageous deceit himself, he decides to be Mother Theresa
      The cant is breathtaking

  11. Someone needs to give Samantha Hayes a free rein and her own gritty current affairs show.

    Not only do i reckon she has the journalistic chops combined with a highly developed social conscience, but being somewhat hawt would make for a few disarming interviews with the ol boy brigade as well.

  12. Maggie 12

    Have seen enough of the way TV journalists behave to have nothing but contempt for them. A mate of mine had first hand experience of these jackals when his business went crook. He and his wife were hounded by Close Up creatures who disguised their vehicle and tried to come on to private premises to film his wife at work.

    A complaint to the BSA was pointless, they found no wrong doing! One particular cove behaved so badly he was pressured out of the job – ended up working for Michael Cullen.

  13. tc 13

    They could all be banned from the house and it wouldn’t change the coverage one bit…….blokes like garner/espiner seem to do the same old rope without paying attention to what actually took place.

    Campbell slide continues as he’s been told ‘rate higher or be axed’ as TV3 is melting under a mountain of takeover debt so ‘lights, camera, action…….here’s Johnny’

    TVNZ does what the gov’t wants so both channels would’ve been told to hound carter as they know the boundaries, camera/sound crews especially do whereas journo’s can appear to forget so make no mistake about the calculated risks they took knowing they were breaking rules.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      Apparently both Close Up and Campbell Live struggle in the ratings vs Shorty Street.

      I have heard that in most other countries, they would have only 30 minutes news broadcast at 6pm, followed by whatever else. We should do that here too – 30 minutes of *real news* with 30 minutes of some good current affairs with maybe a couple of human interest stories per week.

      I expect that both TV1 and TV3 would screw up a 30 minute news show, though, and cut out what little informative segments are left to be replaced with live crosses to the latest in-vogue happening.

  14. TightyRighty 14

    Lockwood has made a pretty bold call here. the media and politicians rely on each other so much. So I congratulate him for making this call as the media just went to far the other day. they came out looking as big a bunch of money grubbing scum as chris carter is. I wonder how their credit cards match up to his?

  15. swimmer 15

    Bring back Kim Hill!

  16. ianmac 16

    The constant cry from MSM is that there is no public appetite for documentary/current affairs. And if there is not enough appetite no advertising, failed Media. Spose they know what you and I want?

    • Lew 16.1

      No. They know what the 3,999,500 people in the country who don’t even know what The Standard is wants.


  17. ghostwhowalksnz 17

    A look at the BSA website for decisions relating to Campbell Live gives over 40, I gave up counting


    And they have the cheek to be in judgement on others !

  18. Anne 18

    “Apparently both Close Up and Campbell Live struggle in the ratings vs Shorty Street”

    Is anyone surprised? I think most Lefties and Righties probably agree on this one. Who, in their right (left) mind can stand the ‘faux’ sentiment-packed bilge they report 90% of the time. And when a good story does come along its “Once over lightly boys and girls. We don’t want the peasants to actually start thinking…”

    • Lew 18.1

      That’s not really the problem. The problem is that investigative, in-depth reporting is hard and expensive, and easy to get wrong when corners are cut (witness Campbell’s “hoodie” interview with the “medal thief”). So programming directors are reluctant to dedicate resources to it in a crowded marketplace unless they can be sure of a genuine scoop. To an extent that’s justifiable; it’s also somewhat self-fulfilling.

      Shortland Street’s viewership is also hugely desirable to advertisers and strongly-entrenched; very difficult to break decades of loyalty except on the odd occasion there’s something genuinely compelling on offer. Soaps are hard to beat for narrative.

      And let’s be real: NZ is a small country; really compelling genuine gee-whiz stuff doesn’t happen all that often. So they fall back on human interest and other such cheap and easily-produced but ultimately lightweight stuff. It pays the bills, and funds the occasional report of genuine investigative merit.

      But hey, look at it this way: at least we don’t have Today Tonight and A Current Affair.


      • Anne 18.1.1

        The thing is Lew, the previous set up (NZBC – which incorporated both radio and TV ) was able to produce good, hard current affairs programmes on a relative shoe string once. I refer to the 1970s and 1980s. The difference I guess were the calibre of the interviewers. Unlike most of the present mob, they actually did some pretty thorough investigations themselves and didn’t rely on sound bites and press releases. I would compare them with Radio NZ journalists and interviewers like Mary Wilson and Kim Hill – and Sean Plunket on a good day.

  19. Green Tea 19

    “They need to remember that the MPs are our elected representatives and have the right to do their job without this kind of fracas.”

    What about the Public’s right to have those who wrongly spend their money held to account? Frankly Carter’s ‘demotion’ means nothing in a party that won’t be close to government anytime soon. Carter still receives a ridiculous MPs salary, perks, subsidised travel etc. so if he gets chased around the beehive then its no less than he deserves. The Public certainly don’t have a mechanism to punish Carter.

    Taking away car parks is a cynical attempt to silence the media who, for once, have acted in the Public interest by exposing the culture of entitlement that exists within the beehive.

    • Daveosaurus 19.1

      “The Public certainly don’t have a mechanism to punish Carter.”

      They do. It’s called “not voting for him”. You should try it.

  20. Puddleglum 20

    “The Public certainly don’t have a mechanism to punish Carter.”

    Indeed, it would be so much better if we could put him in the stocks and throw rotten fruit at him. At least then, the authority that put an offender into the stocks would need to have some legitimacy to do so. The problem with the media ‘punishing’ people is that they have no legitimate basis upon which to do that.

    I can understand (just) an argument that the media were justified in chasing him by some notional ‘public interest’ in getting him to answer further questions, but I can’t understand the argument that what they did was ok because it ‘punishes’ him and that’s the only way we have of meting out punishment.

    Green Tea, surely the aim here should be to establish processes that stipulate sanctions for ignoring the guidelines on credit card purchases? As I understand it, there is a bracketed comment in the guidelines to the effect that the intention to repay a personal purchase is not sufficient justification for making personal purchases with a ministerial credit card – but there is no clarity about consequences for breaching these rules. My preferred option would involve removal of the credit card and public detailing of the reason for its removal.

    A question that has been lurking in the background is when and why ministers were issued with credit cards in the first place? It looks to me like an aping of the private sector and the only remotely justifiable argument I can think of for them would be on the same basis as that presumably used in the private sector (to allow ‘flexibility’ and ‘autonomy’ which, most of the time, would be more financially efficient than constant applications for either cash advances or reimbursements).

    If ‘efficiency’ is the reason, then the current outcry from just about every quarter suggests to me that, in this circumstance, efficiency should take a back seat to other values.

    That’s good news for anyone, like me, who thinks some narrow notion of financial efficiency is rarely the appropriate ‘value’ to guide our actions in the political sphere.

  21. havoc 21

    In case anyone is interested, I have lodged a broadcasting standards complaint against TV1’s coverage of this on Monday – actually before the press went totally insane On Monday when they covered the story, they used file footage of Shane and Mita in parliament . Strangely for Chris carter they used footage of Chris Carter with his partner in a private setting. I find this pathetic. Why ??? They didn’t choose footage of the others with partners. So, TVNZ can explain why they treated him so differently.
    I know the reasons but would just like them to front up and explain.

    Perhaps too we could have an OIA request in to seek full disclosure on all credit card spending by state broadcasters – viewable byb the public on stuff?????

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