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TV3, Cameron Brewer and more of the same

Written By: - Date published: 2:06 pm, January 17th, 2015 - 39 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, David Farrar, Dirty Politics, journalism, labour, Media, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Much of this post is crowd sourced from this recent discussion on open mike.  The discussion concerned why TV3 should seek comment from Cameron Brewer about Labour’s advertisement for a Press Secretary.  The position is vacant following the resignation of the very talented and dedicated Simon Cunliffe.  The advertisement for the position has attracted attention because some social media targets were mentioned.

TV3 chose to approach Brewer nominally for independent PR advice.  Brewer is well known as one of the nastier right wing Councillors on Auckland Council.  He is as blue as they come.  He is apparently in partnership with the infamous Carrick Graham and Ricardo Sumich, who also has exquisite National Party links.  Graham is one of the three people whose reputations were most damaged by Dirty Politics.  But this background was not mentioned by TV3.  Instead they just referred to Brewer as a “former Press Secretary”.

So to put things in perspective TV3 goes to the far right of the National Party and someone with a link to dirty politics to get independent commentary on Labour’s social media strategy, all based on a job advertisement, and does not even mention their background.

Get that?  They may as well have handed the National Party a baseball bat and filmed them as they attacked Labour.

Why does this happen?

In part because as Bronwyn Hayward noted our media is predominantly owned by commercial interests, and apart from Radio New Zealand and Maori Television we do not have public service media.  Because the media is so heavily commercialised it needs to attract an audience.  The best way to do this is by reporting conflict and scandal.

But you have to wonder about the fairness of this.

The only equivalent incident on the left I can think of is Bomber Bradbury when he was unceremoniously dumped from Radio New Zealand for speaking his mind about John Key.  As Brian Edwards said this was a gutless reaction by Radio New Zealand that smacked of political hypersensitivity.  Bradbury had attacked Mediaworks for allowing John Key free time during an election campaign.  Mediaworks is the firm that Stephen Joyce used to be a senior manager of and is also the firm that received an interest free $43 million loan from this Government.

As for the go to person for commentary on the left by the commercial media, Josie Pagani, she has this very unfortunate characteristic that Cameron Slater tends to agree with her.  Give me Helen Kelly or Robert Reid over Josie any day.

The video is utterly appalling.  Letting Brewer let rip without giving context is amazing.  Even worse is that the TV3 story has been seeded by earlier posts by David Farrar (actual link) and Cameron Slater (donotlink link).

The more things change, the more they stay the same …

39 comments on “TV3, Cameron Brewer and more of the same ”

  1. George Hendry 1

    Greetings MS.

    Months ago I started noticing that news reports on Auckland City Council business nearly always included a response comment from Cameron Brewer. And wondered why.

    Thanks 🙂 , now I know. He represents both the attack blog AND the alcohol industry (as in, yeah, (political) right).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      he is an Councillor!

      The story is sourced from him, so thats his deal: “, I have this juicy news which you can run if Im the only person mentioned for comment”

  2. Paul 2

    Stephen Joyce’s links to TV3 may be key.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I still scratch my head about the $43 million. The Government did not have to defer collection. It could have insisted on it being paid.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        It would be interesting to have been privy to the discussions.

        • Truth Will Out

          I saw the receivership as utu for TV3’s coverage of Kim Dotcom, which was initially extremely damaging for Key. It certainly fits with Key’s well known vindictiveness and allergy to criticism. When I factor in who the receiver actually was, Korda Mentha, all of my instincts screamed at me this we were witnessing a coup against TV3 for daring to retain a shred of editorial independence. One look at the history with Korda Mentha shows how Key has used that firm to do a lot of his dirty laundry on high profile issues:

          * Sky City – paid to write the report saying the pokies deal in return for the convention centre was “a good deal for New Zealand”.
          * Crafar Farms – appointed receiver after Bernard Hickey took a sudden and highly unusual (as well as completely isolated) “interest” in animal welfare by sneaking on to Crafars farms and uploading a video to YouTube of a few hungry cows.
          * South Canterbury Finance – paid to write the report describing it as buggered and justifying the receivership (two weeks before the receivership was announced – and took less than a week to produce that report).
          * South Canterbury Finance – appointed (joint) receiver (go figure).
          * Solid Energy – paid to write the report describing it as buggered (do you see a pattern emerging here?).
          * TV3 – appointed receiver after a tax liability was raised. Proceeded to gut the board and appoint a new one, changing the editorial direction of TV3 entirely.

          Notice how dramatically TV3 has changed it’s stance on Kim Dotcom since then (as just one example)?

          Do the math.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2

        The business was bought by private equity, when credit was cheap and easy and leveraged to the hilt. The business wasnt making any money and couldnt get any more cash.
        There was Bank of Bill English. I remember an interview where English was questioned about the ‘loan’ but he denied this…until the interviewer said he had the documents describing it as a loan ( with interest)

  3. The Murphey 3

    Q. Cameron Brewer under what mandate as local council ward representative do you have in making comment regarding the business of a ‘leader of opposition’ at central government level ?

    Q. Were you speaking as a local ward representative or in your capacity as business partner in a PR firm with documented connections to the ‘Dirty Politics’ scandal ?

    [or any comments and questions you feel are appropriate]


    [include all listed representatives in the emails and be sure to address directly to Cameron Brewer]

  4. Karen 4

    I found it interesting TV3 said Brewer was a former press secretary without revealing who for. Viewers may have been interested in the names: Jenny Shipley, John Banks and Rodney Hide. Now I believe this is relevant information in a political story. So why was it withheld?

    Brewer’s partnership in Carrick Graham’s PR company and the coverage by bloggers Cameron Slater and David Farrer makes this clearly a “Dirty Politics” beat-up. There’s the real story TV3, but I bet you won’t be telling it.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.1

      Brewer has that same slimy ACT operative look about him as Carrick Graham and the others. I have a close relative who used to be involved with ACT a while back (he grew up) and I gave him Dirty Politics to read. He said what they did was filthy and unacceptable, but having mixed with them, not at all surprising. He said none of that clique discussed policy, it was all about personalities and how to destroy people. Brewer is trying to do that to Little.

      Dirty Politics has not stopped.

      • The Murphey 4.1.1

        Every last one of them are cowards who would not stand in front of someone to cut a deal or to cut them down

        It’s back handers back stabbing and posturing of the most callow variety on all fronts

  5. Clemgeopin 5

    What a shame that TV3 has descended into such a shameless unfair outfit. Thankfully, there are still a few people, very few, with their integrity and honour in tact. Hopefully, they will remain so and resist the gutter route.

  6. Ffloyd 6

    Maybe Andrew Little could ask for clarification of that piece next time he is on The Nation. Why was it even on the news. It was an obvious attack piece on Little. As for this constant pushing by the media that key is to be *feared* it is just getting tedious.

  7. Neil 7

    Slater & the Nats will do whatever it takes to discredit Andrew Little, no matter whether its legal or not. They have got their knives sharpened & are already starting to use them.

    • Weepus beard 7.1

      Yep. The strategy is so obvious because of it’s clumsiness.

      The counter?

      Discredit Key: not possible because he spends hundreds of thousands of dollars via an Australian PR company on his image.

      Discredit Slater: he’s angry, way angrier than Andrew Little. Ironic because Slater has stolen the term “Angry Andy” from some other fascist commentator, yet as I have said, he is so much more angry than Andrew Little. The discrediting of Cameron Slater is a real possibility given his constant and repeated forays into racism and abuse of ordinary people. Let’s not forget, Slater and the National Party are inextricably linked.

      I think Slater is the weak link.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1

        Good god, you’re not going to get anywhere using the Left or Labour to attack Slater; all Slater will do is show his backers how effective he is being at riling up the Left and then he will raise his hourly charge out rate!

      • Rodel 7.1.2

        Slater should always be referred to as, ‘National party blogger’. Always.

  8. JanM 8

    Guyon Espiner’s piece on Andrew Little in The Listener is an extraordinary piece of garbage, too, in my opinion. I mean ‘cold eyes’ – FGS!

  9. Bill 9

    Probably wouldn’t win any popularity contest held between comments on this thread if I suggested people be a bit less precious, but hey.

    A job advert that puts raising fb likes out there as a target to be achieved by successful applicants deserves to have the piss ripped out of it. Now, if you’re going to rip the piss, do you go to loaded, acerbic commentators, or to nice middle of the road ones? Well, the former, right? And where would you find the most acerbic comments on this matter?

    Look, if the news article/report was over something important, rather than bouncing off the stupid wording of a job ad – and running with it, and spreading it for as far as it has legs – then sure, there might be an issue over offering up a Cameron Brewer. But it isn’t. So there isn’t…except in a world of princesses atop mattresses atop annoying peas. imo

    • mpledger 9.1

      It’s not about the ad, it’s about the shallowness and un-profesionalism of tv3 to run with a lame-arse story that they sourced from a pro-National party blog-site and then used a national party hack to comment on it.

      It’s as if all the journalists have gone on holidays leaving the school kids on holiday jobs to do all the work.

    • Pete George 9.2

      Probably wouldn’t win any popularity contest held between comments on this thread if I suggested people be a bit less precious, but hey.

      There does some to be some over-preciousness here.

      Sure TV3 used a couple of snarky soundbites from Brewer. Crappy but normal approach. But it is relevant that he has been a press secretary.

      However he wasn’t the first or most quoted person they went to for commentary, that was Auckland University politics lecturer Jennifer Lees-Marshment.

      Should an item like this be a PR puff piece and only seek favourable comments? That would be worse than what they’ve done with this.

      The connection to ‘Dirty Politics’ is a stretch. Going by the index Brewer didn’t feature at all in the book.

      He is apparently in partnership with the infamous Carrick Graham and Ricardo Sumich, who also has exquisite National Party links. Graham is one of the three people whose reputations were most damaged by Dirty Politics. But this background was not mentioned by TV3.

      Why should they have mentioned a tenuous link like that? They never have time to go into detail about the histories and associations of every person interviewed.

      Even worse is that the TV3 story has been seeded by earlier posts by David Farrar and Cameron Slater.

      Do you have any evidence of this?

      Farrar’s post on it was at 2.00 pm on the 15th. He quoted a Stuff report from the previous day, last updated at 13:37 January 14. As did Slater and his post on it was also on the 15th. Why would TV3 be ‘seeded’ by just one of several posts a day about Little on Whale Oil?

      I didn’t think the TV3 report was bad considering it was a political filler. It was publicity for Labour, it got Andrew Little on the 6 o’clock news and overall I don’t think it was negative for him at all. And it helped advertise the position, surely that’s a good thing.

      Claiming this is all a continuation of ‘Dirty Politics’ is creating a negative about what should be a positive, getting Little in the news and getting the best possible press secretary for him.

      As Brewer was quoted:

      “The Labour Party haven’t been on the news at 6pm in a positive light since Adam was a boy, so this is a huge ask,”

      He’s right, it is a huge ask. Trying to seed it into being about ‘Dirty Politics’ won’t help shine ‘positive light’ at all, it’s just futile glowering on a dark past. Get over it. Getting more positive will help more.

      • lprent 9.2.1

        It is rather hard to see what your point is?

        Does this come back to your weird interpretations of what “dirty politics” is about? For some reason they sound quite different to what was in the book. Generally I’d have called them almost diversions if I didn’t know you were such a balanced person… /sarc

        But really the people you should be looking at are the shallow arseholes at TV3 who brought on a posturing fool who has no particular value to do his emulation of stupidity of Michael Bassett.

        Actually coming to think of it I am rather surprised that the dumbarse people at TV3 didn’t descend to that level. I guess he was unavailable?

        Disclaimer: Please note that all of these opinions are my own and are not some kind of dirty politics. I just dislike how all of the people mentioned here operate politically and consider that none of them contribute anything useful to local politics. They appear to me to be useless parasites on the body politic more interested in narcissistic self-promotion than any analysis of interest.

        • Pete George

          It is rather hard to see what your point is?


          I just dislike how all of the people mentioned here operate politically and consider that none of them contribute anything useful to local politics. They appear to me to be useless parasites on the body politic.

          Jennifer Lees-Marshment? Andrew Little?

          • mickysavage

            Do you think Pete that TV3 should have acknowledged Brewer’s links to the National Party?

            • Pete George

              Why? Did they acknowledge anyone else’s links to parties? I know a bit about Brewer but nothing about Jennifer Lees-Marshment, should they have acknowledged her politics connections or leanings if any?

              • mickysavage

                Because they presented Brewer as a supposed independent commentator. Surely the media, even the commercially owned media, have an obligation of presenting stories without spin. Marshment is a diversion, I could not fault her comments. She is also not a paid up publicly elected member of the other party the way that Brewer is.

      • sharon 9.2.2

        It may seem small but the cumulative impact of deliberately biased journalism is massive. Corporate media have been winning over the hearts and minds of ordinary New Zealanders for several years now, with their biased right wing commentary.

        It was not balanced reporting, and as such yes, it is a big problem. I would go so far as to blame this politically contrived journalism as the reason we still have a National Government in place and that the ‘Labour is a shambles’ mindset was a media invention. I saw no evidence of deep fundamental problems within the party.

        Options are to make a formal complaint to TV3 and / or submit a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

  10. Sacha 10

    “the very talented and dedicated Simon Cunliffe” – citation needed.

  11. OhMyGodYes 11

    Key’s achilles heel is Slater’s threats to undermine him if Key doesn’t play Slaters game. The way to undermine both of them is to divide them. The way to divide them it to embarrass Key for having a relationship with him. The way to embarrass Key is for Labour to keep publicising aspects of Dirty Politics which cause Key to distance himself from Slater, increasing the risk for Key of Slater retaliating against him, and increasing Key’s stress levels accordingly. Slater is unstable, ergo the best way to rattle Key and keep him that way is to destabilise Slater. He is most dangerous to Key when he is cornered and unpredictable. We all saw how increasingly farcical and embarrassing for Key he became when Dirty Politics was playing out so there is the evidence. Labour WANTS Slater going on about suicide and death threats and his mental health issues. It’s beautiful because it’s more embarrassing for Key every time he does it. My advice to Labour is “go for the face”…

    • disturbed 11.1

      1000% OhMyGodYes,

      This will make Pete George the NatZ puppet to spew in his morning coffee.

      First know your enemy.
      Then attack the weakest link .
      Third publically ridicule the association of the enemy.

      NatZ do this all the time.

      Don’t listen to Pete George, as beside not offering any constructive help anytime I can see.

      He is playing the NatZ game of trying to use diversions.

      Key also has attended the nasty black ops Global Elitist Group called The Bilderberg group as Prime minister of NZ in 2011, and has never ever been approached about this yet?

      This nasty NAZI founded organisation (Prince Bernard) is planning to destabilize governments, and take over in a “One World Government.”

      Know your enemy so can Andrew Little request details of why in 2011 the NZ People who paid tax dollars were never informed about PM attending this evil Group of power hungry Elitists?
      Below he was in attendance as John Key Prime Minister of New Zealand.

      Attended by most the biggest industrial and richest elite globally their aim is to dominate the globe and control all activities.


      List of Bilderberg participants 4
      New Zealand
      • John Key (2011-2012), Prime Minister of New Zealand

      • Truth Will Out 11.1.1

        Personally I hope Cameron Slater launches his new media outlet and calls it “Freed”.

        That will allow the left to rebrand it “Fraud” in less than 30 seconds, and lampoon it from here until kingdom come.

        With any luck Slater will stop simply threatening suicide then, and just put us all out of his misery.

  12. Jrobin 12

    Nothing wrong with anger when it is in response to the low life tactics of Key. Anger totally appropriate, feel free to get angry Andrew Little. Apathetic and slimy as in Brewer, Slater, Carrick Graham et al, repulsive bunch of emotionless bean counters. Anyone not getting angry yet about the many and ever multiplying attacks on our democratic rights to free speech and sovereignty doesn’t give a fig for New Zealand.

    • whateva next? 12.1

      Anger? Guts, intelligence, stamina and sheer force of will to do what is right, which I think Little has plenty of. National is aware that he is tuned in to their schoolyard style of manipulation of the electorate, hence the daily, or even twice daily posts from Whaleoil “Who is Andrew Little” which are tell us more about Whaleoil than Little. I read that he and Key have kissed and made up, and Key is intimidated by Little.

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