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TV3 needs to be fact checked

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, September 13th, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, grant robertson, Media, Shane Jones, tv, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:


I was going to have a blog free day today but TV3 has woken me from my slumber and made me compelled to comment.

Its latest article on the Labour Leadership contest posted today says this:

The winner could hinge on which of Mr Cunliffe or Mr Robertson can rally more support in caucus – and to what degree Mr Jones, the underdog, splits the caucus vote.

Actually the contest may depend on who gets Jones’ second preferences.  It is a preferential vote, not a first past the post vote.

The next comment that really attracted my attention was this:

While Mr Robertson is the caucus favourite, and appears to have the widest public support, Mr Cunliffe has the backing of unions and party members.

I could not understand this comment because David Cunliffe has consistently out polled Robertson in the leadership stakes.  Of the three polls I am aware of Robertson was third in all of them.  TV3’s own poll stated that amongst the general population David Cunliffe has the support of 39.6 percent.  Shane Jones was second on 31.6 percent and Grant Robertson third on 28.8 percent.  TVOne’s poll had David Cunliffe well ahead of the other two contenders.  He was picked by 39% of voters as being the most likely to defeat John Key in next year’s general election.  Jones was second on 18% and Robertson was third on 15%.  And the Te Kareke Digipoll reported that when Maori voters were asked who would do the best job leading Labour into the next election 37% said Shane Jones, 22% said David Cunliffe and 8% said Grant Robertson.  Amongst Labour Party supporters 39% said Shane Jones, 25% Cunliffe and 9% Robertson.

So the evidence of Robertson having the widest public support simply is not there and this statement is contradicted by TV3’s own poll.

The article then descends into the banal and suggests that Jones would be the best person to put on a barbecue.

Yes, really.

It continues the smearing of David Cunliffe, claiming that “voters were critical of Mr Cunliffe – saying compared with his competitors he’s more style than substance, talks down to people and is the least honest when compared to other politicians.”  The reality is that less than one in three of the population reported negatively about David Cunliffe and given this is the proportion of the population who are tribal nats this response is not unusual.  As Karol has said it was a shocking piece of manipulative reporting about a dodgy poll using a dodgy analysis.

Begrudgingly TV3 concedes that David Cunliffe has a better understanding of the economy than his opponents and would be the best leader in a crisis.  Given that this was reported after the preferred barbecue chef rating you have to wonder about TV3’s priorities.

TV3 is quickly becoming the Rupert Murdoch of New Zealand’s media.


75 comments on “TV3 needs to be fact checked”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I want Paddy to tell me which of the three Labour candidates the public thinks would be most likely to kill an achingly cute puppy.

    • Tim 1.1

      I want Gower to tell me which of the 3 candidates is most likely to end corporate welfare, monopolistic behaviour that’s driven up content costs, frequency re-allocation, reinstatement of a realistic Freeview platform, reinstitute ps tv within the electronic media. The market rules afterall! 😉
      It’ll be quite interesting to see what ‘Paddy’ looks like when he’s laughing on the other side of his face. The smiling arse perhaps

  2. Bunji 2

    Twitter exchange yesterday:

    Imperator Fish ‏@ImperatorFish
    I want @patrickgowernz to poll next on which Labour leadership contender is most likely to knife me in a bar-room brawl.

    Patrick Gower ‏@patrickgowernz
    @ImperatorFish Stay tuned brother

    • stever 2.1

      This reads like confirmation that he doesn’t take his job seriously…and there’s already loads of evidence that he’s not competent at it either.

      How long can TV3 keep such a waste of space? I bet he’s not cheap.

      • fender 2.1.1

        ” I bet he’s not cheap.”

        An old saying comes to mind here, and suggests that his take-home-pay is a container of peanuts.

        • Tim

          …. but I bet it’s more a case of that corporate psyche whereby the more some1 is paid, and the dooozier their job title – the better they must be!
          “Senior Political Editor” me thinks. Jeez!! there are Whitireia trainee journalists that are more competent than him.

      • infused 2.1.2

        How would you expect him to reply?

        • Lanthanide

          You don’t actually have to reply to everything that someone tags you in on Twitter, you know.

    • North 2.2

      Dickhead gargoyle Te Potty Gower’s got the Jones disease…….”brother”.

  3. Hami Shearlie 3

    Gower is fast bringing 3News into severe disrepute!!

  4. Rose 4

    Agree Hami Shearlie. I hope 3News managers are keeping an eye on Gower. All the good work that John Campbell has done could lose credibility if Gower goes unchecked. It seems as though it would harm the 3News brand.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Sounds to me like you’re just being biased, really.

      Saying John Campbell has done “good work”, when what Campbell has done is been critical of the government, whereas Gower is being critical of the opposition.

      The media should be critical of both sides.

      Your argument is better served if you focus on Gower only, and whether his criticism is justified, balanced and fair, and whether the range of stories he chooses to report on are balanced, and fair. Don’t bring John Campbell into it.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Gower and Campbell’s places on TV3 are different. Gower does the main news broadcasts – ones from which a reasonably wide section of the population get their main news – it should aim to be as balanced, objective and fair as possible.

        Campbell does more of a current events commentary, magazine style – has more space for op eds.

        • Bill

          How about they were just open and up front about their bias?

          I don’t believe it’s possible to be balanced, fair and objective. But they could be honest.

        • Lanthanide

          “Campbell does more of a current events commentary, magazine style – has more space for op eds.”

          Which is another reason why bringing Campbell into this is a very very bad move.

          • Hanswurst

            Not really. Some git prancing about like an incontinent performing monkey on the main act will hardly dispose the viewer to taking the supplementary analysis seriously when it comes around. There’s no reason to believe that readers of comments here on The Standard will uncritically assume that the post above suggests an equivalence between the roles of Gower and Campbell. The rest of us are sentient too, you know.

    • David H 4.2

      A question: How many here have written out a complaint on the TV3 website about Gowers behavior? Me

      How many have written to the Broadcasting Complaints Authority about the bullshit that TV3 are up to? Me

      Now I am only a lone voice but a mass of complaints surely would have to make them look long and hard at TV3

  5. Kevin Welsh 5

    Garner was bad, but Gower seems to have gone up a level in sensationalist bullshit. Maybe he is angling for a job at Faux.

  6. King Kong 6

    This should have been something that Labour members considered before voting for the new leader.

    It appears that not only do alot of caucus hate Cunliffe but large parts of the media do as well. One of the dangers of being a disloyal, smug, know it all I guess.

    It will be pretty hard to win an election if most of the press think the Labour leader is an arsehole and deliver their pieces to the public from that position.

    • Pasupial 6.1


      It will be pretty hard for TV3 to claim any relevance when Gower’s hatchet jobs end up hacking off his own foot.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      That would Muldoon would never have made it to the top of the dungheap…. hang on the public actually liked his tough abrasive style.

      Could it be that its become like Crufts , that temperament and breeding have a lot to do with it

    • North 6.3

      Oh yeah KK ? Piss wishful thinking/fantasy on your part. Watch the slimey little mostly not very bright arselickers climb right up Cunliffe when he’s the man in the box seat. They’re low quality people in the main.

      • BM 6.3.1

        Never happen.

        For a politician with ambition for the top job, I struggle to understand why Cunliffe has made no effort to court the media.
        Is his ego that big, he thinks he doesn’t need them?, does he think his natural awesomeness will do the job for him.?

        Jesus,He’s going to be in for a rude awakening, the media makes or breaks you and Cunliffe’s about to learn that the hard way.

        • Rose

          Cunliffe is doing a lot on social media like Facebook. He is reaching people.

        • the pigman

          I struggle to understand why Cunliffe has made no effort to court the media.

          Oh nothing at all, yeah as I recall his campaign-launch was a small, private affair.

          Earth to Planet Key: Abort the mission! We need you (yes, even you BM) back here!

    • Matthew 6.4

      Oh right so we should all choose someone that the media loves. Funnily enough, the person who seemed to get great cred from the MSM is the one who quit. Shearer was, in the eyes of Armstrong, Watkins, & Co, the perfect Labour leader who should have been given more time, in fact, leave him there until Nov 2014, according to them.
      Fact is, a Labour leader beloved by the media is not one that can take down JK & NACT. A labour leader constantly being attacked by the media (as Cunliffe is now) is more likely to be a threat to the Right, and the attacks show the fear in the Right’s eyes.
      The right Labour leader will be able to defuse the media’s bullshit, show the real public the true story and not the spin, and attract the voters back.
      This reminds me of the line “the thing about smart motherf***ers, is they appear to be crazy motherf***ers to dumb motherf***ers….
      To a lot of Caucus, media, & National voters, David Cunliffe is crazy…… but that tells me more about them, than it does about him.

  7. fender 7

    TV3 News totally sucks, and I can’t stand that little Gower shit-for-brains.

    “The article then descends into the banal and suggests that Jones would be the best person to put on a barbecue.”

    When Espiner went to the Jones household for a barbecue it was rather worrying to see the state of the meat. It’s well known that eating burnt food is a cancer risk. The nonchalant, lazy acting Jones can’t cook for shit but his 8-burner-bbq looks ok, shame he can’t use it properly!

    Wonder when they will do their poll on who is most likely to perform a successful castration using a bungee cord. Riveting stuff (not).

    • Blue 7.1

      So don’t watch it then. You’re an adult. Make adult choices. If others want to watch it that is their choice.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      Personally I’ve never seen the point in a gas barbecue.

      Essentially it’s an oven outside that men think is manly to cook on. Weee!

      • Arfamo 7.2.1

        Personally I believe barbecues were invented by women as a way to try and get men to eat salads.

  8. Sosoo 8

    Labour should just exclude TV3 from press conferences when possible.

    • BM 8.1

      Lol, seriously?

      • Pasupial 8.1.1


        Gower’s just going to make shit up anyway, so why give him and Sabin the raw footage to edit-with-a-hatchet? Go through John Campbell, TVNZ, and you-tube for a while. A few points drop in the ratings and the execs will have Gower out on the street.

        It’s a possible media strategy, but risky. It’d still be better than the void that was Shearer though.

  9. Olwyn 9

    I did not hear the outrageous “Robertson is believed to have the widest public support” bit. However I came away from the barbecue nonsense suspecting that what Gower was doing was an exercise in obfuscation, raising enough stupid questions to obscure genuine preferences and help his mates in caucus to justify plonking their own guy in. This is supposing that the votes of the members, the unions, and the second preferences are not enough to push Cunliffe over the line regardless of what they do. Then I thought, stop it, Olwyn, stop it! You’re turning into a conspiracy theorist.

    • karol 9.1

      That comment on Robertson’s alleged public support wasn’t in the evening BBQ segment. It is in another item, dated 5.30am this morning, linked to in micky’s post above.

      Labour leader race enters final bend

      I guess it’s based on Gower’s shonkey poll from a couple of days ago, that this morning’s article refers to as a credible/serious poll.

      In a more serious 3News poll released on Wednesday, voters were critical of Mr Cunliffe – saying compared with his competitors he’s more style than substance, talks down to people and is the least honest when compared to other politicians.

      • Olwyn 9.1.1

        Thanks Karol. If it is based on the round of questions that were not, “Who do you want to see leading the Labour Party?” or “Which of the candidates would inspire you to vote Labour?” then the claim has very thin support, and adds to the suspicion that Gower is deliberately obfuscating. Ask five questions, two of which are more relevant to governing than the others. Cunliffe comes top in those two, but not the other three. Conclusion: Grant must have the widest public support.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    More Mediaworks madness …


    Warning: Do not read if you have blood pressure issues, or any lingering faith in NZ journalism.

  11. chris 11

    I am sure the Standard regulars don’t need the following, this one is for the prats who buy into Radiolive / 3 News bollocks…


    • karol 11.1

      diversionary. Family history for any individual, includes a range of surnames. Ones own birth “family name” comes from the father’s, father’s, father’s…. etc line – then there’s all the others, usually from diverse families and circumstances that compromises one individual’s whakapapa.

  12. Sable 12

    Really the best thing that anyone can do is not watch these news services, withdraw your support. Just look at Mark Sainsbury, his show folded because people were not about to swallow his brand of biased nonsense.

    Certainly I do not watch any of the main channels on principle now do I go near sites like Stuff. And before anyone tells me “so what” this does work. Fairfax are in the economic crapper because people no longer trust or listen to their message.

    Sites like this one are growing in popularity for this reason and of course this is the real reason why the US, UK Australian and NZ governments are so shit scared of the internet and want to control it.

    • tc 12.1

      I thought closeup was shuffled off to the graveyard as a deliberate move for one less current affairs slot.

      • Arfamo 12.1.1

        I just don’t watch TV3 news because of Gower. I always feel guilty watching him because I feel like I’m watching a freak show. He’s a goblin.

  13. Don't worry. Be happy. 13

    At our place the news is called either “The Spews” or the “Doom and Gloom” and watched, from time to time, as a sort of back comedy. It’s quite startling to come back to the screen after an absence and see how much further into self parody ‘the news’ has descended. And yes, I think that David Cunliffe can count the attacks from Gower/Plunket/Armstrong/Uncle Tom Cobbly and all as evidence that he’s hitting the raw nerves of the entitled, over indulged parasitic 1%…and more power to his elbow! Rock on Sunday!

  14. karol 14

    I guess it’s no surprise that Judith Collins is happy with the state of NZ media.

    Justice Minister Judith Collins has given the New Zealand news media a vote of support by rejecting proposals for a single, independent media regulator which would have had the power to demand corrections and removal of news content.

    Mrs Collins said that unlike the UK and Australia, there was no crisis of confidence in mainstream media in New Zealand and no pressing need for changes.

  15. Blue Leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15

    Look, lets face it, if TV3 fact-checked the content of their items, they wouldn’t have anything left to present.

  16. Tanz 16

    they want a gay PM, that is why they are stretching the truth on polls.
    Cunliffe does actually talk down to people, at times. But don’t they all.

  17. tc 17

    We really need to turn TVNZ into a proper public broadcaster and get back to making quality content, it sells and it entertains.

    TVNZ used to make good money overseas from its childrens productions but sold off all its creative forces leaving a replay machine for overseas reality TV and crap like best bits and 7 sharp with this cult of personality approach.

    Its not as difficult as TVNZ would have people think as they’ve become top heavy playing short attention span TV and keeping the nats happy playing casino for them.

    • Tim 17.1

      “we used to make good money…….”
      We used to have some reasonable assets too including a Film Unit and a Natural History Unit that supposedly became more ‘efficient and effective’ in private hands.
      When was the last time you saw a NHU type production on FTA?
      When was the last time you saw local concerts, up and coming live bands etc.
      Even Backbenches has been neutered – its continuity broken by ad breaks, its ‘riskiness’ and ‘liveness’ ruined by pre-recording to fit into a slot!

  18. Tigger 18

    ‘Appears to have’ – from tea leaves. Or are they examining entrails?

  19. Tim 19

    Hopefully, if Labour keep their word (well Clare Curran’s – so take that with a grain of salt) …. Public Service TV (and radio FOR ALL – including ‘yoof’) will be restored.

    Once that’s done – we’ll just let the various egos, greed, bullshit and jellybeans take care of the rest.
    (After all – the market rules right?)
    My pick is that it’ll be a struggle for the commercial operators to actually survive on the so-called free meerkat ‘principles’ they espouse..
    Sky?? maybe but not sure without more corporate welfare. Mediaworks? mmmm – at a pinch.
    Sure as hell won’t be with troughers though.

    In the perfect environment, the days of a variety of channels pumping out the same shit with a different stink, pre-occupied with demographics and advertising-driven targeting might very well be numbered.
    If I was Paddy the Mad comic, I’d be seriously considering my future, and looking for a future across the ditch – probably the Gold Coast somewhere – and that’s if he can get the arm movements right – they’ll have to be Garner-esque rather than Andrew Marr-espque.
    Might have to wait for the second term though – Although that might be the biggest mistake a Labour-Greens coalition could ever make.

    Hey – here’s and idea … why don’t we change anaesthetic for the masses to allowing the masses to express their opinions. It really isn’t THAT hard!

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