I haven’t been blogging for the past ten days or so because I fractured a bone in my left hand and can’t type. It still hurts like hell but I’ve been drawn out of this enforced temporary retirement by my irritation over the attempts by the Right, led by National Party clown Tau Henare and assorted hangers-on in the blogosphere, to make political capital out of two questions put to Education Minister Hekia Parata by my colleague on The Nation, Rachel Smalley.
I need to start by making one thing perfectly clear: I have not spoken to Smalley about this, nor have I informed TV3 Head of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings, or The Nation’s producer, Richard Harman, of my intention to blog about the rights and wrongs of this issue.
I watched the Parata interview in the ‘green room’ at TV3 as it was being recorded and was hugely impressed by the Minister’s performance. When she returned to the green room to collect her belongings I said to her, “That was absolutely brilliant”. She smiled, thanked me and showed absolutely no sign of having been upset by Rachel’s question-line.
I had a similar conversation in the green room today with Judith Collins, who’d also faced some tough questioning from Rachel. “You are,” I said, “the consummate performer.” Read the rest of this entry »
In May 1970 I was interviewed by a Truth reporter called Martin Smith. The conversation revolved around my interviewing on the top-rating current affairs programme Gallery.
Smith’s story duly appeared on the front page of Truth and began as follows:
TV personality Brian Edwards admits he has a political bias.
There was ‘no interviewer around’ who did not have a political bias, he told Truth.
‘Like the viewers, we are only human beings,’ he said.
And he has allowed this bias to colour some of his interviews, he told Truth.
Next to the story was a photograph of me with the caption ‘Brian Edwards… political bias’
Rob Muldoon once said to me that he was often misquoted in the media and invariably complained. ‘There are some things I just know I could not possibly have said.’
I knew I could not possibly have said I was politically biased and had allowed this bias to colour my interviews. It was not merely entirely untrue but would have been professionally suicidal. What I had said was that I had political opinions, as every interviewer did.
Within 24 hours I had received a letter from the Deputy Director-General of the NZBC, Lionel Sceats, making it abundantly clear that, if the story were true, my contract with the Corporation would be terminated. I had no alternative but to sue Truth for defamation. Read the rest of this entry »
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