Brian Edwards Media

The Really Big News from Godzone

 

Photo: TV3

Photo: TV3

NZ Listener

NZ Listener

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really shouldn’t have brought my laptop to Vietnam. We intended  to do the occasional blog on our travels and leave it at that. But the temptation to check out what was happening in Godzone – there’s not much in the Hoi An Times - was too hard to resist, so I took a peep this morning at the Kiwi Sunday rags. Had the government changed? Had Herne Bay been declared a disaster zone in our absence? Had Phil Goff rocketed in the polls? Had Bainimarama invited Helen Clark to act as mediator in the NZ-Fiji standoff? Had Lockwood Smith introduced smacking for naughty MPs? You know – the really big stuff.

No, nothing much had changed since we left two weeks ago. According to the Herald on Sunday, the really big news was that John Campbell might be sacked.

I like and admire John. He’s a talented broadcaster and a really nice person. That’s the problem really, I can’t be in the same room with John because I’m a diabetic. My sugar levels go off the scale.

Anyway, apparently the chances that John will be sacked are pretty small. The new boss of TV3, Ian Audsley,  said he could give a “95% guarantee” that the show would survive another year. The reason? Well, apparently the poorish ratings for the show had greatly improved in the last couple of weeks,  “on a diet of bare breasts and big American cars” according to the Herald on Sunday. No surprises there then. Naked mud wrestling can only be round the corner.

What I found interesting was that, in the same report, the newspaper referred to Campbell Live as “the current affairs show”. This is rather like referring to baked beans as “cordon bleu cuisine”. Only “show” is appropriate in describing either Campbell Live or Close Up.

 But wait, there was more.

“Claws Out at Radio New Zealand” the headline screamed. Wow, I never knew the claws had been in. At a management level, RNZ has been a dysfunctional organisation for years.

But this really was the big stuff. An email exchange between Noelle McCarthy and Janet Wilson (both, to my personal knowledge, kindly and retiring ladies) in which they dissected the character of former Afternoons producer, Meredith McGrath, had been leaked to the media.

And, oh dear, in totally uncharacteristic fashion, they had said hurtful and unkind things.

According to Ms Wilson, Ms McGrath’s departure to take up a new job as a publicist for book publisher Hachette was “the best birthday present a girl could hope for. You saw her off, girlfriend.” Ms Wilson was later scathing about Hachette whom  she described as “cheap and cheerful publishers of this parish”. She now has a new job herself as media advisor to a cheap and cheerful candidate for the super mayoralty.

Ms McCarthy, whose success is due largely to having a lilting Irish brogue – Rob Muldoon once said the same thing about me – thought Ms Wilson had not gone far enough. Ms Meredith’s next stop, she opined, should be hell, ‘shovelling cinders with Satan’s minions.” I mistakenly took this to mean that Ms McGrath had gone to work for the Radio Network. But that would have been too kind.

I’m reluctant to take sides in this dispute, other than to say that as a regular contributor to Jim Mora’s Afternoons programme, I know Meredith McGrath fairly well. I never found her anything less than professional and absolutely charming.  I’ve also met Noelle McCarthy, who has a lilting Irish brogue. RNZ says it is standing behind her, as it did when she was revealed as having engaged in some ***minor plagiarism a couple of years ago.

So that was the big news from Godzone. I kinda miss it.

[ *** “minor” as defined by the university of Auckland, that is, not actually copying someone else’s work in its entirety.]

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14 Comments:

  1. I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

    • I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

      Glad to have you aboard, Sue. Tell your friends.

  2. Come on Brian, you know the NZ media rule for prioritising news stories: if it bleeds, or appears on television or radio, it leads.

    • Come on Brian, you know the NZ media rule for prioritising news stories: if it bleeds, or appears on television or radio, it leads.

      I didn’t know that one, Ashley. Good one though. I’ll remember it.

  3. Did you actually look at the emails? I’ve written worse and I didn’t get any media coverage.
    How is this even news? Then again – it was the same day Kerre Woodham started getting her column listed in the technology section. Quality.

    • Did you actually look at the emails? I’ve written worse and I didn’t get any media coverage.

      I’m now very careful what I put in my emails. The most dangerous weapon in the world is the “Send” button. When my laptop was stolen recently, it contained all my emails to and from Helen Clark over a dozen years. Hopefully, I said nothing I’d be ashamed of, but the odd Minister might be aggrieved.

  4. Much ado about nothing. A bit of girly banter is hardly newsworthy. While, Noelle and Janet may have been less-than-enamoured with Meredith, publishing their email exchanges, says more about the Herald’s lack of judgement and good taste, rather than the sharpness of these two felines’ claws.

    But, the execrable individual who took it upon him/herself to garner the correspondence and leak it to the media, needs a pail of fetid pigs’ swill, tipped upon his/her cone-like noggin.

    • But, the execrable individual who took it upon him/herself to garner the correspondence and leak it to the media, needs a pail of fetid pigs’ swill, tipped upon his/her cone-like noggin.

      Beautifully understated as ever, Merv. But I’d agree that leaking the emails was counterproductive at best. And as for publishing this story – how much lower can Kiwi journalism really go? Answer – probably a lot lower.

  5. Hello Brian, this sort of carry on has become more and more prevalent in our media and it annoys me. The papers, radio and tv are all rubbish and quality news and current affairs are hard to come by. May I ask what newspapers, websites, tv etc you read or watch? I think Q+A is the closest thing we have to a quality News/politics show and its on at 9am on a sunday morning

    • Hello Brian, this sort of carry on has become more and more prevalent in our media and it annoys me.

      Agreed. I’m not a huge reader at the best of times. Subscribe to the Herald and read the other NZ papers on line. Hugely impressed by The Australian and read the New York Times.

  6. Hi Brian

    I agree the story was a beatup. I even suggested as much to Carolyn Meng Yee when she telephoned me on the Saturday afternoon, breathlessly telling me she was giving me my “opportunity” to tell my side of the story and to ” set the record straight.”
    Hence my ‘no comment’

    And in fact, the ‘nasty and bitchy’ comment she attributed to me was not made unsolicited ; I was merely repeating back to Carolyn her own description of the emails .

    Sigh. The media, eh?! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em!

    Keep up the wonderful blog!!

    All the best,

    M

    • Hi Brian I agree the story was a beatup. I even suggested as much to Carolyn Meng Yee when she telephoned me on the Saturday afternoon, breathlessly telling me she was giving me my “opportunity” to tell my side of the story and to ” set the record straight.” Hence my ‘no comment’

      Thanks Meredith. I’m on Jim this Wednesday. Will miss you.