Brian Edwards Media

Incident on an Air New Zealand Flight

Picture: NZPA

Picture: NZPA

Picture: TV3

Picture: TV3

 

 images1

 

 

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that I am no fan of TV3′s Political Editor, Duncan Garner. I have written several posts about him. They include a post on April 7 in which I raised the question: Should TV3 be considering  whether their Political Editor is fit to hold the job?  I headed the post Duncan Garner on Chris Carter – Journalism or Personal Campaign?  I believe I now have the answer to that question and it comes from Garner’s own lips. 

But first a little history. It is no secret around Parliament  that, roughly 11 months ago,  Garner and Carter had a verbal stoush in the Auckland Koru Club.  Following the release of the report detailing the 2008 travel expenses of Labour Ministers, Garner had run a TV3 story alleging that Carter was a big-spending Minister whose travel could not be justified in what was essentially a domestic portfolio – Education. The story also referred to Carter’s long-time partner and travelling companion, Peter Kaiser, and included the name of the primary school of which Kaiser is principal.  

Not surprisingly, there was bad blood between the two men. Carter and Darren Hughes were in the Koru Club waiting for their flight to Wellington to be called when Garner approached them. He is reported as having said, ‘Travelling on the fucking taxpayer again, Chris.’ Carter told him to ‘fuck off!’ 

Carter had already taken his seat on the plane when Garner, who had boarded later, stopped next to him, jabbed his finger into Carter’s chest and said loudly, ‘I am going to fucking get you, Carter. If it takes me to Christmas I am going to fucking destroy you.’ Sitting directly behind Carter was Dame Margaret Bazley. Appalled by what she had heard, she commented loudly, ‘What a disgraceful man. You don’t have to put up with rubbish like that on a plane, Mr Carter.’ Garner moved on down the plane.

Though his Christmas deadline was ambitious, Garner appears to have been as good as his word.  Just over 3 months later, in the April 7 post,  Duncan Garner on Chris Carter – Journalism or Personal Campaign?,  I wrote:

‘Garner has now run four  stories on Carter’s overseas travel. All four have featured pictures from the Civil Union,  mentioning Kaiser’s name and on at least one occasion the name of the school at which he is Principal.

‘Garner’s coverage of Carter’s international travel has begun to take on the complexion of a personal campaign to discredit the MP. In a different context, it would constitute harassment.

‘If I am wrong, I invite Duncan Garner to respond to this blog and,  providing nothing in it is defamatory, I undertake to publish that response unedited.

‘If I’m right, TV3 should be considering whether their Political Editor is fit to hold the job.’

Garner did not take up my invitation to deny that he was running a personal campaign to discredit Chris Carter.

I do not want to revisit the issue of Carter’s excessive international travel. He has apologised for the second time. Labour leader Phil Goff has declared himself satisfied with that apology. He has his pound of flesh.

Instead, I want to direct the following questions to TV3′ Head of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings:

*Would you consider it acceptable for a Political Editor to say to a Member of Parliament, ‘I am going to fucking get you. If it takes me to Christmas I am going to fucking destroy you.’?

*Could you continue to  have confidence in a the integrity and impartiality of a Political Editor who said  these words to a Member of Parliament?

*Will you now make enquiries to establish whether your Political Editor, Duncan Garner,  did say these words to Chris Carter?

*If those enquiries reveal that Garner did in fact say these words to Chris Carter, will you continue to employ him?

[Oh, and one other silly little enquiry while I'm at it: Why was there a shot of a semi-naked man going into a sauna in last night's coverage of the Carter apology? Just struck me as a bit queer.]

, , ,

111 Comments:

  1. Woah.
    So Jennings rings Bazely.

  2. Garner did not take up my invitation to deny that he was running a personal campaign to discredit Chris Carter

    Why would he? Have you only found out about the Koru club incident? if not, why didnt you mention it in your earlier post. Writing “news” 11 months later is pathetic.

    • Why would he? Have you only found out about the Koru club incident?

      Well, his whole career is founded on expecting others to answer his questions and lambasting them when they don’t.

      I didn’t consider an exchange between Garner and Carter in the Koru Club worthy of comment. Each was abusive to the other. It is only recently that I was made aware by a source of the aftermath on the plane. Don’t calll me pathetic until you know the facts.

  3. I too was very curious about the sauna shot. Did Carter visit a sauna and put it on the taxpayer or something? Unless there’s some basis for it, I’d be very disappointed to see it put in as a shot. The implication that leapt out to me was not complimentary to the behaviour of homosexuals.

    • I too was very curious about the sauna shot

      My understanding from the media coverage is that a member of Carter’s staff paid for a massage. I have not read anywhere that Carter visited a sauna on the taxpayer.

  4. “Duncan Garner’s queer” reads like a good headline. It’s not libelous; you’d just have to be careful whose photo was the most prominent.

    • “Duncan Garner’s queer” reads like a good headline. It’s not libelous; you’d just have to be careful whose photo was the most prominent.

      It might be a good headline. However, no one is suggesting that Garner is queer, other than in the sense ‘strange’.

  5. What an abuse of power by Duncan Garner and an abrogation of responsibility by his bosses at TV3 to deal with this abuse.

    The media has tremendous power and has an absolute responsibility to exercise that power carefully. Unfortunately we are increasingly experiencing an abuse of power as the media seeks to sensationalise and drag maximum emotional impact from a story by seeking to portray human tragedy or scandal. Usually, there is little or no sense of perspective, just as much raw emotion as can be dredged up.

    In Good Night and Good Luck, Ed Murrow’s CBS boss said “Our job is to report the news, not to make the news”. Somehow in the intervening 50 years, those two things have been juxtaposed.

  6. Garner probably feels like the cock of the walk. He has shown Chris Carter who is boss and probably imagines mere elected MP’s quake at the thought of his gimlet gaze fixing upon them. He does not just observe and report the process. Like a colossus he bestrides it; all hail the new player in the game of democracy!

    My life experience indicates an altogether different fate for Mr. Garner. Although he doesn’t know it yet, in destroying Mr. Carter’s career he has done irreparable damage to his own. People will take note what has occurred. Fear breeds enemies. His suitability for employment beyond his current role will be correspondingly diminished. And while I don’t believe in karma, I do believe that what goes around comes around.

  7. Oh and one other thing – a massage commonly involved being massaged; A sauna typically involves the use of a sauna. Deliberately conflating these two commonly understood activities in the way TV3 did is an explicit and malevolent homophobia that should raise serious concerns in NZ’s LGBT community about attitudes and editorial direction in TV3 news and current affairs. If it continues I think an advertising boycott would be entirely in order.

    And you know what they say about the power of the “pink dollar”. Mr. Carter may have the last laugh yet.

  8. Perhaps Mr Garner would be welcome as a reporter for Fox News or perhaps as a writer for Whaleoil? Perhaps Mr Garner has a feeling of entitlement and his arrogance displays his right to harrass in the name of what he would see as transparency.
    He must of course reflect what must be Mr Jennings intentions. Shame!

  9. I cant stand Garner but I’ll buy him a beer if he gets rid of Carter

  10. Brian,

    I have never denied there was an incident between myself and Chris, indeed I told everyone about it at the time because I was shocked that Chris would call me by a four letter word – that your version of this story doesn’t reflect.

    Unfortunately your version of it is very, very wrong and you do yourself no favours.

    You have relied on the word of Chris Carter and even Phil Goff can’t rely on that.

    Yes Darren Hughes was there and he will confirm what happened if people wish to approach him.

    Darren may even wish to write on this site?

    But why rely on my word? Surely the Chief Whip, Mr Hughes will launch a defence of the incident for Mr Carter. Or will he?

    I bet he doesn’t. Because Carter behaved disgracefully in the Koru Club that evening and provoked the incident.

    I will consider posting the full version on the 3News website tomorrow. I certainly won’t do it here to satisfy former broadcaster and Labour Party raffle ticket seller Brian Edwards.

    Because Brian, I am not going to give you the pleasure of writing it on your site. Before you publish your version, you should check your facts – you will be very embarrassed shortly. Once again, in your attempt to defend your Labour mate – you will drag this on and perhaps back into the public arena. Just what Labour needs. What a media strategist you are!!!!

    Your version is simply wrong on so many fronts – you expose yourself once again as a sham and a Labour Party hack.

    And an increasingly unemployed one at that. Why is Labour now using other ‘mediatrainers’ and not you?

    Once again I will consider putting my version on the 3 News website tomorrow.

    But one more thing Brian. I also notice that your claim I attacked Chris was because I hated gays and was homophobic? Even Chris says that’s not true now. So where does all this leave your wimpering campaign against me? In tatters.

    Once again, rather than taking my word, why doesn’t Darren Hughes post on here now about the Koru Club incident?

    Don’t take my word Brian, take his.

    Like you challenged me to front to defend myself – I am inviting Darren to tell the full story, to defend Chris. I somehow think he won’t .. but I’m waiting …..

    • I have never denied there was an incident between myself and Chris, indeed I told everyone about it at the time because I was shocked that Chris would call me by a four letter word – that your version of this story doesn’t reflect.

      Duncan, I’m not going to respond to your infantile insults. But I will correct some of the things you’ve said in your comment.

      I’m not particularly inerested in what was said in the Koru Club. I said in the post that Carter told you to ‘fuck off’. If he used a stronger four-letter word, it makes very little difference. Both of you behaved badly. And, as I also said in the post, ‘Not surprisingly, there was bad blood between the two men.’ Which is why I did not write about this incident at the time.

      I have never said that you ‘hated gays’. This is what I said in the post of April 7:

      ‘There was a barely disguised homophobia in those earlier television reports of Carter’s allegedly spendthrift approach to taxpayer subsidised travel. Considerable emphasis was placed on the fact that he was often accompanied on overseas trips by his partner, Peter Kaiser. Shots of the couple drinking champagne at their Civil Union appeared in almost every story, while photographs of the wives or husbands of other MPs and cabinet ministers on ‘overseas jaunts’ rarely if ever appeared.’

      I stand by that. But you might like to explain to me the relevance of the shot in Friday’s 3 News bulletin on Carter’s apology of a half naked man going into a sauna.

      Finally, Duncan, the post you complain of, was headed ‘Incident on an Air New Zealand Flight’. What the post was about is your allegedly having said to Carter, ‘‘I am going to fucking get you, Carter. If it takes me to Christmas I am going to fucking destroy you.’ If I were in your shoes, I would consider this the more damaging allegation made about you. Yet not only is there no denial of this event in your reply to me, it is not even mentioned. I would consider that admission by omission. If in fact Carter ‘behaved disgracefully’ to you in the Koru Club before the flight, then you may well feel that what you are alleged to have said to him on the plane was understandable. But it is no less unacceptable from the political editor of a major television network.

  11. Can’t see what the problem is: Garner, shows a bit of journalistic vigour, in the Koru Lounge, towards Carter (whose there, because Garner’s taxes paid for his membership). His having to face someone with the acuity of intellect of a Duncan Garner, would’ve been a bit daunting. The putative references to procreation — hell, that word is part of every-day parlance. It has long lost its shock value; even more so, for a paid servant of the People. The quick-fire exchange of pleasantries, alluding to one of life’s greatest joys, is just inclement weather in a teacup.

    As for the incident on board the aircraft, my understanding is — that, Garner leaned over to Carter, to brush off the food remnants from his jacket and shirt, consumed in the Koro lounge. A thoughtful gesture, which should have brought a show of gratitude and thanks.

  12. On reflection, I wonder why Mr Garner aimed to “get” Mr Carter?

  13. Oh and one other thing – a massage commonly involved being massaged; A sauna typically involves the use of a sauna.

    And neither involves availing yourselves of the professional services of a prostitute. Hey, just thought I’d throw that out there for the ‘nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more’ demographic.

  14. It sounds to me like it was a case of “he said…, so I said…, then he said…

    TV3 has behaved less than honourably in recent times – witness the puerile taunt with the bunch of flowers outside Carter’s home – so I would say it’s quid pro quo now.

    Duncan Garner should let it go. A resumption of the spat – in any shape or form – won’t be a good look for him in the long run.

  15. At first I was impressed that Mr Garner should front up. But as I read on I realised that his was not a reply but a “shoot the messenger” crude response from a stung child.
    I too noticed that the Airline question, the point of Brian’s post, was not addressed. Why not?
    There is much in Mr Garner’s reply which confirms the impression that he is vindictive and unreasonable, in my opinion.
    As for Merv’s excuse “brushing crumbs”, this adds weight to the fact that there was an exchange on the plane. Pathetic Merv.

    • As for Merv’s excuse “brushing crumbs”, this adds weight to the fact that there was an exchange on the plane. Pathetic Merv.

      I think Merv was joking.

  16. Goodness gracious me, talk about a rampant ego out of control! Mr. Garner ought to spend less time at the pie warmer in the TV3 cafe and bit more time considering what effect such frankly party partisan political attacks on Mr. Edwards is doing to his reputation – such as it is.

  17. Does that comment actually come from Duncan Garner? Because if so…that type of raving would seem evidence enough that TV3 have a problem.

  18. BE
    Don’t calll me pathetic until you know the facts.
    Duncan Garner
    Before you publish your version, you should check your facts

    Good idea Brian, when blogging is to check the facts before you accuse others of not knowing the facts. You have no idea what I know. Pathetic.

  19. Oh dave, Why so coy sir?

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a blogger in possession of a good fact, must be in want of a post.

    One can scace blame Mr. Edwards to not be in possession of that which you won’t volunteer yourself, but choose to protect behind a veil of petty insults. Come, share with us, dave, don’t be so churlish! Put up lest we bid you hold your tongue and shut up!

    Quite like doing the Jane Austin every once and a while.

  20. Hear hear Tom!

    After all, dave, the reason “[we] have no idea what [you] know” is that you won’t tell us.

    Nor will the good Mr Garner deny what he is alleged to have said to Chris Carter once on board the plane…

    • Nor will the good Mr Garner deny what he is alleged to have said to Chris Carter once on board the plane…

      He has now denied it.

  21. I’m amazed that the supposed “political editor” of TV3 should have become embroiled in any incident that clearly invokes publicly a very nasty trait within his personality: revenge! I would have thought that a “real journalist” would not allow this to cloud judgment. But more and more these days the quality of what passes as “news” is spin-doctored pap infotainment and with so-called journalists like Duncan Garner its not hard to see why!

  22. Brian,

    I ‘swear’ I did not say to Chris; “I am going to fucking get you, if it takes me to Christmas I am going to destroy you.”

    And I certainly did not touch Carter – that’s not my style. If I touched Carter why doesn’t he lay an assault charge? Because it simply did not happen.

    Brian you have taken the Carter version and you have taken it hook line and sinker. It is wrong. Simple.

    As I have always said there was an exchange. I was first to talk about it. Carter never said anything about it for months.

    It’s Carter who is now running to you almost a year later still trying to make excuses for his behaviour.

    As I have said Darren Hughes was there – he saw it – he may wish to put his version on the website. But I totally refute and reject your version.

    Happy to debate the facts Brian – not the hysteria and hype.

    • I ’swear’ I did not say to Chris; “I am going to fucking get you, if it takes me to Christmas I am going to destroy you.”

      Thank you, Duncan. I entirely agree that this issue needs to be debated with neither hysteria nor hype.

      We now have a ‘conflict of evidence’. You claim you did not use these words to Carter; I have approached Carter and asked him whether he stands by his version of events on the plane. He says that he does. I wasn’t there, but I do know for certain that what you said to Carter on the plane was overheard and that it was extremely unpleasant.

      What happened in the Koru club is relevant only in so far as you might claim you were provoked. If that is the case, then it might be best to say so.

      Finally, I appreciate your having replied to the post in a reasonable fashion. I will continue to publish anything else you have to say unedited.

  23. Hi Brian – I’m surprised nobody has mentioned this yet, but your link the in post is wrong – it goes to your admin “edit” page rather than to the actual post.

    Thanks, Daniel – I’ve fixed it. JC

  24. 24

    I have the privelege of producing Duncan on “the Nation”. I have questioned him about your allegations. I am satisfied they are substantially wrong. I thought his reportage of Chris Carter’s indulgent travel was excellent. I can testify that both Duncan and “The Nation” continue to have excellent relations with the Labour caucus. I think Duncan did journalism proud with his journalistic pursuit of Mr Carter.
    However I would not expect Duncan to get any credit on this blog which seems to have a vendetta against him — and any programme he is associated with.

    • However I would not expect Duncan to get any credit on this blog which seems to have a vendetta against him — and any programme he is associated with.

      Absolute rubbish. Your defence of a colleague is admirable, but I suggest you read all the posts on Garner. If, having done so, you decide that he was not engaging in a personal campaign againt Carter, your judgement is less than I would have expected from you. In my review of your first edition of The Nation, where I thought Garner did a particularly poor interview with Steven Joyce, you will also find this sentence: ‘I have grown to respect Duncan Garner’s down-to-earth, no-nonsense analysis of politics. His interviewing improved significantly in later programmes. Judy thought he was very good. I don’t think this amounts to a vendetta.

      You and I will have to disagree about Duncan’s on air treatment of Carter. But the issue here is entirely about whether or not he said these things to Carter on the plane.

  25. Geez, Richard Harmon had gone way done in my estimations if he believes Duncan has “done Journalism proud in his pursuit of Mr Carter”…geez if thats doing journalism proud richard i suggest you look for a new career…and take Dunky with ya!

    PS Both Richard and Duncan are surely saying Dame Margaret Bazley tell porkies!!!

  26. I ’swear’ I did not say to Chris; “I am going to fucking get you, if it takes me to Christmas I am going to destroy you.”

    That’s a very precise denial Duncan; one that would have any interviewer pricking up his his ears.

    You didn’t use those exact words, clearly. But what did you say? Did you say anything that might be construed as a threat?

  27. Responding to the blog post: I agree Duncan Garner is a waste of TV News space. I’ve stopped paying any attention to TV3′s political news coverage if garner is involved. he simply isn’t credible – to me. More generally, I now refer to TV3 News as “Apocalypse News”…..as last week their prime time bulletin featured stories reporting Lady Gaga fell over somewhere and, later, that Willy Nelson was giving a concert somewhere.

    That night was the End of News for me. Again.

    Duncan Garner is one more tiny pebble rabbling around in waves on the shores of TV3′s news beach. Unremarkable.

  28. 28

    DG’s denial seems less than convincing. he must be pursued more vigorously, cut to background shots of Clayton Weatherston or Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky

  29. Brian,

    I’ve put my case. I might leave it there and get on with the day. Thanks for running my comments. I standby what I have said. And I certainly never pushed Chris. I think he would agree with that too. Have a good day.

    Duncan

    • Brian, I’ve put my case. I might leave it there and get on with the day. Thanks for running my comments. I standby what I have said. And I certainly never pushed Chris. I think he would agree with that too. Have a good day. Duncan

      Thank you Duncan. You too.

      Clearly this (plane) matter can only be fully resolved by an independent witness or witnesses to what occurred.

  30. If these men spent ther time answering every single blogger who does a post about them, they wouldn’t get any work done. When did you get so high-and-mighty? If they don’t answer you, it’s not the same as saying they have no answer. Twisted.

    • If these men spent ther time answering every single blogger who does a post about them…

      You’ve missed the point. In his first response Duncan said the summary of what happened in the Koru Club was untrue. Fair enough. But he said nothing about the principal complaint, what he is alleged to have said to Carter on the plane. He has rectified that today with an outright denial.

  31. I have just emailed this to TV3 – if anyone else here feels impelled to submit similar complaints, then the potential threat of a loss of a day’s advertising revenue might get the bosses to ride Garner to be more careful with his smears:

    Re: News Broadcast of Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:00; segment entitled: “Chris Carter’s apology – too little too late? “.

    After the lingering shot of Carter & his partner sharing a glass of wine there is a mysterious shot of a half-naked man entering a sauna. The VO at this point is “…big credit card bills that included questionable spending…”.
    Was this half-naked man Carter, or a member of his staff? Is there even a sauna receipt on the credit card (note; not massage for staffer – sauna)? Or is this simply a (unstated) dramatisation of a stereotypical gay man at a cruise club for the sole purpose of smearing the political carreer of a gay politician.
    You have 20 working days to explain &/or apoloise to the gay community or I will submit this complaint to the BSA.

  32. So its the word of Chris Carter (and we know he is reliable and umm) okay dammit Garner is probably right then.

  33. 33

    Brian ….. I work with Duncan. I can tell you he isn’t a homophobe (the sauna shot was to illustrate Carter’s use of his credit card to pay for a sauna in Berlin). He doesn’t play favourites in his coverage; nor does he use his position in the “Get Carter” way you perceive. He’s certainly a robust character though and I can believe he’d give as good as got in any exchange.

    • Brian ….. I work with Duncan.

      Thank you, Gordon. I have never called Duncan a homophobe. Here again is what I said, including the reasons why I came to that conclusion.

      ‘There was a barely disguised homophobia in those earlier television reports of Carter’s allegedly spendthrift approach to taxpayer subsidised travel. Considerable emphasis was placed on the fact that he was often accompanied on overseas trips by his partner, Peter Kaiser. Shots of the couple drinking champagne at their Civil Union appeared in almost every story, while photographs of the wives or husbands of other MPs and cabinet ministers on ‘overseas jaunts’ rarely if ever appeared.’

      I still consider the sauna shot gratuitous.

  34. There is an easy way to resolve this as to who said what. Can Margaret Bazley not be persuaded to reveal what she heard?

    If Garner did use the words alleged then it is a disgrace and ruins his credibilty as a journalist. If he did not say those words then someone is telling fibs and Mr Garner’s professional reputation is being sullied.

    If I were Mr Garner and I was clear that I had not behaved in the manner described I would be talking to a lawyer. I think Margaret Bazly owes it to both Carter and Garner to say what went on. One of those two is lying and for the sake of the innocent party the truth should be told.

  35. Was the in-flight movie Michael Caine’s ‘Get Carter’?

    Though there was never a need to get Carter, with his profligate spending he own goaled; all it needed was an observer to spot it.

  36. “I do not want to revisit the issue of Carter’s excessive international travel. He has apologised for the second time.”

    He has apologised for excessive international travel. However when is he going to apologise for totally inappropriate use of his credit card and his extremely extravagant spending?

    Two examples are his limousine hire in Oz and over 1000 dollars for one night in Christchurch. He paid for two nights because he a someone whose name was blanked out left late.

  37. “Gordon McBride
    June 28th, 2010 at 14:33

    ….(the sauna shot was to illustrate Carter’s use of his credit card to pay for a sauna in Berlin)…

    Of course the shot was gratuitous. All that was required would have been a screenshot of the CREDIT CARD bill. That would illustrated CREDIT CARD spending admirably. Instead we get a soft focus shot of some unknown bloke entering a sauna, then again it may have just been a garden shed on display inside Bunnings.

  38. Whether a personal vendetta exists or not and whether one likes Duncan Garner’s editorial style or not, one fact remains un-deniable: the NZ taxpayer has come out the winner as a result of the continued years of abuse by MP’s of their ministerial “pleasure-cards” being brought into the public realm. For too long our spoilt, closeted and quite frankly, immature MP’s have been milking the system for all its worth; racking up quite ridiculous expenses that make your average piss taking businessman’s expense account look like your nan’s morning trip to the dairy !!
    Chris Carter’s integrity and truth of word must surely be in doubt in here, I for one find it hard to believe him when his standard response to kind of criticism is ” its ‘cos I’m gay”……..oh for Christs sake!!!!

    • Chris Carter’s integrity and truth of word must surely be in doubt in here, I for one find it hard to believe him when his standard response to kind of criticism is ” its ‘cos I’m gay”……..oh for Christs sake!!!!

      Several people have referred to Carter saying that the reason he was being criticised was because he was gay. Many of Carter’s supporters have said that, but, despite the fact that he appeared to apologise for that in his press conference, I can’t actually recall him ever having said it. If anyone can provide evidence of him having said it, I’d be delighted to receive that evidence.

  39. GBUK Funny how you use Carter’s alleged overspending to presumably divert attention from the Garner issue. Seems to be a pattern there.
    And as a matter of interest it was John Key who authorised the opening of the boxes on credit card spending, not Garner.

  40. GBUK, you may find it hard to believe Chris Carter, but the fact of the matter is that you, like everbody else who has an opinion, do not actually know what happened. There are two conflicting versions. Only three people know for certain what occurred and one of them isn’t talking. This is why it is so important that Bazly breaks her silence; this speculation is damaging both to Carter and Garner and we need to know who is telling the truth.

  41. “I’d be delighted to receive that evidence.”

    A very quick search revealed the following direct quote made by Carter from the Herald in Augst 2009,

    “Why was there no interest in any other minister taking their partner with them, only me? Why should that be?” he said yesterday.

    “The only conclusion that I can draw from that is it’s because I’m gay, and that if I was a heterosexual minister taking my husband or wife with me, it would be of no interest.”

    While you were in Raro he made a similar comment, something to the efffect he was fed up with being picked on because he was a well off litlle gay boy.

    • A very quick search revealed the following direct quote made by Carter from the Herald in Augst 2009,

      Thank you, Ben. I asked for the evidence and you’ve supplied it.

  42. GBUK Funny how you use Carter’s alleged overspending to presumably divert attention from the Garner issue. Seems to be a pattern there.
    And as a matter of interest it was John Key who authorised the opening of the boxes on credit card spending, not Garner.

    Ianmac……..No intention on my part to divert anywhere, simply commenting on the state of affairs as I see them. I’m also aware that it was in fact JK who authorised the access to credit card spending information, but it is Duncan Garner, among others, who appears nightly on my TV screen presenting the information to the nation; by virtue of the power of TV, it is he who “garners” some reward for the revelations of said boxes!
    To add a further comment more directly related to the “Garner Issue”, perhaps adding to your perception of “patterns”, I’d like to put the question if any one else has picked up a discernible shift in TV 3′s political reporting since the rather hushed departure of Sia Aston and Scott Campbell from their ranks earlier this year? Personal attacks, un-substantiated stories ( the outrageous, un-founded claims by Rebecca Wright about Paula Bennet’s alleged bribery attempts in particular) and general muck raking seem to have replaced balanced, intelligent and meaningful reporting. Perhaps we need to be looking higher than Duncan Garner and perceived personal vendettas, perhaps he is nothing more than a snarling pit bull being stirred up by unseen handlers in the of ratings aware boardrooms of Media Works upper floors ?

  43. 43

    Alasdair Thompson

    Duncan Garner did not spend huge amounts of taxpayers money. That was Chris Carter. All media including TV3 have been rightly reporting that.
    I see Garner has replied to Edwards. It’s worth reading.
    I wonder why Edwards seems so intent to ‘get’ Garner?

    • I wonder why Edwards seems so intent to ‘get’ Garner?

      I agree that Duncan’s replies are worth reading.

      I’m not interested in ‘getting Garner’. But if he did indeed make those remarks to Carter on the plane, he could not possible be seen as a disinterested commentator on politics.

  44. “Several people have referred to Carter saying that the reason he was being criticised was because he was gay. Many of Carter’s supporters have said that, but, despite the fact that he appeared to apologise for that in his press conference, I can’t actually recall him ever having said it. If anyone can provide evidence of him having said it, I’d be delighted to receive that evidence ”

    There is of course evidence of Carter saying that but if you have any proof of any of Carters supporters apart from yourself saying this I’d like to see proof as what they say to you in private can hardly be the same as saying it in a public arena such as Carter has done.

    • There is of course evidence of Carter saying that the reason he was being criticised was because he was gay.

      I see that Ben has suppied that evidence. So fair enough.

  45. Ben…….your absolutely right, public opinion can only be based on the information available in the public realm; highlighting why these claims of a personal vendetta ARE so serious. If they are in fact true, they represent a gross and unacceptable abuse of position by Duncan Garner. As a supplier of information to us, the NZ public, we need to have absolute faith in the integrity and transparency of our journalists; if this is found lacking, then as it is with our politicians, enquiries need to be held and judgements made.

  46. I’ve discussed this whole issue with Jennings and I no longer feel there’s anything to be gained by posting more detail on the TV3 website. Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.

  47. Brian ….. I work with Duncan. I can tell you he isn’t a homophobe (the sauna shot was to illustrate Carter’s use of his credit card to pay for a sauna in Berlin).

    And Duncan chose to thus illustrate the sauna out of all the other items of expenditure purely by chance, without ever dreaming that it might be misunderstood in this way. Good to have that cleared up.

    • And Duncan chose to thus illustrate the sauna out of all the other items of expenditure purely by chance, without ever dreaming that it might be misunderstood in this way. Good to have that cleared up.

      TV3′s assault on Carter is now utterly shameless. First the sauna shot, with TV3′s improbably explanation. Then, on tonight’s 6 o’clock bulletin they ran an item on the New Zealanders we most trust and most distrust. Willie Apiata was the most trusted person in New Zealand; politicians were the among the least trusted. And to illustrate that point we have footage of… wait for it… can it really be – yes it is – Chris Carter. And Duncan says that honest journalism must prevail in this country! Laughable!

  48. Having just read this entire thread the comment that most concerns me is Richard Harmon saying “I think Duncan did journalism proud with his journalistic pursuit of Mr Carter.”

    There is hardly an MSM outlet that has covered the Carter issue with anything approaching the standards of good journalism. In fact, the entire credit card spending story has been mangled – and spun fiercely against certain politicians. Carter especially.

    TV3 has been most shameful. Clearly they figured this was a ‘gotcha’ moment and sought to disgrace Carter. Surely the news is about presenting images and facts and letting us make up our mind about whether Carter should be shamed or not. But standing outside his house with flowers, the endless shots (and stills on the website) of he and his partner with champagne, the sauna shot which also played weeks ago on the news – all were designed to make us think a certain way. This isn’t news – it’s spin.

    Do I believe Garner has a personal crusade against Carter? I don’t have enough evidence to convict him of that. But is it clear that TV3 is abusing its position, it’s very powerful position? Yes.

    By the way TV3, it’s not about ‘the story’ as your billboards screech. It’s about the facts.

  49. Like Richard and a few others, I have total respect for Duncan. He’s a cool dude and a total pro. Max respect. Don’t take the crap others are writing here. They know nothing about the pressures of broadcasting

    • Like Richard and a few others, I have total respect for Duncan. He’s a cool dude and a total pro. Max respect. Don’t take the crap others are writing here. They know nothing about the pressures of broadcasting

      Curiously enough, Mr Fane, I know a bit about the pressures of broadcasting and being in the public eye. So now do you.

  50. 50

    If by some chance my life ever amounts to anything and the spotlight of fame comes my way, I hereby give full permission for Duncan or Brian to write whatever they want about me and I promise not to get upset. As far as I can tell they both seem to be just interested in doing their jobs.

    More importantly, David Fane is also hereby given permission to roast me mercilessly. Two good places to start would be the skinniness of my frame and a secret fondness I have for country music.

    Cut and paste this somewhere for future reference.

    yours sincerely
    darryl parsons.

  51. BE said “And to illustrate that point we have footage of… wait for it… can it really be – yes it is – Chris Carter. ”

    Perhaps cause and effect? While I do not think that Chris is _the_ reason for it you must admit it must have had some impact on public view?

    Also as it is the most recent event supporting the background/context of story is does have some legs, so to speak.

  52. Mr Garner did get a chance to present answers in his own time.
    It is very fortunate that Mr Garner can escape the hounding by TV journalists for answers to loaded questions.

    “Mr Garner! Mr Garner! Are you going to apologise to the NZ Public.
    Will you apologise Mr Garner?
    What do think of Mr Carter, Mr Garner?
    Will you apologise to him? Why won’t you apologise Mr Garner? We will wait outside your house until you come out and apologise Mr Garner.”

  53. Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.

    This might come as a surprise to you, ya big ol country leading political commentator, but some things are beyond your control…

    …you reap what you sow

    • Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.

      This might come as a surprise to you, ya big ol country leading political commentator, but some things are beyond your control……you reap what you sow

      Duncan claims he didn’t write the comment.

  54. In the “he says, he says” debate that is going on here, there is a danger that the real issue is being lost.

    Political journalists are a vital link in the democratic discourse between politicians and the public. They are the conduit for politicians’ policies and platforms and also for the public’s concerns and needs and, occasionally, demands. They are also the specialists who interpret, analyse and explain the intricacies of governmental ideas and actions so that voters can understand and form judgements on projected policy and law making.

    This gives them a substantial power. None more so than television journalists who, by the nature of their medium, appear nightly in our livingrooms and give people with little or no interest in politics their only take on our elected representatives and the possible consequences of their decisions. Unlike the political junkies amongst us, this is the only medium that supplies their information. Statistics show that the majority of our population falls into this category.

    With this power comes responsibility for political journalists: the responsibility to leave personal likes, dislikes, grudges and even ideology aside while they pursue their profession; to be fair and even-handed; to give us reports, analysis and conclusions we can respect and trust. To do otherwise is an abuse of that power.

    The role of Political Editor for a television network is one that demands a degree of dispassion and neutrality that is difficult in a country as small as ours, where senior members of the Press Gallery are on first name terms with our power brokers. This intimacy does not happen in Britain or America or almost any country larger and less informal than ours.

    Difficult or not, it is incumbent on political journalists to adhere to the standards that both good journalism and democracy demand of them, which means that aforementioned neutrality (regardless of personal ideology) and dispassion (regardless of personal opinion).

    One of the first rules of that is: Do not abuse, or threaten to abuse your power. Ever. Or we, the public, simply can’t trust you or your media outlet again.

  55. Brian,

    I am going to call you dillusional,

    Quiet frankly if Duncan did do this then knowing Chris Carter he would have deserved it, also I expect words out of journalists mouths to not always be above board however a senior cabinet minister replying “Fuck Off” I would be more worried about them speaking like that than anything else !

    Thata blog was boring, I do not even know Duncan personally however I am surprised he wasted his time justifying what happened to you.

    Cheer

    NB: Jevan is standing for the Wellington City Council election this year.

    • Brian, I am going to call you dillusional,

      Thanks Jevan. Don’t know why you bothered to respond to that ‘boring’ blog. The word, by the way, is ‘delusional’. Look forward to having you run the Supercity.

  56. I’m not interested in ‘getting Garner’. But if he did indeed make those remarks to Carter on the plane, he could not possible be seen as a disinterested commentator on politics.

    You’re really not getting the point here Brian – presumably because you’re friends with Carter.

    The reality is that Carter was misspending taxpayer money and when the first story about his travel spending broke he refused to apologise or acknowledge that he’d done anything wrong because his spending was technically within the rules.

    It wasn’t just Carter in the gun when the first details of Ministerial spending were released. Bill English and Rodney Hide were also dragged over the coals. Both of them apologised, Carter didn’t.
    I doubt there were many political journalists in the country who weren’t disgusted by his attitude.
    Garner was more overt about displaying his feelings than most but by the time the Ministerial expenses were released I think you’d have struggled to find any reporters covering Carter as ‘disinterested commentators’.

    • The reality is that Carter was misspending taxpayer money and when the first story about his travel spending broke he refused to apologise or acknowledge that he’d done anything wrong because his spending was technically within the rules.

      The issue is about what Garner is alleged to have said to Carter – a threat from a political journalist to ‘destroy’ an MP. No fault on Carter’s part can justify that.

  57. Jevan, Thank you for making it clear that you are standing for Wellington City Council. I do not know whether you thought by your contribution you could get a bit of cheap publicity, but in my case having read what you have to say, I would rather vote for Winnie the Pooh.

    I have as I have said several times that I have no time for Carter, but regardless of my personal antipathy, no one ‘deserves’ that sort of abuse and threat from a senior journalist, especially if that journalist wants to retain any credibility for objective reporting. If you cannot understand that then you are clearly not suitable for any form of public office, and confirm the widespread view of the generally low calibre of those who seek election to local authorities.

    Whether or not Carter told Garner to ‘fuck off’ is quite irrelevant to the argument. There will be very few people, and even fewer politicans who in a moment of exasperation or provocation will not have told someone to ‘fuck off’.

  58. “Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.”

    Reputation? Leading Political commentator?
    Big ego? King Canute? Jousting sticks?

    • “Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.”

      Reputation? Leading Political commentator? Big ego? King Canute? Jousting sticks?

      Duncan claims he didn’t write the comment.

  59. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.

    The what? How exactly is this category defined and measured for this to be true?

    • As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.

      The what? How exactly is this category defined and measured for this to be true?

      Duncan says he didn’t write it.

  60. Should Duncan Garner have time over the political upheaval over Chris Carter’s political spending when Duncan should of broke this story about 11 moths ago not 1 month ago!

  61. “As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.”
    Thanks Duncan you just made my day

    • “As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.”

      Thanks Duncan you just made my day

      Duncan says he didn’t write it.

  62. I wonder if Duncans dinner dates with John are somehow tainting his view point……certainly Duncan seems to have a very high opinion of himself…..but then the people with very little talent ususally do!


  63. I’ve discussed this whole issue with Jennings and I no longer feel there’s anything to be gained by posting more detail on the TV3 website. Clearly there are people here determined to tarnish my reputation. As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.


    You might need to dial back the hubris there, Duncan.

    I personally have no interest in “tarnishing your reputation”, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask whether your approach to Carter has been a bit distasteful at times.

  64. I just thought I’d note that any complaints to TV3 (then after 20 working days of nonresponse to the BSA), re: standards breach, have to be identified as a “formal complaint” (I’d put this in the msg topic slot, so it didn’t ctrl-c over here yesterday) .
    Can anyone identify the origin of that sauna clip? It looks to me like probably some unrelated stock-footage quickly cut&pasted in the editing suite. Otherwise they’ve actually gone out and filmed a dog-whistle “dramatisation” (in print journalism such fabrication would be called lying), to support Garner’s odious campaign of homophobic persecution…
    And to perfectly honest, at this point, I don’t care whether it is to; assuage his battered ego; position himself for a choice NACT PR job, or simply just for ratings. As polical editor for TV3, Garner has shown himself to be unacceptably biased and offensive (sure, his name isn’t on the story with that sauna snippet, but it is his specific responsibility to oversee the presentation of TV3 news political stories).

  65. DG – As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen. Honest journalism must prevail in this country.

    wow ! Quite the statement Mr Garner ! Being in such a lofty and exalted strata of the nations media ranks you surely dont have time to take note of the weather outside or the time of day.

    Duncan says he didn’t write it.

  66. “As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.”

    This is what happens when people start believing their own publicity. Duncan, you used to be a good journo, now you appear to be afflicted with the same lofty self-regard that you are accusing others of. Dear me, I can’t believe you wrote that.

    • “As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.”

      Dear me, I can’t believe you wrote that. This is what happens when people start believing their own publicity. Duncan, you used to be a good journo, now you appear to be afflicted with the same lofty self-regard that you are accusing others of.

      Duncan says he didn’t write it.

    • “As the country’s leading political commentator, I’m not going to let that happen.”

      This is what happens when people start believing their own publicity. Duncan, you used to be a good journo, now you appear to be afflicted with the same lofty self-regard that you are accusing others of. Dear me, I can’t believe you wrote that.

      Duncan says he didn’t write it.

  67. Brian

    At 19.07 someone posts as me. That is not me. I do not call or acknowledge myself as the country’s “leading political commentator” and I did not post that comment.

    Cheers
    Duncan

    • Brian, At 19.07 someone posts as me. That is not me. I do not call or acknowledge myself as the country’s “leading political commentator” and I did not post that comment. Cheers Duncan

      Thank you Duncan. The sender’s address on the comment is duncan.garner@tv3.co.nz. You will need to look into that.

  68. Yep, my address is dgarner@tv3.co.nz, it has been for 8 years. Cheers.

  69. To Brian and all the others who think I wrote that arrogant crap – I didn’t.

    Someone has set themselves up as me, but thankfully Brain has released their email which is duncan.garner@tv3.co.nz, my email is dgarner@tv3.co.nz.

    I would never write such arrogant, self-centered rubbish about myself.

    Seriously, lets have this debate – but lets all be who we say we are, otherwise it’s not worth participating, I’m sure Brian agrees.

    Cheers
    Duncan

    • To Brian and all the others who think I wrote that arrogant crap – I didn’t. Someone has set themselves up as me, but thankfully Brain has released their email which is duncan.garner@tv3.co.nz, my email is dgarner@tv3.co.nz.

      Duncan, nowhere have I said that you wrote this comment. Not only have I given your correct email address at TV3, as you yourself say, I have also gone to the trouble of responding to every comment on this, by noting that you have said you didn’t write it.

  70. Brian, TV3′s I.T department are currently investigating this fake. I won’t participate on your site any further Brian. I can’t trust who is on here and who is ‘posing’ as me. It’s a major concern and doesn’t do anything for the credibility of the site and the debate. No doubt Brian you are concerned too. Cheers Duncan

    • Brian, TV3’s I.T department are currently investigating this fake. I won’t participate on your site any further Brian. I can’t trust who is on here and who is ‘posing’ as me. It’s a major concern and doesn’t do anything for the credibility of the site and the debate. No doubt Brian you are concerned too. Cheers Duncan

      Thank you Duncan. I am indeed concerned and I understand your reluctance to continue commenting on the site. You might consider letting me know if your IT people manage to solve this mystery. Regards, Brian

  71. JC: “One of the first rules of that is: Do not abuse, or threaten to abuse your power. Ever.”

    Gold-plated, that statement. And I’m sure I speak for all right thinking people when I say we should be grateful we have journalists of the calibre of Duncan Garner. He’s not there to “please” and “appease”, he’s there to be tenacious and act with integrity. The NZ public should be indebted to him for his exposés on Carter .

  72. THIS CORRESPONDENCE IS NOW CLOSED!

  73. I can confirm that the address given as duncan.garner@tv3.co.nz would be a fake, as it doesn’t fit with Mediaworks’ email address format. It seems like it is just someone attempting to sully Duncan’s reputation by taking a punt.

    • I can confirm that the address given as duncan.garner@tv3.co.nz would be a fake, as it doesn’t fit with Mediaworks’ email address format. It seems like it is just someone attempting to sully Duncan’s reputation by taking a punt.

      Thanks. We accepted that from the outset.