Brian Edwards Media

Bouquets and brickbats – People power from Campbell Live

A large bouquet to Campbell Live last night for letting the people of Christchurch speak for themselves. This montage of frustration  told a very different story from one we’re hearing from officialdom about the EQC and the accuracy and speed of assessments. A classic was the 34 second assessment caught on CCTV.

This made excellent television – a far cry from the stumbling, bumbling  interview by Mark Sainsbury on the Tupperwaka  in which he

images31Asked such searing questions as:

Are you ashamed of your culture? (To Shane Jones)

Is this a jack-up? (To Ngarimu Blair of Ngati Whatua)

Are you saying that Pita Sharples is bribing the Maori people of Auckland? (To Shane Jones again. And no, Mark, that was the Act Party)

This mock-tough interviewing just comes across as rude and boorish. Patsy questions which are patently ridiculous. This was a subject that deserved some serious debate. It’s not going to get it on Close Up, that’s for sure.

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  1. Campbell said this episode was viewer driven. That the suggestion for the caravan came from the frustrated Christchurch EQC “clients”. Still I agree it made for compelling disaster porn.
    I never watch TV1 the Tupperwaka seems a bit of a beat up to me and the sort of item you go to if you have no other significant topics on offer.

  2. “We won’t talk about the massive bailouts of the likes of AMI and SCF, let’s talk about a relatively inexpensive piece of plastic ornamentation instead…”

    Classic news direction, TVNZ, thanks for spending my taxpayer dollar so carefully.

  3. I could be wrong here Don, but I don’t think we pay for TVNZ – they pay us dividends…which is why the programming is sooooo sad. They can’t afford to work like a proper public broadcaster.

    PS: Speaking of the dieing news industry…my condolences to NZPA and any staff who may be reading…you did a great job.

  4. When will TVNZ news head honchos wake up and realise what a liability Mr Sainsbury is to the providing of a credible current affairs programme?

    Used to be a TV1 news viewer but have moved to TV3 for News at Six and for the 7pm current affairs slot, even though not a fan of Campbell.

  5. I had given up watching Sainsbury he is absolutely hopeless and now I have started watching 3News as well which is surprisingly better than One (not a high hurdle).
    I liken CloseUp to the Labour party in there is no one better than the hopeless incumbent.

  6. Still falls well below Sainsbury’s out-of-left-field nadir of “Where was God in all this?” to Rev Peter Beck a couple of weeks back.

    (I even know atheists who were offended by Sainsbury’s bull-in-a-cathedral clumsiness that time!)

  7. I don’t suppose it has occurred to you folk to watch NEITHER? There are plenty of reliable news sources elsewhere (with a wider range of topics too).

  8. Bumbling, stumbling Sainsbury is a very apt description. I have given up watching Close Up. I think Campbell Live is a little more balanced, better researched and just a better watch.It does appear as though EQC is overwhelmed by events in Christchurch, but what really stood out are the incomnsistencies of EQC assessment staff. I heard similar stories about EQC inconsistencies from friends in Gisborne following the 2008 December earthquake.

  9. Close Up is enjoying some of it’s best ratings at the moment. Campbell Live is taking an absolute hammering, which just goes to show something!? Well, I don’t think the viewing public of New Zealand come out of this looking too good at the least. Not sure what the new arrival of Paul Henry to the Mediaworks team will mean for JC. I’d be a bit worried.

  10. Yes this was Campbell Live at its best.

  11. Johnno. Wonder where your info is coming from?
    I do think that there has been a major shift on Campbell Live. Notice that they go over the 10 minute slot if in the middle of an interview rather than stop by the clock. The content and quality of the program has become worth watching.
    Let Sainsbury deal with the fluffy duck topics and let’s watch Campbell when dealing with real issues, just as long as John stops fawning when dealing with some VIPs.

    BE: Spot on!

  12. @ ianmac, the Usher and Captain Kirk pieces this week reveal Close Up’s real mission, IMO.

  13. In gisborne post quake the EQC staff couldnt have been better,they assessed my mothers house accurately and fairly,I did hear rumours of less than ethical claims from some residents.
    I would have liked to see a follow up with EQC about their actions ,particularly the 34 second inspection.Its about “making it right”.

  14. @ianmac. “Wonder where your info is coming from?”

    From Recommended.

  15. I don’t watch John Campbell, but I was very disappointed with the Sainsbury interview. About as pointless as the waka itself.

  16. No matter what Campbell does, he still looks like a Muppet newsreader.

  17. Thanks Jonno, but it does not show the relationship between Close up and Campbell Live. I gave up watching both last year but think now that Campbell has seriously upped the ante this year. It would be great to get good interviews in election year wouldn’t it? Sainsbury???

  18. Courtesy of , here are the ratings for 7 April.


    Head to head

    * Breakfast (6:30am – 6:55am): 88,360
    * Breakfast (7:00am – 7:55am): 176,110
    * Breakfast (8:00am – 9:00am): 149,500
    * 3 News Firstline (6:30am – 7:00am): 20,880
    * 3 News Firstline (7:00am – 8:00am): 26,380

    * ONE News Midday (12:00pm – 12:30pm): 155,740
    * 3 News at 12 (12:00pm – 12:30pm): 24,500

    * One News (6:00pm – 6:50pm): 661,820
    * 3 News (6:00pm – 7:00pm): 317,250

    * Close Up (7:00pm – 7:30pm): 490,560
    * Campbell Live (7:00pm – 7:30pm): 190,800

    * Tonight (10:40pm – 11:10pm): 143,360
    * Nightline (10:30pm – 11:00pm): 155,480

    BE: I find that truly amazing with absolutely no relationship to the relative merit of the programmes.

  19. Sainsbury has never been a strong interviewer. I wonder if the only reason “Close Up” still has strong figures is because, after a hard day at work, viewers just want to watch mind-numbing lowest-common-denominator cat-up-a-tree tv…in which case, “Close Up” provides it in droves!

  20. What is sad, and has been missed by everone here is that the standard of current affairs and interview skills are infinitely higher on TVNZ 7 than either Campbell or Sainsbury. And of course this government axes TVNZ7 and we are left with the dross and that word includes both Cambell and Sainsbury in that. The only reason Campbell receives any attention is because of the appalling quality of the opposition.

    Thank God one can still turn to National Radio and if one wants excellent coverage of global events there is the BBC. As WAKE UP so rightly said, neither of the local channels is worth a second glance. Television in NZ is on a downward spiral the end of which is not yet evident.

    However with the Internet and global communications there is more than adequate compensation for those who are prepared to take the trouble to search for it instead of sitting mesmerised at 7pm to whichever ventriloquist dummy happens to take the fancy.

  21. a bit of a shame then that Campbell Live and its owners MediaWorks really won’t have a lot of credibility in their coverage of the upcoming election

  22. I’ve begun to think Campbell Live is having one of its best ever runs – milk prices, that bullying panel, the superb EQC show, great general coverage from Christchurch. There seems to have been a real determination to raise the bar. Perish the thought, they’re actually beginning to look like a current affairs show. On TV3? Outrageous!

    In contrast, Close Up seems to wilfully be aiming lower. William Shatner. Usher. Magazine style fillers. And then there’s Mark Sainsbury’s inability to work out what question he means to ask. It’s unwatchable on occasion.


    Not sure whether this is a thought out change in direction from both shows. Wish someone could ask them.

    It will be fascinating to see whether Campbell Live maintains its higher standards. It would be a pity to see them returning to magazine fluff, those very bad Australian stories they used to run and meaningless celebrity interviews.

    If they are intent on continuing in this fashion, I sincerely wish them well. I do hope this is a change of direction the program can sustain.

  23. Watched Guyan Espiner with Bill English(although it may have been a case of shooting fish in a barrell)this morning.He gave Bill English enough room to wiggle but politely watched the finance minister contradict himself.Im sure Bill English will cringe when he watches it again.

  24. 24

    Both Sainsbury and Campbell have their good and bad days.

    Sainsbury, when it comes to interviewing, tries hard not to offend; instead, always trying to befriend. He wants to be everybody’s mate. And he is.

  25. While I prefer John Campbell for his shear boyish enthusiasm he is still limited by the tiny amounts of time current affairs telly gives us on each subject. Maori TV can be so much better – the best I saw was an interview that started ” so .. where were your people from …” 15 mins later we get into what the person is doing now – the pace was wonderfully slow and I felt at the end I understood the interviewee and what informed their work.

  26. anyone who regards mark “hello new zealand” sainsbury as a serious interviewer also regards close up as a serious program. it really is a dreadful waste of 30 minutes.

  27. Choosing between the boorish and talentless Campbell, and the boorish and talentless Sainsbury is like having to choose between AIDS and cancer. If The Simpsons was on another channel at 7pm, neither would have a single viewer who isn’t family.

  28. I would suggest Brian Edwards for a stint at the seven o’clock spot, but due to the general lack of literary skills in N.Z. these days there are not enough viewers who can understand words of more than two syllables,ergo, low ratings,so its back to the Lords of the sound bite,Campbell and Sainsbury.