Brian Edwards Media

Archive for November, 2011

I suffer insult on the radio, but am defended in the supermarket – a true story.


I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m the supermarket shopper in our family. It struck me as a rather nice example of serendipity, when Judy and I got together some 29 years ago, that she hated supermarket shopping and I loved it. It’s always been my view, you see, that women don’t understand the purpose of going to the supermarket, which is not to buy one of each item you need, but to stock up in anticipation of your future needs. What is the earthly point of buying one small can of baked beans when, within a month or less, you will certainly need another can, or quite possibly two? I rest my case.

Anyway, the regularity of my visits to the local supermarket have produced the result that I am reasonably well known there and, I think I can say without  exaggeration,  know and like several of the staff who know and (seem to) like me.

This accounts for an experience I had about half an hour ago in the aforementioned supermarket. I was approached by a member of the staff who was quite clearly in high dudgeon. This is how the conversation went:  Read the rest of this entry »


Who won, who lost in the first television leaders’ debate? I name the biggest loser.


Well, I won’t keep you in suspense. It wasn’t Goff. And it wasn’t Key. It was you and me – the voting public. We were conned by Television New Zealand into thinking that for an hour-and-a -half last night the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition would debate the serious issues that confront this country, the channel’s Political Editor, Guyon Espiner, would keep order and, by the end of the 90 minutes, we would all be better informed.

We should have learned from history not to trust that promise. Television New Zealand has never treated the Leaders’ Debates as anything more than an entertainment. Its remit to sell audiences to advertisers, its suspicion that viewers are fundamentally uninterested in politics, its conviction that the attention span of the average television consumer is seven minutes tops and its paranoia about doing anything that might bore that viewer into switching channels, all contribute  to the entertainment ethos that drives the Leaders’ Debates.

‘Debates’ is of course a misnomer. A real debate requires an extensive exchange of views between the parties. Three or four minutes on a topic, some part of that time spent in an undecipherable cacophony of moderator and leaders talking at once, cannot be called a debate. But that is precisely what TVNZ wants and the programme is structured to ensure that result.  Read the rest of this entry »