Brian Edwards Media

28 November 2012 – Network news from Middle Earth


Here is the news.

Tonight there is a film premiere, so all of us at TVNZ and TV3 got very excited and decided to dress up in inappropriate newsreading gear and get on a plane to  Wellington. Except for Simon who got left behind in the studio, LOL.

We’re interviewing everyone we recognise and a whole lot of people we don’t, asking them important questions like how they’re feeling.

We’re shouting the rest of the news over a highly relevant background of screaming movie fans. Here it is: some teachers didn’t get paid today.

Oh – and something happened in Syria.

And now over to Mark/John for another half hour of the same sort of thing…



  1. Nicely put – but what a shame on the award winning media, that it needs to be said. But you’ll be wrong of course – just wait til the Ratings come out, they’ll feel totally vindicated this is what people want. Based on 2 channels B/casting the same dire rubbish, but it’ll look much nicer when expressed as a percentage (of an unknown sample size of course)

    I was interested to hear more Hobbit burble in the car today, talking about price per kg and lean &/or fat…. my mistake… Hoggets….. not Hobbits. Pity

  2. Extremely accurate and sad at the same time. How have we come to this level of repeatery.

  3. 3

    Glad to see someone else thought it was totally O.T.T
    Not sure if that makes both of us old grumps as you are to young (and to good looking)
    Running both channels as advertorials just was a step to far

  4. I loved the live TV3 report on the fire. Images of of a lot of flames and atmos of what sounded like 100’s of folks shrieking and burning!

  5. Do you mean to say that you still watch the network news? And expect anything other than shallow infotainment?

  6. 6

    I found it a bit disturbing watching the fires in Mt Wellington to a soundtrack of a screaming crowd, the piece on Syria was similarly awful, I did think this comment from someone on twitter was quite fitting however – Looks like NZ’s media has been invaded by E! Television.

  7. Thank you Brian, unfortunately I was forced to miss the news last night as real life got in the way, so your succinct summary is extremely helpful … sounds as though real life was better …

    BE: Thanks to JC actually, the little witch at the top of the post.

  8. I did not see any of the TV coverage but was listening to National Radio while driving home.It reminnded me of a saying of Victor Meldrew; I do not know what language it is you’re speaking, but it sounds like bollocks to me.” I listened for about 10 minutes thinking it could not get any worse. Thank God for Concert FM!

  9. Incidentally JC, does it not irritate you, those who cannot be bothered to see who posted the blog and then address you as Brian?

    JC: A little, Ben. But I’ve been called worse!

  10. Happily, Judy, they were broadcasting test cricket live from Sri Lanka at the same time. And the New Zealand team was doing quite well for a change.

  11. Bread & circuses,…….bread and circuses!

  12. Yeah I thought it was over the top , hey we already gave them big tax breaks and loosened up the unions now we hand our mainstream TV channels over as well.
    I don’t want to appear grouchy , its a great achievement and a lot of people got work but ..
    I also wonder about the millions tourism NZ is spending on promoting NZ as middle earth – won’t that be effectively promoting the movie as well.

    Gollum could be right ” don’t trust those hobbitsies, they wants the precious “

  13. A summary of how The Hobbit story originated contains this line:

    “The overcoming of greed and selfishness has been seen as the central moral of the story”.

    How the movie came to be produced in NZ contains many examples which go against Tolkein’s original intent for the story, and at least there was some coverage of this amongst all the hype.

    Isn’t it true that there will be two more parts released by the end of 2014?

    Yet even once these have been released, I wonder how many people will realise what Tolkein was really trying to express?

  14. I am a bit gobsmacked at how provincial we are over The Hobbit as I thought we were a bit more sophisticated. As for “Welcome to Middle Earth” being stamped on passports – that really is crass.

  15. It was neither the height of professionalism nor sophistication, to see our TV announcers and reporters appear so star-struck and dribbly goo-goo, gah-gah. It was more than making NZers look “provincial”, it was like country bumpkins seeing the bright lights of the city for the very first time. Embarrassing.

  16. I wish the two networks would treat the news and current affairs as news and current affairs, not another entertainment show.

  17. On a related thought, how many millions will Peter Jackson’s fortune be increased by this movie and does the increase in tax breaks that he shook out of the government match it.

    The already weathly milking the working man, again.

  18. Yes, it’s far more important to check that an MP hasn’t paid for an extra meal on his credit card than to celebrate a $600M international creation by NZers.

    We should be running stories about unskilled NZers who can’t get jobs instead of talking about skilled people who made their own. We need to get a proper PC sense of proportion.

  19. Alan, who was that emperor again that fiddled while Rome burned?

  20. And taking a different tack, opposite to my initial thoughts..
    Whats wrong with celebrating being a bit world famous? We do that with gusto when the All Blacks beat the world or when our Olympians get gold or one of the Finn brothers gets the top ten.

    Its a major world wide movie , made entirely in New Zealand by – in the main – New Zealanders. Shouldn’t we celebrate that ?

  21. Kat, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a Hobbit. Did he have a credit card?

  22. The RWC was O.T.T.
    The Olympics were O.T.T.
    The Hobbit is O.T.T.
    What’s going to be inflicted on us next?

  23. Alan, same credentials as Key I believe.

  24. Shaun you step into difficult territory when you say “I wonder how many people will realise what Tolkein was really trying to express?”
    Yes yes “overcoming of greed and selfishness” but having read it 3 times ( one for me twice for my daughter) I also get the call to adventure, taking risks , finding your own identity in the tension of good and evil . I think referring to Tolkien’s perceived intent to gauge the current movie hype is a tricky area.

  25. @John, off switch not working?

    @Kat, you do believe a lot of strange things.

  26. It was breathlessly predicted 100,000 would turn out for the premier. The Warner’s PR hacks claimed 20,000 were there. The police estimated 6,000.

    No matter what the establishment corporate propaganda would try and have us believe, the small crowd size offer an intervention of reality and betrays the fact that Mr. Jackson’s foray into politics and labour relations has badly damaged his “brand”.

    Someone ought to have reminded Peter Jackson that whenever you support one political party, everyone who didn’t vote for that party will take an instant dislike to you.

  27. I really enjoyed John Key’s speech (that the PM was a part of the Courtenay Place stage setting illustrates our provincial status in the world)…

    “I want to make two points”, he said. He spoke of the first, and then went to the next with “Thirdly….”.

    Then he pointed out that Warner Bros “had been the capitalist (immediately corrected to) catalyst for making this movie in Wellington…”.

    Is Key moving from poor diction to wurring his slurds?

    John Stokes

  28. @ Alan. My off switch does indeed work. I was waiting in vain for some real news. Silly me.

  29. @ Richard

    I agree with your comments. It is a tricky area. However, despite the difficulty, the story is a product of someone’s imagination based upon their own experience, and Tolkein sought to weave his understanding of the world at the time into the story. If viewers appreciate the background to the story, it helps the movie have an enduring quality about it.

    My belief is that it provides another layer to viewing the movie (and reading the book). Part of the reason why much of the build-up to the premiere and the media coverage would be considered as ‘hype’ is because there are people not respecting that.

    I also agree with you about celebrating NZ’s role in production, and appreciating the elements of the story. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie, and looking out for Tolkiein’s intent.

  30. I trust that those of you who are not Wellingtonians will thank us Wellington ratepayers who were forced to cough up $1.1 million to pay for yesterdays “festivities”. It gave our mayor and councillors the chance to pretend they were important I suppose.
    It is this sort of thing that makes me sympathise with the law restricting council activities that was passed yesterday.

  31. Well said Judy – thanks to MySky’s fast forward function I watched both news bulletins in under 20 minutes that night.

  32. Alan, the off switch solves nothing. It does not alter the fact that we are continually being assailed by garbage. I do not object to using the off switch when somethihng does not interest me.

    I do object to having to use it with increasing frequency to avoid the meretricious
    twaddle churned out by our media, and in the case of National Radio delivered by some gushing breathless individual with a voice that had the quality of chalk on a blackboard.

  33. I am a salary earner.
    My rates are paid on time.
    My rates pay towards a $1,000,000 to “set Up” the city for Hobbit fanfare.
    I get told how good this all is because of the income Hobbits will bring.
    I am puzzled. My rates go up.
    My salary is unchanged.
    So a few thousand fans get airtime for hours. But, but, but….

  34. @Ben, if someone else is paying for it, I don’t care what they broadcast. However I do pay for National Radio but never listen to it.

    On the internet I can read or listen to whatever I choose. I subscribe to Sky, record what interests us and ignore the rest. We have more choice than ever before. Naturally then there is more we don’t want to watch than ever before.

    As for the Hobbit, I quite enjoyed TV3’s light hearted news coverage. It made a nice change from the Left’s perennial vicious infighting and silly economics.

  35. ie., (that is) Tolkien. My apologies.

  36. Ironically, Rodney Hide seems tacitly in favour of corporate welfare now. And he uses the term ‘think big’ without any sense of irony.