Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Bouquets & Brickbats'

Bouquets and Brickbats (an occasional series)









To Shane Taurima whose interviewing performance on Q & A I have savagely attacked on Afternoons and elsewhere. Shane’s interviewing has markedly improved over the last few weeks. He no longer has his nose in his notes and has developed a much more relaxed and conversational style when talking to guests. Yesterday, in the continued absence of Paul Holmes, he hosted Q & A and made a considerably better job of it than any of the previous stand-ins.

To Campbell Live which continues to put Close Up to shame. Campbell himself is unafraid to engage in advocacy journalism, to campaign against injustice  on behalf of the neglected and dispossessed. The conundrum as to why Close Up continues to out-rate Campbell Live can perhaps only be explained  by the conservatism of New Zealand viewers who continue to regard TVOne as the official news and information channel.

To Kate King, a newcomer to me on Campbell Live. She fronted an excellent series of reports on Kiwis living and working in the mining areas of Western Australia and followed it up with a superb piece of investigative journalism on why New Zealand mothers can’t find the New Zealand baby formula Nutricia on their supermarket shelves.  This is a young woman going places.  Read the rest of this entry »


Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)







 Don Brash who took the only rational position possible when he said that cannabis use should be decriminalised. Not politically smart (possibly) but better than the politically expedient and unthinking position of both Labour and National.

Rodney Hide who, in a ‘valedictory’ interview with Sean Plunkett on last week’s The Nation, offered a fine demonstration of the seemingly impossible political art of giving straight answers to straight questions. To my own astonishment, I found him impressive.

Annette King for refusing to back down after she (and Trevor Mallard) called John Key a ‘scumbag’. Key had implied that Labour had some responsibility for an incident in which 54-year-old man tried to hurl himself from the first-floor public gallery into the debating chamber. The implication was outrageous and King’s and Mallard’s epithet entirely justified.

Roger Douglas and Jim Anderton who, in conversation with Paul Holmes on Q and A, looked back on their political careers and on the personal and philosophical animosity which was at the heart of their relationship during the ‘Rogernomics’ years. Though both stuck to their political guns, there was no sense of current bitterness. Indeed the exchange was positively warm.

John Armstrong, the Herald’s chief political commentator, whose no-frills analysis of parliament and its cast of players is invariably right on the nose and whose slip rarely, if ever, shows.

Maori TV for its superb coverage of the Rugby World Cup.

TV1 and SPP for Nothing Trivial. Better than Outrageous Fortune, I reckon.

The Silver Ferns just for being wonderful.  Read the rest of this entry »


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.


Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)






Reporters I like (not a complete list):

Jane Luscombe – 3 News: strong English accent,  highly  professional

Kim Chisnall – 3 News Europe correspondent: good voice, highly professional

Simon Shepherd – 3 News: professional low-key reporter; good newsreader

Hilary Barry & Mike McRoberts – 3 News: best in the business

Vicki Wilkinson Baker – One News Christchurch reporter: the consummate professional

Tsehai Tiffin – One News Queenstown reporter: good voice, highly professional

Lorelei Mason One News Health reporter: simply brilliant. She should be paid heaps.

Barbara Dreaver – One News Pacific reporter: See Lorelei Mason

Donna Marie Lever – One News reporter: Good voice, highly professional

And Programmes, People and Practices I like (not a complete list):

The Gruen Transfer – Comedy Central: Amusing and informative Australian programme on advertising.

Reel Late with Kate – TV3’s new movie show with Kate Rodger. Despite the sponsor promotion and the giveaways, a really welcome addition to our screens. And Kate Rodger is just great. (But see below)

Thank God You’re Here TV2 – Aussie theatre-sports-style show: Very clever and great fun.

Nurse Jackie – TV3 after Outrageous Fortune: Drug-dependant hospital nurse having affair with hospital pharmacist. The distaff answer to House. Wonderful

Mike Hosking fronting Close Up

[Brickbats follow]  Read the rest of this entry »


Bouquets & Brickbats (An Occasional Series)


Fair Go (TV1) – Despite the OTT set, had returned to its knitting – sorting out viewer complaints – by programme 3. The yellow circles were gone and none of the stories were split into two or three parts to increase the tension and keep you watching.

Sunday (TV1)  – A really excellent programme which I’ve neglected to praise in the past. Cameron Bennett is the consummate professional and enough time is given to issues at home and abroad to make you feel you’ve had a satisfying meal and not just a side-salad.

Comedy Central – for Live at the Apollo, Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show (But see below!)

And Comedy Central again for The Gruen Transfer, an entertaining and somewhat enlightening Aussie show on advertising, though host Wil Anderson makes my flesh creep.

7 Days (TV3)  – irreverent humour in the worst possible taste. Perfect.

Desperate Housewives (TV2) and The Graham Norton Show (UKTV) – Oh, you are awful, but I like you!

The Panel on RNZ’s Afternoons with Jim Mora – Great listening and not just because I’m often on it. Well, partly because of that.

Toms Scott’s cartoons in the Dominion Post. Things of beauty and a joy forever.

Throng – ‘New Zealand’s TV watching community’. The essential website for anyone interested in New Zealand television. Find it at

  Read the rest of this entry »


Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)






 To Q & A for being a bloody good programme. (But see below.)

To TV3, the producers, cast and all concerned with Outrageous Fortune (again) for the most entertaining hour on New Zealand television.

To Media 7 and Russell Brown for demonstrating that intelligent and discursive debate of social and political issues can be both informative and entertaining.

To Sky Movies (belatedly) for Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese’s brilliant documentary on the Rolling Stones’ phenomenal charity concert in New York. If you’re a Stones fan and haven’t seen it, or even if you aren’t, rush to your video store.







 To the Herald for publishing a picture of the body of Kashin the elephant being loaded by  crane onto a truck to be taken away and buried. Is this macabre sight to be Aucklanders’ last memory of a creature they had taken to their hearts and whose death many of them are grieving? Do crassness and insensitivity have to be the hallmarks of modern journalism?

To TVNZ for keeping Mark Sainsbury in a role to which he is patently not suited, as the host of Close Up. It’s simply a no-brainer that Paul Henry is the man for the job.

To One News for further desecrating the language by telling us that their reporters are “across” the story.

To One and 3 News and, I suspect, RNZ, for insisting on the nonsense of “an horrific, an hotel, an historic” and the rest, when the ‘h’ in such words is sounded. Only Cockneys and the French, who don’t pronounce the ‘h’, can properly say “an ‘orrific’, an ‘otel, an ‘istoric”. More to the point, no one uses this form in normal conversation. If someone says to me, “Where will you be staying in Wellington?” I don’t reply, “In an hotel in Lambton Quay, where I expect to have an horrific time.”

To TVNZ for continuing to marginalise Q & A at 10am on Sunday morning, when the programme not merely provides intelligent and discursive debate of political issues, but each week provides One News with several political news exclusives.

 Your bouquets and brickbats are welcome.


Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)


To Fair Go – still the best thing on television after 32 years. Whoever invented that show deserves a knighthood. (But see below.)

To Outrageous Fortune – Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Laughter and tears in full measure.

To TV3 – for raising more than $2,000,000 for the KidsCan Charitable Trust. Let’s hope all the money gets there.

To Sky’s Rialto channel for showing The Band’s Visit, one of the most charming romantic comedies I have ever seen. If it comes up again, make sure you don’t miss it.


m_27d014d6ba8188c17508471047d5f70511To One News, Close Up and Campbell Live for promoting the mumbo jumbo nonsense that is “faith healing” without any remotely serious attempt at investigating the preposterous claims of these dangerous idiots. All of you deserve the Skeptics’ Bent Spoon Award for your credulity and appalling lack of journalistic integrity.

To Fair Go for putting the name of a company CEO on its “wall of shame” for declining to be interviewed in the studio or on film, when the company had supplied the programme with a full statement and had dealt with the three complaints brought against it. You aren’t yet in a position to issue sub poenas to appear on the programme, my friends. Just a touch of arrogance here?

To the growing band of illiterate TV1 and TV3 news reporters who never learnt that a plural subject can’t be followed by the singular form of a verb, and who prefer to make the verb agree with the nearest noun. So we get sentences like: “Six members of the group is travelling to Russia.” Several examples in last night’s bulletins. Don’t you have to have an education to work in television news?

Your Bouquets and Brickbats are welcome.


Bouquets & Brickbats (An Occasional Series)






To Paul Holmes for his documentary Real Life: Chasing the Ghost. Sad, moving, enlightening, courageous.

To Nigel Latta for the second episode in his series The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show. Highly entertaining and informative. Supernanny would be proud of him, though she’d have found his reference to ‘breast Nazis’ unasseptable!

To Rod Vaughan for his 60 Minutes item on the historical abuse of children in Social Welfare homes. Powerful and disturbing. But see the first item under Brickbats.

To Kevin Milne who has returned to Fair Go. Gordon Harcourt was an excellent stand-in, but the show just isn’t the same without you. Go well.






To One News and 3 News for constantly using their 6pm bulletins to promote upcoming items on Close Up, Sunday, Campbell Live, 60 Minutes and the like, when there is generally nothing newsworthy about the items at all. It’s journalistically unacceptable and dishonest. The news is the news, not a vehicle for in-house advertising.

To Comedy Central which continues to bombard viewers during its ‘commercial breaks’ with the same comedy clips again and again and again and again. In any one night’s viewing, you can see the same clip, along with the same cartoon integrations, literally dozens of times.  A comedy clip can stand no more than one or two airings, even if it is funny, and many or these aren’t. I was really looking forward to the arrival of Comedy Central and I enjoy most of the programmes, but I’m getting close to permanent switch-off now. And so, I suspect, are many of your viewers. It’s insulting. Sort it out please.

To Sky Television for successfully creating a two-tier public/private viewing system in New Zealand where only those who can afford to subscribe can see our national sports teams in live action. That, not to put too fine a point on it, is a disgrace.

Your Bouquets & Brickbats are welcome.