Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Gallery'

“Tricky versus Shifty” – Coming to your TV soon!

Cunliffe and Key

The phrase ‘presidential-style election campaign’ is bandied about a lot these days. Its intended meaning is that voters are as much or perhaps more influenced by the personality and media image of party leaders as by their parties’ policies.

This was clearly not, or at least less the case in the pre-television era when party leaders  were generally seen in the flesh only at public meetings or very occasionally on cinema newsreels. Parliament was first broadcast in New Zealand on the 25th of March 1936 but offered neither the intimacy nor the capacity for exposure of the television close-up. Radio without pictures is sound without sight. It can be hugely informative but the listener is deprived of a large chunk of helpful non-verbal information.

Keith Holyoake was the first New Zealand Prime Minister of the television age. In 1971 in my book The Public Eye  I wrote of his on-screen performances:

‘The studio Holyoake was everything that an interviewee should not be – evasive, pompous, patronising, overbearing, long-winded, repetitious, pretentious, boring.’

The trouble in part was that no-one had dared to tell him just how awful he was. That changed in 1970 when the recently knighted Prime Minister accepted an invitation to be interviewed by me on his life and times on the popular current affairs programme Gallery. Much against the wishes of his press secretary Arthur Manning, Gallery producer Des Monaghan and I sat Sir Keith down and told him the unvarnished truth about how he came across on the box. Though he still sounded as though he had a marble in his mouth, the outcome was a frank and in places quite moving interview. Unbeknownst to me, my career as a media trainer had begun. Read the rest of this entry »

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On Shane Taurima and why we don’t want political eunuchs as interviewers.

Fearless Lantern-jawed TV Interviewer 1969

Fearless Lantern-jawed TV Interviewer 1969

 

In May 1970 I was interviewed by a Truth reporter called Martin Smith. The conversation revolved around my interviewing on the top-rating current affairs programme Gallery.

Smith’s story duly appeared on the front page of Truth and began as follows:

TV personality Brian Edwards admits he has a political bias.

There was ‘no interviewer around’ who did not have a political bias, he told Truth.

‘Like the viewers, we are only human beings,’ he said.

And he has allowed this bias to colour some of his interviews, he told Truth.

Next to the story was a photograph of me with the caption ‘Brian Edwards… political bias’

Rob Muldoon once said to me that he was often misquoted in the media and invariably complained. ‘There are some things I just know I could not possibly have said.’

I knew I could not possibly have said I was politically biased and had allowed this bias to colour my interviews. It was not merely entirely untrue but would have been professionally suicidal. What I had said was that I had political opinions, as every interviewer did.

Within 24 hours I had received a letter from the Deputy Director-General of the NZBC, Lionel Sceats,  making it abundantly clear that, if the story were true, my contract with the Corporation would be terminated. I had no alternative but to sue Truth for defamation.  Read the rest of this entry »

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