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Posts Tagged 'Politics. The Nation'

Never On A Sunday!


Andrew Little

Having of late been more critical than approving of Andrew Little’s efforts in television interviews I now come to praise him: he handled a lengthy and confrontational interview with the terrier-like Lisa Owen on ‘The Nation’ exceptionally well. His ums, ers and y’knows were gone, he was fluent, his eye contact was sustained and he looked confident. The interview should have been a winner.

There was only one problem – the long list of questions he was unable to answer at all! Not from lack of knowledge but because Labour’s policy on each of those topics was not due to be released until the Labour Party Conference on Sunday, which, as we all know is the day after Saturday, when ‘The Nation’ is first broadcast. The world – and Lisa Owen – would have to wait till then.

So we ended up with a whole series of questions which Andrew had to tell Lisa and the audience he couldn’t answer. Conference had to hear them first – on Sunday!

It was really embarrassing.

So here’s my question: How in god’s name did no-one in Little’s office notice that his interview with Owen was the day before the Labour Party Conference which would make it impossible for him to say anything new or of consequence about … well, pretty well anything.

That proved a disastrous oversight with Little repeatedly having to tell Owen he was sorry but he couldn’t talk about that.

Heads should roll!

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Arrival of “The Nation”

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One should welcome the arrival of a second real current affairs show, and I do. It is probably kinder not to review the first episode of any new programme, but TV3’s The Nation made a proficient start on Saturday. Host Stephen Parker was understandably nervous and can be expected to relax into his role in coming weeks.

I have grown to respect Duncan Garner’s down-to-earth, no-nonsense analysis of politics, but his interview with Steven Joyce suggested he was more interested in prospecting for headlines than in cross-examining his guest in any detail. He had too many topics and too few supplementary questions, so that the effect was of someone saying, “Try this on for size then!” in the hope of scoring a newsworthy answer. There were none, and when Garner did persist, he ended up flogging several dead horses. It was clear, for example,  that Joyce was not going to say whether Jim Bolger was going to be sacked from his job as Chairman of KiwiRail, and there was very little point in returning to the question again and again. Joyce is not merely unflappable, he appears to have graduated from the Winston Peters School of Advanced Non-Answering.  Read the rest of this entry »

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