Were Close Up leaned on?

May 2nd, 2010 at 11:04 am by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs:

But the eagle-eyed little bird had spotted something strange in the Close Up story. In it reporter Daniel Faitaua interviews David Henshilwood and his wife Sally about their problems with Serepisos. Referring to the interview, Faitaua says in voice-over, ‘That was them four weeks ago when they told us of their frustration trying to get paid for installing screens in ’ Century City Hotel.’

Whoa there! Four weeks ago! You interviewed the Henshilwoods four weeks ago, but you only approached Sereposis’ office yesterday to seek a response. Isn’t that just a little strange?

The eagle-eyed little bird thought so and made a few discreet inquiries. ‘I’m told,’ he tweeted in my ear, ‘that was instructed not to run the story because it would embarrass for not doing proper checks on Mr Serepisos before accepting him for the show. It’s only hearsay of course.’

I am sure normally Close Up do not wait four weeks before following up a story. It would be good to know if they were ordered to wait, to avoid damage to .

Well, if my eagle-eyed little bird has it right, it’s kinda sad isn’t it.  For a network to instruct or  even suggest to  a current affairs programme that it ought to abandon or delay an item of public interest on the grounds that the item might damage the reputation or ratings of one  of the network’s other programmes, really isn’t journalistically or morally defensible.

And if it didn’t happen like that, I’m happy to retract and apologise to TVNZ. As for my eagle-eyed little feathered friend, he may have to watch out for passing birdshot.

Sounds like a good topic for 7.

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32 Responses to “Were Close Up leaned on?”

  1. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Donno if I’d call this “an item of public interest”.

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  2. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    And if you are TV3 and you want to do a hatchet job on a Minister you go in hard without making even basic inquiries. Gosh I love the blogs exposing all this. MSM when they want to do hatchet jobs and cover up mistakes are finding those pesky blogs exposing all this media corruption.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Close Up” is current affairs???? Haw haw. Pull the other one. A collection of posturing miscreants promoting global warming, socialism as the path to Utopia and a host of other delusional left wing concepts. That they still exist and that some people still take them seriously is the only real mystery here.

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  4. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    boredboy, it is indeed of public interest when a news media organisation conceals information that might embarrass it’s own image.

    It seems TVNZ have no hesitation going after any scalp, so long as it is not their own. If the allegations are true, this severely undermines TVNZ’s honesty and integrity.

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  5. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Agreed but I was actually quoting from BE’s second-last paragraph more or less referring to Serepisos’ ability to pay his rates. Who cares?

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  6. Michael (911 comments) says:

    TVNZ are quickly turning this form “Serepisos is broke” to “TVNZ is covering up that Serepisos is broke” – The longer the story lingers, the more the stench is coming from the corner of Victoria Street and Hobson Street.

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  7. Blue Coast (165 comments) says:

    In answer to your question DF yes they have been leaned on without doubt.

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  8. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    So yesterday you lot were all over Campbell Live for not taking the time to check facts; today you’re all over Close Up for taking the time to check facts. No wonder the righteous right provides us lofty lefties with so much humour

    [DPF: If you were not a troll and a moron you might appreciate there is a reasonable middle ground between rush to air that day without checking and holding a story for four weeks.]

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  9. Uplander (46 comments) says:

    May be better to say “Was Close Up Leaned on?”

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  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i think..grammatically/logically..that either ‘fits’..

    (and..’y’know what a stickler/authority i am .. on ‘grammer’..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. Sonny Blount (1,794 comments) says:

    I have no problem with it.

    It is silly to expect TVNZ to go after itself with the same vigour it would someone else. A journalist who goes after their own boss without having another job lined up first is probably a fool.

    It is TV3 or some other media that the public requires to hold TVNZ to account, and eventually they have on this story.

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  12. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Classic Bob Jones on Serepisos and The Apprentice:

    “I don’t want to do silly things like that, you don’t treat people that way, like yelling out ‘you’re fired’ and make them do silly little tests. I would rather know how many books they read and do they drink beer out of a bottle at functions, judgement things.”

    Absolutely. Serepisos probably drinks from the bottle and licks the condensation.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/3647766/Multimillionaire-tells-off-the-apprentice

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  13. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    [DPF: If you were not a troll and a moron you might appreciate there is a reasonable middle ground between rush to air that day without checking and holding a story for four weeks.]

    Whenever a poster turns to personal abuse I know I have hit a point.

    There is no “reasonable middle ground”, there is rushing to air and there is taking the time to get it right, no matter how long it takes.

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  14. Uplander (46 comments) says:

    Hello Philu
    As “Close Up” is singular I cannot see how “either fits”.

    Cheers

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  15. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    The 4 week duration doesn’t say much either way. Most contractors (no matter how badly treated by the principal) won’t go public for fear of losing future work. And they’re unlikely to discuss their problems with each other due to the competitive nature of the business. More-so in the current climate. They would need to be convinced that there was safety in numbers so I could easily see it taking 4 weeks to get enough people on record and to give each the confidence they aren’t the only ones speaking out.

    As for what Brian Edwards was told. Well I’ll take that with about as much weight as any unsupported report.

    The real proof that Serepisos is in trouble will be when contractors start removing fittings. That is not at all uncommon.

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  16. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    Sonny B

    That’s the point isn’t it? Its about the money. It’s got nothing to do with journalism or professionalism.

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  17. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    but..uplander..by it’s very nature..’close-up’ is a collective ‘we’..’they’..

    ..and as such..’fits’..

    (b.t.w..’down with the comma..!’..that effete excuse of punctuation..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  18. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Phool:

    (and..’y’know what a stickler/authority i am .. on ‘grammer’..

    Clearly you’re not a stickler/authority on spelling though… it’s “grammar”.

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  19. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    depends which school you went you..

    (just ask any christchurchian..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  20. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    … or inmate

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  21. starboard (2,551 comments) says:

    Clearly you’re not a stickler/authority on spelling though… it’s “grammar

    Bahaha !!…idiot whore..

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  22. Yvette (2,849 comments) says:

    “but..uplander..by it’s very nature..’close-up’ is a collective ‘we’..’they’..

    ..and as such..’fits’..

    […]

    (and..’y’know what a stickler/authority i am .. on ‘grammer’..”

    quod erat demonstrandum

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  23. Uplander (46 comments) says:

    Surely it’s the same as “The All Black team is going to …………..”

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  24. Sonny Blount (1,794 comments) says:

    Sonny B

    That’s the point isn’t it? Its about the money. It’s got nothing to do with journalism or professionalism.

    Well I think it is unreasonable to expect an organisation of any sort to investigate itself. We are all human afterall.

    A variety of sources are needed for a healthy media, as we have seen with the impact of adding blogs to the mix.

    Did TV3 or the print media have a decent sniff around when Serepisos’s role was announced?

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  25. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    For a network to instruct or even suggest to a current affairs programme that it ought to abandon or delay an item of public interest on the grounds that the item might damage the reputation or ratings of one of the network’s other programmes, really isn’t journalistically or morally defensible.

    So Clarks spin doctor extraordinaire is righteously angry about the alleged morally defensible journalism of others? Give us a break.

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  26. Robert Black (423 comments) says:

    I can’t wait until the Walrus does his cutting interview of Serepisos, “Now look here Terry Serepisos…”.

    Lil ol New Zealand tricked again by some creep.

    Who looks more shady and creepy the walkin’ talkin’ Maori oil field The Wadmaster or this guy?

    Hell he aint no Donald Trump.

    And not that I believe in that Lizard people crap but take a GOOD look at this guy’s face.

    Haha.

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  27. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    If only the media, and indeed the Fourth estate was truly independent.

    Here or anywhere.

    There are meant to be ‘natural’ checks and balances.

    The very biggest obstacle would be the personal political leanings of so many professional journalists.

    Duncan Garner is an active communist.

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  28. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    LRO, there are many shades of gray in between. There’s also finding out a story, a good story with real public interest, and suppressing it in the interests of partisanship whilst spraying something equivalent about for the same reason. Good example, the NYT knew quite a lot about Edwards’ philandering and was so “diligent” in checking that they forgot to mention it, while reporting on a story that someone’s aunt heard from a friend of a friend’s best mates uncle’s cleaner that McCain once had an affair.

    That said, there is a difference, as the original DF write exposes, between diligently checking a story when it arises, and waiting a long time to even start to check, in the interests of delaying the story. I’m sure, if you try, you could get your head around the difference.

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  29. Subway (12 comments) says:

    Philu something that has always bugged me. What exactly is the point of your website (whoar.co.nz)? I find the lack of structure in your comments frustrating and your website feels like a news site rss.

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  30. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Is Bob Jones taking the piss? Judging someone on whether or not they drink out of a bottle?

    I guess a good summary would be that the initial premise: ‘Sereposis cant pay his rates’ isn’t exactly groundbreaking news for anybody other than rich-list-watchers.

    But the fact Closeup sat on it for weeks is a kinda a small deal.

    However, as has been said, you cannot really expect a private company to rat themselves out at the first turn.

    At the end of the day though, Bob puts the whole thing in it’s place. It’s BS. While it is ‘reality tv’ it is still very staged and the players are actors more-so than actual business-people.

    Perhaps if Sereposis’ affairs were more in order he would not have agreed to such a stunt?

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  31. thedavincimode (6,877 comments) says:

    The comments by Sonny & boredboy are a good indicator just how the the notions of ethical behaviour have fallen under the 9 years of Hulungrad.

    I can understand your comments judged in the context of the historic behaviour of TVNZ/TV3 in the sense that we have learned not to expect any more from them – ie this is the standard they have chosen to apply. But as a general proposition there is complete conflict between on the one hand purporting to be a credible journalistic source (as they both do) and blissfully ignoring the greek creep business and the Bennet lie on the other (as they did).

    boredboy was right in querying at the outset whether this was an item of public interest. However, it is certainly an item of considerable public amusement. It simply reinforces that when serious Simon does his news skit or fungus face carries on the ‘once over lightly don’t let analysis get in the way’ or ‘cat stuck up tree and rat leaps out of toilet’ tradition of Holmes, there is zero credibility in whatever they say and “report”.

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