Edwards praises Garner

July 13th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

No that is not a typo. From Brian’s latest blog:

Garner is extremely good ‘to camera’. He looks comfortable and relaxed and conveys a natural authority. He ‘comes through the lens’. These are rare enough qualities among television presenters and both TV1 and TV3 currently have newsreaders less professional  in their delivery than Garner.

*That when he is not trying to make his mark as the Stephen Sackur of Godzone, or trawling for headlines for the network news, he is a very good interviewer indeed. In his lengthy interview with Anne Tolley, he adopted a friendly but persistent approach which probably revealed more about the Education Minister and her policy on National Standards than the aggressive haranguing she is more often subjected to.

I regularly observe in these posts that the heckling style of interview almost invariably produces more heat than light, frequently degenerating into little more than a ‘did/didn’t’ exchange. By the end of Garner’s interview I had changed my opinion both of the Minister and of the value of National Standards. And that (Trust me!) is remarkable.

High praise indeed.

At the moment The Nation is being taken to the cleaners by TV One’s Q & A.  Paul Holmes’ strong and often entertaining performance as host/interviewer on the TVNZ programme against the lacklustre Steven Parker on Three  will certainly have been a factor. The Nation would be wise to hold on to Garner, perhaps even to give him his head a little [God, am I really writing this?] if they want to make inroads into Q & A’s audience.

Almost a love fest.

Oh, and before you ask, I have not altered my view of Mr Garner’s previous conduct. But credit must be given where credit is due.

One of the reasons why I always read the Edwards and Callaghan blog.

6 Responses to “Edwards praises Garner”

  1. Murray (8,822 comments) says:

    Being technically good “comfortable and relaxed and conveys a natural authority” is not a recomendation for anything other than a reader. His expertise is suposed to be in political comontary. There he regularly exceeds his assumed authroity and does little more than editorialise.

    His assumption that he either could or even should, take down Chris Carter is a violation of rule one of journalism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Redbaiter (12,013 comments) says:

    Has Mr Edwards apologised to Garner for the allegations he made about what Garner said to Carter on the plane? The allegations were AFAIR not supported by any independent witnesses as Mr. Edwards implied they would be.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. slightlyrighty (2,423 comments) says:

    Of course, this raises the question, what was Edward’s opinion of Tolley and National standards then and now?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. david (2,348 comments) says:

    I would make the assumption that Edwards’ natural instinct would be to sneer at Tolley and any policy that she brings to the table on behalf of the Blue Team. He would pass that judgement in precisely the same way as many here pass judgement on any statement or policy brought forward by Labour – without it passing through their minds before being expressed at the fingertips.

    That he watched the show, I suspect had more to do with the fact that he was really watching Garner at work than any desire to generate a balanced viewpoint on the Minister or National Standards. If he had reacted negatively to Tolley and NS, you can be sure there would have been some snarky reference to incompetence and policy blunders so you have to take it that the reaction was positive.

    Having said all that, his concession that he was influenced is a pretty big step for such a toiler for the team as him because Tolley and National Standards remain one of Labours biggest attacking points on the National Government.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. slightlyrighty (2,423 comments) says:


    Your assessment is what I might have assumed to be the case but I would not make the mistake of doing so based solely on my perceptions of Dr Edwards.

    If you are correct, then I would have appreciated Dr Edwards clarification of his views. It would certainly raise my opinion of the man if he has changed his viewpoint on the basis of new infomation recieved rather than maintained a viewpoint based on ideaology, which seems to be the default position of many politically motivated commentators on BOTH sides.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Poliwatch (337 comments) says:

    Perhaps this is the new form of apology t keep away the law suit. But I do agree this was a good interview of Tolley and showed both the pluses and minuses of her approach to the role.

    Much better than the go for the throat stuff you hear from say Plunket or Wilson – as Edwards said you get more heat than light in those cases.

    But I am still getting over the Espiner interview of Key. I still cannot understand why a minor point in the interview (about teaching kids Mandarin) ended up being the first story on the TVNZ news that night. There was much more substantive stuff in that interview but I guess it is a case of the need to appeal to the dumbest member of the audience – by appealing to something that that person can relate to and something that has a bit of a negative twist to it.

    I was also surprised about how he media switched part overseas (chinese) ownership of agricultural based businesses into part overseas (chinese) ownership in farms. The agricultural business is much bigger than just farms and Key knows this and this is where capital is needed and value can be added. But then of course your average city based journalist has no concept of this.

    So this week for me a pass for Garner and a fail for Espiner. Actually that is unfair to Espiner – a fail to the lackey journalists behind him whi couldn’t understand the real stories in the interview with Key.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote