Karl du Fresne on TV3

November 24th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

blogs on TV3:

In a post on this blog site yesterday I mentioned my reluctance to accuse organisations of political bias. I have seen those allegations hurled about far too often and far too loosely, invariably by politically aligned people frustrated that their side wasn’t the only one getting newspaper space or air time. But in the past couple of weeks I have begun to wonder seriously whether is running some sort of political agenda.

Karl gives several examples of what he sees as a political agenda:

  • Scare-mongering over the PM meeting the boss of a global oil company
  • Making a meeting with Lord Ashcroft sound sinister
  • Coverage of Labour’s welfare policy
  • General commentary on the election
  • The TV3 debate where every issue chosen was a negative one for National
  • The Inside Child Poverty Documentary, being the last straw

For my 2c I don’t think TV3, or its political staff, are deliberately biased against National.

The criticism I would make is more the tendency to sensationalise stuff such as the Ashcroft meeting. The impact of the tendency to sensationalism tends to end up as more anti-Government stories because most events are about the Government. This applies no matter which party is in Government.

I agree with Karl on the so called documentary that had no balance at all and was propaganda. Showing this in election week was an appalling decision.

On the topics for the TV3 debate, I think that is also a valid point. In fact the TV3 commentators even acknowledged that after the debate. Why was there no topic on the health system? National has a great story to tell there, so naturally not chosen. Why now law & order? Labour is pledging to repeal the three strikes law. Let’s hear Phil Goff explain why someone who rapes for a third time should be eligible for parole after just a few years? But no that wasn’t chosen either. Last night’s TVNZ debate was far better balanced with topics.

Now again this may not be bias. It is probably more that they don’t see any ratings in having the Government able to talk about areas where it has been a real success story. But in terms of balanced coverage and a balanced debate, I don’t think it qualifies.

Tags: , , ,

38 Responses to “Karl du Fresne on TV3”

  1. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    You are being very generous David. TV3 decided quite early in the campaign to try and stitch up National and give Goff an easy ride. and so did National Radio

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    “For my 2c I don’t think TV3, or its political staff, are deliberately biased against National.”

    That’s debatable.

    What’s not debatable is TV3’s open bias against Act, and also their bias against UnitedFuture. And they presumably know that affects National’s options and chances.

    And TV3 are giving Winston a lot of favourable coverage – success or otherwise of NZF also significantly affects National’s chances.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. damocles (83 comments) says:

    Complaints about the appalling behaviour exhibited by TV3, its news director Mark Jennings, the programme director who scheduled the propaganda “doco” and any political “reporting” by Messrs Garner and Gower should be sent to each of:
    1. The TV3 standards committee (http://www.mediaworks.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=267)
    2. The Broadcasting Standards Authority (http://www.bsa.govt.nz/make-a-complaint-now/)
    3. The Electoral Commission (http://www.elections.org.nz/sitehelp/about-contact-main.html)
    4. Documentary funders New Zealand On Air (http://www.nzonair.govt.nz/Contact.aspx)
    5. Individual members of the board of Mediaworks (http://www.mediaworks.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=39)
    6. Senior management of Mediaworks (http://www.mediaworks.co.nz/Default.aspx?tabid=40)
    7. Individual members of the board of Mediaworks’ owner Ironbridge Capital (http://www.ironbridge.com.au/our-team/)
    8. Any advertisers whose commercials played in the documentary
    9. The advertising sales executives at TV3 (http://www.mediaworkstv.co.nz/SalesUpdate/ContactUs/tabid/72/Default.aspx)

    Be heard by those who matter.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    I can’t imagine that many intelligent people watch tv3, so they’re probably preaching to the converted when they run their leftist propaganda.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. flipper (4,084 comments) says:

    Expat.. Yep. Radio Labour.
    But does someone have reliable guide to the TV3 viewing audience when the BS was shown?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    David you would have to be very naive to think TV3 and its staff were not biased against National; it was they who have been thrashing the non story about the ‘tea tapes’.

    They are also the only news outlet – 2 days from D-Day – who is still talking in terms of a possible “Phil Goff led government”; everyone else is simply talking about whether National will govern alone or with partners.

    The only parallel I can think of was the Washington Post who, the day before the 1972 US Presidential election, thought it was “50/50″ between President Nixon and George McGovern! (as McGovern goes on to lose 49 States)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Karl Du Fresne is 100% correct. One of the hardest jobs in the country would be trying to defend TV3 / Mediaworks against accusations of bias and their use of left wing propaganda on a regular basis.

    TV3 represents the very gutter of television in NZ. When a very average TV One can win Best News Awards / Best Programme / Best boring yada yada (year after year), then you have to start wondering about the ‘calibre’ [sic] of the competition.

    In fact, if there was an Award category for the most blatant political bias shown across a TV Network, TV3 would win hands down.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    @jamesS – a Goff led government is entirely possible, in Noddy Town and he already has Big Ears Cunliffe to help him.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Pongo (372 comments) says:

    I think TV3 have heavily dented their credibility which is quite a valuable quality for a news organization, it has back fired on them and The Herald too.
    We have gone back to TVNZ news and dumped Morning Report for Mike Hosking but the sad thing is more and more people are turned off the democratic process because of the obsession with the tea tapes. general feeling is people are sick of the election after two weeks of non stop teapot coverage.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. tvb (4,430 comments) says:

    TV3 is a commercial organization and hitching your flag to a party that is getting 25% of the vote is hardly good business. If they were serious about making money they should dump Campbell and others and become another Fox television.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. thedavincimode (6,800 comments) says:

    Pongo

    Hosking – ditto. Funny little thing that he is, he nevertheless doesn’t try to hide what he thinks and he is intelligent. The theatre at Pinko between Seargent Duffer and Corporal Gormless trying to feign impartiality and credibility overwhelmed me when I suddenly realised that it was like listening to Dad’s Army. A couple of fuckwits milling about making fools of themselves. That realisation tipped the scales for me.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. joe bloggs (126 comments) says:

    David you’re soft on TV3. Karl du Fresne hit several nails on the head.

    Garner and Gower have both gone hunting for John Key’s hide with their breathless sensationalising and “loaded phraseology” as du Fresne puts it. The last ten days have been dominated by their efforts to wring every last juicy scandalous moment from the tea-pot tape, claiming that it’s in the public interest to know who will run ACT after the election. FFS who will run Labour??? If ACT leadership post-election is in the public interest then why aren’t they climbing all over Labour demanding the same detail.

    The Bryan Bruce pseudo-documentary was chock full of loaded phraseology with comments like “Who builds state houses? Labour. Who sells them? National.”

    Campbell is an odious little creep (about the only thing that I agree on with Helen Clark) who can regularly be heard in our local Fruit World criticising National’s policies and actions.

    The cult of personality-based sensationalism is alive and kicking in TV3; and the maxim of the media reporting the news not making the news is long-abandoned in their newsroom.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    TV 3 aren’t bias they are just looking to grow future advertising revenues.

    A Goff led Government would be a total clown show that the resulting stupidity would be a journalists wet dream. The public would be watching the car crash in record numbers.

    TV3 trying to ensure this becomes a reality is just good business.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    Easy – turn off TV3.
    And Batman and Robin should be very careful of the smiling assassin in the future, although they are only puppets of their masters.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    TV3 has been a crap channel for many years. I have in the past tried to watch TV3 news and campbell live, but after five to ten minutes I just have to change channels. The vibes coming from their people is so negative even without the news content.
    They are no different from overseas news channels, as with CNN you have to vote for the Democrats or pretend to do so to get a job there.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. JeffW (327 comments) says:

    Along with the majority of comments here, I too think you are being too generous David. All the MSM in NZ are very left, but TV3 is more biased than most.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Mike S (229 comments) says:

    Perhaps it is just that Key has had such a run of uncritical media adulation for the last 3 years? His manipulation of the media has been superb, with reporters fawning over him, very few ever taking a calm rational approach to criticising him. Perhaps TV3 could learn to be less emotive in their reporting, but it’s good they aren’t simply rolling over as he tickles their tummy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    “For my 2c I don’t think TV3, or its political staff, are deliberately biased against National.”

    Sorry DPF, have to go with Karl du Fresne on this one. Myriad of examples to choose from, but eg: TV3’s soft treatment of the Greens re the billboard vandalism. The Greens half-leader Russell Norman outed one of the villains…end of story! There were 700 incidents of vandalism organised in one night, anybody with half a brain can see that there are other Greens involved, but TV3 says “well handled Russell, nothing more to see here, move along..” Nobody can believe that National would have the same cushy ride if they had been the villains.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    david
    if what you say is true, then you are naive.

    However the other explanation is you want to come over as all fair to everyone so that tyou’ll still get your invites?
    that may be a low blow but I just don’t think you are naive.

    calculating maybe but naive definitely not. :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    There’s a fair bit of conspiracy theorising going on here. And it seems to be an article of faith on the right that the MSM has an institutional left-wing bias. You should see what they say about the BBC in England.

    But I would point out a couple of things. First, it hasn’t been all one-way traffic. Don’t forget that Mediaworks gave us the PMs Hour on Radio Live at the start of the campaign. That pissed off Labour enough to complain to both the BSA and the Electoral Commission, and provoked conspiracy theories about how Mediaworks was giving the Govt a free ride as payback for the arrangement on their broadcast licence fees.

    The second is that the media generally wants an exciting story, so they are working overtime to find a narrative that will inject some excitement into a one horse race. This election won’t be close, everyone knows it. Not Labour’s turn yet, come back in 2014 and try again. That is not at all interesting from news perspective, and won’t attract viewers. So I reckon they are just trying to find controversy.

    And the Govt has played into their hands a bit by allowing the whole teapot saga to get out of hand. Remember, one definition of news is something that somebody somewhere doesn’t want published.

    This means they have ended up with a somewhat pro-Labour agenda. But I sincerely doubt that it is really because they want Labour to win. They want the election to be newsworthy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    On the topics for the TV3 debate, I think that is also a valid point. In fact the TV3 commentators even acknowledged that after the debate. Why was there no topic on the health system?

    Could that be because there hasn’t been much if any campaigning about health this election from either National or Labour?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    DPF: Have to disagree with you and agree with almost everyone else…you should have a look at du Fresne’s column on the same subject a couple of days ago regarding Gower and his “interviewing” style…both he, his bosses, and the channel are disgraces to a once noble profession.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    For my 2c I don’t think TV3, or its political staff, are deliberately biased against National.

    DPF, for God’s sake, take off the rose-tinted glasses you seem to be wearing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. tom hunter (4,895 comments) says:

    For my 2c I don’t think TV3, or its political staff, are deliberately biased against National.

    They’re deliberately biased against anything that can be described as right-wing, including capitalism – unless it’s rich business people giving back their wealth to society. Which makes TV3 no different from most journalists who are out to save the world and think government is the way to do it.

    As such they’ll be biased against whatever party swings in that direction, like the Douglas/Lange Labour government, or the laughably mild, centre-right National party – and they’re biased in favour of whatever party swings left, even if they’re as useless as Goff and Labour. The Greens are the TV3 favourite now that the Alliance is history.

    Now again this may not be bias. It is probably more that they don’t see any ratings in having the Government able to talk about areas where it has been a real success story. But in terms of balanced coverage and a balanced debate, I don’t think it qualifies.

    There is that also. But it’s notable that the potentially sensational antics of the Green Party billboard attacks were never talked up or investigated to the degree that the “Betheren” were in 2005.

    But they actually think they’re cunning and clever. TV3 and other MSM outlets still think they can bullshit their way about “balance” by putting the former on page A17 or the last 30 seconds of the main news, while placing the latter on page A1/leading-the-news every single day. That’s how the best propaganda really works – and no one can accuse you of covering up the other story or lying about it – you just buried it with one report and then never mentioned it again.

    Same shit in the US. Look at the MSM coverage of the OWS protests vs coverage of the Tea Party protests – and in the case of the former they had real rapes, murders and drug dealing to report on, not to mention the prayers issued for the guy who fired shots at the Whitehouse: Page X for that, in small print. Had it been a Tea Party group it would have been front-page headlines for days on end. That’s how it’s done.

    Anyway, it’s good to see people turning away from TV3 and the useless papers. I see someone above listing places to send complaints to. Hah! Waste of time. Just refuse them the thing they desire the most – your attention, time and money. Tell or persuade others not to watch, read or listen to the plonkers. If you’re dealing with a lefty avoid the ideological/political arguments and say it’s because you’re not interested in shallow, mindless pap produced in short soundbites by hot-looking 24 year old journos: they’ll probably agree with that at least.

    Don’t waste time complaining to them. Hurt them by hitting the weak point of any socialist institution – the fact that they need your money to operate.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Could that be because there hasn’t been much if any campaigning about health this election from either National or Labour?

    Health is a major factor in Dunedin but it has hardly figured in the campaign here. Seems to be similar countrywide.

    Is this because health is being dealt with well this term? It’s been relatively uncontroversial.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    If I was John Key at 7:01pm on Saturday night I would be placing a quick phone call to the Managing Director of the Australian owners of TV3 politely suggesting that if they ever want to do business in NZ again they need to sack – immediately – Campbell, Garner and Gower.

    Furthermore I would make it very well known in business circles that anyone advertising on TV3, whilst that toxic trio remain employed there, can expect a visit from a very unfriendly tax inspector at 9 o’clock on Monday morning; and that businessmen should not only cancel advertising on that channel but should also ring the Managing Director in Australia telling him why.

    Having done that I am sure the replacements for Campbell, Garner and Gower will get the message and not be anti National.

    In short Key should take his election victory ‘out for a test drive’ and send a very clear message to enemies what they can expect if they do not knock their nonsense off.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Scott (1,805 comments) says:

    Great article and agree with all the above comments. It is amazing that TV3 is predicting a close election and a Goff led government.
    What happens if National wins handsomely? These guys will have no credibility at all. They should get their heads out of the sand and report on the world as it is, not as they would like it to be.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Scott Chris (6,153 comments) says:

    tom hunter says:- “They’re deliberately biased against anything that can be described as right-wing, including capitalism”

    My observation of the media as a whole is that they are socially liberal but anti-conservative, but not anti-right per se. Many are pro-business, but very few are pro-religion for instance.

    Apart from anything else, from a media perspective, a conservative is like a fat kid. An easy target.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. tom hunter (4,895 comments) says:

    … politely suggesting that if they ever want to do business in NZ again they need to sack – immediately – Campbell, Garner and Gower.

    Ah – No. That would simply give them exactly what they want, the whole victimised-punished-for-speaking-truth-to-power angle that would be milked for everything they could get. It would be incredibly damaging to any government figure that tried it, especially on the sly, because it fits in with the actions of past totalitarian governments.

    And it’s just flat out wrong for legal, moral and ethical reasons, which is why it’s the tactic of choice for Third World tinpot dictators who are the last people or societies we should want to emulate.

    No. What Key and his government should do is simply use the Alt Media outlets like Kiwiblog more and the MSM less. Put press releases out first on these blogsites. Hell, perhaps even set up interviews here where the Minister can have at it with commentators. As broadband capacity increases I see no reason why someone like DPF and other like-minded souls could not set up a viewing platform on which interviews could be done. Look at stuff like the Uncommon Knowledge interviews from the US Powerline site. I actually got to see Thomas Sowell interviewed a few weeks ago for a 1 hour in-depth: when did that even happen on NZ TV, or even the US for that matter.

    Unless you’re absolutely forced to appear, don’t accept interviews with TV1, TV3, or Radio NZ – or at least accept less and less every year in a graduated approach. Let them squeal, since accepting won’t get them to treat you fairly anyway. You can argue that it leaves the ground entirely to the Left, but as the Internet eats away at the MSM that’s going to become less important, especially as people notice that increasingly only one side is speaking through those outlets.

    I think National may actually be doing this to Radio NZ, and they have complained, but increasing numbers of right-wingers can’t be bothered listening to NatRad anymore so perhaps National is starting to realise that.

    Deprive the fuckers of the ratings/readership oxygen they need.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Salacious Crumb (31 comments) says:

    “Is this because health is being dealt with well this term? It’s been relatively uncontroversial.”

    Watch this space in the next year as Pharmac goes after the medical implant and device sector with the same fervour with which they gutted the pharmaceutical industry.

    There will be some huge fallout on this one all in the aid of saving a few bucks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    JamesS

    What you say is inspiring about TV3’s owners and advertisers, but having worked in the London finance field for many years in my working life, I am aware that there are much more subtle ways of dealing with the pricks, over time, and very discretely.
    As Sargeant Schultz would say “I know nothing”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. travellerev (148 comments) says:

    Here is what Gordon Duff senior editor of US Veterans today has to say about John Key, his tenure as a Merrill Lynch gambler and what he is going to do with NA if you vote him back in:

    Here is an interview I did with US War veteran and ex banker and senior editor of Veterans today Gordon Duff thanks to Vinny Eastwood, Auckland internet radio host:

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/interview-with-gordon-duff-from-veterans-today-about-john-key-and-what-he-will-do-to-new-zealand-for-his-banking-mates/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Scott Chris (6,153 comments) says:

    JamesS says:- “If I was John Key at 7:01pm on Saturday night I would be placing a quick phone call to the Managing Director of the Australian owners of TV3 politely suggesting that if they ever want to do business in NZ again they need to sack – immediately – Campbell, Garner and Gower.”

    So I take it you object to the principle of free speech? Campbell, Garner and Gower will survive or die on their ratings, not their perceived bias.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. travellerev (148 comments) says:

    That would be NZ of course

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    travellerev, … nah, never mind

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Clear political bias on display at TV3.

    Yuo can add Rachel Smalley to the list . Yesterday morning interviewing Goff ,after the so called doco the night before.

    TV3 have been at this for years, Campbell makes no aplogies for his activism, he’s in it to change the world don’t you know.

    The media bias became very obvious a few years back when they panicked thinkiing the Great Satan of privatisation , Don brash, was going to get in. They decided to make him unelectable, and it worked ,even National dumped him in the face of that opposition.

    These bastards (the media) need a good looking at.

    And they have a climate alarmist agenda that plays into the hands of the Greens.

    That Climate agenda is pro tax,anti agriculture and anti business.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Sonny Blount (1,783 comments) says:

    Just go to www. freetochoose.tv for all the tv viewing you will ever need again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. dtnz (1 comment) says:

    I have been absolutely disgusted by the TV3 media coverage of the election this evening. Mixing news reporting of election results with mocking impersonations of John Key is extremely distasteful. The TV3 anti-National bias seems blatant beyond belief – they might as well rename TV3 as “Left Wing TV”.

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