TVNZ and the Opposition Leader

February 16th, 2012 at 8:14 am by David Farrar

Danya Levy at Stuff reports:

Television New Zealand has dumped the Labour leader’s weekly appearance on its Breakfast show, telling David Shearer it’s not about him “as a person”.

Prime Minister John Key has a Monday morning slot on the show and last year former Labour leader Phil Goff regularly appeared on Tuesday mornings. …

It is understood Labour put its case to , saying its leader needed to have the right of reply when Key attacked the Opposition.

In a letter back to Labour, TVNZ said the Prime Minister was a newsmaker in his own right and the state broadcaster was merely doing what it always had.

The leader of the Opposition had only featured weekly during election years.

“This is not an issue about the person, merely a decision about the position, and we have been consistent with that through Labour and National administrations.

“The Breakfast team has already shown its willingness to invite Mr Shearer on to the programme when he is a legitimate newsmaker and is setting the agenda on a story.”

Off memory, TVNZ is absolutely correct. I recall when National was in Opposition, the Opposition Leader never got a regular spot until election year.

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14 Responses to “TVNZ and the Opposition Leader”

  1. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    Being a semi-regular watcher of Breakfast it did seem strange Shearer wasn’t being interviewed regularly, however he was on this morning.

    As the leader of the Labour party is effectively the alternative Prime Minister option at the next election I think it is important he has a regular forum to put an alternative point of view to that of the Government.

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  2. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    The problem is Shearer would just put us all back to sleep.

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  3. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    So they dumped boring David and kept simpering John. The correct decision would be to give them both the flick and put on something interesting

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  4. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Trevor seems to have successfully diverted attention from this.

    It’s a bit of a ‘nothing has changed’ story anyway. Neither Shearer or his predecessor are riveting sound bite material.

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  5. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Priceless, I love it, this will get the socialists spitting their corn flakes.

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  6. Manolo (13,765 comments) says:

    Cam’s take: http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/02/so-boring-tvnz-dumped-him/

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  7. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Who ?

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  8. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    What about balance, fairness and context? Is the P.M to be granted exclusivety of the airwaves? The opposition leader should in all fairness be given an opportunity to debate or rebut the P.M’s comments, it’s called democracy.

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  9. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    State Cronyism at Work???

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  10. rakuraku (162 comments) says:

    We a fast turning into a Fascist State with the Government starting to control the airwaves???

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  11. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Breakfast? BORING!

    I don’t agree with the notion that the PM is a newsmaker but the leader of the opposition is not, but in Shearer’s case it’s probably a justified claim. The middle of the road form of opposition he provides is just as boring as Goff. He needs to get out there and sow the seeds of discontent.

    Although the boat might have already sailed, how about reigniting the copyright issue? I was relayed an anecdote just yesterday about a cinema full of young people booing as an anti-piracy message was displayed before the movie showing. Meanwhile we have the United States flexing its muscle in our own backyard arresting a man on trumped up charges while Europe is awash with discontent over further attempts to control the internet. But what has Labour done on this issue? Shit fuck all.

    Then he attends big gay out and what does he do? Nothing. Does he chastise John Key for being a hypocrite? Does he promise full equality? Does he show any REAL emotion? Nope so no wonder a disproportionately gay electorate mysteriously elects Nikki Kaye for a second term despite the fact that she belongs to a party that overwhelmingly rejected civil unions, and by implication the notion that gays are human beings equal to everyone else.

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  12. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Why would TVNZ want Shearer on their programme?

    Its not as if he generates any news – he simply follows it about.

    If Shearer is somehow deemed ‘worthy’ of a slot on a TV programme, then so too is Dunne / Banks / the Gweens / Sharples / Harawira / etc.

    Nah – this is simply a beat up. Soon we’ll probably hear of a request from Fran Mold asking for the Opposition Leader to be able to host a non-political radio show…

    Oh,oh…. :D

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  13. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the PM being given a permanent spot to state/defend his government’s agenda with no point of opposition. But an opposition voice does not equate to the leader of the Labour party.
    If the issue is something like Environment, Transport or Conservation then I might expect hem to bring in the Greens as opposition spokesperson – if Shearer is the alternative prime minister then the Greens are almost certainly alternative Environment and transport ministers. Ditto Winston on older people and racing, Maori Party on treaty issues and maybe even Peter Dunne on some obscure issue of his expertise like his income splitting proposal or 1080 (although interesting to note he has said he may vote against the government on Monday’ising of Waitangi and Anzac weekends which would cause Key to lose his razor thin majority on this issue).

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  14. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    although interesting to note he has said he may vote against the government on Monday’ising of Waitangi and Anzac weekends

    He hasn’t said that, it isn’t a government bill.

    Dunne has said he will vote for the bill. It’s up to National to decide if they will vote for or against the bill. It has nothing to do with the government majority.

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