This latest noise going on about Campbell Live has, quite rightly, a lot of people up in arms. The show is a bastion of strong support for community and political issues and of John Campbell keeping an eye out for the little guy.
The program has never pretended to be anything else and has tackled some pretty large issues such as the Christchurch earthquake for the common cause. When insurance companies are slow paying and builders take too long putting up, Campbell Live informs and forces the protagonists to face the antagonists and stand to attention.
What TV3 management does with its programming is its business. If they want to make an ill-considered opinion to get rid of the show they have the right to do so. If they want to have egg all over their face and make a silly decision that is also their right.
But they must remember the viewer, the public way out there in the suburbs, is quite capable of switching off – or switching over – when palaver ruins their evening. If no decent current affairs is available – or to be replaced by some variety show or the second coming of the man or woman looking for a partner- then forget it.
The public is not going to stoop to that level and, who knows, may switch over to SKY News Australia, the BBC, Fox News or CNN where there are plenty of current affairs shows run by decent presenters like David Speers and Megyan Kelly who discuss the same issues (as John Campbell does).
In case you think I’m rooting for John Campbell and ‘a lefty’ I am merely looking for a sense of fair play, a balance. There are ‘blue’ voters in NZ and there are ‘red’ voters in NZ and there are’ green’ voters in NZ and you know what, I reckon that at some time viewers of John Campbell are followers of all three parties.
As for the PM saying Campbell Live doesn’t amount to much then he needs to be a bit careful. He is on shaky ground as it exposes him to a lot of voters who will move away when they vote at the next election. He can’t keep on Mike Hosking’s good side forever, surely not?
Tony Abbott, Barack Obama and David Cameron have strong opinions on the media. Rupert Murdoch worries them. His Fox channel and newspapers bother them a fair bit and they have become more cautious about having lunch with him (he brings out the nerve rash!)
In the end business media keeps on producing the current affairs programs. Politicians come and go…there will always be current affairs, let’s keep it strong.