Credit where credit’s due – as Campbell Live goes down swinging.
It’s been a bit like the death of Princess Diana really – adjusted for population size – GDP – and our particular Kiwi absurdities. ‘The people’s presenter!’ TV3’s Mike McRoberts proclaimed John Campbell on the wretched station’s own news hour the night the depressing unsurprising word came that Campbell’s show was canned. There were tears despair and icy anger from TV3 staff on the night. What a farce.
There’s surely some law against making Hilary Barry cry.
Whatever the spin it was clear something wrong was happening. Even TV3 head of news Mark Jennings – seemed to be choking back tears – even as he shunted the blame in Campbell’s direction. Campbell had been offered a contract he hadn’t signed. He’d been invited to co-host the new four-nights-a-week show and declined.
We do know Campbell Live was subjected to a mortifying public ‘review period’ that was the equivalent of the witch dunkings of the Middle Ages: if you fail to sink – it’s just further sign of your sin.