Throng on 3rd Degree

Regan Cunliffe at Throng takes a look at 3rd Degree’s little PR piece on behalf of David Bain last night.

The ratings gave TV3 a win in the timeslot and many praised Melanie Reid’s journalism in uncovering such an apparently monumental piece of evidence.  I’m not convinced, however, that there was much journalism going on at all.

While there were those who viewed the story as some brilliant investigative reporting there are others who believe it was little more than a well orchestrated publicity stunt by a group of people seeking a payday.  

According to Joe Karam, he was first made aware of the evidence on the 7th of February. The footage from the testing of the murder weapon was obviously filmed during the summer so why has it taken at least four months for this all to come to light and why on earth would you use a TV show like 3rd Degree to break the story?

Once the episode had finished, the NZ Herald immediately published an article that included the photograph of the thumb prints from everyone who tested the magazine. TV3 issued their press release shortly afterwards but the photograph wasn’t included.

Leighton Smith succinctly put it at the beginning of his show on NewstalkZB this morning that the evidence presented last night was not conclusive, it was persuasive. And that seems to be the point – persuade the court of public opinion in the hopes that the Government will then be swayed into forking out compensation.

Regardless of what was presented as evidence last night, it was all very one sided with very few, if any, hard questions being asked. The police have also confirmed that they weren’t even approached for comment.

Was this chequebook journalism? Was it journalism at all? Either way it appears as though we have a TV show that has been rather complicit in putting forward an argument without living up to its own name.

You’ve got to hand it to Joe Karam, he is a great marketing machine, aided by compliant media at Tv3 and the NZ Herald.


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  • Kiwikea

    Kind of funny that tv3 is pushing for Bain to get a payout & taking the “moral high ground”. Maybe they should “payout” some of the $600m they owe instead of hiding behind receivership….

  • cows4me

    Was it chequebook journalism, who knows but you would hope it was Karam’s chequebook. Of course I’m sure TV3 would welcome an alternate point of view as long as you a willing to pay. Perhaps if Karam did pay for some part of this programme then maybe he is like those big time lawyers who only get paid if their client gets a payout. Karam has sunk a lot of resources defending DB, a large pay day may be a good outcome for both of them, if you get what I mean.

  • DavidW

    very well organised with each player having his own script. Take a look at the utterings of the QC – push hard for a response before saner heads start asking awkward questions such as “should anyone who is later proven not guilty be eligible for compensation. AFaIK the system worked and juries did their thing – thats the system. If you ask every man in Paremoremo, he will say he is innocent. Sometimes the system gets it wrong but hey, no-one claims it is perfect.

    • Bunswalla

      There is no relevance in this case to your question. David Bain, the multiple murderer, was not “proven not guilty” he was found not guilty by a jury. Proof had very little (well, actually nothing) to do with it.

  • Justsayn

    What we need is a three verdict system: Guilty, not proven, and innocent.

    I understand the have that is Scotland.

    That would take the pressure of juries to convict (they could say, well it hasn’t been proven but we are not saying you are innocent), and may also prevent those found not guilty trumpeting that is absolving them of any wrongdoing (which it does not).

    • Bunswalla

      What he said.

  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    To get those marks on your fingers like was shown on Robin Bain would have taken more than loading one rifle magazine of between 5 and 15 .22 calibre bullets, more like 10 plus mags as there is not much finger strength needed for a 22 cal mag. IMHO and I have loaded a few over the years.

    • Liberty

      Did the Magazine need loading?
      It could have been laying around with a
      full Magazine.