Len Brown sex scandal claims first scalp

UPDATE: NBR Publisher responds…details at bottom of page.

Oh dear.

The Len Brown-Bevan Chuang sex scandal has claimed its first scalp, but a journalist, not a politician has lost his job.

Chief reporter for the National Business Review (NBR) website Jock Anderson was fired just hours after posting an opinion piece yesterday calling for Len Brown to stay on as Mayor of Auckland.

Anderson’s piece was posted on the NBR website about 11am and argued that Brown should stay on in his role because under his leadership Auckland business had and would continue to prosper, due to transport and development projects.

“It wasn’t a ‘pro-Len Brown’ piece. But it said he should remain as Mayor so that he and his new council could continue the work on multimillion-dollar projects,” said Anderson.

The opinion piece was taken down at 11.20am on the request of NBR publisher Todd Scott and Anderson confirmed he was fired by Scott at 5.15pm.

via Twitter

via Twitter

We need more detail on this, but on the face of it, this smells.  

“I was told I was fired and told to leave the building immediately, based on that article.”

“I’m now taking legal advice on what my options are,” said Anderson. This was the second time Anderson has been fired by the business weekly.

Anderson said he did not wish to comment on whether he was warned against writing and publishing the opinion piece on the embattled mayor, as it would possibly be a matter of legal contention.

The now-former online chief reporter said he was not routinely told by Scott what could and could not be published on the NBR website.

Scott said in a statement published in NBR: “We do not comment on internal employment issues but I can confirm Mr Jock Anderson was dismissed yesterday for failing to comply with specific instructions to treat coverage of the Len Brown affair in an impartial and unbiased manner.”

You pay the man to write opinion pieces, and they have to be impartial and unbiased?

What’s going on?

via Twitter

via Twitter

UPDATE: NBR Publisher Todd Scott responds:

Hi Cameron,

There’s a couple of inaccuracies on the Jock Anderson story which you might like to correct if you can. The para that I refer to is “Chief reporter for the National Business Review (NBR) website Jock Anderson was fired just hours after posting an opinion piece yesterday calling for Len Brown to stay on as Mayor of Auckland” “You pay the man to write opinion pieces, and they have to be impartial and unbiased?”
What Anderson filed online was clearly headed: EDITORIAL. It was not a column or an opinion piece by him. There is, you would appreciate, a huge difference to writing an opinion piece as a columnist and writing material claiming to be the official Editorial stance of the NBR as a media.

He had been specifically told NBR would not be taking any editorial stand on the Brown affair but would remain strictly neutral.

I trust you will be able to make these amendments as they are fundamental to the circumstances of Anderson’s dismissal. We are continuing to run opinion pieces by regular columnists as you can see from the site..


Todd Scott – Publisher


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  • patrickstarr

    @john Drinnen – cant see Simon Collins being hired either

  • Col

    That’s one for mediation, dear oh dear.

  • Morrissey
    • ratesrearevolting


    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Yes, we are now seeing the start of the end of National and John Key.

      • longjohn

        The whole damm affair is Keys fault..

  • OT Richter

    Turning into a giant clusterfuck.

  • GregM

    I hope they can sort it out. I enjoy Jocks work, and he seems to be a good bugger.
    EDIT Disagree with him on his Lenny article however.

    • steve and monique

      Think a reprimand may have been more fitting. Seems over the top to fire the bloke. The Mayor can root around, and he still has a job(for now)

  • Let the blood flow. Blood and guts everywhere. But I won’t be satisfied until LBIA4/10 hands in his man mayor card. He needs to go. I’m not going to lie and say I’m not enjoying this.

  • blokeintakapuna

    Regardless of the topic or the slant – when being paid by someone else to perform a role – and you’ve been specifically instructed to report in “an impartial and unbiased manner” – and then fail to do so – well there will be consequences.
    Scott is a very smart cookie – so it’s quite likely it won’t be Anderson’s first “warning” on the topic / issue either.

    • Rex Widerstrom

      How, exactly, do you write an “unbiased and impartial” editorial?!

      The idea is both oxymoronic and plain moronic.

      • blokeintakapuna

        Easy. You write the article from a neutral perspective and give differing opinions/slants from opposite ends of the political spectrum … Then let the reader make up their own mind.

        What you don’t do is start from a biased angle, then further slant the article even further, then pose it as “credible news” or even news.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Yes, and that’s a news article. He was asked for an editorial. Editorials should take a stand on something, or they don’t deserve the title.

          Mind you in this PC age, I suppose editorialists are instructed to write “on the one hand… but on the other hand…” pieces.

          Gods help us.

          Good editorial writing stirs the blood, not impresses you with it’s even-handedness.

          Check out the Pulitzer Prize winners of the past. Many impress me; try this series on same sex marriage, written in conservative Vermont over a decade ago.

          • Muffin

            It doesn’t happen often but in this case I beleive you are right re editorial

          • Matt Agnew

            FYI, while Vermont used to be very conservative it hasn’t been for quite some time. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been the first in the US to legalise same sex marriage. Oh, and a Socialist Congressman who keeps getting re-elected? That too.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Thanks. I didn’t realise that… 2009, and without being required to do so by a court ruling (as had those states which went before them). Wow, quite a change.

            I’m sure those stirring editorials written in 2000 went some way towards shifting public opinion.

  • Orange

    He fondled Len’s forbidden fruit and now he’s locked out of the garden. People just can’t help themselves can they.

  • Whafe

    All I can say it. Just imagine if it was a National Party Member, they would still be hanging in a noose in Aotea Square…… Now re think if the media are biased?
    There will need to be copious amounts of Blood & Guts everywhere to get the message through….. Hypocrits know no boundaries

  • James Growley

    If anyone should have been fired, it should have been that wanker Rudman…..

  • ratesrearevolting

    I think this has more to do with history between Anderson and Scott and an excuse to remove Anderson from the NBR than the fucking cunt who is Len brown.

    LBIAFC !

  • mick le prick

    NBR has gone to the dogs its over priced paper edition is a waste of good shit paper and id never pay for their online stories behind their paywall.
    I liked jock on the huddle with larry Williams
    Screw you NBR

  • Colin Price

    Maybe next time Anderson gets under the mayor’s desk, he should wear a hard hat!

  • Mr_V4

    The thing is the NBR is supposed to be a business paper, so its articles should generally approach things from a business perspective. In the case of politics things should be expected to be reasonably neutral.
    In my opinion the NBR should have virtually no editorials on political sex scandals at all, there are plenty of MSM papers for that sort of detritus, where soft passes are issued to those who are paid to and are supposed to represent us.
    Given the state of the financial world at the moment it surprises that the NBR cannot find an issue of signifcantly more importance on which to report.

  • Lion_ess

    Wrong scalp

  • Bob Murphy

    Freedom of the press?

  • 4077th

    FFS NBR, Expect a request for a refund. Bunch of gutless asses.

  • LesleyNZ

    NZ Herald should do the same with Brian Rudman.

    • Kimbo

      An emphasis on evenly balanced articles would make The Herald a very thin read indeed.

  • davewin

    Everybody covered in muck but the Loon! This is an amazing demonstration of highly selective morality!