Close Up

Classic footage from a real journalist: this is what we’re striving towards right?

Poll: Seven Sharp so so, Campbell Live still a bit shit

The NZ Herald reports

TV One’s new daily prime time show Seven Sharp had a solid but unspectacular first night audience, according to overnight ratings supplied by NielsenTAM people meters.

Estimates for the new infotainment show – starring Alison Mau, Jesse Mulligan and Greg Boyed – were similar to those for Close Up this time last year.

Seven Sharp maintained Close Up’s lead over TV3’s Campbell Live.

Someone we all know tweeted this morning


Poll over the break   Read more »

Shearer’s Greatest Hits

TVNZ’s Close Up put together a montage of Labour Leader David Shearer’s greatest hits last night – but they couldn’t find any.

You will have seen most of these clips on this blog already, but it’s good to see them in one place.

The clip is brutal.

Who Will Replace Close Up?

TVNZ have canned a show that pulls double the ratings of left wing apologist John Campbell.

Campbell is stuck in a depressive rut discussing poverty and feeding children all the while Labour MP’s are scoring an own goal proving how adults can live off $2.25 a day so why can’t they feed their kids when New Zealand has one of the most generous welfare schemes in the world?

Mark Sainsbury is leaving, which is really was not surprising given he’s been rumoured each year for at least the past five to be given the arse card, all the while Campbell moans away with half the ratings and the left wing spin machine fawns over his show.

“Maybe we do need something that’s more openly funny and entertaining. In saying that I do not exclude that it will be serious current affairs, even if it’s comedy – serious doesn’t have to be dour.”

Any suggestions for replacement shows?

ABC. Anyone But Campbell.

The Boo-Hoo Buffoon

Mark Sainsbury had a real sook on Close-Up last night because Anne Tolley fronted, but wouldn’t debate with a so-called “expert” on drug and alcohol counselling.

What Sainsbury didn’t point out during his tears and whining was that this “expert” – Roger Brooking – is a grassroots Labour activist. True to form this tool hijacked the interview to push his ideological opposition to private prisons.

If Sainsbury had bothered to look at Brooking’s Twitter account, rather than repeat crap he heard on Moaning Report, he would also have seen personal attacks on Tolley.

Good on her for not treating this left-wing low-life as an equal.

Close Up looks like a lame horse waiting for the final shot. No wonder the pressure is getting to Sainsbury.


Apparently TVNZ is launching a muppet doll of Mark Sainsbury.

I always suspected that Close Up was the muppet show

Do Maori have a special place in NZ?

Don Brash says no. Hone Harawira said that was a problem. Bomber shrieked about it to me on Citizen A.

Close Up then highlighted the issue the next night, with 81% of the 40,000 responding to the poll saying Maori do not hold a special place in New Zealand.

As Farrar points out in his new paid job;

That’s an extra 1% (every 25,000 extra votes is 1%) for ACT just from that show.

Word from the tipline is that ACT has increased its membership 40% in just two days. It seems unusually David Farrar is right and Don Brash has become the circuit breaker that is enabling ACT to get its message across.

81% say Maori aren't special

Is Comeskey in hiding now?

SST journalist Jonathan Marshall keeps delivering the goods. Today’s victim is Chris Comeskey and I just bet he is on the run tonight.

The main part of the article is about his dodgy dealing with legal aid, but the second half outlines a little bit of history and some revelations that my contacts tell me have quite possibly put Chris Comeskey on a list.

Waiouru Medals theftDESPITE THE fact his role in returning the war medals catapaulted Comeskey on to centre stage, many close to him believe it was the worst thing that happened to him. “The fact of the matter is he accomplished what no one else could, and that was getting those medals back,” says a friend. “Instead he was pilloried.”

The public welcomed the safe return of the national treasures but bristled at the fact it was achieved by paying the culprits a $200,000 reward.

Comeskey’s role in the negotiations cast him in an unfavourable light to many, highlighting his extensive underworld connections and unsavoury contacts, raising a question mark for some over his integrity.

The lawyer made no secret of his displeasure at being uninvited from the official ceremony marking the return of the medals. But he has been less transparent about what benefits, if any, he stood to gain.

The official amount is $200,000, but my understanding from my sources is Comeskey only coughed a hundy to the gang connections and told them that the media reports were wrong. Now Jonathan Marshal has documents to show that Comeskey cut a deal for $200,000 for the crims and $15,000 for himself.

In February 2008, he dismissed an on-air suggestion by Close Up host Mark Sainsbury that he should have got a slice of the reward money, saying: “I would not have wanted to benefit from it. In fact, if there wasn’t a reward, I would have been quite happy to fund the return of the medals myself.

The Sunday Star-Times has obtained a two-page contract between Comeskey and Police Commissioner Howard Broad that shows the lawyer was to be paid a fee for his services up to $15,000 for returning the medals, something that came as a surprise to Hirschfeld. “I had no idea of that at all. He never gave the impression he benefited financially.”

Whoopsy, caught lying. Strike one, lied about his fee. Does that mean he lied about how much the Commissioner coughed too?

On TV3 that same evening, Comeskey had told John Campbell: “I never once asked for immunity, I didn’t want to place the police in that position…I made it plain to the people I was dealing with that I could not advise them on how to avoid or escape detection.

But official documents quote Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Bensemann, the officer in charge of the case, saying Comeskey “suggested various possibilities in exchange for the return of the medals, including immunity from prosecution and ceasing the investigation”.

Whoopsy, caught lying again. Strike two, lied about the immunity, perhaps he lied about the amount as well?

My sources in the crime world tell me that Comeskey might well find himself on a list he really would rather not be on. Stiffing gang members of their rewards isn’t the smartest thing in the world to do, even if you are their lawyer. The police don’t take kindly to fraud and the gangs even less so.