TV3's 'gross abuse' of Thompson sparks wave of outrage

EMA chief executive Alasdair Thompson with Campbell Live's Mihingarangi Forbes

A formal complaint was said to have been laid with TV3 over its confrontational interview with  EMA boss Alasdair Thompson, Without a Word of a Lie understands.

The interview, done by Campbell Live reporter Mihingarangi Forbes, screened on Thursday night after Mr Thompson's comment about women's menstrual cycles created an uproar. 

Campbell Live's interview was heavily criticised by media commentator Dr Brian Edwards, who suggested Mr Thompson should lay a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

Dr Edwards' comment received strong support from NBR readers, who spoke out about the editing used to whittle a 27-minute interview down to four minutes for the piece shown on Campbell Live.

One reader called 'liberty' wrote yesterday afternoon, "I have made a formal complaint to TV3 over this edited interview under Sections 5 and 6 of the Broadcasting Standards of Practice on the grounds of fairness and accuracy. 

"I suggest others who believe this was a gross abuse of media editing power do the same by going to the TV3 webpage and scolling down to the bottom where there is a button for complaints. Is time people stood up to this sort of gutter journalism."

Campbell Live producer Pip Keane also came under fire from NBR readers after posting a response defending TV3 against Dr Edwards' criticism.

Ms Keane said Campbell Live had been honest with viewers. 

"On a day that meant so much not just for Christchurch but for the rest of the country too, we’re hardly going to run a 27 minute interview with Alasdair Thompson. In fact, if we had you would probably have written a column about it! We had to choose the best part to put to air. That’s our job."

She said, "We don’t put the whole interview to air. We put the best bits to air. I had four spare minutes yesterday and now the whole interview is on the internet for people to watch, judge and draw their own conclusion." 

An NBR reader described Ms Keane's comment as "a discraceful attempt at self justification."

Paul Marsden wrote, "No journalism here. An appalling attempt by TV3 to jack the ratings and make money from the proceeds of the poll. I voted based on what TV3 broadcast. It was completely unbalanced. I demand my 99c back."

In a later comment Mr Marsden suggested TV3 could have been in breach of the Fair Trading Act with its poll.

Another reader said Mr Thompson "should have known better" than to give a full and frank interview with the media.

"He has put himself in an exposed position. Once you have seen the full interview you will see the that the media cannot be trusted. I cannot believe the blog from TV3 justifying their position."

Mediaworks spin doctor Rachel Lorimer said she "wasn't aware of any complaints as yet" but said she had left a message with the company's legal team and would let NBR know if she heard anything further.

"Sometimes they [complaints] come directly to us and sometimes they come to us from the BSA."

She said viewers had 20 working days from the date the interview aired to file their complaints.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Post Comment

53 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Look like this sesitive complaint should not be handled by a man or a woman....otherwise, question of impartiality and/or sexuality will pop up again.

Reply
Share

Yes,it was edited, rather heavily to generate 'news in a negative way' - but the words were speken by that Idiot (possibly post ED). How do you defend the man, given his role as a senior representative of employers?

Reply
Share

I am no fan of this gentleman after his comments beleieve me but after seeing the full interview I am most uncomfortable about the journalist's ethics here.

Using a segment out of context of the whole tone of the interview seems to be deliberately misleading and seeking to deliver a predetermined outcome from the interview.

Also the journalist appeared to be personally involved in this story pushing an agenda and needled the interview subject in an attempt to goad such a reaction.

I will be making a complaint to TV3 too.

Reply
Share

Completely agree.

So much for unbiased, neutral "news" and this is not the 1st time TV3 have appeared (to me anyway - a SWM) to slant a news article to suit the producers particular political views / leanings.

One has to wonder if Pip Keane is somehow associated with Labour / Unions with the biased slantings they air?

Reply
Share

Sadly this is yet another example of the egregious quality of our media reporting. To air a piece like this, and place anyone's career and livelihood at risk, simply to jack the ratings of an otherwise appalling current affairs show is nothing short of shameful. Unfortunately it's the sort of tactic that we have become very used to in NZ.

Reply
Share

Agree totally. Lazy journalism is rampant across all media with no balance but plenty of sensationalism. Perhaps a desperate bid to sell more papers and ramp up viewers but selling all of us short. We don't need more help to dumb down our viewing population.

Reply
Share

I have lodged my complaint with TV3, via their website.
Trust everyone involved on the correct, rather than the right side of this incident has done likewise.
As chance would have it, I was polled late last week on TV personalities. I had a feeling it had a "Get Campbell" undertone.
That whole coven (oops, I nearly did an AT there) gets a brushing out.

Reply
Share

I have also made a complaint with TV3. They have disgraced genuine reporters everywhere.

Reply
Share

what an idiot

Reply
Share

what an idiot

Reply
Share

I've watched the full interview, and won't be shedding any tears for Alasdair Thompson over how he was treated by TV3. He was clearly trying to intimidate the reporter, marching right up to her face and standing over her, as if he'd taken his media training from watching Once Were Warriors. The reporter got to have the last laugh and frankly he deserved what he got. Hopefully he has learnt an important lesson on what not to do in front of a camera too.

Still, he should count himself lucky they didn't show any of the other 23 minutes -- I lost count of the times he repeated his weak justifications over and over, and over, again. He should have gone back to bed at 07:15 that morning and let the whole thing blow over.

Reply
Share

<quote>He was clearly trying to intimidate the reporter, marching right up to her face and standing over her, as if he'd taken his media training from watching Once Were Warriors.</quote>
Yeah, I've noticed a lot of people repeating that meme; hoping it might make it true. Watch the footage again. He did not stand over her. He stands in front of her, with his palms open, looking at her eye to eye. Yes, he's angry, but he's not standing over her, nor shouting her down, as others have suggested. The camera is low, pointing up, that's the only reason it looks possibly like he's standing over her.
And yes, he was an idiot for saying what he said in the first place, and then again for trying to defend it... especially when TV3 were apparently only looking to use the 'best bits'.

Reply
Share

All I have really learnt from this and watching the full interview is never ever ever do an interview. They can making anything look dark and delight in tearing down everyone and everything. No wonder kids don't trust anyone

Reply
Share

Talking without any supporting facts and figures during any interview will always be a mistake....no ifs or buts.

Reply
Share

Turning this on TV3 is at best a cheap shot and worse still a very obvious form of damage control.

Alisdair cannot un-say what was said, and mihirangi forbes cannot un record what was taped.

So what is the real issue here?

A very senior representative of employers northern acted like a fool and said some very inapropriate things (ignorning the advice of his coms/PR team I'd bet)

The reporter covered it and it was aired.

Get over over NBR and stick to reporting the facts rather than taking sides. Yet another act of shonky journalism isnt helping anything here

Reply
Share

Alasdair will be dealt with by the appropriate authority.
TV3 was the one taking a cheap shot and what a disgraceful, unprofessional cheap shot it was. Like Thompson, Dean will be dealt with by the appropriate authority.

Anyone boycotting Campbell Live should inform their main advertiser, Mazda.

Reply
Share

I will be complaining to Mazda and suggest they look carefully at who they sponsor. I will also be complaining to TV3.

Reply
Share

Most effective way to hurt TV3 is to boycott "Campbell Live" like I do & have done for a long time due to the poor standard of it.
Remember the way he handled Ken Ring.

Reply
Share

I bouycott the news as a matter of course as everything I need is online

Reply
Share

Boycott it. Hair hair

Reply
Share

Uh excuse me - the outrage is about the sexist and infatile behaviour exhibted by Alisdair, not TV3 - get it right NBR.

Reply
Share

NBR has got it very right and you are excused. Excused for being blind to the fact that there's another outrage other than your own and it's outrage over Pip Kean's shoddy standards in relation to TV3's interview of Alasdair Thompson.

Reply
Share

Hear hear. Perhaps we need some mechanism solely dedicated to clamouring for resignations from any members of the 4th Estate that happen to make a mistake in their working lives.

Reply
Share

Dean has admitted to choosing only to broadcast the "best bits" and anyone who has followed this story knows exactly what she was referring to. Her other mistake was her stupid reply to Brian Edwards' piece on NBR.
Dean and Forbes will expect to be treated fairly by the BSA but fairness meant nothing to them in their dealings with Thompson

Reply
Share

TV3 and the editors were just doing a job, as Ms Keane said, they were given only 4 min to fill. I feel that Mr Thompson as a member of EMA and as an Adult male should have shown more restraint and chosen his words carefully. You can't tell me that this is the first interview he has ever had. It is unfortunate but in this case he is the only one to blame for this outcome.

Everyone knows that the media will not let sleeping dog's lie.

Reply
Share

Do you mean that adult males should show more restraint that adult females or was that a slip of the keyboard?

Reply
Share

Newsflash : All news is edited and has been for the last 40 odd years.

Reply
Share

Your comment is hardly relevant.
Of course news is edited but there is a huge and legal difference between the standard practice of news editing and Pip Deans' decision to edit and air that small misrepresentative segment of the Thompson interview.

Reply
Share

iron my shirt, Forbes!

Reply
Share

Editing interviews is standard practice. Alisdair knows that. He should be sacked for incompetence in handling the media. As a senior spokesperson for the EMA, he's paid to know how to work with media. He can't cry foul now when he stuffs up. Since when do you assume a camera is off??? What an idiot.

Reply
Share

You seem to easily you overlook the unprofessional behaviour of the females in this scenario yet you seem expect it of the male.
As a woman business owner your sexism towards women is appalling because you seem to think they should deliver less than men.

Reply
Share

TV 3 have done a great job.

It's a pity TV3 can't expose a lot more other two faced individuals who are in positions of power, who also like Alasdair Thompson should clearly not be in the positions they hold.

Reply
Share

No, TV3 did a bad job because TV3 didn't "expose" this, Alasdair exposed himself on radio. Don't try to sanctify Campbell Live's broadcasting standards breaching interview with that argument please.

Reply
Share

This whole episode is hard to reconcile with our cherished traditions of freedom of speech.

Mr Thompson expressed an opinion on a question of fact, and it seems clear that many people disagree with him. But few, if any, have engaged with the facts. Instead there has been a tirade of insults – "idiot", "dinosaur", "sexist","disgraceful", etc.

Worse. many people seem to believe that people who express unpopular opinions should be summarily dismissed.

What happened to Voltaire's - "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?

Reply
Share

1. Voltaire never said that. (check your facts)
2. He would not have agreed with you.

His position on free speech was against authoritative governments/religions, not for letting people get away with unverified nonsense without a challenge.

Reply
Share

I would expect the person heading the EMA on a daily basis to be careful about his or her language at all times and to be media savvy. They are key aspects of the job.

Reply
Share

Alisdair Thompson is a significant lobbyist and media spokeperson/commentator. Talking to the media is a key part of his responsibilities and one that he has presumably received training for.

He therefore should know the reality of preparing in advance of any media interviews; of the need to provide media "bites"; of the dangers of very lengthy responses to questions and of the journalist's right to interrupt such length, especially when it is not directly responding to the question; that he can expect to be challenged over the grounds/evidence for his assertions; that you can only go off-record if it is agreed with the journlist in advance; that he doesn't have a right to do an answer again; that he cannot instruct a camera to stop recording; that if he refuses to answer a question, the public have a right to know that he has done so.

People like Brian Edwards train people to deal specifically with these situations. In the position he holds, Alisdair Thompson should already know everything above and know how to deal with it (regardless of consecutive late nights etc). I suggest that Brian Edwards provides further training for Alisdair rather than act as an apologist for how badly he has responded to the media over the issue he created. In fact I'm sure Brian's training also includes how to ensure you don't create initial issues in the way Alisdair has done.

I've seen the full interview on the internet and found myself confused by Alisdair's long-winded, meandering initial response. And even by the end of it, I'm still not sure what substance there really is to his claims or whether in fact he just made a silly off the cuff remark that he shouldn't have.

The real issue for me re TV3 is why the reporter allowed herself to get personally involved in the interview, rather than get clarity over the issue and its substance. Frankly I thought she was far too soft with him in this regard. Imagine if it had been Brian Edwards or Ian Fraser interviewing Alisdair?

But in the end, perhaps Alisdair's emloyers should be looking beyond simply the issue he created and examine whether or not he is able to perform adequately the key part of his responsibilities that relate to dealing with the media and acting as a spokeperson for his organisation.

Reply
Share

is this article serious... Alisdair was clearly out of line over his comments which he made not only during this interview but also on the radio. As the head of a industry group he should have known better.

Reply
Share

Perhaps although I've not seen any evidence presented that disproves Thompsons' claims and it doesn't excuse the Dean/Forbes best-bits interview assassination.

Reply
Share

they're all equally guilty in there own different capacities...Thompson ignored the old adage of " when you're in hole;stop digging" by agreeing to an interview on Campbell.
Mihi Forbes allowed personal feelings to intrude.. but why not?

The main crime here is selective editing to give the impression that something occurred when it never did in the context it was presented.
Having said all that...it's time for Thompson to go if for no other reason than implying that John Key may be having an affair with Helen Kelly !!...how bizarre!

Reply
Share

The media have huge power - they edit and present a story any way they like, and do colossal damage at will and with impunity.

They answer to nobody. If found guilty by the toothless regulators they issue a patronising, formulaic non-apology and then do it all over again.

This power should be exercised responsibly but struggling third rate shows and papers descend to gutter press tactics in their desperate attempts to get ratings before the axe falls.

Ring any bells, Minging Rangi?

Reply
Share

Mihingarangi Forbes, you were a cheap tabloid reporter on a rag.

Reply
Share

Mihingarangi Forbes, you were a cheap tabloid reporter on a rag.

Reply
Share

Alasdair Thompson was spinning the corporate line. He did this for more than 25 minutes. But every time he was interrupted or asked a question, he lost the plot. The last five minutes were the most newsworthy because they revealed the true man - a bully.

Reply
Share

Hi Geoffrey. Its Hear Hear not Hair Hair unless the interview made you want to pull your hair out. Unfortunately I didnt see the interview.

Reply
Share

TV3 is a disgrace. None of their journos could hold down a job in the real world. They exist in a vacuum of left leaning socialistic dreams, angry that the world is not their puppet. Remember Campbells' complete fabrication regarding the person who was supposed to have stolen the military medals? The truth is not their mission, only sensationalism.

Reply
Share

So this is what $45 million worth of taxpayers money buys from Mediaworks.

So glad our schools, healthcare and EQC budgets go without so Forbes et al can produce this cr@p.

Reply
Share

Mihingarangi Forbes - in future I'll just switch you off ... more kiwi's should do this - if I want tabloid style reporting I'd by the Truth. show the entire interview TV3 I dare you!!

Reply
Share

I will not be watching another interview by Forbes. It's interesting that Thompson can apologise but no aplogy from TV3 has been forthcoming for its disgraceful journalism. For all of his faults, it's clear that he has some dignity.

Reply
Share

Alisdair acted like an idiot. Tv3 filmed him doing. It doubtlessly bosted ratings. having watched the full interview I see nothing that looks like an edit. In fact it looks like the whole interview was shown in one take.

turning this onto tv3 is a clever move, but there is no excusing a man in alisdairs position for behaving in such a dusgusting fashion

Reply
Share

There is no doubt in my mind that Mr Thompson has dug himself into a deep hole...his comments were extremely misguided at best, and he does not present well when under pressure. However the amateur, shoddy,sensationalist reporting by the TV#3 reporter (if you can call what she did reporting) was painful to watch. Constantly trying to get Mr Thompson to break down or 'lose it' on camera by repeating and rephrasing the same questions repeatedly. Maybe that's why she claims to be so productive....she keeps repeating the same thing over and over. Pip Keane and Ms Forbes are a disgrace to journalism. "We put the best bits to air" - no wonder Media Works is in the toilet with gutter reporting like that.The reporting style was tabloid at best.....perhaps well suited to Campbell Live and TV3, it was awful,painful, and clumsy reporting and editing. Mr Thompson should probably resign over his comments but I also think keane and forbes should perhaps find a job they have some talent for.

Reply
Share

It's time a few facts and reasoned arguments were put forward on here as opposed to the rabid rabble by those seeking to lynch Thompson without a fair trial.

Thompson was asked to comment on the 12% pay gap between men and women.

He suggested that there were many possble reasons. Firstly he stated that he fully supported equal pay for equal productivity between the sexes.

Amongst the reasons put forward were: some genuine gender bias, women not applying for higher paying jobs, women having to look after children more and taking more time off work when they were sick, a slightly higher percentage of days off by women for their own sickness (backed up by studies), and a subset within that of women who 's time and productivity were affected by heavy periods and other women related medical conditions ( of which there are also studies).

He pointed out that this only affected pay rates when it had a noticeable effect on productivity. He also said that by far the greatest influence on productivity was passion for the job.

He never said that women should be paid less beause they had periods or even that they were paid less because of it. He pointed out the effect of periods on productivity was a very small part of the possible reason for the pay gap.

However I guarantee 99% of the lynch mob calling for his head on a platter have never watched the half hour long interview, just the 4 minute edit by TV3 which had as it's only aim to cast Thompson in as bad a light as possible.

If Thomson is guilty of anything it is his poor judgement in trusting the media to listen objectively and judge fairly what he was saying. That is the only area his employer should be looking at. He was obviously tired and stressed and should not have been laying himself wide open for the tabloid press of TV3 to take him to the cleaners.

I sincerely hope he doesn't give in and resign for what he said. It will only result in more lynch mob mentality in the future.

Reply
Share

Quite appalled by Campbell Live's editing of the interview - I have made a complaint to Mediaworks.

Reply
Share

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7873 -0.0003 -0.04%
AUD 0.9208 -0.0021 -0.23%
EUR 0.6313 0.0015 0.24%
GBP 0.5005 0.0017 0.34%
HKD 6.1038 -0.0018 -0.03%
JPY 92.7480 0.1010 0.11%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1196.6 -2.970 2014-11-26T00:
Oil Brent 79.4 -0.640 2014-11-26T00:
Oil Nymex 73.7 -0.340 2014-11-26T00:
Silver Index 16.6 0.000 2014-11-26T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5457.4 5462.1 5457.4 -0.04%
NASDAQ 4760.2 4788.0 4758.3 0.61%
DAX 9934.8 9992.7 9915.6 0.60%
DJI 17812.2 17833.8 17814.9 0.00%
FTSE 6729.2 6749.9 6729.2 -0.09%
HKSE 24169.8 24228.1 24112.0 -0.45%
NI225 17310.5 17346.8 17383.6 -0.78%