Although it might pretend otherwise, TVNZ News bears little relationship to what it might be described as serious, in-depth journalism. Rather what we are being delivered is a 'journalism' that regards news and current affairs as just another form of entertainment.
Serious news coverage and analysis has been discarded for lurid murder stories, consumer complaints, stories about celebrities, pictures of disasters and cuddly animal stories. And, yes, sport. And the weather. And inane chit-chat. It's the usual fodder of the tabloids and TVNZ News has embraced it all in the pursuit of ratings and advertising revenue.
In that regard, it was not surprising that TVNZ dumped the Prime Minister from Tuesday's Close Up so it could feature something more vitally important than the future of the country- namely former All Black Robin Brooke saying he was sorry for groping a teenage girl.
Who cares that John Key is set to burden ordinary people with an increase in GST? Who cares he has signalled that, in a time of record unemployment, his government are going to launch another round of beneficiary bashing? Who cares Key wants mining companies to dig big holes in conservation parks?
Not TVNZ. It would rather focus on the drunken behaviour of a former All Black. I'm surprised that Mark Sainsbury didn't bounce into the studio shouting 'Tonight! It's an All Black shocker!' or something like that.
John Key talking about tax is just not as entertaining as an All Black apologising on national television for his drunken and lewd behaviour. It also conveniently allowed Sainsbury not to have to work hard finding ways to avoid asking any difficult questions of a politician he supports and adores.
Sainsbury is another of TVNZ's stable of free market cheerleaders and he has as much political acumen as that thing he wears under his nose.
As usual silly old TVNZ news 'spokeswoman' Andi Brotherston has spouted a load of old nonsense in defence of TVNZ.
According to Brotherston, Brooke's apology was 'big news'. Well, it might be big news for someone with an IQ of 3 - a typical supporter of the Sensible Sentencing Trust for instance- but for the rest of us it was just a big pile of smelly poo. A big pile of smelly poo that got dropped nearly six weeks ago!