Breaking The Set (RT, Sky 96)
I still miss The Alyona Show with Alyona Minkovski, but Breaking The Set is a worthy successor, albeit only being a half hour show.
Abby Martin bristles with undisguised indignation as she traverses the issues via commentary and interviews. She brings an activists passion to the issues in a way the well mannered and pedicured careerists of the corporate media could never emulate.
The focus is obviously on US domestic politics and international issues as they impact on the United States, but there's till much of interest for non-US viewers. The show recently screened an interview with Kim Dotcom with a RT staffer, Andrew Blake, flying to New Zealand to interview Dotcom.
I've tried my best but I've decided that I'm not a fan of the camera following Martin as she prowls around the studio. I find it a bit distracting and I'm not sure what it adds to the show. In her defence though I can see that Abby Martin wants to differentiate her show from the other shows that use RT's one and only studio in Washington.
Still waiting to see Laurie Penny make an appearance on the show....
Citizen A (Face, Sky 89)
Citizen A screens on the new Face channel (Sky 89). Hosted by blogger Martyn Bradbury, Citizen A is a studio discussion show featuring Bradbury and two guests chowing down on a set agenda of topics.
My fundamental problem is that Citizen A continually fails to think beyond Labour Party politics - and, no , praising the Green Party isn't thinking beyond Labour. It would be nice to see - shock,horror - a socialist on the show now and then. Otherwise it tends to be more of the 'same old same old' from Bradbury and his buddies like Chris Trotter. Say after me 'I m trying to change Labour from within...'
I also can't understand why a right wing bigot like Cameron Slater has frequently appeared on the show. Doesn't the right have more than enough outlets (ie most of them ) to push its reactionary views?
Albiet all of the above, in these days of an increasingly reactionary media at least Citizen A exists. Have I just damned the show with faint praise?
The Keiser Report (RT,Sky 96)
This show screens three times a week. Max Keiser is straightforward and to the point - the financial system is rotten to the core and needs to be overthrown. And the banksters and all their political cronies should face the firing squad - and if that isn't possible, tossed in jail forever. The mere mention of Jamie Dimon (CEO of JP Morgan Chase) is enough to send Max into one of his tirades.
Steering the show is Stacy Herbert. The first half of the show is devoted to Stacy and Max discussing the financial headlines of the day. Max could go thermonuclear at any given moment but Stacy navigates him through to the second half of the show where Max interviews a guest.
Both TV1 and TV3 treat business with something close to reverence. Max, in stark contrast, kicks the vampires where it hurts most. Good on you, Max!
This half hour interview show is presented by the dependable and erudite Stephen Sackur.
This is the kind of long-interview format that both TVNZ and TV3 think is 'outdated' They think we don't want to watch an intelligient interview show where the issues can be elaborated and explored. TVNZ think we want the 'once over, lightly' approach of Seven Sharp - the news show for people who don't like news shows.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. ( Comedy Central, Sky 15)
Liberal political analysis mixed with lashings of humour. The interviews are interesting too.
You can watch The Daily Show on Comedy Central NZ ....well, no you can't. The clowns at Comedy Central have decided that we don't want Jon Stewart (or Stephen Colbert) and prefer repeats of Benny Hill instead.
Shame on you, Comedy Central.
Remember - most of these shows have their own YouTube channels so you can seek them out there as well.