TV3 SENT Tova O'Brien to London last year. Anyone who thought her work might possibly improve away from the influence of right wing hacks like Paddy Gower and Duncan Garner must be feeling disappointed. While she might be safe enough covering innocuous events like the Badminton horse trials or even the trial of Chris Cairns - although she did manage to get herself arrested for using a camera outside the court - her political coverage is invariably slanted toward the conservative end of the political spectrum and often fact-free.
Such has been the case with her cursory coverage of the British local body elections.
Her brief summation of those elections was that it was 'steady as it goes' for the Tories but while it hadn't been 'disastrous' for Labour it still had been a 'kick in the guts' for the party. O'Brien's analysis appears to have extended no further than borrowing the narrative from a corporate media that is vehemently anti-Jeremy Corbyn.
The Blairites within Labour were hoping that the party would crash and burn. The Daily Mirror for example, even before the poll results started rolling in, was speculating about ' a dark night of the polls for Jeremy'. In the event Labour actually increased its share of the vote by 7.3 percent. It received the highest share of the national vote and has 1270 councillors to the Conservative's 726 councillors. This, folks, is Tova O'Brien's 'kick in the guts' for Corbyn.
But let's cut O'Brien some generous slack. Perhaps she was referring to Labour's heavy losses in Scotland. If she was (which I don't think was the case) anyone listening to O'Brien would have quickly got the impression that Labour had got bashed throughout the UK.
And the losses in Scotland are hardly the fault of Corbyn - who was elected leader just eight months ago. The responsibility for Labour's misfortunes in Scotland can be deposited fairly and squarely at the foot of the Blairites.
Outside of Scotland though, Labour held its own and made some modest advances in some areas. And it won the London mayoralty despite the disturbingly Islamophobic campaign waged by the Conservatives and its media allies against Labour candidate Sadiq Khan. Labour also won two new mayoralties in Salford and Bristol.
In fact Jeremy Corbyn's Labour has done better than Ed Miliband's Labour in 2010 - but, in stark contrast, the corporate media hailed Miliband's result as a success for Labour. Of course, Miliband - the bland 'centrist' - posed no threat to the economic and political status quo.
Tova O'Brien might like to demonstrate she's not a hostage of the Tory press. Here's a radical idea - why not interview Jeremy Corbyn for The Nation? I'm not holding my breath though.