It’s been an amazing election year, and one of the reasons for that is that the TV3 political journalists are breaking stories and dominating the news agenda to a degree that’s really unusual for any individual media outlet, let alone a TV news show. I’ve got fairly huge problems with some of Paddy Gower’s journalism, but his team are very good at figuring out ways to get around the media management of modern political parties and deliver strong stories.
Tova O’Brien’s ‘Cabinet Club’ piece was a fine example of this. Turns out ‘Cabinet Club’ is a National Party fundraising organisation, and if O’Brien went to the Prime Minister’s Office or the President of the National Party and asked about Cabinet Club she’d have received an artfully written, soporific whitewash of Cabinet Club, similar to what’s going to appear on Kiwiblog sometime in the near future. Instead she went and ambushed National’s Cabinet Ministers and asked them ‘What is Cabinet Club?’ and they denied all knowledge of its existence, despite voluminous documentary evidence to the contrary, which suggests that this isn’t the completely innocent organisation National will vehemently insist it is. It’s great journalism, and Gower and his team manage to pull it off almost every night.