National MP Todd Barclay blasts Campbell Live supporters
Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay is facing the wrath of social media users after making comments about Campbell Live.
New Zealand's youngest MP, Barclay posted a status on his Facebook page last night which said: "No surprises that it's only Labour Party MPs scrambling to keep Campbell Live running #goodjobmikehosking"
The post came after yesterday's announcement from Mediaworks the primetime show was under review.
Mediaworks have quashed rumours that a nightly edition of 'Jono and Ben' would replace Campbell Live.
They confirmed Campbell Live was under review.
Barclay later took the post down, replacing it with another status saying he stood corrected.
Comments on the new status included congratulating Barclay for apologising for his original post, but many took him to task for deleting it, and expressed their support for the programme.
Facebook user Paige Kirk branded his status as "disgusting", while AJ Burton said it was nasty.
"Obviously he couldn't hack the comments that ensued from his nasty status update in which he attacked Labour MPs and Campbell Live. Oh and what a surprise, that status update has since 'disappeared'."
Barclay this morning apologised for the post, and said he never intended to cause offence.
"I took it down because it was fuelling the fire ... it was meant to be a light-hearted comment to stir a bit of debate.
"At the end of the day I watch Campbell Live from time to time, [and] I watch Seven Sharp from time to time.
"It was never intended to be a nasty comment against Campbell Live," he said.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister John Key said: "I understand it was a flippant remark which has since been removed.
"The Government doesn't have a view on what is a commercial decision for a commercial operator."
The 'Jono and Ben' rumours stemmed from an NZME article which cited unnamed TV3 sources. While the article itself suggested a "Jono and Ben-style" show could replace Campbell Live, a version of its headline read "Campbell live to be axed? TV3 bosses say they may replace show with Jono and Ben".
Mediaworks lawyer Alex Nicholson said the suggestion of Jono and Ben replacing Campbell Live was a "complete fabrication".
"Jono and Ben has never once been mentioned in any MediaWorks management forum, discussion or document as a possible replacement for Campbell Live."
Elsewhere, media professionals have lined up to defend Campbell.
One News reporter Andrew Morrison tweeted his support last night.
" I know TV3 are the opposition and all but if they axe @CampbellLiveNZ it will be a very sad day for NZ journalism indeed."
Veteran journalist Bill Ralston struck out out TV management, tweeting:
"For the record: TV3 top management are intellectual pygmies (excepting Jennings) who never understand good current affairs @JohnJCampbell".
Newstalk ZB's James Robins emphasised Campbell's reporting following the Christchurch Earthquake.
"Ask some Christchurchians how they feel about Campbell Live being threatened, & tell me that decent TV journalism doesn't make a difference."
On the streets of Wellington, many supported Campbell Live but admitted they didn't watch much TV themselves.
"Although we're not big television watchers I do really respect him as an independent journalist," said Greg Hart.
"I don't really watch TV, but I used to watch TV quite a bit, and that was a show I really liked," said Rachel Anastasi.
Support for Campbell was not universal. Katie Smith of Wellington said the show just looked for things to criticise.
"I don't enjoy watching his show, it's too critical," she said.
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- The Southland Times