Don't make accusations you can't back up with evidence

campbell-live-logoIn an ironic twist on the 7pm current affairs coverage we provide here at Throng, Campbell Live are upset at having some hard questions asked of them.

Last week, after realising that a couple of stories that Campbell Live had done were pretty similar to stories previously done on Seven Sharp, we asked if they were resorting to copying in order to try and lift their ratings again.

The title of the post was “Is Campbell Live resorting to copying story ideas from Seven Sharp?”.  It was a question, as indicated by the question mark at the end of the sentence.  In the actual post, I wrote “it appears as though Campbell Live may be copying some of Seven Sharp’s stories.” (Emphasis mine).

Campbell Live executive producer, Pip Keane, took exception to this and sent the following email:


Due to the precious nature of the email, I chose not to respond.  On Friday night, Pip decided to push the point though and tweeted:


So this morning I did:

Hi Pip,

There was nothing defamatory in what I wrote.  Asking questions does not constitute defamation.  Had I stated outright that that was in fact what you’d done, like what Jono and Ben said about it on their TV3 show on Friday night, then I’d be inclined to agree with you.

During Jono and Ben at Ten on Friday, while discussing the Campbell Live’s story that mixed the office Christmas party with reporting, the two hosts explicitly stated:

What’s even more cheap is that they stole the story idea from Seven Sharp.

Pip then replied and suggested it was my fault that Jono and Ben hadn’t been so careful with their wording:


I replied:

I asked a question if CL had copied.  You’ve provided information that makes it appear to be purely coincidental.  It’s a valid and fair question to ask.

Hoping that was the end of it, Pip decide to once again continue with her defamation witch hunt:


When I then asked “Where did I state that as a fact please?”, the replies ended.

If only Campbell Live were as concerned about asking hard questions of the man in control of the country’s largest city as they were about our relatively soft one about their content.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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  • K

    Hahaha, Campbell Live: asking the questions no one in NZ gives a shit about

    • Shoreboy57

      learned that from the Labour Party

  • Tom

    They’ve obviously got something to hide, being all offensive and all. Seems to me that TV3 are getting desperate for ideas (after their loss in revenue debacle, Home and Away and receivership) – You shouldn’t feel at all ‘withdrawed’, you (a public viewer) only asked a simple question that was unnecessarily made huge. Guess what would happen if they will lose out on more shows and moolah?! Very unprofessional!

  • Jeseta

    I think she was pretty polite about it. You can’t blame her for wanting to clear the name of her program when it really was just a coincidence. Being a comedy series, JABAT has a bit more leeway but really, no one is going to think much of the other party when stories like this are published no matter how they go about discussing the issue.

    • Monique Angel

      It’s called being passive aggressive; Silly little cunt.

      • Jeseta

        Well calling me that certainly isn’t passive aggressive. You are entitled to disagree with me but I like to think the Throng community is a civil and mature one, that language isn’t needed here.

        • Monique Angel

          I wasn’t calling you a silly little cunt. My humblest apologies. I was calling PK a silly little cunt. And if Pip Keane is not a silly little cunt then I also apologise for the slur on her character.

          • X

            What a potty mouth.

          • Monique Angel

            Hey! I apologised.

          • K

            Wooooah, nasty !

  • x

    Boy, that escalated quickly. Not sure terms like “defamatory” and “witch hunt” are appropriate. Anyway. Maybe you could have asked Campbell Live for their view before you suggested they were copying Seven Sharp? This is clearly what was implied by the post, even if it was hedged as a question.

  • Well Regan, how about solidifying your argument by asking Seven Sharp when they began planning the story. At the moment, all you’ve done is pose a question and provide 2 very vague pieces of circumstantial evidence trying to prove to the affirmative.

    In addition, because you’ve not actually shown the proof you received from Pip to us as readers, you’re not giving us as readers the information to come to our own conclusions – instead you’re trying to make is as readers take your side.

    Showing both sides of the story fairly, and backing it up with evidence, is how good investigative journalism works. Your original piece never came close to that, so Pip has a right to be concerned. Furthermore, this witch hunt by yourself gives you less credit because your agenda is to discredit her, again without coming clean and providing the evidence she’s provided you, which allows us as readers to come to our own conclusions

  • mick le prick

    Poor Pip you and the rest of wank know live suck and that dick head of news and current affairs Mark Jennings is way past his use by date lol

  • benjamin

    Why don’t people ever just pick up the phone these days? I imagine a quick phone call about this and all would be done and dusted.

  • Amelia Harris

    Sorry, but the only one being ‘precious’ here is you. The first email was very polite, as was the second. To not even bother replying was extremely rude and high handed of you.

    You asked “Is Campbell Live resorting to copying story ideas from Seven Sharp?” Why could you not give them the courtesy of replying, and updating your original post to show their response to your “question”?

    Why ask a question, if you yourself do not want to hear the answer? As the question was asked in a very public manner, you do have a responsibility to give us any answers you received. You failed to do so, and *that* is what has upset Campbell Live, and rightly so.

    • Jeseta

      Extremely well put.

  • Graeme Edgeler

    Asking questions like this can still be defamatory.

  • Krisda Limpapath

    BBC, Al Jazeera English and ABC Australia are much better.
    We should have quality in depth news and current affairs same as Australia, United Kingdom.

  • Pip Keane

    Regan, what you chose not to publish here were the emails I sent you last week showing we had been planning our drink drive special since September 18 when we booked the Hampton Downs race track. You have the email detailing our plans and you know October 15 was the earliest date available. ‘Coincidence’ is entirely possible but ‘copying’ is not. You asked a question but you did not want the answer I sent you five days ago.

    • K

      Don’t make accusations you can’t back up with evidence

      Haha, who’s the title aimed at Regan? Campbell Live or yourself?

    • Regan Cunliffe

      Pip, up until the point that you proved otherwise, the question of copying was still a valid one. Only after this fact can it be deemed a coincidence to anyone who doesn’t have inside knowledge of the Campbell Live team.

      I haven’t concealed at all that you provided evidence to prove it was purely coincidental. You can see that very statement you made in your email above.

      You assume incorrectly that I did not want the answer you provided. The answer would have sufficed by itself without accusing me of breaking the law.

    • Roger

      Pip, what you have to realise is that Regan is an arrogant prick. He will never admit to being wrong so its best to ignore him entirely. I enjoyed your story on the drink driving issue, and I wouldn’t be caught dead watching seven sharp so I don’t give too hoots if they also did one.

  • Louis

    What’s with the anti-TV3 current affairs agenda that this blog runs? Seems to be determined to do anything to discredit them!

    • Crookednose

      It’s very simple. They’re journalists, they are ‘supposed’ to be fair and balanced. However, Campbell live has shown with their John Key & Simon Bridges interviews in comparison to the Len Brown interview where their bread is buttered. And that is on the LEFT side. The same could also be said of their coverage on the deep sea drilling issues too. I used to be a fan, but can no longer stand such one sided BS interviewing and reporting where things are twisted to their point of view. They’re more like our Fox News…except from the left.

      • Louis

        So what should he have asked Len Brown? Brown confessed and apologised, asked for privacy. You think Campbell should start going through the disgusting details that were posted on Whale Oil on live television at 7pm?

        • Colleen Wright

          You miss the point, again. The fact is that a Mayor has an obligation to the people of the City to act with integrity. He has failed miserably on a number of points, not just the affair. It’s about time someone found the ejector button on that particular Mayoral throne. I see the Toronto Mayor is still in damage control.

          • Louis

            This is way off topic but in other words, you disagree with Len Brown’s policies or the fact that he is Mayor full stop? Len Brown was democratically elected with a massive majority.

            Also, a ridiculous comparison with the Toronto Mayor. He was caught committing a criminal offence, and taking drugs could seriously undermine your judgement abilities as a politician. Neither of those conditions are satisfied in the case of Len Brown.

          • Colleen Wright

            A pity the information about the way he had been living a lie didn’t come out prior to elections, he would not be on that perch right now if it had….he is only hanging onto it by a thread. Besides you overlook look entirely that he broke the Council Code of Conduct.
            It is all about Mayors behaving badly, disgracefully really.

          • Louis

            Whatever. People like you who obsess over people’s personal lives don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

          • K

            You make a lot of sense, Louis.

          • Louis

            More sense than the original blog post anyway!

          • Colleen Wright


          • K

            Yep. and I’m not a great Campbell Live (or Len Brown) fan either…

          • Colleen Wright

            Oh wonderful – Len Brown has managed to scrounge up 2 people for his fan club in a City of 1.5 million!

          • K

            Lol, I’m by no means a Len Brown fan….but I do see Louis’s point……… sue me

      • Colleen Wright

        Was really good to see Simon Bridges interviewed at the conclusion of Third Degree last evening. After the outrage following the Campbell Live interview – Simon was actually very good to agree to that. Duncan Garner & Guyon Espiner conducted that very well & fairly too. Simon was able to reply w/out interruption…as he should, he is very highly thought of and obviously very well-informed.

        • David Finch

          We can disagree about whether Simon Bridges is “highly thought of” or “well-informed” but don’t try to tell me it was “very good” of him to agree to be interviewed – as if we should be grateful when he decides to front up. He’s a Government minister! In a government which too often shies away from answering difficult questions in the media. And I’m sorry but… “Len Brown has managed to scrounge up 2 people for his fan club in a city of 1.5 million”. I doubt most of the 1.5 million know that the definitive poll on this issue is taking place in a comments thread at Throng.

          • Colleen Wright

            Well, he is very popular in his electorate. Plenty of other such people give the “too busy” excuse when interviews are requested, he is not one of those known to “shie away”. Re Len: many people are not aware of the full extent of his dirty dealings as it wasn’t all published in the mainstream media but they still want him ousted. Others also are aware of an unacceptable number of similar failings from his Manukau City days. O and as far as Simon goes, we can add well-educated too – at Oxford University.

  • maninblack

    John Campbell is a blatant pinko- who cares about his crappy low rating show and stories that are such drivel. Cannot wait till it gets the axe for its crap ratings.

  • Colleen Wright

    After the way John Campbell went so light on Len Brown in that trite and silly interview and comparing that with the way he was so unbelievably rude and confrontational to Simon Bridges, a highly respected MP of Tauranga and Minister – we don’t watch Campbell anymore. Surprised he wasn’t suspended really, Or at least an apology issued, after his melt-down. In addition, it seems a highly-defensive over-reaction to your comments that have come from the Campbell Camp. A delicate time as the ratings war heats up and everyone will be watching for the Paul Henry entry into the fray.

    • Louis

      Sorry but the only person who was being rude and confrontational was Bridges. An interview doesn’t mean that the interviewee just gets to go on the air and yell. They actually have to answer questions.