For years now the comment sections of our nation’s online newspapers, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have been packed with commentators declaring the ‘Campbell Live’ show and it’s watchers were ‘everything that was wrong with the country’ – somewhat ironically these same authors would then declare it was the show that needed to ‘lighten up’.
I was pondering this disconnect today when reading the Taranaki Daily News’ comments section, specifically the one attached to Rachel Stewart’s brilliant piece ‘Why you should care about John Campbell’s demise’. In it she champions the need for journalists with empathy, who can insert themselves ‘into the fight’ as John Campbell often would. In recent years not only were the CL team in the fight, they’d built themselves a boxing ring, and when the strong and powerful refused to step in, they’d take the fight on the road – literally – broadcasting viewer stories from their now infamous CL ‘caravan of complaint’.
As a viewer you’d feel every punch as these often brutal stories unfolded, yet you couldn’t help but feel you were part of something good, something bigger than yourself, and for not much in return but a few minutes of your day. People were telling their stories, having their bad experiences validated, their complex situations analysed and understood, and best of all there was often remedy and lives improved.
Tell me again why this is so wrong for our country?