Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

TV blow up 'personal animosity'

Simon Bridges. Photo / APN
Simon Bridges. Photo / APN

Simon Bridges' "uncontrolled blowout" on television's Campbell Live while discussing deep sea oil drilling was probably a result of personal animosity between him and host John Campbell, poor media advice, and pressure to appear, a media commentator says.

The fiery interview over Texan company Anadarko's plans for oil exploration in deep water off the Kaikoura coast deteriorated quickly on Monday night as Mr Bridges, the Energy and Resources Minister, and his interviewer constantly interrupted each other and tried to shout each other down.

Mr Bridges yesterday faced taunts from Green Party energy spokesman Gareth Hughes who asked him in Parliament: "Does the minister think his own uncontrolled blowout on Campbell Live last night did anything to reassure the people of Kaikoura that he can control a blowout 2.7km under water?"

Media trainer and former television interviewer Brian Edwards said the events leading up to the interview - with Campbell in previous shows saying Mr Bridges had refused invitations to appear - "probably created a mixture of ill-will on the part of Bridges".

"It was very personal, both these people were angry - that makes for entertaining television but it doesn't make for enlightenment.

"I think Bridges handled it very badly and John's agenda was too personal for my liking. This looked like a very personal fight and I think an interviewer should set personal matters aside and concentrate on the issues."

Mr Bridges declined the Herald's request to discuss the interview but earlier told reporters that feedback he'd received was "as you'd expect".

"In terms of text messaging and so on, it was very very positive."

However, his performance was widely derided on Twitter and he said: "I accept on Twitter you'll get some very very negative feedback but that's life."

- NZ Herald

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