As if the poor people of Christchurch hadn't suffered enough, they were inundated with Auckland celebrity journos last week all eager to leave the studio swivel chair and report live from ground zero.
Paul Henry was there. So too were Simon Dallow, John Campbell, Eric Young and Mark Sainsbury.
Mike McRoberts swapped the flak jacket for a fluoro one. We know this because he Tweeted about it. The Twit used Twitter to pan his company's coverage of the quake too, which saw him hauled back to the TV3 newsroom for a "please explain."
McRoberts criticised his network's reporting, saying TV3's ratings reflected "a poor decision by 3 not to go with continuous coverage throughout the day". But his boss Mark Jennings blamed the lack of constant coverage on a failing energy supply in Christchurch that left the TV3 crew without power on Saturday until 2pm.
But knowing they were facing serious power problems with their live broadcast, why didn't TV3 simply broadcast from their Auckland studio all day and interview experts?
South Island-based reporters could have used the internet or Skype to file their stories to the newsroom. Jennings confessed the way things unfolded, "in retrospect, may not have been the best decision."
There's no denying TV3's journos were left frustrated. A natural disaster is something McRoberts only dreams about. Remember when he traipsed around a hospital in Haiti clutching a five-year-old girl as he searched for medical treatment?
Unfortunately John Campbell didn't display the same level of compassion towards his TVNZ colleague Simon Dallow. With the pressure in Christchurch, the news men got into a scuffle when the cameras weren't rolling.
Mischievous Dallow started it. He apparently approached Campbell, looked him up and down and bitched: "Jeans, John? That's a bit unprofessional."
Tired and fed up, Campbell apparently snapped: "Go f*** yourself, Simon."
Later Dallow laughed off the tiff telling Spy: "It was a bit overdramatized and inflated. It was just a wee bit of teasing both ways".
A TVNZ spokesperson said "everyone's a little stressed".
-Herald On Sunday / View