These days we have Seven Sharp where journalists are often reduced to bimbo status and are too wrapped up making fillers to give sustained focus on the big issues of the day, such as the Fonterra food scare or, for that matter, the GCSB legislation.
Campbell Live certainly can't be accused of that.
But John Campbell has become so involved in the thrust of his crusades that when he was finally presented with the opportunity this week to interview the Prime Minister on the GCSB bill, he was blindsided by John Key's fluency and not sufficiently prepared to sustain 20 minutes of primetime television without coming very close indeed to throwing his toys out of the cot.
I don't for one moment believe that Key is the product of his press minders or media training, as left-wing commentators claim.
I've watched him make many apparent off-the-cuff speeches at countless business conferences and dinners where he exhibits a fine ability to combine humour (at times demonstrating a larrikin nature) with firm messages about the Government's policy framework, keen insights into New Zealanders' responses to domestic issues and the ability to flatter his audiences by sharing top-level communications on international matters.
People who believe he is slumped in some brain-fade fog have not studied the politician.
But overpreparation does not suit him. He is better at making what appears to be an impromptu speech rather than reading a statesman-like speech where he can take oxygen from his audience.
When he does prepare too much he comes up with dreadfully overwrought phrases (the Norton Anti-Virus analogy for the GCSB this week; Fonterra being New Zealand's poster-child for safe food last week).
What Key does do is study leadership.
He has spent many hours watching tapes of the way other leaders have dealt with opponents in major political debates.
Would that Campbell had done the same.
But the TV3 host's disorganisation was immediately apparent from the shuffled papers displayed in front of him rather than a laptop, clipboard (or preferably no notes at all).
But while Key may have come to the interview with no notes, he would certainly have worked out a gameplan in his head on how he would control Campbell and get across the story he wished to tell.
One little verbal joust said it all.
Key: "You've done so many stories which are absolute nonsense, and you know they are and I've actually answered those in the past ..."
Campbell: "Prime Minister, feel free to sue us, go to the BSA, make a formal complaint."
Key: "I don't bother complaining because when you weave your web and do all those little things ..."
You only had to look at Campbell's face to see he realised he had effectively been told to go and sit on the naughty stool.
The most interesting aspect here is Fran O'Sullivan's dismissal of the Left's oft-repeated allegation that John Key is "the product of his press minders or media training". She has probably seen enough of the PM in action both in New Zealand and offshore to make that call.
We've heard the PM in person several times, and on each occasion he has spoken without notes, and largely off-the-cuff. His command on details, especially in regard to economic issues though is impressive.
John Key is nobody's fool, despite what you might read at The Standard or the Daily Blog (which we generally choose not to). Those who underestimate him do so at their own risk; just ask John Campbell.