The Australian legacy media are not exactly noted for independence of thought. Obeying Homer Simpson’s “Code of the Schoolyard”, few of them will ever say anything unless they’re absolutely sure their colleagues agree with them. Whenever one of them parrots an opinion, the rest all squawk a chorus of agreement. This hive-mind also makes them notorious pack hunters. The moment even one of them gets a whiff of what seems like a “story”, the rest pile on like hyaenas. No mercy shown, no questions asked.

Jacinda Ardern has long benefited from the first behaviour: following the lead of the rest of the international legacy media, Australia’s hacks have long formed a conga-line to gawp and swoon at their fairy princess. But there are signs, now, that the media pack are starting to bare their fangs.

Negative stories about Ardern are starting to replace the previous wall-to-wall fawning adulation. Not just the evil Right-Wing Murdoch Empire, either. The hallowed Pravdas and People’s Dailies like the ABC and the Guardian are also starting to notice the cracks in St. Jacinda’s halo.

The ABC leads with the standard crawling sycophancy before sowing the seeds of doubt.

Around the world, Jacinda Ardern has received acclaim from those who see the charismatic New Zealand Prime Minister as a leader for the modern age[…] But at home, Ardern’s leadership and judgement are under question.

The BFD. Magic not working. Photoshopped image credit Luke

Having previously ignored Kiwibuild, the sexual assault scandal, and everything in between, the ABC are finally falling into the trap of the donations scandals. But it’s what they say about Ardern that’s most telling.

Ardern has refused to reprimand, criticise or even question her Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, and his party, despite — or perhaps because of — her prime ministership depending on his support.

If Peters were to baulk at any criticism from her and pull his support, the Ardern Government would fall, forcing a snap election.

The election date has been set for September 19, but recent polling gives a good hint as to why Ardern and Labour aren’t keen to risk that being brought forward.

Despite her strong lead as preferred prime minister, voting intentions suggest the election outcome would be on a knife edge.

Some of the most reputable polling shows a National-led coalition garnering more support than a second term for the Labour Government.

It’s also interesting, by the way, to see one of Australia’s biggest media outlets taking note of a certain website, even if, like its NZ cronies, it treats The BFD like Voldemort: We Who Must Not Be Named.

A right-wing blog published photographs of the reporters who had uncovered the donations details meeting with sources connected to NZ First.

Meanwhile, over at that bastion of right-on leftism, the Guardian, things aren’t much better for Ardern.

‘I’m over it’: will disillusioned voters spell trouble for Jacinda Ardern?

With seven months to go, the internationally acclaimed PM must tackle queries over whether she has done enough at home.

Unlike the ABC, the Grauniad is at least aware of Ardern’s plethora of Achilles’ heels.

While Ardern’s global appeal – and her personal appeal inside New Zealand – has not wavered, it has been a brutal few months domestically for her party. A sexual assault scandal in the Labour party tarnished the prime minister’s image[…]The government’s flagship housing policy, KiwiBuild, has been a disaster[…]The housing minister, Megan Woods, described KiwiBuild’s agenda as “overly ambitious”, a charge that is increasingly being levelled at the government across its key portfolios.
The BFD. Kiwibuild Reset. Cartoon credit SonovaMin

The Australian has put Ardern’s political woes right on the front page.

Jacinda Ardern: show pony or stayer?[…]

For punters, the big questions are likelier to be what happened­ to the 100,000 low-­income houses that were promised and when exactly will the end to child poverty take effect?

[…]“She is regarded as a bit of a show pony who is not delivering,” Australian National Univer­sity professor John Wanna says.

Even the giants of globalism are whispering in the ears of US media.

Not all at Davos were impressed[…]Speaking on the condition of anonymity to Today’s WorldView, one Western fund manager with dealings in the Asia-Pacific region scoffed that Ardern “was just a less annoying Justin Trudeau with an easier country to run”.

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