Prior to the ill-considered donation of $50 million dollars of taxpayers’ money to an already compliant media, there was the occasional lightweight criticism from journalists of the worst Government in a lifetime. Since receiving the gratuity, whether because of instructions from on high or not, there appears to be very little if any condemnation of the incompetent rabble occupying the Government benches. Not even a murmur concerning the seventeen empty seats Todd Muller talks about.

The media seems to think the way to say thank you for the largesse dumped on their doorstep is to focus on the useless. Not themselves or the Government but useless minutiae focussing on the Opposition. The two issues recently occupying their pea sized brains are a cap and skin colour. The fact that thousands are losing their jobs every day does not rate as more important as a lead item than a cap or the colour of someone’s skin is deeply disturbing. Journalists are now coming across as obsequious sycophants.

It is obvious the Government is using its friends in the media to embark on a pre-election vote buying exercise. This follows on from Jacinda’s daily electioneering platform which has now ceased. The buying of the media in this way is a disgrace but something the Opposition, particularly the leadership, need to be cognisant of. This week has shown they have quite a bit to learn in this regard and their advisors, particularly their communication mentors, need to address this urgently.

Todd Muller began well with his initial speech which was hours in the making and it showed. The media, pockets jangling with our money, were out to make sure that wouldn’t continue. Putting their infantile little brains to work they first picked on a piece of Todd’s memorabilia, a MAGA cap. They were aided in this by a local Muslima by the name of Aliya Danzeisen of the Islamic Women’s Council who said the vitriol represented by the cap caused harm to people in America and around the world. Total nonsense of course but right up the media’s backside when it came to the message.

This was the first trap Todd fell into and instead of defending having the cap in his office he fell at the first hurdle acquiescing and said the cap would be permanently packed away. Either he needs some media training or he genuinely thinks his reaction is the correct one. I hope it is the former because if not we and he are in big trouble. The Government-relief-funded media will be licking their lips. A furore over a cap, even a MAGA one, is not that difficult to defend. His message should have been that its part of his political memorabilia on display and it will stay.

Having made a mountain out of a molehill over a cap they decided to pick up on some puerile discussion over the lack of brown faces on National’s front bench. This proved to be Nikki Kaye’s turn to fall at her first hurdle. For some reason best known to herself, she decided to out Paul Goldsmith and his heritage. He was then forced to announce that although there was Maori lineage some way back he did not consider himself a Maori. Cue a disgruntled Paula Bennett to chime in. A right shambles but a media feast.

Again, completely the wrong messaging. It was probably best ignored but if not why not turn it back on Labour and say if the useless Kelvin Davis, Nanaia Mahuta or Willie Jackson had been available they wouldn’t have made it either. On the AM show, Todd was asked what small business experience there was among those on his front bench. He should have been able to easily answer but that was not the case. The result of these missteps meant the media was able to gloat over what a dreadful start National had made. National needs to realise that this will be the journalist’s game between now and the election.

The media will definitely be on the side of the hand that feeds them. If National doesn’t get its act together it’ll have the media playing the part of the big bad wolf to their role as Little Red Riding Hood.

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Media, Muller and Messaging
JC

JC

A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.