I debated whether or not to talk about this this morning, mainly because I currently happen to be on the same station as the guy I’m about to talk about.
But it annoyed me yesterday as I saw the petition gathering signatures and the Lynch mob swelling. So I’m setting those reservations aside and I'm going in boots and all.
I do not understand this hand-wringing about Mike Hoskng hosting the TVNZ political debates.
Yep, Mike has an opinion and those opinions can rub people up the wrong way. This station requires all its hosts to espouse opinions to ignite debate, it’s what I’m doing right now and it might very well rub you up the wrong way.
But opinions are like bottoms everyone has one and it doesn't mean you’re unable to be fair and professional.
Quite apart from that, you’re giving the guy, and infact the medium of television these days, way too much credit if you think either have the power to swing an election within the space of a 90 minute debate.
Plus does no one remember this time about three years ago, this same hoopla came up about Mike Hosking chairing the debates and the debates came, and they went without incident. I think he actually got OK reviews.
Bill Ralston has likened hosting these things to playing traffic cop and I have to admit I can see the likeness.
If you’ve ever interviewed a politician you’ll know the most difficult thing is getting them to answer the question that’s been asked and not the one they wish they’d been asked. Followed closely by getting them to stop talking when you’ve run out of time.
Multiply that tricky dance by several politicians and you’re chief time keeper and stop-go guy. You’re the conductor of a tone deaf orchestra full of divas who all want their moment to hit the high notes at once.
Winston Peters has said Hosking is unsuited to this debate but that's just Winston doing what Winston Peters does and that’s jump on bandwagons to get some publicity and appear to be at one with opinion of the people.
No other leader has stamped their feet about this. Labour did last election but I think they're smarter than that this time around, perhaps they realise it's their performance against the opposition that’s their main concern.
Mike certainly doesn’t need me to defend him and that’s not what I’m trying to do, he's big enough and expensively dressed enough to do that for himself. I just think people could do with getting a bit of perspective on this. It’s a debate, one of many, on many different platforms that you will see and hear in the run up to September 23rd, everyone starts pointing fingers about loony lefties and right wing stooges before an election, but I think in this case the lynch mob can put down their pitchforks.