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Mike's Minute: Winston is wrong but he can't see that

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Nov 2023, 9:54AM

Mike's Minute: Winston is wrong but he can't see that

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 Nov 2023, 9:54AM

Part of the trouble with Winston Peters and his media obsession is that very few are more obsessed with the media than the media themselves.

The media tend to take themselves far too seriously, so Winston has played right into their hands.

What they should be doing, of course, is seeing him for what he is - a bored, old troublemaker who found 6% of the bewildered and angry to stick him back in power.

He is not there for the betterment of the country. His behaviour so far, and it is only days in, shows you all you need to know about his modus operandi.

He is not a team player. He is self absorbed.

For all he does that gives you hope he might be on the mend, he then goes and does what he has this week so far, which is to hijack events, turn attention on himself and generally remind you he is not a serious operator and therefore doesn't deserve to be treated like one.

Once again, let me state very clearly that his claim that the public broadcasting fund was a bribe is simply not true.

I have been in this game for over 40 years. I have seen how Governments operate around media. I have seen how media operate around Governments.

This is where it gets a bit sticky. Although he is wrong on the fund, because it did not buy favour, what it did do in my view was encourage those who didn't actually need a lot of encouragement to put material out, that if you were of a certain disposition you could easily see it as being favourable to the people who gave you the money.

If you read them, the criteria are innocuous, with the exception of the first bit. It talks of a commitment to Te Tiriti and to Te Reo Māori.

That is an issue. It troubled me and it smacked of an agenda.

But it doesn't mean you write positive stories about the Government.

Labour's entire time in office was obsessive when it came to the Treaty and the language so, as a result, you can argue using the Peters' logic that a lot of people were bribed.

All those who adhered to any of the pro-Māori edicts could be said to have been bribed. Or were they simply on board because it suited their way of thinking? That is not bribery.

The media, as I have said many times, at least in part badly let themselves down in terms of impartiality. At times, for some, it got embarrassing.

But they did that by themselves. They didn't need a fund to salivate the way they did.

And that's the bit Peters misses.

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