Brian Edwards Media

Sufferin Succotash – Mike Hosking is really, really huge!




Sufferin Succotash – Mike Hosking is really, really huge! Well, Mike is so huge that his employers can’t fit him into anything less than a full page in the Monday to Friday (tabloid) Herald and half a page in the (broadsheet )Weekend Herald.

Mike is so tall and rangy in the tabloid that you could imagine he might dwarf Clint Eastwood. Which is appropriate because he’s got a sort of cool cowboy, dropped-hip stance and is wearing a don’t-mess-with-me, all-in-black outfit: jacket,  jeans and pointy turned up boots. The jeans are appropriately too small width-wise and too big length-wise so that they furl up at the knees and concertina over the top of the shiny black boots. Except for the fact that he appears to have lost his left arm in the picture, which may or may not have some sort of semiotic significance, the dude looks great.

He’s half-cut to the waist in the broadsheet picture so the cool cowboy look is lost, but you do get to see his bright, shiny eyes, his pearly white smile and his alabaster-smooth forehead. He still looks huge, but the cropped close-up really makes you feel that he’s smiling at you.  

And he is. Not just smiling at you, but confiding in you, letting you (and me) in on the secret of why he loves news. This is a gift horse that must not be looked in the mouth. And Mike will forgive me, I know, if I share his thoughts with you free of charge. Here are the six reasons why Mike Hosking loves news:







Wow! That’s profound. So profound that you can’t really take it all in at once. So do what I did: consider each of these reasons why Mike loves the news separately. Then work out in each case how that reason applies to why you read the Herald or listen to commercial talk radio or watch One News or maybe even Seven Sharp. (Mike’s on that.)

Because I’m betting that, like me, you thought you listened to the news on radio or watched the news on TV or read the morning paper because you just wanted to find out what had been going on in the rest of the world while you were doing other things and not attending. Which was most of the time.

Boy, did you and I get it wrong! Did we or did we not sell ourselves short!

And here’s the thing. Newstalk ZB and the Herald, which are both part of the NZME stable, must really, really care about how you and I think and feel about the news and what news actually is. Why else would they be devoting all this space and spending all this money giving us Mike’s Zen-like insights pretty well every day of the week?  Why else would Mike be so huge? And so omnipresent?

Beats me.


  1. 1

    Michael Noel James Hosking IV: a fifty year old National hack dressing like a twenty year old and pretending to be some kind of journalist

  2. Amusing post Brian. And I learnt a new word – succotash! I guess it is all a bit corny!

  3. I posted a picture of Hoskings and Sean Plunket on the NZTV page last week (I’m a 30 yr TV veteran), with the subtitle “Fundamentalist journalism?”, in the hope that it would encourage some debate on this kind of shock jock journalism. Two days later at 7 am in the morning, I was seriously attacked by Jeremy Parkinson, Sean Plunkets ‘producer’, and seriously libeled online. I complained to the CEO of Radio Live three hours later, who the following day after taking legal advice, removed all his posts, apologised, and said that the matter would be handled internally. I was happy with that!
    Two ‘hours’ later, the post was removed from the NZTV page, and after I complained bitterly to the administrator of the NZTV page (a certain ‘Chris Parkinson’. Ex radio(?)jock) , with the same name as Sean Plunkets producer who had attacked me, I was warned twice to ‘back off’, and then blocked and removed from the group?
    It seems as if even posting these journos pictures online is enough to get you Tory bullied bigtime at the moment.
    Blinding redneck bully nonsense in every direction?
    How bizarre! How bizarre!

    • Jeremy Parkinson and Chris Parkinson are presumably not the same person. I know Jeremy Parkinson very well and have never had reason to doubt his integrity.

      However, it doesn’t sound as though you’ve been well treated by these people.

      Interestingly, I’ve just been having a look at Twitter. The media Right is responding to my post in its traditional way – with mindless abuse. “Brian Edwards is a moron.” That’s about the level I’ve become used to. Almost invariably anonymous. Gutless morons.

      Try not to let it bother you. If it does, they win.

      • I thought your post was geographically neutral myself. Could have been written about any journalist whether Left or Right. The issue is the desire of news organisations to “sell” moderately (in some cases minimally) talented journalists as a reason to tune in. Impervious to it myself.

      • They are definately related. No bother though. A steely resolve nowadays.

  4. I read the Herald (online, I’m blowed if I’ll pay) so I can poke the borax at Hosking in the “Comments” section.
    I must admit, though, that it’s getting boring: rather like shooting fish in a barrel because most of his opinion pieces are so facile.

  5. My memory may be failing me, but I cannot recall opening the newspaper to be assailed by full length pictures of Brian – or the equally excellent Michael Dean – when they were the hosts of Edwards / Dean on Saturday.

    Mind you, we had – if memory serves – only one other channel to choose from, so perhaps the TV execs weren’t so worried we’d opt for something else.

    But had Brian, or Philip Sherry or Peter Fry or Dougall Stevenson or… well, you get the picture… ever materialised on the side of a bus shelter, they would not have been so presumptuous as to tell me what “news” is, or why I should consume it.

    Even when Judy Bailey was at her beatific pinnacle – and may well have graced the odd bus – I still can’t recall her agreeing to be portrayed as explaining her work in such a way that simpletons might grasp what reading the autocue was designed to achieve.

    To do so takes a particular sort of ego, methinks.

  6. Reading, listening to, or watching anything by Hosking et al. makes me start to wonder if I’ve temporarily been transported to an alternate reality. It’s as if lots of words have stopped meaning things.

  7. “…I’m betting that, like me, you thought you listened to the news on radio or watched the news on TV or read the morning paper because you just wanted to find out what had been going on in the rest of the world…”

    Nope. What you get from all of those sources is not “what had been going on in the rest of the world”, but what the “journalists” want you to think about what had been going on. The distinction between fact and comment appears to be entirely foreign to them. It takes considerable effort to isolate the small kernel of fact from the surrounding spin, misinterpretation, and occasional downright misrepresentation which comprise the typical “news” item. Whatever became of straight reporting, and allowing the readers/viewers/listeners to make up their own minds about the events of the day?

  8. “Sufferin’ succotash” is a catchphrase used by several Looney Tunes cartoon characters, most notably Sylvester the Cat,but the phrase has also been used less often by Daffy Duck and Yosemite Sam. Wikipedia
    Succotash (from Narragansett sohquttahhash, “broken corn kernels”) is a food dish consisting primarily of sweet corn with lima beans or other shell beans. Wikipedia

    Ironically Mike Hosking is a reason not to like news for me.

  9. I thought a brief addendum to this relatively light-hearted post might be in order.

    First, I should answer my own question: what’s the reason for this avalanche of Hosking promotion by Newstalk ZB and the Herald?

    Well, I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that the station, or perhaps just their breakfast show, is “in survey” at the moment. Survey results or “ratings” are what drive advertising revenue. So this looks like a mega attempt to improve Hosking’s figures.

    Nothing wrong with that, but the size of this campaign, which in my view is more likely to turn listeners off than turn them on, does invite the question: is all well in the House of Hosking?

    Then there was this curious episode on last night’s Seven Sharp. The stunning Pippa Wetzell was co-hosting with Hosking while Toni Street is away having a baby. At one point Hosking reminded Wetzell of something he had said yesterday, the apparent implication being that she ought to have remembered it.

    Wetzell pointed out that she had been listening to him talking all afternoon and wondered whether she was required to remember everything he said. She undertook to pay more attention in future.

    This sort of badinage can be a feature of on-screen relationships, but both Wetzell’s look and her tone conveyed that she wasn’t at all happy with the arrogant and possibly sexist presumption of Hosking’s comments.

    “Arrogance” and “a sense of entitlement” are the terms I hear most frequently applied to Hosking from those who do not like him. From my own broadcasting experience I can say that these can be self-protective strategies for people constantly in the public eye. Who knows?

    Hosking now holds two jobs previously held by Paul Holmes: the ZB breakfast show and the 7pm slot on TV1. That, in my view, is where any meaningful comparison ends.

    • In my view and that of many other New Zealanders there is no comparison. One was and one is a complete media put off.

      • Whether you liked him or not, I think you’d be struggling to describe Holmes as “a complete media put off”. He’s there with Scrim as one of the great broadcasters of our time.

        • “If you say so” Brian, BUT… he certainly managed to put you off with one of his “award winning columnist” efforts in the Weekend Herald some years ago.

          “One might have thought that Paul Holmes was a different kettle of fish. He is after all hugely intelligent, extraordinarily well-read, a talented writer in my estimation, and an award-winning columnist.

          His column in last Saturday’s Weekend Herald, headed Waitangi Day a complete waste, reveals none of that. It is an appalling piece of offensive, unintelligent, uninformed racist claptrap that makes his 2003 ‘cheeky darkie’ reference to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan seem innocuous”.

  10. shouldn’t it just say I love news because it pays me a really big salary.

    Hoskings is his own parody.

  11. I have a lot of sympathy for those of you on the left… Hoskins seems to evoke the same sentiments for you as I have when I watch John Campbell.

    • I can understand your feelings about John. Represents the interests of those social parasites like teachers and earthquake victims battling the EQC and employees on “zero hour” contracts and other malingerers.John Key could have him for breakfast, if he had the guts to turn up.

      • 11.1.1

        John Key did turn up over the GCSB issue, and did indeed have him for breakfast. Perhaps you missed it.

        • I’m afraid I did. Perhaps it wasn’t in the recent past. Maybe you can give me a reference.


            I wish I could oblige, BE, but I’m a dinosaur when it comes to the technology, and wouldn’t know how to post a link to the video. You’re right that it wasn’t recent: it was before the last election, and in response to John Campbell’s campaign against the GCSB and related legislation. As you can imagine, it was reposted gleefully on various right of centre blogs, so it’s probably still floating around somewhere in the ether. If you can be bothered searching for it, I’d be genuinely interested in your views, as a media relations professional, on the merits of the protagonists’ respective performances.


            I believe this is the interview

        • John Key could do well to be interviewed by Campbell again, given the latest revelations on the GCSB. I think Campbell was closer to exposing Key’s duplicity than many on the right care to accept.

  12. From memory there were two interviews pre-election where Key and Bridges went on the offensive with Campbell. It was as if their script writers had briefed them well – similarly aggressive approaches. Again from memory, Bridges was defending his approving deep sea oil drilling licenses and the company might have been Petrobras. Given the current investigations into that company’s massive corruption charges, another interview with Campbell might serve us well.

    • 12.1

      Unlike you, I thought the two interviews were a study in contrasts rather than similarities. Bridges was aggressive and hectoring, and came off second best. Key on the other hand was simply firm in his determination to answer the questions he was asked without interruption, and in his refusal to be browbeaten. I’d score the first bout to Campbell and the second to Key.

  13. 13

    Except as a vehicle for Lefties to indulge their usual ad hominem “I hate Hoskings” vitriol I don’t see much point in this. TV3 has run adverts about their newsreaders and Campbell Live forever.

  14. It’s not that some of you seem to hate Mike Hosking so much, but that you don’t even know what his name is. Or to be charitable, cannot spell it.

  15. I love Miike Hoskings, he is such a wally and he takes himself so seriously, he becomes hugely entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

  16. one word , wanker