Brian Edwards Media

Mike Hosking: You pays your money and…

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I find myself in the improbable position of coming to the defence of broadcaster Mike Hosking.

Winston Peters has called Hosking “a National Party stooge whose jowls are up the Prime Minister’s cheeks”. I take this as some bizarre rephrasing of the common term “cheek by jowl” intended, I presume, to mean that the broadcaster and the PM are close buddies. Winnie will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong.

Meanwhile the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Little, has accused Hosking of “making no attempt at objectivity”.  One might have expected a more robust critique. I’m told the words “right wing little prick” have been simply flying down the corridors of the Opposition Wing to describe Mr Hosking.

I think this critique rather misses the point. While I’d be surprised to discover that Hosking is a closet member of the Parnell, Remuera or Epsom branches of the Labour Party  – total membership five! – I’d also risk my bottom dollar that he isn’t a member of any political party. This is, or should be the default position for any broadcaster working in the field of news or current affairs.

What Hosking betrays on Seven Sharp, on commercial radio and in his writing is not political bias but social conservatism. The two may overlap from time to time, but are inherently different. It’s entirely possible and even commonplace to be left wing and socially conservative.

Another way of putting it might be to say that Hosking is somewhat “old fashioned” or “old world” in his approach to many issues. This is reflected in his relationship to Toni Street whom, his manner suggests, he respects as a woman (meaning because she is a woman), but less, it seems to me, as a broadcaster of equal ability and status. He “talks down” to her in a somewhat paternal manner.

So I entirely disagree that Hosking is “a National Party stooge” or that he makes “no attempt at objectivity”. I’m sure he does his very best. But two things make objectivity a challenge for him. The first I’ve referred to before – Hosking is perhaps the most personally opinionated broadcaster I’ve come across in half a century in the business. The second is the social conservatism I’ve described above. Hosking’s values are “old school”.

Sometimes being “old school”  can be really good. Sometimes it can be really, really bad.

You pays your money and …

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64 Comments:

  1. If you classify yourself as a ‘journalist’ shouldn’t you at least make an attempt to be objective. The latest change of tack by the man with a frowning voice involves the flag. Until his friend, John, had a chat he was vociferously against changing it. As they say,” I am a man of firm opinions, but if you don’t like them, I have others”.

    • What many people seem to overlook is that Hosking does not pretend to be a journalist, reporter of facts. He is someone who offers opinions: his opinions. And people from both tribes change their opinions from time to time. If they didn’t, that would be a much bigger worry.

  2. “The man with the frowning voice” ooh I like that. As to Mike Hosking being anything other than a stooge – har har har! Sorry Brian come the revolution that frakker will be one of the first put against the wall.

  3. Disagree Brian.

    What Hoskings does is spin in the government’s favour. His treatment of the TPPA. He threw Jane Kelsey a whole lot of lines that are National Party lines, which she refuted very credibly. Then he still kept spinning the (National) party line.

    If you are going to say he’s a social conservative, please give examples………….

    • “Between Hosking & Henry, we get the spectrum: from National Party sock-puppet to Platinum Elite Illuminati Lounge-Pass National sock-puppet.”

      Above quote from Raybon Kan.

    • I agree. I can only conclude BE doesn’t know what social conservatism is. In the context of the post, he seems to think it means being sexist (as he sees it). That’s a bit of an insult to principled social conservatives.

      Unless Hosking has gone on the record opposing the redefinition of marriage, is pro-life or is against human cloning, euthanasia and the sexual revolution then I’m not sure how he can be labelled a social conservative.

      IMO, Hosking is – like Key – some form of liberal.

  4. Mike is an intelligent and quite incisive interviewer but , unfortunately, he’s dazzled by the tower of Mammon…he likes the moollah to much which clouds his abilities in the public’s eye…also those that have worked with him say he’s an obnoxious type of human…but there’s one of everything in NZ and he’s our one of ???

    • Will you define ‘intelligence’?
      I find Michelle Boag to be the same … opinionated about what she likes to know and isn’t interested in the rest.
      Do you mean ‘corrupted by material privilege’? Yeah, and that is contagious isn’t it … us apes always scrabble for resources and acceptance…
      They (Mike & Michelle) must have a lot of sycophantic acquaintances.

  5. If you are suggesting Hosking is not worth what he is getting paid then I would agree. If you believe that Hosking is not a Nat stooge then I can see why you must consider his “old school” performance really really bad.

    I would add that Hosking’s values appear primarily about money, the pursuit of money and mixing with those in the money. He has admitted as much himself.

    Looking forward to streaming RNZ after the revolution Mr Tank!

  6. “Winston Peters has called Hosking “a National Party stooge whose jowls are up the Prime Minister’s cheeks”. I take this as some bizarre rephrasing of the common term “cheek by jowl” intended, I presume, to mean that the broadcaster and the PM are close buddies. Winnie will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong.”

    I took it to mean that Peters is saying Hosking is such a sycophant his head is stuck up the Prime Minister’s arse (cheeks). “Classic” Peters if you like that sort of thing – and he certainly knows how to ring the populist bell.

    To the issue: Advocacy journalism has a long and proud history. John Campbell is a good example.

    But I wouldn’t even go so far as to describe Hosking as that. Instead he has a particular and definite editorial stance. Which means the voicing of his opinion in the soft-news forums in which he operates (radio news chat show, tv magazine programme, op-eds in newspapers) is legitimate. That Peters, Little and others don’t like it is tough.

    As long as Hosking doesn’t misrepresent or misreport facts, or confuse them with opinions (and I’m not aware of any in the latest exchange with Peters…unless Winston has actual photos of Hosking and Key in the described anatomically challenging position)…then that is the end of the matter.

    As there are plenty of others in the media with an editorial stance far different from Hosking, maybe he is attracting attention because we are not used to his point of view being broadcast.

    Just a suggestion.

    • As long as Hosking doesn’t misrepresent or misreport facts.

      Well, facts come second after ratings these days, or is it third, or fourth?

      I don’t like or watch Hosking, but it is strangely amusing to see people complaining that a post-truth media figure doesn’t always tell the truth. As if facts matter.

  7. Nah. Hoskings has his face so deep in Key’s cleft we can hear the flapping cheeks with each snort.

  8. The comments here remind me of a column I read recently by someone talking about the tribe of politics and the death of reason.

    John Campbell left-wing apologist good, Mike Hosking right-wing apologist bad. No ability to see that the support of the one necessitates the legitimacy of the other.

    • Maybe that’s because they are different. It takes Hosking-style laziness not to see that, and to trot out the tiresome “all same same, ergo balanced” line.

      Campbell isn’t an ‘apologist’. He pursues stories. He investigates. He is a journalist (Pike River, Christchurch red zone, food in schools, Samoa tsunami, the list is long).

      Now, it’s fair enough to say that his overall perspective is left-leaning. It’s fair enough to say that his motivation to do the job – to tell the stories – comes from his left-leaning perspective.

      But it’s not fair enough to say that Hosking does anything similar. He has opinions. He is a well-paid talkback caller. He doesn’t ask questions, because he prefers his own answers.

      It’s a clear divide and it’s not left v right. It’s discovering versus declaring. One requires a lot more work, and should be valued accordingly.

      • Well said simon g.

      • I actually prefer and expect most journalists to have a left-wing perspective. And academics too for that matter. Given the nature of the job it is important for the media to continually challenge the status quo, especially those in power.

        But after the shameful debacle that “Dirty Politics” proved for the media during last year’s election – and I seem to remember John Campbell via his coverage of the GCSB Amendment Bill playing a major part during 2013 in drumming up what eventually became hysteria and partisan division over the important matter of national security – there is a place for someone like Hosking.

        It takes judgement and courage to stand apart from the majority of your profession and an accompanying rush of lemmings and dare to say, “Actually, you’ve got it wrong. There is no big scandal/story here. This is not another Watergate. Instead, this is how life is lived”.

      • Totally irrelevant given we are debating whether its right for a journalist or media presenter to have a “leaning”. Under your logic one dresses his leanings in research, the other just expresses his leanings. But either way there are leanings and therefore there is equivalence.

        The recent apologies given by TV3 in respect of an earthquake hatchet job by Campbell exemplify the point that leanings can masquerade as investigation.

    • http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/201764822/mediawatch-for-2-august-2015

      This is giving opinions without evidence. That is exactly what bias is.

      Campbell has never said, “look, they’re making too much of this, I reckon it’ll all turn out all right in the end” and taken that as his position. Campbell did reporting.

  9. Old Tony @ 18:46….bulls-eye !

  10. In the last couple of days we have seen reported from Sydney about a local deputy Mayor and the closure of a local road so he could get married.

    Any vehicles left on the side of the road were to be towed.
    Locals are very upset and understandably so.
    Now this clown was asked why this was going on, and his answer was, because he is so special.

    At the time of watching this my immediate thought was, good god, that’s Mike Hosking all over again.

    Made me want to vomit actually.
    These jerks are only special in their own small minds.

  11. You are way too kind Brian. Hosking is a bullshit artist. Add to that a fair dollop of arrogance and he comes across to me as someone lacking in genuine understanding and empathy.

  12. Anyone know what Hosking the man (as opposed to the media persona) is like?

  13. The perfect word to describe Hoskings is ‘popinjay’.

  14. Once again the truth as the rest of us see it is summed up by Jeremy Wells on Hauraki Breakfast show.

    https://soundcloud.com/radiohauraki/jeremy-wells-like-mike-hosking-rant-winston-peters-the-prime-ministers-cheeks

    Caution content may offend…. despite being very very close to the truth.

  15. I am reliably informed that the said Hoskings did say unto the PM as he once left the radio station studio(with the mic still on, of course): Gotta look after your mates, John, eh!

    “Social”, even “Socially” – very. “Conservative” – t’wood seem so.

    Together, serially and/or conflated, my dear friend BE, you may have made your point well.

    Though I hope not.. though not seriously. :-)

  16. Mike Hosking defends Sky City Casino and the National Party. Where does Mike Hosking get his money from? Is there a link?

  17. I try to see both sides – to walk in others’ shoes to see why they might think the way they do. I’ve tried that with Hosking too – and I have to disagree with you, Brian.

    If Hosking were only a social conservative, he might well disagree with Key on some things. As a political tool, his job is to agree with everything that dribbles from the PM’s mouth. This he does with remarkable consistency.

    Have you EVER heard him fundamentally disagree with Key publicly?

    Ever?

  18. 18

    Even on the odd occasion when I have agreed with Mike Hoskings I don’t like him.
    It’s the patronizing attitude that I find so irritating.

  19. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11499449

    Can someone please tell me why this is not a good op ed piece?

    Forthright, full of facts and the succinct view of experts and those with real skin in the game, while specifically mentioning and rebutting the alternative opinions and conclusions.

    I’m not looking for someone to tell me why Hosking is wrong – knowing the regulars the Herald on line comments section attracts there will soon be a deluge disputing the analysis and/or conclusions. Sometimes about as ad hominem emotively and subjectively as some of the comments on this thread.

    But lay aside the subject matter that is being discussed for a moment. Can someone please tell me, why this is not a well-crafted and researched piece, and therefore stimulating piece of journalism and editorial?

    • So you want someone to discuss this piece without reference to its accuracy, Kimbo? That’s pointless.

      Without being able to talk about Mr Hosking’s cherry-picking of opinions (what he calls facts, in some cases) to support his agenda – when he accuses others of having agendas, and still manages to give them a derisive, silly name to boot?

      He’s done that specious ‘see how simple it all is’ thing that he also does on TV, without choosing to do his homework to see the wider picture of the dairy industry’s frailties. It might well work for people who don’t want to really think (including in this instance, himself, apparently), but as a well-researched piece it fails.

      As a piece of ‘glass half-full’ propaganda, it will, no doubt, work for some.

      It’s simply not good enough to warrant op-ed space.

      • “So you want someone to discuss this piece without reference to its accuracy, Kimbo? That’s pointless.”

        No, you don’t have to agree with Hosking. Indeed, it is obvious you don’t. I want to discuss whether the structuring, use of sources, the movement from facts to conclusions and on to tenable opinions and any rebuttal qualifies it as a good piece of editorial editorial journalism.

        Like you would, say, with any other piece of writing. For example, subjectively I loathe most poetry, but I know there are criteria by which I can attempt to judge, with some degree of objectivity, if it is a “good” poem. Or have you never heard or judged a debate where you have no pre-existing opinion or emotional connection? Obviously not.

        So, you may well consider Hosking has “cherry-picked” has cherry-picked” opinions in this case. Personally, unless you can show his chosen “expert” authorities (Fonterra, Federated Farmers, Rabobank) have no right to be referenced ahead of others such as Peters and Little, who let’s face it, most certainly DO have an agenda to paint things in as negative a light as possible – and good luck to them. That is their job-

        …then you have no basis to dismiss Hosking’s opinion other than you don’t like it. Which is your prerogative. Just don’t expect your opinion to be treated as “expert”, nor particularly worthwhile when you dismiss his abilities as a commentator.

        And you live in a strange world where a politician can accuse a media personality of having his head up a rival politician’s arse, and wring your hands over “accus(ing) others of having agendas, and still manag(ing) to give them a derisive, silly name to boot” when there is a come back. Personally (and no doubt subjectively), I thought Hosking let Peters off lightly. But then he is smart enough to know any more would give Peters the oxygen he craves at the media’s expense.

        But if you can’t tell the difference between the subjective case a writer is making and objectively judging if it was argued well, no problem, Neil. This discussion is not for you.

        • I’ll set aside the slightly patronising slights you throw my way and deal with the rest, noting only that surely it is up to me to decide if I partake in a discussion.

          I am indeed capable of looking at the format and framing of a written piece without passing judgment on the writer’s perspective. I do so regularly in my job. What I do require, however, is a well-crafted argument that uses the writer’s research to best effect. I’ve seen some breath-taking analyses of evidence that I may not agree with, but can admire the craft and research involved. Where the research falls down, the argument falls down. Mr Hosking skates lightly over the surface of the information available, without giving any evidence that he’s done any more than that. It suits him to do so, to stay within his comfort zone.

          Funnily enough, the position you accuse me of taking – of being unable to separate the political position from the worth of the argument – is exactly what Mr Hosking does, in print and on screen.

          • Onya, Nell. Apologies if you felt patronsied. Perhaps the use of the phrase “pointless” in your opening paragraph contributed to my choice of tone.

            Just one thought – as it is an op-ed piece, which of its very nature usually requires painting with broad brushes rather than in fine detail (where is Brain Edwards and his frustration over Jesuitical nit-pickers when I need him!)

            …and as you have given no examples in the piece under discussion where Hosking “skates lightly over the surface of the information available” (unless Fedfarmers, Rabobank and Fonterra aren’t the major spokespeople in the dairy industry)

            I’ll conclude the example in question doesn’t fit the usual Hosking file of failure.

        • I have read the Hosking piece you linked to. Both you (Kimbo) and he claim it to be “full of facts”.

          Where are they? I could see two predictions. Saying what *will* happen is not a fact. (I would guess that those forecasts may be right, given that an improvement from a very bad position is more likely than not – but my guess is also not a fact).

          Dealing in “facts” would be to report on the state of the dairy industry, and analyse the reasons for it. These are many and varied, but – and again we come back to the core point – to do this would be journalism. It would be work.

          Finding somebody who says something you agree with is not hard. Finding out things we don’t already know is harder. Hosking is only ever interested in the former.

          • I went over the piece again, and these are the facts I found: –

            Rabobank are rural lending specialists, which makes them experts in the dairy industry (the latter is arguably an opinion, but one supported by the prior fact).

            Fonterra are experts in the dairy industry.

            Federated farmers are experts in the dairy industry.

            They say “They see a substantial – their words, not mine – improvement in prices next year, and the long-term fundamentals of the dairy sector have not altered”.

            You may disagree with that, simon g, (as this thread says, “You pays your money and…”), and the prediction may prove to be wrong. Nonetheless Hosking has faithfully and factually recorded the essence of what they say.

            Which, when you are relying on experts to form the basis of your opinion, is what you want to see.

            Of course no one can factually predict the future. But isn’t that Hosking’s point? But if you want to know what the future most likely holds, it is usually more fruitful to go to those who have the experience to predict and skin in the game.

            You say, “Dealing in “facts” would be to report on the state of the dairy industry, and analyse the reasons for it”. Well, that is your opinion (nb: not a fact), but I would suggest, in my opinion, that for most most folks it is what will happen in the future that is most important. And if you want to know what that is, how about going to the farming and support industries who have been in this game for over 100 years to get an idea.

            Now you may suggest – as is your prerogative – that Hosking’s experts have so much skin in the game, they could be biased and/or lacking the proper perspective. Fair enough, but that wasn’t Hosking’s point, and as it is an op-ed piece he has to be short and punchy and not succumb to death by 1000 qualifications.

            But then, as he states, isn’t that also the case with those such as media commentators and politicians who are predicting things will go poorly? At the very least, judging by Winston Peters’ reaction, Hosking has faithfully and factually recorded the NZ First’s predictions.

            Anyway, on with more of Hosking’s facts: –

            A recession is when we go backwards.

            ASB are economic experts.

            They predict “2% growth this year, 2.9% next year” (note yet again, they may be wrong, but Hosking has faithfully and factually recorded their opinion)

            That prediction is better that “than most countries on earth”.

            “The success of a country, like the success of a business or a team or a family or an individual, is based a lot around attitude”

            If you don’t think the last one is a fact, then at the very least it is an opinion for which you can marshal a substantial body of facts to support the assertion. Whether you think it is germane to Hoskings’ argument and is a suitable conclusion probably depends on the weight you ascribe to his chosen “experts”. At the very least, in my opinion it is not a non sequitur.

            • 19.1.1.2.1.1

              Hello … Fonterra / Rabobank / Federated Farmer’s “are experts” in the dairy industry? REALLY?
              Federated Farmer’s are a lobby group representing a wide number of varied rural industries.
              Rabobank has expertise in banking with a strong interest in rural loans.
              Fonterra is heavily focused on milk acquisition and conversion of product to profit.
              They may each have some areas of expertise related to some sectors of the dairy industry, but for anyone to assert such a broad generalization as you have is naive.
              The “Game” as you call it, dates your viewpoint which unfortunately appears as a verbose rant. Tighten up your game OLD man.

              • 19.1.1.2.1.1.1

                So they have “expertise” but they aren’t “experts”?! (see – I can do the rhetorical question thing too). Including Federated FARMERS.

                Yeah, you are right. If the “game” is dancing on a semantic pinhead, I’m no match for you…

            • 19.1.1.2.1.2

              I’m sorry to tell you Mr Kimbo, but – like Mike, you need to go back to the dictionary and refresh your understanding of “facts” and “opinions”.
              According to my dictionary “fact – something that actually exists, something known to exist or to have happened, a truth known by actual experience or observation”
              It is a fact that Rabobank, Fonterra and Federated Farmers are closely associated with the dairy industry. What they say about the dairy industry are not facts. They are opinions. Arguably expert opinions but opinions nonetheless.
              And from Mike’s article we don’t even know what they actually said or when they said it. We don’t know if they have a history of being right, or a history of being wrong. We only have Mike’s interpretation of what he thought they said.
              I agree that a proper and effective op ed must be short and punchy but I would add that it must also be backed up by substantial research and a wide sampling of views. I have no confidence that Mike has done such research or that he has investigated any views that did not correspond with his own. That is why his op ed is a shallow failure and a poor example of the medium.
              The continual insults he offers to those who disagree with him are just the childish cherry on the top.

              • 19.1.1.2.1.2.1

                Thanks, Mr Gideon,

                “What (Rabobank, Fonterra and Federated Farmers) say about the dairy industry are not facts. They are opinions. Arguably expert opinions but opinions nonetheless.”

                Correct.

                But Hoskings was factually correct when he relayed what their opinions were. Unless you have some facts to the contrary – in which case, let’s see ‘em…

              • 19.1.1.2.1.2.2

                http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11494444

                “Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said…(dairy prices) will bounce back, it’s just a question of time. That’s why we are saying that you don’t have to pay back the 50c per kg until the milk price hits $6.00 or more – because we are confident that it will go back to $6.00,” he said”.

                https://www.rabobank.com/en/press/search/2015/20150818_dairynz.html

                In a new report released to its clients in New Zealand last week Dairy Industry Note – Riding out the storm, Rabobank says, while the dairy sector is currently experiencing a severe cyclical downturn, the mechanisms that will turn the market around have now been triggered and a substantial improvement in prices is still expected by mid-2016.

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/280864/dairy-sector-not-in-crisis,-says-federated-farmers

                Federated Farmers president William Rolleston told TVNZ’s Q and A programme this morning the dairy sector was not in crisis, and the downturn was cyclical.

    • Well ‘where there is muck there is money’ so said a water closet rodent!

  20. Brian I suggest you go back to the real issue in this matter .
    TVNZ the state broadcaster have created a current affairs show in which the head presenter Mike Hosking regularly makes comments [lectures us]
    praising the government. I do not think this should be part of the presenters role.
    Hosking says he is not a journalist and I say who gives him the right to do this on our state owned TV, in our so called democratic society.
    What are the producers thinking?

    • But presumably he and others are allowed to make comments critical of government policy and implementation?

      What sort of logic is that?!

      • When was he last critical of the government on his show, Kimbo?

        What we need is a critical eye over the political scene – evaluating where they get it right AND wrong. That’s not what we have with his show.

        • I take it Hosking’s criticism of the EQC, and the Government directly at the conclusion of Seven Sharp tonight was the exception that proves the rule…

    • I agree. Its not the state broadcasters job to promote any political line. But because this is neither possible nor desirable (we all love to hear political opinions we agree or disagree with) we should get rid of state broadcasters. Both TVNZ and Radio NZ should be sold.

  21. As I’ve already commented today to another blogger, Hosking is not biased (or a stooge). I definitely heard via his own breakfast show that “Hosking Is A Verb”, celebrated in song. So there it is: “To Hosking or Not To Hosking”, and that is not a question.

  22. After reading so many considered wider views about the role of media presenters and political partisanship in that my focus is more simple.

    I used to read his ZB editorials and usually read his Herald opinion pieces. So often I have found them shallow and lacking knowledge. I used to hear him on the radio and only see him by accident on television. I’ve heard him enough to project that voice of certainty, the tone of rightness and being knowledgable into some of the rubbish he writes.

    The blind leading the blind, the oracle delusion.

  23. Its not what he says but the way he says it .I agree with Zeppo.The Dairy Crisis could be any number of items he has voiced his opinion on.Hes got it down to a fine art.Take a headline or two in or out of context .U
    It still amazes me how popular he is.

  24. Here is a very plausible reason for Hoskin’s popularity from
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/08/heart-of-gold-why-mike-hosking-is-more.html

    “WHEN IT COMES TO RATINGS, Mike Hosking is a winner. He knows it, his employers know it, and, if they’re honest with themselves, the Daily Blog’s firebrands know it too. What he says to Newstalk-ZB’s listeners is, for the most part, well received. Which is why Newstalk-ZB’s breakfast show is the most popular product on commercial radio. Seven Sharp’s viewers, likewise, are insufficiently offended by Hosking’s opinions to change channels. And that’s all anyone has to do, FFS – if they don’t like or approve of Hosking’s shtick – change the bloody station or switch channels. Their forbearance, in the case of Seven Sharp, is what made the programme roughly twice as popular as Campbell Live.

    Though it pains the Left to admit it, Campbell Live was a vehicle for values shared by fewer and fewer New Zealanders. Thirty years of neoliberal hegemony will do that to a country. The social-democratic culture in which Kiwis over 50 were raised, while very far from being dead, can be accessed now only through the indistinct portals of nostalgia. By contrast, the culture which succeeded it, whatever people choose to call it, is everywhere you look. Love it or hate it, this is the culture we are all required to move and function in: the culture that counts.

    Mike Hosking is a perfect fit for this new, market-driven, culture. The social-democratic culture that permeated the old state broadcasting system was never one in which he felt comfortable. It was too sedate, too elevated, too wedded to the Reithian ethic, for a broadcaster of his voluble and quicksilver temperament. [Reithian: Named for John Reith, the first Director-General of the BBC, who held that the role of a public broadcaster was to “inform, educate and entertain” its listeners and viewers – C.T.]

    The Hosking personality: self-confident, thrusting and ambitious; scornful of those who cannot reach conclusions quickly and definitively; and unshakeably wedded to the idea that if success is not recognised by, and reflected in, increased material wealth and higher social status, then it isn’t really success; was, however, supremely well-adapted to the new world ushered in by the changes of the fourth Labour Government.

    Who could forget the Hosking interview with a Labour Cabinet Minister during which the hapless politician was incautious enough to ask the, by now extremely well-paid, broadcaster how much he earned. “More than you do!”, Hosking snapped back without missing a beat. Seldom has a Cabinet Minister looked so crestfallen. It was vintage Hosking. In the new era, ushered in by Rogernomics, human worth was measured by the quantum of an individual’s income. If he earned more than a Cabinet Minister, that could only mean that he was better than a Cabinet Minister – and Hosking wasn’t the least bit afraid of letting Cabinet Ministers know it.

    The Left, of course, rejects Hosking’s world view as utterly repellent, and condemns it as antithetical to everything they believe in and want for the world. From their perspective, it is morally indefensible that such a person should be accorded the privilege of daily addressing hundreds-of-thousands of their fellow citizens. But the corruption they believe his unabashed worship of wealth and status is bound to work in the body politic was already dissolving “Old” New Zealand long before Hosking took possession of Sir Paul Holmes’s prime-time batons.

    The sad fact is that Hosking is not the problem, merely its artfully tousled personification. His high ratings among 18-35 year-olds is explicable only if we accept that, in the eyes of those who have grown up under neoliberalism, being rich and famous is the indisputable desideratum of twenty-first century life. These youngsters have no wish to tear Hosking down, on the contrary, they want to be just like him. Wealth and fame have become the markers of a life well lived. By this reckoning, reiterated over and over again in Hosking’s speeches and columns: success is well-earned, by definition; and failure is merely Nature’s way of delivering her pink slip to those unfortunates on the wrong side of the Bell Curve.

    If this is “right-wing bias”, then the whole era through which we are living must be adjudged in precisely the same terms. Hosking is not a megaphone for neoliberalism, he is its bright and shining mirror. And those who accuse him of being John Key’s “stooge” simply do not appreciate the chemistry at work between them. Mike Hosking might earn more than the average Cabinet Minister, but all his thrusting ambition has not come close to earning him a fortune of $55 million. To the Hoskings of this world (and there are many more of them than the Left would like to think) Key’s fortune is proof positive that the Prime Minister is a superior human-being.

    Mike Hosking’s heart of gold: cold and glittering as any precious metal; goes out to the ubermensch born in a state house. When God and Mammon have become one and the same – where else would it go?

    • The sad fact is that Hosking is not the problem, merely its artfully tousled personification. His high ratings among 18-35 year-olds is explicable only if we accept that, in the eyes of those who have grown up under neoliberalism, being rich and famous is the indisputable desideratum of twenty-first century life.

      Just demonstrates Ruth Richardsons 1992 prediction that “We will have to sacrifice a generation to get where we want to be..”

  25. Fools and Jesters have always enjoyed prominence and high reward in the courts of kings and queens. Hosking is on the money with his act, and he revels in it. Long live King John he sayeth.

  26. I do not know him, but he is simply the best broadcaster and interviewer in the country, bar none.

  27. Yeah right!!

  28. Can someone explain to me why we need this so called opinion editorial claptrap in the first place. Secondly, if we need it, why is it delivered by a lightly educated, populist radio host. Are we unable to make up our own minds over the cherry picked sound bites he lists as ‘facts’.
    This master analyst is able to reduce the most complex world problems to manageable proportions and explain them to simpletons like us in seconds. Anyone disagreeing must be a ‘loser’ or a ‘moron’. Everything is now fast food, no restaurants. Lift quality ‘muzac’ has replaced that labour intensive, elitist orchestra.
    We really shouldn’t hoard a treasure of this magnitude. He could travel to the Middle East. By his simplistic standards that problem shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Or North Korea or or or anywhere. Ain’t it so.

  29. Chris Trotters sumation rings true but leaves no solution to
    the ills this creates for society.Perhaps Punk Rockers were right”No Future”
    Brian you need to schedule a hard hitting interview with Mike Hosking to break the spell of the Emperers New Clothes

  30. Mike Hosking once referred to an elderly woman as a moron because she had the temerity to accidentally damage his beloved Maserati. He is one classy individual.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10818146

  31. If there’s only one thing worse than state propaganda from state media, it’s state propaganda from private media.