It’s sad that Matthew Hooton passes for a political commentator in this country. If he was a blogger, he would be third, fourth tier. Surely, we can do better.
Last year in his column, Hooton suggested that there would be no election this year because Labour would stage a coup.
Last week on Nine till Noon, he ranted endlessly about Nicky Hager being a thief and conspiracy theorist in one of the most embarrassing moments in political discourse in recent times (apart from his fellow Nat Peter Low’s ‘I’ll get triads’ rant on Morning report later that week).
On Sunday Hooton wrote, “we can safely assume in Clark’s Wellington that the particular staffers who [supplied Clark with info on Key’s holdings in Tranzrail that were slightly wrong] will never be heard of again”, which a few phone calls has confirmed is totally wrong, a malicious lie. He also claims that if a coalition government can be formed after the election of Labour, the Greens, the Progs, NZF, and the Maori Party it would “lack popular legitimacy”. Sorry, if a government has the support of Parliament and no party in it had promised voters it would not enter such a coalition, then it has popular legitimacy, even if it doesn’t include the largest party.
Hooton is not a real commentator, he is a spin doctor, He knows that he can’t win rational debate and, also, that when people hear two contrasting positions they are inclined to assume the truth is somewhere in the middle. So, he gives an extreme, frothing at the mouth, rightwing counterpoint to the considered commentators of the Left, dragging the centre rightward while poisoning thoughtful debate and legitimising paranoid delusions. New Zealand deserves better.