Key ups the stakes over tea tape
Prime Minister John Key has tried standing on principle over the so-called teapot tape and the issue has refused to die. Which is why he upped the stakes today by deliberately walking out on a press conference rather than answer questions over the contents of the tape.
It was clearly a calculated move to drive a wedge between the media and the public over the issue.
Presumably National’s focus groups are telling them that there is a high level of public distaste at the way the conversation between John Banks and Key was picked up.
From Key’s actions today, it is clear that he believes his stance puts him on the right side of public opinion.
Nice try Tracy! Complete with your guess about focus groups as an appeal to “authority”.
But it doesn’t wash. First, staging a walkout is far too dangerous, as it is likely to be portrayed by the media as what it is, a panicked reaction from a PM trapped by his own hubris. Second, if the event was staged, they’d have staged it much better than that (e.g. a quotable exit line from Key). And third, if it was staged, there was no need to cancel other media events later that day – once again that looks like what it is, time for Key to cool off and work out what to do with this mess.
So sorry, no, this one looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. Brand Key is coming apart at the seams. Releasing the tape is now probably the path of least damage.