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Granny’s baked some patsies for you, dearie

Written By: - Date published: 10:48 am, February 21st, 2009 - 24 comments
Categories: john key, Media - Tags: ,

Can you spot the question that wasn’t asked of Key by Armstrong and Young in their six page interview with him in today’s Herald?

  • Is there too much “doom and gloom” talk at the moment, especially by and in the media?
  • There’s a lot of debate among commentators as to whether your stimulus package will actually work. Will it?
  • In response to an earlier question, you said the government is increasing expenditure because to not do so would make the recession worse but in response to the last question you said you are effectively cutting government spending as a percentage of GDP, which is correct?

Yeah not much of a challenge, really, eh?

I love the answer to this question too:

Q. There’s a lot of debate among commentators as to whether your stimulus package will actually work. Will it?

Key: I think the only way you can judge that is the counter-factual – which would be if the Government took no action and I think, given the contraction in the private sector at the moment, that would have no counter-balancing increase in expenditure and the Government would certainly deepen and worsen the recession.

It’s a complete false dichotomy of course. The choice isn’t between doing nothing and doing what Key’s government has done – we could also being doing more and better things. Naturally, that is not raised by the interviewers.

What is missing, as so often, is the second question. Key gets his first, soft, question, and gives his spin response but there is nothing to follow up that cuts through the spin. It’s not a problem limited to just interviewing of Key, of course. It is endemic in our media and I put it down to poor preparation and subject knowledge. However, it seems that it is particularly bad when it comes to interviews with Key (perhaps, because he still has half the journos swooning).

Take this for example:

Q Why hasn’t Labour been invited to the Jobs Summit? Isn’t it time for a bipartisan approach to the crisis?

Key: Firstly, they are free to propose any idea that they like. And if they are good, obviously we would consider them. We are not particularly trying to exclude them on political grounds but simply we don’t think they bring anything to the table at this point…

Well, Labour does have jobs policy. As but one example, Labour has a private members’ bill before the House to ensure contractors get paid the minimum wage, which National/ACT is set to vote down next week. So, the follow-up question could have been:

“But that’s not correct, Labour and other parties do have ideas about protecting jobs and wages. Isn’t it true that you really didn’t invite them because the jobs summit is intended to vindicate National policies and their ideas don’t fit with your ideology?”

But does the second question get asked? No. Granny can’t have her favourite grandson put on the spot, can she?

24 comments on “Granny’s baked some patsies for you, dearie ”

  1. Redbaiter 1

    C’mon for chrissakes- the interview is just the same old same old NYT soft ball bullshit from a couple of past their use by date wet liberals, who might be tempering their approach slightly these days as it slowly but surely dawns on them that pay checks for the kind of dull uninspiring crap they usually produce are getting very thin and few and far between.

  2. Daveski 2

    Wolf. Boy. Cries.

  3. So, I shouldn’t take the media to task for this kind of soft ball interviewing? Because you don’t think it is soft ball and you’re worried that when I do complain about a real soft ball interview no-one will listen?

    Because that’s what flows from your reference.

  4. Monty 4

    hey tough – John Key is now PM and maybe after nine years of labour the media are too stuck in their ways. Clark had 9 years of control of the media – a little sad they no longer hum to your tune?

  5. Daveski 5

    No Steve the point I’m making is that why I think there is sometimes a kernel of truth or a valid point in your posts, this is been drowned out by the drums you’ve been banging on. In particular, the inference from your posts is that only the NZH matters – yet I’ve never once seen a critical post here (apart from me :)) about Radio NZ.

    The point of the boy who cries wolf is that even if you are right, the effect is nullified by your continued fixation on the Evil Granny.

    John Armstrong isn’t playing the game is he?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10557860&pnum=0

  6. Redbaiter 6

    Whatever happened to that tax bill Cullen reckoned the Herald owed anyway??

  7. burt 7

    Redbaiter

    The Herald won, Cullen lost – eat that.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    burt and baity, arse about tit as usual. The Herald never owed the tax, that was Cullen’s point.

  9. Herbert. 9

    Sorry PB I thought the former Minister of Finance was helping the country head towards a depression! One thing I like about history,it WILL be cruel on a Granny Absolute Power Regime, but who cares as the party is over boys and gals.

    Lets all bake another socialist bullshit cake eh? Here Gran have another sip of vine and after that I will get Baldrick to make you a lovely coffee.

  10. monkey boy 10

    I thought Key came across as quite reasonable – compared to the ‘That’s just the way of the world’ arrogance of the previous government.
    If you feel that the Herald lacked critical nous that’s just a case of ‘Diddums’ really, isn’t it?
    I seem to remember you coined the use of ‘Granny’ Herald here in response to their apparent ‘right-wing bias’ over the EFA – My point being you were not particularly supportive of the Herald asking critical questions when the last lot were in power, so why are you crying in your beer now?
    The Herald didn’t lack critical nous when they reported that Cullen spent $690 million on a rail network which was last year valued up at $442m – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10557837 – were you at the front applauding that piece of reporting?
    I wonder how many jobs and wages might have been protected with that $240 million he p**d up against the wall? I wonder if that extra $240 Mill. would have padded out the ‘feeble’ recent package National declared? Cullen’s more prudent handling of that particular fiasco might have done more for the spirit of bipartisanship than a thousand empty posturings.
    But it looks like we will never know.

    IrishBill: funny you should mention the rail deal because National has included it in their (re)package. Yes there was too much paid for rail but that’s what happens when you renationalise a monopoly asset in a market environment. It’s simply supply and demand. I personally would have enforced the sale at an independently derived valuation but can you imagine how the right would have responded to that?

  11. There are several bloggers who write more balanced, thoughtful and credible political commentary and analysis than anyone at the Herald.

    I’m not sure how or why they have lost the other eye…..but they have and it is sad. I rarely buy it anymore. It feels too much like paying to read something Tony Ryall wrote….

    The last editorial I read in the Herald was a muddled mess propping up the private sector and belittling government while at the same time (half-heartedly) admitting the private sector was responsible for the huge mess we now face.

    The – frankly bizarre – editorial advice was that government should let the private sector sort it out…..(ignoring the huge and obvious utter failure to do exactly that when regulation was made less onerous).

    Whoever writes the Herald leaders is either dreadfully muddled….or writing under orders and talking utter crap in the process…..perhaps in rebellious but subtle self-parody. A more subtle print version of Stephen Colbert, perhaps….thought I very much doubt it.

  12. Felix 12

    Lee,

    The nickname “Granny Herald” has been used in NZ for many, many years. It definitely wasn’t coined on the Standard and it definitely wasn’t coined last year.

  13. Shona 13

    Warwick Roger creator of Metro magazine coined the term ” Granny Herald” 25 years ago.

  14. the sprout 14

    What struck me about the ‘interview’ is just how Bush-like Key is in his glorious ineloquence.

    Consider these gems:

    Key on the international response to the crisis:
    “Secondly, if you look at the packages that have been promoted around the world by various Governments, by and large they are extremely consistent in so much that they have a component that tends to have a component which includes personal tax relief and a significant component in relation to building new infrastructure.”

    Hmm component components. they sound important and technical.

    Key on Budget plans to ease the recession’s impact:
    “We are working on a focus and some initiatives for the Government for the Budget but I think it’s fair to say that there is a limit to what is possible in the Budget and it will depend in some part on how much we are prepared to commit to initiatives that come out of the Jobs Summit. Because that is the issue that we face.”

    Working on a ‘focus’? and what exactly is the issue we face then, the focus, some initiatives, limits to what is possible, preparedness to commit? WTF?

    If you read them quickly they sound plausible, but when you read them closely they don’t actually make much sense 🙂

    Notice too how every whopper Key makes is preceded by “I don’t accept that…” – it’s his ‘tell’, and indicates even he doesn’t believe what’s about to follow.

  15. Tigger 15

    Um, if people who don’t have anything new to bring to the table aren’t being invited to the job summit then why are National themselves attending?

  16. Redbaiter 16

    “What struck me about the ‘interview’ is just how Bush-like Key is in his glorious ineloquence.”

    Oh gawd. Don’t you lefties ever play another record? So Key is “dumb”- just like Bush, Reagan, Dan Quayle, Thatcher, Bob Dole and every other Conservative political figure.

    A millionaire who made his money in foreign currency trading and banking, an employment field where low IQ dummies always shine.

    While “the sprout”, who so casually makes these kind of declarations, is probably flat out reconciling bus ticket sales with the cash intake for some council owned bus service somewhere. If he’s not furiously inputting registration details to his hand held digital device on over-parked Jaguars and BMW’s in a desperate attempt to alleviate the innate hate and envy that shapes his attitude to life..

  17. the sprout 17

    RB your irrational responses are are perhaps the result of your faulty perceptions.

    I think Key is ineloquent like Bush, not ‘dumb’ as you put it. Key has obviously been clever at amassing a personal fortune. Whether that’s the same thing as having the right set of skills to be a capable PM is another matter, but I wouldn’t suggest he is, as you say ‘dumb’.
    I also don’t think Margaret Thatcher suits such a description.

    The last para of your reply is unintelligible to me so beyond any clarification. Why do observations about Key’s ineloquence make you so anrgy RB?

  18. vto 18

    SP can you please extend this of yours;

    “… As but one example, Labour has a private members’ bill before the House to ensure contractors get paid the minimum wage”

    to all private enterprise?

    All those in business are after all contractors.

    Can’t wait for the back payment cheque.

  19. Redbaiter 19

    “I think Key is ineloquent like Bush, not ‘dumb’ as you put it.”

    Well of course you’re welcome to your opinion ( the same one as held by partisan leftists the world over) but I disagree. I do not think Bush was “ineloquent”. Neither do I think Key is “ineloquent”. I could find similar phrases from almost any politician, your God Zerobama included. However I concede I may have missed the thrust of your comment.

    “Why do observations about Key’s ineloquence make you so anrgy RB?”

    Why is it that leftists always assume that a bit of punchy criticism of leftism/ leftists is a demonstration of anger? You guys are so PC its painful. You think the above is a demonstration of anger you need to be on the receiving end of some of the stuff I get from your braindead comrades. Going by your standards, they must be in a constant state of mouth frothing eye popping teeth grinding arm flailing knee jerking berserkness.

    Zerobama-

    “On this Memorial as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them in the audience here today.”

    “The time has changed for come.”

    “Let’s see, from 1978 to 2006 is about 18 years.”

    “Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when if you, they just gave, you gave treatment early, and they got some treatment, and a breathalyzer, or an inhalator, not a breathalyzer (Laughter.) I haven’t had a lot of sleep in the last 48 hours, so. If they had an inhalator, inhaler, I’m still stumbling over this word. You know what I mean. You know what I mean. Then we would save money.”

    “What they’ll say is, well it will cost too much money. It would cost about, it it it would cost about the same as what we would spend it o-over the course of ten years it would cost what it would cost us it it. Alright, okay, we’re going to. It-it would cost us about the same as it would cost for about hold on one second I can’t hear myself. But I’m glad you’re fired up though. I’m glad…”

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    “Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma, they end up taking up a hospital bed, it costs, when if you, they just gave, you gave treatment early, and they got some treatment, and a breathalyzer, or an inhalator, not a breathalyzer (Laughter.) I haven’t had a lot of sleep in the last 48 hours, so. If they had an inhalator, inhaler, I’m still stumbling over this word. You know what I mean. You know what I mean. Then we would save money.’

    translation – prevention is better than treatment. I got that first time I read it.

    “We are working on a focus and some initiatives for the Government for the Budget but I think it’s fair to say that there is a limit to what is possible in the Budget and it will depend in some part on how much we are prepared to commit to initiatives that come out of the Jobs Summit. Because that is the issue that we face.’

    They’re trying to figure out what to do and there is a limit. The budget is limited by the initatives from the summit. The issue New Zealand faces is that the budget is going to be limited by the jobs summit.

    If you translate it and it still doesn’t sound vaguely right (i.e. do you think Key was trying to say we’ll be unlikely to do anything, because that’s that came out of that blurb), then ‘ineloquent’ is probably the wrong word, Sprout, it’s ‘unintelligible’…

  21. I love that this issue has united so many political spectrums to the point that from the left and the right of the blogosphere we are speaking with one voice; I was absolutely stoked to come in here and see you guys on board. 🙂

  22. lprent 22

    Madeline: “I love that this issue has united so many political spectrums to the point that from the left and the right of the blogosphere we are speaking with one voice; I was absolutely stoked to come in here and see you guys on board. :-)”

    I presume you’re not talking about the post, but the s92a stuff?

    We’re all denizens of the net. While most of us would support the rights of copyright holders. We’re not that interested in getting stuffed up by some dickweed claiming to act for a copyright and shutting our site down. In the absence of any sense from the parties to getting a operational code of conduct, we’re getting throughly annoyed by the looming threat.

    S92A without a decent judicial system is worse than useless. The ISP’s wouldn’t know what a copyright holder is – they don’t have staff. The claimants to having a copyright are often wrong. For instance the Nat’s have claimed copyright at least once here about an image of John Key that they didn’t take and was in the public domain. The law as it stands without a workable code of conduct would force the ISP’s to simply shut sites on a claim.

    At present it is simpler to see if these idiots involved in the code of conduct (including the governments past and present) can be assisted in getting it right…

    If they don’t.. In my case, I’d reduce my risk of incorrect accusations by simply shifting the hosting off-shore to a jurisdictional physical region that required claimants of copyright to prove their claim of copyright infringement. I’d also advise everyone else, including other people with creative content to do the same. The risks of accusations by nutbars and oppositional people is too high.

  23. Jum 23

    ‘Labour has a private members’ bill before the House to ensure contractors get paid the minimum wage, which National/ACT is set to vote down next week.’

    Please let us know the result.

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