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Key hides from real questions

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, November 4th, 2010 - 55 comments
Categories: interview, john key, Media - Tags:

How come John Key called Paul Henry’s racist comments completely unacceptable and Henry was forced to resign but Maurice Williamson’s racism is defended as ‘humour’ by Key and no punishment results? A question you might like to put to the PM. Well, if you try to ask it on Newstalk ZB they’ll let the PM’s staff censor you.

That’s what happened to William Findlay when he called in to Key’s weekly cuddle interview on Newstalk ZB:

Mr Findlay wanted to challenge the “inconsistency” between Mr Key’s criticism of TVNZ host Paul Henry’s lampooning of Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and his response to Muslim jokes made at a building industry dinner by Mr Williamson.

Mr Findlay said that several minutes after the producer cleared him to go on air, the woman from Mr Key’s office came on the line and said the issue was being discussed with the Muslim community, and he could not speak to Mr Key.

“I said, `So I’m not going to get to ask the question?’ and she said, `No, that’s all we have to say.”‘

The producer then came back on the line and said there was “nothing she could do”.

Newstalk ZB’s general manager of talk programming, Dallas Gurney, said: “It’s not common practice for the PM’s staff to speak to callers. However, in this instance, there was a genuine belief by the producer that they were helping to answer a listener’s question … I can give an assurance that the prime minister takes all calls on a wide range of issues.”

Yeah, he answers questions ranging all the way from what it’s like to play with spiders to what it’s like to play the clown on David Letterman. But he refuses to answer real questions.

It’s bad enough that Key won’t appear on Morning Report, the country’s premier interview programme. Now even the soft interviews he takes are being censored by his staff. It’s simply not acceptable.

The only people we can turn to are the media put those questions to Key. Those journos that Key will still talk to need to stand up for the public’s rights.

And we need to stand up. Everywhere Key goes, he needs to be told, loudly, that Kiwis are unhappy with him – as most recently happened in Mana on Tuesday.

55 comments on “Key hides from real questions”

  1. Steve 1

    It says a lot for the standard of our journalists that none seem capable of putting the PM on the spot to address why he won’t turn up. However as he is the only asset the government has the chances of him speaking off the cuff and damaging the party ratings in the polls are so slim. Those whose invoices the govt are paying are keen to protect that asset so that the tax payers dollars keep flowing (across the Tasman to Crosby/Textor no doubt!). They will protect at any cost this little treasure and not let him get in front of any media where he can be exposed for the shallow fellow that he is.

    Who can replace him? English? – been there and failed. Brownlee? – Heaven protect us. So don’t expect him to turn up on any news/current affairs programme any time before Dec 2011.

    Someone could try shameing him into appearing but he just doesn’t seem to care.

    And again I say, if the PM couldn’t stand up and be counted on to protect the good name of the Govenor-General during the now infamous interview with Henry, what hope is there for him being there to protect the rest of us…unless we’re Hobbits or a film industry knight.

  2. Sweetd 2

    “….. the country’s premier interview programme. ”

    By what measure?

    • Lazy Susan 2.1

      What’s your nomination sweet’d?

      • Bright Red 2.1.1

        What Now?

      • Sweetd 2.1.2

        Lazy Susan, I wouldn’t call any of our media’s offerings the “country’s premier interview programme.” Most of the time I would describe them as barley adequate. We are very let down in this country for any decent interviewers.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          Ah well I guess we’re going to have to resort to interview show relativism then.

          Crosby Textor is desperate not to have Key overexposed as a brand before the next elections, so I suspect its time to force him to front up every day, day after day.

        • felix 2.1.2.2

          I pretty much agree with you Sweetd, but even Supertramp have a best album and in that sense Morning Report could certainly be described as NZ’s best interview programme.

          • Sweetd 2.1.2.2.1

            A lot of things could be described as ‘best of’ when there is no effective measure. This is all very subjective.

            • felix 2.1.2.2.1.1

              First you said the overall standard is very low. Now you’re saying there’s no way to measure that standard.

              You can’t have it both ways. If there is no effective measure then you can’t claim a low standard. If there is an overall low standard then the quality is measurable and by definition some things are better than others.

              But back to the point you’re trying to distract from: Why is John Key so scared of Radio NZ?

  3. Fisiani 3

    duh
    Ya really wanna know the diff. No just lamely trying to take a dig.
    Paul Henry was serious in a national news programme.
    Maurice Williamson was attempting humour at a builders conference. It got a laugh from the intended audience. But how dare a politician make fun of people.
    No one can make you feel offended without your consent.

    • felix 3.1

      No one can make you feel offended without your consent.

      Could you explain what this rather interesting statement means please Fizzy?

      • Fisiani 3.1.1

        Can you politely use my real name?

        • r0b 3.1.1.1

          Does Felix’s adaptation of your name offend you?

          • Fisiani 3.1.1.1.1

            I choose not to be offended. I simply and politely request courtesy if he expects a reply.

            • felix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              lol Ok Fisiani no offense intended.

              So what did you mean by the very interesting statement that “No one can make you feel offended without your consent.”?

              • Fisiani

                Same as the often quoted no one can make you feel inferior without your consent ( Eleanor Roosevelt)

                • felix

                  Fisiani,

                  I’m familiar with the Roosevelt quote. Yours can’t possibly have the same meaning, as “taking offense” and “feeling inferior” are obviously distinctly different concepts.

                  So please, can you explain in plain straightforward language what you meant?

                  • Fisiani

                    Obviously is a word used when the statement is really not obvious but merely an attempt to discredit a contrary opinion by claiming universal authority.

                    • felix

                      It’s also a word used when something is obvious.

                      Am I to take your reply to mean that you believe that “taking offense” and “feeling inferior” are the same thing?

                      If not then you still haven’t answered my original question.

                      If you have no intention of answering it, please say so and save us all some time.

                      Otherwise I think it’s time for a straight answer.

                    • Mac1

                      Fisiani, obviously you are a “universal authority” because you never ever give another authority for unsubstantiated assertions, even when asked sweetly.

                      spam word “not”

              • Mac1

                Victim guilt. If I’m offended by something, it’s my fault. Just like being poor is my fault.

                • Fisiani

                  Being offended is of course a choice. Are you seriously denying this? Why do you introduce blame? My words are inspriring not denigrating. Are you saying that someone can put thoughts in your mind? Next you’ll be claiming that someone HAD no choice but to punch his partner because she was nagging. Try arguing that in court. My comments are supportive of victims. You’l find Mac1 that your logic is not.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Being offended is of course a choice.

                    But of course you could be wrong. Visceral emotions are not conscious choices.

                    Next you’ll be claiming that someone HAD no choice but to punch his partner because she was nagging.

                    Ah, now you’ve shifted the goal posts. What one does after being offended, e.g. to chill out, write a complaint or to become a violent criminal ok *THATS* conscious choice.

                  • bbfloyd

                    bit of advice fisii.. old chap… try not to criticize someones logic when your own is demonstrably unstable at best.. using two completely different paradigms and calling them alike is doing no more than exposing your feeble grasp of “logic”… if you want an explanation of this “logic” in words of less than four syllables, then i suggest you get practicing on spelling my name correctly.

                  • Mac1

                    Fisiani, the context comes from your 2.57 comment.

                    “Maurice Williamson was attempting humour at a builders conference. It got a laugh from the intended audience. But how dare a politician make fun of people.
                    No one can make you feel offended without your consent.”

                    This seems to be a justification of crassness. The blame of the victim comes from saying that it is a person’s choice to be offended, so if a person feels offended by something like Williamson’s crassness, it is their choice and therefore their fault. The argument concludes by saying it is therefore OK to be offensive, since the victim has a choice to be offended.

                    This is blaming the victim’s feelings for the perpetrator’s offensiveness.

                    In my book, my feelings are not a choice- they just happen. Whether I act on them, or ignore the feelings or ignore the perpetrator of the actions is my choice.

                    The perpetrator however still remains offensive as in Williamson’s case.

                    In your example, the nagger is a nagger and is wrong to be. I have a choice as to how I react, i.e my actions, but my feelings as to how react to being nagged are my own, though not a choice. Feelings give rise to actions.

                    I said nothing about thoughts. You raise straw men arguments based on something I didn’t say.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The blame of the victim comes from saying that it is a person’s choice to be offended, so if a person feels offended by something like Williamson’s crassness, it is their choice and therefore their fault.

                      Reminds me of Paul Henry’s bullshit apologies.

                      “If I have indeed offended anyone (and I have no idea what I said which might be offensive or why you might be such a delicate wee soul) I am truly (not) sorry”

                • Fisiani

                  To felix . You are obviously wrong. Gettit now?
                  Feeling offended and feeling inferior are both feelings.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Funny, I’ve never met any human being who has conscious control of the way they feel. Because its visceral. The MRI studies prove it.

                    Try again, Fis.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I think Fisiani is under the misapprehension that if you’re offended by something, you must’ve chosen to be offended by it.

                      It is *possible* to choose to be offended by something, because you find it crass and unacceptable – this is sort of like ‘concern trolls’ or people who just want to make a big fuss about something because it provides a convenient smokescreen for their real motive of stirring.

                      But it is also entirely possible (and generally the norm) that you would be offended by something through no conscious choice of your own.

                      Fisiani seems to be aware of the former, but not aware of the more universal latter. Strange.

                    • lprent []

                      A very sociopath profile? Or some other type of unhealthy over controlled personality disorder…

                      He gets close to my troll profile with his inability to back anything he says up – but I tend to view that more as idiotic than anything else.

                      What is puzzling to me is that regardless what happens, he is truly one of the faithful. He ignores all evidence and writes on the fantasies that only he can see.

                      Personally I think he is paid to blog. What we’re seeing is the cutdown personality that is his work profile.

                    • Fisiani

                      So Eleanor Roosevelt was wrong and people have no choice but to feel inferior. MRI proves it.

                  • felix

                    No I don’t get it. Perhaps if you were to explain, in plain language, what exactly you meant by your original statement.

                    It could look something like this:

                    “What I meant was (…) and the reason I believe this to be the case is (…)”

                    Again I ask you; if you don’t intend to give a straight answer, please say so now.

                  • bbfloyd

                    still can’t spell my name yet fiiiiiiisi? have you not got past mindless trash talk yet?

                    at least you provide minor comic relief for the few nanoseconds it takes to dismiss your posts as irrelevant…

              • lprent

                Ummmm…. That almost feels like a bit of a challenge. 30 years of experience winding people up on the net says that it is possible to do it to almost anyone.

                But I have another 10 days of hard yack getting this project out of the door…. It will have to wait.

          • Steve 3.1.1.1.2

            I’m surprised you have to even ask that question R0b, or is it R1b. Show some respect yourself.

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    it must be a slow news week – hardly worth lighting a match to flame this pathetic effort of Eddie’s

    • freedom 4.1

      go on, you know you want to

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        I’ll flame it! Key’s office has said the broadcaster chooses who goes on air. But here the PM’s office was the gatekeeper. So why did the PM’s office censor this caller when the broadcaster is meant to hold that responsibility?

    • Pascal's bookie 4.2

      Hasn’t dpf posted about it yet blaggs? Dunno what to say mate? ne’ermind.

    • bbfloyd 4.3

      joe.. considering the efforts i’ve seen from you previously, then i suggest you quit while your ahead..

  5. Bored 5

    New theme for Key….

    I’m the invisible man I’m the invisible man
    Incredible how you can see right through me
    I’m the invisible man I’m the invisible man
    It’s criminal how I can see right through you

  6. Irascible 6

    I presume the reason why Key doesn’t front Radio NZ is that it is very difficult to sound informed about substantive issues from the verandah of the Key homestead in Hawaii, the new seat of government for NZ. I gather he feels safer smiling & waving to the camera lens there rather than be seen scuttling from scrutiny in NZ.

  7. Vicky32 7

    Good on Mr Findlay for trying to get answers, but talkback is like that, I had always suspected… WTF is Key doing on talkback? It’s a haven for the terminally angry and bewildered…

  8. tc 8

    Yes Joe Bloggs it’s a slow news week every week when you run the rule our MSM apply to current affairs and what’s considered news….blindtrust/where’s Whanau Ora?/hobbit legislation that muddies the waters and fails to achieve what it set out to/national standards/amount of corrections under urgency to prior legislation passed under urgency etc etc if the MSM had the balls, focus and mandate.

    I noticed campbell also went without sideshow after giving him a touch up in the early days(campbell styled so hardly fierce or damaging) and now he’s back campbell gives him an armchair ride like he always gets on TVNZ…..need ratings must have smile and wave so play to the crosby textor rules.

    It’s not so much hiding but creating a climate where you’ll never get rained on……any chance of that and you will not see sideshow., like RNZ live no editing. Jeez Mickey havoc on BFM had him in knots when he was opposition leader and Beatson wiped the floor with English over GST rises.

  9. randal 9

    simply a question of mind over matter.
    they dont mind and we dont matter.

  10. Tanz 10

    Key’s Facebook page is very tightly controlled also, but I guess that when you’re PM, you have to leave only the glowing comments.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government signs Accord reinvigorating commitment to Far North iwi
    Today marks a milestone as the Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni and Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta co-sign an Addendum – with the Iwi Chairs of Te Rarawa, Ngāi Takoto and Te Aupōuri – to the Te Hiku o Te Ika Iwi-Crown Social Development and Wellbeing Accord (the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago