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Matthew Hooton apologises … sort of …

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, September 30th, 2013 - 74 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, Media, radio - Tags:

nine-to-noon-matthew-hooton1

Yesterday on my twitter feed I read Matthew Hooton’s sort of apology to David Cunliffe.

Then when I checked later it had been chucked behind NBR’s paywall.  I guess Matthew may want to make sure that he has a legal fighting fund, just in case.

The article involved a concession that his description of David as a liar was “inaccurate”.  David had actually been engaged in work that led to the formation of Fonterra and Hooton begrudgingly accepted this.  He also accepted that he was complying with the Cameron Slater maxim that explaining is losing.  His explanation was begrudging and rather tedious with the amount of self promotion and the amount of further denigration of Cunliffe that it contained but a backdown it was.

His particular comment (thanks Peter Aranyi) was as follows:

In politics explaining is losing so in writing all this I have just lost the little public contretemps between me and the likely nextPrime Minister.  I was wrong to call Mr Cunliffe a liar when he said he had “helped with the formation of Fonterra” and consequently apologise to him for using an inaccurate word”.

This backdown is followed by a further passage which outlines what will be the continuing line of attack on Cunliffe:

Of course, this little kerfuffle is hardly the biggest issue facing the nation, and is relevant only because Mr Cunliffe’s Fonterra comments are the same type of self-aggrandisement that gets him into trouble over other issues.  There were his false or exaggerated claims of community work for the Auckland and Wellington City Missions and Forest & Bird, and his claim to have graduated with a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Business School when in fact he earned the degree from the nearly-as-impressive John F. Kennedy School of Government.

These claims can also be disproved but you get the picture.  Stand by as the snide public attacks continue.

Having known David Cunliffe for the past 14 years and having been heavily involved in his first campaign can I say that the spin is total bollox.  Of all the politicians that I have met, and I have met a few, David is actually one of the most grounded yet dedicated and energetic I have met.  And I cannot help but think that these attacks are motivated by fear.  Because if John Key is the National leader most likely to reach across and gain the votes of Labour supporters then David is his left wing alter ego, able to persuade National supporters that he is a real and effective alternative to our failing status quo.

The whole episode justifies more analysis of what happened because rest assured it will happen again.

David Cunliffe had stated that he had “helped with the formation of Fonterra”.  A very helpful analysis has been provided by Karol and as the formation of Fonterra took place over a number of years and Cunliffe through Boston Consultancy Group had been involved in advising Dairy Group on merger options the statement is clearly true.

The spin involved is frankly extreme.  If you listened to Hooton you would think that Cunliffe was claiming that he was solely responsible for Fonterra’s formation.  He claimed nothing of the sort.  As you can see by what Cunliffe said in Parliament he has only claimed that he was a management consultant tasked with advising on the formation on Fonterra while with BCG and this is clearly true.  Hooton has applied the most extreme of spin to what is a quite a vague comment and then stated repeatedly that his extreme spin cannot be true therefore Cunliffe lied.

Yesterday’s Mediawatch had an interesting analysis of the issue complete with the retractions from Radio NZ as well as Radio live.  Their description of Hooton being a partisan pundit is very apt.

I suspect that all ears will be on Radio New Zealand’s Politics from the Left and the Right and if Hooton appears then you will have to wonder about the balance shown by the State’s foremost radio broadcaster.

UPDATE:

The show has been broadcast and RadioNZ repeated its apology and Hooton apoligised for the use of “that word”.  The audio is below:

Hooton also claimed that Lianne Dalziel was a member of ABC.  He has to be joking.

74 comments on “Matthew Hooton apologises … sort of … ”

  1. karol 1

    Thanks, micky. Will be listening to the 9-to-noon spot with interest.

    I wanted to listen to the mediawatch segment, but your link takes me to a Future West post.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Oops ta Karol, now fixed.

      • karol 1.1.1

        Thanks, micky.

      • karol 1.1.2

        And Mediawatch compares Hooton’s rant with Bomber’s ban behaviour. But RNZ’s statement to mediawatch makes it seems that RNZ is not going to ban Hooton. If that’s the case, RNZ can expect a lot of further complaints on the unbalanced response to left & right.

        • newsense 1.1.2.1

          I honestly don’t mind if Bomber is not on RNZ, except that I think he deserves some pay checks, as does the other Bfm alumni, Wallace Chapman. I’d rather things be a bit more reserved and less war of the blogs there.

          I do expect the state broadcaster to be absolutely scrupulous with accuracy and quality. It has to hold itself to a much higher standard because it can.

          It pisses me off that Hooton is taking our tax-payer funded time slot to run what essentially is party propaganda (what else do you call fueling rumours about opposition parties based on inaccuarcies in emotive and unprofessional language?). He should be banned from the show and someone with a bit more credibility and respect should be found for the slot, not a PR guy.

          • newsense 1.1.2.1.1

            also- anyone else getting anti-virus warnings about the dailyblog being an attack site or something?

            • newsense 1.1.2.1.1.1

              There should be a constant branding of National ‘dirty tricks’ or some such when they occur. It is obviously an attempt to get ‘liar’ to stick to D.C.

              Agree with Mediawatch’s question that it was a political party attack, especially as he repeats it on Radio Live and clearly uses that term.

              The statement about Hooton makes a joke of public broadcasting, especially compared to their statement on Bradbury. A government of creeping authoritarianism, not democracy.

            • Athena 1.1.2.1.1.2

              I used to be able to read the daily blog on my phone, but since last week, it won’t load. I only get error messages now .

  2. Anne 2

    Noted that Lyn Freeman is filling in for Kathryn Ryan today. It may well have been previously arranged but it saves Kathryn Ryan some embarrassment even though she was not to blame for Hooton’s hysterical outburst.

    Btw, I always thought it was a mistake of Helen Clark’s when she ignored righting false claims about her political and personal life. By all means don’t go into lengthy explanations, but when false claims are made that can be easily refuted with factual material etc., then go ahead and use them otherwise the accusers get away with creating a false meme about their target.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      No its school holidays, so the media takes off, just like parliament ( bizarre)

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Yep. The country comes to a shuddering standstill. Don’t go anywhere near malls. Do the SM shopping very early or very late. Avoid cinemas, don’t go on beach picnics in the summer, avoid swimming pools and keep your gates locked until the little hounds have gone back to school. 👿

        • tinfoilhat 2.1.1.1

          Honestly Anne you are what is wrong with politicians – it’s just all about you isn’t it ?

        • BLiP 2.1.1.2

          Heh! All true . . . but, I gotta say, the Auckland traffic is heaps better when the little blighters are on their holidays. I can cut 15 minutes off my trip to the office. You know, in my day, I had to walk (three miles, barefoot, in the frost, after waking up half an hour before I went to sleep and with only a mouldy crust and half a slice of lemon for breakfast to warm my little tummy on the way) to the bus stop. These days, God forbid our children should have to actually wear their shoes out.

          As for Hooton . . .

          . . . People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked . . . The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on . . .

          • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1.2.1

            choice cut BLiP

          • MrSmith 2.1.1.2.2

            You might enjoy this then:

            “The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else”

            • Rogue Trooper 2.1.1.2.2.1

              seeing the Ayn Rand quote, I went looking for this (old-sKool) political pamphlet that had been delivered to my friends’ home by supporters of the 1Law4All political party (sic). I read the entire thing critically; man was their some doozy revisionist polemic, and misappropriations of actual quotes by, among others Dr. Martin Luther King and Rand.
              The leaflet was very cleverly done, although circuitous and descriptive in it’s ‘reasoning’. Being the Honest chap that I am, I was impressed, and appalled at the same time (RW movements can have that desired effect). Yet, the blatant lies and misinformation. As you can imagine, such rubbish has not been distributed (safely) in the suburb I live in. 😉

            • ghostrider888 2.1.1.2.2.2

              Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man…” Jeremiah 17:5
              For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3
              Ride the High-road, down the line. 😎

  3. Chooky 3

    Good post….agree the HEAT has to be kept on Hooton….there are high monetary stakes for the people he represents and for him as well as their spinner.

    I heard Kathryn Ryan’s apology and thought it very good and simple….She read out Cunliffe’s statement as to what exactly his involvement was in setting up what was to become called Fonterra and it was very detailed and convincing….made Hooton look like a spinner and a liar…even worse.

    I just wish that Mediawatch had also read out Cunliffe’s statement….which actually says it all!

    ….otherwise mud sticks and people are left wondering exactly what the argument is about….for example I know one old Labour Party supporter who was believing Hooton’s slander …and that of the MSM….

    Cunliffe can actually very ably support himself if given the airing …and a fair hearing

  4. geoff 4

    Not that I’m trying to tell people what to write but…I wonder if the left gave this story too much oxygen.
    We all know Matthew Hooton is a self-promoting big mouth, and we know that we can expect much more of this sort of thing from the tories as we lead up to the election.
    The worst thing would be to spend lots of time and energy defending against this crap instead of going on the attack at National.
    Remember how little comment from the right there was after that ‘Mind the Gap’ inequality doco? They completely shut that down in an obviously organised way, starved it of attention and, grudgingly, I have to say that their strategy worked. After about a week, nobody was talking about it. Perhaps the left should take note.

    • karol 4.1

      The inequality story is still running on many fronts.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Thanks Geoff.

      I thought about this but it is clear to me that this particular tactic is going to be used again and again. It is important to counter these particular memes that the right are trying to establish. At the same time however I agree completely about the desirability of debating stuff that actually matters such as climate change, poverty, unemployment …

      I think we need to do both. Addressing the real issues is vital but running successful campaigns is just as vital.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2.1

        +1

        RNZ need to understand that Hollow Hooten is the story. The story is about a liar and his lies and his links to the government.

      • Not A PS Staffer 4.2.2

        The Tories will do to Cunliffe what they did to Clark: attack on theor strength, which is their Integrity.
        The Tories will use the “Swift Boat” techniques

        We should have a two pronged approach to the Tory attacks:

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    I notice the media in Australia have already started chasing Abbott across a carpark !

    The honeymoon didnt last a fortnight ( except for Murdochs papers who now bury boat arrivals away from the front page)

  6. One Anonymous Knucklehead 6

    Hooten was outed as a liar, a recidivist mendacious wretch almost at the same level as our lying Prime Minister, by his own emails. That he still gets work indicates just how deep the rot goes in what passes for right wing intellect.

    Shame on his enablers.

  7. yeshe 7

    C’mon Mr Hooten .. going to show your face to apologise here for all the rubbish you posted about this? Yeah ? Nah.

  8. karol 8

    Hooton still there – made an apology of sorts – switched off.

    Boycott RNZ!

    • weka 8.1

      But Karol, you missed the bit where Hooton claimed Lianne Dalziel was part of the ABCs and is on the right of the Labour party, and then talked over the top of Mike Williams when he tried to correct Hooton that Dalziel is a Cunliffe supporter.

      😉

      • Bill 8.1.1

        I wouldn’t say the general fear and uncertainty in Hooten’s voice was palpable if it wasn’t.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          His veneer of “I’m a reasonable person, you should listen to me” is most definitely slipping. That must have professional implications for him (hence the fear I guess). In the bit about Dalziel he sounded like a control freak.

      • Chooky 8.1.2

        +1 Weka….Hooton Possum is either 1) losing the plot ( stress or Alzheimers?)

        …. because at the end of the commentary he asserted quite forcefully that Lianne Dalziel ( soon to be Mayor of Christchurch) was a part of the ABCs ….( when everyone in Labour knows she was a staunch Cunliffe supporter and Shearer demoted her to the back benches)

        ……or 2) Hooton is still an unrepentant spinner/liar ….and continuing with his evil ways

        He certainly didnt take a step backwards and apologise when challenged by Mike Williams on this fact…he wanted his quick end spin to stand!…. imo

        • karol 8.1.2.1

          Well, I’m glad someone is monitoring Hooton’s anti-democratic propaganda.

          “Political commentator”? Yeah right.

        • MrSmith 8.1.2.2

          “he asserted quite forcefully that Lianne Dalziel ( soon to be Mayor of Christchurch) was a part of the ABCs ….( when everyone in Labour knows she was a staunch Cunliffe supporter and Shearer demoted her to the back benches)”

          Clearly another lie and he should be made to apologize again (not that the last one was much cop). So email RNZ and complain people.

      • Saarbo 8.1.3

        Yes, this proves that Hooten is not only a liar, but he is stupid as well. Dalziel’s affiliations are very well documented, I was quite surprised that he didn’t know that.

      • Rodel 8.1.4

        Yeah but I wish Mike Williams had been a lot more forceful.
        Like say condescendingly..’but Matthew, that’s yet another lie …when will you stop trying to feed misinformation?
        or perhaps… “Matthew. shut the f*** up”.
        I could go on….(bit ashamed to say I heard it as I usually change stations on Mondays)

    • CnrJoe 8.2

      gettin there – i wrote to 9-noon saying if Hooten is to be kept on (pushing his brand) then Bradbury should be up against him

      • lurgee 8.2.1

        Not sure having two blustering idiots will really help much. Hooten is making a fool of himself and the last thing we need is someone to make the left look stupid.

        Interesting to think about how many lefties have filled that slot over the years. Hooton has been there for ages. Nothing else to do, nowhere else to go. A sad little man trying to make himself seem important.

        • Rodel 8.2.1.1

          lurgee
          I agree with your comment about 2 blustering idiots not really helping.say Hooting and Bradbury…..nah! I just change stations…..

  9. McFlock 9

    Has hootle mctootle learned to qualify his snide little lies with the phrase “false or exaggerated claims” in order to merely imply lying, rather than outright making a demonstrably false accusation?

    What an obnoxious little shit he is.

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      “I thought to myself: I am wiser than this man; neither of us probably knows anything that is really good, but he thinks he has knowledge, when he has not, while I, having no knowledge, do not think I have.”

      -Plato Apology (prickly and fluffy at the same time).

      • Rodel 9.1.1

        RT
        Check out on Google the ‘Dunning- Kruger effect’…Incompetents don’t have the competence to realize that they are incompetent, wheras real competents (if there is such a word) tend to underrate their own performance.

  10. bad12 10

    The pathetic little sniveler Hooten resorts to new-speak in defense of Slippery’s National Government,

    Crony capitalism according to the paid shill of right wing spin is now ‘Behaving Informally’, Hooten’s reference reeks of wads of used twenty dollar bills being passed around in plain brown paper bags…

  11. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 11

    Lolz,

    “Of course, this little kerfuffle is hardly the biggest issue facing the nation”

    Oh really? NZ is in desperate need of a government that actually understands the importance of democratic principles and actswith them in mind. If this is not achieved our conditions shall severely degenerate on many fronts. (Consider Greece)

    Good and accurate information from the media would assist this process, however, despite this being nearly non-existent in NZ, hopefully more and more people are realising how very little our interests are being pursued by this current government, that more closely resembles a circus.

    Conversely, this issue is also a most important one for those who are benefitting (world-wide) from the degeneration of democratic principles and are turning the place into their own personal gambling arena. With this in mind, such ‘elements’ very much don’t want any country to improve their democratic expression. Which may well occur under a Cunliffe led Labour.

    Hooton’s lies do nothing for NZ getting a decent government and everything for those creating the above-mentioned scam.

    “Not the biggest issue facing NZ”?

    Very much connected with the single-most biggest issue facing not only NZ but the rest of the world. FYI Mathew-lies-damn-lies-Hooton

  12. Tracey 12

    As long as mike w says hes wrong hootens credibility is gone on rnz bit if the papers keep running the lies.

    ive added 9 to noon to my other radio boycott, veitch

    • Ron 12.1

      I give up on RNZ once Morning Report finishes. Cannot stand Ryan she is in the same class as Hill and I refuse to listen to either. As for the afternoon rubbish God forbid that anyone would listen to the hyped up excuse for a programme.

      • Rodel 12.1.1

        Ron
        Can’t agree with you. Ryan, Mora and Hill are good value. Try radio ritalin for a change.

  13. Yes 13

    [deleted]

    [lprent: already banned, and now permanently,. ]

    • Anne 13.1

      mr d c has already fronted and proved the facts nitwit. If anyone sues it will be mr dc who does the suing. Now go away again because this blog site is for people who are cognisant. Yours is called Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

    • mickysavage 13.2

      Well Hooton (twice), Radiolive and Radio NZ have all apologized. I think there might be something in this …

  14. Virginia Linton 14

    His voice gets very high when he’s challenged. Laughed out loud when he insisted Lianne was an ABC. It’s a shame to boycott when the entertainment is this good. Until you remember this is RNZ and to realise it has lost its magic dust of journalistic integrity is like finding out there is no Santa. Astronomically Bad Call, RNZ.

    • Marksman 14.1

      You know with regard to RNZ,I really think the rot set in when they became Radio New Zealand, “National “.I’m getting good at hearing whistles.If I had my way Ryan would be gone and Mora too.Neither of them can hide their political sympathies very well,and Mercer would be gone because basically, he’s hopeless,he wouldn’t know a decent segue if he fell over one.Even Brent Edwards seems to have gone to the imbedded dark side,shades of Al Morrison there.As a very long time supporter of RNZ,I am deeply saddened that it has come to this,and I dearly hope that our new Labour Govt will take an axe to this right wing stench that is eminating from Broadcasting House.Just saying.

      • Chooky 14.1.1

        @Marksman…I quite like Kathryn Ryan and her Nine-to-Noon slot….and I don’t think she is a Nact at all …quite the contrary…she has given very good ammunition to the Left if they choose to listen eg I heard about Goldman Sach’s review of Kiwi Bank from her programme

        Hooton is ‘fun'( He certainly lets one know how the right wing are thinking and where they want to spin and this is not a bad thing….fore-warned is fore- armed

        …BUT Hooton must be kept under control….AND he must be hauled in every time he tells lies and half truths…and spins…..I am not sure if Mike Williams is the person to do it, although I enjoy hearing what Mike Williams has to say

        ….Maybe Mike Williams could be alternated with someone with a lot more battery acid…enough to floor Hooton, anyway!

        • Rodel 14.1.1.1

          Chooky
          I agree with you.I like.Ryan. She’s OK but could be a bit more assertive and Jim Mora is good lightweight pleasant entertainment.(Mora is a bright person). The Irish who sometimes stands in for him is a rightist bigot…She loved referring to Phil Goff as Phil Gaffe , thinking she was so clever.
          We’d perhaps like them to come down harder on right wingers but I think they’re reasonably neutral and do their job well of providing reasonably balanced infotainment.

          I do wish they’d get someone other than Hooten though. He’s soooo predictable, superficial and quite frankly ho hum here we go again…. same old same old..love the desperate shrieking though. But how do your floor a low brainer who has actually made some money but doesn’t know his intellectual limitations. I know a few like that.

      • Ron 14.1.2

        One can only hope for a new vision for Radio & Television in NZ. Re Hill she is the perfect example of the word “Enui” she seems too disinterested to even bother withe her programme.
        Somewhere I remember reading that she claimed she did not bother reading the books of the authors she is interviewing. Why bother with the interview if that is correct
        Ryan is not much better. I would like to see someone like Mary Wilson front the 9-noon session weekdays, and maybe bring Laidlaw into Saturday morning slot.
        I know there is a major review going on at the moment so lets hope that something useful comes out of this review.

      • lurgee 14.1.3

        In my occasional email exchanges with Jim Mora he always come across as quite reasonable and not rightwing.

        You have to remember neither he nor Ryan are running politics / hard interview shows. They are discussion shows. They are not there to interrogate their subjects but to let them speak. If Mora started giving his panellists a hard time they simply wouldn’t participate. Ditto the politics slot on 9 to Noon.

        I’m fairly sure if either host started ripping into Bryan Edwards, Chris Trotter or Mike Williams, people here would be complaining about UNFAIR it all was.

        I think there is just too much whining from the left about how UNFAIR it all is and how the (yawn) MSM are NASTY and BIASED. As I said the other day, journalists are only interested in one thing – getting the story, first (that might actually be two things) and Labour / the wider left has to make sure it is the story and in a good way. Rather than giving Hooten space to bleat about some fanciful and possibly slanderous delusion of his, Labour should be dominating with new stories about COOL STUFF.

        I’m worried the gloss will wear off the Shiny New Leader PDQ if there isn’t some interesting COOL STUFF to maintain the profile boost. There is a corrupt and ineffective government to attack, why are we playing rope-a-dope and letting an imbecile like Hooton land blows?

        • karol 14.1.3.1

          I’m worried the gloss will wear off the Shiny New Leader PDQ if there isn’t some interesting COOL STUFF to maintain the profile boost. There is a corrupt and ineffective government to attack, why are we playing rope-a-dope and letting an imbecile like Hooton land blows?

          In case you haven’t noticed, Cunliffe and other opposition MPs are in the MSM news about issues like power prices, house prices and asset sales. This Hooton stuff, is not front page news. It is a rear guard action aimed at circulating negative spin a bit below the level of he MSM, with the hope of it gaining momentum in the future. It needs to be exposed for the misleading propaganda that it is.

          Meanwhile other significant issues are getting serious attention: asset sales, TPP, poverty, social security, etc.

        • Marksman 14.1.3.2

          Really? Lurgee, I happen to listen to RNZ from 5.15 am till sometime between 9 and 10 pm everyday so there is very little that happens on air that gets past me.Both Ryan and Mora are rightwingers if perhaps with a small R,Ryan can,t flick her South Island farm girl past and Mora’s been in the minor celebrity industry for so long it’s second nature,living in Pt Chev also helps.
          Don’t get me wrong,I enjoy the format of both shows and I learn very interesting things from them both ,but, when the shit hits the fan I know which way the both of them will jump.Anyway lets re;visit this topic a month out from next years election and see who is right.

  15. Huginn 15

    I read Hooten’s piece for the NBR before it went behind the pay wall. He used it to continue his story that David Cunliffe lied about his involvement with Fonterra. It isn’t an apology.
    The same goes for his words on Nine to Noon.

    He is using these ‘apologies’ to continue his attack on the Cunliffe’s character.

    • Chooky 15.1

      @ Huginn….well David Cunliffe does surround himself with good lawyers…

      I would think…let Hooton have his say and then threaten whatever MSM outlet that allows untruths unchallenged with a legal warning unless they allow David Cunliffe with 10 minutes time to rebut and talk about the real issues ….

      …..that way David Cunliffe scores a penalty goal in the public eyes …..and as well educates the public on his personality and the policies and direction of the new Labour Party and the next 2014 Labour /Green coalition government.

      I would also think that Mike Williams should be alternated with someone like one of Bomber Bradbury’s guests…..eg Selwyn Manning ? ….who can really put the heat and acid on Hooton

  16. McFlock 16

    It’s needed repeated amendments because DC keeps overestimating tory comprehension skills.

    “Totally dodgy”? -it really is conspiracy bullshit.

    Questions need to be asked: for example, did you stick a pencil all the way up your nose while in primary school, or is your qualification for joining the kiwiana-birther charge simply that you’re 8th-generation inbred? We need answers! Release your medical reports!

  17. ghostrider888 17

    Gold!

  18. Chris 18

    DC has a VC???

  19. tc 19

    Exactly and Hooten will continue to get his RNZ slots to continue this type of spin.

    RNZ has shown its up for the axe now, true colours cant be hidden behind the obvious agenda with booting bomber whilst keeping the holler man.

    Its all about the message in the CT world, accuarcy isnt the issue the message is and having plenty of outlets to position it as reasonable, authoratitive and hammer it is the end game here.

    This is what MH is deployed to do, get used to it with DPF playing the ‘reasonable’ hand.

  20. Pascal's bookie 20

    “Hooten has nothing to apologise about.”

    Yeah, he just apologises for laughs. As does RNZ and RadioLive.

    And Hoots was so confident of his claims that he spent his NBR column repeating them, oh no, he didn’t do that at all. passing mention without actually saying what he said at all. Almost like an editor had a ‘watch your bloody step, fuckstick’ conversation with him.

  21. Ramsay 21

    One quibble.

    The “explaining is losing” concept while essentially accurate, is not a Whale Oil invention, however much he might claim it. As a political rule of thumb it was formulated decades ago – dating back to the 80s at least with Reagan saying: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

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