Mike Hosking – The case of the vanishing journalist

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, August 29th, 2015 - 83 comments
Categories: journalism, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

Mike Hosking’s salivating Nat bias is attracting attention as conduct unbefitting a journalist. Since he can’t plausibly deny it, he is trying a bold line of spin, Am I biased? Well, who’s asking?:

I am not a journalist. Much commentary was served up on the basis I was. … So, as many a story went, because I was a journalist I was then supposed to be upholding some age-old tradition that balance wins the day, no editorialising should ensue, and having an opinion is out of the question.

A journalist is a person who has a bit of paper that tells us they are a journalist. They will have been on a course, or have a diploma or a degree. I have none of those things. I have UE in a handful of subjects, at which point my formal education ended, and the real-life one began.

Given I am not a journalist I can, like most people, say what I like. Perhaps the most sensible bit of commentary I read about the whole subject was from the person who suggested that my glass half-full view of the world might just happen to coincide with the glass half-full view of the Government.

So Mike can’t be held to any standards because he isn’t a journalist? Odd then that his standard bio says that he is. I wonder when he had his 7 Sharp page changed?

Google “mike hosking is a new zealand television and radio journalist” to see plenty of other pages that have had or still have that description.

That Hosking would try and disown journalism speaks volumes to his character and all his happy clappy bullshit.

83 comments on “Mike Hosking – The case of the vanishing journalist”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    AS I have found, the idea that there is some speacila code of ethics for the journalism profession is a farce. Unlike Australia where there is a contact body and how it works is readily available, NZ doesnt even bother.

    Not that it matters when it comes to opinion work anyway.

    My thoughts are that Hosking is a ‘Spruiker”, quite common still in Australia in large stores or outside small shops in very busy areas

    • cyclonemike 1.1

      There are a number of codes of ethics covering New Zealand journalists, adhered to to a greater or lesser degree.
      The original one was developed by the New Zealand Journalist Union and is maintained by members of the successor union, the EPMU.
      Beyond that,the major publishing companies eventually were embarrassed into creating their own codes.
      Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how noble the code if it is not followed.

    • D'Esterre 1.2

      Hosking will claim that he’s not a journalist until his employer deems him too old to do his current job. Then, when he needs to get work where his age is of less moment, he’ll suddenly rediscover his journalism chops.

  2. vto 2

    I think he needs to think on the old saying about being in a hole and digging……

    he has nowhere near the smarts to out-think himself, funnily enough

  3. RedLogix 3

    I guess it’s worth asking then if Hosking has ever been paid to be a journalist. And if so – did he fake his CV or accept payment for professional services he was never qualified to provide?

  4. Ad 4

    Much easier to think beyond the category of journalist, to simply all being media commentators, some of whom will use facts, and some won’t, and some will simply be on the spectrum of simple commentators.

    Each kind of media commentator will gravitate to the media outlet who in turn has a market segment that either:
    – likes facts
    – likes some facts
    – likes a few facts with a lot of entertainment, or
    – simply likes no facts at all and wants just entertainment.

    That’s pretty much how it works already.
    Especially if you are an advertiser, seeking a particular audience segment to pitch to.

    The total population segment interested in listening to or watching the evening news is also declining.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    A journalist is a person who has a bit of paper that tells us they are a journalist.

    Only when a bit of paper defines a person rather than what a person does and when a person acts as a journalist then that person is a journalist.

    I have none of those things. I have UE in a handful of subjects, at which point my formal education ended, and the real-life one began.

    Actually, it would be more that he left school thinking he knew everything already and hasn’t learned anything since.

    Given I am not a journalist I can, like most people, say what I like.

    Not when acting as a journalist and reporting news. As that’s your job then you should act as a journalist. If you don’t want to be a journalist then I suggest you quit your job.

    • cogito 5.1

      I distinctly remember Mike Hosking co-presenting Morning Report with Geoff Robinson. What was he doing there if he was not being employed as a journalist?

  6. Amanda Atkinson 6

    Who cares what Hosking thinks? Who is actually influenced by his views? Of course he is right bias, for him to say otherwise is a joke, but so friggin what? There are just as many lefties in the media. The Standard say the Media is a corporate right conspiracy infiltrated by the corporates. Whale Oil say the media is left wing conspiracy infiltrated by academic lefties. Fuxake. Do you both realise how ridiculous you sound? The media is just a reflection of society. Some left, some right, some in between. Some media people are openly left or right. Others pretend they are neutral when they are not, just like the general population. Last survey I saw, the media is the least trusted profession in NZ, so most Kiwis obviously have a brain, and can make up their own minds on things. So whether there is right or left bias in the media is a non-issue, unless you assume that the bulk of Kiwis cannot think for themselves.

    [lprent: “The Standard says…”? You are a complete idiot. It is a machine. It doesn’t think and it doesn’t have opinions on anything. People have opinions, which are usually massively individualistic. Point to their individual opinions rather than being a lazy fool trying to label individuals as being a machine.

    Banned for 4 weeks. I think that it will give you time to read (if not understand) the policy including the bit that reads:-

    Attacking the blog site, or attributing a mind to a machine (ie talking about The Standard as if it had an opinion), or trying to imply that the computer that runs the site has some kind of mind control over authors and commentators is not allowed. Making such assertions will often get the sysop answering you, because he considers that those are comments directed at him personally. As a computer programmer he knows exactly how dumb machines are. If you’re lucky he will merely give you an educational ban. But sometimes when time is available, he does like to point out in a humiliating manner that machines are not intelligent – and neither is the person expressing that fallacy. .

    My italics.

    Damn good thing that I’m sick at present (which is why this ban comes so late) otherwise I’d have some fun. ]

    • vto 6.1

      ha ha what a classic amanda atkinson rant – all hot air disappearing up to the stars …. ridiculous

      • Amanda Atkinson 6.1.1

        What is your view? Do you believe there is a left or right wing bias/conspiracy in the media? If there is, do you think that (a) the outcome of that, is that Kiwis are unknowingly influenced by it or (b), most can think for themselves and are not influenced by it any anyway? A or B?

        • dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          “most can think for themselves and are not influenced by it any anyway”

          What a load of bumpf. They are called opinion leaders because that’s what they do.
          Why does he have his opinions on his shows at all if it ‘did not influence anybody’

          Its the same old story with advertising , it works because it changes peoples minds. naturally its all soft soap style, nothing harsh and uncompromising, but thats where his journalism skills come in ( yes he does have them)

          Day after day Hosking choses to spout the governments lines, Im sure they have specially written ones for ‘his style’ to make it easy for him to make it appear they are his own

          • Amanda Atkinson 6.1.1.1.1

            I choose to have more faith in the intelligence of my fellow Kiwis, and their ability to make up their own minds.

            • infused 6.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s part of the lefts problem that they still have not got their head around.

              They think New Zealanders are stupid and have been hoodwinked.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The fact that you think the current largest minority is synonymous with “all” says something about your cognitive abilities.

                Edit, oh, and by the way, it’s dear leader who abuses his opposition by saying they’re “misinformed”. No doubt you think that’s part of his problem. No?

              • Stuart Munro

                Not most New Zealanders – but trolls prove the point ad nauseum.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Your opinions are all faith-based? Thanks, now I know they can be discounted without a second glance. There have been quite a lot of findings in neuro-biology regarding “free” will”. You’ll remain ignorant of them though, so I won’t bother linking.

            • Big Dog 6.1.1.1.1.3

              Good luck with that!

            • Chris 6.1.1.1.1.4

              It’s your sort of thinking that suits the right because it assumes we’re all the same when we’re not. Bennett responding indignantly when challenged about her attacks on beneficiaries, increasing numbers of benefit sanctions for so-called non-compliance with draconian work-test requirements, throwing people off sickness and invalid’s benefits (often unlawfully) etc, with “how can you just relegate people to the scrapheap like that. I’m not so ready to write people off as having nothing to offer. You should be ashamed of yourself”.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1.5

              @Amanda
              Personally I like to look at what people believe in and check it for quality before I go giving them my full commitment. That sounds very sixties cult-brain-washed sort of thinking. Ensure that your intelligence is working well, and perhaps take your temperature while you are at it. There is a lot of flu around.

            • North 6.1.1.1.1.6

              Yeah, Amanda…..”I don’t give a fuck” …..Atkinson. So glib, so ‘now’, so ‘tuned-in’, so ‘once-over-lightly’, so lazy with the facile false equivalence – the classic wank – “they all do it…..”

              So ‘Hosking’ actually. Are you in love Amanda ? Which one ? It may be that you have some extremely fierce competition.

            • North 6.1.1.1.1.7

              “I choose to have more faith in the intelligence of my fellow Kiwis, and their ability to make up their own minds.” Yeah, when it suits you disingenuously to say so. This is a moment when it suits……actually you’re bullshitting.

        • b waghorn 6.1.1.2

          I’d be happy if the nats got kicked out and stayed out for the next thirty years ,yet if that was to happen I would be desgusted to see any media hack being so openly biased. What ever shade of government in power I expect the media to be keeping the barstards honest.!

    • infused 6.2

      Well said

    • Keith 6.3

      “The media is just a reflection of society”. You’re damned right there, the ones in society that can and have bought the media!

      And so when New Zealand Media and Entertainment’s Newstalk ZB’s Hosking says it, along with WIlliam’s and Smith accompanied by their NZME Herald counterpart “journalists”, O’Sullivan and Amrstrong and Mediaworks Henry/Garner and Gower say it, this subliminal and not so subliminal wall of propaganda can just be ignored? Whatever!

      • Amanda Atkinson 6.3.1

        OK. So that I do not assume the wrong thing here. Simple question. Do you believe that the people of NZ cannot think for themselves, and that they are (in general), under the spell of subliminal manipulation of a right bias media?

        Do you believe there are no left bias media commentators? If not, why are they are not on your comprehensive list?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3.1.1

          Luckily, there are academic studies of just this topic: media bias in New Zealand. Ignore them and go with your gut.

        • greywarshark 6.3.1.2

          The people of NZ can think for themselves but the ones who want to be thinking intelligently used to look to the media to give them hard factual information.

          Now they get what could be termed historical romance. farce, fantasy, comedy or horror! File it under fiction anyway. It cannot stand up to the harsh sunlight, or the critical light of day and be called non-fiction.

    • Lanthanide 6.4

      Just because person A says something, and person B says the opposite, doesn’t mean they’re both wrong or should be ignored because they’re making conflicting statements.

    • Hanswurst 6.5

      The Standard say the Media is a corporate right conspiracy infiltrated by the corporates.

      You’ve completely missed the point. The media consist by and large of corporations. Why would they need to infiltrate themselves?

    • D'Esterre 6.6

      @ Amanda Atkinson: “……so most Kiwis obviously have a brain, and can make up their own minds on things.”

      You can’t make up your mind on things until you have information to help you do that. So the left-right bias in the media is very far from being a non-issue; that bias critically influences what information you get. Or don’t get.

  7. Keith 7

    How can anyone be surprised. If you want a problem to go away then you simply make something up, and there’s no better example than Hosking’s fantasy date, John Key!

    Key’s latest focus grouped favourite is blaming Labour for the growing shortcomings of his 7 year long government. Health damaging levels of mould in state houses is Labours fault! But hang on John, have you not been the leader of this government for the past 7 years, in charge of state houses? Are you not THE one person in New Zealand in a position to change that? Yes you are but you don’t give a fuck and you never have, so when you are exposed for this uncaring attitude and it makes you look bad, as it should, you make some shit up and blame someone else. Job done in Keys self centred mind!

    That Hosking pretends not to be a journalist for a day to divert attention away from his bias as a journalist, it is simply learned behaviour from the man he holds in the highest esteem.

  8. Perhaps then Mike Hosking should start each of his bouts of commentary with a disclaimer to the following effect:

    “There’s no particular reason why you should believe or even consider what I am about to say. The content will be highly selective and largely uncostrained by relevant facts or the discipline of careful and critical self-critique.”

  9. red-blooded 9

    To an extent, I agree. There is no “The Media”; there are a range of people doing a range of jobs, with a range of skills and opinions, all working with limited time and resources and many going down the easy route and not doing much digging because of that. Having said that, the IS (supposedly) a public television broadcaster (TVNZ), funded on the basis that it will provide at least some public good (albeit much diminished and harder to define since our friend Mr Key abolished the TVNZ Charter). I would argue that any public broadcaster has a responsibility to present news and current affairs impartially and to clearly signal the difference between these and opinion-based “commentary”, with commentary presented from a range of perspectives and viewpoints (perhaps in one show or perhaps over a period of time or a range of shows). If you think about shows like “The Nation” or “Q+A”. that’s what they (mostly) do.

    Mike Hosking is given free reign and there’s no opposing viewpoint or balancing voice. It doesn’t help, either, that he’s such a dominant force across a range of different media outlets.

    Plus, while people may say they don’t trust the media, that doesn’t mean that we’re not influenced by them. people don’t trust advertisers, wither, but one suspects they wouldn’t spend all that money persuading us about the benefits of their soap powder and soft drinks if they had no measurable impact on our thinking and spending habits.

  10. DH 10

    It might be worth pointing out that Winston Peters didn’t use the word journalist once in his shellacking of Hosking. He just said that Hosking was biased and a National Party stooge. It was Hosking who brought up journalism, as a smokescreen by the look of it

  11. Sans Cle 11

    Spare a thought for the victim in all of this – one Mike Hosking. The victim of bad career advice at school, not to encourage him to try to collect more paper.
    Who’d a thunk it?

    • repateet 11.1

      Collect more paper? I agree. I reckon he’s go damned well at being a litter-picker-upper. All the paper, fast-food wrappers would be gone from streets and parks since he’d work so assiduously. A sort of a total career change – instead of creating rubbish h’ed be ridding us of it!

  12. kiwigunner 12

    Journalist is not the word I use to describe Hosking.

  13. weka 13

    So Mike Hosking isn’t a journalist, but Cameron Slater is (or isn’t, I can never remember which way that is going at any particular time). This is a perfect exemplar of the deadly serious farce that National has turned NZ into. Up is down, or whatever your local commentator/scientists says it is. Democracy is whatever you want it to be. There is no depression/racism/corruption in NZ. The TPPA is for our own good. Trust us, we know how to tell a good lie, but ooh, look over there, flag!

    On the other hand, people at the standard have been pointing out for some time that Hosking isn’t a journalist. Perhaps now is the time for the state broadcaster to front up and tell us where its news journalists actually are.

  14. Morrissey 14

    Hosking’s been at it since the 1990s….

  15. Bill 15

    I’m thinking it doesn’t matter a toss whether Mike Hosking’s calls himself a journalist or not, or whether others call him a journalist or not. His, or others’, unstated bias also doesn’t matter. Not in this society at the present.

    The entire ‘news’ machine is broken. All we get is brief ‘lock-stepped’ info on important news – if there’s any mention at all. I guess it happens in a society that’s ‘normalised’ a heap of ideology to the extent that it’s taken ‘as read’ or ‘the way it’s always been’ or ‘the way it has to be’.

    So we get murder and sport and tittle tattle because that really is all that’s happening or worth reporting on in a world that’s accepted as a ‘given’ a certain view point or perspective. The viewpoint or perspective becomes unquestionable and obviously true and proper and right and so there’s nothing to see. The sky is whatever colour the sky is.

    So bring on the murder and the scandal and the politics as personality cult. Everything else is in order and in its correct place.

  16. Greg 16

    The fourth estate gave up the ghost a few decades back, if it ever existed except in text books, a lot like feminism is about equality for women & men. Its just not evidenced by fact. Hosking isnt a broadcaster either, presenter & spin commentator are accurate discriptions. You can bet you wont see #HoskingWarCorrespondent accompanying Prime Minister Key to Camp Taji before Xmas, oh wait thats another broken promise.

  17. Paul 17

    For once I agree with him.
    Hosking is not a journalist.

    The trouble is that TVNZ think he is and pay him on the public expense.

    • JanM 17.1

      But why?

      • b waghorn 17.1.1

        Because a journalist looks at both sides of a story and tries to give a balanced account of all the facts and causes of the story their telling.!
        Something hoskings never does.

  18. Treetop 18

    If Hosking wants to be a National Party MP he needs to seek nomination. He will have a drop in pay.

  19. b waghorn 19

    If any more proof is required of the slant to the right in nzs media just look how predominant the national blue is , hoskings radio adds are one example Is it driven by national or is it being done by a bunch of sycophantic creeps.?
    Edit I just noticed the colour of seven sharp page at top of the post !!

    • weka 19.1

      Have you seen the flag short list and how many have 2/3 National blue and 1/3 red?

      • b waghorn 19.1.1

        I hadn’t noticed a bias but it wouldn’t surprise me, I have thought that party colours should be avoided on the new flag if it happens (although it doesn’t leave much) and TV stations should definitely avoid them around news shows.

  20. mac1 20

    Great discussion above.

    Hosking and Key are very much alike and are for me examples of what can be achieved by charm and ambition.

    I was interested to read Hosking’s dismissal of his lack of formal education. Some, like Norman Kirk, well overcame that lack by intensive reading and exposure to ideas.

    Others missed out on the powerful influence that a formal university education can impart- the ability to argue coherently using logic and evidence; the respect that one has for one’s teachers and the their wisdom, experience and respect for academic, intellectual rigour; and most of all, having your own ideas tested and debated by your peers and your teachers and knowing that when shown to be wrong in your own faulty reasoning, your own views have to change.

    Or be seen to be biased, ignorant and uneducable.

    Hosking and Key both don’t seem to heed that.

  21. Reddelusion 21

    Is mac1 assuming that every one who has a university education is left wing

    • mac1 21.1

      reddelusion, mac1 is old enough to know differently. Some people went to university and survived the process of inculcation of thinking practices. Some of them were left wingers. Some right wingers I know actually do know how to think critically.

      There are another components, though- like self interest overcoming academic or intellectual scruples and training; or emotion overcoming rationality. This is the position that I see Key and Hosking occupying.

      Another point to make is to make reference to the research that shows left thinkers have higher average IQ, a point made by other commentators on this blog.

      There are also recent studies that show that right wingers view the world differently, having different reactions, typically less empathetic than left thinkers, to situations.

      • BM 21.1.1

        I find left wingers to be a bit binary and robotic in their thinking.
        All variables have to be a specific type in lefty world otherwise they just can’t cope.

        This is probably why most are found in academia and not out in the real world .

        • mac1 21.1.1.1

          BM, you’re sounding like Hosking with your disrespect for academia and your belief in the real world as a teacher.

          It does depends on the receptivity of the learner. Academia is better trained at teaching and learning than the real world. Academia is also part of the real world, just not visited or cared for by the deliberately biased, the ignorant and the uneducable, mentioned above.

          A belief in ‘Academic Pointyheadism’ , as you seem to espouse, is a self-serving construct, designed to justify one’s own beliefs, ‘thinking’ and lack of respect for real education, and the challenges that makes.

          It’s on a par with a belief in “PC-ism” which I consider a cop-out on good manners; manners being a proper respect for people and their rights.

        • appleboy 21.1.1.2

          Simply put:

          Right wingers equals greedy and self and money first and fuck you to everyone who is not well off.

          Left wing says we want a fairer society where the rich are less so so hundreds of thousands of kids don’t live in poverty.

          Oh and right wingers also want everyone who works in retail , pumps petrol, cleans houses, collects the rubbish, works in a library or teaches to be paid as little as possible so BM and his ilk can have MORE MORE MORE. There is no social consciousness in right wing land is there?

          Only a right wing f**ker like you would find that funny.

        • Tricledrown 21.1.1.3

          Blinkered Monetarist,Research on the difference between left wing and right wing brains has been done the conclusions are quite damming.
          Left wingers tend to be more flexible adaptable open to change.
          While right wingers tend to be blinkered and dogmatic in their thinking not open to change.
          Keep your head in the sand BM.

          • BM 21.1.1.3.1

            Left wingers tend to be more flexible adaptable open to change.

            Lol, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while, obviously the majority of individuals who post here aren’t very left wing then.

            • weka 21.1.1.3.1.1

              And yet we have the terms and concepts of conservative and progressive, which mean retaining the same and changing.

        • Tricledrown 21.1.1.4

          Boughtoff Media.
          You have painted your self into a corner.
          Admitting you are not an academic,
          But putting down people of much higher intelligence than yourself is a slap on your own face.
          Typical propaganda of Goebbels style.
          Trying to undermine intelligent debate by denigrating those more intelligent than your self.

      • The lost sheep 21.1.2

        If Left thinkers as a group have a higher intelligence than Right thinkers, how is it that the Right consistently produce more successful electoral strategies than the Left?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.2.1

          How is it that you’ve convinced yourself of that? I don’t recall Bill English consistently coming up with more successful election strategies.

          Perhaps the answer is that you’re just running your mouth.

        • mac1 21.1.2.2

          The lost sheep,
          Third last paragraph should answer that- self-interest and emotion. Both well pandered to by the National election strategy, the media and biased ‘journalists’ like Hosking.

          The point should be considered, though. How do we use “enlightened” self interest and emotion in the Left’s campaigning, and better than National?

        • Tricledrown 21.1.2.3

          More money for propaganda aye sheep shager.

        • Tricledrown 21.1.2.4

          The lost sheep is posting from Saudi Arabia where any dissent is dealt with a swift beheading.
          Following his National party propaganda lines like a Lost sheep.

        • weston 21.1.2.5

          because the right pay smarter people to design them for them and theyre not just smarter theyre also dirtier

          • lprent 21.1.2.5.1

            Never noticed that they found people who were smarter. Quite the contrary in fact. The pay and dirtier parts are correct.

            But I guess it is a way of making complete arseholes like hoskings compliant…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2

      Reddelusion, projecting his flaccid delusions onto everyone else, thinks that anyone who can cope with “having your own ideas tested and debated by your peers and your teachers and knowing that when shown to be wrong in your own faulty reasoning, your own views have to change” is a lefty.

      Own goal, dickhead.

  22. Nick Morris 22

    I remember as a kid listening to Parliament on the radio.
    One by one the members would speak.
    Each time I would think “good points, they win the argument!” Then the next member would speak and I would be convinced the other way.
    I came from a Labour household but I essentially knew nothing.
    For all my faults I wasn’t stupid, just ignorant and perhaps insufficiently cynical.
    Now eliminate one side of the discussion on your preferred platform: TV, radio, internet.
    The power of presenters and talkback hosts becomes clear: either only one opinion is presented or the host gets the last word.
    Those of us who now largely know our own minds and harbour evidential support are unaffected but the influence on the disconnected, uninformed and unformed minds is incalculable.
    Sure you can find many competing opinions, expressed in a lively and more or less accessible manner, particularly on-line, but first you must want to seek those opinions out.
    Before long the easy selfishness of a Mike Hosking and the seductive sleepwalk to neoliberalism of John Key becomes the default crypto-creed setting.
    As Hopeful Christian’s refugees will attest, it is hard to change your programming once it is in the tripes.
    It isn’t that a Left-leaning mainstream broadcaster is needed, rather that the right of contestation or reply must be re-introduced into the mix – especially as part of the licence requirements for network operators: Newstalk, National Radio and Radio Live – perhaps under a broadcast ombudsman, or there may be no coming back.

  23. “This is probably why most [left wingers] are found in academia and not out in the real world .”

    The great value of right wingers is they not only know what the ‘real world’ is, they get to define it.

    A great value of radiotv jock oiks who flaunt their lack of formal academic qualifications, is they then demand that if their own children don’t have the capacity for the said formal qualifications or don’t achieve them, it is the fault of left wing teachers who don’t live in the real world.

  24. ropata 24

    Someone’s created a blog archive of Jeremy Wells’ “Hosking Rants”
    https://hoskingrants.wordpress.com/

    It would be a worthy addition to the TS sidebar
    https://hoskingrants.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/winston-peters-accusations/

  25. PR=Propaganda

    “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

    ― George Orwell

    Seems to me that Mike Hosking can now safely be categorized as what he is; A Government/Corporate propagandaist. Just like in any totalitarian state throughout history

  26. Neil 26

    Hosking just like Key, wears whichever hat that suits them & their motives at the time.

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