A few mini-posts on National’s relationship with the media in light of the secret agenda tapes.
A signature Crosby/Textor move, seen here and abroad, is for their politicians to be matey with media as long as they run the lines, but, if they start to get critical, shut them out. So, a few months ago, John Key was taking Guyon Espiner and Duncan Garner out for drinks but Garner is probably off the invite list after last weeks secret agenda tapes. In fact, National has tried to punish TV3 as a whole for playing the tapes; all last week, Key refused to front on Campbell Live. Instead, National hoped to exploit the TV1/TV3 rivalry by putting Key put for what they hoped would be a soft interview from Mike Hosking, and we all know how that turned out. That’s got to be a worry for National, the C/T strategy depends on a media that is largely compliant and love-struck with the mysterious new leader.
Even John Key isn’t buying his lines anymore. Last week when Mike Hosking put it to Key that he had no evidence Labour was behind the secret agenda tapes, that Key was “just flying a kite”, Key admitted as much.
Yesterday, on Wammo, Key’s line de jour was that it’s not National that doesn’t have any policies but Labour. When Wammo said “they’re already working with the policy that they have.”, Key conceded “Yeah, I suppose that’s an argument”. Doesn’t really sound like he believes the lines he’s spouting.
That interview also included this little slip.
Wammo: You believe that [the secret tape recorder is] a Young Labour person. Is that what Nick Smith said?
KEY: Yeah. No, it’s come from much better sources than that.
Ouch for Nick! 🙂
A bFM listener has just sent me an email saying Mikey Havoc announced Key cancelled his weekly interview this morning on Havoc’s show after Havoc indicated he wanted to talk about the secret agenda tapes [Havoc says that’s incorrect]. You might remember this interview between the two when Key was unable to run his lines on Crosby/Textor. Since then, Key has been notably frosty towards Havoc.
TV3 with secret tapes, tough interviews on TV1, Barry Soper refusing to be bullied, Geoff Robertson hoping to go out with a a bang, Havoc and Wammo well-informed and probing, even Pippa Wetzell having a crack at some hard questions… The Nats must be praying for Paul Henry to make a speedy recovery so Key can have some nice soft interviews again.