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Speak no evil

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, October 9th, 2008 - 27 comments
Categories: brand key, Media, spin - Tags:

Word around the traps is that this week Key and English have added veteran financial reporter Rod Oram to their list of journos they won’t speak to and Key has canceled his weekly chat with Wammo on Kiwi FM until after the election.

This adds to Key striking Duncan Garner off his interview list after the secret agenda debacle (although after last night’s uncritical view of National’s tax cut package Garner may be back in favour).

When I first heard about Rod Oram being blacklisted I was surprised because although he has had a few hard things to say about them such as:

[National] has yet to demonstrate it has an economic transformation plan of its own that could put the money to good use.

I’ve seen nothing that stands out as particularly negative toward National.

However when I saw National’s tax package I understood. Oram has an excellent reputation for being a straight shooter and being very good at digging into a financial subject and analysing it objectively. That’s the last thing Key would want to be faced with in an interview situation this week given his how shonky his tax package is.

The decision to cancel the weekly chat with Wammo might just come down to a campaign cost-benefit analysis in terms of time spent versus people reached but there’s also a good chance it’s part of an attempt by Key’s handlers to limit the amount of long-form unscripted interview exposure he gets as the importance of not making a serious publicity error increases. I suspect its a bit of both.

By all accounts there’s been lot of time and money going into getting Key positioned and match-fit for the next month of campaigning and it seems that part of that strategy is about trying to make sure he can speak no evil.

[update: Key’s regualr interviews on RDU with Spanky have also been canned]

27 comments on “Speak no evil”

  1. the sprout 1

    hmm that’s not very wise so early in the piece. one of the reasons msm like new administrations is that it starts off with better access to news sources than tired grumpy and twice-bitten old administrations.

    any honeymoon will be mighty short at this rate.

  2. Bill D 2

    Key is nervous about being associated with the sub-prime melt-down. As I have pointed out before, his minions have been trying to spin the disaster as the fault of over-regulation by the left and with very good reason – if his perceived financial expertise is brought into question, what is there left? A barely intelligible empty suit.

    Rod Oram has been forthright in pointing out that laissez-faire Capitalism lies at the heart of the crisis. This may be another reason why he is being sent to Coventry.

  3. IrishBill 3

    You may well be right there Bill D, but I think the stronger incentive for National doing this is to keep Key away from Oram’s questions about the tax package. At least until after Oram’s next SST column.

  4. the sprout 4

    “minions have been trying to spin the disaster as the fault of over-regulation by the left”

    heh, can’t see that line lasting much longer. “There’s no place for government interventiohn in the economy blah blah… unless it’s gauranteeing private banking corporations, or three-quarter trillion stock market bailouts, or economic stimulus packages, or…”

    it’ll be interesting to see how the freemarketists try to spin their lines over the next decade.

  5. Dom 5

    Not fronting up is going to make Key look MORE like Palin. I swear, he’s a beehive away from being that woman’s twin!

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Easy sprout,

    “PC lefties made us loan money to (cough) black people”

  7. Scribe 7

    Word around the traps

    That’s a good way to get people to stop reading the rest of a post. Up there with “rumour has it” and “a little birdie told me”.

    Is this like the rumour that the Nats were offering $10,000 for information to track down the secret taper? Or the one that John Key bought his seat?

    captcha: Capitol Salem (bring on the witches!)

  8. IrishBill 8

    No Scribe it’s more like the one where I announced ACT’s fifth candidate for them.

  9. Scribe 9

    Fair call, IB 😉

    Maybe it’s your fellow posters on here who are more sensationalist and tabloid.

  10. nommopilot 10

    havoc grilled him well this morning on b

    [audio src="http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/189075/3/key.mp3" /]

  11. ghostwhowalks 11

    Perhaps that would be the new nickname for a John key national government, out with ‘helengrad’ and in with ‘forbidden city’ with its multitude of Chinese walls and whispers

  12. Chris 12

    After the tax cuts, the stuff poll has people in favour of labour’s….very interesting.

  13. randal 13

    the other thread of note on the standard this morning is small change. perhaps it should have been,
    “NATIONALS TAX CUTS CHUMP CHANGE”.

  14. Scribe 14

    After the tax cuts, the stuff poll has people in favour of labour’s .very interesting.

    Interesting indeed, especially considering it was running 47%-40% in National’s favour this morning (maybe 9.30 or 10 o’clock)

  15. RedLogix 15

    I’ve refrained from commenting on all the obvious shortcomings of Key’s tax cut package; but there is of course one obvious comparison that is worth mentioning.

    When Robert Muldoon killed off the original investment based Kirk govt New Zealand Superannuation Scheme he condemmed New Zealand to several generations of debt and underperformance. Muldoon made the cynical political calculation that he could win the election by offering a short-term cash bribe to the electorate. Sadly (along with some spectacularly vile election advertising) it worked.

    And this country has been paying for that man’s venality ever since.

    After waiting for decades too long, the political climate evolves to the point where Dr Cullen establishes Kiwisaver. After a generation of lost opportunity, NZ finally gets something like the national savings and investment it could have had 30 years earlier. It was well received by the industry professionals, and wildly successful beyond expectations. It is a good scheme.

    But all it takes is one cycnical, opportunistic, right wing politician who is desperate for an election win to take it all down again. I personally will be gutted to see this happen twice in my lifetime…. and I do not say that lightly. Even worse it is being done by a man who knows EXACTLY what he is doing, and EXACTLY the damage he is causing. Key has no excuse; was he not an investment banker after all?

  16. Ari 16

    Pascal- If you’re referring to Fannie and Freddie, the Republicans were generally in favour, too.

  17. insider 17

    Rod Oram is an opinion piece writer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hardly ever interviewes JK or BE in the first place. His pieces are issues analysis not interview based.

    Didn’t you get your last Whammo rumour completely wrong?

  18. Dock 18

    Red Logix.

    If you are reeferring to Kiwisaver I couldn’t disagree with you more.

    The number of Kiwis who have opted out of this scheme is phenomenal due to the high value of their contributions. 4% is way too much for some people really hurting at this time. 2% is far more enticing.

    The main thing is that you can contribute higher percentages if you so wish.

    It is better to have more people involved than to have an imbalance of riches further down the track.

  19. RedLogix 19

    Dock,

    The 2% contribution is far less of an issue than the ability of employers to effectively transfer all the costs onto employees via deferred wage rises. That is the real insidious gutting of the scheme that lies behind the empty headlines.

    The number of Kiwis who have opted out of this scheme is phenomenal due to the high value of their contributions.

    Which is why these schemes really have to be compulsory to work properly. Read this page about super in Australia and weep.

    I guess this is one comparison with Australia we will not be hearing from Mr Key.

  20. insider 20

    But using your logic REd, that gutting would be even worse under Labour as employees would end up funding their own 8% scheme making it even less affordable, making it a savings scheme for the rich.

    It’s entirely logical that the value of the employer’s contribution to any savings scheme will be incorporated into total remuneration at some point. To pretend it might not happen ignores what goes on now.

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    Even worse it is being done by a man who knows EXACTLY what he is doing, and EXACTLY the damage he is causing.

    Of course he knows – and he knows who will benefit from that damage as well.

    2% is far more enticing.

    But of no use if it’s costing more to run than the returns that it’s getting.

  22. Felix 22

    “havoc grilled him well this morning on b”

    Yep, and for the second week in a row Key cut the interview off short to “catch a plane”.

  23. Rich 23

    Strikes me that with so much of the media being more or less part of National’s campaign team, there isn’t much point them talking to independent journalists.

  24. randal 24

    when Natoinal is finished emasculating the meedia there will be NO independent journalists anyway

  25. Tamaki resident 25

    Good point re Aussie Super Redlogix. National are always saying that we want to be like them.

    However, I do tend to agree that 4% is quite a high start point – a colleague of mine, with a student loan, hasn’t joined, but would certainly consider it at 2%. A fairer option would be a minimum of 2%, but employers matching dollar for dollar any contribution up to 4%.

    How about a student loan diversion – similar to mortgage diversion, but the amount goes to paying off the student loan?

  26. since the Ford era in US presidential politics republicans have been strong on ‘attack dog’ strategies against their democrat opponents. This is as it looks a deliberate harrying of the candidates eg. Starr after the Clintons and then Bill Clinton himself, Swift-boating Kerry is another well known example.

    Added to this kind of stuff and definitely since 1991 when ” A Winner War’ president persona looked big shoe-in for the incumbent president’s father, George H.W. Bush’s re-election. But alas the american media woke up to several big scandals around the guy and one of their own killed in doubtful politically associated circumstances, resulting in a so-called Clinton clean out.

    Republicans subsequently did all kinds of things to reduce and eliminate the msm zeal for ‘truth’. As, indeed, many of you will know they are also most keen to render secret much information related to their dealings.. and this is officially AND otherwise.

    A number of comments above have hinted at such matters.. Palin the semblance of Key or vice versa, for one. Formulaic. Selective media for another. I’m trying to say just where this comes from. And should be dealt to. Felix I recall earlier, for instance, talked of slogans. Slogans are quick, easily deliverable, can stick (church constituencies for example, bought big into ‘Our Values” for a President found wanting in the extreme by them at Katrina, though of course too late to alter their earlier choices.. And the ‘faith-based’ dogma had gotten used in practice [ the president’s budget for this was $1.5bn per annum ] to set up realty deals among which foreclosures rank unintended consequences for trusting folks.

    This reliance on a paid-for campaign machine experienced offshore is a troublesome development. Instance Carville may have gotten Clinton into office, but exactly a year after shoeing a Bolivian multi-millionaire back into power through splitting the oppo frontrunner’s vote that country went into widespread public riots and social unrest. Power is one thing, justice another.

    But I don’t see any media here relating such dangers. Nice guy, poster boy — and don’t get me wrong there are some decent folks in all the parties — is sham. Adding an ‘e’ to that word is where it is headed for those tactics.

    My answer in the circumstances of how to deal to it is to be inclusive—not at each others’ throats—and this financial crisis may yet make its social connect as people do in recognition of common disastrous foe/s..

  27. Pascal's bookie 27

    America may well be a write off.

    If Obama wins, what the right wing slime machine will do to him, will make what they did to Clinton look like a blow job.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

    warning Cabiling level crazy factor.

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