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Stop being a dick Barry

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, November 23rd, 2021 - 54 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, Media, politicans, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

The sense of privilege is especially strong with this one.

Barry Soper was politely shut down by Jacinda Ardern during her post Cabinet Press Conference yesterday.  In front of a packed group of reporters all asking her questions she did what was utterly logical and tried to spread the questions around.

Barry Soper, a legend in his own lunchtime, then threw a big tanty and stormed out of the conference.  His justification, he had a deadline to meet and she refused to answer his questions immediately.  The leader of our country should clearly rearrange Cabinet and the handling of the country’s pressing matters so that Barry can meet his corporate imposed deadline.  Maybe Cabinet should meet at 4 am so that Barry has something ready for the morning news.

But not only did Barry get upset at Jacinda attempting to allow all media to ask her questions and then storm out of the conference but he then wrote this clusterfuck of an article to accuse Jacinda effectively of communism because she was not deferential to him.

His piece starts off by prattling on how he upset Muldoon and Lange.  I suspect that these were his best years, but they were over 30 years ago.

He then said this:

Jacinda Ardern’s press conferences are on a whole new level, she’s had more practice at them than any other leader in recent history.

But for her, it’s all about control, to cut off a line of questioning before something difficult takes hold. If it runs the risk of taking hold, she’ll over talk the questioner through the power of the podium microphone and move on.

With the flick of a hand, she’ll switch to another questioner. She’s trained the media to raise their hands which allows her to rattle off the order in which the questions are to be asked.

If you’re working to a deadline, which if you have to go on-air in radio is constant, it’s of no consequence to Ardern, television takes precedence.

Admittedly the question she flicked away on her latest outing was probably one she wasn’t too keen on taking – was she going to do more than a token visit to Auckland this Thursday?

The current crop has all been media trained like no other occupants in the Beehive. The same modus operandi has been adopted by Ardern’s fellow preachers from the pulpit – Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins.

It’s called media control but asking questions is called democracy and accountability.

He has no self awareness.  Attacking her for “not visiting Auckland” is to reinforce a National attack line that has no substance.  I prefer that the Prime Minister is on top of her game, has had full briefings and is in a position to make decisions on the country’s future rather than spending huge amounts of time on photo opportunities and to witness first hand what she will already be aware of from media and social media reports.

Accusing her of “overtalking the questioner” is exactly what he was doing.

And accusing her of media control as she offers to multiple reporters the chance to question her?  How can this be evidence of control?

Some of the best and toughest questioning has come from Iwi media.  They actually get into the meat of important issues rather than ask where people in Ponsonby are going to have a piss if they cannot go inside the restaurant because the city is battling a pandemic and is still being very cautious.  But they do not have an expectation of entitlement.

It is interesting that the Herald article does not feature video of the conference.  I wonder why?

I have held off cancelling my Herald subscription because of the likes of Simon Wilson, Dave Fisher and Matt Nippert.  But Barry makes this so difficult …

54 comments on “Stop being a dick Barry ”

  1. tc 1

    Old man shouts at cloud, his management cheer him on.

    When's he off on paternity leave to give everyone a break from his knowingly arrogant behavior.

    Good point about the iwi media mickey, they’re showing others how it can be done.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Yes the Iwi media when I have watched ask pertinent and sometimes difficult questions for the Govt. but manage to do it a non whiny way, with an answer seemingly their goal rather than “aha…but you said in March 2020…Gotcha!”

      • Shanreagh 1.1.1

        Yes during last year's outbreak there was a sense of real working together with Iwi media and the 1.00pm speakers as the Maori media asked questions in such a way as to inform to get the best possible outcome. The rest were full of gotchas and reckons.

        Come this year I no longer have the patience with the media questions and so miss any brilliance or the result of hard work and investigation from the Maori media. I got tired of almost throwing things at the screen as I said "she's already said that' or 'he didn't say that….' I don't watch the 1.00pm or any pressers unless I ams ure I wnat to after reading the content on line and never watch the questions. To be honest I find Tova O'B just about as irritating as Barry Soper in a different way. .

    • Peter 1.2

      Soper on paternity leave didn't occur to me but it raises a question.

      Has he already attached a 'Baby on Board' sign in his vehicle? He should.

      • left for dead 1.2.1

        Baby's on board not forgetting HDP.

        Edited: this is ‘cartoon caption’ or am I on in the wrong post.

  2. Blazer 2

    Attacking the P.M is really ramping up.

    The opposition are resorting to every trick they can, to undermine her personal popularity.

    A friend from Australia was 'informed breathlessly' that JA is really a….man!

    Believe it or not…(shades of the dirt spread on Michelle Obama.)

    • Gezza 2.1

      Gawd. That’s just plain nuts!

      Political . discourse in the age of social media sure has turned into a toxic bloody swamp. In far too many places. Dunno what the solution is. Misinformation & disinformation & just plain bile seem to be everywhere.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Read this Gezza:


        A brilliant discourse from Dr. Paul Buchanan concerning the situation occurring right now in NZ . It makes for fascinating reading:


        … there is another malign foreign influence operating in NZ as well as places like Brazil and Italy. It arrives as a type of cultural or ideological diffusion and it is propagated by US-based non-state political actors like Steve Bannon and his Counterspin media channel as well as the Qanon conspiracy network, Alex Jones and Infowars …

        He goes on to explain their ultimate aims. It is super sobering and reminds me of a modern day version of Germany in the 1930s.

        Paul Buchanan was a former US intelligence analyst.

        • Gezza

          From the linked article: *the NZ intelligence community has warned that a terrorist attack is possible within a year or so and that it will likely come in the form of a “lone wolf” emerging out of the anti-vaxx/mask/lockdown movement (although the process of radicalisation and likely profile of such an individual has not been specified). *

          That’s a worry. ☹️

    • Anne 2.2

      A friend from Australia was 'informed breathlessly' that JA is really a….man!

      Not new. Helen Clark was accused of being a man because of her low voice – caused by a throat operation after a severe infection when she was a child.

      Next they will be accusing Jacinda’s soon to be husband of being a pedophile. Oops, that's not new either. Helen's husband was accused of… trying to pick up a young boy on an Air NZ flight. The child was sitting next to him and travelling alone so he took on the task of looking after him until those who were meeting him had been located.

      • Visubversa 2.2.1

        There never have been any depths that they will not plumb. They are homophobic and misogynist to the core. They have no good arguments so they revert to lies and propaganda. When that fails, out come the threats of violence.

        • Anne

          Yes. and we are seeing it all coming to the surface in NZ . Covid is merely the vehicle through which they are spreading their contemptuous messages.

  3. Ross 3

    he then wrote this clusterfuck of an article to accuse Jacinda effectively of communism because she was not deferential to him.

    Yeah nah. He doesn’t say anything of the sort. I’m at a loss to understand how being deferential equates to being communist. 🙂

    • mac1 3.1

      Ross, from my reading of the post I gather that Soper wrote his complaint because the PM did not defer to his request for more questions ahead of others, as he had a deadline.

      The 'effectively of communism' comes from a current use by protesters of the term communism to describe state mandated restrictions during covid-19.

      Soper ended his article with this line. "It's called media control but asking questions is called democracy and accountability."

      My reading of that is control of the media (by the PM allocating questions to favoured journalists who have been trained to accept the PM's control) is a communist practice because Soper contrasts that with 'democracy and accountability'.

      I can see why the post says what it says. Soper does not get his way, the man who put both Lange and Muldoon in their proper place. He calls it control.

      I'd say sour grapes and a sense of entitlement. He considers himself ahead of Jessica and Tova who he says are favoured by the PM.

      Am I drawing too long a bow to think misogyny when a man accuses a woman of favouring two women ahead of him?

      Perhaps he should be doing what he says worked in the past. Get the chair of the press to have a meeting about procedures, timing etc.

      Or, talk to his radio bosses about the difficulty of their timelines.

    • roy cartland 3.2

      accuse Jacinda effectively of communism because she was not deferential to him.


      You missed a word while reading. That should clear up your loss.

  4. left for dead 4

    If anyone is not convinced of this chaps entitlement,just read Tom Scott's memoir.

  5. Reality 5

    Soper is very prone to tantrums. I have mentioned before on The Standard I have witnessed him having an almighty two year old tantrum, the like of which I have never seen before from an adult.

    Wonder if he has regular blood pressure checks. Goodness, what will he be like when baby arrives and he has his sleep disturbed.

    • tc 5.1

      If he regularly loses his rag then it's likely a theatrical/deliberate tactic.

      Recall a TV news reporter I worked with stated 'only lose your temper when it's necessary'. Just another tool in the radio rant bag.

      • JanM 5.1.1

        It could be a deliberate tactic, but he ruined a dinner party I was at by throwing a childish wobbly for no tactical reason that I could see

    • woodart 5.2

      and ,he isnt the centre of attention in the family home…..

  6. Maurice 6

    Yet here we are giving him oxygen!

    The Press conference becomes all about Soper’s reaction.

  7. Rapunzel 7

    Which chapter? I found my copy I thought I'd passed it on but haven't just curious without time for a re-read

    • left for dead 7.1

      Rapunzel, if you are thinking of my comment,one of the better was with Mike Moore,trade delegation in Europe.

  8. weka 8

    "Barry Soper, a legend in his own lunchtime…"

    Missed opportunity there micky: Barry Soper, a legend in his own press conference

  9. AB 9

    It's not just about Barry – the NZ Herald/ZB nexus is a swamp of far-right idiocy. We don't even need the Murdoch press in this country for public discourse to be polluted. When Key was PM the left really disliked him – but it didn't own the media tools for constantly vilifying him.

  10. cathy-o 10

    "I have held off cancelling my Herald subscription because of the likes of Simon Wilson, Dave Fisher and Matt Nippert. But Barry makes this so difficult …"

    Me too, and they have Mike the Moron as well, having got rid of a whole slew of balanced and intelligent reporters, the likes of Dita de Boni et al.

    don't know how those three hang in there

    • Gezza 10.1

      Shock jocks & shill jills stirring up the pot with anti-govt lines are worth clicks & listening to the radio for.

      Everything else is so bland it’s boring. My sister & hubby went to work overseas a few years back. First in WA, Oz, them in Brunei. Ozzer tv drove them nuts, so parochial, & they used to watch Al Jazeera English in WA & Brunei to keep up with happenings around the world.

      Sis told me the other day they were looking forward to getting some good old, decent Kiwi Tv news on TV1 on their return from overseas, like it was before they left.

      Instead they got a shock at how much it had changed in their 6 or 7 years offshore. 1 ewes at 6 has now become “Woman’s Weekly News”, she declared. I agree.

  11. Obtrectator 11

    Too important to wait his turn – just like Mr Brownlee once.

  12. Chris 12

    Asking Barry not to be a dick is the same as asking him not to be himself.

  13. Barry Soper was one of the "big boys" when I was in Primer 2 at St Mary's School in Gore. I well remember him storming out of my class one day when he'd had the temerity to enter to deliver the milk without knocking first. Sr. Mary Bonaventure was not impressed, and gave him a right Catholic dressing-down. He ran out of the room – red-faced and whimpering. Could this have been B. Soper's first flounce, perchance?

  14. Patricia Bremner 14

    I think his anger is more about Jacinda Ardern's deft and clearly informed answers.

    His pompous approach using his past position of leading player has come up against an informed straight talker whose clarity leaves him nothing but personal attacks.

    He comes with a "position" which he talks over others to try to "prove". He clearly is not used to having to allow others to have a question.

  15. Reality 15

    Re ZB anti Jacinda ravings – occasionally I swap radio stations during the night to ZB and other stations. I think it is a Bruce Russell on ZB. Last night he was snorting about Jacinda having no knowledge of retail as she had only worked in a fish and chip shop (as a teenager). His constant sheer nastiness means I literally move on after 1 or 2 minutes. ZB seems to have a whole stable of these types.

  16. McFlock 16

    I was about to say that the dude needs to grow up, but given some of the comments about his tendency towards this sort of thing (excluding the primary school anecdote from the pattern as he was literally a child at the time) it seems he's managed to eek out a long if somewhat forgettable career despite his temperamental shortcomings.

    So no, he should grow up but he doesn't need to do so. Privilege in action.

  17. Bob 17

    Barry is washed up still beating the neolib drum with his wife (HduP) to support the Nats and/or ACT at the expense of any alternative political approaches – TINA … there is no alternative … is a common dogma of the neolib movement and is clearly wrong for most of the population – not so bad for millionaires like Key and his buddies. Back to newstalk where he can cut off views he doesn't like.

  18. observer 18

    What Barry Soper really resents is that he no longer gets his free bribe gift of bottles of wine from the PM. This helped to explain John Key's cosy relationship with pet reporters like Bazza:

    Colin Espiner (who to be fair was not a Sopery sycophant) once pointed out …

    Everyone in the press gallery knows that Key has an interest in a vineyard. That's how come we all got very nice bottles of pinot noir from Central Otago last Christmas, with "JK" emblazoned on the label.

    The link is about a different story, but is provided for confirmation in case your memory of John Key is as bad as John Key's memory.

  19. Nathan 19

    So, why is it ALWAYS Tova or Jessica first??? Barry is not being a dick…Jacinda is

    • Ad 19.1

      It's a girl thing you wouldn't understand.

    • observer 19.2

      Because the current PM is exactly like the previous PMs. They are the political editors of the 2 main TV networks, and the TV news comes first.

      Were you asleep from 2008-16?

  20. JustMe 20

    I missed the event but honestly I cannot stand Barry Soper at the best of times. He is too arrogant and thinks he knows everything. He is one of those Village Idiots that one kind of wonders where his brains are???!!!!

    The tabloid NZ herald has an overflow(abit like a sewerage leak)of very poor quality so-called journalists. And most the sewerage overflow that is allowed to write articles in the taboid herald are often biased towards National.

    If the herald wants to alienate readers much like the NZ National Party are alienating NZers then I suppose they will have themselves to blame. But of course true to form the herald and its writers will naturally blame everyone else but themselves. Much like National MPs do by habit anyway.

    • McFlock 20.1

      I heartily recommend the video in the post (in the embedded tweet). Funny as hell.

      Honestly, some folks have spent 18months complaining the PM treats them like children, while they continue to act like babies.

      Thinks – I wonder if anyone's put the clips of the recent time her child interrupted a zoom meeting alongside this clip, and seen whether she uses the same tone in both clips?

      edit: here we are. lol – not quite, but still funny.

      • nzlemming 20.1.1

        There's a cute remix of that interruption video showing Ben and Jono at the door arguing.

        I would piss myself if JA accidentally said "darling" to Barely Sober while calling him out for his bullshit.

  21. observer 21

    Here's a John Key press conference from the good old days before Ardern.

    Watch the last 30 seconds and you'll see a walkout, but it's not by Barry Soper.

    Then imagine the vitriolic response if Ardern did the same with the press gallery.

  22. DukeEll 22

    Always a defining moment in governments tenure when journalists asking questions of the government is a hate crime in the eyes of its cheerleaders

    • Shanreagh 22.1

      Really? You jest surely? Journalists are being journalists and are a necessary evil sometimes, John Key found it, PM is finding Barry Soper hard to deal with because of his interruptions. This is far too trifling a matter to weigh in ponderously as those it is some sort of moment.

    • observer 22.2

      "hate crime" – citation needed. You'll have none, of course.

      As I'm sure you know, there have been constant complaints from the opposition that the PM is in the Beehive answering questions.

      So, should she turn up for these press conferences – or not?

  23. georgecom 23

    was one of his 3 questions about non vaxxed being able to use toilets of eating establishments when doing click and collects?

    that's a recurring theme of his, sums up much of what Soper has to offer in recent times

  24. lance Taylor 24

    Scotty from Marketing was re-elected in Australia by these sorts of right-wing media attacks. It's all bull%$#@ but some sticks and it erodes away confidence.

    It will ramp up and in 18 months I expect it to be shrill.

    Ardern has become very adept at handling this sort of rubbish and not letting them dominate her pressers.

  25. dottie 25

    Yes Chris, Barry has got red in the face and carried on like a dick for a long—–

    time now.

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