The two major dailies have been running bizarre editorial lines against the government’s intervention to block the sale of Auckland Airport, even as their letters columns fill up with people supporting the move.
The Herald called it ‘xenophobia’. Of course, the Herald would know a bit about xenophobia having enthusiastically supported the anti-Asian campaigns by New Zealand First and others in the mid-1990s. But since when has it been xenophobic to ensure that a vital piece of New Zealand infrastructure is run in New Zealand’s wider economic interest and protect it from asset-strippers?
The Dompost goes so far as to argue that asset-stripping is impossible: ‘it’s not like they can take the airport to Canada, ha, ha, ha’
Of course, you don’t need to move an asset to strip it of its value. For instance, you could be one of two foreign media empires that buys up all of New Zealand’s print media (under the approving gaze of National). Then, you could cut journalist jobs left, right, and centre, refuse to raise wages, out-source sub-editing, increase the amount of space taken by ads, cut out investigative journalism, force the journos you have left to churn out half a dozen stories a day, and generally run the country’s newspapers into the ground, all the while extracting as much profit as possible.
So, maybe we can’t expect better from the Herald and the Dompost editorials. After all, they themselves have been comprehensively asset-stripped by foreign owners over the last decade.
[Ed note: This story was posted yesterday but fell off the front page for some reason. Bumping it back up now to give it a decent run]