Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?



Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that this is not good broadcasting, in fact it’s terrible broadcasting.

Choosing a moderator with public links to the ruling party would be expected in Russia or China. But this is New Zealand, a western democracy where journalists are expected to be impartial, and to hold the ruling party to account. Mike Hosking does not hold this government to account, and when he sometimes pretends to, he comes across as being part of National’s communications strategy, invariably helping them dig themselves out of a hole.

Some people have been saying these debates will be Cunliffe’s last chance to claw back some percentage points. He now faces not one but two formidable opponents in the ring. This is David versus Goliath and Goliath’s twin brother Mike! I’m almost starting to feel sorry for Cunliffe these days – everything is conspiring against him: Key befriended by the Queen, Key befriended by Obama, the Royal visit, the economic upturn from the Christchurch earthquakes, Shane Jones leaving, NZHerald and Donghua Liu, uproar for supporting rape crisis, slagged off for taking a brief holiday, and now this – Key’s media mate will be asking the questions in the televised showdown.

Yet despite all the setbacks Cunliffe keeps plugging away – smiling, answering questions and releasing new policy. If it was me, by now I’d have had a very public meltdown, three hissy-fits and strung countless expletives together with the words ‘New Zealand media’. But of course, that would only make things worse.

The CBB doesn’t really care about the fate of David Cunliffe beyond Labour’s broadcasting policy usually being better than National’s. But as New Zealand’s most watched event this election, it is vital to the integrity of our democracy that these political debates are impartial. Mike Hosking is a great television presenter but he is not impartial as his many quotes show:

“We have bright prospects for the future, so long as you keep them in Government.” Mike on National

He’s a “moron” for giving his state of the nation address on Auckland’s Anniversary Day. Mike on Cunliffe

“Very few people worth $50 million get the real world better than Key.”

“Is David Cunliffe incompetent or mad?”

New Zealanders deserve quality, informative and responsible journalism. Again TVNZ fails to deliver.


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Myles Thomas is Chief Executive of the Coalition for Better Broadcasting. Less importantly he is also a television director specialising in reality television and documentaries. 


  1. The first time I heard Mike Hosking was years ago on Morning Report. Back then he appeared to be a rude, obnoxious prick, never allowing his interviewees to string more than about five words together before interrupting them. Television has only made him worse because with a visual component to the programmes he is intoxicated with his own image and well as the sound of his own voice. He is a product of the post 70s right-wing school of journalism. The kind of product that National Party toadies like APN, Fairfax and Fox want to turn out is smart-arse neo-liberal know-it-alls, all style, no substance and absolutely no journalistic integrity and the results are Hosking, Henry, and many others.

  2. The Hosking phenomena should be seen for what it is… a keystone cops type rant that is to provide us with witticisms glorifying the neo liberals…

    But what really happens is that it comes across as an arrogant little pratt squeaking away and taking cheap shots like a coward when his target is not present to countermand any accusations…

    Therefore, in all honesty, how can any of us take the guy seriously? …even his pretentious little gelled up hair style reminiscent of a teenager says it all … old is the guy?….40-45?

    If we really want a circus clown/court jester presiding over the debate, all means choose Hosking , he’d suit the role perfectly…if , however , we want a serious attempt at getting to the issues at hand , we’d best look elsewhere.

  3. Corin Dann interviewing Gerry Brownlee today on Q+A was good until big Gerry demanded he let Gerry finish every word he wanted to say.

    It was a repeat of all forceful politicians walking over good jouno’s.

    During a similar interview between Susan Wood and David Cunliffe some moths ago she was like an attack dog and David failed to get his issues heard as she shut him down.
    We filed an official complaint against her and got a reply back from the TVNZ saying she did nothing wrong.!!!!!!
    Guess there is a culture of get David down nat TVNZ that’s why we are asking all opposition parties to stop the election clock and call a boycott until an independent investigation is held into this media madness crass bias.

    • well said Myles, Mike Hoskings is an entertainer not a moderator of an election debate – it’s the plain and simple truth.

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