You won’t believe Mike Hosking’s latest column



You would think that after the furore caused by TVNZ appointing someone as biased as Mike Hosking to the election leader debates that he would be checking his privilege and pulling his head in so as to gloss over the criticism.

You would think.

But no. Today Mike decides to dump petrol all over the issue by slagging David Cunliffe off for his Staff bringing up questions with TVNZ over Hosking’s appointment as moderator…

Which brings us nicely to David Cunliffe’s desire to drag me into the election campaign and the political debate in general.

I don’t blame him entirely, he was very poorly advised. But the buck stops at the top, and part of being a good leader is being able to recognise shabby advice.

And how he couldn’t see it is beyond me.

On a Tuesday, you don’t say sorry for the grab-bag of strange stuff you’ve got yourself in trouble for and then promise to focus on the issues, by making the first issue me.

He was never going to win that one.

No one cares about me, I am not an issue, and the moderator of a debate is not the star of the show.

If he looked bothered by me, by inference he made himself look plain scared of the Prime Minister, in my view.

…putting the boot into Cunliffe and then claiming he is scared of the Prime Minister shows just how nakedly biased Hosking is. Remember, this is all on the State Public Broadcaster. Hosking follows this up with audacity that he isn’t a Journalist and as such doesn’t even have to pretend to be objective.

It is an extraordinary column so full of arrogance and hubris it has to be read to be believed. How can someone openly taunting one of the candidates be even remotely suitable for the Public Broadcaster?

Why doesn’t TVNZ just go the whole hog and appoint Cameron Slater as the co-moderater so they can pretend it’s ‘balanced’.  It’s a joke now, why not make it a sick one?


  1. “If he looked bothered by me, by inference he made himself look plain scared of the Prime Minister, in my view”

    This quote alone should disqualify him from the role. It’s time Labour got tough and refused to take part in the Leaders debate while Hosking remains moderator.

  2. David Cunliffe scared of John Key? Ha ha, I think not somehow.

    More like the PM is packing himself at the thought of having to debate with a great debater such as Cunliffe, who will stick to the issues at hand. Whereas Key will be his usual toxic, petulant, nasty self, spitting the venom at his challenger.

    Hosking isn’t a journalist’s backside, so I don’t put too much credence into what he says!

    Hosking moderating the combined party leaders’ debate should be interesting. Can’t wait to see Russel Norman and Laila Harre make him out to be the fool he really is!

    • “More like the PM is packing himself at the thought of having to debate with a great debater such as Cunliffe, who will stick to the issues at hand.”

      – Keys dealt to Clark, Cullen, Goff, Shearer and Campbell, who has Cunliffe dealt to?

      • Exactly – Helen was a brilliant debater, one of our best actually & Key held his own.

        Cunliffe doesn’t even come close.

        • “Key held his own”

          Um . .er . . .wot . I mean . . . .you know, um. . . . . er . . .

          And so it went on.

          Boy, do you know how to delude yourself UNSOL!

          Key held his own WHAT?

          • Key did more than hold his own. And since he has seen off two further Labour leaders, and Cunliffe will soon be the third.

            • In your dreams, Anonymous ACT Supporter Intrinsicvalue.

              It’s generally acknowledge that the first Key-Goff debate went to Goff; the second went to Key; and the third and final was more or less evenly split.

      • You seem to have skipped over the second & most pertinent part of Hosking’s column….where he makes the distinction between bias & choosing to vote or support to which your own ideals align the most.

        He may be a centre right voter & supporter, but that doesn’t mean he assumes that all things leftwing are stupid, that there would be nothing he could support or agree with.

        “Bias is the result of pulling a few comments out you didn’t like, that didn’t suit your agenda and using them as a case study.

        I like John Key, I like Helen Clark, I like Mike Moore and I loved David Lange.

        I like good people and I like good ideas.

        It’s more a celebration of cleverness and success than it is a political statement.

        Finally to all those who get exercised about this stuff, much of it seems based on the fact that “journalists” are supposed to be neutral.

        Well, top tip for you, I am not a journalist, and any claimed neutrality from others is most often a myth.”

        Hosking will be a good moderator.

        • “I’m not a jounalist”, said Hosking.
          At least he told a part truth, then. The whole truth is he is not a journalist’s a……hole

        • I suspect, Unsol, that if a TV broadcaster tried to appoint Shane Taurima as a moderator for a political debate, the Right would not be quite as accepting of his avowed “neutrality”.

          Indeed, it wouldn’t do the Left any good either, as any debate Taurima moderated could be dismissed out of hand.

      • @PUCKISH ROGUE -Key is no debater. Instead he reverts to nastiness and vindictiveness to make himself seem superior, when in reality the reverse is the case.

        The reason Key was elected to office in 2008, was because people wanted change. Nothing to do with his debating skills at all!

        Cunliffe is head and shoulders above the PM when it comes to debating skills, as are most of the other party leaders and it will show between now and the election.

        • Exactly! and as a teacher of Public Speaking I have enormous difficulty getting it through to students that there are rules of debate. Nasty childish name calling is not allowed. There are rights of reply etc. There is a structure to any argument. There are different types of argument. Key is an abysmal debater. He does not inform persuade or entertain.He is a very poor role model. He has an inexcusable speech impediment( could easily be corrected with some WORK)and an impoverished vocabulary . I cringe whenever he opens his mouth.

      • Puckish Rogue

        You are the epitome of National arrogance, and this is why you and your blue ship will be sunk this election.

        You see if you are human by nature not the aggressive machine you all have become, you should know that arrogance is an eventual death of your own popularity. History taught us all this.

        Shipley failed to see this, and your supremely arrogant fearless leader has also.

        Sail along before the election in your ignorance until election please.

    • Cunliffe a great debater, what planet are you from? A pathetic whimp of a man. Sheer embarrassing if he was prime minister. Go Hoskings. Laila Harre, nothing less than a small time dilusioned leftie. You lot just dont get the big picture, and forever chasing a dream that will never come to fruition.

  3. TV One replied to my letter of complaint with an explanation that it was my faulty viewing Hoskings as “appearing to me (myself)” as biased. Though they were certain he was up to moderating a fair debate.
    I immediately replied that they were wrong. So nice of Mike to support me so quickly.

    • TV One used an organisation called Crowdsourcing to run a poll in order to find a polling audience that could be used for it’s new show. They sent an e-mail to myself and many of my like minded, left voters. For all of us, we were cut off pretty quickly, so I wrote and asked them what the problem was. Remember this show, due to start LATE AUGUST, is political and the polling audience has already been decided, they are not taking a general poll. It seems to me and others that they have just fixed the polls they intend to run. They answered my letter by saying, they are aware of the problem, they will let Crowdsourcing know and thanks for telling us. I read it as – We are going to do exactly as we please and rig the polls, now b*** off with your complaint. The national broadcaster needs looking at after this election, they have made fools of themselves, while trying to make fools of us.

      • @Ann Johns, I do hope your going to expose this accusation further, have you advised DC, The Labour Party, the NZ Herald Radio Live , I would love to see an official response, get on to it.

      • Exactly right Ann Johns. and for that reason I take absolutely no notice whatsoever of the polls – except the one that matters.

        If its so very easy to bend politicians with lobbying-money – as we see in the present ‘government’, then just think how easy it must be to bend the polling agencies.

    • In my letter they implied he was “playing devil’s advocate”.

      Presumably they think he’s been doing this for his whole career.

  4. Hosking for President! (of the self love club).
    Tosser extraordinaire.

    The best way to combat this (unless Hosking is caught out in a manner too obscene for even TVNZ to ignore) is to keep on keeping on, getting those people enrolled and to the polling booths from September 3. The look on Hoskings face when John Key buggers off to Hawaii for good—priceless.

    David Cunliffe needs to get combative too, one liners, snappy comebacks for Keys scripted attacks as well as thoughtful sentences and policy.

    Key is allegedly off the piss for the campaign so push him hard while his synapses are hanging out.

    • Another way to put pressure on TV NZ is to boycott it, watch other channels like TV3 which I found a new respect for, recently. Bombard the TV NZ website with e-mail complaints about Hosking. Contact advertisers on TV NZ and threaten to boycott their products if Hosking isn’t pulled from the debates. If enough of us do it and the execs smell loss of money then they might start thinking seriously about it.

          • I have no problem with Mr Taurima or Mr Campbell being a moderator despite their left wing leanings. A decent politician should be able to handle that sort of thing with no problems.

            • But that’s the issue you right wing Troll – it’s the state broadcaster, we deserve better on the state Broadcaster than a jumped up mouth piece for the establishment

        • Doubt it bothers the advertisers. Left voters generally don’t have any money to spend. That’s why they’re so embittered and full of envy.

        • Yes, it is. Obviously you can’t recognize that a paid broadcaster on a New Zealand government owned TV news programme owes it to his audience to be fair and neutral while doing his job. Hosking is unwilling and unable to do this and thus should be replaced by someone who is. If you can’t see this as being important then I wonder why you even read this blog.

      • Marcus that is where it will hurt, boycotting advertisers, complaining to them. The old hip pocket is the quickest way to change their view of Hoskings suitability. Trish.

  5. “I don’t blame him entirely, he was very poorly advised. But the buck stops at the top, and part of being a good leader is being able to recognise shabby advice.’
    Is this his opinion on Key
    regarding the debacles concerning Collins, McCully, and Smith then?

    • Nicely played, I agree – especially with McCully & Collins. Something dodgy going on there.

      That was the thing I like most about Helen – no pissing around, if you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar you were out.

      Of course under the 5th Labour government a lot of the dodge didn’t come out until after they lost the election…..and only thanks to Lockwood Smith….Chris Carter should have been charged with fraud as should anyone who misuses taxpayer’s money.

      • ‘Chris Carter should have been charged with fraud as should anyone who misuses taxpayer’s money.’

        As I hope Claudette Hauiti should be – but I won’t hold my breath.

  6. That was the biggest load of rubbish from Mike Hosking. “I like X” is not an argument. It’s up there with “I have friends who are Maori so I’m not racist, but…”

  7. TV NZ’s staunch support of Mike Hoskings, even though any but the most dogmatic right-winger would admit that he is politically biased towards the right, is on par with the Herald’s indirect admission that they lied over the Cunliffe bottle of wine issue. But we will fight to ensure that our lies and bias continues to come out, it is our right to be biased and deceitful and we will come out fighting to ensure that we never have to tell the truth! never! never! never!
    Conclusion: if you are right, you are never wrong.

  8. it might just be me – but anyone wearing those white collar/coloured body shirts isnt fit for anything 🙂

  9. The critical sentence from Hosking is “No one cares about me…”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. sorry, had to pause to wipe the tears from my eyes. The most influential broadcaster of the nation in the same psychological street and strait as his colleague Cameron Slater.

    Given the state of our media I guess the only step left is … yes, the Mike Hosking Reality Show on tv. We’ve had The GC. Now for the UC!

  10. … Mr Michael Cullen? Surely a Sir or at very least, Dr, should be the honorific? Shifty way to insult a former left leaning poli … and any decent sub editor would have changed that. Seems like it’s intended to insult.

  11. There is something deeply ROTTEN with TVNZ. They are now no more than a tightly-integrated cog in the National Party propaganda machine.

    It is well known that the Natz have stacked the TVNZ board with their own lapdog appointees, and the evidence points to some kind of heavy political influence seeping down from board level into the everyday running of the corporation.

    After the election, a HUGE clean out is needed, starting with the board.

    Same with the GCSB, and certain other state agencies, but that is a different, though related, topic.

  12. “It is an extraordinary column so full of arrogance and hubris it has to be read to be believed.”

    My difficulty is in trying to understand why ANYONE bothers to read, or watch, Hoskings, or for that matter, Henry or Slater (this short-list is not intended to be exhaustive).

    I certainly don’t waste my time on any of it. Life’s too short. Aljazeera’s not bad though, as free-to-air TV goes.

  13. TVNZ has made an appalling decision to make Hosking a moderator. It’s a joke. His own comments validate criticism of that ridiculous decision. It beggars belief that TVNZ can’t see it. I’ll be watching something else that night. Maybe paint dry.

  14. Labour on 25% isn’t a Major party. Key should “debate” Hosking solo;
    labour & the rest should be relegated to the minor party debates.

  15. Hoskings appears to identify with [being] the PM so much so that he equates a request for his own removal as a sign that Mr Cunliffe ‘is scared of’ the PM. Not biased in favour of Key? It seems that he has psychically and emotionally melded with the guy. How can he have any neutrality?

    I don’t think Mr Cunliffe is scared at all.

    It is fair and reasonable to expect a fair debate, and that includes having a moderator who doesn’t have a history of promoting National such as Hoskings does. There are plenty of TVNZ journos/presenters that fit that bill. Hoskings does not.

    …and only a few months ago there was a veritable uproar from the right about ridding all journalists of a left-wing stance from TVNZ.

    It seems to me that National are scared of the Left -and not the other way around – because they seem to need to create ‘handicaps’ for Key but that is not an honorable thing to do.

    Hell, who am I kidding? National and ‘honorable’ just don’t go together.

    Oh and I just remembered how Key has been wittering on about getting the Greens involved in the leadership debate too. What is the matter Key? You don’t want to go head to head with Mr Cunliffe? I wonder why that is….

    I conclude it is Key who fears Cunliffe – and so he should too – Cunliffe is much more in touch with what New Zealand needs to thrive and has the feeling, the political experience and intellect to back that up forcefully, with passion and intelligence. Key holds no cards in this regard – only has the underhand tactics of the right-wing to cash in on.

    • Perhaps there’s an as yet unseen Scooby Doo ending… Thelma and the gang finally trap Hoskings via a carefully laid trail of copies of the latest NBR and cans of Steinlager, and pull off his mask to reveal that he is actually just Bob Jones.

  16. If TVNZ are so blind to see how wrong Hosking is to host the debate, then they obviously are no longer a PUBLIC broadcaster.
    Again, all about the money, and not what’s best for New Zealand.

  17. If you want to see what people think of Hoskings and be encouraged, just read the comments below his article.
    A massive majority do agree that Hoskings is biased, with the comments with the most likes almost unanimously against him.
    And these are NZ Herald readers.

  18. From Hoskings’ column:

    Bias is the result of pulling a few comments out you didn’t like, that didn’t suit your agenda and using them as a case study.

    I like John Key, I like Helen Clark, I like Mike Moore and I loved David Lange.

    I like good people and I like good ideas.

    It’s more a celebration of cleverness and success than it is a political statement.

    A couple of points: First, John Key was in his list of people he liked (or loved) but not David Cunliffe. That could have been just an oversight. Perhaps he loves David Cunliffe too?

    Second, bias does not have to be just ‘political’ – whether Hoskings is conservative, communist or liberal may actually far less important than some emotional commitment to particular individuals (e.g., to John Key) based on some kind of “celebration of cleverness and success”.

    You can be biased towards individuals as much as to political ideologies.

    I think Hoskings has shown quite conclusively that he is very positively biased towards John Key.

  19. Mike Hosking claims to be unbiased – yeah right. This is the ultimate blue logic. If John Key agrees with some of Labour’s policies, does that make him an unbiased moderator like you Mike Hosking #TeamKey
    Sign the petition and knock the bastard off (the televised debates)

  20. Fascism, fascism, fascism. How many more times do I have to say it?

    The other night on Seven Sharp he actually said words to the effect of.. “..if you keep National in.” He’s biased. There’s no question. His reaction to the objections from Cunliffe is contemptible.

  21. John Ralston Saul, speaking to journalism students in Canada said: “the existence of broad freedom of speech will always mean the unavoidable existence of a small amount of yellow journalism and false populism.  The point in a free society is to avoid even thinking about forbidding or persecuting that irresponsible, unprofessional aspect of journalism.  Rather it is to encourage the highest possible standards by the greatest number of journalists.  What does that mean?  A short list might run as follows:  the conscious rejection of the methods of the yellow press, which would mean a minimalizing of personalization and denigration on the one hand and hero worship on the other; the rejection of false populism, which for so much of the 20th century was the most obvious sign of profoundly antidemocratic political activity; the rejection of cheap patriotism; the rejection of ideology; the ability to remain firmly anchored on ethical positions because you believe that you are attempting to approach a truth, knowing full well that it will always remain strangely elusive; a belief in fairness and even-handedness; and an understanding of the danger of provoking division through enmity.”

    Mike Hosking and his ilk represent the yellow press in this country.

    Saul goes on: ” An increasing percentage of our media experiences are devoted to little more than primal shouts.  Shouts repeated again and again and again.  Pulse news, pulsation.  Pulsations as opposed to arguments or thought.  Clips which are mere seconds long, repeated endlessly, so short and so endlessly that they become interesting in the sense that they are so uninteresting. Endlessly repeated tiny little fractions of ideas.  The exact opposite of a public discussion or debate.”

    So true

  22. Typical of the bludging leeching left, you won’t publish anything that is contrary to your self-entitled way of thinking.

    • What would you call beneficiaries of a system that transfers the wealth of the majority of the population into the hands of a tiny minority?

      I’d be going for words like bludgers (meaning: shirk responsibility and live off the efforts of others) and leeches (meaning: a person who extorts profit from or sponges on others).

      A tad odd that you should lay such charges at a political point of view that emphasises fairness for all.

    • @Ian McKinnon-well if we had the chance to publish anything in the MSM we might have a chance at social democracy, rather than the neo-fascism off which you are obviously reaping the benefits. Typical comment from a greedy, selfish, sociopathic, right-wing, anti-NZer.

    • You mean like Slater and Farrar picking up on a skerrick of the suggestion of something with the possibility of being untoward and publishing it under patently misleading headlines?

      And when something positively negative, posing serious questions, and of real import about their causes célèbre it is treated with absolute ignore?

  23. Mike Hosking and “independent”, good grief, TVNZ have totally lost the plot even suggesting he moderates the leaders’ debate.

    I dare to think that even David Farrar would be more “independent” and a better choice than Hosking, at least we may get some smarter questions, and we would know full well what kind of bias he would represent.

    Corin Dann, Rachel Smalley or even someone from Maori TV would certainly do a better job and be a better appointment, I guess.

    • Speaking of which, will there be a debate hosted by Maori TV?

      Going by the standards of most of their journalism, it would be a cracker.

  24. Hosking is the man. Says it as it needs to be said.

    Cunliffe is the man who apologises for being a man. He won’t recover from that unfortunately.

    • Amazes me you let yourself get sucked in by the gel haired little freak , Mike…you can do better than that , surely…….wheres your critical thinking gone?………if you honestly hang on every word some hyperactive gel haired little twit spews out who thinks hes still 18 when hes 45,…well…perhaps it would be better if the Left quietly all put you to bed..

      As for Cunliffe…well…to be honest?….I really dont think hes loosin any sleep at all over it….have a look at the Roy Morgan polls…

      I think your hero Hosking better stock up on more hair gel while he still has a job….

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