Mike Hosking – Minister for War Propaganda?



Get some guts - John Key


Media personality, Mike Hosking,  is well known for his close connections to the National Party and open support for Dear Leader John Key, as he made abundantly clear in February 2013;

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

Hosking later attempted damage-control by refuting any affiliation with National in an interview with Listener journalist, Diana Wichtel, later that same year. But attempts at “plausible deniability” fell flat.  His assertion;

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“I didn’t actually say they should be re-elected, I don’t think.”

– seemed to jar badly with his earnest declaration that “we have bright prospects for the future, so long as you keep them [National] in Government.”

Hosking’s support for National has recently taken a further – and potentially deadly – step, with a column in the NZ Herald extolling Key’s virtues for decision to put New Zealand military personnel in Iraq. He referred to Key’s decision as “the right, honourable and only thing to do”.

Interestingly, Hosking also expressed  these insights before arriving at “the right, honourable and only thing to do”;

We have been there before and with little success.

The troops we’re going to train have been trained before with little success.

The troops we’re training are corrupt, as are their leaders.

History shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well.


If John Key has made a mistake, it’s in trying to argue that we’re not going to war. We are, we indisputably are.

The more he downplays it, the more trouble he’s got if it goes pear-shaped.

The more he tries to define the terms of engagement, the more trouble he has explaining how little, if any of it, went to plan.

Because it won’t, and it won’t because it’s war.

History shows us that former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, was fully expecting to be hailed a hero and a liberator when he rolled into Baghdad.

Recent history shows Chuck Hagel, one of Rumsfeld’s successors, got the shock of his life at just how sophisticated, ruthless and well-financed the current enemy are.

They defined the conflict, they told us how it was all going to unfold, and look what happened. Look what’s still happening.

But through it all, despite it all, we must play our part. It is the right, honourable and only thing to do.

So… Hosking admits that “we have been there before and with little success… the troops we’re going to train have been trained before with little success…  history shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well” – and still he wants New Zealand to become involved?

A very clever man once said;

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

That man was Albert Einstein.

So… Hosking wants to repeat past exercises that yielded “little success” and where “history shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well” – and expects different results?

Perhaps Einstein had Mike Hosking in remind when he framed that now-famous statement.

Hosking might pause to ask himself if his unquestioned devotion for Dear Leader and the National Party has unhinged his sense of perspective?

Hosking might pause to consider that the current state of Iraq and the growth of ISIS/Islamic State is a direct consequence of American interference in Middle Eastern politics and invasion of Iraq in March 2003?

And Hosking might reflect on the justification used by President G.W. Bush at the time – the threat of   so-called “weapons of mass destruction”, which Saddam Hussein supposedly had in his possession. Weapons which, it turned out, never existed.

The war was based on a lie.

Having created this unholy mess, Hosking now supports involvement by our armed forces – supposedly in a “training capacity” – to become embroiled in a hell-on-Earth created by Washington’s hawks and neo-conservatives?

Have I left anything out?

Oh yes, one further point. US casualties (dead only, not including injured, maimed, psychologically damaged/brain injured, etc) in Iraq numbered 4,491. Coalition dead numbered an additional 318 by 2009.

How many New Zealand deaths will it take before Hosking no longer believes that our involvement is the  “right, honourable and only thing to do”?

And when we finally withdraw, after two years (or whatever length of involvement actually eventuates – John Key’s word on this matter cannot be taken at face value), and Iraq is still a mess riven by sectarian violence, what will we have achieved?

Because no one will possibly be able to suggest, with a straight face, that 140 New Zealand army personnel will be able to make one jot of difference where the combined might of the United States, Britain, and other coalition nations failed.

Remember Einstein’s statement:  Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Unfortunately, the insanity of repeating the United States’ actions, and most likely achieving the same results, will most likely also achieve another similar outcome: casualties.

Let us hope that when the first coffins are off-loaded from an RNZAF aircraft, that John Key is on hand to witness their return and attend their funeral. Let us hope he is not off somewhere, watching Max play baseball again.


Key defends 'hard call' to miss service


If you’re going to send men and women of to their deaths, you should at least be prepared to see them buried.




Meanwhile, one Facebook user has suggested that Mike Hosking do the “right, honourable thing” by  joining John Key’s  military deployment in Iraq as a war correspondent;


mike hosking - iraq war correspondent


C’mon, Mike, what about it? Get some guts, man, and join the right side!

Probably not. Iraq is an extremely dangerous place to be.

He could be killed.





NZ Herald: Media – Hosking plugs car and Key

The Listener: The artistry of Mike Hosking

NZ Herald: Mike Hosking – PM’s call brave and honourable

Wikipedia: Timeline of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

Wikipedia: Casualties of the Iraq War

Wikipedia: Casualties of the Iraq War – Traumatic Brain Injuries

Wikipedia: Casualties of the Iraq War – Coalition military casualties

Fairfax Media: Key defends ‘hard call’ to miss service

Facebook: Mike Hosking- War Correspondant

Previous related blogposts

Mike Hosking as TVNZ’s moderator for political debates?! WTF?!

That was Then, This is Now #26 – John Key will let slip the dogs of war

The Mendacities of Mr Key #8: A roof over your head, and boots on the ground

The Mendacities of Mr Key #10: “Only two years!!”

The Mendacities of Mr Key #11: Sorry, Prime Minister, what ‘mandate’ were you referring to?!

Other blogs (previous, on Hosking)

Against the Current: Mike Hosking claims he isn’t biased. Yeah, right

Against the Current: Mike Hosking says Bash A Beneficiary Day!

Against the Current:  Mike Hosking asks – What is David Cunliffe hiding

Liberation: Top tweets about Mike Hosking and the leaders’ debates


 The price of being in John Key's club - Iraq - coffins - dead - military - army casualties






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  1. No Frank, Hosking couldn’t possibly work in a combat zone – he might mess up his hair do.
    Sigh. These bloody chickenhawks are beneath contempt.

  2. It simply staggers me that Hosking rates so well both on the radio and the TV. This conceited, ignorant, vile man is unworthy of such popularity and it says a lot about the people who listen to his prejudiced ill-informed diatribe.
    Shamefully media organisations in New Zealand seem to fail to provide balanced journalism employing right wing obnoxious talking heads like, Hosking, Henry, Williams, Lockwood-Smith, Plunkett, Gower. O’Brian,Dann,Garner all who seem to be obsessed with Key and continually fail to critique the PM hence he gets a free ride from the media
    Even Radio Sports jocks like Richardson, Devlin and Veitch continue to express their love for Key. The media in New Zealand have failed their audience badly by failing in the core responsibility to report the truth without favour or fear.

    • It’s all about the tone that is set from the top. We have a cabal in power who strut and swagger like the schoolyard bullies that they are, scoffing at, dismissing and belittling everybody who is not in their gang. So their cheerleaders Hosking, Henry et al continue to project the schoolyard values emanating from the top, which draw a response from the knuckle dragging redneck that dwells within the kiwi psyche. What is interesting is that should someone with integrity get into power, they may succeed in changing the tone, and drawing out the best in people, instead of the self serving greed-is-good value system that has such currency in our country.

    • A very good question: Why is it that the vast majority of people we could loosely call “radio jocks” think that John Key and National are the best things since sliced bread? I believe it is two reasons: One is that it is like a kind of sycophants club where they try and outperform each other for the right to lick his boots. The more adoring you are, the greater the sole area to which you can apply your tongue. The second is financial. If you dare to say a bad word about Key or National you will quickly find yourself out of a job. Not just in RNZ but in the private networks such as Fairfax, APN and Fox who are National’s biggest supporters and financiers. Hosking is just the most public of a bunch of Nationalphiles who have traded journalistic credibility for glam, bucks and ego trips.

  3. It’s hard to think of an analogy apt enough to describe Hosking’s prominence as a commentator in New Zealand and his access to presenting John Key’s messages. His oiling of the ways has undeniable consistency and thoroughness across many aspects of our lives.

    Key might be the master at the helm of Good Ship NZ with us all on board but he has the likes of Hosking to be up on the deck prominent at the wheel knowing they will head us where he wants us to go, seemingly heading their independent course. They take the limelight and the good passengers think that all is well because everyone has the same chart.

    Do ferries run on snake oil?

    Seriously though, the most telling thing to take from this whole column in the Hosking intellectual way of operating, the definite most important thing, is that Mike would be chuffed you mentioned Einstein in a column about him.

  4. As if Hosking’s endorsement of Key sending NZ military personnel to Iraq, to satisfy the US dominated fight club wasn’t enough. Now to add insult to injury, I have been told (didn’t hear it myself) he was in overdrive this morning on his Newstalk ZB morning programme, protecting his buddy Johnny Fork Tongue, regarding the recent spy revelations!

    Yep. Hosking, Natsy Propagandist Supreme! Where Johnny Fork Tongue goes, goes the Hosking, flapping his pathetic gob!

    • Credit where it’s due please. It’s quite difficult flapping like that when your nose is where it is!

  5. We have allowed the media to stray far from the path given it back in the 1940’s when they had to show a balanced, reasoned, restraint, and tell the whole story in a balanced manner, so we could make our own minds up on any issue.

    Now we are told in a manner what to believe with them placing there own slant on the issues so we don’t have the news presented as we knew then.

    Now today we have opinionated self-serving tabloid media funded and served up by special interested parties.

    We seriously need an independent public funded media not RNZ/TVNZ business interest propaganda tool.

    Why can’t the opposition get their act together and invoke a court order to seize the pubic asset known as RNZ/TVNZ from the commercial business’s control and place it back in public hands?

  6. In 2013 more serving US armed forces people committed suicide than were killed by the enemy. This is often the case, though under reported.

    Even those on the ground know they are fighting a lost cause based on a hidden agenda. We should not send our folk over there.

  7. I make a point of not listening to someone whose view of history is as long as one sound byte and his ignorance profound. He’s a fawner and the PM is an ideal personality for fawning over. His politics is as shallow as his personality.

  8. Hosking = an old geezer with a tube of gel in his hair and half a brain cell who married the daughter of a multi millionaire. Who gives a fat rat’s bum what he “thinks ” !

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