In defence of Jack Tame: Why that interview best sums up threat to new Government

By   /   November 21, 2017  /   46 Comments

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You can’t waltz up to the VMAs and bathe in all the social media adulation of a Jacinda and Lorde fan girl geek out hug gif without also managing the chaotic backstage green room dynamics. Why the fuck was the Prime Minister of NZ in an unguarded situation like that in the first place where she ended up being contradicted by Radio Live and the fucking Spinoff blog for fucks sakes?

There is a tsunami of social media hate swamping Jack Tame for his excruciatingly painful interview of Jacinda.

I think that anger is terribly misplaced.

I love Jacinda.

She is one of the most spectacular politicians and people I know (full disclosure, she has baby sat my daughter and I worked for a long time with her partner Clarke Gayford when we were DJs on Channel Z), and watching her stumble and trip so painfully on live TV was a type of torture that was soul crushing and humiliating.

That said, I also have a huge amount of respect for Jack. I think he’s one of the most talented political broadcasters on TVNZ and his work to date is some of the best they have to offer.

He is a journalist, broadcaster and columnist and on Monday morning, he was doing his job.

I have no issues with his conduct or line of questioning.

If you are a supporter of Jacinda and the new Government (as I am), then you shouldn’t be directing your fury at Jack.

You should be directing it at the total lack of political management Jacinda has behind the scenes.

Let’s just spell out exactly what the fuck happened here again, because I think that if you read it out aloud to yourself, you start seeing where the problem is.

Read this out aloud.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand was backstage at the Vodafone Music Awards talking to a male comedian dressed up in drag as Paula Bennett about embarrassing private details relating to the foreign affairs of our nation in relation to an American President who uses Twitter as a weapon.

Do you see the problem here?

Let me rephrase it with my extra emphasis…

The Prime Minister of New Zealand was backstage at the VM fucking As talking to a fucking male comedian dressed up in drag as fucking Paula Bennett about embarrassing private details relating to the fucking foreign affairs of our nation in relation to an American President who uses Twitter as a fucking weapon!!!!!!!

 

…where the fuck was Jacinda’s political management team around her that even allowed this to have occurred?

You can’t waltz up to the VMAs and bathe in all the social media adulation of a Jacinda and Lorde fan girl geek out hug gif without also managing the chaotic backstage green room dynamics. Why the fuck was the Prime Minister of NZ in an unguarded situation like that in the first place where she ended up being contradicted by Radio Live and the fucking Spinoff blog for fucks sakes?

Sure no one listens to Radio Live anymore, but the fucking Spinoff Blog?!?  How bad has your communications plan become when the fucking Spinoff blog can contradict the Prime Minister?

The new Government has been woeful in transitioning from Opposition into Government. Labour have an acting chief-of-staff, there is no clear narrative from the new Government on their first 100 day agenda and they are lacking a clear message which is partly why are getting torn to shreds in the media.

Jacinda can’t do it all on her own and the lack of resourcing, staffing and management around her is starting to show now.

On election night there were only a few of us cheering that we had won, most of the Labour Party hierarchy had gone into a collective state of shock and depression (despite being told this would be the likely result and that the specials would swing in behind us).

It wasn’t until after the specials were counted did anyone seem to imagine and hope there could be a new Government and even during the negotiations Labour still didn’t seem to get they had the opportunity to lead so actually getting their game face on and strategising about how they would govern only began once Winston went public with his decision.

That lack of preparation is now starting to show.

Like the monumental fuck up on the first day of Parliament, this new Government is sorely lacking the political management talent and tactics to get their agenda through.

Jacinda needs far better support behind the scenes or we are going to see more and more of these painful interviews.

Attacking Jack Tame for pushing the issue utterly misses the point here,  the Prime Minister of NZ should never have been put in this situation in the first place.

This is appalling political management not appalling broadcasting.

 

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46 Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Well actually the problem with our media is they treat people differently and they treat our women politicians different from our male politicians. Jacinda is a genuinely nice person unlike many of the nasty ones we have in parliament. I Use to like jack tame but now I can see from his interview he is no different from the rest of the vultures we have on our screens he is trying to score some cheap brownie points by taking advantage of our PMs good nature, inexperience and honesty. Why did he continue with such rubbish who cares if Trump thought she was the Canadians PMs partner if he did it shows how senile he really is (Trump) And as I said before the election we need to have a big clean out with our NZ state owned broadcasting they are tacky, overpaid, bias and unprofessional. Jacinda needs to get the broom out and get rid of some of the rubbish not just in this area but also in many of our state sector agencies/organisations there are too many people in there for the wrong reasons many only care about themselves not the people they are suppose to serve and care about

  2. Andrewo says:

    Martyn, you are 100% correct on this point.

    If social media is in ‘hate mode’ then it’s misdirected: They’re blaming the bearer of bad tidings.

    An absence of backstage ‘handlers’ is not the only problem though.

    Being PM isn’t all shits & giggles: She needs to realize it’s a serious business requiring serious people who are careful with their words.

    What was she even doing there?

    And why does she have time to read stories to children when there is a country to run and the ‘policies’ that helped get her elected are, at this stage, little more than bumper sticker slogans?

    I predict a bruising collision with reality for her.

    • Brian F says:

      But the same side-shows – and worse – that he regularly involved himself in, didn’t seem to have any adverse effect on John Key’s popularity? But then again, he’s a bloke. Maybe Jacinda being a woman is fair game if so shame on Tame!

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      “What was she even doing there?”

      If The John Key can mince on the catwalk for Rugby World Cup outfits, Jacinda can attend the fucking VMAs.

      Also, to put this thing in perspective, here is Mike Hosking flipping off the Government on Seven Sharp. Compared to that, Jack’s looking pretty professional right now.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0XF0MSN7ig

      • cleangreen says:

        100% Nitrium,

        I see the issues the same way.

        Simeball key could do no wronng in the eyes of this fucking media so why give jacinda a hard time you twerp tane?

        Jack Tane is perhaps the new “love child” media tramp of john key’s inner circle???

        Pesibly as he was doing a stint in US for some time and may have been gromed byb his lot when there before being sent back fere around election time?

  3. Booker says:

    Actually I think this shows the biggest problem we have in NZ is the media. We have here the PM presenting an award at a music event, who may or may not have said something backstage to a comedian, who may or may not have said something funny that had a grain of truth to it. And the media end up all over it, hounding the PM. This is the dead-end Street ‘gotcha’ political journalism leads us down.

    Look Tame seems like a good guy, but he looks like he’s picked up the toxic media culture around him. If the media did real journalism for a change and focused on issues that matter we might just be able to pull this country back from the brink.

  4. patricia bremner says:

    Oh Martyn, so Jacinda made a comment on something quite small actually, and probably self deprecating.

    That Jack Tame blew that up to an eight minute “interview” says more about his values than Jacinda’s.

    So, let me get this straight, she has to be perfect, but Jack Tame can almost call her a liar with impunity?

    Further, he can use his position to embarrass and harass and tweet he has to ask her hard questions.

    OK. Where were the questions on Manus? Climate change? Apec? CPTPPA? Oh that’s right, the question everyone wanted to know, according to Jack was about Trump.

    His time in America told me he was a Trump fan, so he was protecting his idol is all!!

    What Jacinda has learned from this is that she has a small circle she can relax with now, and as she said, “she should not have shared”, because clearly watching her back is now a big issue.

    The sad thing is, she will still front, but she will now be guarded, because she is a fast learner.

    Jack Tame and you can go on about shooting the messenger as much as you like, and calling on your knowledge of her, but we can spot agendas a mile off, and to quote Winston “We have had enough”

    So that is why there has been a back lash. We are tired of the nastiness.

    • redbush says:

      The point is she lied. When a journalist smells a lie, you can expect them to focus on it. She should have known how to close down the subject and move on to the issues she wants to talk about. She needs to up her game quick, and perhaps have some professional help. She should count herself lucky she’s not attacked on a daily basis by a corrupt media like Trump is. She’s getting easy street by comparison.

      • Pete says:

        When a journalist smells a lie, you can expect them to focus on it? Like how they hammered and hammered at Key and Collins and English when they lied?

        And took the first bout of reassurances and “I don’t recall” and just moved on with the ‘nothing to see here’ shrug of the shoulders?

        Respect Tame if you think he’s one of the most talented political broadcasters on TVNZ and his work to date is some of the best they have to offer. Realise though he is just part of a perverted corporate reality with a perverted perspective, agenda and modus operandi.

        The naivete of the Labour Party is astounding. They can’t go out there with the mindset and mentality that the media is the enemy and includes narcissistic scum who would sell their own grandmothers and sons and daughters to drug gangs to use if it was to their advantage.

        At same time they have to the mentality that the media is the enemy and includes narcissistic scum who would sell their own grandmothers and sons and daughters to drug gangs.

      • Dave says:

        It’s absolute dribble journalism, can’t be bothered with this nonsense. Where are the real issues?

      • patricia bremner says:

        Redbush, when did she lie?

        She didn’t want it to become an issue, because she shared with a friend, who acknowledged “I don’t know if I should tell this… ” But he did.

        This “gotcha” attitude is because Key Joyce and co lied at the drop of a hat, or…. couldn’t remember.

    • bert says:

      Agreed, can anyone retort by interviewing Tame? My first question would be ” why do you think so highly of yourself”, second question would be ” do you see yourself as a mini Mike”?

  5. debsisdead says:

    You’re letting Labour off too easily. A big chunk of the current Labour MP’s hold views that aren’t a million miles from those of their predecessors, and that means the Labour faction of the new government is lost when it comes to articulating much less managing their ‘new’ policy positions – media management is right down the list for a mob of neoliberal opportunists who can’t get their heads around exactly how they are going to implement these new policies.
    It is kinda strange because media management has always been the ersatz lefty bailiwick, but when all the mouthpieces can only craft soundbites around platforms which are now surplus to requirements and few if any can relate to the new reality, this government will continue to flounder.

    Take the new Pike River agency which has been placed in the purview of former epmu ceo Andrew Little, as Gordon Campbell http://werewolf.co.nz/2017/11/gordon-campbell-on-the-new-pike-river-agency-and-the-air-strike-wing/ points out in the immediate aftermath of the totally avoidable deaths of so many kiwi workers, Little’s initial position was to defend the mine’s health and safety record – we now know that the Pike River record was dodgy and full of indications of a poorly managed workplace.

    Who knows what this agency will determine, but if it does decide for whatever reason that the mine is too unsafe to enter and recover bodies, how can the public be confident that this is a well reasoned decision and not a call by the minister in charge to protect his arse?

    Even if the mine is entered and some sort of forensic account of what actually happened is provided how can the government even deliver that finding with straight faces since the person in charge has such a blatant conflict of interest.
    Pissups n pubs not to mention brothels & troopships come to mind when one considers the management skills this mob has demonstrated so far.

    • patricia bremner says:

      Debsisdead, ( bloody strange monica!!) Guess if you are going to say shit you need to hide behind something.

      Your last sentence about pubs troopships and brothels says heaps about you, and nothing about Andrew Little or our P.M.

  6. Marc says:

    “I love Jacinda.”

    “She is one of the most spectacular politicians and people I know (full disclosure, she has baby sat my daughter and I worked for a long time with her partner Clarke Gayford when we were DJs on Channel Z)”

    Ok, thanks, this tells me now, why one now must be mindful with comments made here, I presume, so not to ‘offend’.

    As for ‘management’, I have been quite concerned about the professionalism, competence and informedness of some Labour MPs and staffers, now in government.

    You can put in charge a well conversed, smart and usually careful and somewhat appealing leader, also young and aspirational, that alone will NOT change the rest of the troops and their capabilities. Some have it, others are very lacking indeed.

    It does not give all that much hope with the lot in charge now, unless some fast improvement, perhaps a miracle of sorts, happens.

    • bert says:

      “It does not give all that much hope with the lot in charge now, unless some fast improvement, perhaps a miracle of sorts, happens.

      My honest opinion, this lot are a fuck’n sight better than the ponytail pulling, 450 text amnesia, Orivida corrupt, Whailoil funded previous government and the TDB will only grow in spirit with it’s honest appraisals.

  7. Marc says:

    More Censorship, it seems, TDB is under threat to die in spirit now.

    This government will not last long anyway, that is my honest view.

  8. Mike the Lefty says:

    Martyn, you are right to say that the Labour-led government is not as well organised as it should be, and has made some well=publicized balls ups.
    But to excuse Jack Tame’s pathetic “gotcha” Paddy Gower imitation is not right. Tame should stand up against the turds that want him to act like a Mike Hosking jackass clown and show he has some balls.
    If he can’t then it just shows another promising journalist that has sold his soul to the Fairfax/Crosby Textor School of Twee Stenography.
    Another one bites the dust.
    How demoralising.

  9. BM says:

    Ardern is a woman-child.

    She shouldn’t have been talking about this stuff at all to her “mates”, fucks sake she’s the fucking PM.

    Far too immature to be PM, put Little in charge before she fucks up everything completely.

    • Shona says:

      Agreed@BM these are the greedy up themselves incompetent Blairites who shafted the brilliant David Cunliffe.Nothing that has happened so far has surprised me. However I have to say so what? As Nitrium, Brian F and Debisdead have also commented in this vein . Compared to the cruel, corrupt cronyism of the Key administration the bumblings ( all expected in this house by the way) of the current collection of Labour numpties are almost endearing. A nice decent person Jacinda certainly is but she lacks experience, knowledge,a touch of mongrel a firm grip on NZ History and most of all a competent team behind her. This is the legacy of the infighting in Labour of the last 10 years.And those of you on here who have actually been paying attention will not be at all surprised by any of Labour’s up fucks. They short changed themselves of intellect when they shafted the left ….fuck em! They a bunch of immature selfish careerists.

      • Marc says:

        Hey, consider, it may all have been planned to go this way from the start, by one Grant Robertson, who may step in soon.

      • patricia bremner says:

        Shona, if David Cunniliffe hadn’t left his wife for an Act member, he might have been ok.

        He brought about his own demise by his duplicity. Nothing to do with Jacinda or Andrew Little.

        The people who were in the ABC’s (anybody but Cunniliffe) are long gone.

    • Theresa Greally says:

      LOL but so far she hasnt taken up pulling waitressses pigtails

  10. peterlepaysan says:

    J Tame is just another media ego strutting its stuff.

    You care. Who else does? San Fairy Ann.

  11. Miles says:

    Labour did not win the election, Winston chose. National polled higher than the Greens and Labour combined. Repeat, Labour did not win, they are there by default, and boy does it show. Jacinda is embarrassing NZ on the world stage. When is she going to pull her head in and be a
    serious PM. Instead, she is like a kid caught with her hand in the lolly jar. No substance at all, just as I suspected. We have a head prefect in charge, not a Prime Minister.

    • Labour did not win the election, Winston chose. National polled higher than the Greens and Labour combined.

      When you say “National polled higher than the Greens and Labour combined” – why did you omit NZ First? You do realise NZF is a separate party, don’tr you? As such, not being a subsidiary of National, they are free to coalesce as they chose to.

      And since the majority of NZF supporters preferred a Labour-led government, QED.

      The bizarre thing is that this has been covered before, and you’ve conveniently forgotten that 44.5% is not a majority. The majority is the rest of the voters who voted for three opposition parties.

    • D'Esterre says:

      Miles: “Labour did not win the election….”

      Clearly, you still don’t understand MMP. Go do some study.

      Also, go look at what’s happening in Germany now; that is another manifestation of MMP in action. Messy and often a bit disorganised, but still far better than the alternative. Which you’d know, were you old enough to remember FPP in action. Or had you lived in Zimbabwe, for instance.

      Read Frank’s comment. He’s right.

    • Mike the Lefty says:

      Do I hear violins playing?

  12. anker says:

    I watched the interview.

    The problem that I have is he was choosing the wrong subject to confront her about. And in that way he wasted 6 minutes of an interview which lead to the issue gaining media attention overseas.

    It was a slip by Jacinda, her first one IMO. I believe she will have learn’t from it before Jack opened his mouth.

    All the interview has done was to attract attention overseas. There was really no benefit to NZders focusing on it. Unless it was gotcha politics.

  13. Cassie says:

    You’re ALL nitwits & braindead /brainwashed NINNIES.

    NZ “government” is NOT A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.
    It’s a registered CORPORATION!

    HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE HAD JOHN KEY (proven LIAR ) for a “prime minister”? (plus he got fraudulent “awards”)

    HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE NOW HAVE a YOUNGISH WOMAN OF NO PROVEN CREDIBILITY, INSUFFICIENT LIFE EXPERIENCE, ( also sprung up from nowhere, )- as “leader”of a NATION??????

    YOU PEOPLE ARE TRULY LOST if you never noticed something VERY WRONG
    been happening in NZ for DECADES NOW!!!!!!!!!!

    ARE YOU IDIOTS????

  14. Veritas says:

    Martyn is clearly correct. The Prime Minister should not have been in a position where her better nature could let her down. Key, often no better and sometimes worse, had a strong team of advisers and experienced colleagues to protect him and/or mop up the mess. Ardern doesn’t seem to have the benefit of that and it needs to be sorted out. Labour are starting to look like a joke and it doesn’t have to be like that.

  15. mosa says:

    If this sort of media management ( lack of ) continues this government is going to get eaten alive by the same enemy’s that have been attacking and vilifying for the last 12 years , probably longer.

    There does not appear to be a strategy at all in dealing with the media monsters and the smiles and easy going style of Jacindas will not have the power or authority of John Key and they are totally opposed to this government and don’t believe they have the mandate to be there in the first place.

    It is not just Jacinda , i watched Q+A on Sunday and observed Phil Twyford stumble and stutter through some of the questions that Jessica Mutch who is a blatant National party supporter put to him over housing and then get ” ambushed ” by a story that was run last week with regards to Pukekohe and the prime agricultural land being swallowed up for housing.

    Asking if he would meet with growers who put up a challenge he come and talk to them about their fears Twyford quite rightly agreed to do so.

    Never in nine years of the National government did i see any of its ministers put in that position of fronting up to anybody and challenged in that way by TVNZ or anyone else.

    As i have said on numerous occasions we need a massive clean out of the current media environment whose main job it is to run a anti left platform and not provide a balanced media service to the public.

    Funny i always thought Tame was a closet leftie but i think that has been scared out of him like a lot of others in the industry.

  16. Tiger Mountain says:

    some good points Martyn, run a tighter ship indeed, the PM needs to get Gayford off RNZ Panel too

    Jacinda does not want to become David Lange Mk11, a well meaning PM, but effectively isolated and pushed around by Rogernomes!

  17. Child reporting. This was not a big deal until our NZ msm decided it was. This is just celebrity journalism. Jack Tame is a nothing until we made it something he isn’t. MSM has to get hits ; you just made sure they did.

    • Pete says:

      You got it!

    • D'Esterre says:

      Darien Fenton: “This was not a big deal until our NZ msm decided it was. This is just celebrity journalism. Jack Tame is a nothing….”

      Exactly. This is a non-story, Martyn. Kindly desist from giving it the oxygen of publicity.

  18. Jays says:

    Well, you are partially correct.
    Yes, she needs the support in place to help her be more effective.
    However, she should know not to make such stupid comments to ANYONE.
    So blaming this mistake on others is wrong. It was HER mistake and it was a doozy.