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.