2017: Parting shots from the Right: tantrums, bloated entitlements, and low, low expectations for our Youth – tahi

By   /   December 31, 2017  /   11 Comments

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Taking personal responsibility Mike Hosking-style

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Taking personal responsibility Mike Hosking-style

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Former ‘Seven Sharp‘ presenter and National Party stooge, Mike Hosking, recently gave us an illuminating insight into how seriously he takes personal responsibility.

On an episode of ‘Seven Sharp‘, on 23 August 2017, Hosking said to his co-presenter, Toni Street;

“…you can’t vote for the Māori Party because you’re not enrolled in the Māori electorate.”
The statement was factually incorrect, and people rightly objected. The following day, Hosking made a half-hearted “clarification”;

The fact that anyone can vote for [the Māori Party] as a list party I automatically assumed we all knew given we have been doing this for 20 years… and it went without saying. So hopefully that clears all of that up.

It didn’t “clear all that up”. Not by a long-shot.

After a complaint was laid with the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA), the finding was scathing of Hosking. On 19 December, the BSA found;

The Authority upheld a complaint that Mr Hosking’s comments were inaccurate and misleading, and that the alleged clarification broadcast on 24 August 2017 was flippant and too general to correct the inaccurate information for viewers. Voters not enrolled on the Māori electoral roll can cast a party vote for the Māori Party, or vote for one of the 18 Māori Party candidates representing general electorates in the 2017 General Election.

In reaching its decision, the Authority recognised the high value and public interest in political speech during the election period, but emphasised the importance of ensuring audiences were accurately informed about election matters. It said Mr Hosking’s inaccurate comments were presented at a critical time, when voters required accurate information to enable them to make informed voting decisions.

“This was an important issue, particularly during the election period, and had the potential to significantly affect voters’ understanding of the Māori roll and of New ealand’s electoral system”, it said.

In considering whether orders should be made, the Authority commented on the important and influential role held by programme hosts and presenters,particularly during the democratic election process.

Note that the BSA wasn’t commenting on an opinion held by Hosking. Hosking did not say,

“…you [shouldn’t] vote for the Māori Party because X-Y-Z.”

He stated an incorrect fact;

“…you can’t vote for the Māori Party because you’re not enrolled in the Māori electorate.”

An example of “fake news” some might say.

Furthermore, the BSA found that Hosking’s “clarification” was;

…flippant and too general to correct the inaccurate information for viewers“.

Quite clearly, Hosking made a mistake.  Whether he genuinely believed that “you can’t vote for the Māori Party because you’re not enrolled in the Māori electorate”, or he mis-spoke, is almost irrelevant. The fact is that his statement – made on prime time television, with an audience of several hundred thousand people – was untrue. It couldn’t be any more untrue.

The BSA demanded;

… it would be appropriate for the broadcaster to publicly acknowledge the breach of the accuracy standard to its audience by way of a broadcast statement on air.The Authority directed that the statement be broadcast before the 2017 summer holiday break.

Which, by 19 December, was about four months too late. The election had been ‘done and dusted’ by the time the BSA made it’s ruling. Any damage to voters – who were unfamiliar with the intracacies of MMP – had been done.

Hosking could have “taken it on the chin”. But he didn’t, and he broke the cardinal rule for those in public life; ‘when in a hole, stop f—–g digging’!

Hosking kept digging, getting deeper and deeper in the cesspit hole he had dug for himself. Writing for the Herald on 20 December – the day following the BSA’s findings released to the public – Hosking reacted with the equanimity of a spoiled, pinot-sipping, Maserati-driving, rich brat;

My Christmas gift from the BSA, the Broadcasting Standards Authority, is I misled the nation. Sorry nation, I misled you.

I didn’t of course, but they don’t have a sense of humour, or indeed any understanding of the realities of broadcasting, like you shouldn’t take everything literally.

[…]

But the BSA was having none of it. And so sadly, once again, we have paid for a bunch of humourless earnest clipboarders to sit around pontificating and writing reports.

The irony being they decided a statement had to be made rectifying my outlandish behaviour, and it had to be done before Seven Sharp took a summer break.

They released their report yesterday – five days after the show had gone off-air. And they might have known the show had gone off air, because the final show got quite a bit of coverage for other reasons.

Then he added, in a final shot of petulance that only a ten year old could appreciate;

So what has been achieved here? Nothing. The show is finished. The election is over. I’ve quit.

He left out this bit; “…so I’m taking my ball and going home.”

Hosking wondered “why we have a BSA that busies itself with such nonsense“.

Tim Watkin, writing for The Pundit, was unimpressed;

Suck it up, buttercup. Take your medicine. Don’t whinge and claim to be misunderstood, just take responsibility. That’s the sort of advice often offered on talkback radio, yet Mike Hosking seems to have missed that memo with his ill-advised Herald column this morning on a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling against him.

Watkin added that Hosking’s whinge in his on-going NZ Herald column was, in itself, an abuse of power;

This is dangerous stuff and a rather worrying abuse of power. When someone is sentenced by the Court in New Zealand, they don’t get a newspaper column in which to vilify the judge. And for good reason. Hosking may disagree with the ruling, but you suck it up and take your dues. That is another of the realities of broadcasting, and Hosking should realise that.

Yes, standards bodies get to pontificate; it’s their job. I know, as the digital rep on the New Zealand Media Council (until recently, the Press Council). The bodies exist to protect free speech, balance the power between the media and the audiences it serves and ensure those people with the megaphone act according to agreed ethics. As with anything we do in society, there are rules. If Hosking doesn’t like the rules, he can argue to change them. He can cry into his pinot at home.

But he doesn’t get to whine about them in print when he gets pinged.

Watkins is on the nail on every point made.

But it is illuminating that the Right – which fetishises personal responsibility to the  nth degree – is the last to take personal responsibility seriously.  Hosking demands personal responsibility from just about everyone else;

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This is one the pitfalls of our hyper-commercialised mainstream media, when it sets up “media personalities” to pontificate to the nation on various issues. Such “media personalities” become an embarrassing liability when they get their feet firmly wedged in their oft-open mouths, having said something incredibly (a) stupid or (b) wrong or (c) both.

In this case, Hosking achieved (c): both. And worse still, his masters in the National Party must have been pulling their hair out in tufts. Hosking’s bullshit comment would have impacted badly on the Maori Party. How many votes did the Maori Party lose because of Hosking’s mis-information?

If they did lose a sizeable chunk of votes – was Hosking inadvertently responsible for the Maori Party losing their seats in Parliament? In which case, Hosking may have single-handedly denied National a fourth term in office by destroying one of their coalition partners.

“Own goal” doesn’t begin to cover Hosking’s incredible feat of self-destruction for his Party.

The role of  pundits  is to engage with the public and offer matters to think about and/or to inform us. On 23 August 2017, Hosking achieved neither of those admirable goals. Instead, he was sloppy. His “Maori electorate” comment was sloppy, and mis-informed viewers. His clarification was sloppy, treating viewers with thinly-disguised disdain.

And to make matters worse; it was abundantly obvious he couldn’t care less.

This should be an end to Mike Hosking’s career in broadcasting.

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References

Broadcasting Standards Authority: Seven Sharp presenter’s comments about voting for Māori Party inaccurate and misleading, BSA finds

NZ Herald:  Mike Hosking – ‘Pontificating’ Broadcasting Standards Authority humourless earnest clipboarders

Newstalk ZB:  Mike’s Minute – What about consumer responsibility?

Additional

Mediaworks:  BSA has no sense of humour – Mike Hosking

Mediaworks:  Mike Hosking officially broke broadcasting rules with false Māori Party comments

Other Blogs

The Pundit:  Mike Hosking – You do the crime, you do the time

Previous related blogposts

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

Mike Hosking – Minister for War Propaganda?

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= fs =

 

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11 Comments

  1. bert says:

    So in summary, Hosking was possibly personally responsible for the demise of the National party?

    Oh what joy, can someone please let Mike know!

  2. CLEANGREEN says:

    Yes frank, the right wing are a sorry sad bunch that had brought nothing more than selfish aggressive greed and hate to us all during the last nine years.

    I drove back to Gisborne from Napier yesterday and the roads are being totally demolished and destroyed by the increased number and sizes of heavy trucks now, and there is no simply room for trucks and other vehicles nowadays on our narrow windy hilly roads.

    Even the road rage got worse over the last nine years as the ETF (Road Transport Forum,) who are the road freight industry had pushed Government to give them “preference” over other road users caused a trebling in trucks on our roads making driving so very dangerous causing many deaths but it was very good timing to see labour/NZF find the “hidden” Ernest Young rail report “The value of rail in NZ” which found that rail saves NZ $1.5 Billion every year at present confirmed what we all knew that rail is vital to our future.

    So Labour/NZF with Green Party support must re-instate rail again as our “prime mover of freight” again after national tried ruthlessly to destroy rail as they hid that report 2 yrs. ago wilfully after the report showed that rail needed to be saved.

    Welcome in 2018 with a new Labour coalition Government to work alongside with us all.

  3. garibaldi says:

    Another well presented and well documented article. Thank you Frank.
    Hosking has, for far too long, been one of National’s most public propaganda exponents. The way he continually exposes himself as a vacuous, spoilt , ignorant little shit is mind boggling. Even worse is the number of people who listen to him and believe him.
    I cannot, and have not for years, stand the smarmy creep.

  4. patricia bremner says:

    Poetic justice that his mistake possibly helped Labour. LOL.

  5. Denny Paoa says:

    Now this is interesting as in the run up to the election.Many young Maori were told at polling stations that they were not able to register on the Maori Roll & were told that to vote in this election was that they’d have to enroll on the general roll.
    This was happening frequently on a daily basis & reported on twitter a lot.
    Whats up with that? The Electoral Com said they’d look into it, so far nothing.

  6. Otto Mann says:

    Good riddance to Hosking. He was an insult to our intelligence.

    Why doesn’t TVNZ broadcast something more serious? Something that informs us, without pontificating right-wing prejudice at us?

    Thankfully, there is RNZ to listen to, or Al Jazeera to watch.

  7. darth smith says:

    thank you frank for all your articles in 2017 and happy new year
    hoskins face was worth waiting on

    any chance frank you could write an article on new Zealand debt position in the new year
    we are up another 10 percent on last year to 526 billion the daily blog reader need to know about the dangerous bubble the nacts have left

    • Thank you, Darth. I appreciate the kind words.

      I’ve made a note of the debt reference you made and will look into it in the new year when I’ve sobered up got more time.

      All the best to everyone in the New Year, irrespective of which side of the debate(s) we been on. May your New Year be a safe one and bring much happiness!

  8. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    Honestly Frank you’re wasting far too much digital ink on that useless right-wing tool. I’m pretty sure(?) none of your audience listens to what he has to say. Indeed, the only thing he got wrong in his own words is that anyone trusted anything he said in the first place.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVeimqn-BJU

  9. Wensleydale says:

    On a positive note, at least I won’t have to treat the 7PM timeslot on TVNZ like a rabid dog anymore. With Captain Smarm out of the picture, things should improve dramatically. Here’s hoping that nice Mr Campbell makes a welcome return.

  10. Kim dand says:

    Interesting how the NZ Herald keeps printing his tripe.
    I always said it was ‘ The National party newsletter’ – one should read it (preferably not) as such.