While international media gush, Tova burns.
Tova O’Brien doesn’t like Jacinda much does she?
Her latest story seems intent on cornering Jacinda into saying she doesn’t believe the comments by Israel Folau are hate speech and then damning her for being painted into that corner by Tova…
Gay people who don’t repent are going to hell, according to rugby player Israel Folau – so is that freedom of speech or hate speech?
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was reluctant to say.
“As I said, I disagree with them but I’m very careful around how I categorise someone’s speech,” she said.
…this follows a remarkably Fox News-esque Sean Hannity conspiracy styled story by Tova over a supposed Russian spy who was living in NZ and was supposedly poisoned.
All of these aggressively critical attack pieces are fine in a liberal democracy, all power to Tova for being a critical member of the media, but equally we have the right to be critical of her direction and questions because the assumptions she comes from and the conclusions she draws seem like fantastic deviations from recognised reality and just come across like very negative projections rather than journalistic insight.
Painting Jacinda into a corner and demanding she refer to Israel Folau’s comments as hate speech while the PM diplomatically wants to not pour petrol on a situation that has already inflamed passions seems like cheap shots.
Leadership requires not condoning actions rather than condemning them if you want to build bridges between the religious and rainbow communities. Jacinda is so inclusive she brings the bigoted into the fold as well.
Damning her for that inclusiveness rather than respecting it seems mean spirited rather than journalistic.
As for Tova’s Sean Hannity minus the white boards conspiracy theory, it’s concerning that Tova can do a story on a supposed Russian spy getting poisoned in NZ and it not be laughed at. We can’t believe John Key signed off on mass surveillance but we can believe a Russian spy was poisoned in NZ on Queen street? The speed with which that story appeared in our media right after the UK spy poisoning is what should be investigated, because that entire Skripal story seems to be unravelling as fast as the claims of a Syrian chemical attack in Douma.
Finally, the mocking for not expelling any Russian diplomats. Jacinda never said there weren’t any Russian Spies in NZ, she said that under the definition the UK asked for – undeclared Embassy Staff – the Russians didn’t have anyone in NZ that matched that definition. What Tova is in fact demanding is that NZ just expel some Russian Embassy staff so that we are mindlessly in lock step with our Allies rather than hold the line for an independent foreign policy that isn’t dictated by bullshit.
Tova is of course free to take the lines of inquiry she wants, she is the Political Editor of a main News Network, it is utterly her prerogative, but the results seem to be cheap headline gotcha’s rather than meaningful comment.