Guest blog: Gerard Otto – The soft bigotry of Hosking’s inaccuracy


Hosking marvelled in jaw dropping admiration at the recycled hackneyed phrase first penned by Michael Gerson as a speech writer for G W Bush back in the early 2000s :

“The soft bigotry of low expectations” was a phrase Hosking thought worthy of Byron – and he wrote a saliva dripping article praising Paula Bennett for her response to the criticism that Jay Kuten fired at her – mainly around fucking things up for others and celebrating herself a tad too much in the process.

Hosking said he had no time for playing the man ( mr Paul Bennett ) and instead wanted to focus on the message – which he described as genius because Hosking felt her response was a party political broadcast.

Ms Bennett had said she was amazing and now there were 11,000 more people on job seeker support than when she was at the wheel.

Fact is that by 2013 National had been in power for five years and job seeker support numbers were almost the same as they are now but the percentages of ready to work kiwis on the benefit were higher then on 4.8% compared to December 2018 on only 4.5%.

Rents went up, and emergency homes were in short supply as poor people were put in motels and charged interest on loans they could not pay back – under Paula Bennett.

Not to mention the experience of hundreds of tenants booted into the street by Bennett because somebody had smoked meth at some stage – even before they moved in.

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Bennett was too smack dumb to ask the Science Advisor Labour asked years later.

But National did lower the numbers seeking job seeker support.

Part of the reason for the dip in between 2013 and 2016 is attributed by National to increasingly cruel punishments or sanctions for poor families if they turned up late to appointments – even if the reasons were good – like because the beneficiary was working at a new part time job.

The unreasonable sanctions were scrapped by the Coalition.

There were still over 8000 sanctions applied in 2018 by the coalition but Hosking had a strong sense of soft bigotry for accuracy – and did not mention these.

That’s right – in fact there is no real relationship between sanctions and numbers on the list neither.

The numbers show a fall in the list when sanctions also fell back in 2015.

Hosking was not going to tell you anything about that evidence which contradicted his inaccurate narrative.

Indeed he had a strong sense of soft bigotry for accuracy by not mentioning associated levels of benefit fraud nor even the growing size of the eligible ready to work population.

Which is why percentages have been assiduously avoided by Hosking as he and Paula Bennett seem to puff themselves up on easily exposed half truths – like Jay Kuten aptly pin pointed out.

Further soft bigotry for accuracy was evident when Hosking forgot to mention that in 2010 National had removed Category C and Category D from the housing waiting list – instantly lowering the number on the list by about 3000 in order to appear like smart work byNational getting people into houses.

Hosking describes adding lower priority people back onto the list as an example of the “soft bigotry of low expectations” and makes up an imaginary process devoid of prioritisation in order to criticise the government for his own non existent process.

In fact the priorities are enforced and instead of hiding the categories like Paula Bennett – this government are being honest and transparent about the numbers on that list.

A fact that the soft bigotry for accuracy allows to go unpublished by Hosking.

Hosking is swimming in misleading half truths and frolicking in being factually incorrect – it’s his favourite pastime and he is paid very well for it.

He is also blind to the fact that words he thinks are worthy of Byron were written by a war hawk speech writer paid for by Karl Rove to elect the second dumbest president in US history.


Gerard Otto is an activist and a writer.


  1. On the one hand, Mike Hosking is offensive and dumb. On the other hand, this is Mike Hosking, so presumably he’s massaging ratings with drama and every one clicks on drama.

  2. Every time he comes on TV I turn it off……As to his articles, I’ve never read them and never will……

  3. I like your style, Gerard. To the point and unvarnished.

    Hosking’s predilection for half truths and outright distortions is becoming more a signature of his commentary. How long can he keep it up before his audience switches off, metaphorically and with the remote.

  4. The tabloid NZ herald has lost me as a reader thanks to Mike Hosking and of course his ridiculous wife.

    He comes across as quite a volatile and unpredictable person and I am beginning to think that he doesn’t pen the article that appear as regular as vomit in his columns.

    I get the impression that John Key pens the articles and Hosking signs them off as HIS OWN.

    Hosking doesn’t have the mental ability to string a sentence well together. Instead I am sure we have heard about him abusing a woman who accidentally hit his car in Parnell sometime ago that showed him up as an idiot. That behaviour of his shows he is too unstable mentally.

    The recent article about Paula Bennett, that I didn’t bother reading, very caption reeked badly of the smell of John Key. It had the putrid smell that Key would be, and in quoting his(Key’s)words ‘quite comfortable with’.

    The likely adoration of Paula Bennett by Hosking also shows how clearly and concerning the tabloid NZ herald has become. The herald is the Mouthpiece of the NZ National. It has been like that for quite sometime.

    Perhaps when the powers that be in the NZ herald realise that such so-called ‘journos’ like Hosking,etc,etc,etc are having an adverse affect on readership and sales then perhaps they will finally see the light of day.

    However I am sure we will not have heard or seen the last of the biased towards the National Party Hosking, Hawkesby, Sloper, Young, etc,etc.etc.

    RIP however NZ herald. Your days are near to an end because of your arrogance and willingness to obey the NZ National Party.

    One thing for sure about Paula Bennett is that she was recently waltzing around parliament with a “I LOVE PB” on her back. I do hope the NZ taxpayers did not pay for that banner because that self-promotion and I thought NZ taxpayers were NOT to be used for self-promotion outside of election time???!!!!!

    Still we all know National like to take advantage of NZ taxpayers money for THEIR OWN purposes.

  5. hoskings is unlikely to be incapable of knowing what he is doing.

    Being such a stooge would be demoralising for any intelligent being so the incentive must be there to carry on with his charade.

    Is it money or promise of grander things.

    Low life comes in many forms.

  6. You know what I find works really well with Mike Hosking? Not listening to a word he says or reading a word he writes. Hosking induces in me a sickening blend of weary despair and seething anger, and much like that toxic rag Granny Herald, he can fuck right off. Life is too short to subject yourself to that sort of calculated, disingenuous bile.

  7. Actually as a journalist Mike Hosking used to be OK – he is fairly intelligent, his assumption that if he can get rich anyone can is the issue – very similar to John Key and Paula Bennett in fact. Winners in the game of life always see other winners as right! The problem the left has is that we tend to look at people who disagree as stupid as opposed to being people with a different view. Hosking is not stupid he has found a voice that resonates with middle New Zealand – the people who want to be winners too, but are too busy working in poorly paid jobs. These people believe that they too can get a house and a Maserati if they work harder. These are also people who do not believe they should pay taxes for people to “have a good lifestyle” on the dole. These working poor and the middle classes floundering in debt by trying to keep up, will be the ones Hosking is preaching too very successfully. He is not talking to Frank or anyone here because he doesn’t need to and he’s intelligent enough to know that!

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