Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cancelled her weekly interview with Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking.
In a statement to Newstalk ZB on Monday, the Prime Minister’s office said the change comes after a review of Ardern’s schedule.
“The Prime Minister’s schedule of media appearances has been reviewed and while it hasn’t reduced overall, it has changed,” the statement read.
“The Prime Minister will no longer do a weekly slot specifically on the ZB morning show.
“However she, and all her ministers, will continue to appear on the show as and when issues arise.”
The first is that this is outrageously unfair of the Prime Minister.
Yes Hosking is disingenuous, at times disrespectful, disingenuous, tedious, grotesquely uninformed, malevolent and did I mention disingenuous?
He’s also the best in the game.
You go toe to toe with Hosking for the full 10 rounds. You know what you are stepping into the ring with and while I’d rather chew glass than listen to anything outside the most important interviews, it is true that his weekly with Jacinda was a must listen to event.
He is as hostile as the law allows and he ain’t no chump. To step back from that is an acknowledgement of a media foe who has beaten the Prime Minister from the battlefield.
I don’t like Hosking either, but come on, democratic values demand she appears.
But then again, so does getting re-electd in 2023.
The major strategic reason Hosking has ben dumped, other than to publicly smack him down is that the market priorities are rapidly changing.
One of the things overlooked in the last election was how National’s collapse in part was driven by new demographic dynamics, that the Boomer vote which National dominates has shrunk enormously in influence.
ZB is Boomer town, and it’s a Boomer town Magic Talk fights over. That boomer demographic is less important than the GenX + GenY + Millennial vote which will for the first time ever in NZ politics numerically out number the Boomer electorate in the 2023 election.
Hosking leads in the ratings with a demographic Labour don’t need any more, so providing Mike with a weekly punching bag for him to let out all his pent up aggression seemed too masochistic even for the Labour Party.
Dumping Mike is more a recognition of Talkbacks waning political influence.
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