• Any Stick Will Do

    Right-wing political commentators can scarcely contain their impatience in their efforts to detect and encourage signs that the gloss is beginning to come off the Prime Minister’s bravura performance in handling our pandemic crisis.

    Their hearts must have sunk when they realised that the delta variant had required the Prime Minster to show once again how good she is in a crisis and had also necessitated a further series of press conferences on live television in which Jacinda Ardern could again demonstrate her skills as a communicator.

    Th response has come immediately, and on cue. In today’s Herald, Fran O’Sullivan berates the Prime Minister for taking a few moments to set the scene before announcing the Cabinet decision on extending the lockdown for a further period. According to the Herald’s reporter, the few seconds spent by the Prime Minster in setting out the background to the decision would have frustrated the business community who were anxious to know what was in store.

    It is hard to believe that a serious commentator could ask us to believe that a few seconds could make such a difference to business prospects – the sticks with which to beat the Prime Minister must be in very short supply if that is the best they can come up with. The article also shows little understanding of the skill, courage and effort required of the Prime Minister in facing up to the assembled media on a daily basis.

    But the O’Sullivan piece is welcome in one respect at least; it reminds us of just how partisan is the Herald’s coverage of this renewed national crisis.

    We deserve better from our leading national newspaper.

    Bryan Gould
    21 August 2021


  1. Dr Mike Pratt says: August 21, 2021 at 11:35 pmReply

    Hi Bryan, I hope all is well with you. After leaving Hamilton a few years back we are living in Russell in Northland now. I write in support of your post on the Herald which really seems to have turned into a version of Fox News. They seem to have assembled a large number of opposition party surrogates (spread across NZME more generally) as ‘opinion journalists’ which term doesn’t seem to require much anchoring in evidence. I got so incensed by this last year that I posted a series of economic comments on my face book page countering their ‘reckons’ with evidence, as much as anything for my own sanity. I haven’t posted much recently once all their dire economic warnings failed spectacularly. But I do think there needs to be a more concerted counter voice. Just not sure how that’s best achieved. Kind regards. Mike.

  2. Bryan Gould says: August 28, 2021 at 8:27 amReply

    Mike, very good to hear from an old and valued colleague – and glad to have your support in my criticisms of the Herald.

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