• Do We Have to Put Up with Mike Hosking?

    Why do so many people dislike Mike Hosking?  On the face of it, he has everything needed to host a successful daily television show.  He is nice-looking (if you like that sort of thing), articulate and intelligent (or passably intelligent – let’s not get carried away here).

    He is so familiar – appearing as he does, if we let him, in our homes every weekday evening – that he is almost a member of the family.  So, why have tens of thousands signed a petition demanding that he is removed from our screens?

    I have some sympathy with the petitioners, but I confess that I do sometimes watch him, not because I think he offers good television but because I am convinced that it is only a matter of time before he comes a cropper and I want to see it when it happens.

    There is something about the way he rears backwards, throws his head back, and points his nose at the ceiling that suggests that he is about to sneeze – and not just a little sneeze, but a real and messy explosion that splatters gunge all over the studio cameras – thereby doing physically to the cameras what he does figuratively to his viewers every evening.

    Television is a demanding medium.  On the one hand, it rewards the showmen, but on the other hand, it also finds out the fakes and the phoneys.  The front man of a daily show can quickly be exposed if he isn’t honest and genuine.

    That is especially so if he seems more concerned with his own image than with the stories he presents to his audience.  And Mike Hosking is nothing if not self-aware.  One gets the impression that he is constantly acting to the camera, always reviewing how he is looking and trying to decide what would be the most appropriate expression for a given moment.  It is as though he has developed his own mental image of what a popular presenter should look like and spends his time trying to match his words and expressions to that image.

    The result is that he forfeits the one element that is essential to a successful presenter – the trust and respect of his viewers.  He always seems to be making a point – his point – about the stories he presents.  His problem is that he is not quite skilful enough to conceal that from the audience who have learned over the months and years to understand exactly what that point is.

    We know from long experience that he likes winners and has little time for those whom he thinks of as losers.  He believes that everyone should stand or fall according to their own efforts, that those who walk off with the spoils should be able to keep them and owe nothing to anyone else, and that those who lose out should stop moaning.

    His political bias does of course have its uses.  We can judge the importance of the Todd Barclay saga, for instance, by the number of times Mike Hosking, in his various media outlets, told us that it didn’t matter at all.

    We detect that bias because we read and hear what he has to say in those other media outlets where he has also demonstrated the ability to slide a politically jaundiced comment into even the most innocent story.  John Campbell, at the other end of the political spectrum, at least has the honesty to proclaim his political views quite openly.

    Hosking’s problem is that his audience has developed antennae that are increasingly sensitive to concealed but consistent political bias.  The problem is compounded by Hosking’s ubiquity.  If it is not on early evening television, then it is on breakfast radio – and if not on the radio, then in the pages of the Herald.

    It is bad enough that we should be fed a diet of such determined prejudice in one medium.  It is intolerable that we should be obliged to encounter it wherever we go across the whole spectrum.  Little wonder that the Commerce Commission expressed concern about any further restriction of the already narrow range of views to be found in the mainstream New Zealand media.

    Bryan Gould

    22 June 2017


  1. Jean says: June 25, 2017 at 10:46 amReply

    Excellent article and so true. I also dislike how he talks to Toni Street – he continually puts her down.

  2. Mark Walklin says: June 25, 2017 at 8:02 pmReply

    Great article, and I totally agree. Mike Hoskings having the last word each evening tends to make me change channel because his smug superiority and political bias is insufferable.

  3. Tony Ramsay says: June 25, 2017 at 8:45 pmReply

    I signed the petition to have Mike Hosking removed from our screens and any media that blights us with his presence because he is simply not intelligent enough to make a strong point intellectually but is arrogant enough to get away with his ignorant pontifications. I disagree with Bryan Gould that TV exposes the phoneys. Donald Trump completely proves the opposite. However I have developed an effective way of countering Hosking’s ignorance. I don’t consume him in any way at all. I don’t read his articles. I don’t listen to his radio shows. I never watch his TV programmes and when advertisements featuring him arise I change the channel for several minutes. If the audience did this regularly his ratings would drop and he would be sacked. So the real problem is that the whole media is founded on entertainment and not the promotion of quality knowledge. If I want entertainment I watch/listen to entertaining shows and when I want information I watch/listen to informed broadcasters. Hosking is neither.

  4. Mary says: June 25, 2017 at 11:05 pmReply


  5. Pat Gibbs says: June 26, 2017 at 9:23 amReply

    I would like to see him replaced from 7 sharp as far as he is concerned there is only one correct opinion and that’s his.

  6. Gwynna says: June 26, 2017 at 6:49 pmReply

    I just don’t understand how he actually has a job in any of these mediums given he is such an ignorant mysoginist self opinionated twat ! I like a tony Street but I wonder how she manages to sit next to him interrupting her constantly, putting her down constantly, showing nothing but his sociopathic narcissistic personality for all to witness. Ugh. Is this really what nz current affairs has become ? Shame on TV boss’s for employing such a dumb arsed man.

  7. Gary Horan says: June 26, 2017 at 7:48 pmReply

    hes a pouncy powder puff poser.He needs to hand in his man card.

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