PM turns his back on voters by abandoning the interview window


I am disappointed that the Prime Minister canceled the Prime Minister’s long period of interview with the Prime Minister in the breakfast of NewstalkZB.

Take out the characters involved. Take out Jacinda Ardern, take out Mike Hosking.

This slot machine dates back 34 years. Holmes, Lange, Palmer, Moore, Bolger, Shipley, Clarke, Key, English. There are a lot of prime ministers ready to show up and be held accountable. Jacinda Ardern has completed a long line of democratic history.

I know it has become combative between Hosking and Ardern but that’s how the big guys ride. It’s hard at the top. If you’re running the country, you should be able to answer a few tough questions.

I have been told on several occasions that the Prime Minister finds the series of weekly talks very stressful and she herself has admitted that she takes media criticism very seriously.

But it is not in fact in Hosking that the PM does not speak any more every week. These are the voters: the largest pool of voters listening to commercial radio in the morning. It is not the same to replace NewstalkZB with a music radio station. One is a news radio station – playing a democratic role – and the other is entertainment.

But if I’m disappointed, I’m not surprised. Ardern has shown a tendency to avoid difficult interviews. Recently we’ve seen a lot of evidence that she’s happy to present the right things and make the big announcements, but when there are questions – like she started the stack aimed at the KFC worker – she just disappears and sends his lieutenants. Often lately it’s Chris Hipkins or Grant Robertson.

She has canceled the media in the past. I remember resuming ZB’s morning show in Wellignton. John Key appeared four times a year and took voters’ calls. Ardern canceled that and appeared once every 18 months or so, and refused to speak directly to voters.

In 2018, she canceled her appearances on Newshub Nation and Q + A at the last minute. But, she still took the time to sit down with The New York Times for a sweet interview in which writer Maureen Dowd talked about her “fuzzy leopard slippers.”

I think the Prime Minister is making a mistake. Unless that decision is overturned, Newstalk ZB cannot allow her to return to the breakfast show in a weekly slot, even in an election year, where she might see an advantage in reaching more numbers. voters.

If this is allowed to happen, it will inspire future prime ministers to act with as much contempt for democratic accountability as and when it suits them.

Being held accountable is not something a politician can take or leave. Jacinda Ardern’s willingness to abandon such a large group of voters is deeply disappointing.


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