Danyl writes at Dim-Post:
So the big political story on TV3 news over the last few nights has about a bunch of reporters in TVNZ’s Maori and Pacific Unit acting as Labour Party activists. It’s a good story, and another indication of how comprehensively the TV3 political journalists are setting the news agenda and dominating political reporting. (I keep seeing people on my twitter feed demanding to know the difference between Shane Taurima and, say, Mike Hosking or Paul Henry. I think the main difference is that if Mike Hosking wanted to set up a fundraising operation inside TVNZ the National Party wouldn’t let him because it would look terrible and destroy his career).
That is a worthwhile point. Anyone with an ounce of political common sense should have been saying it is a terrible idea to hold political party meetings inside TVNZ.
But it was a clip from another TV3 story the same night that’s really haunting me. Here’s a screen-grab of Labour leader David Cunliffe standing in front of a super-luxury yacht company explaining that his $2.5 million dollar mansion is just a ‘do-up’, after criticising Key for living in a nice house.
It’s hard to compress so much failure into a single image. Up to now I’ve felt that the outcome of the election is too close to call. The sides are pretty even, small changes at the margins could have huge impacts on the results. But my gut feeling now is that Labour’s support will collapse and National will win a third term. It feels like a replay of the 2011 election in which Labour keep doing baffling, stupid things and then demand to know why the media is biased against them and how anyone could like John Key. People don’t want idiots running their country.
Mike Hosking also touches on the Cunliffe issue of downplaying his own wealth:
A piece of advice for David Cunliffe – be who you are. Don’t hide it. Don’t pretend you aren’t it. Don’t think there are points to be gained by putting on an act. Don’t try and morph into what you perceive people want you to morph into. It is the trap of so many in the political and public sphere.
This scrap has broken out about houses. John Key lives in a big one in Parnell, Cunliffe lives in a flash one in Herne Bay. Both are beautiful, both are expensive, yet it’s only Cunliffe who has made the mistake of trying to make it something it isn’t.
In attacking the Prime Minister for living in a leafy suburb, he not only makes the mistake of making it personal, he gets hoisted by his own petard given he lives in one as well. That makes him a hypocrite.
Further, he then went on to try and pretend it wasn’t a great house, that it was a do up, that it probably wasn’t at $2.5 million (the average for the street), that it was the worst in the best street. With each example, another shovel load of expensive real estate was dug and the hole kept getting bigger.
Labour are trying to paint Key as out of touch. But they are mainly managing to make themselves out of touch by promising welfare to those earning up to $150,000 and claiming $600,000 a year is a “reasonably middle range existence”. People earning $50,000 a year will be shaking their heads.