The state broadcaster is refusing to budge, declaring: “Mike is our man.”
Leader David Cunliffe’s inner circle believes the Seven Sharp host is too close to National and has compiled a dossier of examples.
I think it is pretty obviously that Mike Hosking has a centre-right worldview. Just as John Campbell has a centre-left worldview. The issue is not their world-view, but whether they would be biased and be unfair moderating a debate.
I’ve never heard of National demanding (for example) that John Campbell not moderate a TV3 leaders debate, so am surprised that Labour is so sensitive that they are trying to demand a moderator they agree with.
National’s campaign manager, Steven Joyce, rejected this and said he was happy with the current format of prime minister versus opposition leader.
He said the party had no issues with TV3 using John Campbell for its televised debate. “We’ve all got to trust the professionalism of the interviewers,” he said. “There are people who think John Campbell is to the Left but the prime minister is more than happy to front on both TV channels.”