Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury opined on the Tumeke! blog a few days ago that TVNZ was rapidly turning into a local version of America's right wing Fox TV.
After watching Paul Henry's toadying interview with the right wing commentator Lindsay Mitchell on Breakfast this morning I cannot help but agree.
With the National-led Government signalling its about to engage in some beneficiary bashing, it looks like TVNZ have wheeled in behind the offensive - hence an appearance by Ms Mitchell on Breakfast to promote her anti-welfare views.
We won't call this an interview. Henry, who'd also like to see the neoliberal axe taken to the welfare state, spoon fed her some patsy questions and Mitchell - one of those commentators who still can't believe that neoliberal ideology has failed - delivered the usual anti-working class garbage we get from people of her ilk. Henry's task was to make this crazy woman appear reasonable.
This wasn't journalism - it was a straight commercial for the extreme views of the Business Roundtable's favourite right wing welfare commentator.Indeed they have published a number of her papers.
How crazy is Mitchell?
Well, Nationals' new anti-welfare campaign will be 'mild' compared to what Henry's chum wants.
In a paper she wrote on Maori and welfare and published by the Business Roundtable earlier this year, she argued that the DPB should be axed to 'discourage' young women from getting pregnant. She also argued that the unemployment benefit be replaced by private insurance. Mitchell was also on Breakfast to promote these views as well - and received the usual sympathetic 'interview'.