Mike Hosking thinks David Cunliffe has something to hide. That's the only explanation for him not appearing on Seven Sharp, right?
I THINK THAT Labour leader David Cunliffe has been the victim of a corporate media always looking for something to beat him around the head with.
Cunliffe's 'crime' has been to hand the corporate media the big stick to beat him with.
That big stick, of course, is a letter he wrote eleven years ago to Immigration officials requesting information about the residency application of property developer Donghua Liu.
Despite the media's attempt to build a mountain out of a molehill, the letter is entirely innocent. All Cunliffe did was, in his capacity as MP for Grey Lynn, try to assist one of his constituents. It was also four years before Liu made a $15000 to the Labour Party - so this isn't a case of 'cash for political favours'.
Cunliffe's problem is that he previously denied he had any involvement with Liu. It's more than likely than he just didn't remember the letter and he has been let down by his backroom staff who failed to track it down. A fairly basic piece of research, I would of thought.
Now the media, taking its lead from National's description of Cunliffe as 'tricky', are intent on framing him as a man who is selective with the facts.
This certainly was the angle that National Party cheerleader Mike Hosking was plugging on Seven Sharp last night. You remember Mike Hosking, right? He's the guy who, in 2012, would not front up to the media after he was outed as having received a substantial cash + perks package from casino company Sky City to promote its various 'attractions' - a deal worth some $50,000. TVNZ then subsequently banned Hosking from covering stories about Sky City.
Hosking, a man who won't talk to the media about uncomfortable issues involving himself, was clearly irritated that Cunliffe wouldn't appear on Seven Sharp. He made a meal of explaining the supposed effort that the show had made to try to get the Labour Party leader into the studio so he could be bashed on national television by John Key's greatest fan. Hosking even challenged Cunliffe to rush in for a quick bashing before the show concluded.
This was pure theatrics from Hosking, designed to impress upon the viewer that maybe Cunliffe had something to hide. After all, there's can no smoke without fire,eh?
So where was the missing Labour leader? He was actually 'hiding' over on TV3 being interviewed by John Campbell on Campbell Live.
While Hosking has been banging on abut Cunliffe, his show has had nothing to say about this week's Oxfam NZ report that revealed the richest 10 per cent of New Zealanders are now wealthier than the rest of the population combined.
This issue of New Zealand's extreme level of income inequality and that of the rising level of poverty are of no interest to Mike Hosking and Seven Sharp - especially in an election year.