Rachel Smalley comes out in support of her mate, Mike Hosking.

NEWSTALK ZB'S RACHEL SMALLEY wants her colleague, the ludicrous Mike Hosking, sacked not only from Seven Sharp, but also from his breakfast show on Newstalk ZB.

But all it is not what it seems. Smalley, in a heavy handed and unfunny attempt at satire (she should really stop when she's behind) belittles the petition that seeks to have Hosking sacked.

Rachel Smalley: Ooh Mike! You are so funny!
Smalley is dishonest. She misrepresents the petition as the product of hysteria - "Get rid of him", the petition screams". She then claims it wants Hosking sacked because "he makes irresponsible comments on Seven Sharp apparently, and that's a family show. It's harmful, the petitioner says, to the next generation."

For the record, the petition reads:

GET RID OF HOSKING. [ It is our opinion ] TVNZ broadcaster Mike Hosking is an offensive and thoughtless media personality who continues to arrogantly and ignorantly disregard the struggles of everyday New Zealander's. Hosking's attitude and comments continuously cause offence, upset and disdain to reasonable and innocent people ; both viewers and non-viewers of TVNZ. Supporters of GET RID OF HOSKING expect that TVNZ acts as a responsible and mature public broadcaster and respects this request from thousands of New Zealanders - That is - We no longer wish to see or hear any more from Hosking on our TV screens.

Rather than addressing the substantial issues that the petition raises, Smalley goes off on some silly monologue abut why Hosking should be sacked from Newstalk ZB too - because he doesn't wear socks, doesn't drink coffee until the afternoon and blah blah blah.

Smalley is doing a fair imitation of the insipid Toni Street on Seven Sharp - giggling like a naughty schoolgirl at all of Hosking's 'delightful' idiosyncrasies He's such a guy is our Mike, eh? Given that Smalley was not so long ago complaining about the 'dominance' of male broadcasters in prominent positions, its less than attractive to see her sucking up to Hosking like this.

But the message of Smalley's column is clear. The petition should not be taken seriously. Let's all just have a laugh about it.

But there's nothing funny about TVNZ allowing Hosking, a rabid supporter of the National Government, to promote the government and attack its opponents on prime time television. And as the election approaches, Hosking will become increasingly rabid, increasingly belligerent toward anyone and anything that he thinks threatens John Key's chances of a fourth term.

If Smalley doesn't think this is an issue then she's a much poorer journalist than I thought she was already.


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