A week in patronising plonkers and retrograde reckons

by Diana Wichtel / 05 December, 2017
RelatedArticlesModule - Tame Ardern Brash interview

It was a rough ride for the Prime Minister, followed by some blisteringly constructive feedback for TVNZ 1 Breakfast’s Jack Tame. At least his co-host Hilary Barry was enjoying herself, all but levitating out of her chair with unholy glee. “’What a disgrace! Get him back on the leash!’” she trilled, thumbing her way through a vast pile of viewer comments as Tame held his head in his hands. “I’ve got one I can lend you,” crowed put-upon weather guy Matty McLean, spotting an opportunity for utu.

This was the more or less nuclear fallout over Tame’s, well, dogged interrogation of Jacinda Ardern on the normally reasonably convivial Monday morning chat. The topic: “Different people say Jacinda Ardern told them that Donald Trump mistook her for the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

This was, Tame assured us, “a trifling matter”. I recall early in his television career a report in which Tame attempted to turn a tour of a visiting cruise ship into a searing indictment of social injustice to rival Les Misérables. He hasn’t met a trifling matter he can’t grab with both hands and throttle the life out of.

Ardern kept repeating her version. “Second-hand”, someone had observed the alleged confusion. “But in all my interactions, certainly President Trump didn’t seem to have confused me.” When she said this for about the ninth time, Tame snapped, “Not interested in that, sorry.” He wanted to know what yarn she told friends backstage at the New Zealand Music Awards. Ardern could have turned to the John Key playbook and said, “Awww, look, I forget.” Instead, she pressed on. Her voice wobbled. It was excruciating.

Undeterred, Tame offered Ardern the benefit of his professional advice: “Now that you are a world leader, all these little things can blow up to be big …” Helen Clark would have lasered the smugness off his face with a look. Still, Barry had a ball. A viewer offered professional advice for Tame: “It’s not your job to be a permanent dickhead.”

A google of “John Key” and “gaffe” reveals how many times he made news for the wrong reasons. His admission on Radio Hauraki of peeing in the shower was hailed by Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver as “the single greatest political interview of all time”. With the possible exception of his unfortunate “100% Pure” encounter with BBC HARDtalk’s patrician Stephen Sackur, I can’t recall Key ever being so roundly patronised. Depressingly, for a young female leader, it seems it still goes with the territory.

In much more heartening news, co-host Kanoa Lloyd gracefully dispatched a brace of cultural dinosaurs on Three’s The Project. She was responding to a week of retrograde reckons from former politician Don Brash, rich person Sir William Gallagher and fisherman Dave Witherow on the use of te reo in the media, particularly on the wireless. It seems a fellow can’t make out what the deuce is being said on RNZ these days.

Lloyd, who has taken flak in the past for daring to use one of the nation’s official languages, had no illusions about changing their views. “The Brashes, Witherows and Gallaghers of the world are not going to wake up tomorrow and go, ‘Oh, I’ve been a bit bigotty’, and then go and sign up for a te reo Maori class,” she said, more in sorrow than in anger.

Never mind. The tide they’re trying to hold back has already swept in. “The world isn’t flat. Climate change is real. The Treaty was signed. We’re speaking Māori. Sorry the world is moving too fast for you, my bros. Until you are ready to catch up with the rest of us, ka kite anō,” said Lloyd.

“I don’t want to still be talking about this,” she sighed. No. Good on her for doing it anyway.

Video: 1News

Breakfast, TVNZ 1, weekdays, 6.00am.

The Project, Three, weekdays, 7.00pm.

This article was first published in the December 9, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

Latest

Golfer Bryson DeChambeau's scientific quest for a consistent swing
96600 2018-09-20 11:33:10Z Sport

Golfer Bryson DeChambeau's scientific quest for a …

by Paul Thomas

Bryson DeChambeau has put himself in the top spot for the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake with a single-minded drive to simplify the game.

Read more
Housing NZ to reimburse hundreds evicted on flawed meth testing
96594 2018-09-20 10:03:55Z Politics

Housing NZ to reimburse hundreds evicted on flawed…

by Jo Moir

Housing NZ has committed to compensating hundreds of tenants it evicted from state homes based on bogus meth testing, some of whom were made homeless.

Read more
Shortland Street is turning into a metaphor for the Trump White House
96588 2018-09-20 09:27:11Z Television

Shortland Street is turning into a metaphor for th…

by Diana Wichtel

An extra night of Shortland Street won’t change the psycho storylines or the mad characters who act without consequence.

Read more
Why GE grass will be the next divisive issue for the coalition Government
96475 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Politics

Why GE grass will be the next divisive issue for t…

by Jane Clifton

As the Government gropes all over in reports and reviews for answers, it looks like GE grass may not be one.

Read more
Funny Girls gets serious about suffrage in new comedy special
96571 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Television

Funny Girls gets serious about suffrage in new com…

by Russell Brown

A comedy special with the Funny Girls sheds light on New Zealand women’s historic winning of the right to vote.

Read more
How to ease symptoms of IBS and endometriosis with the right diet
96373 2018-09-20 00:00:00Z Nutrition

How to ease symptoms of IBS and endometriosis with…

by Jennifer Bowden

Diets low in fodmaps are a saviour for people with irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis, helping to manage the gastrointestinal symptoms.

Read more
The web browsers’ war on user tracking
96529 2018-09-19 13:01:40Z Tech

The web browsers’ war on user tracking

by Peter Griffin

The reach of tech giants Facebook and Google goes well beyond their own websites to capture your web browsing. So how can you stop them tracking you?

Read more
Emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley to be revealed
96499 2018-09-19 08:04:02Z Politics

Emails between Clare Curran and Derek Handley to b…

by Gia Garrick

Copies of former minister Clare Curran's personal emails to tech entrepreneur Derek Handley are expected to be released to Parliament this afternoon.

Read more