"...the media are in a more aggressive and more hostile towards us..."A few hours later he has changed tack, and his comments on the radio were not criticism at all. Ummm, OK.
"...the Herald's turned more tabloid, and, yeah, they won't like it if I say that, but that is absolutely statement of fact. What they are doing is, and the Herald is very clear, they have decided to get their circulations from stopping falling, or at least maybe try and go up..."
The media have given National an easy ride, so far. In my opinion they have failed in their duty as journalists to ask the difficult questions and to investigate. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that there is insufficient money to be made by doing so. Another is that the short to medium term interests of the owners of the MSM are well aligned with the actions of the government.
While the infamous cup of tea may have come at a price, the talk of urgency and reform that can be heard elsewhere in the radio interview linked to above shows that the price has been worthwhile, for now. National formed the government, and have the ability to pass the legislation they want to. Until the next election. In any case the parties that pay the ultimate price for the cup of tea will be the minor parties that supported National for the last two terms; they face annihilation at the next election. It will be some time before the National party itself is defunct, several decades.
The quote below, from the Herald, caught my eye:
And he reiterated his support for Mr Banks.
"I don't need to know all the ins and outs and I don't because all I need is a clear assurance he hasn't broken the law.
"The Local Electoral Act, which is the act that governed taking of donations for the mayoral campaign is a very liberal and loose act.''
I've said it before, this approach is most unsuitable for a Prime Minister. Whether an Act is loose and liberal is not an excuse for poor behaviour. People who dance around the edge of the law should be, at a minimum, targets for investigation and reproach, not Ministers of the Crown. When the law is something as precious as electoral law, the standards required are at their highest. A Prime Minister who values democratic tradition so little that he passes off questionable practices with "...[he assures me] he hasn't broken the law" has even poorer judgement than his Minister, and is unfit to be PM.
Pixies - Surfer Rosa, 1988