With all due respect to Radio New Zealand, it seems to me they are indulging a notable double standard with respect to Matthew Hooton, and quite possibly being gamed by the National Party spin doctor.

Today’s Nine to Noon political segment began with noble Lynn Freeman reading again Radio New Zealand’s “position” on their ‘commentator from the Right’ Matthew Hooton using taxpayer-funded airwaves to assassinate the character of a senior Opposition politician.

Listen below (at 0’28”) as Matthew delivers much the same ‘I was wrong to use that particular word’ sophistry and his mealy-mouthed Clayton’s apology. (Yes, sure Matthew. Wrong word. Four times. And having been told to shut up) … not very convincing.

Compare Matthew’s calm and reasoned tones today with his Shaker-like raving (‘Lies!’ and ‘Liar!’) just a week ago (clip here).

As I say, Matthew is very good at what he does.

Radio New Zealand is, naturally, entitled to make its own decisions about such editorial matters and to guard its reputation for fairness and even-handedness, and we, its listeners, are entitled to offer our feedback. It’s sweet that Lynn Freeman ‘thanked’ those who emailed in about the matter. Quite right. I guess we needn’t worry our pretty little heads about it any more.

– P