Fairly carefully thought-out impromptu comments? …

Lost that loving feeling? John Key interviewed by Leighton Smith on his perceptions of change in attitude by ‘the media’.

Immediately reported as:

POOR ME — that's a pretty tough headline!

POOR ME — that's a pretty tough headline!

and this:  

before being very quickly updated to this (below)  —— (Read the original version here PDF)

… after Mr Key overtly denied singling out the NZ Herald … this, in spite of having named the current and former editors Shayne Currie and Tim Murphy, and a senior journalist David Fisher, purporting to report ‘facts’ on the newspaper’s strategies, distribution/sales performance, front page design and tone i.e. ‘more tabloid’. Hmmm.

Click to watch a fairly brazen back-peddle under a weak questioning IMO (click to watch at stuff.co.nz)

There was nothing accidental about today’s performance in my opinion. Mr Key effectively used a soft platform to set a narrative framing any future criticism or holding the government to account as the media being ‘aggressive’ ‘hostile’ ‘antagonistic’ ‘tabloid’ — and therefore ignorable?

I’m struck again by Mr Key’s excellent communication skills. He really is very good. And likable.

That said, I thought I detected a slight ‘Will I get away with it?’ look in his eyes at the stand-up in the corridor (video above). But, as often happens, the question-line dissipated in the face of his blanket denial of taking a whack at the NZ Herald — when it’s plainly obvious he did. (So why deny it after the fact?)

Quick quiz: What response do you think John Key’s statements today about the NZ Herald and the Sunday Star Times and the news media in general being more ‘hostile’ ‘antagonistic’ and aggressive etc, etc will provoke?

More? Or less? The same?

– P

Toby Manhire at the Listener ties it all back to the teapot tapes …

John Key has reopened his war of words with the New Zealand media this morning. …