I honestly hadn’t bothered listening to Matthew Hooton’s foaming hit-job on the new Opposition Leader on Radio NZ National earlier this week, but having heard a statement and ‘apology’ from Radio NZ’s Kathyrn Ryan (below) — issued through clenched teeth this morning — I went to the RNZ website and listened to it.

Wow. What a cynical, nasty performance. He started pretty calmly, but Matthew really lost it. It’s actually embarrassing. So is listening to the host, poor Ms Ryan, uselessly trying to rein the desperate spin doctor in. Here’s the relevant clip from Monday’s Nine to noon ‘Politics’ segment:

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It seems to me Matthew’s apparent loss of self-control and the way he ignored the host’s calls for him to ‘stop it there’ — to stop using Radio NZ as a platform for repeatedly calling David Cunliffe a liar — disqualify him. Sorry, Matthew. Goodbye. (Or perhaps it was a resignation letter?)

Here’s Kathryn Ryan reading Radio NZ’s statement this morning:

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Frankly, alongside Matthew Hooton’s earlier public statement that Nicky Hager is a “commo c*nt” and his obvious disrespect for Ms Ryan and contempt for Radio NZ’s editorial standards, I just can’t see room for him on that show, nor any show, as a ‘political commentator’.

But that’s just my opinion. Perhaps Matthew will be happily employed in such roles on Radio NZ National and Radio LIVE from now on, uninterrupted all the way to next year’s general election. Some in the National Party might be hoping so, I guess.

– P

UPDATE: Here’s Radio LIVE’s ambivalent ‘apology’ to David Cunliffe following Matthew Hooton’s routine on Duncan Garner’s show.

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Pretty shabby Duncan.