hootonSpin doctor and Oscar-nominated* actor Matthew Hooton has added his own apology (well, sorta-kinda) to those of the two media outlets which broadcast his pre-determined, calculated smear of the Leader of the Opposition.

Writing in the National Business Review (hilariously in an article he says will be behind a paywall tomorrow morning, Matthew challenged Radio LIVE’s Duncan Garner for the coveted ‘Most mealy mouthed, equivocal apology’ award.

For the record, these are the words Matthew used:


Like a parent concealing grated vegetables inside their burger mix in an effort to sneak vege-goodness into their kids (or a spy novel baddie doing something similar with ground glass?) Matthew buried his apology in a cold and crafted reprise of his hit-job on David Cunliffe. As one would expect from him. So, smear followed by fall-back smear.

If you read his latest spin article (your choice) you’ll see that Mathew also repeatedly (five times) labels David Cunliffe the “likely next prime minister“. Draw your own conclusions about his possible reasons for so doing. An effort to make John Key the underdog? Trying to galvanise National’s support base? An attempt to raise expectation pressure on Team Cunliffe? Who knows?

Anyway, politics is getting interesting, innit?

For the record, unlike some, I don’t bear Matthew Hooton any ill-will. I see him as a creature, almost a fixture of NZ politics, functioning like a sand bunker on one of Planet Key’s abundant golf courses. Matthew’s evident antipathy towards The Hollow Men author Nicky Hager is jarring, and his bitterness disconcerting, as I have said, but it puts me in mind of that saying about walking a mile in someone else’s moccasins before you judge them too harshly.

I’ve never believed any of the demeaning scuttlebutt Cameron Slater has peddled about Matthew Hooton — provoked by envy I thought when he tried to feed it to me. I’m sure Matthew  has shoulders broad enough to cope with the fairly mild criticism I push his way here now and then.

– P

* I hereby nominate Matthew for best supporting actor.