Key has washed his hands of the “joke” saying it was down to the radio station, not him.
He was not aware they were going to do it, nor was he aware of the connotations and he had “just walked in to it”, he said.
Neither would he apologise.
The media keep wanting him to apologise for something he got trapped into doing. Clearly, it was in bad taste, and it might mean the PM tells the station that there better not be a repeat if they enjoy his face time. But the constant need to pin this on the Prime Minister is juvenile.
But if he is not to blame he does have to take some share of responsibility, He has repeatedly putting himself in that position, trading prime ministerial dignity for a populist hit – something he has used to his advantage to build his backing among those who are not always tuned in to the more serious (or is that boring?) ebb and flow of politics.
He has in the past sung, goofed it up, opening himself to questions about whether he peed in the showed and made “gay pink shirt” jokes on various shock-jock slots.
But they have been markedly fewer this year, suggesting Key has accepted they had over stepped the mark. He himself noted he had not done anything with the station since then, though it was usually a Christmas thing anyway.
Key and his advisers will not want to give up completely such a useful medium for him to connect with voters.
He has mastered it better than any leader before him.
But there comes a time when the former merchant banker and currency trader will inevitably run a hard-nosed “cost benefit” ruler over such appearances.
If he hasn’t already, he should now.
What the Media party can’t stand is that Key goes on radio and connects to real people in a real way. Their ability to filter the message and put their spin on it has been taken away.
You can bet your bottom dollar Key already ran the ‘cost benefit’ over those appearances. The cost is a grumpy media and leftie social justice warriors, the benefit is lots and lots and lots of votes.
He’s not going to stop appearing on radio.
In the wise words of Helen Clark: Diddums.
– Vernon Small, Stuff