Smalley mauls Jacinda

Knock me down with a feather, who knew that Rachel Smalley could take Jacinda Ardern to task?

Jack Tame copped a lot of abuse yesterday.

He was doing his job. As a journalist, you’re charged with holding the government of the day to account.

And he pressed Jacinda Ardern on whether she’d said that Donald Trump mistook her for Justin Trudeau’s wife.

Why? Because that sort of off-the-cuff comment could have diplomatic implications.

And while it’s fairly well documented that I’m no fan of Trump, our relationship with the US is important

Tame later said on Twitter … “When a prime minister tells a story that embarrasses the US president and isn’t 100% true … It’s my job to ask questions.”
And he’s right.

The exchange was awkward and it makes for uncomfortable viewing.

When you’re pressing someone for an answer and they’re tip-toeing around the question, you have to keep pushing. And that’s what Tame did.

That makes two people I didn’t think had it in them. Rachel Smalley AND Jack Tame

The Sydney Morning Herald is carrying the story now.

I’ve just had a look at the BBC too. They are as well – under the headline “New Zealand PM regrets Trump story”.

In Australia and Britain, the storyline is of Ardern’s regret.

She is a silly little girl who has never grown up, and now she is wearing the big girl’s undies she doesn’t seem to be able to cope. Relentlessly positive is out the window, now it is snark, snarls and nastiness.

Here, we’re wading into Jack Tame across the various social media channels, calling him rude – among other things. He’s copped a lot of abuse for, in essence, doing his job.

Commentators say he “relentlessly pestered” the prime minister.

Really? Pestered?

Would we have used that sort of language if he’d interviewed Bill English or John Key?

He was even called a school-yard bully.

He didn’t pester or bully Ardern – he pressed her because she wouldn’t answer the question. And so he should.

Tame did what he’s employed to do: Challenge the government of the day.

The Prime Minister has since said she regretted sharing that story. And she should regret it. Our relationship with the US is so important from a trade perspective, from a defence perspective … you name it. To jeopardise it with a throwaway comment about being mistaken for Trudeau’s wife was foolish.

It was a lesson well learnt, I think.

You’re not in Morrinsville now, Prime Minister.

No, she’s in the big chair, and best she start behaving as Prime Ministers are expected to behave.

What is abundantly clear is that the Media party can see cracks, even they are embarrassed. The honeymoon is over, and may well have been one of the shortest ever.


-NZ Herald


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