Oh what fun! The media are now in full cry with their standard pack-hunting turning on Mallard with resignation demands over his rape allegation, and the subsequent legal costs met by taxpayers.
Now I can’t speak for radio and television news as I neither listen nor watch them but I well remember when this matter first arose.
For weeks on end the Dominion-Post and to a lesser extent the Herald, painted an orgiastic scene of the sexual molestation claims in Parliament, including rumours of rape.
These assertions became the Speaker’s responsibility to deal with. His sole mistake was to believe what he was reading in the press. He spoke out strongly including repeating the rape allegation.
Now that the dust has cleared it transpires, surprise, surprise that the whole episode was a grossly exaggerated journalistic beat-up.
Mallard acted responsibly with his strongly worded no tolerance statement based on the print media’s fiction-writing. Furthermore, they reported his comments at the time in an endorsing manner as appropriate.
It’s clear there is no limit to their hypocrisy in now turning on him. Journalists are rightly fond of speaking of their role in holding the powerful to account. It’s a valid claim for which we should be grateful.
But on the negative side, my life-long observation is their envy-based joy in pulling powerful people down, an ever present sickening reality.
They also slammed him for releasing his apology on the day of a major news item so as to drown it.
Give me a break. That’s par for form with every negative release by governments and commerce, namely to always release bad news on Fridays, a low readership attention day.
But by far the worst are newspapers’ apologies when they err.
I could list dozens such as a few years ago the Dom-Post blasting me across the back page as a hypocrite then too late realising they’d got it wrong.
Their next day apology. A few lines without a heading buried at the bottom of a low interest page item.