Mike Hosking and Jacinda Ardern: Newstalk ZB host backtracks on not having PM on show

Radio host Mike Hosking has backtracked on comments he made after an interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on his radio show – and has issued an apology to one of his colleagues.

The Newstalk ZB host apologised to the station’s political editor, Barry Soper, after saying the media had been “asleep at the wheel” after an interview with PM Jacinda Ardern yesterday morning.

Hosking had been speaking to Ardern about the Government’s move to wind down the number of rooms in managed isolation facilities that would be freed up by people who would have come from Australia.

The rooms could have been put to good use, Hosking said, like opening them up for ex-pat Kiwis still trying to make their way home, seasonal workers from Covid-free Pacific Island nations or the relatives of workers already here.

After the interview, he told listeners he did not want Ardern back on the programme.

This morning, he told listeners: “‘Why was the media asleep’? I asked. Why, when the story was fed to them, did they miss it? Why are so many in the media asleep at the wheel?

“Now people like Barry don’t take kindly to things like that obviously,” Hosking said.

“But he did say – and this is why he deserves the apology – you can’t be someone like me, banging on about the media not doing their job and then when you interview the Prime Minister, then not want her back on the programme because she doesn’t answer the questions – you can’t have it both ways.

“And Barry, of course, is right. I can’t ban Ardern and leave her to others and then complain others aren’t doing their job.”

Ardern cancelled her regular spot on the Mike Hosking breakfast show several weeks ago, with her staff saying she would still be available for interviews when issues arose.

'A bit rich', Mike – Barry Soper

Soper wrote a column following yesterday’s comments from Hosking.

He said Hosking’s accusation that the media had been asleep at the wheel was “a bit rich”.

“Hosking accusing the media of being asleep at the wheel and then refusing to take the wheel himself is cutting your nose off to spite your face,” he wrote.

Hosking said he had been getting ready to tuck into a plate of his favourite artichoke dip, a French stick and an espresso when he heard his name on the radio.

“Barry ruined my day yesterday.”

Hosking acknowledged that he could not criticise from the sidelines and needed to be in the scrum with everyone else – in this case, the media scrum.

“The life lesson here is the best argument of all is the argument of logic – and Barry wins this one on logic.

“So Barry, I am sorry. You are right. It behoves me to participate as much as anybody else.

“Ironically, what he was doing in calling me out, of course, was exactly what I was doing to others. So what is good for the goose, as they say.”

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