Backroom chat becomes international news

If she has learnt anything from the last few days Jacinda Ardern will be now much more careful about what she says, and to whom. Casual chat in private has become international news.

The Guardian: ‘Not that orange’: New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern regrets gossip about Donald Trump

The New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has expressed regret over gossiping about a meeting with Donald Trump after it was reported the US president may have mistaken her for Justin Trudeau’s wife.

Ardern was visibly uncomfortable when asked about reports that she had revealed details of the encounter at the East Asia summit in Vietnam last week to a friend who later went public.

The friend – comedian Tom Sainsbury – revealed in a radio interview that Ardern had told her Trump was “not as orange in real life” and that he had been confused about her identity.

BBC: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern ‘regrets Trump story

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern says she regrets sharing an anecdote about her recent meeting with US President Donald Trump with her friends.

Washington Post: New Zealand leader regrets story that suggested Trump mistook her for Trudeau’s wife

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she regrets sharing an anecdote that suggested President Trump mistook her for the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“It was a bit of a funny yarn,” Arden told TVNZ on Monday morning, adding that it was “something that I don’t want to cause a diplomatic incident over.”

The reality of being Prime Minister – it’s difficult to trust anyone, even those you thought were friends. And one should expect the media to make headlines out of trivia.

The story was blown up on TVNZ’s Breakfast yesterday in a heavily criticised interview.

TVNZ (video of interview): Jacinda Ardern grilled by Jack Tame over whether Trump mistook her for Justin Trudeau’s wife – ‘It’s quite complicated’

ODT (NZME): Ardern interview slammed as being far from tame

Viewers have slammed Jack Tame as “rude” and “bizarre” over an awkward interview with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

One said Tame’s line of questioning was so “ridiculous,” he’d made her turn the TV off.

Tame has defended this morning’s awkward interview on Breakfast, saying it’s his job “to ask questions”.

Claire Trevett:  Mrs Trudeau, I presume? PM Jacinda Ardern clearly needs better work stories

Ardern had told Sainsbury backstage during the NZ Music Awards because he was a friend of hers. She had told a longer version of the tale to at least one other person.

Ardern has since said she possibly should have just stayed quiet about it. Too right.

Ardern has learned the difference between gossiping as Prime Minister – especially when it involves a controversial figure such as Trump – and gossiping as a backbench MP, or even simply a friend.

In their desperation for trivial headlines the media is forcing politicians to be less forthcoming with comment, and meticulously careful about what they say. This is a shame, but we seem to be stuck with the way things are.

The media have a habit of biting the hand that feeds them.



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  1. It’s a steep learning curve for the new PM. She’ll need to get a grip on that side of her personality and learn to…..

  2. David

     /  November 21, 2017

    I think the consensus is our immature accidental PM was embellishing and in her desire to be cool by being anti Trump has stuffed up majorly. Trump is known as particularly thin skinned and once again Ardern behaves like a student politician which like it or not will have a negative effect in our dealings with the US and again its totally unnecessary. She has ticked off 2 of our key friends because of her personal political beliefs, grow up you silly woman and be the PM for the whole of NZ.

    • Pickled Possum

       /  November 21, 2017

      “Be the PM For the whole of NZ ” you mean like John Key was.

      • Ray

         /  November 21, 2017

        Yes PP like John Key was, he was the bloke with 85% approval, basically just you and Robert Guyton didn’t like him but he was there all of us.

        • I’m sure her approval ratings will be high. We’re still in the grip of Jacindamania. For how long will be the thing.

      • David

         /  November 21, 2017

        Yes, exactly like Key was who had great relations with other world leaders regardless of the politics. Gillard and Obama for example.
        What Ardern fails to grasp is probably even Trudeau is now wondering if she puts the slipper in to him to her luvvie mates, its a basic trust thing. She has certainly stamped her mark across the world, first the Europeans when she had a Russian trade deal back on the table then her foot stamping at a domestic Australian issue and now trying to be cool by name dropping to her mates.

        • duperez

           /  November 21, 2017

          Do you reckon the ‘immature accidental PM who embellishes to be cool will grow out of being a silly woman’ before some of her critics get some maturity in their attacks on her?
          Or is the chance of them ever doing that even less than the chance they give her of growing up?

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  November 21, 2017

            If they are like lefties then no….. Shonkey, Donkey…. heard it for best part of a decade…

            Goes around comes around Dupe

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  November 21, 2017

        At least he managed 50% Possum.

        • Pickled Possum

           /  November 21, 2017

          Yes Al I concede that. Excitement runs in my blood today.
          It was just really a flippant throw away line said to Raymondo,
          Guardian of all Right things.

          @Ray I did not, do not, could never hate JK.
          I was; I must admit Shamelessly being Mischievous.

          I have just watched the ‘interview’ and OMGosh
          What a load of shite if I was Adern (tanned version)
          I would have said to Jack (deleted) you (deleted)
          Then walked out. Flipping him the bird.
          That really was a stupid waste of my 6 mins.
          Really!! What were they thinking? The behind the scenes tv guys.

    • “You’re not in Morrinsville now, Prime Minister” says Rachel Smalley.

      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 U.S is important

      Tame later said on twitter ‘When a prime minister tells a story that embarrasses the U.S 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.

      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.

      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 U.S is so important from a trade perspective; from a defence perspective….you name it. To jeopardise it with a throw away 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”

      • Missy

         /  November 21, 2017

        I am no fan of Rachel Smalley, but I agree with some of her points there. I haven’t seen the interview, but her picking up the language that is being used, and asking if the same language would be used if it was Key or English is a very good point. I saw some of the reactions on twitter, many of which accused Tame of bullying a woman, with one suggesting it had the perception of a man beating up on a woman. It is interesting that these are the same people that get stuck into her critics mentioning her gender, but here they are suggesting the media should go soft on her because of her gender.

        What sort of PM do we want, one who hides behind her gender everytime she is asked difficult questions by a male journalist, or one who truly believes in being treated equally.

        The stories about this don’t reflect well on anyone from what I can gather, they don’t reflect well on Ardern for her gossippy comments to a friend about another world leader, they don’t appear to reflect too well on Tame based on many reports, and they certainly don’t reflect well on the Labour supporters who seem to think that she should be treated differently because she is a woman.

        • It’s that whole distasteful Cinderella thing. Wanting to have it both ways. Lauded as a strong woman yet allowing her Mr Gayford to gallop in on a white horse to defend her honour.

          She should have told her honey and us that she expected to be the PM, that she was going to be earning $500,000 and she could stick up for herself. She might have added where he and his Grey Lynn, Pt Chev mates were when the media were slut-shamed Key’s daughter and mocking his son relentlessly for daring to venture into that inner west stronghold of DJing. She should have said that she expected nothing less.

          Instead she looks plaintively at Corin and Paddy as if to say, “Go easy on me boys, we’re all friends here and I’m a girl!”

          At least Helen and Jenny never batted their eyelids and mocked world leaders.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 21, 2017

    I don’t approve of personal attacks on Adern just as I didn’t on Key. But she deserves to be judged by what she does and that will continue to happen – and continue to be slanted by her opponents and supporters.

    What is really rather bizarre are the attacks on Tame by his fellow media personalities in their desire to protect Jacinda.

    • Not really AW. In the Auckland Grey Lynn, soy latte luvvie set, Jacinda Ardern and her partner are front and centre.

      Not only is she a friend, but they see her representing their world view and being every bit as cool as they are.

      I hope that the gloss goes off this hysteria sooner or later. It’s ridiculous.

      • Corky

         /  November 21, 2017

        Save me. It’s so, like, inclusive and nurturing. Mind you, it’s a moot point which woman has more power.

        • check facebook followers, instagram

          • Blazer

             /  November 21, 2017

            same as the John Key…adulation from the fawning faithful..personality politics.

            • Except Key didn’t have the Media as besties, didn’t live with a Soy Boy and he wasn’t an (inner) West Auckland darling.

            • Corky

               /  November 21, 2017

              Damn. big hits there, Traveller.

            • Blazer

               /  November 21, 2017

              Key did have big business as his bestie,Lynton spinning for him,Hosking,Trevett,Young,Smith,Henry,Roughan,O’Sullivan,Armstrong and co in the media giving him good press…and a fan base so devoted..some cried FFS,when he threw in the..towel!

      • Helinks

         /  November 21, 2017

        Yes a Principal gave a warning for parents to stop trying to be cool and be parents.
        Same application here.

  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  November 21, 2017

    What an embarrassing, unprofessional leader this woman is turning out to be.
    Who on earth is advising her?

    • Corky

       /  November 21, 2017

      Aunty. And the latest conspiracy theory is Aunt Helen released her patsy suggestion of giving New Zealanders free dentistry so Jacinda could shoot that suggestion down in flames thereby looking like a decisive leader.

      I’m a sucker for conspiracy theories, so I believe that one. I can’t imagine Aunt Helen believing in her wildest dreams free dental treatment was a goer, especially when a few crowns can cost thousands of dollars.

      • Blazer

         /  November 21, 2017

        never mind ‘crowns’,you should see the price of…’knighthoods’..not many can afford those.Who brought those back anyway…of course…Sir Honky Tonks!

        • Corky

           /  November 21, 2017

          And so he should’ve brought back knighthoods. Who the hell can name a member of New Zealand’s highest honour. Who the hell cares?

          But a knighthood; now that has international currency. When Sir John walks into a swank London restaurant he will be identified immediately and given ” super VIP treatment.”

          There’s nothing like having people kow-towing to you, Blazer. It’s the Tory way.

          Incidentally, isn’t it about time Aunty received a Dame-hood? Would she turn it down, or will the allure be too great? I’m picking her in the next honours list. Unless she has one of those worthless New Zealand honours already.

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  November 21, 2017
          • Blazer

             /  November 21, 2017

            one thing about knighthoods it does identify the uber criminals easily in point..’A police report into Smith when he stood for election in 1970 read: “he has used his unique position to indulge in a sordid series of indecent episodes with young boys towards whom he had a special responsibility.”

            The inquiry also heard that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would have been likely to be aware of the allegations against Cyril Smith when she awarded him a knighthood in 1988.

  5. David

     /  November 21, 2017

    I just watched the interview, Tame was exceptionally good but I think he may have ruined Arderns day. For someone who through the campaign made quite a thing of being honest and has never told a lie she is a bloody fast learner. She lied to her friends and this is what has caused her issue and then she lied and tried again to lie to Tame and good for him he was having none of it.
    Its quite a short honeymoon.

    • duperez

       /  November 21, 2017

      If Ardern was lying at least it was over something extremely important. I mean the USA is likely to put us in the same category as North Korea over the thing about Mrs Trudeau. Mr Trump will have to work out how to cut us out of everything, there’d be trade bans and so on.
      Mr Key only lied about unimportant stuff like the GCSB.

      The person I feel sorriest for is Jack Tame. He has hardly recovered from the biggest opportunity he could have had in his life which he missed, but which would have placed him front and centre of the modern media world in the modern style he epitomises.

      Mind you I’m not blaming the Christchurch woman, I blaming Aaron Smith for not doing it in a time at place when Jack was on hand. I mean, imagine the quality if he’d been there with his tape recorder.

  1. Backroom chat becomes international news — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition