But John Key…

Whataboutism, like “what about John Key…” is common.

Urban dictionary:

When you deflect criticism by pointing out flaws in your opponent, specifically using the phrase “what about x?” This is an attempt to excuse you from changing you behavior by painting your opponent as a hypocrite.

An example came up yesterday in one of many defences of Jacinda Ardern pulling out of two weekend interviews, instead choosing to appear at a carefully stage managed rally in from of a hand picked audience.

@rorymccourt was taken to task for claiming Key didn’t do RNZ interviews. McCourt has since deleted his tweet, but in response to it:

Obviously sensitive to the criticism McCourt followed up.

Just to be clear: my original tweet was intended to make the point John Key pulled out of many RNZ interviews, not that he never appeared on RNZ. That would be ridiculous. Some have clearly taken it the wrong way. I don’t want to appear to spread mistruths so I’ve deleted it.

I found many instances where he pulled out of interviews over his 8 years. That was the comparison with the current PM I wanted to show. But the whole truth is important: and both of them did/do the bulk of their interviews.


As expected, you were lying in your follow up tweet too. You couldn’t cite three examples of John Key agreeing to, and then cancelling scheduled interviews. I’m disappointed with your dishonesty.

McCourt’s political background (from Young Gisborne voters to be a loud voice):

Mr McCourt has been involved with the Labour Party since high school. He was Tairawhiti Youth Council president in 2010, Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association president in 2013 and New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations president last year.

He has also been on the Labour Party’s list ranking committee.

His might be a bit more careful what he says in the future.