04 November 2011

'The bloke test': Wrong on so many levels

As if to prove my point (in the previous posting) about the superficiality of contemporary political journalism, stuff.co.nz gave Goff and Key a short quiz today called "the bloke test" in which they are asked a series of light-hearted questions about their past, their preferences and their private lives (nothing seriously compromising or searching, of course, like about religious faith or honesty with money). E.g.: "If your wife cuts your hair short and you hate it, do you tell her?" Both men unequivocally answer "no". Very wise of them too.

Readers can then go to the readers' poll and vote for which of the two they think is "NZ's best bloke." ("Neither" is an option.) John Key came out well ahead on that poll, although I couldn't really see much between the two, and could not for the life me see the point of it all. If one of the leading candidates were a woman, I guess we would never have had to see such trivialities. Or would journalists then only invent trivial questions about wardrobes, make-up etc?

None of this is helping to raise the level of political debate in this country, nor is it helping voters to consider the differences and the merits in the policies on offer at this election. Have reporters lost the plot?


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