Sufferin Succotash – Mike Hosking is really, really huge! Well, Mike is so huge that his employers can’t fit him into anything less than a full page in the Monday to Friday (tabloid) Herald and half a page in the (broadsheet )Weekend Herald. Mike is so tall and rangy in the tabloid that you could imagine he might dwarf Clint Eastwood. Which is appropriate because he’s got a sort of cool cowboy, dropped-hip stance and is wearing a don’t-mess-with-me, all-in-black outfit: jacket, jeans and pointy turned up boots. The jeans are appropriately too small width-wise and too big length-wise so that they furl up at the knees and concertina over the top of the shiny black boots. Except for the fact that he appears to have lost his left arm in the picture, which may or may not have some sort of semiotic significance, the dude looks great.
He’s half-cut to the waist in the broadsheet picture so the cool cowboy look is lost, but you do get to see his bright, shiny eyes, his pearly white smile and his alabaster-smooth forehead. He still looks huge, but the cropped close-up really makes you feel that he’s smiling at you. And he is. Not just smiling at you, but confiding in you, letting you (and me) in on the secret of why he loves news. This is a gift horse that must not be looked in the mouth. And Mike will forgive me, I know, if I share his thoughts with you free of charge. Here are the six reasons why Mike Hosking loves news: Wow! That’s profound. So profound that you can’t really take it all in at once. So do what I did: consider each of these reasons why Mike loves the news separately.
Then work out in each case how that reason applies to why you read the Herald or listen to commercial talk radio or watch One News or maybe even Seven Sharp. (Mike’s on that.) Because I’m betting that, like me, you thought you listened to the news on radio or watched the news on TV or read the morning paper because you just wanted to find out what had been going on in the rest of the world while you were doing other things and not attending. Which was most of the time. Boy, did you and I get it wrong! Did we or did we not sell ourselves short! And here’s the thing. Newstalk ZB and the Herald, which are both part of the NZME stable, must really, really care about how you and I think and feel about the news and what news actually is. Why else would they be devoting all this space and spending all this money giving us Mike’s Zen-like insights pretty well every day of the week? Why else would Mike be so huge? And so omnipresent?