Fran O’Sullivan is unhappy (this is a bit like saying ‘Fran O’Sullivan is breathing’):
Why is it that the travelling press troupe following John Key about in New York are sending back mountains of celebrity-focused drivel (“colour” as it’s known in the journalistic trade) at the expense of substantive reporting on what’s really going down?
I’ve also felt that the tenor of the coverage has been pretty silly, but since my wife is one of the journalists over in New York with Key I know she’s written stories about climate change, the PM’s bilateral meetings, Afghanistan and NATO troop levels and the Iran protests, as well as the color stories O’Sullivan is complaining about. The Herald has carried most of these stories but they’ve given bigger play to the softer stuff. O’Sullivan claims:
Many New Zealanders will not care one whit that Barack Obama ostensibly told Key, “He’s got a friend down there . . . Or that Bronagh Key said she thought Michelle Obama was “lovely” . . . Or whether or not he mangled his English on David Letterman last night.
But they do – and should – care about the big issues under discussion in New York this week. We don’t know whether Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was able to give Key an assurance that putting more Nato troops on the ground will enable a win in what Obama previously called this “war of necessity”.
I’m guessing that the reason that the Herald and all the other media covering the trip gave prominence to the celebrity based color pieces is because all of them have done extensive market reasearch and they know for a fact that New Zealanders really do care about celebrities and Obama and Letterman and don’t care about any of the issues O’Sullivan is passionate about.