Friday, December 21, 2007

Protecting their revenue stream

The silly season has begun, and our newspapers are already scraping the bottom of the barrel for political news. And so this morning we have the unedifying spectacle of the Herald complaining that ACT leader Rodney Hide spent part of his Parliamentary Services budget sending a Christmas card (with the highly political message of "seasons greetings") to his constituents. This is the sort of desperate pettyness you'd expect from a newspaper desperate to fill its pages over the Christmas drought, but it gets worse: they then go on to attack Phil Goff for sending his own card, which (it is implied) is worse because it includes details of his Christmas office hours and details of where he will be holding clinics over the break.

Worse? That's right - the Herald apparently thinks that making yourself available to address your constituents' needs (and making them aware of the fact) is a Bad Thing. Unless of course its done by buying an ad in the Herald. As with their campaign against the Electoral Finance Act, they're simply exploiting public hatred of politicians to protect their revenue stream.