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Snobbish media sharks after Bennett because she is not PLU


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Bill Ralston blogs on the media and Paula Bennett. He suggests the media pack, like sharks, sense blood and are circling for a kill.

One of his lines of thought is that the media sharks are after Paula Bennett because she is not PLU, People Like US, she is a Westie who has hauled herself up got an education and is essentially looked down on by many and probably not just in the media. Indeed the media sharks are probably quite snobbish.

Adam suspects that Ralston may well be right.

Furthermore, Ralston suggests that Bennett was not helped by John Key’s rather silly reference to sacking. Thus the media sharks will keep pushing to see if they can bring her down, perhaps not to harm her so much but to see if they can damage Key’s reputation.

Yet at the end of the day what we appear to have here is a woman who is seeking to protect her grandchild and her daughter. Who has in fact done far less than others in the past. Paula Bennett is doing what parents do, protecting her family. She should be commended not pilloried.

So why the pressure. Again Adam thinks it is because Bennett is Not PLU, she is not middle class, smug and comfortable; plus Adam suspects the fact that Bennett is Maori or part Maori probably offends a number of people.

The campaign against Bennett led by the increasingly rabid and tabloid Herald on Sunday is unpleasant and demonstrates yet again the darker side of New Zealand life.

Of course it could be that some do not want Bennett to be successful. Or that they are trying to get at Key, through Bennett.

  1. lucy permalink
    05/02/2009 07:37

    And I thank god everydsay that we are not people like them.


  2. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    05/02/2009 03:54

    Ah yes Barnsley, but then we are not people like them eg the GLNZ and inside the beltway types


  3. 04/02/2009 23:24

    Luckily for Paula, she is in fact PEOPLE LIKE US. Providing she does not do something monumentally stupid (and I have no reason to believe she will) she can rest assured that a vast swathe of ordinary new zealanders can empathise with her and admire her for her success and the positive role model that she is.


  4. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    04/02/2009 22:21


    Of course to the chattering classes, especially journos within ‘the Beltway’ to use an expression favoured by ‘The Greatest Living New Zealander’ 🙂 the concept of a right-wing Maori woman MP from West Auckland is totally incomprehensible and not part of the natural order of things. Indeed, I suspect some would more easily come to terms with ‘the sun rising in the west and setting in the east’ than with the realities of Paula Bennett.


  5. 04/02/2009 22:04

    Ralston’s premise makes sense to me. I have noticed how the media tends to gingerly nibble around stories involving middle class white males, such as Shane Jones’ inexplicable granting of citizenship to Mr. Liu. Yet stories involving women MPs or Maori MPs (or, worse, Maori women MPs) bring out the whole slavering mob. And a right-wing Maori woman MP from West Auckland, well…


  6. lucy permalink
    04/02/2009 20:32

    I sincerely hope she reads this blog. Perhaps it will counter the negativity for her in some way.


  7. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    04/02/2009 20:02


    Yes, you only have to look at how Paula Bennett is being .portrayed by some of the cartoonists for example Moreu or Tom Scott


  8. 04/02/2009 19:52

    There’s also shades of Christine Rankin here. A similar woman who came from nowhere, was dramatic and IIRC, ran the same Dept. Bennett is thus a gift to the media because, unlike PLU, some mud can stick.



  9. Lee C permalink
    04/02/2009 19:07

    Yes. As I suggested in your previous post – it is Tall Poppy Syndrome.


  10. lucy permalink
    04/02/2009 19:04

    Thanks Adam I will.


  11. adamsmith1922 permalink*
    04/02/2009 18:56


    I note you mention the immigration scandal if you have not read them previously you might like to check out my series on the topic, which I shall be updating now that it appears we are getting to court appearances


  12. Buggerlugs permalink
    04/02/2009 18:27

    Bravo Adam. Dead right. And she isn’t the first.


  13. lucy permalink
    04/02/2009 18:25

    The Main Stream papers must be loosing readership. Cant they work out that the people who bother to buy their papers are fed up to the back teeth with this type of gutter press? Do they have to go completely belly up before they ‘get it’.

    They almost completely ignore genuine stories about corruption in politics (the immigration fiasco for example) why? Are they too hard to research, do theynot want to have to get off their bums and do some work? No they wait until Wishart or the bloggers give them the story. But they will pursue this non event with relish.

    I for one would like to see Paula Bennett succeed. She has worked hard and deserves to.

    And to hell with the HOS and the rest of them.


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