Fran O'Sullivan today lays boot into the media coverage of economic issues into the run up to the election.
He attack comes as she raises the prospect that Bill English's planned spend up may not be enough to save us from severerecession.
It remains one of the major failures of New Zealand journalism that Key - and also Helen Clark - were able to gloss over the likely extent of the crisis during their television debates and other interviews.
It should have been abundantly clear to any economically literate journalist who had done even a modicum of international research that the incoming Prime Minister would be faced with substantially worsened projections than were contained in the Treasury's pre-election forecasts.
But instead of doing the hard yards, exposing the real deterioration in the economic performance of our international trading partners, and seriously challenging the politicians - the TV hosts (in particular) plied them with far too many irrelevant questions.
Indeed, Fran is entirely correct. This blog has long suspeced a severe downturn and we did comment on the lack of media coverage of the economic crisis several times durting nthe election campaign.
Even today, there seems little prospect that the tv stations, for example, will offer some real analysis beyond the soundbites. The reported departure of Agenda is ominous.
But whose fault is this? The media is a sickly beast today, weakening with rampant costcutting. TVNZ, Fairfax, APN, have all shed jobs. Trouble is, such moves create newsroom that have no resources to spare for analysis or anything that smacks off investigative journalism. The reporters are reduced to rewriting government media handouts.
Is this what people want to watch? What they want to read in their papers? No, but such journalism comes cheap, and the spiral of decline continues.
But back to Fran, this time on economics.
She is coming round to our view that Liarbour helped cause our recession, just as the OECD is noticing.
This country's recession predates the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage crisis. A combination of usurious interest rates, highly-inflated food prices, drought and punishing oil prices tipped New Zealand over the line at the beginning of this year.
Indeed, whose high government spending caused those high interest rates?