Is the media’s determination to claim the scalp of National leader Simon Bridges personal or political?
Two months ago John Armstrong said the media script required Bridges to end up as dog tucker:
The media have proclaimed Simon Bridges to be dog tucker. Having issued that decree, the media will do its darnedest to make sure he does become exactly that – dog tucker.
That is the ugly truth now confronting Bridges in his continuing struggle to keep his leadership of the National Party intact and alive.
It might seem unfair. It will likely be regarded in National quarters as irrefutable evidence of media bias.
It is unfair. Some pundits had made up their minds that Bridges was the wrong person to lead National within weeks of him securing the job. Those verdicts were quickly followed by bold predictions that it would not be long before he was rolled by his fellow MPs. . .
Those predictions are heating up again, but why?
Is it personal dislike of him?
There were similar campaigns against Bill English and Don Brash when they were opposition leader.
So is it partisan?
The media were just as quick to criticise and slow to praise Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little so no, it’s not necessarily partisan.
But is it political?
The media tends to be liberal on social issues and Bridges is more conservative.
Could the sustained campaign against Bridges be because he has said he will vote against the Bill to legalise euthanasia and is likely to oppose any liberalising of abortion law?