New Zealand politician who ‘peddled misinformation’ gets demolished in brutal TV interview

Louis Staples
Sunday 18 October 2020 13:30
news

There’s an old saying that political careers often end in failure.

In the case of losing election candidate Jami-Lee Ross, it seems that’s exactly what happened. And now he’s being brutally held to account for it.

Following Jacinda Ardern’s landslide victory in the NZ elections, Ross was accused of "whipping up fear and hysteria" during the election campaign by Newshub’s political editor Tova O'Brien.

And the interview has gone viral because of how O’Brien held the politician to account.

During the interview, she describes his political career as in “tatters” and cuts him off when he appears to start spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.

She says:

You’ve just been a part of a political movement that was peddling misinformation during the election campaign.

This is in reference to accusations that Advance NZ has repeatedly made false claims since it was formed by Ross' co-leader Billy Te Kahika Jr, including that the government forced through a law that made vaccination mandatory. Te Kahika himself also claimed 5G could cause cancer, something he later denied saying. Two days before the election, two posts from the party’s page were removed by Facebook.

During the interview, O’Brien suggests that Ross “sold his soul for political ambition” when he left the centre-right National Party to form his new party (who received less than 1 per cent of the vote). She continued:

You know exactly what you were doing; you were whipping up fear and hysteria among vulnerable communities.

When he tried to claim Covid-19’s fatality rate is similar to the seasonal flu (something experts have disproven), O'Brien interjected:

I don't want to hear any of that rubbish.

On social media, people responded positively to the interview. Lots of Twitter users want O’Brien to give politicians in their area the same treatment.

Based on this interview, we don't think Boris Johnson will be leaping to do an interview with Tova O'Brien any time soon.

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