When MP Jami-Lee Ross split from the center-right New Zealand National Party earlier this year to form his own party, a fringier right-wing version that relied heavily on Covid skepticism and conspiracy theories, many wondered what kind of support he'd get. Ross got a resounding answer yesterday, with just 0.88% of the vote, virtually ending his political career and that of a party with an ideology of "Conspiracism."
Newshub anchor Tova O'Brien flat-out asked if he had any regrets peddling misinformation in such a cynical attempt to gain political power. The resulting four-minute interview could be best described as "uncomfortable" for Ross.
Source: Newshub, New Zealand
Ross, a former National MP, merged his New Zealand Public Party with Advance NZ in July. The party registered 0.9 percent of the vote at the election.
Discussing the party on Newshub Nation, Ross told host O'Brien "we gave it a good go".
"It clearly wasn't enough but I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with all the people that I have," he said on Sunday.
O'Brien asked Ross if he had any regrets being part of an election campaign that was peddling misinformation.
"You know exactly what you were doing; you were whipping up fear and hysteria among vulnerable communities," she told Ross.
Ross again tried to make claims COVID-19's fatality rate is similar to the seasonal flu - something experts have disproven. O'Brien interjected before moving on.
"I don't want to hear any of that rubbish," she said.
And she didn't either, letting him know that he wouldn't be allowed to spout the same bullshit he had done for months in his political speeches, finishing with this coup de grâce, “This might be the that last time that you’re on the air, it’s probably the last time we’ll invite you on, are there any apologies you want to issue to anyone?”
this is one of the most hostile interviews I’ve ever seen (I love it) but the New Zealand accent makes it sound so fun pic.twitter.com/W3N0zzUSM3
— garry (@repeattofade) October 18, 2020
“This might be the that last time that you’re on the air, it’s probably the last time we’ll invite you on, are there any apologies you want to issue to anyone?”
A dream final question for a disgraced politician or operative. I hope U.S. anchors see this. https://t.co/W2mWnbfunl
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) October 18, 2020