And that is to the fore in his latest Dominion-Post column.Under the heading Key's 'gay' comments hardly a slur du Fresne opines:
Acute sensitivity disorder has broken out again. The latest outbreak was touched off by Prime Minister John Key's comment that a radio interviewer's red jersey looked a bit "gay".
As predictably as Pavlov's dogs learned to salivate at the sound of a bell, the gay lobby rose up in anger.
Protesters labelled it a slur against gays and took to the streets wearing red tops as a gesture of solidarity. Sir Ian McKellen, perhaps mistakenly thinking his on-screen aura of Gandalfian wisdom has somehow carried over into real life, went online to register his dismay.
I suspect most New Zealanders would have viewed the fuss with an air of worldly resignation. They have become well-accustomed to minority groups rearing up on their hind legs at every imagined slight.
If the gay rights lobby is to be believed, Mr Key's statement was likely to excite prejudice against gay men. But what's more likely to generate a backlash is the fuss gay activists make every time someone says something that might be construed, however tenuously, as an attack on them.
In many people's eyes, it reinforces the impression – am I allowed to say this? – that they are a bit precious. We live in a robust, liberal democracy. People say things every day that could cause upset if the maligned parties were of a mind to take offence. Most of us manage to ignore it and get on with life.
In Mr Key's case, he was merely making an attempt to sound blokey in order to connect with that radio programme's audience.
No-one can seriously accuse him of being anti-gay. How quickly his critics forget that he has ingratiated himself with gay men, too – for example, by speaking at the Big Gay Out rally in Auckland last February and posing for photographs with transvestites.
That's what politicians do: pander to whichever group they happen to be addressing at the time. But surely there are far worse things a prime minister could be accused of than trying to be one of the boys.
Karl du Fresne is right on the money here. This was a storm in a teacup, and just another excuse for those who despise John key or those who are jealous of his continued popularity to have a swipe at him.
The net effect though is that those who made an issue out of Key's "gay red shirt" comment actually did more harm to the image of gay men than John Key did. For every action there is a reaction, and in this instance, the reaction was completely out of proportion to action.
The Farming Show is indeed a "blokey" type of radio programme. Host Jamie Mackay indulges in banter with his guests (who include Ele from Homepaddock) and his producer, and even those with no interest in farming are likely to be entertained. On that basis, Mackay and du Fresne are kindred spirits!
The Roy Morgan poll released yesterday showed a rebound in support for National. One can't help but wonder whether this storm in a teacup played a role, as others who are similarly inbued with common sense to du Fresne expressed their opinion about the latest Much Ado About Nothing.