Key's video 'invitation' to David Letterman

By Lloyd Burr

The video that was sent to The Late Show with David Letterman that helped get Prime Minister John Key on the show has been obtained from the Government by 3 News.

Click on the video tab above to watch the video that got Mr Key on the show.

The video, which Mr Key says is not the ‘audition tape’ for his subsequent appearance, was accompanied by a letter inviting Mr Letterman to “see our stunning scenery up close, and enjoy some great kiwi hospitality”.

Mr Key later appeared on the show presenting the ‘top-ten’ segment on why Americans should visit New Zealand.

The video and letter was sent in an attempt to get Mr Key on the show to promote New Zealand in his capacity as Minister of Tourism.

A spokesperson for Mr Key says the video was an invitation and “had nothing to do with the PM's appearance on [the Late Show with David] Letterman and was not an audition”.

The letter and video was sent in January 2009, nine months before Mr Key’s visit to the United States for the US General Assembly.

The letter read:

 “I was amused to watch the Late Show of November 24 and see your interview with Nicole Kidman, in which you commented about New Zealand’s beauty and said you would love to visit.

“With this in mind, I have recorded my ‘Top Ten Reasons why David Letterman should visit New Zealand’….If you are interested, it would be our great pleasure to host you and show you around New Zealand.”

When Mr Key was questioned on the video this week, he said it was a “bit of a joke".

“Someone came up with the idea that I was the Minister of Tourism and maybe to float the idea that we go on the show so [the video] was a bit of a joke, they did it and sent it off with a letter,” he said.

“If you practically go and look at those things, no one seriously expects David Letterman to be saying ‘I must give the Prime Minister of New Zealand a bit of a call and see if he wants to come on the show’

And although there has been speculation about how much his appearance cost the tax payer, Mr Key insists that it didn’t cost anything.

“I didn’t pay to go on the show, they paid us to go on the show”.

Mr Key says he was paid US$250 which he donated to an American charity.

3 News

source: newshub archive