Peter Robinson has never been overly fond of ‘the media’, though he is among the canniest at using journalists to convey a message.
But even by Mr Robinson’s standards, his savage swipe at the media and “windbag commentators” stands out.
In reality, Mr Robinson’s anger is likely directed at the DUP members he suspects briefed against him while he was in Florida. He cannot openly attack those people – certainly not after claiming that the DUP is like a “family” – and in many if not all cases will have no proof as to which of his colleagues suggested he would be quitting.
But his pledge to remain at the head of the DUP for at least another three years reads as a clear message to those internal critics.
A robust response is perhaps what was necessary. But there is a danger that evokes memories of Margaret Thatcher’s vow to “go on and on” or Ian Paisley’s confident promise to see out a four-year term as first minister.
In both cases the assertions actually accelerated their demise.