It is easy to cast Ashley Bloomfield as the victim in the Government's response to Covid.
The Newshub video of his quivering lip and hang-dog look as Health Minister David Clark talked about recent testing failures has revived the Ashley Bloomfield defence society.
There is no question he is a nice guy, with integrity, sincerity, empathy and his mannerly approach gave people comfort during the worst times of Covid.
But he is not a victim. The infatuation of the public with the director general of health because of those personal attributes has blinded many to his clear failings. Journalists were pilloried for doing their jobs and asking sound questions.
The infatuation with Bloomfield masked failings during the Covid crisis, particularly over the supply and use of personal protective equipment, testing criteria, and presentation of results.
But timing matters. As Winston Peters alluded to in Question Time today, errors are expected in a crisis, lessons are learned and they are fixed. Some errors are understandable and forgivable.
After the crisis however, some blunders are not excusable.
There are some who refuse to accept Bloomfield was responsible for the major failure that only came to light after two women were released early from managed isolation and then tested positive.
It was only then that it was revealed the day three and day 12 tests Bloomfield had promised had been occurring for people in managed isolation were not occurring.
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Twice Cabinet was told they had been happening but they weren't.
Bloomfield apologised to the Government and took responsibility as public service ethics require of him.
That is exactly what David Clark said yesterday: "The director general has accepted protocol wasn't being followed; he has accepted responsibility for that and has set about putting it right."
It is not an equal relationship. The Ashley Bloomfield defence society does not have a leg to stand on.
Nor, however, would the David Clark defence society, were it to exist.
Clark was negligent in not keeping greater watch on the officials. His failing was not just in believing his officials, it was not knowing what questions to ask.
Ministers have to be able to tell the difference between knowing what is happening and thinking they know what is happening.
Managed isolation minister Megan Woods is getting daily updates of arrivals and departures and day-three testing and day-12 testing.
It is what Clark should have been getting. In the absence of it, Clark should have asked for it.
What Clark said about Bloomfield was not wrong. It was hypocritical for a minister who has not admitted his own failings on the testing debacle.
But it was no surprise from a minister who did not know what is appropriate and what is not.
Both are decent people. Neither are the villains in the stark way social media defines the world.
They are both lucky the failings were discovered early and did not lead to a new outbreak of community transmission.