Rodney Hide speaks some truths about the “speaking truth to power” of Nicky Hager and the supporters that think Hager can do no wrong.
To the anointed left, Hager is an investigative journalist. He is good and true. Blogger Cameron Slater is a smear merchant and paid shill. He is evil and false.
That’s how it appears. To an extent it’s true, Hager is an investigative journalist at times – but so is Slater (at times). And both sometimes speak “truth”, but they also both speak falsely at times, despite claims from some that Hager has never been proven incorrect.
An anonymous hacker stole Slater’s emails and Facebook messages.
Hager then published them in Dirty Politics to implicate Prime Minister John Key in dark and evil plots. The links were tenuous at best.
Some have taken Hager’s claims against John Key and National as gospel but they are tenuous and have not proven much apart from the nastiness of Slater and associates – which was already known.
I warranted a brief chapter myself. Hager alleges Slater blackmailed me to resign the Act Party leadership. It’s not true.
The first I knew of any allegation or blackmail was Hager’s book.
Hager never rang to check his allegations. He published them without a rudimentary check. Left-wing commentator Chris Trotter publicly defended Hager’s not checking his allegations. That would alert those he maligned who might then injunct his book. And so Hager denied his victims the usual rights and legal protections.
Hager made allegations which Hide has strongly denied. Hager didn’t fact check, he made a case without checking both sides of the story. At best that’s sloppy journalism.
The extreme left has no problem with that. The anointed have no need for legal process. They have no need to provide rights of reply. They have no need to check facts. They are right. The rest of us are wrong.
To an extent at least that appears to be true, you just have to read threads at The Standard and Public Address to see this.
Hager pored through stolen private and personal information. There were emails to the wife. Messages about a sick and dying mum.
Hager then decided what was public interest and published it. We do not know what became of what he regarded as personal and private.
To me, it’s clear a crime was committed. Slater duly complained.
The police are investigating. In the course of their investigation they convinced a judge to grant a warrant to search Hager’s house.
The search was subject to the law. It was authorised. Hager’s personal information is to be protected. It won’t be made public.
Presumably the raid on Hager’s house was done correctly and lawfully, but there remain questions about whether it was on a scale that was justified.
Any alleged wrongdoing will have to be backed by evidence to be tested in court.
Those alleged to have done wrong will be presumed innocent. They will have their day in court.
Yes – but police action can have a major effect on their targets, including legal costs and in this case the confiscation of computers and information that Hager requires to do his work can be significant.
If only Hager’s victims had been afforded such rights.
Of course, there’s no need: his victims are made guilty by their politics.
Slater’s computer was ransacked. Information was taken. The hack was illegal, furtive and anonymous.
Hager then published the stolen information, wrapped his own story around it, and gave no right of reply.
Hager tried to convict Slater, John Key and associates in the court of public opinion. He failed to do what journalists are usually expected to do – allow those being accused to give their side of the story.
It has been claimed that this was necessary so those being accused wouldn’t injunct Hager’s book.
Journalists don’t usually package a grand conspiracy claim in a book and inject it into an election campaign. Journalists should normally check both sides of a story, give a right of response and publish revelations as they come to hand. Then there can be immediate reactions and follow up additions, corrections and counter-claims.
Journalism doesn’t start and end with a one-sided book that it’s supporters claim is beyond reproach.
Hager raised some important issues in his book, but it was not good journalism, it looks more like political activism.
His evidence was never checked or tested.
That’s not true.
Martyn Bradbury claims to have been interviewed while the book was being written. Bradbury is a far left activist and an adversary of Slater.
Lyn Prentice is a left wing activist and a long time strong critic of Slater. He claims to have been involved in researching the book. He sponded to a comment by RRM at The Standard:
Big old BS – the e mails were STOLEN, it is as simple as that.
Political-type people will make of that what they will.
Perhaps if Hager had interviewed a few people, instead of just writing a book of one-sided allegations ABOUT them, based on STOLEN e mails, and published at a slightly less cynical time than a few weeks before the election, he might not be in this position today?
[lprent: Based on reading the blog posts of the various people that were referred to in the emails passed to him. You really can't get much more independent that the actual actions of arseholes.
Plus doing a pretty widespread verification among many people who read those blogs and keep an eye on Slater, Odgen, Farrar, Ede, and others of that dirty brigade. Like me and the score of people that I pointed to and introduced to Hagers people.
Why would you ask Slater? He is currently saying that yes he made those statements in those emails, but that he was lying and bullshitting. What makes you think that he wouldn't lie or bullshit to a journo or for that matter the police or a judge?]
Hager appears to have got “verification” from “various people” who were the political opposite of Slater and had been feuding bitterly with Slater for years.
But that’s okay. That’s because those he attacked have their politics wrong.
What’s not okay is the police investigating the crime and exercising a lawful warrant.
As far as the extreme left is concerned, Slater has no rights and Hager enjoys super ones.
And they wonder why we laugh at them.
I don’t laugh at them. I think it’s a sad reflection on politics and those involved at the extremes.
Has Hager used the left in a major political hit job? Or has he been used by the left? Possibly a bit of both.
Some of the revelations in Hager’s book bring attention to the very sad side of Slater, Whale Oil et al. But the nature of the book and it’s political one-sidedness and it’s attempt to bring down a government doesn’t look flash either.
Hager’s hit job was a poor advertisement for both political activism and for journalism.
All their houses look poxy.