The timing of the hair pulling story has been criticised, but that’s nonsense. So what if someone timed it for maximum attention? That’s hardly uncommon.
Sure it could be awkward for Key to deal with the flak while travelling around the world. But it also gets him out of most of the firing line. By the time he gets back to New Zealand the story will have at least calmed down a bit.
Perhaps the story could have been put out in the news vacuum over Easter. That might have reduced attention. Or it could have festered and grown because there wasn’t much else to be indignant about.
The timing is a non-issue.
While the victim is a victim if unwanted physical attention she is a victim. That isn’t diminished by the way the story plays out.
I think she was unwise using The Daily Blog and Martyn Bradbury as her medium for her revelation. It guaranteed a highly charged partisan reaction before any facts were known or confirmed. It’s a side issue but it’s an issue.
The waitress used Bradbury – but Bradbury has used her too. I hope he warned her about the inevitability that her anonymity wouldn’t last long. I hope he warned her how she would be labelled politically by using him.
It didn’t take the Herald long to out the identity of the waitress and her workplace – see Waitress: ‘I felt NZ should know’.
She has complained about this coverage in detail at The Daily Blog – UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?
She says she was aware of some of the risks but she has been clobbered.
She claims that her employers and Rachel colluded to dupe her into an interview. But retracting something from the media is futile. Especially once it’s been published.
Out of respect for my employers, and what seemed like their genuine concern for my well-being along with the future of their business (a business doing good things which I fully support), they introduced me to Rachel, by name as the employee behind the story, and Rachel said she would put together a statement for us to proof.
As we waited for Rachel to e-mail the draft proof one of my employers read aloud to the other Rachel’s e-mail address. It began… RACHEL.GLUCINA and alarm bells went off. Sounded familiar, and I felt sick to my stomach – more than you’d ever imagine, a feeling I simply could not ignore.
Rachel’s story changed. RAPIDLY. Now she couldn’t possibly supply us with a proof because she would lose her job. She was absolutely acting in her capacity as a journalist for the New Zealand Herald and claimed that my employers had known all along, which they denied.
I made it absolutely clear that all and any comments I had made were given under false pretences, not to mention completely out of context, and questioned whether her supposed story would still be published if I withheld my permission.
Rachel simply responded that she would come back to us and read to us what was to be published, although she had no control over editors and sub-editors, and that she had to get in touch with the Prime Ministers office, and then they quickly ended the conversation. I later contacted my employers reiterating that I revoked any permission to use my photo or comments for any press release, and my disappointment that I had been mislead to such a gross degree whilst having my identity knowingly confirmed with the New Zealand Herald at the same time.
If she’s correct this is a bad look for the Herald. More collateral damage. What the hell were her employers and Glucina up to?
This could get very messy.
When the Prime Minister is involved behaviour has to be carefully considered. He stuffed up.
When the Prime Minister is involved the media and the victim get embroiled as well in what now looks like becoming substantial side issues.
While I think Key’s behaviour was poor it wasn’t dirty. But it’s triggered what could be a bloody big dirty mess.