Reaction to Key’s visit to Iraq

John Key plus a media contingent have spent an eventful three days visiting Iraq.

I presume there were good political and diplomatic reasons for doing this, considering the risks involved and the resources required. I don’t think strongly for or against the visit.

There was obviously a reaction to the news of the visit on Twitter. I haven’t bothered to look for it, but this was one journalist reaction:

OKAY LET ME JUST EXPLAIN THIS. The PM’s trip was SECRET. there was a MEDIA BLACKOUT. we are reporting it now bc he is NOT THERE ANY MORE.

christ on a tapdancing bicycle. i GET IT that some people do not like John Key or journalists but REALLY. WHAT ARE YOU LIKE?

i mean. MEDIA BLACKOUTS EXIST FOR REALLY GOOD REASONS. we are NOT TRYING TO KEEP STUFF FROM YOU. it’s bc HE MIGHT HAVE GOT ATTACKED BY ISIS.

This was some of the reactions:

He risked the lives of media & everyone else involved. Not to mention the cost. I have a family member in armed forces and they absolutely HATE it when politicians do these sort of things. They don’t want them to visit, because of the risks.

Which is why it’s kept secret. ok? i get that you don’t like John Key. but i’m reporting this stuff bc it’s my job.

I don’t care that it was a secret, I care that the jerk had the audacity to go in the first place, its appalling

John Key risked the life of someone I care abt today – that is UNFORGIVABLE Jessica, I don’t care how brave it makes Key.

And:

And that, right there, is you buying into the dramatic PR narrative they’re trying to push.

Thomas, that’s a really silly thing to say. and you know it. you think i have no experience with this stuff?

I think we all know, you included, that this was *exactly* the coverage they expected/wanted when they planned this visit.

It looks like in some way being a journalist can be as in the line of fire as a politician – and not just on a visit to Iraq.

Williams is political editor for RadioLive.

12 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  7th October 2015

    If there was a press blackout, I cannot see that there was any danger to Betsey’s person out there.

    • jamie

       /  7th October 2015

      That makes sense if you think ISIS finds out what’s happening in Iraq by reading the Herald I suppose.

  2. As the person responsible for the withdrawal of our troops from Vietnam in 1972 I commend the Prime Minister for his visit to see the situation of the troops he deployed in New Zealand’s name. He has seen the situation and the conditions the troops are in and has now first -hand knowledge of the conditions they are carrying out their mission on our behalf. Those of the media who are moaning about the risks they faced to accompany him and the costs of the support to the troops have once again showed to the public of New Zealand an incomprehensible insult to the sacrifices being made. For goodness sake grow up MSM you are a bunch of turds.

  3. jamie

     /  7th October 2015

    Apparently the Iraqi PM announced the visit, with photos, on facebook two days ago.

    So much for “media blackout”

    http://www.3news.co.nz/world/john-keys-iraq-trip-iraqi-pms-office-breaks-embargo-2015100714#axzz3nqr7iQxT

    • The embargo worked well, didn’t it. The media here didn’t report that until now.

      • jamie

         /  7th October 2015

        I can’t tell whether you’re being serious or not 😀

    • Mike C

       /  7th October 2015

      @Jamie

      As long as our Prime Minister gets home safe and sound, then that’s all we should care and worry about … right ??? 🙂

      • Donatella

         /  7th October 2015

        Yes, that……and maybe pass the name of his flak-jacket tailor onto Jerry 🙂

      • jamie

         /  7th October 2015

        I think the safety of NZ soldiers is more important. Unless his visit served some actual purpose – i.e. something more than just fluffing the PM – then I can’t see any justification for hindering them in their activities.

        • Mike C

           /  7th October 2015

          @Jamie

          If I was a New Zealand Soldier serving overseas … I would be delighted if my Prime Minister made the effort to visit me in a place where I am risking my life on a daily basis.

          Anybody who thinks otherwise is a fool and unpatriotic.

          • jamie

             /  7th October 2015

            I have never heard a soldier express such a view about having to babysit a politician.

            However I learned long ago not to bother discussing with people who say things like “anyone who thinks otherwise” because they’re probably not really interested in a discussion.