Spinoff’s spin on Hager

Toby Manhire has an interview with Nicky Hager at The Spinoff – “A Kick Back Against Government Intolerance” – an Interview with Nicky Hager.

Nicky Hager tells The Spinoff about his case in the High Court, Dirty Politics a year on, and his next book – “one of the most important projects that I could imagine”.

It allows Hager to ask some hard questions, but asks no hard questions of Hager.

What will happen next with the judicial review?

In the very near future, I think, there will be a decision coming out which is about my case but is really about journalism in New Zealand. Like all countries, we are experiencing a new intolerance to whistleblowers and people who provide leaked information. So this court case is happening at a really critical time for whether or not people who collect that information feel safe and whether or not people who provide that information feel safe.

I’m hopeful we’re going to have a decision which is a sort of kick back against the current intolerance from the government.

But no word on any kickback against the intolerance of left wing activists.

It’s over a year now since Dirty Politics, and to some degree at least it feels as though things have gone back to business as usual. Do you accept that, and if so is it because people didn’t grasp the detail or because they grasped the detail but don’t care?

The Minister of Justice who had to resign because of the book has not come back, the main dirty tricks person in the prime minister’s office [Jason Ede], who had to leave the job because of this, has not come back. When people say everything has gone back to normal, they’re possibly not realising how much did change, and what they’re perhaps really meaning is the Prime Minister, who was in many ways at the centre of the distasteful politics, has so far survived it.

Jason Ede escaped the scrutiny he deserved, although he did lose his job and influence.

John Key also escaped the scrutiny his involvement should have received. This was partly due to his avoidance, but it has as much to do with the way Hager launched his book into an election campaign. Voters reacted against this slanted interference in the democratic process, and then the election took over, letting Key off the hook.

I think that when people say John Key got away with the book, and never had to answer the question – and of course he has got away with not having to answer the question so far – I think they’re not being optimistic enough. I think we may still see in the long run it will be seen to have bitten him badly and he hasn’t got away with it.

Hager may be hoping for lingering hits on Key but the timing of his big hit meant that it didn’t have the impact Hager and his supporters had hoped.

Do you think then that the way people do politics has changed as a result of the book?

I wrote a book about one area of politics, and there is absolutely no doubt that things have changed quite a lot. For example, at the time I wrote that book, quite a considerable number of journalists and news organisations were in extremely unhealthy relationships with this rightwing attack blogger, who was acting as a tool of various commercial interests and also of the prime minister’s office, for covert attacks on their opponents.

Most of those journalists have stopped doing that. Many of those media organisations have more or less apologised publicly for getting caught up in it. If one book can do that, I’m really happy with it, and that’s not the only change at all.

The book seems to have been very successful warning journalists off having anything to do with Slater, and that has been reinforced by Slater’s own actions.

Do you read the Whaleoil blog?

No. I’ve spent a year and a half recommending to people that they don’t dignify it by looking at it, because it is not a genuine source of news and analysis. It’s a political tactic: to smear and discourage and hurt people, and so I don’t believe that I want to go there.

I will take anybody’s legitimate, public, owned criticism and I’ll think about it, but anonymous comments are the worst of people, and I don’t need to let them into my head. So I don’t go to the Whaleoil site, and I don’t go to many of those places where I’m just going to hear, you know, anonymous tigers behind their keyboards saying ridiculous things about me.

It hasn’t just been “anonymous tigers” asking questions of the way Hager played his Dirty Politics cards. By blaming criticism of him on anonymous people he’s avoiding real concerns over his actions.

Since his launch of Dirty Politics Hager has played to friendly audiences, and he has done is PR via friendly journalists (like Manhire here).

Would he be prepared to face scrutiny of his actions and agenda?

Both he and Key still have important questions that should be answered.

Leave a comment

68 Comments

  1. Reginald Perrin

     /  4th November 2015

    I wrote a book about one area of politics…

    That’s about the only factual thing Hager says. He wrote a book about alleged National Party “dirty tricks” when he KNEW that other political parties were doing likewise. He chose however to ignore that angle, because, like the prosecution of Labour MP’s in the Clark years, it wasn’t in the public interest.

    My former boss CJ used to say “I didn’t get where I am today by only telling half the story”. I look forward to Mr Hager’s book at some future date where he balances the ledger.

    Reply
    • traveller

       /  4th November 2015

      You’ll not be seeing that ledger balancing RP.
      For one, I’m glad actually, as the semblance of balance might have given him some reputation for balance. As it sits, and the reason his hit in 2014 had zero electoral impact, the plebiscite realised he is merely a left wing activist who has zero interest in any truth other than his own warped and twisted agenda. MSM in this country stand accused of complicity by omission and yellow-bellied cowardice for their universal fawning and capitulation to his agenda. More fools them.

      Reply
    • THUNDERBIRD 4

       /  4th November 2015

      @Reginald Perrin – sounds like a Tui Billboard to me on balancing the ledger

      Reply
    • And of course you are a hound for media balance and pursue it doggedly at all times!
      What rubbish. You are as lazy as the next hack and pull this rubbish out when you read something that leaves a bad taste.

      Reply
  2. Kevin

     /  4th November 2015

    Questions I would have asked:

    Who is Rawshark?

    Did the stolen emails fall into your lap, as you say in Dirty Politics, or did you receive them with knowledge, as you appear to infer in later interviews and speeches, by implying that you knew Rawshark?

    Why didn’t Dirty Politics mention Labour MPs using blogs, such as The Standard, to anonymously smear opponents?

    You say that you chose in Dirty Politics not to mention several journalist who you say were in an “unhealthy” relationship with Cameron Slater. Was Dirty Politics intended as a threat to these journalist to tow the line or else?

    Do you know if Dirty Politics was funded or partly funded by Kim Dotcom?

    Have you ever received money from Kim Dotcom?

    Do you know if Rawshark was paid by Kim Dotcom to hack Cameron Slater’s gmail account?

    Do you know that blackmail and receiving stolen goods are both serious offences?

    Reply
    • Very good questions every single one.

      Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  4th November 2015

      Here’s your answers:

      Who is Rawshark?
      I’m not telling you- I want to protect my source because that was my agreement, and I am protected under NZ law because I am a journalist. I took very direct legal advice on this.

      Did the stolen emails fall into your lap, as you say in Dirty Politics, or did you receive them with knowledge, as you appear to infer in later interviews and speeches, by implying that you knew Rawshark?

      The answer to any highly charged question needs to be considered in the context the question is raised. Obviously in a High Court case involving a charge of receiving stolen goods -“Fell into my lap” would be an unacceptable answer.
      You ask “did you receive them with knowledge” but this is quite ambiguous – ‘knowledge’ of what you are asking is unclear- so your ability to ask tough questions is pretty shit really- but you had your chance and you blew it.
      “By implying you knew Rawshark”- Even though the precision of your language is sorely lacking- I’ll have a go at answering without giving too much away. You see I’m protecting my source’s identity- so if I tell you that “I knew him because he’s on my quiz team at the local pub” – that might not be good enough to protect him. Suffice to say (for now at least-until we get to court where cleverer people than you will ask questions)- that the word “knew” is meaninglessly subjective. I mean- you know Helen Clarke don’t you? You know the Pope, don’t you?
      The process of satisfying myself that the bona fides of the leaked information had integrity meant that I ‘knew’ Rawshark somewhere on the spectrum of ‘knowing’, between ‘fell into my lap’, and ‘met and talked a minimum amount of times to satisfy my requirements’.

      Why didn’t Dirty Politics mention Labour MPs using blogs, such as The Standard, to anonymously smear opponents?
      Because Labour lost the election and were not the government. So I didn’t give a toss what they were up to, tbh.

      You say that you chose in Dirty Politics not to mention several journalist who you say were in an “unhealthy” relationship with Cameron Slater. Was Dirty Politics intended as a threat to these journalist to tow the line or else?
      No- the book was intended to do exactly what it said it was doing- you should read it and ask informed questions. THe theme was about a tripartite arrangement at various times involving an attack blog, the GOVERNMENT, through the PRIME MINISTER’s office, and various corporate interests who paid to have public servants smeared.
      Journalists were just a bad smell on the periphery- but I felt I had to include some to effectively weave the document together from the thousands of disparate emails which magically fell into my lap. You should read it.

      Do you know if Dirty Politics was funded or partly funded by Kim Dotcom?
      Yes I do.

      Have you ever received money from Kim Dotcom?
      None of your business- but for what its worth- one time I shouted a round and he gave me five bucks to cover his drink, so YES, I have. Another really shit question.

      Do you know if Rawshark was paid by Kim Dotcom to hack Cameron Slater’s gmail account?
      A) Yes , YES I do!!! I know that he wasn’t-
      B) How could I ever know the answer to that question? Even if both of them admitted it to me on oath- it could still be argued that my ‘knowledge’ is pure hearsay. Dumb question- really poor, actually.

      Do you know that blackmail and receiving stolen goods are both serious offences?

      No, actually I didn’t- in what jurisdiction are there statutes that use those terms in their titles?
      What you have done there, o wise one, is take your very limited ‘knowledge’ of the law to form a half arsed assumption that if something gets ‘stolen’ and someone ‘receives’ it- they have committed a ‘serious’ , ‘offence’. Well any halfwit can tell you that there is a hell of a lot more to those laws than a simplification that your pea-brain can handle. And as for ‘black’, ‘mail’…LOL.
      If the law was that simple we wouldn’t need courts, just nooses on gallows mate- but that’s probably the sort of society you’d be happy with.

      So there you go- there’s your answers to your tough questions- do you feel like they’ve been dodged? Or do you feel like maybe you should have asked different questions?
      Perhaps more informed ones?

      Reply
  3. Jeeves

     /  4th November 2015

    I have yet to see the man dodge, evade, obfuscate, or avoid a single question put to him.

    He wrote a book about a slimy Triad between the PMs office, an attack blogger, and corporate interests who wanted to smear public servants.

    It was a story about an elected government lying down with dogs.

    It wasn’t about a political party, it was about an elected government.

    He also wrote one about a former elected government- quite a scathing one as it turned out.

    Why don’t you call him an ISIS supporter, because he hasn’t written a book against Islam?

    Reply
    • Reginald Perrin

       /  4th November 2015

      Pete covered that in his post Jeeves:

      It allows Hager to ask some hard questions, but asks no hard questions of Hager.

      One wonders who are the media people whose involvement with Slater was left out of the book by Hager. Little wonder he gets a magic carpet ride from the likes of Manhire.

      Reply
  4. Brown

     /  4th November 2015

    There is a cartoon strip called Hager the Horrible. Good title with at least two uses.
    Hager is ran activist masquerading as a journalist.

    Reply
  5. John Schmidt

     /  4th November 2015

    What Hagar does is to take events of interest to him and create links between these events to create a story that fits into his beliefs. Many of those links are fanciful and never take into account the context of the events. In most cases the context of events are not in the public domain so he creates his own context from what is available. The end result is a twisted version of events that always portray mainstream New Zealand as evil and at the heart of this view is his hate of the US and what it stands for. Hagar probably views himself as a patriot whereas his actions could be easily interpreted as treasonous.

    Reply
    • jamie

       /  5th November 2015

      Cameron Slater is representative of middle NZ?

      Oh please. Middle Earth perhaps.

      Reply
  6. Apparently the Key offices were playing “dirty politics”.
    I am shocked. Shocked. Ministerial offices in the previous Clark Government were completely innocent. The Clark Government would never have dreamed of stooping to such a low level of feeding journalists sensitive official material, political gossip, leaking official documents and using every means we could to gain advantage over the opposition. Never. The Ministerial offices were entirely virtuous and innocent. Helen Clark was one of the best PM’s in our history because of her sweet nature and winning smile and she never ever stooped to “dirty politics”.

    Some people (like Jeeves above) really need to grow up. The fake protestations of shock and innocence from some people is nauseating.

    Reply
    • Rob

       /  4th November 2015

      The Clark Government would never have dreamed of stooping to such a low level of feeding journalists sensitive official material, political gossip, leaking official documents and using every means we could to gain advantage over the opposition. Never. The Ministerial offices were entirely virtuous and innocent.
      And of course you can provide some kind of at least semi factual info that supports your obvious allegations.

      Reply
      • SteveRemmington

         /  4th November 2015

        Clark knifing Peter Doone through continued leaks to the media. So outrageous that I believe legal redress was sought.

        Reply
        • Pete Kane

           /  4th November 2015

          I think if I recall correctly, Doone ended up ‘officially’ working out what ever the contractual arrangement was from Clark’s office.

          (No sorry Cabinet Office)
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10122718

          “But the scandal effectively forced him from his job in January 2000, although he worked as a constable in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for six months to serve out his notice.”

          Reply
      • SteveRemmington

         /  4th November 2015

        Lianne Dalziel leaking of documents then lying about it.

        Reply
      • SteveRemmington

         /  4th November 2015

        Phi Goff Israeli Spies.

        and/or everytime Goff opens his mouth 🙂

        Reply
        • Rob

           /  4th November 2015

          And they were brought into the light of day. Good. So where’s the problem about exposing the same or worse type of behavior by the Key govt.

          Reply
          • SteveRemmington

             /  4th November 2015

            The difference is Rob that nobody stole private emails, or wrote a book about them whilst managing to ignore the other side of the coin.

            Reply
            • Rob

               /  4th November 2015

              He was writing about one side of the coin. If it had been the other side, I doubt he would have had a problem writing about it.

            • Rob

               /  4th November 2015

              And why does it matter where the info came from or how it was obtained.

            • Pete Kane

               /  4th November 2015

              In fairness Steve, Hager discovered political activity of public interest (and many would say malfeasance by “agents” of the State) and reported said activity. Would one counter his obligation with the obsurdity of a investigative journalist uncovering criminality by the Mongrel Mob, then being required to find similar behaviour by Black Power before exposure, in the interest of balance?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              What exactly malfeasance did Hager uncover? Oh, and what proportion of taxpayer-funded inhabitants of the Beehive spend part or all of their paid time working for their political party? 90%+?

            • Pete Kane

               /  4th November 2015

              Just responding in a totally general sense Dave 24. there are always going to be situations where Mr A, whilst committing a criminal or ‘bad’ act, ‘discovers’ Mr B also committing a criminal or ‘bad’ act.

            • Pete Kane

               /  4th November 2015

              Alan, sorry I was distracted, not trying to avoid your fair point. I was taking the term from much of what’s being written. But using the admittedly broad defn. (ie all things to all people) of “the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of a public trust).”

              I think Tucker’s actions and particularly his staff and their relationship with Ede/Slater are in that realm. Like wise Ede and the Labour Data base. But I will add that Rawshark acted criminally (accept he doesn’t work for the State.
              And acknowledge Labour and Goff hardly aided their course. Nor am I defending their own various actions whilst in the driver’s seat. (And as you said ” inhabitants of the Beehive spend part or all of their paid time working for their political party? 90%+’, well we know who to thank for that and it wasn’t National, Mr Lange.) In finishing I think the Woodhouse/Cunliffe/ Lui was probably in reality an equal breach “of trust” also.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              What did Tucker do? He told the PM’s department that Goff had been briefed after Goff lied about that. Then he answered an FOI request truthfully. So the problem with that is exactly what?

              And Ede told Slater to put in an FOI request to reveal the truth about Goff’s briefings. So exactly what is wrong with that? Or his involvement in the Labour party file fiasco?

            • Pete Kane

               /  4th November 2015

              Sorry meant to ad this (and I’ve put the two most supportive for the Govt. that I could find). Alan may feel it supports his case, and that’s a fair view given some of the findings – but for me I just what something better from out institutions of state.

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/260203/report-slams-sis-over-info-release
              (includes full report)

              http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/260144/sis-report-set-to-criticise-agency

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              I read the relevant section of the full report. There is nothing in it that contradicts Rodney Hide’s excellent summation: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11366422

            • Rob

               /  4th November 2015

              Personaly I’d take anything with the ‘perk busters’ fingerprints on it with a grain of salt.
              IMO this is a far better summation:http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11364995

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              @Rob, even the Herald eventually decided de Boni only writes bigoted crap and sacked her.

            • Rob

               /  4th November 2015

              And Hide is so biased I’d be surprised if his car turned left.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              No, Rob. He knows what he is talking about because he used to be a Lefty when he was young and didn’t know any better. Then he learnt a lot more.

            • Rob

               /  4th November 2015

              Yeah he learnt a lot more alright. Like how to rort the system while claiming to be the perk buster.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th November 2015

              There you are then. Older, much wiser and no longer a bitter, miserable and deluded Lefty.

    • SteveRemmington

       /  4th November 2015

      “Some people (like Jeeves above) really need to grow up. The fake protestations of shock and innocence from some people is nauseating.”

      Comments like that is why I rate you as one of the best posters on this site.

      Reply
    • Hmmm let me see, Mr maturity who doesn’t need to grow up, you’re stamping your feet and waving your hands to get teachers attention so you can whine that you were mistreated in the playground. That your favourite bully was bullied?
      The entire cretinous hovel referred to as Parliament is a sickening cess pit where principle prostitutes itself for privilege and here you are defending it by saying “those guys are worse!”. So good. Really so slick.
      Wow. A point well made…

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  5th November 2015

        No, he is saying that Hager revealed nothing new to anyone with a clue and nothing out of the ordinary operation of politics and politicians working the media.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  5th November 2015

          I agree that some things were already known to a small group of insiders who already knew about it, but that is a meaningless statement. For the rest of us it was new information, or filled in a lot of the blanks in existing information.

          The arrangements described between the PM’s Office, the corporate lobbyists, and the attack blogs was certainly new information to me and I suggest it goes far beyond what most people would expect as the “ordinary operation” of Government.

          Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  5th November 2015

      Apart from the obvious fact that you are utterly wrong – I never said I was shocked at all. Not even slightly, mildly surprised. You’ve pulled an alternative hypothesis out of your own arse and tried to ascribe it to me. I mean, how wrong can you be??

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th November 2015

    Manhire believes his role is simply to serve the Left so I never bother reading him. Likewise Hager. Birds of a feather in the same nest.

    Reply
  8. SteveRemmington

     /  4th November 2015

    An interesting comparison Peter.

    Let me put it this way using your example.

    If a investigative journalist, during his investigations not only found evidence of wrongdoing by the Mongrel Mob but also Black Power but only chose to write a book only about the wrongdoings by the Mongrel Mob.

    Would this appear balanced? Would it appear responsible? Or would it appear extremely cynical and devoid of any ethical responsibilities as an investigative journalist?

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  4th November 2015

      Yes. And No. Seriously though, that really does depend. This really is one of expansive debates on the role, obligations and actions of the Fourth Estate. (And indeed composition of said Fourth Estate.) So I will fudge and leave more acute minds (very easy to find) to the puzzle.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  4th November 2015

        Sorry one more, I have no question in my mind (or on the face of my limited and flawed moral compass), that on balance, Hager acted in the public good. There you go, committed view, moved from public interest to public good.

        Reply
  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th November 2015

    The only impact of “Dirty Politics” is that WO and Dotcom self-destructed, the Left lost another election and is well on the way to losing the next. Congratulations, Nicky. Do write some more.

    Reply
  10. So I have zero problem with whistleblowing as it is covered by legislation – you know good, honest whistleblowing like Mr Pugmire on the mental health system.

    Google link to stories about Mr Pugmire for those of you who have forgotten what he did:
    https://www.google.co.nz/?gws_rd=ssl#q=neil%20pugmire%20nurse

    But I have a HUGE problem with Rawshark committing a criminal act in hacking multiple communications accounts belonging to Mr Slater and/or his blog for a political purpose

    Those who say that Rawsharks activities are appropriate are missing a very salient point and that point is very simple.

    It is now carte blanche for any activist of any hue to hack any politician, political organisation or political commentators communications accounts and then feed that info to a “journalist” of their choice and then claim Public Interest when finding anything that can be cast as “dirty politics”.

    Anyone who thinks that the National and National aligned dirty politics operations are abnormal and something that any other party doesn’t/wouldn’t indulge in is living in dreamland…

    I would have been as pissed off if Rawshark had hacked Greg Preslands’ communications accounts and revealed to the Public who had contributed to Cunliffe and Browns campaign trust funds.

    Personally I think it is very, very much in the Publics interest to know who funded Len Brown’s last campaign and whether they have any links to property development or construction activities that would benefit from the Unitary Plan’s intensification emphasis or pushing of the CRL, for instance. But you know those trust structures were legal and so we can’t know, hence hacking to get that information would be as bad as Rawsharks little escapade

    A very bad precedent has been set by this as well as Don Brashs’ emails being obtained.

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  4th November 2015

      What Hager should have done is gone to a judge and have the judge decide whether or not the emails were in the public interest. Instead he took it upon himself to make that decision.

      But you’re right. Assuming Hager gets away with this I can now hack (or pay someone to hack) any public figure’s emails and, if dirt is found, publish them and claim “public interest”.

      Reply
  11. @Pete Kane:

    “Just responding in a totally general sense Dave 24. There are always going to be situations where Mr A, whilst committing a criminal or ‘bad’ act, ‘discovers’ Mr B also committing a criminal or ‘bad’ act.”

    Yip but that does not exonerate Mr A in anyway. And in this case as NO criminal charges have been made against Ede, Slater et al… then you argument, for want of a better term, is a smokescreen. Sorry but its a poor proposition in this case – underhand tactics that are not illegal, just unsavory.

    And I have always believed this whole hack, fence, publish Dirty Politics incident was organised – not by Hager, he is a useful tool in my view, but by a 3rd party.

    I’ll say it again – it is a dangerous precedent following on from Brash’s email appropriation. Hacking for political purposes seems now to be justified if you can cloak it in the Public Good… oh and its the Right on the receiving end..

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  4th November 2015

      Thanks Dave 24. This will be an on going ‘issue’ of greyness for many and with the shade not being to far off on where people stand on general political spectrum. I suspect a lot of us a differing in terms of degree. I’m certainly not suggesting the wider issue is all B%W.
      Just on the wider track Dave – that whole Brash thing with the emails fascinated me. I was mainly working in Asia at the time and was really looking forward to listening to Question time over a beer at the end of the day. Some of the suggestions that have come up on this site (Tuhoe never occurred to me in a million years esp. given where I was) certainly has me wondering if the two cases may well have a ‘common’ linkage.

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  4th November 2015

        Should have clarified – common linkage other than just Hager.

        Reply
      • @Peter…Yes the hack has been seen through a coloured lens depending on where you are on the spectrum.. But the core principle is hacking is a crime. Using the proceeds of crime to further a political agenda is dodgy, particularly where no criminal activity has been uncovered by the hacking… and that is where the Slater hack is at currently, with Public Good tossed around to justify the sequence of events…

        The big rumours have centred around the Ururewa incident. If you look at the key names involved and then look at the activities they are involved in it would seem a strong linkage. But its only circumstantial and I won’t name names……

        Reply
        • Pete Kane

           /  4th November 2015

          If the Ururewa thing is a runner that would lesson the likely hood of KDC involvement? Well maybe, well may not. I was back on holiday at the time of the raid. If Rawshark is caught (or turns himself in to run some sort of colour of right defence) then interest wise it may be trial of the century. I mean just so many strands and potentially so many people. of ‘note’.

          Reply
  12. We can debate this issue until the cows need milking. It is time our highest courts are required to define the limits of protection provided to persons who are clearly involved in one-sided publications related to negative claims about one or another political party during the final lead up to a General Election. The timeline of the events related to the publication demonstrate that it was a deliberate attempt to prejudice the result of the Election which indicates an attempt to manipulate the result of the election, and should be treated as such. It used to be called, treason!

    Reply
    • Rob

       /  4th November 2015

      Well, your perfectly entitled to your take on the matter. Treason? Bit of a stretch.

      Reply
    • I think you might be confused about which country you live in and who it belongs to. Naively so. People who adopt the mantra of a nation they don’t belong to are simply emperors like the one with the wardrobe problem. Treason?! Calm down!

      Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  5th November 2015

      BJ- stop sucking yourself, man.

      Reply
  13. John W

     /  4th November 2015

    Having read the Hagar book I think he draws a long bow.

    For years Slater has held himself out as a journalist. Hagars book shows the pm’s office treating him like a journalist. The information release to Slater and many of the Ede information is not different to Clark and the media (Doone is the best example )

    However Slater was dirty. As Hagars book shows he took money to run stories, and took money to influence a national party selection, and timed his news to damage labour, and let other people write under his byline.

    Hagar then tries to say because Slater is dodgy the national party is dodgy by association. A better reading in my opinion is that they believed he was a journalist in a new type of medium. Once his dealings were exposed he was dropped.

    A common defense is “the standard did it” and “the left do it”. I’m curious as to any example or suggested example where information was leaked to the standard. I’ve never seen those exclusive tidbits of information there, whereas whaleoil did have them.
    Also the suggestion that anyone else in the nz media has taken money to run stories, and taken money to influence a party selection, and let ghostwriten material pass as their own, is laughable.

    None of that changes the astute comments that the book was based off illegal information and I’m of the opinion Hagar should be convicted. The exposure of a blogger is titillating but hardly public interest.

    Reply
    • Jeeves

       /  5th November 2015

      I agree- he does draw a bow, I’m not so sure of its length. A ranking official in the PMs office was up to his neck in the filth which was Whaleoil’s little pigpen- and the PM consistently made the claim that there was nothing at all to see.

      The leap in faith by Hager was that “surely he knew exactly what there was to see-and if he didn’t – he should have”, and personally I agree.
      If John Key is actually manning the tiller of this waka- he should be a little more responsible for the actions of his support crew.

      As far as Hager being ‘convicted’ – shouldn’t he be tried first? Or have you already made your mind up, and a judicial process is superfluous?

      By the way- well done for being one of the few, who has actually read the damn thing.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  5th November 2015

        “A ranking official in the PMs office was up to his neck in the filth which was Whaleoil’s little pigpen- and the PM consistently made the claim that there was nothing at all to see.:

        You mean a political operative briefed a lobbyist that Goff was telling porkies and you think that is “up to his neck in filth”? You have hyperbole overload. Go and lie down.

        Reply
    • Kevin

       /  5th November 2015

      “However Slater was dirty. As Hagars book shows he took money to run stories, and took money to influence a national party selection, and timed his news to damage labour, and let other people write under his byline.”

      I don’t know how true that is as I take everything in Hager’s book with a big grain of salt although it doesn’t really matter as my general response is “And?”

      If I was running a heavily trafficked partisan political blog I’d be doing exactly the same thing. Ok, maybe not the byline thing, but timing stories to damage the opposition, yep, letting MPs use the blog as a catspaw, definitely, taking money to run stories, definitely.

      I think I’ve said before that I believe The Standard does the same thing it’s just that no one has written a book on it. Sure, it’s just my opinion and have no “proof” they have but I believe they would be negligent not to have done so. I mean if I was a Labour MP do you really think I wouldn’t be looking for ways to damage National and at the same time making it look like it didn’t come from me?

      Reply
      • Taking money to run stories without disclosure is very shoddy practice, especially for someone who claims they are a journalist. Especially when it is associated with draconian message control and censorship in their comments.

        Reply
        • Jeeves

           /  5th November 2015

          And super-especially when its part of a dirty tricks campaign by TOBACCO interests.

          Reply
  14. Wondering what you’re referring to as a “democratic process”?
    Are you talking about NZ? I’m wondering where you’d find one in this country? Possibly the agm of the labour or national parties, is there somewhere I’ve missed?

    Reply

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