Herald aids harassment of National and Katrina Bungard

Two publications from NZ Herald yesterday have unfairly applied extra pressure on the National Party and National MPS and employees over the Jami-Lee Ross issue. They also add to the stress faced by one complainant, Katrina Bungard, who issued a statement yesterday which says she was appalled a meeting between herself and the rogue MP has been “rashly speculated” upon.

The National Party has received a lot of criticism for the way it has handled Jami-Lee Ross over the years, and how they have handled the leak and the following train wreck which has resulted in the commitment of Ross into mental health care.

I have no doubt that in some ways fault will be found with how National handled it, how Simon Bridges handled it, how Paula Bennett handled it, and how party president Peter Goodfellow handled it. It was an extraordinary situation and will have been very difficult to deal with, and mistakes are certain to have been made, and ‘best practice will be open to question, That’s all fair enough.

What isn’t fair is misrepresentation in media that has aided what amounts to harassment of National. Bridges, Bennett, Goodfellow et al may not be suffering from mental illness like Ross, but this will have put them under stress. Their mental health should also be considered.

The media have also had a difficult job to do over the last week in particular. They have also made mistakes and on review should find that they could have done things better.

Yesterday I saw two NZ Herald publications that added to what I think is unfair criticism and pressure on people from National.

NZ Herald: Jami-Lee Ross ‘sectioned’ to mental health facility

In this the Herald included a quote from the National Party which made it look like they were involved in the ‘sectioning’ of Ross. This resulted in criticism on Twitter and elsewhere in social media, where people claimed that National had had Ross committed to silence him.

Like ‘WeTheBleeple’ at The Standard:

Sounds like someone stamped some papers to shut him up. Can’t make coherent statements pumped full of drugs.

This is very seriously scummy.

Dennis Frank:

A reasonable point of view, given the history of how mental health diagnoses have been used to eliminate political rivals in various countries. We need to wait & see how the media report that police got involved today. Media haven’t reported any diagnosis from his prior breakdown(s) as far as I know.

To their credit several challenged this (and other similar comments), like:

Nonsense the police and health professionals do not use their powers to behave in this manner, frankly I find your assertion offenssive.

But it didn’t stop, Half an hour later:

Sounds very much like National did it “Out of concern for his mental health”.

If that is so, the entire party should be disbanded as a corrupt criminal organisation and charges laid against anyone and everyone obstructing the truth and the law.

This is repulsive.

The Herald was challenged on Twitter:

Two hours later:

The Herald changed their story, deleting the dated quote and saying this:

It is understood the National Party is continuing to offer Ross support, though it is unclear it if was involved in Ross’ admission to the facility.

Too late, the attacks on National were raging.

Another article (‘Comment)’at the Herald which posted online at the same time this was raging – David Cormack: National needs to learn to care about people which started:

It has not been a good week for the National Party. It has revealed a craven history of enabling alleged harassment and bullying, making it unfit for governing.

Cormack promoted that on Twitter where he was receiving support for sticking it to National.

Cormack responded with a link to RNZ National aware of Jami-Lee Ross grievances for years whikch opens with:

The National Party has known for a couple of years about grievances regarding Jami-Lee Ross’ conduct, and got one complainant to sign a confidentiality agreement, sources have told Checkpoint.

I replied with: That says “got one complainant to sign a confidentiality agreement”, which could be quite different to “made the complainant sign a non-disclosure agreement”. I have seen no indication she signed it unwillingly. Have you?

Cormack has not responded since then, but someone else did: FFS Pete, stop dissembling and nitpicking. Those details just don’t matter.

I think that details like that do matter. National has been hammered over the non-disclosure agreement. I think that whether an agreement should have been signed or not us up for debate, but what those slamming it seem to keep ignoring is what the person who signed it thinks.

Katrina Bungard put out a statement yesterday (Stuff): National Party’s Katrina Bungard received no money at mediation

National Candidate for Manurewa, Katrina Bungard, said there “was absolutely no exchange of money, or any documents signed that would suggest any kind of compensation”.

One of a number of women allegedly harassed by Ross, Bungard said she was appalled a meeting between herself and the rogue MP has been “rashly speculated” upon.

People with #metoo and political agendas have been either ignoring Bungard while using her to attack National, or have misrepresented what she has said or worse, they have disputed her motives and statements. They have added to the pressure on her in order to promote their own agendas.

In Katrina Bungard’s own words:

“I would like to set the record straight regarding the so-called ‘agreement’ made between myself and Jami-Lee Ross”.

“The party was simply doing their best to facilitate a meeting to bring an end to a situation which I had brought to their attention that was troubling me.”

Bungard said when it became clear issues between her and Ross were not able to be resolved, National Party president Peter Goodfellow orchestrated a mediation meeting where the pair discussed their grievances.

Bungard said a document was signed by the two in which they agreed “we would do our best to move on from what had occurred in the past from our fallout in 2016”.

“Unfortunately, despite president Goodfellow’s best efforts, I don’t believe the meeting fully brought an end to some of Jami-Lee’s behaviour that he still managed to get away with behind the scenes,” she said.

“Although it certainly did lessen many of the more public blows.”

Bungard said she was grateful to the party for the way it handled her complaints.

“[I] believe that they acted in the best way that they could have with the information that they had at the time.”

Unfortunately she is being disbelieved and she is being used by people intent on promoting their own political agendas.

I hope that now Ross is in care many people step back a bit and think through what they are doing. In particular they should consider the stresses and mental health of those they are ignoring, using and attacking. There are many people under pressure here.

Leave a comment

129 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 22, 2018

    An excellent post, PG, which I strongly support. Now that the Herald columns don’t allow comments the nonsense they write appears to go unchallenged. It mustn’t.

    Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 22, 2018

    I have no sympathy for the implicit assertion by many that mental health patients should be shielded from the truth. I call b.s. The truth is exactly what they need to take in board for their own good and everyone else’s.

    Until they can they have no business being loose in the community.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 22, 2018

      ‘the truth is never pure and rarely ..simple’-O.W

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  October 22, 2018

        Your mantra surely, B.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  October 22, 2018

        I should never have introduced you to OW. I’m sure if he was still alive you would be a recipient of his razor sharp wit.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  October 22, 2018

          you claim the credit for introducing me to O.W,Perkins to name just 2 recently….have you been drinking what JLR has been…drinking..knuckle scraper.

          Reply
  3. Trevors_elbow

     /  October 22, 2018

    Media dissembling and pushing agendas…. who would have thought it…..pure as the new fallen snow and bastions of well researched and factual reporting are the nz media
    /sarc

    Allowing opinion pieces based on bs is what exactly? It’s the new clickbait media of the 21st century… but it’s really the Truth come again….just crap…

    Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  October 22, 2018

    You’re concerned about the mental health of the National Party, Pete?
    What a compassionate fellow you are!
    “I have no doubt that in some ways fault will be found with how National handled it, how Simon Bridges handled it, how Paula Bennett handled it, and how party president Peter Goodfellow handled it.” Indeed.

    Reply
  5. Ray

     /  October 22, 2018

    As I suggested to Lesley Hamilton, definitely worth a complaint to the Press. Council, the Stuff article definitely read as if the National Party had “sectioned” poor Ross.
    The changes could still be called a real smear considering what had be written.
    “Unclear if Nats involved”

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      You mean the Herald?

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 22, 2018

      And Jane Bowron writes this morning:

      Allegations rolled in that a woman, who had an affair with Ross, had signed a confidentiality agreement brokered by party president Peter Goodfellow.”

      I may have missed something trying to keep track of all the splatters of mud getting flung about by hypocritical journos revelling in their shock horror tut-tutting – but is this right?

      I thought the only one we know of who signed a confidentiality agreement was Bungard? She didn’t have an affair with him, did she? Has anybody else reported a woman who actually had an affair with Bridges signed a confidentiality agreement?

      Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 22, 2018

          And I’m keep my hostile stare focussed on Tova O’Brien. She triggered this shit storm.

          What possible public good could have come from her publishing a few days early travel cost information that would have been released anyway and almost certainly would have attracted immediate media comment on how much Bridges had spent on his little jaunt around the country at that time?

          What was her motivation for that?

          How does she get to slide out from under getting any flack for reputations and possibly mental health of god knows how many people trashed by that piece of gutter journalism?

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 22, 2018

            What’s “gutter” about publishing the expense account of the Leader of the Opposition? Bridges said the expenses were quite normal and reasonable. Gutter journalism would involve smutty, gratuitous material about personal matters of those public figures, surely. How could anyone’s mental health be trashed by an article about Bridges travel costs?

            Reply
            • “How could anyone’s mental health be trashed by an article about Bridges travel costs?”

              Did you actually follow yesterday’s news?

              Sometimes it seems you read about 10% of what is posted and published that you comment on.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Are you really that obtuse that you think she couldn’t see what damaging suspicions & internal ructions publishing that leak would cause? The information was going to be public in a few days. It wasn’t done to “publish the expense account of the Leader of the Opposition”. It was done to cause havoc.

            • The Consultant

               /  October 22, 2018

              There’s a good reason that “Greenfly” and “Village Idiot” were permanently banned from Kiwiblog – and it takes a lot to break the freedom of speech standards there.

              Still, I always look upon the likes of Guyton as highly useful to the Right-wing, in that his extremism and nastiness – all under the facade of being some nice, decent human being just playing with compost in the Deep South – can be shown to normal humans who vote, along with the simple question:
              this is a Green, if you vote for them, people like this will be telling you how to live your lives in every prescriptive detail?

              And I especially love Guyton’s pose of I don’t care what people think of me on blogs: water off a duck’s back. That’s perfect; makes him look even more of an uncaring sociopath.

          • In light of the damage caused so far, especially over the weekend, I hope she is reviewing her decision to publicise the leak. She could well be having to deal with stress herself.

            Reply
          • Patricia

             /  October 22, 2018

            Can’t agree with you more Gezza. Have been wondering myself why no fingers are being pointed at her.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              She had the fucking gall to tut-tut on tv3 one night last week how dirty NZ politics can be. I loathe the woman.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Mind you, this is the same tv news channel that pushed that disgusting patrick wotsisname’s edited/doctored video fake news item that made it appear men with robots had actually entered the Pike River mine drift, causing angst and accusations of cover up until the real footage AND facts were revealed.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              *Gower. The face sticks in my mind but the name escaped me.

          • Blazer

             /  October 22, 2018

            find someone to blame…anyone for God’s sake…it mustn’t be ..National.

            We had an inquiry because we knew the leak didn’t come from National…..oops…what a fucking…mess.

            The mighty National Party of NZ, the home of the wealthy,the entitled,the arrogant ….self combusting.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Mallard had a secret enquiry after lying that he’d called it off because he couldn’t be certain it wasn’t Parliamentary Services or his Office that did it.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              how come you know about this…’secret’?

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Because he announced only AFTER it was done that he’d got the report that it wasn’t any of that lot. I haven’t seen the terms of reference for it, what it involved, exactly and whether everyone checked had to sign privacy waivers and allow their cellphones to be checked though. Possibly he did give this information as well, but I don’t recall seeing it.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              so a legitimate internal matter is reclassified by your good self as a ‘secret’ to support your narrative.Ver ygood.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Have you seen any terms of reference and whether privacy waivers had to be signed for personal communications to be checked. It seems a bit furtive that National has to announce because Mallard has called off the investigation that they’ll have to do their own – and then Mallard quietly has an investigation into which they had no input? And the details of which I don’t know have been made public. Is Mallard still a member of any political party?

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              I only ask because he seems to have an even stronger obvious bias towards the government at Question Time than Carter and that’s quite an achievement.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              National did not have to announce anything.They chose to do what they did…Bridges even said his experience as a Crown prosecutor and an expert in body language led him to believe Mallard was untrustworthy.

              Bridges,time has proved, made a terrible call….turned out to be not just egg on his face ,but a gigantic omelette that covered the whole National governance platform.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Yes, all well and good if you’ve a Labour bias, but why did Mallard publicly announce an investigation, publicly cancel it, and then surreptitiously organise one? Why not be open and transparent about it? After all, he belongs to the Party which is committed to being more open and transparent than any other government.

              Also have you seen the details I mention but you don’t? I might have just missed this information somewhere.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              Information was supplied to Mallard and Bridges that the Police had identified the source.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              I’ll take that as a “No”.
              All good.
              Moving on.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Hey ! Who’s got it in for Trevor being an achiever ! 😡

      • I’ve just tweeted on this in response to the Stuff article tweet. There was no affair in that, it was about workplace harassment.

        Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 22, 2018

      It is unclear if Nat’s involved. Or is it somehow clear to you, one way or another? Do tell how you are so certain.

      Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  October 22, 2018

    Well usually the Herald can be relied on to present National in a good light.
    Historically they have relentlessly attacked Labour .
    The smearing of Cunnliffe a fine example, where patently false stories were spread to undermine him.

    In this instance I look at National as a very sick patient whose condition is worsening dramatically.
    The cause …a malignant tumour that must be dealt with.
    Of course the ‘Kashoggi solution’ cannot be employed in NZ(yet)so we have the present sequence of events ,clearly orchestrated by National and reacting to the threat of more revelations pertaining to the last 9 years.

    Whistleblowers are difficult to deal with.
    The complicity of the press including the Herald is vital to ‘damage control’.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      As ever, Blazer and Robert in the gutter looking for dirt to throw.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 22, 2018

        National have dform…Dirty politics,they plumbed new depths in dirt.

        Dedicated black ops .
        Ede 2 doors down from the P.M.

        Reply
        • That’s over four years ago. It has little if any relevance to this. It looks like a dirty diversion.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 22, 2018

            4 whole years! They’re completely cleared then! Especially in light of their complete admission of guilt for their behaviour and the apologies that flowed from the party following the exposure of their behaviour in Nicky Hager’s book… hang on !!

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  October 22, 2018

            It most certainly has relevance to this.
            Peter Goodfellow has been Nationals party President since 2009 …9 years !

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 22, 2018

          Really? Exactly what did Ede do that was so unprecedently dirty? Give info to a journalist or blogger? Good God, never happened in politics before!!!

          Reply
  7. “We want politics to be a place that good people want to come and serve, and where people who vote have confidence in the system that serves them. We all have a responsibility to change the nature of politics in New Zealand”

    “I talk about kindness a lot. I don’t just mean in the way we deliver our policies and our services. I mean the way we do business as well and the nature of our political environment. So, yes, I do think things need to be different.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12145296

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 22, 2018

      a feeble attempt at diversion.
      Labour have kept out of this as you well know.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 22, 2018

        When one sees Patrick Gower in the flesh, his teeth look as if he has glued fake fingernails on them.

        It was obvious when he interviewed my husband and a friend that he thought that they would be easy to trap into saying something that they didn’t mean to say…he was disappointed. I still regret not shoving the bugger off the chair he was standing on, ‘If I could turn back time…’

        Tova O’Brien is a very silly bitch who should be sacked. She couldn’t know that all this would happen, but she MUST have known that the info would be public soon anyway and that it was supposed to be confidential until then. Her stupidity is incredible.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 22, 2018

        Bugger, wrong place.

        The kindness talk is silly pueril and disingenuous; who has a policy that includes UNkindness as an integral part? Who seeks out bad people to stand for Parliament?

        It’s a perfect example of the idea that if you want to see if a policy makes sense, reverse it.

        Reply
  8. robertguyton

     /  October 22, 2018

    test

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 22, 2018

      Well done. Gave you an A for that one.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 22, 2018

        An “A” for a test!
        My best result ever !

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 22, 2018

          Probably tru dat. Although your helping out your mentally troubled & misunderstood friend was a test of character and I gave you an A for that too. I hope he’s doing well & keeping out of trouble.

          How did that native tree sale go, by the way? Well, I hope. Always please to see anyone propagating indigenous trees, plants and animals.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 22, 2018

            It was really something, Gezza – dozens and dozens of people came and everyone wanted to talk with the grower; he was a little overwhelmed by the unexpected throng and the conversations but he wasn’t alone. By the end of the day he was more than enthused by the potential the future holds for him doing meaningful work growing trees and he’d made a lot of friends as well as taken orders for next year.

            Reply
  9. robertguyton

     /  October 22, 2018

    “The damage suffered by Simon Bridges when the recording was heard came, not because of the evidence provided of corrupt practice – on that issue it disappointed – but from what it told us about the kind of politics practised by the National leader.

    It came not just from the language he used – not just the diction on this occasion but the vocabulary as well – but more importantly from the sentiments and attitudes he expressed.
    The revelation that was most serious was surely the unmistakable willingness to offer for sale seats in parliament to those willing to pay enough.”

    http://www.bryangould.com/the-story-that-keeps-on-giving/

    Reply
    • This is getting off-topic here, but “the unmistakable willingness to offer for sale seats in parliament to those willing to pay enough” is a long bow to draw from the conversation, and National has strongly denied that is how things work.

      Actually this is a serious accusation with little to base it on. Blind partisanship? Or dirty politics?

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 22, 2018

        Dirty politics from Brian Gould, Pete?
        Are you serious? Have you expressed your view to him?

        Reply
        • His post is very sloppy and inaccurate at best. And he is trying to smear National with incorrect accusations. That’s dirty in my book.

          It’s similar to the approach you often take here, so perhaps you see it as ok as long as peopleand parties you don’t like are targeted.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 22, 2018

            I wonder if he regards your own posts in the same way – we should ask him!

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 22, 2018

          A Labour lefty involved in the longest period of political failure in UK history until ousted by Tony Blair. What on earth would he know about dirty politics?

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      Brian Gould, mouthpiece for the loony Left, manages to interpret a desire for adequate Chinese voter representation as a sale of MP seats. Sure, Robert. Anything you say.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 22, 2018

        Brian says: “What is apparently accepted on all sides in the saga is that a major donation was made to the National party by Jhang Yukin who had earlier been the recipient of a significant honour recommended by a National government and was keen to have an associate elected to parliament.”

        Reply
        • That’s actually false. There were eight separate donations, and I don’t think Jhang Ykin contributed anything – according to the facts and statements of those involved.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  October 22, 2018

            According to the statements of some involved. Facts, Pete? The police will furnish us with those, it is to be hoped. How is it that you have accepted those statements as facts at this early stage??

            Reply
            • I haven’t. You’re the one asserting things as apparent facts, prematurely.

            • robertguyton

               /  October 22, 2018

              “There were eight separate donations”
              Are you presenting that as fact, Pete?

            • That’s the most credible information so far.

              The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us.

              http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1810/S00282/statement-from-peter-goodfellow-on-donations.htm

              The texts at that link support the multi-donation claims – by Ross himself “all under $15k”.

              What facts do you have?

              The only alternative that I’m aware of are Ross’ vague and contradictory and unsubstantiated claims.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              7 donations @14k and 1 @2k=100,000….whats wro ng with that?

              It is not orchestrated or a construct…we would never ..do that.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              “The Labour Party is hiding tens of thousands of dollars in donations behind over-inflated art auctions – and naming the artists as donors instead of the secret individuals handing over the big bucks.

              The artists had no idea the party was naming them as the donors – they never saw a cent of the money. They say their works are auctioned off at well above market value to wealthy benefactors who want to keep their support for the party secret.

              Labour says the practice complies with electoral rules. But one party operative described the practice as “whitewashing” – a way to keep big donations private at a time when corporate contributions to political parties were falling because of public scrutiny.”
              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95891686/artworks-used-to-funnel-secret-donors-contributions-to-the-labour-party

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              All done in the best possible … taste !

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              the inevitable…’Labour did it …too’!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 22, 2018

              BrYan Gould was involved with the PhD awarded to the turd who ‘proved’ that there were not mass killings at Auschwitz because of the number of crematoriums (I can’t remember the details, but it was an absurd rewriting of history)

              He saw it as an academic issue – could the person put their case convincingly – as I remember it, rather than a gross insult to the people who died there and those who survived but lost their families there.

  10. artcroft

     /  October 22, 2018

    The interesting thing here is that despite National’s Chief Whip, the guy who knew where the bodies are buried, going rouge, no one in National has been forced to resign or is under pressure to resign. No criminal charges have been laid, no police investigation has been called for. Evidence produced against the party has actually exonerated it. We live in a pretty decent democracy.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 22, 2018

      There is …a police investigation under way, into the claim made by Ross regarding the $100 000 donation…

      Reply
      • And until the results of that investigation are made we won’t know the details.

        Remember that it is the result of a complaint made by Ross. He made a number of clearly false and inaccurate claims on other things.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  October 22, 2018

          “And until the results of that investigation are made we won’t know the details.”
          Indeed. So how is it you say,
          “That’s actually false. There were eight separate donations, and I don’t think Jhang Ykin contributed anything”?????
          Pete George said: “And until the results of that investigation are made we won’t know the details.”

          Reply
      • artcroft

         /  October 22, 2018

        Don’t get your hope’s up Robert. It’s an investigation based on a mental health patient’s assertion he cheated the electoral donations system at SB and Nat Pres’s instructions and then supplied texts proving otherwise. He’s in hospital for a reason.

        Reply
        • phantom snowflake

           /  October 22, 2018

          That’s a disgusting smearing of the character of people with mental health issues. Have a another think about that comment perhaps.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  October 22, 2018

            No it isn’t. It’s a realistic assessment of a particular mental health patient’s credibility. And now possibly yours.

            Reply
            • phantom snowflake

               /  October 22, 2018

              I’m not sure whether you can’t see that the comment is slyly implying that “mental health patients” are of poor character, or whether you just agree with this stance.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 22, 2018

              Tripe. It doesn’t imply any other mental health patient committed electoral fraud. It does imply they may lose touch with reality which is indisputably true and which seems also to be a symptom you are suffering from.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  October 22, 2018

              Moi? Out of touch with reality?? Utterly!! Sometimes I think it gives me an unfair advantage…

        • Blazer

           /  October 22, 2018

          Sabine @TS…interesting…

          Martha Elizabeth Beall Mitchell (September 2, 1918 – May 31, 1976) was the wife of John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General under President Richard Nixon. She became a controversial figure with her outspoken comments about the government at the time of the Watergate scandal.

          In the days immediately after the Watergate break-in in 1972, her husband enlisted former FBI agent Steve King to prevent her from learning about the break-in or contacting reporters. Despite these efforts, Martha learned that one of her friends, her daughter’s bodyguard and driver James W. McCord Jr., was among those arrested. She began to explore the events in order to help him. While on a phone call with Helen Thomas about the Watergate break-in, King pulled the phone cord from the wall. She was held against her will in a California hotel room and forcefully sedated by a psychiatrist after a physical struggle with five men that left her needing stitches.[2][3] Nixon aides, in an effort to discredit Mitchell, told the press that she had a “drinking problem”.[4] Mitchell began contacting reporters when her husband’s role in the scandal became known, initially in an effort to defend him.[5] Nixon was later to tell interviewer David Frost in 1977 that Martha was a distraction to John Mitchell, such that no one was minding the store, and “If it hadn’t been for Martha Mitchell, there’d have been no Watergate.” Because of these allegations, she was discredited and abandoned by most of her family, except for her son Jay. The Mitchells separated in 1973.’

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 22, 2018

      I never detected any embarrassement on JLR’s face.

      Reply
  11. robertguyton

     /  October 22, 2018

    “There was also a separate question as to whether other significant gifts were concealed by not identifying who the donors actually were. It now seems likely that names were invented to conceal the identity of the true donors who have been revealed as the millionaire businessman Aaron Bhatnagar in one case and, in another, as a group with links to the Exclusive Brethren, a religious group with, as they say, “form” in such matters.”
    BG

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      It’s hell when people want to give you money, Robert. Ask Hilary.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 22, 2018

        Works the other way when people lie and take money they weren’t entitled to as well. That can end up being hell too.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 22, 2018

        ‘well they want 2 more list M.P’s’-It’s hell when people want to give you money!

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  October 22, 2018

          The recording clearly asserts the donations were “no strings attached”. The conversation then moved toward the ethnic make up of the list.
          Some on the left have been conflating the two…

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  October 22, 2018

            I don’t accept that.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 22, 2018

              Facts have never been something you readily accept Blazer.

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              your conclusions DO NOT constitute facts.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 22, 2018

              JLR: Yeah they’re good people. Now there’s no catch or anything to it. You may recall at the dinner they did discuss candidacy, and another Chinese candidate.

              SB: Two MPs, yeah.

              JLR: Colin Zheng, the younger one, he’s put his name in for candidates college and so I assume he’ll get through candidates college and we’ll just make some decisions as a party further down the track as to what we want to do with candidates.

              So they discussed candidacy at the dinner, but the donation has no catches…

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 22, 2018

            • Blazer

               /  October 22, 2018

              I keep forgetting people(like Haggard)keep giving National 100k ‘donations’….merely because they…’like’ them!Bol.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 22, 2018

              Or possibly because they don’t like Labour, B. With you cheerleading I can understand that.

  12. duperez

     /  October 22, 2018

    So after reading all this my main conclusion is that reporters like Tova O’Brien shouldn’t report things because way down the track things might happen that aren’t very good.

    Reply
    • I think more accurately, reporters should be very careful about being used for political hit jobs. Further doown the track the repercussions of their assistance could be much greater than they anticipated.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 22, 2018

        Wonder what Audrey Young,John Roughan,and Armstrong would have to say about that!

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 22, 2018

      Well, to be honest I think that’s an overly simple way of looking at it. PG puts the relevant consideration in a more appropriate context. Intent in publishing is what counts. Has she said why she published it early as from a leaker when it was going to be published anyway? How this contributed to the public good? Or what exactly was her objective? Has anybody asked her? I haven’t seen anything on that. Has Duncan asked her on the AM Show? I don’t usually watch that.

      Reply
      • duperez

         /  October 22, 2018

        It seems that consideration of motives for publishing starts and ends for some with the sinister.

        Maybe in the media age we’re in it’s all as simple as, “Hey, I’ve got a story, no-one else has it, and I’m going to use it while it has currency.”

        How did it contribute to the public good? What exactly was her objective? Did anybody ask her?

        An old media observer like me asked the same questions of media people in the infamous Aaron Smith episode. I saw that as a seminal (pun) moment in our modern media evolution and the societal changes which see us as we are.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 22, 2018

          Yes but that was different – that’s a Rugby sex scandal. Those are obligatory.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 22, 2018

            Look, don’t worry dupers – I think my specific point is whooshing over your head and accidentally triggering a whatabout. As I freely confess to sometimes needing some assistance from you to figure out what your exact point is, and where it is, let’s just call this one evens? 😳

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  October 22, 2018

              Okay, it’s evens if you agree she published it because that’s what reporters do, they get stuff and publish it. And agree with the logical extension of PG’s point that reporters should be very careful about ‘being used’ for ANY jobs.

              Reporters (and their bosses) ‘being used,’ that advantaging their commercial imperatives, and how that impacts on their thinking might be another debate.

            • Gezza

               /  October 22, 2018

              Yes – as Kitty often reminds us – muckraking in print has been going on since proclamations, notices, pamphlets and newspapers were invented.

              Then things improved somewhat. For a while there used to be broadly accepted understandings that some things were off-limits in the political sphere – and I think more editorial oversight from wiser older heads that would say I don’t think we should run this story. I don’t actually think it’s newsworthy – the info will be publicly out soon.

              There might be a tabloid or two whose role was to muckrake but professional journos and editors would leave the sordid stuff to them.

              But then, as PZ says somewhere else today, things changed. Suddenly celebrity culture was everywhere and they were brazen and venal and rich & notoriety was great for profiles and scandal and scandal-mongering became the fare that people lapped up at the same time as they would say how dreadful. And along came the internet and online news and countless options for tramps trash trolls tragics tinkers tailors tits titillators tossers tittle-tattles tanks torturers tomboys tomcats and troubadours to get coverage and attention.

              Sex, scandal, conflict, uglyness, gore, violence, fake news, overhyped minor events, manufactured crises, betrayals, lying, scoundrels, vacuous bimbos and airheaded hunks, trivia, entertainment, celebrities – suddenly this was what people wanted. I don’t know if the market demanded it or the market supplied it but it’s what’s wanted now by people who want excitement with no exertion.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  October 22, 2018

              I have two bios of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire. She was very much involved in politics, and a cartoon of the time has her riding backwards on a fox (Fox was the name of the candidate she supported) with its tail erect and her smiling and holding onto it. To make sure that everyone got the point, they are heading towards Cuckolds’ Hall, whose sign has horns on it.

              There is a newspaper article about the women who were campaigning in that election which is quite scurrilous and couldn’t be printed now. There was equal opportunity scurrilousness, of course, men were written about and had cartoons than no paper would dare to print now.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 22, 2018

        New to the job and trying to get early runs on the board would be my pick.
        If there is any other plausible explanation for such a lame hit job attempt I have yet to hear it.
        The fact it was presented in such a sensationalist fashion, with no context around the spending – so much so that Jacinda had to come out and confirm there was absolutely nothing in it – says a lot too.

        Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  October 22, 2018

        Intent? Did someone say “intent”?

        I’m firmly convinced, based on comments on another thread some days ago, that it’s actually all about consequences.

        In this case – the business of news – the consequence is sales …

        Things like impartiality and ethics are no longer the responsibility of the Fourth Estate, the producer of ‘news product’ …. they are the responsibility of the individual consumer of news services … which is precisely as it should be in a capitalist economic system …

        Buyer beware!

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      Or she should check out the mental health of a
      leaker of a bizarre unimportant leak that is newsworthy only because of the source.

      Reply
  13. Gezza

     /  October 22, 2018

    There’s another thing that’s had me wondering since yesterday. How come Jami-Lee, 3 weeks ago:
    – gets told there are four women who came forward and complained of harrassment or inappropriate behaviour (Jami-Lee says one, Paula says the other)
    – there may be up to 15 if he wants to confront them, Simon warns him
    – JLR gets told therefore he has to resign his portfolios and go personal on leave (whether this was before or after he had a meltdown I’m confused about)

    & Paula and Simon had only just learned of this – which is why they confronted him immediately. But no one else knew any of this at the time.

    But Mel Reid totally blows his denials out of the water, publishing, and saying on the AM Show that she’s been investigating him for a year, the day after he denies any harassment in his bombshell press stand-up in Parliament.

    And the number of women whose stories are told is exactly the same – four – as Paula and Simon told him about 3 weeks earlier?

    Did Mel tell them? If so, why suddenly tell them 3 weeks ago? During all these leak ructions – when he hadn’t been fingered for it so there seems no reason for all this to happen coincidentally at the same time.

    Has this been canvassed anywhere in the msm and I missed it?

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 22, 2018

      It may be that the Nat’s caught wind of the story Mel Reid was doing. Apparently the story included 4 women but there were 5 more who had not been prepared to speak out at that time.
      It is difficult to get a gauge on what JLR was actually confronted with. Bridges words to JLR in the tape were:

      “I think what would happen, in all honesty Jami-Lee, if I gave you natural justice on these issues, there wouldn’t be four or five, it would be 15.”

      How they came to his attention is hard to fathom, given they seem to have happened at different times. Unless one came forward and others heard and came forward too because of that?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 22, 2018

        Yes, well, we won’t ever hear the full recording of that convo I suspect because on “the evidence” released so far to back up his allegations it ends up making him look bad and other guys look reasonable.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 22, 2018

        Unless one came forward and others heard and came forward too because of that?
        Possible, I suppose, but all of sudden? When all of Mel’s cases didn’t know each other? This is all just a bit of a mystery. Who knows? Maybe Mel’s a National member. It’s all a bit odd and the info that would clarify it is being kept under wraps by all.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 22, 2018

      Yes, I noted that too. I presume Reid had been in touch but we don’t know when.

      Reply

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