Media continue pressure on National but they are scrutinised as well

Media continue to pile pressure on the National Party over their handling of emails leaked by Michelle Boag.

Boag has already resigned from the party and withdrawn from being involved in Nikki Kaye’s electorate campaign, and MP Hamish Walker has pulled the plug on his political career after admitting forwarding private information about Covid cases to media.

But the weekend is full on trying to find something else to dump on National.

Kaye fronted up on Q+A – 1 News chose an uncomplimentary photo.

This is a common way media try to convey something about politicians.

Jack Tame also said that while Kaye looked genuine in denying knowing about the leaks from Boag ‘it still looked very suspicious she didn’t know’.  Why? Either they take her word for it, or find evidence she wasn’t being truthful. Politicians have enough problems when they don’t look genuine, but saying ‘she looked genuine but…’ is bordering on dirty politics.

In contrast, the Spinoff was more kind with it’s photo selection:

Political leaks are frequently used by media. In this case they are distancing themselves, but questions are also being asked about the media involvement.

Mediawatch (RNZ): Walkergate revives Dirty Politics vibes (audio):

A universally-condemned leak of Covid-19 patients’ personal data for political purposes prompted the media to ask if ‘Dirty Politics’ was back – or had ever gone away in the first place.  But just like Nicky Hager’s book in 2014, this episode also raised questions about the media’s handling of the leak itself.

Dirty politics worked and works because the media amplified political attacks, often from leaks.

Leave a comment


  1. David

     /  12th July 2020

    There is talk that Ardern is spending a week at home, some personal time and that is the reason why the media is focused elsewhere.
    Be kind…except of course when its National then keep sticking the boot in after the issue was well and truly dealt with.

    • whalerider3000

       /  12th July 2020

      Maybe she’s having a cup of tea and a lie down. Oh, that’s the other guy.

    • duperez

       /  12th July 2020

      There is talk that when when people want to start scuttlebutt and have only their imaginations and ill-intent to work on they say things that cannot be proven to be untrue. There is talk that in some circumstances they start with, “There is talk that ….”

      There is talk that Ardern has been lying low this week just getting with ordinary stuff because the media aren’t chasing her what with National people are wanting to hog the news. 🙂

  2. PartisanZ

     /  12th July 2020

    Oh … Absolution for National … !!!

    It was the media!… Not their (failed) use of the media … Not Schemedia?

    Not NewTrolltainment? … a combination of Newtertainment and Newtrol aka ‘News-Control’ with a side-dish of Trollogical Lectus?

    “By means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature … The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were … Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial. Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.

    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited, 1958

  3. Duker

     /  12th July 2020

    ” Either they take her word for it, or find evidence she wasn’t being truthful. Politicians have enough problems when they don’t look genuine, but saying ‘she looked genuine but…’ is bordering on dirty politics.”
    Not dirty politics at all.
    Thats was Key and De Joux and Ede all running a parallel disinformation campaign out of the beehive and hiding behind the curtain while their blogger friends as Whaleoil , Kiwiblog, Cactus Kate et al were the useful idiots to hide the beehive complicity.
    The TV reporter was saying what he thinks, and theres no evidence someone was pulling the strings for his words. THAT would be dirty politics
    Even Collins said recently for her book that Key ‘talked about’ Slater all the time, not that she wasnt above pulling Whaleoil strings either .
    Not just Q+A but multiple staff political columnists in both major papers have ‘dumped’ on National because the duplicity ran deep. Even Muller played a word game when asked if ‘any other Mps had recieved’ leaked information’, when by then he knew Woodhouse had more than one occasion had confidential personal information from Boag

    Muller could have gone in strong from the Monday when he knew , but did a ‘deal’ with Boag and Walker for ‘one off lapses of judgement’ press releases ( which you published before 6Pm) and Muller said there would be no more comment, as he hoped to kill any further questions.
    Next day ( wed) all carefully planned media strategy was thrown out the window, and suddenly Walker had to go – as he should have been told on Monday ( since when does a lowly MP try to play legal games with QC letter to hobble his leader…it should have been a total lack of confidence at that very point and the ‘low bastardry’ meant he would be deselected.
    For two weeks now Muller has back footed , first it was Foreign Affairs for Bridges who was told 6 weeks ago he couldnt have it and now this.
    I think the internal polling ( leaked from the caucus reveal) shows Muller has added only a few % to the party polling and his position has weakened , as he knew he had to keep all the votes he got during the spill or risk going the way of Bridges soon after election day.

    • Duker

       /  12th July 2020

      Echoing what I said ..from Patrick Smellie who isnt a partisan columnist like some are

      “The slow and cautious response to Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker’s admission last Monday that he had leaked patient data to media was a worrying sign, in that Muller should have realised he had a tiger by the tail unless he made it very clear that Walker had to walk.

      By Tuesday, he was starting to master that and on Wednesday, both Walker and Michelle Boag fell on their swords.

      Had there been no more to the story, the Tiwai Point closure would have blown the story out of the news agenda.

      But there was more. Boag resigned her party membership on Friday morning after admitting sending private patient data to National’s health spokesman Michael Woodhouse.

      More seriously, it emerged on Friday that not only had Muller known about this on Tuesday and not only did he not act, but that he had been trapped in a lie about it by a persistent journalist on Thursday.

      Remember all the anger thrown at the Press Gallery during the lockdown for asking the same question in many different ways? This is why we do it. Because sometimes it’s the only way to get at the truth.

      Repeatedly asked whether he knew that other National Party MPs had received leaked information from Boag, Muller tried various formulations to avoid saying “no”, but eventually said “no” when he should have said “yes”.
      Hes been caught in a falsehood , simple fact.

      “Muller is not, in my opinion, a dirty politician. Most are not, in fact, no matter what so many people think.
      “But he has allowed himself, through a lack of experience and candour, to become enmeshed in a dirty politics situation and which he missed repeated opportunities to avoid.”

      I would agree with that.

  4. NOEL

     /  12th July 2020

    Release of Government docs prior to embargo,release of numbers that weren’t tested and yes also the invisible man could be written off as “dirty politics”.
    After all most voters have long suspected low ethics by politicians.
    But this recent episode using private information would better fit into “disgusting politics”.

    • Duker

       /  12th July 2020

      Nope . Classic dirty politics when its the politicians who are the source of the ‘docs’ but hide behind others who use their blogs or media columns to reveal them.
      Walker of Woodhouse could have announced the information themselves, Woodhouse has done so on a few occasions even for the urban myth of the ‘homeless man in the hotel’.


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