Paul Ryan: Assange a ‘sycophant for Russia’

The Republicans will dominate all of the presidency, the Senate and Congress in the new term, but the way the year has started suggests it may not be unbridled power – the horses seem to be hitched and pulling in different directions.

There was an attempt to slash oversight of Congress, followed by a Trump frowning via Twitter a rapid u-turn – see The Swamp fights back.

Now Paul Ryan calls Julian Assange a ‘sycophant for Russia’.

Mr. Assange reiterated this week in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Russia was not the source behind the internal communications from Democratic officials that WikiLeaks released during the campaign.

In a series of Wednesday morning tweets, President-elect Donald Trump touted Mr. Assange’s recent testimony and questioned why Democratic officials were so “careless” with their communications.


House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he really has no opinion on Mr. Assange, “other than I think the guy is a sycophant for Russia.”


.@SpeakerRyan on Julian Assange: “He leaks. He steals data and compromises national security.”

All Press Corps eyes will probably be atwitter and atrump.


US retaliates against Russian hacking

After weeks of accusations that Russia was involved in political hacking and interfering in last month’s US election last month President Obama has now launched retaliatory actions.

Washington Post: Obama administration announces measures to punish Russia for 2016 election interference

The Obama administration announced sweeping new measures on Thursday in retaliation for what U.S. officials characterized as Russian interference in this fall’s presidential election, ordering the removal of 35 Russian government officials and sanctioning state agencies and individuals tied to the hacks.

The FBI and CIA have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House. Thursday’s announcement comes several weeks after President Obama promised to respond to Russian hacking with both public and covert actions,“at a time and place of our own choosing.”

The president said the new actions followed repeated warnings to the Russian government and were “a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests” contrary to international norms.

Obama said Americans should be “alarmed” by Russian actions, which he said included the interference in the election and harassment of U.S. diplomats overseas. “Such activities have consequences,” he said in a statement.

The new measures include sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, three companies that are believed to have provided support for government cyber operations, and four Russian cyber officials. The administration will also shut down Russian-owned facilities in Maryland and New York that Obama said where used for intelligence activities and would declare 35 Russian operatives “persona non grata,” meaning they would be required to leave the United States.

The State Department said it is taking action against these 35 individuals in response to Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and to the harassment of U.S. diplomats overseas over the last four years.

“The harassment has involved arbitrary police stops, physical assault, and the broadcast on State TV of personal details about our personnel that put them at risk,” according to a statement from State Department spokesperson Mark C. Toner.

The executive order released by the White House

The Russians dismiss these actions.

“Any anti-Russian sanctions are fruitless and counterproductive,” said Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry official in charge of democracy and human rights, according to Interfax. “Such one-sided steps have the goal of damaging relations and complicating their restoration in the future.”

I think that one sided steps such as hacking foreign political parties and leaking hacked information to political activists intent on influencing an election also risks damaging relations and complicating the restoration of good relations (if the US claims are true).

Trump encourages Russian political hacking

The big news in the US campaign is Donald Trump’s encouraging of Russian hackers to further interfere in the US election.

BuzzFeed: Trump Expressly Asks Russia To Hack Clinton’s Emails

Trump denied there was any evidence that Russia was behind the attack, but also said the hacking showed a lack of respect of the US.

“But if it is Russia, it’s really bad for a different reason, because it shows how little respect they have for our country when they would hack into a major party and get everything,” he said, before immediately asking Russia to hack Clinton’s emails.

Just after denying he had colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to leak Democratic National Committee emails, Donald Trump on Wednesday expressly asked Russia to find “missing” emails belonging to Hillary Clinton.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he told reporters in Doral, Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”

That has caused quite a stir.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has responded:


Can this campaign get any more bizarre and outlandish? Probably.

Slater proud of political hack

Cameron Slater suggests he is proud of being the victim of a political hack, but has moved from playing down to ignoring his own involvement in an attempted political hack.

And he seems to be promoting political hacking as just a part of elections here in New Zealand – but uses a news report on US presidential campaigning as an example.

Yesterday he posted It appears that hacking as part of elections is here to stay.

I would say I am proud to have been the first in New Zealand, but that would ignore the Hollow Men hack, and perhaps others that have been just as effective and less public.

He has often complained about much of a victim he was, but now seems to be proud of the hacker’s attention.

Politically motivated hacking seems to be alive and well in New Zealand.  And judging by the news story, it’s here to stay. 

The news story has got nothing to do with New Zealand.

Would it be unfair to say it’s most, if not all, done by or for the left? 

Considering that Slater admitted to police and court that he was guilty of trying to procure a hack (for political purposes) it is disingenuous denial to say that only the left do it.

Let’s face it, hacking is a great leveling tool.  It can bring National’s millions to its knees by just a few people with a computer and the Internet.


The good thing is that once they had all my emails, they bungled it.   The electorate may not have liked Dirty Politics, but they liked the way the left had packaged it and were trying to make a molehill into a mountain even less. Bless the voters and bless the left for thinking they would care about a beltway issue such as a blogger writing stories or handing leads to media.

He seems to be claiming hacking is a great levelling tool except that it didn’t bring National to it’s knees, it was ineffective. Who can tell what he means.

It is the same reason I can’t get any traction on getting justice for the hack – people don’t care.

Really? I thought it looked like the police failed to identify the hacker or find evidence of who the hacker was.

Stater has claimed to know who the hacker was and who financed the hack and who was involved in using the hacked information but still fails to substantiate any of his claims. Last week he tried to dump accusations on Ben Rachinger, saying he wasn’t claiming anything himself.

There have always been the infiltration of campaigns, spying and going through rubbish bins after political meetings.  But it is time to both realise and accept that hacking is now a standard part of campaigning.

It happened once. It backfired. Slater tried to do it. That backfired. Doesn’t that make it look stupid?

So why is Slater trying to normalise it as ‘a standard part of campaigning’? Does he think he will get away with it next time?

He also takes a swipe, again, at Hager and the media.

But now, Hager’s even managed to get the media to work with him.  Some, because they are idiots, and others I suspect due to the fact he’s got information on them.  All the media have done is cut off their links to right wing sources and are all-in on the left wing ones. 

All the media have done is cut off their links to Slater. Despite his belief in his importance he can hardly have been the sole right wing source.

Sources like Matthew Hooton, David Farrar and David Seymour still seem to have relationships with the media. And John Key and National Ministers and MPs seem to still be an occasional source for the media.

Kind of awesome, if it wasn’t for their incompetence.

Kind of ironic given Slater’s incompetence.

The only thing that tickles me pink about this is that the Media Party will inevitably end up being hacked as well.   If they haven’t already.

Is that wishful thinking? Or is it a veiled threat?

As well as threatening to reveal all about the Rawshark hacking and all those alleged to be involved Slater has threatened to reveal embarrassing information about media complicity with the hack and with himself. Like many of his promises of revelations he keeps failing to deliver.

Slater is all over the place here. On the Rawshark hack he flip flops between being proud (‘yay, me!’) to self pity (‘poor me!’).

What seems to be lacking is any remorse for getting busted – he now seems to be suggest hacking is an acceptable political tactic.

Slater versus NZ Herald and “inherent dishonesty”

When I posted Slater cleared of hacking claims yesterday I left out trivial side issues that the Herald chose to highlight, like a couple of spelling mistakes in the police report, in Dirty Politics: Police clear blogger over Labour hacking claims.

That seemed to be irrelevant to the story apart from being a dig at the police, and as was pointed out on Twitter, it’s almost inevitable that those complaining about spelling and grammar make mistakes in doing so.

. I mean, if you’re going to take a cheap crack at the Police’s spelling – don’t cock it up.

Embedded image permalink

The article now says:


But there was a more serious mistake according to Cameron Slater. in THE INHERENT DISHONESTY OF DAVID FISHER.

Yesterday David Fisher wrote an article in a newspaper about me.

At the bottom of the article he said this:

Slater – who did not wish to comment – has denied any wrongdoing.

There is a problem with that statement…I never said I did not wish to comment.

I saw that comment. I also noticed later that it had changed to:

Slater, who has denied any wrongdoing, said he would be seeking an apology from Andrew Little over the accusations.

Slater explains what happened:

At 4:19pm David Fisher emailed me for comment.


I responded to him:

Please provide me a copy of the Police advice to the Labour party, then I will consider a response.

Little did I know that David Fisher had already published the story a mere 9 minutes after he emailed me for comment.

He provides evidence of that:

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 5.01.18 pm

.The article still shows that time of publication, despite at least two edits since then.

Inherent dishonesty? Or hurried and sloppy plus lax editing protocols?

Slater talks to Fairfax, contradicts

It appears that Cameron Slater has talked to Fairfax regarding the Rachinger accusations – Cameron Slater denies hacking allegations.

Some of what he is reported to have said seems very odd – why would someone who has admitted to being financially stressed keep handing out generous loans? And some of it is contradictory, with Slater saying he knows nothing of any police investigation but has “given them everything” (the police).

Controversial blogger Cameron Slater is denying allegations that he offered to pay for a hack into left-wing blogThe Standard.

IT consultant Ben Rachinger told TV 3’s The Nation Slater offered him $5000 to get the website’s internal mailing list.

Rachinger said he declined the right-wing blogger’s offer.

Rachinger told The Nation the offer was made by text where Slater said he wanted “all MPs outed”.

“He asked me, ‘I want you to focus on this job of getting into The Standard, I’ve got $5000 available for it’,” he said.

However, Slater has denied these claims, saying “it’s total and utter bulls***”.

Slater said he was not surprised by the allegations but they were not true.

In the past Rachinger had asked Slater for money when he was in a tough spot, he said.

Slater said he did not recall the exact amount he gave to Rachinger.

“It would be $500 here and $500 there.

So Slater has admitted giving Rachinger money. This looks very odd, considering the financial pressure Slater has admitted to being under, and the amount of fund raising Whale Oil has been doing. It may be true but it would surprise me.

“I’m a generous person, I help people out when they’re in trouble but sometimes people bite the hand that helps them out.”

How many people does he drip feed $500 loans to while at the same time claiming he’s broke on Whale Oil?

However, the loans given to Rachinger had been taken out of context, he said.

The context is now even muddier now.

Rachinger said the pair discussed the plan but Slater would not name who was funding the hack.

He said he was only told the “funders aren’t the Nats”.

There appears to be evidence of ‘funders’ being involved in the communications. So this doesn’t add up; with the claims of loans. Who would fund Slater to dish out loans to people?

A police spokesman said police received a complaint regarding an alleged attempt to procure the hacking of a computer system and it was being investigated by Counties Manukau CIB.

“There are a number of complexities to the investigation, including the posting online of documentation which has already compromised the investigation, which is making our inquires more difficult.”

Police were taking a “cautious approach” and any decision on charges was “some way off”, he said.

Slater said he was not aware of any police investigation and he had not been contacted by police in relation to these allegations.

Ok. But…

“I’ve got nothing to hide from any police investigation.”

“I’ve been totally open with the police…I’ve given them my computer, I’ve given them my phone, I’ve given them everything voluntarily.”

This needs clarifying, it just doesn’t make sense. Slater is reported as saying “he was not aware of any police investigation” but has “been totally open with the police” and “I’ve given them everything voluntarily” – without being aware of any investigation?

That’s contradictory. This raises more questions than it answers.

Rachinger tweets Slater statement on his claims

Cameron Slater has released a statement on the claims made by Ben Rachinger, as announced by Rachinger on Twitter. Rachinger had first tweeted:

Thanks for giving me a chance to put the evidence and my side of the story in public arena. The story speaks for itself.

Thank you for your words Mr Slater. You were somewhat kind. Below is Mr Slaters last word on my allegations.


Slater has made this all about Rachinger. He has not addressed any of the claims, not any of the communications that have been revealed, nor any of the payments made to Rachinger. Slater has not denied any specifics about trying to solicit hacking of The Standard. He refuses to respond, while trying to dump all of the attention on Rachinger. More from Rachinger:

I will prepare my own statement and release this in due course. For now I’m taking some time out to be with my loved ones. Thanks.

Interesting to see his pinned tweet from  several days ago

Do you believe whistleblowers should be protected by law except if they’ve committed heinous crimes? RT if you do.

He seems to see himself as a whistleblower.

Nick Davis interview – on hacking and secrecy versus privacy

A very interesting interview of Nick Davies, investigative journalist and author of ‘Hack Attack’, on The Nation yesterday (it will be replayed this morning at 10:00 am).

Investigative journalist Nick Davies exposed the UK phone scandal, taking on the powerful media empire of Rupert Murdoch.

He talks to Lisa Owen about the world of crime, cover-up and the murky power play between Murdoch and the UK establishment. Davies is in NZ to talk about his new book Hack Attack at the Dunedin and Auckland Writers’ festivals.

Video: Interview: Nick Davies


Lisa Owen: Not many have taken on the powerful media empire of Rupert Murdoch, but Nick Davies is one of them. His book ‘Hack Attack’ details a world of crime, cover-up and phone hacking and, in fact, forced the News of the World to close down. This is a copy of the last edition that they ever put out.

So has anything changed, and given he’s also worked with Julian Assange on the WikiLeaks stories, are there situations where hacking can be justified? Well, Nick Davies is in New Zealand for the Dunedin Writers Festival this weekend and the Auckland Writers Festival next week. Thanks for joining us this morning, Nick. Appreciate your time.

Nick Davies: Hi.

Hi. Can we start at the end of this saga? You invested years in this phone-hacking investigation, and you saw the News of the World shut down, so in the end what was at the heart of this story?

Actually, it’s got two hearts. The first one is that you had a newspaper run by a very ruthless organisation which was itself so ruthless, the newspaper, that it was routinely breaking the rules and breaking the law, committing crimes.

But what made the story really interesting was that the police from a very early stage had detailed evidence about the crimes being committed by that newspaper, the News of the World, and they chose not to act on it, and that gives you the clue to what the story’s really about, which is that it’s about power.

And when you follow it through, you see our democratically elected government doing the same as the police, which is to say kowtowing to this very powerful media mogul and not doing the job they’re supposed to do. That’s what makes it significant – the abuse of power.

And that is an enormous story, but in terms of unpicking it, there were very few big splashes, were there? It was death by a thousand cuts for this paper and this organisation.

Okay, because what really dragged it all out was we probably did about a hundred stories over a two-year period, and for most of that time, the other newspapers in Britain refused to pick it up and run with it, in spite of its clear importance. And that was partly because those newspapers may have been owned by Rupert Murdoch and also because they were themselves committing the same crimes.

So it was like a secret story; only the Guardian readers knew about it. And then, you know, we did this story after about two years which showed that one of the victims of this voicemail hacking that the News of the World were doing was this poor 12-year-old schoolgirl called Milly Dowler, who’d been abducted and murdered.

And when we did that story, I think the idea of boozy old journalists listening to this poor girl’s parents and friends calling her voicemail and imploring her to get in touch, it was just too disgusting, and it broke through. And at that point, the newspapers who’d tried to so hard not to cover this story were compelled to join in, and then the whole thing finally took off.

Yeah, I think you talk about it as a white explosion or something along those lines when you printed that story. In your book, I had to chuckle to myself, you talked about investigative journalists being plagued with doubt, and you called it ‘stomach-burning anxiety’. So at what point in this process did you think to yourself, ‘I’m right, and I know I’m right’?

Actually, it was a little bit of a gift, because from the word go, I had an amazing source who got in touch with me and who knew the whole story.

What was scary and produced the stomach-burning anxiety in this case was that even though we knew what we were saying was true, we were up against some very aggressive dishonesty from the Murdoch company in the UK, News International, and also, alarmingly, from the police, who were being very high profile in misleading the public and Parliament, so we began to feel extremely isolated because the world was being told that we were wrong, that we screwed up and couldn’t do our job properly.

And that was the difficulty – was to drag out evidence to prove the truth of what we knew.

You talked about Rupert Murdoch and the power of the Murdoch empire. Politicians are lobbied all the time, though, aren’t they? People try to influence their decisions all the time, so how was and is Murdoch different?

It’s about fear. And primarily- It’s an interesting about Murdoch and fear, actually. Ordinary people aren’t the slightest bit frightened of Rupert Murdoch. A lot of them hold him in contempt because he’s just pathologically greedy. But the people who are scared of him are the people in the power elite.

So if you look at our House of Commons in London, you’ve got whatever it is, about 650 MPs, members of parliament. And they all know one or two people who have had their sex lives exposed and dragged out on to the front pages of Murdoch’s papers, and they’ve seen the humiliation and pain and the destruction that that produces.

And so they’re all frightened it might happen to them. It’s a little bit like the power of a playground bully, that the bully only has to beat up a couple of kids, and all the other children in the playground get the message – don’t get into a fight with that person.

That’s the core of Murdoch’s power, and there’s something you can see that’s terribly wrong with that, because it has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of arguments that his newspaper might be supporting. It distorts the entire process of democracy.

Incidentally, what influence do you think those Murdoch publications had on the British election result?

Well, it’s a fantastically complicated subject to work out the extent to which a newspaper’s coverage changes its readers’ vote and then the extent to which those changing votes actually changes the outcome. But what you can see was that those newspapers, particularly The Sun, behaved outrageously.

So- it’s legitimate for a newspaper to say, ‘Okay, we support this candidate,’ and to run leader comments in support. But what isn’t legitimate is to engage in the kind of blizzard of falsehood distortion and spite, which Murdoch’s daily, The Sun did.

And I think people will be asking very serious questions about why it is that that newspaper continues to behave so badly, because even if the experts say, ‘Well, you can’t prove that the newspaper is making a difference,’ it’s reasonable for us to point out that newspaper wouldn’t be making such an effort to behave so badly if they didn’t think it was going to make a difference.

And they may have had, really, quite significant impact on the outcome yesterday.

So, in terms of your hacking story, you’ve obviously exposed journalists who were using stolen material to write stories. But you also were part of orchestrating the early WikiLeaks stories, which used military documents which were taken by Private Bradley Manning. So where is the line, do you think, for journalists? Where is that line?

Okay. It’s actually a very blurred line, and it makes it very difficult to be sure about what’s right and what’s wrong, if we’re honest about it. It is difficult.

But roughly speaking, you head for this concept of public interest, that if you’re producing a story where you can genuinely say the people out there need to know about this, then the justification for doing something which would otherwise be regarded as wrong begins to appear on the horizon.

It’s tricky stuff. So even if you go back to the area where I’ve been very hostile about hacking into voicemail, I think the reality is there could be stories where that’s justified.

If you discover that a senior government minister is involved with an organised crime group but the only way you can finally nail it is to get inside his voicemail, I would say the police and the prosecutors and reasonable people would say, ‘Okay, you’re going to have to do this. We can’t have a criminal running the government.’

So it’s a blurred line. You’ve got to be really honest with yourself to try and check out whether what you’re doing is right. You know, when we were doing the WikiLeaks stuff with Julian Assange, there were huge rows between the journalist at The Guardian and Julian as to what exactly we should disclose from the material that he’d got. And we were trying to fillet it.

That’s partly for moral reasons. We didn’t want to publish stuff that would get people on the ground hurt or killed. But it was also – if we’re honest about it – for political reasons that we didn’t want to hand a stick to the White House so that they could beat us all over the head if we published something that got somebody hurt, right?

But Julian comes from a different background, that hacker background, and he had a much, kind of, purist view, which is that the public need to know everything. So there was a lot of conflict there, and it’s a very difficult argument to win for either side, because there isn’t a clear line. It’s about judgement. 

Isn’t that the point that you just made there; that it’s not always journalists that are involved? Sometimes it’s bloggers or hackers or other people who have that information.

Yeah. So for example, it must have been about six months ago, Sony Pictures had all their email archive hacked allegedly by North Korea. That material has just been taken by Julian and WikiLeaks and put online in a searchable form. It raised exactly the same issue.

There are points in that material where you can say this is really significant. You can see a corporation and the way that it operates politically, so it’s worth knowing about that. Equally, there are extremely private messages in there which a lot of us think shouldn’t have been published. Do you see? So it’s a question of discriminating and just being honest with yourself as you go along.

Well, I want to use a New Zealand example here. Last year, a book was published just before the election called Dirty Politics. Now, it exposes activities of a cabinet minister, political lobbyists and even a prime ministerial staffer, and their relationship with a right-wing blogger. And it also disclosed that someone had been digging around in the opposition party’s computer, gaining information from that. But the evidence for this book was based on documents that had been hacked from the blogger’s account. So the police are investigating it as a theft, but is it okay for the journalist who wrote the book using that material to use it knowing it’s stolen?

Okay. Position number one, journalists are not above the law. We are just civilians with press cards. Position number two kind of goes back to what we’ve already started saying, which is- again, look at the position of an ordinary civilian. There are times when people are allowed to break the law.

If you’re driving somebody who’s pregnant and about to give birth to hospital, you can go through the red traffic light and nobody’s going to bust you for it. Everybody understands there’s a powerful reason for doing it, and the same applies for journalists. So I’m familiar with the story you’re talking about, but I don’t know its detail.

But if what is being disclosed by these stolen emails is really significant and important for people who want to understand what’s going on in the power elite in New Zealand and what government is up to, then I think an awful lot of people would say it’s justified on that same measure; there are occasions when you can bust the red light.

That doesn’t mean that everybody has some kind of licence to start stealing information just because they’ve got a press card in their pocket.

On the same note, Nick, there was a series of stories about spying. Now, this was based on information from Ed Snowden. Now I know you’re not familiar with the specifics of that, but I’m interested in the fact that the prime minister deflected those stories, saying the leaks were partial, out of date, even fake, and he refused to comment on them for security reasons. Is it realistic for politicians to expect privacy and to keep secrets in this day and age, following WikiLeaks and the like?

There are two different issues in there. Official secrecy; governments always and everywhere extend the boundaries of secrecy far too wide, and insult us, the people in whose name they’re acting. The area of secrecy which is really legitimate is tiny compared to that which governments constantly claim, but you used a different word in there, which was privacy.

And it worries me that newspapers, in their desire to sell more copies, have invaded the privacy of public figures in a way that’s not justifiable. So I think, for example, it’s very hard to understand why any public figure’s sex life needs to be exposed.

I can’t see how it reflects on their ability to be a government minister or a captain of industry that they might be sleeping with somebody else’s wife. It’s nobody else’s business. So I just think they’re different concepts.

Official secrecy is one thing. Personal privacy, I think we need to defend it. We need to defend personal privacy, actually; partly against rapacious newspapers who think it’s very clever to ransack people’s lives to make money out of it, but also, of course, against government surveillance.

The privacy issue there is extremely significant. I worked on the Ed Snowden material in London, and it’s scary when you look at it. Just the absolute universality of what they’re trying to grab – everything. That is scary.

So that when you’re tootling around on your computer, it feels private, but the damn government can be in there if they want to. That isn’t right. So I think we really need to defend privacy but challenge official secrecy.

All right, thank you so much. Fascinating to talk to you and so much more we could talk about, but unfortunately we’re out of time. Thank you, Nick Davies, for joining us this morning.

Okay. Good luck.

Transcript from Scoop: provided by Able.

More on Rachinger accusations

Ben Rachinger let rip with a volley of Tweets earlier this week.  In particular he made an accusation about Cameron Slater:

I am known as someone who knows about network and computer security, in some circles. You get offered jobs. Would you like to hear about it?

I was offered $5,000 and bonuses to hack The Standard and pull out the authors list and keep a Backdoor in. I did not. Now you know.

It was hard to know whether Ben was being truthful and could back this up with evidence or if he was indulging in some mischief.

If true that would show a highly hypocritical of Slater who has complained long and hard about the illegal hacking of his data. And he has insisted he doesn’t do anything illegal.

I collated most of the tweets here – Rachinger previously – and here – Ben Rachinger versus Cameron Slater.

Since then Ben’s been quieter but made a few comments a couple of days ago:

If Slater had tweeted what I said and showed you all yesterday, it would have been everywhere. Think about the complicity of your media.

Not even a peep from the Opposition. I guess everyone wants to pretend politics is a fair ‘game’. Power isn’t a game and it def isn’t fair

Knowing the way things are twisted and spun, how else was I to get word out? You, who have listened and read, deserve better information.

And yesterday he was quoting.

And a couple more.

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein

“To see a wrong and not to expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.” Dr. John Raymond Baker

Perhaps coincidentally just after midnight this morning a post appeared at The Standard.

Interesting story coming up in The Herald

There will probably be a story soonish in The Herald that will be of particular interest to The Standard community.

We have had nothing to do with the coverage. We’ve just been watching events unfold on Twitter, and we’re happy to see it come out (thanks to a brave individual) via The Herald.

It could be unrelated. Or this could be what The Standard is referring to.

Slater has targeted NZ Herald in particular in his frequent and harsh criticisms of old media , and has specifically battled with NZH journalists. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see some interest returned by investigating this story.

If they have looked in to it then they would have talked to someone from The Standard, probably Lynn Prentice. So someone at The Standard would be aware a story could be pending.

There doesn’t appear to be anything on the Herald yet this morning. It could be a Weekend Herald story.

Tiso versus senior political journalists

In Tending Fascist Giovanni Tiso blasted Patrick Gower and Jane Clifton for not investigating “the scandal of their careers” (yeah, right) – dirty politics.

As senior political journalists who failed to uncover the scandal of their careers, Gower and Clifton may have a vested professional interest in arguing that it wasn’t in fact a real scandal, or that it wasn’t worth uncovering if one couldn’t also uncover what the Left has undoubtedly been doing.

But theirs is also part of the continuing and increasingly brazen attempt to normalise dirty politics, which is also the overt significance of the hiring of Collins (and the reason why Phil Goff provides no balance – although to be fair Goff would struggle to drag leftward a panel with Tomás de Torquemada).

There is no role of the media establishment to re-examine, no collective conscience to interrogate: just old prerogatives to re-establish and a fragile status quo to defend.

Putting the harsh criticisms aside, I would be appalled if senior journalists like Gower and Clifton used illegal hacking as a means of investigating stories.

Tiso campaigns very strongly against legal and court approved surveillance.

But he blasts journalists for not doing the job a hacker and associates did.

So he’s against legal surveillance but supports illegal hacking.

This looks like a continuing and increasingly brazen attempt to normalise dirty politics, as long as it’s the ones he agrees with doing the dirty digging.