National are up to their old tricks again – bullying the media to try and shut down critical comment. This time the culprit is Bill English, lashing out* at those who are covering the story of his ongoing hypocrisy and greed:
Radio New Zealand’s political editor reports that Mr English rang journalists from TVNZ and TV3 on Wednesday night and abused them about their coverage of the issue.
Someone should remind Bill that the coverup is always more damaging than the crime. Duncan Garner is speaks even more plainly on the issue:
He needs to drop the bitter and nasty attacks on the media. His language in private is unbecoming and unprofessional. He’s on $276,000 and he has a job to do. Get on with it Bill, but do the right thing, and stop trying to muscle up behind the scenes – it’s getting you nowhere.
This is a part of a deeply disturbing pattern of behaviour by National. They will try to manipulate and bully the media to shut down criticism. The most outrageous recent case was Key’s attempt to shut down the “we would love to see wages drop” story by putting pressure on a journalist and his employers (to the extent of trying to get him sacked?). This led to the unprecedented response of Herald journalists writing a letter of protest over Key’s political interference. National also tried to shut down a KiwiSaver story, and let’s not forget the attempt to shut up the DHBs, or the repeated (also failed) attempts to silence the 50,000 Kiwis represented by the EPMU.
These tactics are unacceptable in a democracy. And the list is getting longer. The best way to stop it is if all journalists bullied in this way speak out loudly and publicly…
[* This link is no longer working, but the content is reported in audio available here]