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Bullying the media

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, September 22nd, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption, Media, national - Tags: ,

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]

14 comments on “Bullying the media”

  1. So Bored 1

    So how do you bully media when they are already deeply in the pockets of Nact?

  2. Ron 2

    Well, that will be part of the problem, Bored.
    Part of the shock on both sides is when the buddy buddy relationship is betrayed.
    “But I wrote a LOVELY story about you and you kids last week! Why are you shouting at me now?”

    • So Bored 2.1

      Good point, minor tantrums between the fornicating flies on the politico / media dungheap. No real substance from either party, just a shared smell.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    And to think before the election he was seen as a rival for Key, who may knife him in the back when the going got tough. Now hes a condemned man waiting for the execution

    • Lew 3.1

      It was ever thus.

      Key isn’t encumbered by philosophical issues like loyalty or political indebtedness or the party standing — he’s ruthless and decisive and obdurately pragmatic. The moment Bill became more a liability than an asset to the party, he was going to get cut loose. That moment is very close. Especially now that DPF has started bagging him.

      Same goes for anyone else; Bill will serve as a corpse hung at the city gates, as a warning to others: don’t become a liability.

      L

    • Tim Ellis 3.2

      I don’t think that’s true ghost. There were certainly commenters at the standard who suggested Mr English was a rival to Mr Key, but no serious independent commenters made this claim. The numbers never stacked up. Mr Key had and has always had stratospheric polling ratings. Mr English has not.

      I think it’s stretching the truth just because some left wingers were claiming he was a rival before the election in the absence of any evidence, to then turn around and say “how the mighty have fallen”.

      Personally I agree with Lew’s analysis. Mr Key is a pragmatist. The test for keeping any minister is whether they are more of a liability than an asset. This test is not new to Mr Key. Ms Clark applied the same test to Mr Field and Mr Benson-Pope, to name just a few of the ministers she dumped. It explains why she gave Mr Mallard so much rope as despite his indiscretions he was seen as a major asset. He would have had to make a lot more serious mistakes to have been made to walk the plank.

      • Armchair Critic 3.2.1

        Yeah, not sure about that Tim. I wonder how much of a town vs. country divide there is in the National party. Maybe it is not too bad at present, but I think it is much more likely to get worse than better, at least in the next couple of years. Mostly Bill English and the ETS. Like your post yesterday on the Morgan poll, it will be interesting to see if a trend develops.

  4. NickS 4

    Heh, and here was me thinking Bill had a much thicker skin. Also the link to the radionz article is dead…

  5. Unless there is an audio tape of Bill English, then you cant put what English said in context?

    All you have is a word of a reporter.

    • snoozer 5.1

      The context is that English was pissed off about the coverage he had recieved.

      Come on Brett. Two senior reporters have said this has happened. Someone has told Trevor Mallard about it too… that’s a higher standard of proof than a hell of a lot of attacks on Labour I’ve heard the likes of you make.

      Do you really think that reporters would make something like this up? Even if the public never knew, all the politicians, the rest of the gallery, and their bosses would soon know they had lied about something very serious. It would ruin them.

    • Maynard J 5.2

      I am glad you put a question mark at the end of that first sentence to indicate that what you were saying is not a factual, let alone sensical, statement.

      Do you think an RNZ reporter made up these claims about TV3 and TVNZ being abused? If that is the case, explain Garner’s blog, and why no one has exposed the RNZ reporter as a liar.

      Brett, the rort and the attempted cover up here are pretty clear to everyone else. You, alone, doubting it does not cast doubt upon English’s actions, but they do paint you as a faithful little puppy, thinking master could never do anything wrong. That is kind of sad.

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