Here’s what Cullen said:
I think they would be appalled to learn that the Leader of the Opposition proposed that New Zealand wages should drop, then tried to explain himself by saying he meant that Australian wages should drop, then tried to say he did not mean it at all, then tried to say he did not say it, then got people to ring up the newspaper to try to get the reporter sacked.
That last line – accusing Key of trying to get Bay Report journalist Greg Robertson sacked – tallies with what I’ve heard around the traps from a few of my journalist contacts, and if true is a very serious matter indeed.
It may also explain some of Key’s cryptic remarks on Havoc last week, where he repeatedly attacked and denigrated Robertson, then added ‘there’s more to this than meets the eye’ and ‘we’re taking our own issues with it.’
This is all very interesting given how upset some people get when Helen Clark criticises the media. I’d say trying to get a journalist sacked for presenting you in a less than favorable light is a far more serious issue. I wonder if the Herald will be launching an investigation into this particular attack on free speech?