Matthew Hooton lies for a living. He was one of the architects of Don Brash’s deceptive, racist campaign in 2005, he has told lies about me personally in his SST column, and he lies endlessly on his new paid blog.
The latest lie is that a small rightwing blog called ‘No Minister‘ has been blocked on government department websites. Gestapo behaviour, Hooten calls it. Ridiculously, he claims (yes, seriously) that this is part of a secret Labour plan to abolish the free press (to put that in context, last year he was claiming there wouldn’t even be an election this year).
It was easy to prove that was all a lie – I rang up a couple of mates in the pubic sector, explained what No Minister is, gave them the URL and it loaded. No such ban. But Hooton knew that.
Think about it. The blogosphere is a small part of the political discourse; only a few tens of thousands of people max engage in it. No Minister is a pathetically small part of the blogosphere that has never said anything newsworthy. Why would any party overstep its power and risk a political backlash to stamp on an irrelevant blog? No party would. But it’s a lie that Hooten tells anyway in the hope some mainstream media will pick it up and hurt Labour.
How many blatant lies does the man have to tell before his employers hold him to basic journalistic standards? Can the Right really provide no better commentator than this guy?