John Key on media freedom

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, January 9th, 2015 - 37 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, john key, Media, national - Tags:

Yesterday John Key was reported as saying in response to the attack on Charlie Hebdo:

“Our thoughts are with the families of those who have lost loved ones, those injured in this brutal attack, and the people of France … [t]he targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned.”

But is this the same guy who:

Of course the two things (mass murder v undue pressure and coercion) are not the same thing but I agree John that journalists should not be targetted with violence or with the coercive force of the state when they are doing their job and any person doing this, be they terrorist or politician, should be condemned.

37 comments on “John Key on media freedom”

  1. Bearded Git 1

    Yep I nearly choked on my flat white when I heard Key spouting about “an attack on the fourth estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression”.

    He should know.

  2. saveNZ 2

    So true.

  3. Ross 3

    Frankly, I found the comments from both Key and Little to be utterly banal. Written by algorithm. Give me ten minutes and I’ll have a spreadsheet that could generate more and better comments than this dribble.

    • RJL 3.1

      Partly because there isn’t actually that much to say. To be honest, Key and Little (and others) say far too much about such events.

      “It is tragic that some French people were killed by homicidal lunatics.”

      There isn’t much to say after that.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1


      • Ross 3.1.2

        There is a whole universe of comment that could be added (or retracted) to that. Like anything that stops this bs War on Terror mindset from perpetuating. Little called it a “shocking attack on freedom”. He mentions “The attack on…”, “an assault on democracy and freedom of expression”. “We must stand with the French people…” These are Churchillian utterings, the rhetoric of warmongers landing on beaches and taking trenches. RJL, you are right about this being a crime by lunatics, so let’s use language appropriate for such an event. These were horrific murders, not attacks on freedom or liberty or Christianity or any nation state. Every time there is a mass murder (like, almost weekly in America) we don’t pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder with the affected country. This was the action of deranged individuals, known to the authorities as dangerously deranged individuals (it seems), yet still free to carry out their lunatic acts. Notice the similarity to the Sydney siege? Knee jerk reference to Islam (yeah, yeah, he yelled, Allahu akbar, yaddah yaddah). Now everyone’s running about looking for a towel-head to firebomb. That’ll make us all feel better. And thanks Andrew, for pointing us in the right direction.

        And, what’s the elephant in this room? The massive, huge, stinking grey monster over there, next to the smoking gun casings? I haven’t seen any comment yet on the utter failure of our security apparatus to stop either of these criminal acts. Despite their chilling authority to snoop and pry and evesdrop on anyone in any way at any time. They have unfettered access to all of our communication now and they have failed completely. I give it a couple of nanoseconds and they’ll be asking for even more access to our civil liberties so that they can fail even more spectacularly next time. Maybe then we will be galvanised into demanding an end to this madness and asking, politely, for our freedom back.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            In these circumstances, new laws are often proposed to distract and cover-ass from the fact that officials did not do their job, by using the pretense that existing laws were somehow insufficient – not that official decision making and enforcement were slack.

            • Murray Rawshark

              Very true. In my younger days, I was involved with a group who rode motorcycles. One weekend we had a big party and mates from all over Aotearoa turned up. There were complaints about the noise and the poaka did nothing except complain that they had no power to do anything. This was despite the fact that they had violently entered earlier parties and smashed stereos and sometimes bikes. There was a huge campaign and shortly thereafter the Noise Control Act was brought in.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Agreed. The squirrels have failed again. No more nuts for them. There have been comments about their failure here. What is absolutely amazing is that there were already police guards outside because someone knew there was a risk of attack. They’ve been reported as being unarmed, which is amazing if they were supposed to stop a determined attack. To defend liberty, French civil rights will pay for this!

    • tracey 3.2

      I doubt either wrote their statements, key in particular

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.2.1

        Agree. Little’s statement has nothing of his own soul in it. Which in a situation like this would have been nice.

  4. Mooloo magic 4

    The PMs hypocrisy is staggering but then he knows that those who like and admire him the irony if his statement will escape them.

  5. Al66 5

    It would be hilariious if it was not so damned hypocritical.

  6. Wayne 6

    I would have thought describing Mr Greenwald as “Dotcom’s little henchman” was perfectly apt in the circumstances.

    And I know for a fact the Jon Stephenson got a lot of things wrong in his various articles on Afghanistan. But to be fair he also got some things right – which the NZ Army was somewhat slow to recognize – specifically the fact that had visited the Afghan Police Crisis Response Unit and spoken to the senior officer. And it was this that was the subject of the defamation proceedings.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Would you have thought that, Dr. Mapp? Under what circumstances would you have thought it?

      Or is your clunky phrasing an indication that in fact you’d rather stay at arms length from Dirty John’s smears?

    • lprent 6.2

      And I know for a fact the Jon Stephenson got a lot of things wrong in his various articles on Afghanistan.

      Probably. Reporters are always subject to the information that other people give them, including being able to check it. Then they will interpret that with opinion for articles. A Minister of Defence or a person at HQ may see it differently based on the facts and opinions that they have at hand. It is invariably different to that held by the troops in zone and between different ranks there as well. You only have to look at the history of combat zones like Vietnam to see that.

      If you are close to something at a particular angle, the view is usually quite different. For instance what various journalists and ex-journos say about this site is a complete travesty.

      And it was this that was the subject of the defamation proceedings.

      That is still subject to defamation proceedings when I last heard about it. I gather it is going through appeals.

      Which really isn’t surprising considering how much it must have cost Jon Stephenson in legal fees before the NZDF finally realised that they had rather screwed it up and admitted it in court (after refuting it through the previous year or so).

      But it is the classic problem. I have no idea how much Jon Stephenson has used in legal fees, but at a rough guess the NZDF has spent at least several orders of magnitude more of taxpayers money (ie my money) defending their original untenable assertions that he’d simply made interviews and observed events up. Which is what they are continuing to waste money doing. Personally I think that those who made those ridiculous assertions should be paying for the exorbitant legal team defending them.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Common error in our media these days – ‘refute’ means prove wrong. The word you’re looking for is ‘deny’. Which both NZDF and the PM did aggressively enough to support a defamation action being taken at least. Grounds not quite so narrow as the former Minister would have us believe.

  7. Wayne 7

    The circumstances of appearing in KDC’s so called moment of truth. Greenwald would have known he was effectively part of the KDC election campaign designed to defeat John Key. Not a typical action of a journalist.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      The moment of truth when we found out that Key had lied, so that he was then forced to change his story not once, but three (or was it four?) times.

      Do you mean that his remarks were perfectly apt for a lying bully?

    • Ross 7.2

      Agreed Wayne. I thought the whole thing was bizarre. I felt baffled by both Greenwald’s and Snowden’s participation. It got me to wondering if money had changed hands or that KDC may have been less than frank in his explanation of what the event was actually about. Either way, it’s not a good look: it makes them either greedy or stupid. The whole thing is muddied by the crossover with KDC’s troubles being caused by the very things that Greenwald and Snowden are so passionate about. So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt until they turn up in someone elses election. Whatever, it left everyone involved open to attack, and the attack worked. After all, he acted exactly like a little henchman would. We know for certain now, keep KDC away from china shops, especially just before an election.

      • Anne 7.2.1

        Greenwald and Snowden were asked to participate because they had relevant information about New Zealand’s participation in the 5 Eyes agreement – information we as New Zealanders are entitled to know. What we choose to do with that information or whether we choose to take it into consideration when making political decisions is entirely up to us. There was nothing bizarre about their presence. Your inference they were paid and are greedy and stupid is just another twist in the on-going “dirty political” meme run by John Key and his office – a meme apparently welcomed and applauded by Key’s former little henchman… Wayne Mapp.

      • Sacha 7.2.2

        “It got me to wondering if money had changed hands”

        Greenwald explictly said no to that when asked by NZ journalists. From his and Snowden’s perspective, Dotcom is aligned with the same purpose because of the nature of both his prosecution and his new platform’s focus on privacy. They may have felt a tad used after the event – has anyone asked them?

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.3

      Greenwald would have known he was effectively part of the KDC election campaign designed to defeat John Key. Not a typical action of a journalist.

      You mean publishing inconvenient facts with a timing which does not suit the National Government is not what you would consider the typical actions of Kiwi journalists?

      Yeah, pretty much. That’s why we need people like Greenwald.

      But, best not to look a gift horse in the mouth Wayne, as National was actually very well served at the polling booth by KDC’s ‘moment of truth.’

  8. Ffloyd 8

    So, one of the things that has baffled me in recent past was the programme by John C showing the discrepancies in keys version of the appointment of Fletcher. I thought this was a very relevant expose and said to my husband, wow, this is going to cause a bit of fun in the news tomorrow. I was absolutely flabbergasted when it was not mentioned ANYWHERE!! Nothing, nada, zilch. I would have thought this was an explosive item to be followed up by msm. Why didn’t they?? It was an absolute blackout. Tried to upload it online but it won’t play through. Did he gag the press? Genuine question. Would love to know the answer.

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 9

    Whaleoil came out with a mocking column the next day then Fran O’Sullivan followed up framing the Nat storyline in the Herald with a rather bizarre column titled “Fran O’Sullivan: Campbell’s dot-connecting GCSB ‘revelations’ fail to pin details on John Key”

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    Also the kiwiblog version which fits in with the Slater one which tells everyone that they should laugh at Campbell’s loony left conspiracy theory. The fact that the lack of truthfulness of the PM is exposed by the programme is of course ignored. My view is that if the PM can’t tell the truth over the appointment of Fletcher, then why should we take his word on any other issue, such as whether he knew about the illegal surveillance of Dotcom?

  11. #FJK 11

    Key is such a schmuck!

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