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!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    11 hours ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    12 hours ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    12 hours ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    19 hours ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    2 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    2 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    4 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago