Key attacks another journalist

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, May 5th, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: afghanistan, democracy under attack, john key, Media - Tags: , ,

The Nats are obviously worried about public reaction to the recent revelations on the role of the SAS in Afghanistan. And as is usually the case when they feel threatened by a story, the Nats are striking out, trying to discredit or intimidate the source. This time it’s John Key, going after the journalist:

PM attacks journalist over SAS torture claims

Prime Minister John Key has attacked the credibility of the journalist who has raised questions about New Zealand’s elite soldiers in Afghanistan and whether they were complicit in torture. …

The article outlined two instances last year where SAS forces allegedly captured suspects and handed them to Afghanistan authorities, including the Afghan secret police, the National Directorate of Security, which has a reputation for torturing prisoners. New Zealand has signed several international conventions outlawing the inhumane detention of prisoners, including torture.

Stephenson last night countered by challenging the Defence Force to face an independent inquiry. “I’m happy to put my information before an inquiry. Any fair or impartial inquiry will show that they are the ones misleading the public. Not me.” …

Stephenson also said the source of his story about the SAS intervention was credible. His translator could confirm the interview took place, he said. “I go to great lengths to ensure that my reporting is accurate, fair, and I regard [this] as an unjustifiable attack on my credibility.”

Key of course, is an old hand at this. Let’s not forget his 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.

This is part of a consistent pattern of behaviour for the Nats. We had Bill English, bullying journalists who were covering the story of his personal hypocrisy and greed. Nick Smith has tried the same tactics. And so on and so on. The Nats prefer their media coverage sycophantic, thank you very much.

24 comments on “Key attacks another journalist”

  1. ianmac 1

    There is a lot at stake for the credibility of Key and the Governor General designate. So he will squash this heavily and the MSM will touch their collective fore-lock. I did see the 60 Minute program and to me, it did seem to be well researched and credible . What happens next?

  2. Bunji 2

    Saw this. Thought Stephenson should sue Key for libel.

    If the prime minister saying he doesn’t find you “credible” doesn’t affect your chance to make a living as a freelancer, I don’t know what does.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      What does helen clark think of ian wishart? or for that matter anyone on the left?

      • TightyRighty 2.1.1

        ooooohhhh ooooohh ooooohhh, one more, what does clare curran think of the main stream media in general? is that an indication of labour feeling the heat of the slow road to oblivion?

      • Morrissey 2.1.2

        You really are a twit. Are you trying to compare Jon Stephenson, a serious, well-informed journalist who is esteemed by his peers, with Ian Wishart?

        • HitchensFan 2.1.2.1

          LOL – IAN WISHART?????????????????????

          are you for real? Does anyone but the most right-wing, religious nut job (e.g. Redbaiter) take that man seriously?

          What do you THINK Helen Clark thinks of him? She’s a smart woman, so work it out for yourself.

          • Carol 2.1.2.1.1

            Wishart who claimed (at length and prominently) that the Clark government was the most corrupt one in NZ’s history & that Clark had lied about her sexuality & would therefore lie about politics? Where is this champion of the 4th estate since NAct has been the government, and how is he going holding THIS government to account for its dictatorial abuses of democratic process, it’s spin and deception, and the various known liars in and/or attached to NAct?

          • TightyRighty 2.1.2.1.2

            to you and morrisey, it’s not a comparison of journalistic skills, it’s a comparison of the ways prime ministers have treated individuals within the media. Ian Wishart is the Nicky Hager of the right, without the multi-million dollar trust fund though.

            What does helen clark think of Duncan Garner then?

            • HitchensFan 2.1.2.1.2.1

              “Ian Wishart is the Nicky Hager of the right”

              Um. No. Not even close.

            • Morrissey 2.1.2.1.2.2

              Dear old “TightyRighty” is out of his depth. Not content with being mildly admonished by various people, he goes on to compound his earlier foolishness….

              1. …it’s not a comparison of journalistic skills
              In fact, it is. Stephenson is highly intelligent, thorough and utterly professional. The other fellow is not.

              2. Ian Wishart is the Nicky Hager of the right
              No he is not. Hager is intelligent, knowledgeable, well read and thoughtful. The other fellow is not.

              You’re way out of your comfort zone, my friend. I suggest you stop digging.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Stephenson says his txt for Duncan Garner went to Key- by mistake!

    To me this is a sign that Stephenson and probably Garners mobile phone accounts are under surveillance.
    This would be a common feature along with phone calls that end up going to the wrong person.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Way I heard it Garner was big noting about havng the PMs number and some other peeps were testing it out.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.2

      In any case, it’s a bullshit non answer from the PM on serious business.

      This isn’t some Wishartian fantasy tale about Dunedin sex cells.

  4. infused 4

    The guys a moron. Always has been. Good way to sell mags.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    Not seeing any defence from the righties.

    The guy has quotes from serving SAS members who feel uncomfortable about what they are being asked to do.

    Step on up to call them morons lads.

  6. Deadly_NZ 6

    And now Old Shonkey don’t have to abuse the media, they just bought TV3, and TV1 is rubbish, and prime is well, the best of of the lot..

  7. I see the facts on one side and the name calling on the other. That’s usually a good indication of who is correct.

  8. seeker 8

    Why did Judith Collins keep calling Patrick Gower “Paddy” as he interviewed her about travel expenses ($11,000approx.) on TV3news tonight(6pm.)?? It sounded so pally and in the pocket.
    Do they have history?

  9. Jilly Bee 9

    I think nearly all the MPs call him Paddy – or maybe it’s just the NACT MPs on reflection, but it doesn’t sound, nor look too good. I would believe Jon Stevenson’s version of events long before I would believe what John Key has to say.

  10. RobertM 10

    Hager is a competent left wing journalist and researcher. Wishart is more sociable and if a very amateur journalist by persistence did Labour significant damage in 2006-8. Simon Wilson is a professional journalist of high calibre whose very left stand is disguised by a a very skilled approach.
    But on the Afghanistan issue and the issues of our involvement and the SAS all our bureaucracy and media are really operating in a sphere were they lack sufficient staff and advice and depth. The military at the operational level are in the general level to understand the playing field and issues even from a right wing perspective let alone operational factors more competently. A small nation and small forces in a sphere of action like Afghanistan have to operate largely under the control and doctrines of US, UK and Aus forces to be of any value at all. Obviously nothing more than the general and greater truth can be released to the public for reasons of troop safety, morale, operational effectiveness and the credibility and drive of the whole anti terrorist actions.
    Rhys Jones is doing a good job as the ‘general’ in command of NZ forces. The first outstanding NZ force commander since Martyn Dunne,
    Having said that the ‘kill’ of Bin Laden having been completed, NZ and US withdrawal from the theatre should be as rapid as can be efficiently can be conducted. There is not enough consensus in the West to continue the campaign until new approaches and forces can be developed- and it is too destabalising to the far more important Pakistan to continue operating there.

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