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Key declares war on the media

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, November 17th, 2011 - 67 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, john key, Media - Tags: , ,

This headline speaks for itself.  Tea tape: TVNZ, RNZ to be searched – “Four media outlets, including Radio New Zealand and TVNZ, are to be searched for any material they might have in their possession that relates to the tea pot tapes”.  Radio New Zealand’s head of news Don Rood is refusing to hand over material and says they will protect their sources.

Key is still refusing to discuss it – Asked if he was at war with New Zealand’s media he said “I don’t think that is an accurate description.”

This is outrageous. If the Police do think an investigation is warranted (and, face it, you and I wouldn’t get an investigation launched if we thought someone had intentional taped our conversation without permission but hadn’t published it), then they should wait until after the election to undertake these actions. Doing it now can only be seen as an attempt to intimidate and silence the media, and protect John Key. The Police are injecting themselves into a major political issue days from an election with a clear political bias. It is a fundamental breach of our constitution.

67 comments on “Key declares war on the media ”

  1. anne 1

    This is an attack on democracy and i really hope those national voters take notice how key is tampering with the public’s right to know,so it must be bad on the tape,if this sort of action is
    required,how can national voters defend their leader now?

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Spoke with a Nat-leaning friend who said John Key should try to use the tea tapes and police to create a media crisis, throw the leading print, tv and radio outlets into disarray, and win Election 2011.
    High stake gamble and John Key the Winner will take it all.
    Most Kiwis are too stupid.
    Brilliant move.

    • Sunny 2.1

      Suppose the ‘plot’ might go like this: throw the election, watch Goff struggle to hold a coalition together with Winston and Hone and fail, yell bloody murder that it’s all the fault of MMP, finance another referendum to dump it, romp in under new electoral system, FPP or SM, sell eveything off as planned.

      Or it could simply be that under all that pressure, the mask is slipping.

      Stuff up or conspiracy? Don’t know. But I do know that if you have disdain for the people then the people will teach you to show some respect. It’s called history.

    • Uturn 2.2

      A bit unfortunate that your friend thinks manipulation of the police to win elections is fine. But as you say, kiwis are.

      Down at Police HQ they must enjoy being the National party’s stooges, although, somewhat confused.

      The same people who told you to do nothing over email leaks from the Beehive for a man who was wanted out of the Beehive, you’re now told is wanted at the Beehive and is now a friend, and his friend has to be protected also, from leaks of a conversation made outside the Beehive, by the same people who got you to do nothing and now want you to do something, a search. Golly.

    • GorjusGeorge 2.3

      Very high stake gamble. There are a lot of awfully pissed off people out there who are thinking there’s no smoke without fire – ie there must be something Keystone wants to hide. And what price using ‘rising crime’ to grab Laura Norder’s and her partner Benny Fishery-Basher’s votes if you are seen to blatantly waste police time by lodging a spurious complaint – which the cops (no political bias at the top of that organisation of course) run with – to the dismay of all those who can never get a cop to take a small scale burglary seriously.

      To attack the media this far out from the election is downright stupid. Most of it is neutered but defence of sources is such a key principle that if the Police go in with search warrants to force RNZ to hand over evidence that is then used to convict a journo who – assuming it was deliberate – was only after a scoop – the media may well make a stand.

      It’s an own goal of pretty monumental proportions I’d say.

    • Lanthanide 2.4

      Maybe if it made some sort of sense.

      “create a media crisis”? What does that even mean? Something where the public decide that the media can’t be trusted at all about anything and therefore they’ll vote for Key? I’m having difficulty even imagining how that would happen, unless National has a smoking gun of some massive scandal that involves every single media outlet.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    So what makes you think the police took orders from John Key on this?

    It seems to me a complaint was laid and the police consider it serious enough to act upon. End of story.

    Perhaps the police felt the media have been prejudicing their investigation with their behaviour.

    • Blighty 3.1

      No-one’s saying they took orders. the Police have to consider the political ramifications of their actions. And they clearly have stepped into a political debate a week and a half from an election. It’s unacceptable.

      And Key’s complaint has been a waste of police time from day 1. Ordinary people like us wouldn’t get this kind of treatment.

    • r0b 3.2

      Post doesn’t say that Key specifically ordered this (though I for one would not be surprised if he did).  It says he’s gone to war with the media, which he clearly has. Note the Stuff link in the OP – it’s reporters who are framing it as a war.

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        I think “refusing to cow-tow to the media” would be a more accurate description.

        • r0b 3.2.1.1

          Key is a media product.  He lives by them, he dies by them.  And if they have any guts, we’ll see that principle applied sharpish.

        • GorjusGeorge 3.2.1.2

          I think you’ll find it’s ‘kowtow’.

          The complaint is utterly spurious.

          Both of the Johns were too stupid to check who owned the little black bag that was the only thing on the table apart from the now famous tea cups. Keystone’s handlers failed to establish what is what and who owned it – it could have been a bomb.

          And Keystone himself demonstrated incompetence and/or arrogance in thinking he could make injudicious remarks in public – and his comments about youth suicide were risible. He has made an arse of himself not to put too fine a point on it.

  4. Tigger 4

    Look you left wing degenerates, the police have nothing better to do than search the offices of liberal-leaning media outlets on the say so of our glorious Prime Minister Mr Key (amen) and bully them into giving up anything that might make the wondrous Mr Key (amen) look bad. I would far prefer they used their valuable time on such an important matter rather than investigate piffles such as murder, rape, assault and home invasions. This is just another loony left beat up of that good, decent man, Mr Key (amen).

  5. randal 5

    kweewee couldnt declare war on a cream puff!
    ooops. thats the media.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    “Dear Leader” is so pushing his luck here. And so are the tory friendly blue belly commanders. Will search warrants even be granted?

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Extremely dubious move to rein in the news media just before democratic elections.

    When did NZ apply to the Club of Banana Republics?

  8. Astounding.  I cannot imagine that any Judge would issue a search warrant for this.  It is not an offence to hold an unlawfully intercepted private communication, only to disclose it.  The film and transcript may be evidence but I do not understand that there is a refusal to hand it over.
     
    This really smacks of high handed action by the police for what is on any view at worst a relatively minor offence.
     
    I wonder if there has been political pressure put on the police.  If so we are at the edge of a very slippery slope.

    • insider 8.1

      RNZ said they wanted interview transcripts of unaired material. That is not the recording. My CSI: Miami based expert opinion is they are looking for self incrimination in interviews by the cameraman.

      • mickysavage 8.1.1

        Yep but RNZ will never offer that up.  Journalistic ethics prevents this.
         
        So why are they after STUFF and TVOne?

        • insider 8.1.1.1

          Ethics might stop where a gaol cell opens…

          But it is not an ethical issue in terms of protecting unnamed sources. I got the impression they wanted the notes of interviews with known people. Retaining notes is not an ethical issue (assuming they don’t contain confidential or privileged information) as they are occassionally used in court proceedings. Defamation is the most obvious but there was that recent case where SFO asked for them around some criminal cases. That got negotiated around from memory or they were not pursued after discussions.

          Why Stuff and TV one – I’ll take a guess that they did similar types of interviews. They didn’t have the original recording so were having to play catch up chasing other angles. I remember seeing the cameraman interviewed on TV but can’t remember which channel.

          • mickysavage 8.1.1.1.1

            The basic problem is that it all stems back to the circumstances in which the statement was acquired and this is I believe the weakest part of the case. 
             
            Section 216A of the Crimes Act 1961 defines a private communication as a communication made under circumstances that may reasonably be taken to indicate that any party to the communication desires it to be confined to the parties to the communication but does not include such a communication occurring in circumstances in which any party ought reasonably to expect that the communication may be intercepted by some other person not having the express or implied consent of any party to do so.
             
            Sitting in the middle of a Newmarket cafe with a media scrum 3 metres away armed with an array of digital recording devices must amount to circumstances where a party ought reasonably to have expected that the communication may have been intercepted.

            • insider 8.1.1.1.1.1

              IANAL, so don’t know too much about the crimes act, and I suspect this law is rarely used so not nuch precedent. My view is that it is probably regarding people shouting across a room or maybe using a publicly accessible fax machine or printer and leaving the info lying around, or where a conversation happens and the hearer can’t avoid hearing it.

              So a waiter standing by a table or a taxi driver taking politicians to work is probably not breaking the law. Someone recording a discussion using a listening device in an area after having been ushered out of the same space minutes earlier so the people concerned could have a private conversation, seems slightly murkier.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      It is not an offence to hold an unlawfully intercepted private communication

      It hasn't been determined that it's an unlawfully intercepted private communication. My reading of the law is that it's not.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Interesting over at Public Address, many posters on which I admittedly usually deride as “luvvies” after the Hobbit affair.

    Anyway, Russell is wondering if the top cops are actually serving it up to Key-“you want a criminal investigation? THIS is a criminal investigation”. I wouldn’t have thought so but it is yet another angle in this affair to be considered.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    The tape that dare not speak it’s etc…. can this be true, Winston to reveal all?
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=209189

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Too busy today to join in the comments-fest so here’s a quickie …

    Y’know how we’re always hearing that such-and-such an event getting international coverage is worth “millions in advertising for NZ”? (often dubious claims, but never mind).

    Over the next 24 hours this story will get plenty of international coverage. The world’s media weren’t interested in our election (any more than we’re interested in Luxembourg’s). But they will be interested now, when they’ve got a story that goes …

    “police … search warrants … Prime Minister … tape (sic) … free press … not so much …”

    Check back in 24 hours later. Let’s see how Brand NZ is faring in the world’s media. It won’t look good.

    All thanks to one man-child and his far-flung toys.

  12. Where are all the RWNJs?
     
    Apart from TS I have not seen one comment on this post so far.
     
    It looks like they are flooding Stuff by the look of the comments here.
     
    Perhaps this is their new tactic, attempt to swing support by hitting the media blogs?

    • Inventory2 12.1

      Most of us are banned Micky (sorry Lynn; just this once!)

      [Very few of you. Will let this through, though Lynn has the right to bin it of course. — r0b]

      [lprent: It is higher than usual at present. Mostly because I took a decision early in the year to start banning people who did know better until after the election. I figured that I wouldn’t have time to deal with people who didn’t take warnings leading into the election so I excluded that small noisy minority from our workload. But it isn’t much….

      There are 15 in dated moderation. Most of those are due to have their bans expire on 2011/11/27. There are 4 people blacklisted who I will review after the election (I think that the sprout discovered the blacklist button). So less than 20 individuals out of the 30-40k ‘unique’ human readers and the 3-5k people who comment each month.

      There are also about 15 people who are on permanent bans. Most of them are people who I will hunt down and squash at every available chance. They have all had multiple opportunities here and have never seemed to understand that the site has limits. Since d4j learnt that eventually, I’d have to conclude that they have more severe social issues than he does.

      Seems like an acceptable number to me. I2 just doesn’t like the company he is with at present? ]

    • chris73 12.2

      At work, working.

  13. Craig Glen Eden 13

    Yes in deed John Key who is already looking sick will have the attention of a few more media outlets by his stupid Media of the World comments. Its all on now, Key’s handling of this is sooo bad, just goes to show when ego and self confidence kicks in what a mess it can create, from what is likely to be not much really in the scheme of things. Oh and of coarse if only Key had a better memory non of this would be a problem.

  14. Adrian 14

    It’s scary that Key’s “aspiration” for NZ is to be like Nth Korea. He’s dog tucker.

    • Tel 14.1

      … and those hungry media dogs can smell fear and some tasty ratings tucker from a long way off.

    • freedom 14.2

      Key only had two aspirations, set up the sale of our assets and get himself a Knighthood.
      Hopefully New Zealand has realised the assets sales will only damage our already broken economy and vote accordingly

      As for the Knighthood?
      I would like to believe the integrity of the Honour overshadows what has become an expectation of office.

      • Afewknowthetruth 14.2.1

        freedom.

        Don’t forget that the establishment has a long record of honouring those who bring about the most economic upheaval, the most social destruction and the most environmental destruction via promotion of corporate rorts.

        Bill Birch would be a prime example. Indeed, there is plenty of evidence to support the contention that the one of the main purposes of the honours system is to legitimise corporate looting and polluting.

  15. chris73 15

    So at least now we know the MSM isn’t in John Keys back pocket

    • Tiger Mountain 15.1

      Wrong again #73. Exceptions…..etc. go back to choking Stuff comments please.

      • chris73 15.1.1

        Ok pussy hill just for you this is how it works:

        The MSM are not in John Keys pocket, they are looking for the easiest stories to sell to a public

        If Phil Goff had charisma and was liked (as John Key is liked) and could sell stories then he’d be getting easy ride from the media

        Its nothing to do with John Key and all to do with the media itself, not that you’ll agree because it suits you to believe that everyone is against Goff

        • felix 15.1.1.1

          Pretty much agree chris, I don’t think anything points to them ever being in his pocket.

          I think a lot of them have been a bit star-struck for the last few years.

          And now it’s showtime and they’re finally realising the “star” isn’t all that talented.

        • Jackal 15.1.1.2

          Right! The media made John Key say those stupid things… they held his hand as he went off to the cops to try and make the tapes never see the light of day.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      They were. Not any more.

    • freedom 15.3

      the MSM almost doing their job for once, is much like a recidivist speedster who decides to obey the posted limit once a day. Not a strong case for making them driving instructors, but a good start to showing them why few people want to ride with them.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    ROFLMAO

    Just heard on the ZB what Peters had disclosed was on the tape:

    1. Key giving suggestions about the leadership of the Act party.
    2. Key suggesting that NZ First voters are dying off.
    3. That National might have enough support to govern on its own.

    Even with the undoubted spin that Peters has put on it, this is nothing.

    The first point is being helpful. The second two points are being truthful.

    I suggest Key should respond as follows:

    “All I am going to say about Peter’s disclosure, is that even the spin that my political opponent has put on it demonstrates how bland and trivial our discussion was, and how much of a beat-up the media and my opponents have made of it.

    The fact that this is so inconsequential demonstrates beyond doubt that my stand has been one of principle, not of trying to cover things up. I suggest we get back on with discussing the things that are important to NZers, as I have been trying to do.”

    • Kaplan 16.1

      Again for emphasis
      The content is no longer the ‘key’ issue here.
      Key’s completely shambolic handling is.
      He has lost votes, the question is how many.
      He has delivered a major blow to Act, the question is how major.

      • chris73 16.1.1

        I don’t think he’ll lose that many because what he said isn’t that bad (in fact most National would agree with him) and if anything Act might get a few more votes now they know that Brash is gone

        The major headache is Winnie, he’ll pick up whatever National loses and he probably doesn’t need that many more to make 5%

    • chris73 16.2

      I agree with what he said (and I beat bet most would on here as well) but does this mean Peters could get done by the police?

      [lprent: Fixed the typo because it is subject to destructive misinterpretation (and I really can’t be bothered with the fallout). ]

  17. Key has completely cracked under the pressure and lost the plot.
    Declaring war on the media nine days before an election, when you’re in the lead!
    Insane. Utterly unhinged behaviour.

  18. Dr Terry 18

    Do our police have so little pride in themselves as to obey the Master and chase after the audios, which will by now have been copied God knows how many times? Key is all bluster, “popularity or bust” – possibly the latter now! He would place himself above Jesus Christ (as do his “lovers”). We know the fate of Christ. What will be the (ultimate) fate of Key and his stupid flock?

    • Afewknowthetruth 18.1

      Dr Terry.

      I don’t think it is appropriate to compare Key to JC. JC threw the money-changers out of the temple: Key IS a money-changer and is building temples to worship and expand money changing.

      As for Key’s fate, he’s not there yet, and NZ is not far enough down the track yet, but it’s coming:

      ‘Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak.’

      http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_is_what_revolution_looks_like_20111115/

      • seeker 18.1.1

        Nice comment AFKTT. I hope JC is in the throws of chucking this money changer out of office.

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    Some of us are old enough to remember Muldoon and the near dictatorship he managed to establish by ruthless attacks on anyone who got in the way.

    Helen Clark came a close second, of course.

    Key has it in him, now that the Mr-Nice-Guy-Financial-Wizard image is tarnishing.

  20. anne 20

    Key and his co-horts have now bought off the media,tvnz,stuff,tv3 are now fronting key with
    disparaging comments on peters,goff, apparantly key only has to lift a finger and the media come running.So back to biased media.

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