Key looks like a PM under pressure. He’s started lashing out at random – never a good sign. It happened while discussing Melissa Lee’s repayment of $80,000 of taxpayer’s money that she had somehow managed to forget that she had. (Yes I know – that sort of thing happens to me all the time too.) John Key said this:
Maybe that reflects badly on NZ On Air, which thinks that the way that it should respond to these things is by leaking them to the Labour Party, without having the courtesy of sending the letter in the first place to Melissa Lee.
So how did Key know that NZ On Air leaked to Labour? Unless he can produce the evidence, he didn’t. He just made that up on the spot. Lying and misleading the house. As Russell Brown put it in an interview on Radio Wammo (9 minutes in, hat tip BLiP):
The thing that really struck me was John Key was asked about it in the house and he stated as fact that NZ on Air had leaked this to the Labour Party. And it’s not true. Jane Wrightson I thought was quite restrained about it and said well you know if you look at the annotations on the leaked document it clearly hasn’t come from us, it looks very much like it’s come from the screen production community. …
It was a ridiculous allegation to make, I don’t know what he was thinking. Talk about poisoning the relationship between yourself and your own funding agency. I don’t know what he was thinking saying that.
And commentary in The Herald:
Media: Government media policy in a tangle
The wheels are falling off National’s “no wurries mate” media policy. That was revealed in John Key’s bizarre accusation in Parliament this week claiming New Zealand On Air had leaked material about Melissa Lee…
So what’s up John? Do you have any evidence at all for your claim, or were you just lashing out at random?
[Update: Red Alert fills in some more details.]