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Mediawatch on Hit and Run

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, April 10th, 2017 - 77 comments
Categories: afghanistan, bill english, Ethics, journalism, Media, spin, war - Tags: , , ,

Mediawatch is one of the best shows in NZ. The weekend episode on Hit and Run was excellent:

Hit and Run: claims and counterclaims

The PM says there is no basis for an inquiry into the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan, yet editorial opinion in the media overwhelmingly backs one. Has the meaning of book Hit and Run been obscured by all the claims and counter-claims in the media?

Yes of course it has, and that is a deliberate strategy on the part of people who are desperate to avoid an inquiry.

Indeed, some in the media dismiss what Nicky Hager says just because it is him saying it.

After the book’s release, Newstalk ZB weekend host Andrew Dickens wrote that fellow hosts Mike Hosking and Leighton Smith had said they don’t like Nicky Hager and therefore don’t believe him. Talkback callers followed suit, he noted.

“Despite having never read the 120 -age book, the majority of callers were prepared to dismiss it just because Hager had written it,” said Andrew Dickens.

Dickens is right of course, and the “journalists” behaving in this way are a disgrace to their profession. Read on for a description of other spin tactics (exploiting the book’s acknowledged but minor error, making up nonsense about what it did or didn’t say). Despite all this the majority of editorial opinion was (bravo) solidly in support of an inquiry:

The Listener, The Press, The New Zealand Herald, The Gisborne Herald, The Northland Age among others have all called for an inquiry in recent editorials. The Dominion Post has done so twice.

Here’s another couple of opinion pieces that are well worth adding to the list:

Why can we have an inquiry about a dead dog, but not a dead child? Because bread and circuses.

English has treated us like morons over SAS allegations, yes he has. All a Nat government ever has to do is wait, and they get away with anything. Unless we the people care enough come the next election, of course.

77 comments on “Mediawatch on Hit and Run”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    All a Nat government ever has to do is wait, and they get away with anything.

    There’s this thing called culpable negligence which we probably need to be able to apply to government when they’re not doing something that should be done.

    • saveNZ 1.1

      +1 – but they get away with it because the MSM support the National government – they even seem to be creating off shoots like Spinoff to control certain messages for development clients, among others….

  2. Gosman 2

    This is in part Hager’s fault. He isn’t a journalist in the traditional sense of the term. He is an activist pushing a particular agenda. If he was actually a journalist he would attempt to get both sides of the debate rather than pursue the ‘Gotcha’ style expose. While he does a reasonable job the way he does it allows others to dismiss it as being of no consequence.

    • r0b 2.1

      He isn’t a journalist in the traditional sense of the term

      He is one of NZ’s few journalists “in the traditional sense of the term”.

      If he was actually a journalist he would attempt to get both sides of the debate

      As he learned early on, if you let people know that you’re investigating them, you get tied up in injunctions.

      Hager puts the facts out there, he’s very ethical and careful about it. Real journalism.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        What injunctions did Hager have to face early on in his career?

      • Gosman 2.1.2

        When I did a google search on this topic I came up with the following

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0612/S00108.htm

        “Great was my surprise when, a few days later, Mr Nicky Hager announced that the injunction was blocking the publication of his book. Hager’s book was never the target of the injunction, and as a result I asked the court to lift the injunction as soon as possible.”

        This strongly implies that far from being stopped from publishing by injunctions they have been lifted as a result of him being involved.

        • r0b 2.1.2.1

          When I did a google search on this topic

          Bravo.

          This strongly implies

          Brash’s self-serving denials will imply whatever you want them to I guess. Hager called him on it and he backed down.

          It was a lesson to Hager about what can happen when the subject of an investigation knows about it prior to publication, and (as he has said) it has influenced how he handles the release of his books ever since. Can you imagine what KeyEdeSlater would have done if they knew that Dirty Politics was coming?

          Doesn’t stop vested interests from trying to use it to discredit him though. Of course.

          • Gosman 2.1.2.1.1

            If Hager was the subject of the injunction why did Brash back down? Also that seems to imply that the injunction argument has no power over Hager as he just ‘calls it out’ and the injunction is lifted. Where is you evidence that Hager’s work has been hampered in any meaningful way by an injunction?

            • r0b 2.1.2.1.1.1

              If Hager was the subject of the injunction why did Brash back down?

              Because he judged the damage from the negative publicity of the injunction to be greater than the damage of the contents of the book. Of course.

              Also that seems to imply

              Seems to imply = whatever you want.

              I’ll ask again, since you ignore it, what do you think KeyEdeSlater would have done if they had known about Dirty Politics in advance?

              Where is you evidence that Hager’s work has been hampered in any meaningful way by an injunction

              I never said his work was damaged, I said he learned a lesson from the attempt. Learned it well.

              • Gosman

                You are just making excuses for Hager’s poor journalistic ethics. Regardless though his actions mean he will not likely get the outcomes he demands. Those he attacks will just point out that he is biased and is pushing a political agenda and many people will agree and then nothing will happen.

                • “You are just making excuses for Hager’s poor journalistic ethics”

                  Pfffft!

                  Keep banging on. Here, your snide comments sound puerile.

                • r0b

                  I like it how you are living proof of your own assertions. Never change.

                • dukeofurl

                  What journalist ethics are you talking about ? You seem to be aggrieved he didnt run with the NZDFs lines in his book. They arent one of the ‘little people’ who dont have a voice, in fact they have previously seen journalists as the enemy- probably still do.

                  Cant find that ‘ethic’ in this code
                  http://www.epmu.org.nz/journalist-code-of-ethics/

                  Thats because Gosman ‘made it up’

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The right-wing have to lie because reality is never what they want it to be.

                    • dukeofurl

                      I seem to think the BSA ‘standards’ have a right of reply amoung them. Balance being another one
                      Thats only for those holding TV and radio licenses.
                      Never been a situation for print journalism, of which Hager is ,where you have to take your story and all your sources to the ‘target’ for them to know in advance.

                      Another twist of the journalist ethics of course is TVNZ and Mike Hosking. To get around having any sort of ethics apply to him, they have deemed him to ‘not be a journalist’
                      Im sure Hoskings fact free fabulations aggrieve Gosman as no journalist standards apply ( even those of broadcast media )

    • roy cartland 2.2

      Both sides? Like, the NZDF’s side as well as the Afghans’?

      • Gosman 2.2.1

        Yes the NZDF side not just the Afghan’s

        • Hanswurst 2.2.1.1

          This is just bullshit. He states that some sources are from within the defence forces. He isn’t obliged to get an official line from the NZDF, not least since their official position has been in the public domain for years. They, like anybody else involved, have a right of reply, which they have exercised with some telling results. Before anyone could take your point seriously, you would need to answer at least the following convincingly:

          1. What do you mean by “both sides of the debate” when criticising a book that already presents evidence from multiple “sides”?

          2. What subsantive changes do you think might have been made to Hager and Stephenson’s research if they had approached the NZDF officially?

          3. Do you seriously believe that the NZDF would simply have provided Hager and Stephenson with information and wished them luck with publication, rather than trying either to get in first or (more likely) to prevent the book’s publication?

          • Gosman 2.2.1.1.1

            He states he has got comment from (some) NZDF personnel but he didn’t attempt to get comment on the specific allegations from official sources. I’m not sure why you think he shouldn’t have done this. It makes sense even if it is to highlight how the official sources are so much at odds with other evidence presented.

            • RJL 2.2.1.1.1.1

              This is pathetic Gosman.

              NZDF and government have produced official statements in the past about the events in “hit and run”.

              “even if it is to highlight how the official sources are so much at odds with other evidence presented.”

              Exactly. Congratulations. This is the whole point of the book. Have you read it yet?

              The whole point is that NZDF/government statements about the raid contradict the statements Hager and Stephenson have from individuals in NZDF (i.e. SAS soldiers and others) and from the villagers who got shot at.

              • Gosman

                A proper journalist would have attempted to elict a response from the NZDF even if it was only ‘We have already commented on this case and have no further comment’. Hager did not because it is clear what he wishes to do.

                • dukeofurl

                  Rubbish. There is no journalist standard that requires him, as a print journalist, to hear or present the NZDF ‘side’

                  You are confusing BSA standards which only apply to radio/TV

                  • Gosman

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/90981368/karl-du-fresne-let-truth-and-falsehood-grapple-over-the-hagersas-stink

                    “He insists on calling himself a journalist, but all the journalists I’ve worked with made it their business, before bursting into print with damaging allegations against anyone, to seek a response from the person or persons accused.”

                    This from a journalist who thinks there should be an enquiry.

                    • McFlock

                      So you agree with du Fresne’s assessment about Hager’s journalistic claims, yet disagree with du Fresne’s assessment that there still needs to be an inquiry.

                      Or as you put it:

                      I don’t see why Stevenson and Hager’s demand for an enquiry should be entertained when they didn’t do a proper job in the first place.

                      Maybe you should finish reading your du fresne link and find out why there should still be an inquiry, even if we discount hager and Stephenson as “journalists”.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Nonsense
                      heres Fairfax journalism charter.

                      Not a peep about seeking responses from other parties ?
                      http://www.fairfaxmedia.co.nz/pressroom/NZ/fairfax-media-new-zealand-journalism-charter

                      Du Fresne has made it up too and he writes for Fairfax. Maybe various editors have wanted run of the mill stories with a response.

                      Looking at the NZ press Council they require ‘balance’

                      ‘Accuracy, Fairness and Balance

                      Publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view.
                      Exceptions may apply for long-running issues where every side of an issue or argument cannot reasonably be repeated on every occasion and in reportage of proceedings where balance is to be judged on a number of stories, rather than a single report.
                      http://www.presscouncil.org.nz/principles

                      That doesnt apply to authors of books of course.
                      And is ignored by Kiwblogger DPF, who claims he is bound by the Press council.

                • RJL

                  NZDF *have* commented on this specific raid previously. Their previous comments appear to be lies. That is the whole point of the book.

                  NZDF presumably have a whole platoon (or whatever) of press officers. If NZDF wants to say something it doesn’t need to wait for Hager and Stephenson to provide it with an opportunity.

            • Hanswurst 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Okay, don’t answer the questions then. You’re the one who looks silly.

              • Gosman

                I answered your questions but here they are for you again.

                1) Hager did not attempt to get comment from the NZDF so he was not presenting both sides of the debate or even giving a right of reply.

                2) It doesn’t matter what changes they would have made if any. The point being is that the NZDF would have had the ability to respond and we would have a better understanding if there was something they were trying to hide.

                3) If they attempted to stop publication (unlikely in my mind for the same reasons that impacted the Hollow men book injunction being raised) then there would be a much stronger case for an enquiry than there is now.

                • Hanswurst

                  1) isn’t an answer, it’s just ignoring the question and restating your vague comment above.

                  2) That isn’t an answer either. The NZDF has now responded. What would we know in your scenario that we don’t now?

                  3) Generally, the government and NZDF adopt the line that any information about deployment could endanger troops. Works, too. Why would that be any different in this case?

                  • Gosman

                    You asked what all sides or both sides in this are. I stated it is the NZDF view which is missing. Why do you think that they shouldn’t be included in this?

                • Andre

                  In their statements about this raid, how many times did the NZDF give right of reply or the other side of the story to the Afghan villagers that were being called insurgents and getting shot at?

                  Personally, my expectation of journalists is that they make an honest attempt to get the facts correct and don’t publish until they’re sure they have got the facts correct. Your expectation of “balance” and “right of reply” just gives people with something to hide the opportunity to try to do so. And if they can’t hide it in time, they try to introduce doubt and misdirection, and argue about irrelevancies.

                  • Gosman

                    The NZDF is not pretending to be an investigative journalist.

                    I love how you think a right of reply will only allow someone to hide something. Yeah because that is what a right of reply is all about [/sarc]

                    • McFlock

                      The NZDF is not pretending to be an investigative journalist.

                      The NZDF is barely pretending to even try to tell the truth.

                    • Andre

                      The NZDF has plenty of opportunity to put their story, and presumably has professionals on staff whose entire job is to do that. Yet the first time someone seriously looks into the villagers side of the story and finds credible evidence the NZDF haven’t been presenting the full honest truth and have been hiding important facts, you expect the NZDF to be given yet more opportunity to obscure the the facts?

                      Particularly bearing in mind that while Hager was producing this book, he was also challenging the police search of his home and seizure of his equipment. IIRC, that was found to be an illegal action by the police, and certainly looks to me like it was intended to intimidate Hager.

    • @ Gosman.

      Nothing to do with what your blathering on about.

      Just some entertainment about your slavish obsession with protecting the National party at all costs. And indirectly attacking Hager. Screw you and your un-analytical sycophancy..

      Black Sabbath “Tomorrow’s Dream” – YouTube

      • Gosman 2.3.1

        This has very little to do with National. It is more to do with Hager and the NZDF.

        • WILD KATIPO 2.3.1.1

          Still pulling pud, and a total fail as to the philosophy you endorse.
          That pride of winning the argument overcomes you and is the greatest weakness you display. Thus it is easy meat to pick you off.

          If you cant see the imagery and the message which is pretty damn blatant, pity help you and the sycophancy you display. Most normal individuals can.

          What happened to you ?

  3. adam 3

    This book points out peoples obsession with war porn. It puts into question their fetish for this violence. It also questions the role of the state and private enterprise have to bring them such war porn on their tv’s on a regular basis.

    So it is no wonder great wads of journalist want to cover it poorly, it’s bread and butter to drag this out as unthinkingly as possible. Ratings, war porn and more machismo for everyone.

    We went down the rabbit hole, and we got shafted.

  4. gsays 4

    In my opinion, Mr Hagar is a journalist by any definition.
    especially if that definition includes holding the powerful to account, or speaking truth to power.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Journalists should seek to get accusations presented to those who are the target of them and ask for responses. Or don’t you agree this is something a journalist should do?

      • An enquiry would give them just that. Full opportunity to explain their position and have those claims checked, along with the claims of Mr Hagar and Mr Stevenson.
        Fair as, open and honest.
        How about it, Gosman, you like fair and open, don’t you?

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          I don’t see why Stevenson and Hager’s demand for an enquiry should be entertained when they didn’t do a proper job in the first place. They seem to be wanting the enquiry to cover the gaps they decided not to look at themselves.

      • Here’s a scenario for you to consider, Gosman. Imagine you are a journalist, researching and writing about violent gangs. You unearth dreadful details of previously unknown horrors, perpetrated by the gang, details that the public, for their own safety, should be told. Will you pop round to gang HQ and run your findings by the boys before going to print?
        “Or don’t you agree this is something a journalist should do?”
        Or could it be that there are circumstances where, for the public good, it’s best to publish first, for the sake of the story and the people it concerns?

        • Gosman 4.1.2.1

          Are you comparing the NZDF with a violent gang that will likely mess someone up for daring to ask difficult questions?

          • Robert Guyton 4.1.2.1.1

            “Mess someone up”?
            No. The two organisations are very different. What do you say to my questions?

            • Gosman 4.1.2.1.1.1

              I don’t know why they couldn’t ask for comment on the points of concern they raised before publication. If the NZDF slapped an injunction then they could equally have done what Hager did in the Brash case AND it would look worse for them. In fact they would have more of a case if the NZDF slapped an injunction on as it would then look like there was something to hide.

          • xanthe 4.1.2.1.2

            “Are you comparing the NZDF with a violent gang that will likely mess someone up for daring to ask difficult questions?”

            Yes Gosman you are starting to “get it” now, scary eh?

  5. You don’t know why? Can’t help your inability to understand stuff, Gosman. Numerous commenters here have a very clear understanding of that issue. In any case, the book has been published, the claims are out there and there are serious questions to be answered. All the fluff you are wrapping around the NZDF is just that – fluff, designed to obscure and wrap your favoured party in insulation from the cold, hard facts of the matter. Yes, I know, you’ve found an error, but it’s blindingly obvious that the rest of the claims are to be hidden by whatever means possible, by you for whatever purpose, and by those who should be taking the opportunity to clarify the situation to New Zealanders, who they serve.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Good on you Robert, taking on Gosman. You are a dedicated lifesaver, giving CPR
      to a headless horseman.

    • Gosman 5.2

      And I am explaining why the Government feels it can safely ignore the calls for an enquiry. Hager’s failure to adhere to the usual practice in journalism means officials can brand him as a biased activist not a serious journalist. The Government will be taking the public opinion pulse on this and will know a significant section of the population feel this way.

      • “The Government will be taking the public opinion pulse on this…”

        Yes, Gosman. For Bill English, National, you and your ilk, it’s not what really happened that matters, it’s whether the exposure of those issues can be avoided and the state of “public opinion” serves as the perfect “get out of jail free” card, over and over again. I wonder how you can operate in this way – I see repeatedly, that you do, and that National does, but for those who don’t buy into that strategy, it just looks dirty and low. It’s your bottom line and the great weight of evidence becomes a mere feather to you as you apply it. Very effective, there’s no doubt, but admirable? Not to me.

        • Gosman 5.2.1.1

          I don’t know if there is a case to be answered. I do know that the way Hager and Stevenson have gone about this makes it unlikely they will get an enquiry.

          • Robert Guyton 5.2.1.1.1

            Gosman – “I don’t know if there is a case to be answered.”
            Do you think that there’s strong evidence that there is a case to be answered? Do you think the work of Mr Hager and Mr Stevenson is alarming enough, professional enough, thoroughly enough researched, representative of the views and experiences of real people to form a case that should be answered?
            Because those of us engaging with you here do believe there is a case to be answered and we find your disingenuous trolling distasteful, self-serving and revealing. You reveal yourself, not so much by what you say, but by the vast field of discussion that you avoid, don’t mention, shy away from, studiously ignore. Those things don’t show in the thread, but they are bellowing at you from behind the scenes and we can all hear the racket.

      • left_forward 5.2.2

        I couldn’t help but be curious when considering what the ‘usual’ practice in journalism would look like to you.

        Please indulge me – who are the serious journalists in your world?

        I guess that they would have these qualities:
        1) must be able to persuade but not be critical of officials (particularly the army!)
        2) honour the pulse of public opinion
        3) be very brave (e.g. be able to walk into a gang headquarters and challenge behaviour)
        4) not be obsessive about the truth

  6. McFlock 6

    Glad to see the tory propagandists are diligently ignoring Hit and Run, Gossy.

    lol

  7. saveNZ 7

    Many people do not trust the media anymore. For years we have had dubious reports telling ‘the other side’ such as there is no such thing as global warming.

    Yep, 95% of Scientists were concerned about global warming, but the 5% paid by industry to say the opposite view were treated the same as those opposed and used by government and industry to ignore all the signs.

    We heard about the WMD in Iraq that mean’t we had to start the war apparently. But less so when the WMD were never found.

    Don’t like unemployment figures – just change the parameters.

    So many voters have just switched off to the ‘expert’ views and ‘reports’ because they are often a paid semi-fiction from those who stand to benefit.

    Even someone who had little power like Cameron Slater was very successful in fooling the media and even the National party (such as his ‘help’ for Mark Mitchell who’s done VERY well for himself on the back of it). When it came out the media were played they still did not learn their lesson for very long.

    So the right wing view that Gosman talks about of ‘the other viewpoint’ is often just ‘noise’ and just takes away people’s ability to comprehend the message.

    And the media have just suckered themselves out of a job and industry, because less and less of the public believe them any more.

    The polls and elections are a surprise these days, cos voters themselves could do anything on the day.

    I personally believe Nicky Hager any day over the lying National Government.

  8. tom 8

    Gosman
    I know is little point in pointing this to you, as you are not here to have a rational discussion, just to be a troll, but here goes anyway.
    BBC a few years ago totally sick of whenever they had a Climate Change story, of having to go to PR reps for the Oil industry for comment, made a decision to not ask Big Oil for comment on Climate change, as they knew they would get more of the same diversion and spin as they had for 20 yrs previously, so there is a precedence of one of the biggest MSM in the world sites doing what Hager Stevenson have done, and what you say is heresy for media to do.
    When you know you are going to either be spun in a web as you have for as long as the sun has shone, or have an injunction slapped on you to prevent, delay and give time to spin, then a reasonable person will take a reasonable response to make sure the important info is provided to the public.
    Also we on the left would love media to be balanced and provide both sides points of view on topics, funny thing is if i watch actual journalism on say Democracy Now for example, i get a totally different angle on all the news than i do on any RW MSM in NZ or across the globe, so if you want balance in media, fine, then start by asking MSM to provide it to us.
    If you only want it when Hager writes a book then you are a hypocrite and not worth a moments notice
    Thankyou now go and do something productive with your time rather than troll people who can see way past your pathetic Trolling and spin

    • Gosman 8.1

      I believe the issue with the Climate change story (although I’m not sure you can back this up with a link) was that the science around AGW has been accepted by the vast majority of Scientists and therefore there is little point in getting viewpoints which aren’t accepted as actual science. Are you stating that the NZDF’s views on what happened in this Afghan raid are not in any way supported by facts and therefore whatever the NZDF states should not be even looked at?

      • NZDF are unwilling to subject their story to real scrutiny. People can see that for what it is. The authors of Hit & Run are willing to have their claims tested by official enquiry and people can see that for what it is. We here can see Gosman for what he is. He’ll rabbit on, drag red herrings, obfuscate, accuse and do those things trolls of his sort do, but we can see him clearly and it’s not an uplifting sight.

        • Gosman 8.1.1.1

          Do you think there will be an inquiry this side of the election?

          • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1

            Part of me hopes English puts it off as long as possible, in the face of legal complaints both here and in the ICC.

            But then part of me just wants NZ to stand up, sort its shit out, have the inquiry and be honest about what happened – and if the book is full of crap, let that come out. If NZDF has been covering stuff up, that needs to be sorted.

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.2

            Dragged across the path of the discussion.

      • tom 8.1.2

        No that is not what i am saying, please re read
        also i am not engaging with a troll, so F off buddy, no offence, but have not the time for pathetic trolling, read some books from a left perspective as i have with the right so you can understand what you oppose, and can reasonably discuss with us valid perspectives, until then i do not have time for you, just wanted to make a point to you.
        I really only come on here to engage with people that want to discuss the way forward for the left and to get news that MSM does not cover at all, that was a once off to see how you would react to a reasoned response, and you proved my point.

        • Gosman 8.1.2.1

          You’ve read books from a right wing perspective and think you understand it do you? I’d be fascinated in your thoughts on that. Post them on Open Mike.

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.2.1.1

            I read “Dirty Politics” from a right-wing perspective and what I felt was fear, raw, gut churning fear. Thank goodness we had Honest John Key here to pour his special brand of sticky deceit into the works of that one! Nearly got caught, we did!

          • tom 8.1.2.1.2

            Trolling is absolute loser behaviour, wake up to yourself man, and do something productive with your time.
            it is actually impossible to have any less respect for you and yours, i hope you are happy with what you do in life, seeya would not want to be ya

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.2.2

          When trolls like Gosman say, “Do you think…”, or, “Are you saying…” you can immediately dismiss their comment as worthless trolling. Attempting to force you to defend something you didn’t claim is a technique as old as trolls themselves.
          Are you saying, Gosman, that the claims in Hit & Run are true and that the NZDF and Bill English know this and are burying the issue as deeply as they can, shielding those responsible from scrutiny? Are you? Is that what you are saying? If so, congratulations; you have, at this late hour, developed a spine and some credibility here on The Standard.

  9. Is what, what I believe? That “When trolls like Gosman say, “Do you think…”, or, “Are you saying…” you can immediately dismiss their comment as worthless trolling.”
    Yes, I certainly do!

    • Gosman 9.1

      No, the claims in Hit & Run are true and that the NZDF and Bill English know this and are burying the issue as deeply as they can, shielding those responsible from scrutiny. Is that what you are stating is true?

  10. Pete 10

    The perspective of Mike Hosking (once again) was put in the light.

    saveNZ says “Many people do not trust the media anymore.” When we have media dominated by someone with so many obvious limitations that’s natural.

  11. mosa 11

    Hit and Run has been buried by the media with English saying NO to an inquiry and once again sullied Nicky Hagar as a liar and a left wing conspiracy theorist.

    The usual suspects have done their work and put enough doubt in peoples minds with regards to the truth here just like three years ago when the corruption by Key and his henchman was exposed.

    Attack the message and the messenger and bypass the serious issue at hand.

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