Key is now using the police to intimidate journalists at The Herald and at 3 News to keep the “game changing” teapot tapes from being released. What a surprise! Not. John Key and the Nats have a long, long history of this kind of attack:
- In 2008 Key tried 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.
- Bill English, bullied journalists who were covering the story of his personal hypocrisy and greed with his double dipping housing rort.
- Nick Smith has tried the same bully tactics, so has Gerry Brownlee.
- “Bomber” Bradbury was banned from RNZ for criticising the PM after Key threatened to sue.
- Last election the Nats tired (repeatedly) and failed (repeatedly) to silence the 50,000 Kiwis represented by the EPMU.
- They have threatened school boards over national standards, and threatened school principals not to speak out against them.
- Key attacked journalist Jon Stevenson over his coverage of the SAS in Afghanistan.
- In other examples: National tried to shut down a KiwiSaver story, to muzzle the DHBs and NZAID, they’ve even had a go at The Standard, and there have been assorted other cover-ups.
- All of that is not even to mention their attacks on individual rights, attacks that constitute “such an indelible stain on the parliamentary lawmaking process as to call into question that institution’s legitimacy to act as supreme lawmaker for our society”.
Oddly enough, however, Key was quite relaxed about Paula Bennett releasing the private details of beneficiaries in a blatant attempt at intimidation. The complaint to the Human Rights Commission is still ongoing (more of this later). “The public’s right to know” eh – only when it suits them to use it as a weapon.
That’s the real story of the teapot tape fiasco, the story that the media will somehow never step up and tell. That the current attempt by Key to shut them down is nothing new. Its just the latest example in the long history of intimidation and bullying from this National government.
[Post updated as more examples were noted!]