PM’s office cuts Radio Dead

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, February 9th, 2012 - 51 comments
Categories: brand key, election 2011, john key, Politics, slippery - Tags: ,

After the PM’s office received the Electoral Commission’s advice from the  the day before Radio Live’s PM Hour broadcast, an internal memo says:

So the Electoral Commission has replied, and basically said they can’t make a judgment on a radio show without seeing a transcript. But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.

Key’s office knew they were skating close to the wind. They were willing to cut Radio Live loose under the Broadcasting Act. All that has saved Key and the National Party from  from also breaking the law is inconsistency in the Electoral Act, a long-standing problem which Simon Power was supposed to have cleaned up.

Key was also personally involved in selecting the guests he wanted to interview.

Radio Live kept the show  a close secret – they did not tell Willie and JT that their programme was going to be shunted aside until the week before “otherwise everybody will know about it.!”

These snippets come from a heavily redacted and restricted response to an OIA request to the PM’s office (2.5MB PDF download).

[lprent: updated with PDF and image of quoted e-mail]

 

 

51 comments on “PM’s office cuts Radio Dead”

  1. Send the PDF to me. I’ll get it up.

  2. But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.

    Not useful enough.  If Radioworks is liable then Key is conceivably a party to the offence in that he aided and abetted it.  After all without his involvement it would not have happened.

    There is a further potential area where Key could be in trouble.

    Section 80(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 makes it an offence for a person in an election period to broadcast an election programme for or on behalf of a political party but it is also an offence if a person “arranges for the broadcasting of an election programme for or on behalf of a political party.”  Key arranging to turn up and be broadcasted could at a stretch include this.  Maybe it is not only the broadcaster in trouble but also the arranger.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Maybe it is not only the broadcaster in trouble but also the arranger.

      That’ll be someone in the PM’s office.

      • Key took part in the arrangements by turning up.  “Arranges” is not defined but it must be that more than one person is involved to “arrange” for the broadcasting of an election program me.

    • Quite right. But this wasn’t in the election period (which is defined in the Broadcasting Act). Also, the EC decision is clear that they consider that this was arranged by Radio Live.

  3. vto 3

    shifty

    untrustworthy

    gliding in and out of the law

    But you’re not a criminal until you’re caught eh…..

    Leaders? ha. Not in million moons. They are lower than your everyday crim in the dock

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 3.1

      “Well, I’ve read parts of the embarrassing transcripts, and I’ve seen the proud statement of a former attorney general, who protected his boss, and now brags on the fact that he tiptoed through a mine field and came out “clean.” I can’t imagine somebody like Thomas Jefferson tiptoeing through a mine field on the technicalities of the law, and then bragging about being clean afterwards.”

      Jimmy Carter – the Law Day Speech.

      “But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.”

      As Seeker points out below, this seems to be the new norm for the right.

      The letter of the law is what counts. I’m still trying to figure out if my memory of right-wing parties as being absolute sticklers for morality and lawnorder was all just naivety on my part, or whether they have actually become more corrupt as time goes by.

      I’m picking naivety.

      • vto 3.1.1

        They get a buzz out of it.

        Like so many fellow crims.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        From what I’ve seen over the years the RWNJs are sticklers for the letter of law n order. They seem to believe that if the law doesn’t specifically say that what they’re doing is illegal then it must be legal and moral no matter how much damage that they do.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    RadioWorks won’t give a stuff about a $100,000 fine, they’ll just get another interest free loan from Steven Joyce to cover the cost.

  5. seeker 5

    “gliding in and out of the law”

    Nicely put vto. Sums up my discomfort over many of the actions of the National government under Key. Especially as there seems to be no one who can, or will, effectively call them to account (except perhaps Standardistas who do at least call them out.)

  6. fender 6

    Key in effect drove the getaway car and should also be investigated and possibly charged.
    Should his assets be seized in the interim?

  7. ron 7

    Bottom line is we won’t see a decision from the cops for months and the Tory machine will have plenty of time to work out how to wriggle out of it. With the collusion of the media, they’ll sail through this one.

  8. james 111 8

    The Jungle drums are beating but alas there is no story to tell. No conspiracy nothing to pin on JK here

    • Gawd James a show that Key took part in may result in a prosecution.  How much more evidence do you need?

      • David C 8.1.1

        “may result in a prosecution” ?
        Dream on.
        Winston did worse in ’08 and I dont think he even got a wet bus ticket slap.

        and anyways…if Key was found to be a bad boy..he would just retrospectivley change the law so he was golden again. He wouldnt be the first to do so.

        • vto 8.1.1.1

          Yep

          Pricks, the lot. This is why they are held in such low regard by the public.

          edit: I pull that back part way. There are some bad eggs and plenty of fine upstanding types. The bad eggs just stink the place up. Key stinks.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      No conspiracy nothing to pin on JK here

      You’re right there’s no covert conspiracy it was all on nation wide radio

  9. Spam 9

    Gawd James a show that Key took part in may result in a prosecution. How much more evidence do you need?

    And the amusing thing is that Labour’s main issue is that they are pissed that they didn’t get an opportunity to break the law (again) as well.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      the amusing thing is seeing the PM duck and weave now he is known to have participated in an hour of law breaking

      • Spam 9.1.1

        How many hours of lawbreaking did Helen participate in?

        • bbfloyd 9.1.1.1

          wow spammy… you may just be new zealand’s answer to norman mailer!!! i literally……felt …the rapier ….thrust…….. of your ….stunning …………riposte …. gasp!!

  10. marsman 10

    The Shonkey Show brought to you by bought media.

  11. Blue 11

    RadioLive: Hey, Mr Key, would you like an hour’s free advertising on our radio station in the run up to the election?
    John Key: Boy, would I! But aren’t there rules about that or something? Like, it could be illegal?
    RadioLive: Huh. Didn’t think of that. Must get that checked.
    Electoral Commission: You should probably not do that. But if you do, wear a hard hat cause it could hurt. A lot.
    RadioLive: They just gave us the go ahead!
    John Key: So, Steve, can we really do this? It seems too good to be true!
    Steven Joyce: Nah, it’s all good. If it all goes to to shit then RadioLive will be in the gun for it, not us.
    John Key: Man I love bending the rules in my favour! Life is good!
    RadioLive: As long as he doesn’t talk politics and just promotes his personal brand, you know, the one that voters love, it should be all good, right?
    John Key: I am appreciating the wisdom of giving MediaWorks that big loan.
    Steven Joyce: I told you that was an awesome idea. Now they have the money to pay up when this backfires on them.
    Electoral Commission (three months later): We are not amused.

  12. Drongo 12

    Really enjoying that guilty look Key increasingly has on his face. Would be good to publish a book of photographs called something like “The Guilty Faces of John Key”, or “The Many Faces of a Lying Man” etc…

  13. ianmac 13

    But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.
    That’s the bit that sticks in my sense of fair play. Cowardly.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    But they have been pretty clear about putting the responsibility on the broadcaster, which is useful.

    remember that dude who went on and on and on about the sort of administration he would lead; one with the highest ethical standards; what was his name again?

  15. Pascal's bookie 15

    Though to be fair, the same guy did seem to think that keeping quiet about the fact that a candidate stole the identity of a dead baby is a highly ethical move.

    Bloody subjectivism amirite?

  16. Jester 16

    Shouldn’t Labour and it’s zealots be concentrating on working out how to stop the Greens, NZFirst and Mana from stealing its thunder with Joe Public?

  17. shorts 17

    whilst its an important issue I do hope Labour aren’t going to focus on Key bashing over this

    it is a tactic that has only backfired on them for three years and only serves to add fire to the ‘nasty party’ promoters

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    haha. Concern trolls are concerned.

    • Jester 18.1

      Hi Pascal B. I’m far from concerned. It suits my political leanings that Labour continues it’s form since 2008. Proven fact is that the voting public is turned off by petty attacks.
      What I was alluding to is that whilst you fiddle, Rome burns. Rome being Labour.

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1

        I think you need some new material jester, unless you are aiming for ‘lolcow’, in which case carry on.

        • Jester 18.1.1.1

          Glad I can provide you with a target Pascal, but wouldn’t it be better if you attacked the message and not the messenger. Perhaps that time old auto-response is why Labour suffered such a crushing defeat in 2011. What’s hoped to be achieved with the petty attacks over Key’s radio appearance? Will it get more than a paltry 34 Labour MPs onto the benches? Will it break the insufferable silence that has afflicted David.Shearer. Will it mean the swing voters will take Labour and it’s devotees any more serious than it does now?

          I doubt it.

          For every petty attack it just shifts the Green Party closer to the position of the most credible party in opposition.

          [lprent: Try using your alleged intelligence and search “@author Pascal’s Bookie” or similar before you make such stupid assumptions. The Labour party blog is at Red Alert. Many commentators here don’t support the Labour party.

          I see from previous comments that it is common failing of yours to assume everyone here is a Labour party member. So much so that I’m going to start treating it as being a trolling behaviour if you use it again. I will start at 4 weeks ban.

          Then I won’t have to spend so much time reading comments explaining the basics of political life to you. ]

          • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1.1.1

            Why you think I’m some sort of partisan labour supporter is a mystery, but do go on.

            A question though, oh font of political strategic wisdom: Do you think a political battlefield is a dynamic environment?

            If not, (if you think the battlefield is unchanging, and that the actors and the perceptions of those actors are static), then your mewlings would be explained, and indeed have a certain wisdom to them.

            If not however, then they are pretty much gobshite.

            • Jester 18.1.1.1.1.1

              I didn’t realize I made the inference that you were a partisan labour supporter. I merely made note that you attacked the messenger and not the message. I went onto make the connection of that with the pettiness culture of Election 2011 that turned off the voting public.

              As for dynamic environments, I believe the voting public already decided on which political landscape they wanted. It doesn’t appear to have been one that retained and continues to use the strategy of cheap political point scoring.

              Same old, same old didn’t win votes. Fact.

          • Jester 18.1.1.1.2

            Oh stop being a crybaby Lyn. If you want to ban me for having a different viewpoint than you and your ilk then do so, just don’t paint it anything other than what it is.

            [lprent: Believe whatever makes you feel good about yourself. But you will either change your behaviour on this site or you won’t be commenting here. I’m just tired of you repeating the same old flame troll tactics from 2008. It does show a complete inability to learn from experience. If you don’t like how things operate here, then go elsewhere. If you repeat then I’ll ban. Simple really. ]

            • newsense 18.1.1.1.2.1

              A strange beast which in all tongues is called fool

            • newsense 18.1.1.1.2.2

              A strange beast which in all tongues is called fool

            • infused 18.1.1.1.2.3

              That’s the standard way.

              [lprent: You’re two days early but it is sound advice. We don’t have a lot of time for people prospecting for darwin awards and dissing either us or the site here. People can do that elsewhere if they want. Here it tends to lead to sharp curtailment. ]

  19. Rupert the Beer 19

    When I worked in the public service, you had to indicate which part of Section 9 of the OIA we were enacting to withhold information….

  20. infused 20

    Pretty good planning imo. Well done.

  21. Jack 21

    Key is suppose to embrace the law and enforce it, seems he’s been either running away from it or hiding behind it. Doesn’t this show how shallow he really is??

  22. Roy 22

    Considering what a cushy ride the media have given him for so long, it’s also interesting how nonchalant he and his staff are about letting the media carry all the blame.

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