Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Let's be hearing it

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  • Gary Rawnsley,

    Yeah, Plunket was strangely sympathetic. When Brash said, “I’m not proposing to resign today", I expected Plunket to reply, "So you'll be thinking about resigning tomorrow?" But he let the comment pass completely by... In any case, Brash is clearly readying himself to jump ship. Question is: Will Key be left unscathed enough to remain the frontrunner to be the new leader?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • larryq,

    Just about everyone agrees that the book needs to be out there ASAP so that people can make their own judgements. I just wish we had someone of the stature of Bob Woodward to do such a job. The fact the Nicky Hagar has done it, a very nice man but with a very strong ideological position to push, almost nullifies any good points he makes. Where are our emeritus professional journalists, who should be doing such stories? People who are not concerned that such a publication would ruin their career because they are old....What has happened to our old brave journalists?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Insolent Prick,

    Herald digipoll today shows National on 47.3% support, seven percent ahead of Labour.

    Is it really any wonder that the Labour Party would collude with Nicky Hager in this preposterous beat-up? Yet more shrieks of "EXCLUSIVE BRETHREN!", rehashed claims that Americans were writing National Party policy, and that people anonymously and legitimately made donations to the National Party last election, just as Labour has received large anonymous and corporate donations for the last seven years.

    There is nothing new here; we still are stuck with a desperate Labour Party willing to resort to a scumbag pseudo-investigative journalist like Nicky Hager using stolen personal correspondence to come up with absurd conspiracy theories on nothing new.

    Bring it on. Labour is still toast.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Plunket is a pretty lousy interviewer.

    As you pointed out he tends to have his arm round some subjects who need to be interviewed whilst he is willing to shout at others. Vis also his efforts with the Chair of the ARC this morning. That man had some interesting things to say but all Plunket could do was yell and interrupt about the "unacceptably short" timeframe for the decision.

    Maggie Barry a diamond when she gets on air. Not only can she ask hard questions, calmly, she actually listens to answers and adjusts her questioning appropriately.

    Her interview with a snivelling Judith Collins was a classic.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • noizyboy,

    ...we still are stuck with a desperate Labour Party willing to resort to a scumbag pseudo-investigative journalist like Nicky Hager

    Hager is on the Labour payroll? The same Hager who embarassed Labour with Corngate? How does that work then?

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Malcolm 141,

    This exposes the futility of the "bread and circuses" distraction of the Waterfront Stadium. Why bother? The blood and murder in the Forum is far more entertaining!

    Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Herald digipoll today shows National on 47.3% support, seven percent ahead of Labour.

    Interesting figures, it should be pointed out that was a poll of Aucklanders. I believe Auckland voted in bigger numbers for National than Labour in the General Election. That poll was at least carried out by a rebutable organisation.

    The one from the Herald that Plunket quoted on National Radio this morning was a disgrace.

    Under the headline "Herald readers opt for Eden Park" we discover:

    That is clear from a breakdown of emails received by the newspaper in response to questions about readers' choice of arena to host the 2011 cup final.

    Unbelievable.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Insolent Prick,

    Come on, noizyboy. You really don't think Pete Hodgson had copies of the emails?

    Let's see who had the stolen emails: Winston Peters, his staff (who deleted them), Jordan Carter (on the basis of claims of inside knowledge as to their contents), and half of the Labour Party.

    Nicky Hager is a fringe socialist. Faced with the prospect of Don Brash becoming Prime Minister, of course he's going to collude with the Labour Party.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    I have to admit feeling a bit sorry for Hager too. He's taking a hell of a shellacking from all sorts of rabid folk out there...hopefully the evidence, once laid out, brings him some semblance of redemption.

    If not, he may as well slink off and open Hager, Wisheart and Coddswollop PR Inc. "For all the news that's fun to print!"

    If nothing else, it's been good sport watching the froth on the lips of the deniers...

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    There is nothing new here; we still are stuck with a desperate Labour Party willing to resort to a scumbag pseudo-investigative journalist like Nicky Hager using stolen personal correspondence to come up with absurd conspiracy theories on nothing new.

    Let's play cut and paste!

    There is nothing new here; we still are stuck with a desperate NATIONAL Party willing to resort to a scumbag pseudo-investigative journalist like IAN WISHART using IMAGES FROM THE PUBLIC DOMAIN to come up with absurd conspiracy theories on THE PM'S HUSBAND'S SEXUALITY.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 238 posts Report Reply

  • Insolent Prick,

    Mark,

    I have never defended Wishart. I've been bagging the guy well before he came up with the totally irrelevant stuff on Peter Davis. Have a look at http://insolentprick.blogspot.com/2006/05/new-crusaders.html

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Regardless of motives lets see what National says in its emails. If they have nothing to hide then people can crawl back into their holes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    It's reasonable to question the veracity of Hager's material but it would be a mistake to lose sight of the valid questions he appears to raise.

    In particular, there is this: in just what circumstances does Don Brash believe it is acceptable to withhold information - or further - actively dissemble?

    We should recall he has said this in a 1998 speech in London:

    Then I asked them whether they were suggesting that the Labour Party had had a moral obligation to lie. They did not like that conclusion, and neither did I, but I am reminded of the conversation whenever it is suggested that Governments should not undertake reforms until a majority of the population support those reforms.

    The question it leaves us in this context is: in what other contexts, if any, does he take the view, for high, low, paternal, or other motives, that what he tells the public need not square with what he actually knows?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    "Interesting figures, it should be pointed out that was a poll of Aucklanders. I believe Auckland voted in bigger numbers for National than Labour in the General Election."

    Nope. Auckland went Labour.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Gerry Rawnsley wrote:
    Yeah, Plunket was strangely sympathetic. When Brash said, “I’m not proposing to resign today", I expected Plunket to reply, "So you'll be thinking about resigning tomorrow?" But he let the comment pass completely by...

    Um, I don't know if you noticed, but a while back Plunkett was suspended after a *ahem* very vigourous interview with Jeanette Fitzsimmons last year, and has significantly toned down the 'combative' element of his interviews with senior politicians as a result?

    As for being 'strangely sympathetic', was what Plunket said an unfair or inaccurate summary of what Hagar said in the preceding interview - which wasn't exactly a flame-grilling either?

    Plunket asked a perfectly legitimate question of Nikky Hagar: Did me believe the allegation he makes in the book would stand up without quoting from Brash's e-mail. Hagar said yes. Then it also strikes me as a perfectly legitimate follow up to ask why Hagar didn't recast the book without the injuncted material, and ithe response was equally legitimate.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Come on, noizyboy. You really don't think Pete Hodgson had copies of the emails?

    It's irrelevant. The question is whether the claims in the book have merit, and the rest of us can't know that until the book can safely be published.

    I guess posturing about the emails is inevitable, but it wouldn't be hard to list the occasions on which National - like any party of Opposition - has made use of leaked material.

    The book, like every other one Nicky Hager has written, is likely to be coloured by his political views - less in what information it includes than in how that information is characterised. Again, this is hardly unusual or unprecedented. It's probably the case with most political books.

    You're impugning someone as a conspiracy theorist by alleging another conspiracy, and missing the point in the process.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Insolent Prick,

    Come on, David. Do you really think Helen Clark wakes up every morning, saying to herself: "Today I am going to give the public every piece of information I know about my policies, my plans, my intentions and strategies, and not withhold any information that could potentially be politically damaging!"?

    Don Brash is a politician. Politics is by its nature murky. Nicky Hager is shining a blowtorch on that murkiness by publishing a tiny selection of Don Brash's private correspondence, with the express intention of leading the reader towards a certain conclusion.

    If I had Helen Clark's private correspondence, I could mount an argument that she colluded with Pol Pot, was responsible for covering up the holocaust, and is the demented love-child of Stalin.

    Hager's work is a beat-up by a fringe socialist who is desperately afraid of Don Brash's leadership taking National to victory next election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Michael Savidge wrote:
    I have to admit feeling a bit sorry for Hager too. He's taking a hell of a shellacking from all sorts of rabid folk out there...

    Hum, does that include the Prime Minister who (quite understandably) took very strong exception to the Hagar co-authored allegations that, on her watch as the responsible Minister, the SIS was spying on her political enemies, including an MP? In Clark's shoes I'd be a damn sight more offended by that, than absurd sin-uendo that my husband was a closeted (but astoundingly indiscreet) faggot, acting as my beard when I plotted with the rest of the vast dyke-wing conspiracy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Graeme - care to back that up with a link. I have read the opposite but cannot find stats either way. Obviously it also depends on who the Herald chose to represent Auckland. A ring around Epson might have considerably different results to Mt Albert.

    My point remains the same, this is not a notionwide poll and we don't even know which sub-areas were selected so pretty meaningless. Not as meaningless as a count of emails from readers but up there nonetheless.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    IP, I'm not saying she doesn't. I'm just asking in what context he does. It would be instructive to know whether the ambit of that context is broader than usual for a politician.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Then it also strikes me as a perfectly legitimate follow up to ask why Hagar didn't recast the book without the injuncted material, and ithe response was equally legitimate.

    And then Plunket helpfully suggested to Brash that Hager "couldn't be bothered" having his entire book re-edited, re-paginated and re-printed to satisfy an injunction that shouldn't apply anyway. It was a ridiculous comment. I have a small book publishing business, and I'm well aware that the bulk of the cost is in precisely those activities.

    And National doesn't get to pick and choose what someone can say about it either.

    Labour responded to the Corngate allegations by making a huge document dump, including a great deal of correspondence. That was a form of spin in itself - obfuscation by volume - but it's a more defensible response than trying to gag an author in the courts.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Plunket is a pretty lousy interviewer.

    i'm glad you said that. he annoys the hell out of me

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Nicky Wagner was tring to table leaked documents in Parliament yesterday. Documents that could no doubt have been Official Information Act'ed, but still.

    Hilarity.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hum, does that include the Prime Minister who (quite understandably) took very strong exception to the Hagar co-authored allegations that, on her watch as the responsible Minister, the SIS was spying on her political enemies, including an MP?

    As I've pointed out elsewhere, the official report on the Operation Leaf fiasco made it clear that it wasn't Hager's story, or his sources, and that he was drafted in very late in the piece (offering a "cautionary" voice, according to Cate Brett), shortly before publication. There may be many reasons to hang Nicky Hager but that's not a great one. And there was no attempt to prevent publication of those claims. On the contrary, they were made subject to independent inquiry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    Hagar on nine to noon today...


    there is gathering speculation that the emails have already posined brash and the next person that it might take is John Key.

    This means good news for Bill English.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 193 posts Report Reply

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