Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Never mind the quality ...

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  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Tucker has clarified that he briefed the Prime Minister “through his office”, not the PM himself.

    Given my own (admittedly sparse) dealings with our security agencies, they don't talk to the Office, only to the Minister. If there's nothing in writing, then it was a verbal briefing and they don't do those over the phone in case of interception. It's basic spycraft and they take it dead seriously.

    Ergo , Tucker, or his deputy, briefed John Key personally face to face, and he's now lying which is a very silly thing to do when his old fiefdom is being independently investigated.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    FYI, today's front page in the Waikato Times:

    Rumours doing the rounds on social media yesterday suggested a group of Young Nats in Hamilton might take matters into their own hands and dispose of a large stock of the dreaded book.

    It's not exactly on the same scale as the book burnings of the Nazi regime or the anti-communist McCarthy era but social media was yesterday buzzing with rumours of an imminent book burning at Waikato University.

    The head of the Waikato Students' Union and a former member of the Young Nats is alleged to have bought 202 copies of Hager's book to burn.

    Aaron Letcher has denied the claims, but the leader of NZ First Youth and a Waikato University source, who asked not to be named, said he did.

    Perhaps Geoff can keep an eye peeled for the campus book burning, and track down the Hamilton bookstore that had one hell of a good day. Doesn't look like anyone at the Waikato Times could be arsed.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Snicker. I think that story may be the product of some feverish imaginations.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    In Espedair Street Iain Banks has his musician character produce an inflammatory record, which is ritually burnt across the southern US. The character suggests to his record company that they produce a special pressing with fireworks incorporated in the vinyl for the benefit of these people.

    Maybe Craig Potton could follow suit and make a special immolation edition for those wanting to spend their money.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to CJM,

    Yes but when Tucker refers to speaking to the ‘Prime Minister’ you have to understand that that is just the arcane lingo the SIS use. Speaking to the ‘Prime Minister’ can simply mean a chair is being addressed. Or a hat. Or an HB pencil.

    LOL - you don't know how right you are.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Johnny Canuck, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Perhaps he got confused and discussed the matter with the receptionist, instead? Or the guy that cleans the prime ministerial commode?

    Vancouver BC • Since Feb 2013 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Snicker. I think that story may be the product of some feverish imaginations.

    Yeah -- what's really not at all funny is a newspaper running a front page story whose only on the record source is the Facebook page of some New Zealand First... person. I know everyone wants their own "dirty politics" scoop, but this is just dirty media.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to Johnny Canuck,

    "Or the guy that cleans the prime ministerial commode?"

    That guy does not need to clean that particular commode as JK's shit neither stinks or sticks

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    you can, conceivably, have an email discussion

    Yeah, nah. Tucker's letter and the Ombudsman's say there is no documentation, which would include emails. Tucker's toast on this.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Oh yeah, it's super lazy from the media to run a story on Curwen's say-so alone - I'm quite surprised it made it that far.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Oh yeah, it's super lazy from the media to run a story on Curwen's say-so alone - I'm quite surprised it made it that far.

    He himself said "So, apparently..."! To treat him like a primary source is simply insane.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Still, if the Nats are going to run a small target media strategy, they must get that this means there’s going to be a flood of fill-the-vacuum stories — see the pretty minor “Judith Collins names a lane after a mate” story yesterday.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Tucker’s toast on this.

    Reminds me, lunchtime…
    A fellow going by the moniker Esquire posed this question int’ ’erald…

    "The average elector is asking two questions –
    1. Will this pay by electricity bill and buy my groceries?
    2. Do I want a change of government?
    The answer to both is NO, and so this investigation will have no effect on anything."

    To which I had to reply…



    Actually you are wrong, again.
    The fact that Electricity prices have soared is directly to do with National. First, by introducing competition, drastically increasing the overheads of sales and generation by compounding administration costs. Second by privatising suppliers, meaning that their main goal is to increase profit for their shareholders. As for groceries, increasing GST to 15% without exempting basic foods was a kick in the ’nads for all those on minimum wage.
    So, change of Govt.? I think most will want this , especially now the Emperor has been not only seen to be naked but also lacking in manhood.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Doesn’t look like anyone at the Waikato Times could be arsed.

    When will Peak Clickbait be reached, if ever?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Perhaps Geoff can keep an eye peeled for the campus book burning, and track down the Hamilton bookstore that had one hell of a good day. Doesn't look like anyone at the Waikato Times could be arsed.

    The Hamilton seats used to always go with the government, I think that may have changed somewhat, but it is interesting that the Times has given this demonstrably crap story such prominence.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Oh yeah, it’s super lazy from the media to run a story on Curwen’s say-so alone – I’m quite surprised it made it that far.

    He himself said “So, apparently…”! To treat him like a primary source is simply insane.

    To be fair on the paper, they also quote another UoW source, albeit unnamed. Hard for the reader to asses the credibility of the claim without knowing who that source is, or what evidence they have, but two sources is a pretty common policy.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Still, if the Nats are going to run a small target media strategy, they must get that this means there’s going to be a flood of fill-the-vacuum stories — see the pretty minor “Judith Collins names a lane after a mate” story yesterday.

    Nah, that dog’s not going to hunt. Someone running a “small target media strategy” doesn’t give anyone else license to run crap stories. I’m sure Fairfax is mightily pissed Whaledump picked up the phone and called The Herald, but thems the breaks. David Fisher gets the byline on those stories, and the NZH takes the "first" bragging rights. You respond by doing better work – and, on the whole, the Waikato Times is a solid provincial paper that’s more than capable of doing exactly that.

    And as I’ve said elsewhere and often, it’s better to get the story right rather than right now. The BBC is re-learning that lesson the hard way as we speak, with their Cliff Richard raid scoop sparking quite a backlash.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    they don’t talk to the Office, only to the Minister

    that's what I'd expect. And even if they did, it wouldn't be Ede. Wonder how Eagleson's job prospects are today?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    No, I don't mean that the papers should do that. I mean that there's clearly a calculation by the Nats that it's better to take those cheap hits and avoid letting Collins front, or Key give any answer that's not "at the end of the day".

    Definitely the Waikato Times shouldn't have run that story.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Hard for the reader to asses the credibility of the claim without knowing who that source is, or what evidence they have, but two sources is a pretty common policy.

    A source who prefixes their story with "apparently" is not a source.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    and, on the whole, the Waikato Times is a solid provincial paper that’s more than capable of doing exactly that.

    With the possible exception of Narelle Henson whenever she lets her Maxim Institute past reassert itself.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Am I the only one getting a strong sense of deja-vu over this SIS thing? It seems like Key is reading from the same script he used when getting questioned over the GCSB. "I didn't know, I can't remember..."

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Definitely the Waikato Times shouldn’t have run that story.

    It’s hardly a front-pager, because an unnamed source and a facebook page aren’t much to go on, unless the unnamed source happens to be highly credible. Someone is lying.

    His claims have been backed by a Waikato University student who saw the books in Letcher’s possession.

    The source understood that Letcher had been given money from someone within the National Party to buy the books.

    Letcher said: “I have one copy of the book and I haven’t finished it yet. I’m not involved in this."

    (my italics)
    More than likely the paper got played. Hopefully they’ll look into it thoroughly. But if it turns out to be true, it’s not such a stupid story.
    </sideshow>

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to SteveH,

    Am I the only one getting a strong sense of deja-vu over this SIS thing? It seems like Key is reading from the same script he used when getting questioned over the GCSB. “I didn’t know, I can’t remember…”

    "Explaining is losing" only works up to a point. It's of little or no use when a big inferno happens to be spreading across both sides of the Tiber River.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    I'm mystified as to how 'the general public' don't seem to give a shit about blatant lies being told to their faces. Key, Slater, Collins et al have been lying non-stop ever since the book came out. Is anybody keeping a tally? It's unbelievable that people would actually swallow any of this.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 43 posts Report Reply

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