Lyndon Hood: Nicky Hager - Guilty of Journalism?

Published: Thu 23 Nov 2006 10:50 AM
Nicky Hager: Guilty of Journalism?Scoop Feedback Acquired Definitely In Some Way Other Than Leaking By Lyndon Hood
Dear Sir,
Nicky Hager, if that's his real name, is proposing to publish some sort of book. There been a lot of waffling in the papers about accountability and public interest but this so-called debate is missing the point.
It took me some time to understand it, but it seems the information in question was not released by an official press spokesman in any way. Yet Mr Hager, who wants to publish it, still claims to be a 'journalist'. Well, I don't see many other 'journalists' behaving like that.
Mr Hager claims to have 'leaked' emails. Weasel words for 'stolen'. Which really means 'ripped from the entrails of Don Brash's person computer at gunpoint'. And that's wrong.
The whole idea is unprecedented. Never before in the history of the universe has a communication that the author did not wish to be revealed been made public - and made public, I might add, in a way that might reflect badly on the person whose document it is.
This cannot go unpunished. Never mind a political party: what if that happened to a government? Or a major corporation?
It's especially ironic, because I am sure that the National Party in particular could never even have imagined such an action.
I understand the traditional penalty for this sort of thing is beheading.
If it is allowed, who knows what might ensue? The practise might spread: soon, if anybody feels that they are surrounded by secret corruption, illegality or immorality, they might feel able to inform the public of it! Is that the kind of society we want to live in?
We cannot allow the taint of corruption to hover over our most important institutions. Therefore, nobody should be allowed to say anything bad about anyone involved in them, especially if it's true.
However, we need not fear. Dr Donald Brash has displayed his usual visionary prescience. Despite having, as he himself says, absolutely no idea Hager was publishing a book, he got a court injunction just days before it was to be released.
Serves that nasty leftie right for trying to imply Don Brash was a liar.
The injunction still stands, and rightly. How can Dr Brash properly go about his constitutional role of accusing the Government of corruption if people insist on investigating his behaviour?
However, an excellent compromise has been suggested by Dr Brash, where Mr Hager is encouraged to publish his book, provided he does not publish any of its contents.
Perhaps, to be especially generous, he could publish some of the contents, if he excised his evidence.
If the book is released, we will be able to evaluate Mr Hager's accusations in the light of day, and the world will be given an insight into the workings of a modern political party. We can only be grateful we have the courts to stand between us and such a fate.
The People of New Zealand

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