The media continue to make themselves the story in attempting to pursue John Key.
Apparently the inquiry that the opposition called for, the media demanded is now the “sound was of the democratic fabric being ripped asunder”.
So far John Armstrong is the most outraged using all sorts of metaphors to try to describe one little inquiry as some affront to democratic traditions.
Thrown together in the rabbit warren which passes for the parliamentary complex – a veritable hothouse fuelled by rampant ego, unrequited ambition, never-ending rumour and constant intrigue – MPs and media nevertheless have to establish a degree of trust for their mutually parasitic relationship to function effectively.
That trust works on many levels, be it MPs feeling they can talk off-the-record confident they will not be shopped to their superiors, to journalists respecting embargoes, to Cabinet ministers not blocking the release of sensitive documents sought by media under the Official Information Act.
That trust can take a long time to establish. It can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.
Even so, when trust does break down, it usually amounts to little more than a pin-prick on the fabric of democracy.
Not so this week, however. The prevailing sound was of the democratic fabric being ripped asunder.
The trawling of a Press Gallery reporter’s phone logs by parliamentary authorities is a breach of trust of such mega proportions that it may well place a lingering chill on politician-journalist contact.
What a load of horse-shit.
Presumably John Armstrong had to surreptitiously write his article away from the prying eyes of government censors standing over journalists in the press gallery? His editor had to avoid the jack-booted goon standing in the corner of his office and they had to print the paper from an undisclosed location in order to get the story out?
Or perhaps they are massively over egging a rather silly little pudding massively. If the very fabric of democracy was being ripped asunder surely they would have trouble even reporting on this, the radio and television stations would be screening documentaries of our glorious past leaders in place of real news.
These guys know not what they enjoy. They are being shown up for the petulant and pathetic howlers that they are.
Of course what goes unsaid is that in New Zealand at the moment the media are the opposition.
Now what is more of a affront to democratic freedoms than an activist unelected media intent on a political agenda trying to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister by white-anting him through their publications?
I’m reminded of a song that applies equally to the media as well as to Wayne Eagleson and his pals.