Fran O’Sullivan

John Roughan on Hager’s preciousness

John Roughan makes a few telling comments about Nicky Hagers ongoing preciousness.

The day police searched his Wellington home he was in Auckland giving lectures at the university, so he ought to be able to tell us more about the fear gripping the faculties. I think it is time he did some regular reporting and told us the actual experiences of those “chilled” academics and the voices that have been “closed down”.

Like a real journalist, Hager says he will refuse to co-operate with the police in their attempt to discover who hacked Cameron Slater’s computers and stole his private emails.

“I believe the police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand,” he said. “It matters to all people working in the media who could similarly have their property searched and seized to look for sources. People are less likely to help the media if the police act in this way. The police want people to respect their role in society; they should in turn respect other people’s roles in society.”

It always embarrasses me when we react hysterically like this. To the public we must sound precious, irresponsible and unprofessional. People know we have a job to do and so do the police.

The reason we reserve the right to refuse co-operation with criminal investigations is, as Hager said, because informants may be afraid to talk to reporters in confidence if they think we will comply. But we tend to garnish that practical reason with a great deal of self-righteousness about the public’s right to know.   Read more »

A watershed moment

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Fran O’Sullivan

I think I will have to calm Cactus Kate down this afternoon, this has never happened before.

It has always been the other way around. Given the vagaries of time zones I suspect it may be difficult to get hold of her especially as it is Saturday, which follows Friday night.

Nevertheless, I really wouldn’t want to be the journalist who spilled her guts and published private conversations with Cactus. Who on earth would now ever speak or chat with Fran O’Sullivan in what you may have thought were private conversations? She has shown a willingness to publish those private chats in order to protect her own hide.

I suspect things are going to get messy.

The journalist sounds like she is protesting too much and covering her own arse.

I would have thought discretion was the better part of valour, since the very people she has slammed in her article are yet to give evidence (as witnesses, not as participants, “a distinction that will not be lost on sensible readers”) to the inquiry.

I note that O’Sullivan has relied on Cactus properly doing a search in Gmail for her name.

Bad mistake Fran, given that Cactus has a terribly short span of attention when it comes to IT matters because she has always had staff to do work for her, then I suspect she probably got bored after the third emails and thought to herself, “that’ll do, Fran will be OK with this, time for one of those famous Hong Kong brunches”.

O’Sullivan really should have checked her calendar when making a request that required concentration and accuracy…word for the wise…Saturday comes after Friday night, and everyone knows what happens in Lan Kwai Fong on Friday nights, which is why extensive brunch buffets on Saturday have copious quantities of booze soaking food.

I pity O’Sullivan for gobbing off in the media ahead of three other people having to give evidence to the inquiry.   Read more »

Poor Nicky, on edge after cops raid his house

Nicky Hager is crying a river of tears to anyone who will listen, which is most of the complicit media, like his pal David “Tainted” Fisher:

The family of journalist Nicky Hager have been left worried and afraid after a 10-hour police search of his home in a bid to find the hacker Rawshark.

Computers and papers were seized in what appeared to be an attempt to discover the identity of the person who provided information used in his Dirty Politics book.

[...]

Hager said five officers came to his Wellington home last Thursday with a search warrant.

He was in Auckland at the time, giving lectures at the University of Auckland.

“Soon after the police arrived, the lead detective stated that I was not a suspect in their case, merely a witness.”

Hager’s sister Mandy Hager was present at the raid, and described on Twitter last night what took place.

“I observed police as they searched – polite and respectful (and slightly sheepish) – clearly strings pulled from above #dirtypolitics,” she wrote.

A police spokesman told the Herald officers had not deliberately waited until after the September 20 election to conduct the search.

“No. This is a purely operational decision based on where our inquiries have led us to date.”

In a media statement, a spokesman confirmed police had removed “computers and related items under search warrant from a Wellington address” as part of their ongoing investigation into alleged hacking of Slater’s emails.

Read more »

The Amazing Contortions of the NZ Herald and other journalists

David Farrar points out the utter hypocrisy of the media:

This is the e-mail released by the PM’s Office. Obviously it has impacted Judith Collins, but if you read the whole thing you’ll see it backs something I have said consistently.

Cameron deals with a huge range of people, including Labour MPs, Green MPs, and almost every media organisation in NZ. The book only showed you his interactions with people associated with National, but this e-mail includes media contact with no less than four different journalists. One specific quote:

I am maintaining daily communications with Jared Savage at the Herald and he is passing information directly to me that the Herald can’t run and so are feeding me to run on the blog.

Now let me say again that what Cam says in an e-mail is his interpretation of events. I regard Jared Savage as an excellent investigative reporter. But the e-mail does lead to questions being asked. How is media giving Cam stories, different to a press secretary doing so?

Now again what Cam has written is his interpretation. It may not be the literal truth of what Jared was doing. But here’s the thing – you need to be consistent. If you accept everything in the e-mails written by Cam as the literal truth, then the NZ Herald was feeding stories to Whale Oil, which they could not run in their newspaper. If you do not accept those e-mails as the literal truth, then why would you accept the ones about interactions with people in National as the literal truth?

Is the Herald going to say that everything Cameron wrote about his dealings with us is incorrect, yet everything else is correct?

Will other media subject Herald reporters and editors to the same level of inquiry that they have subjected others named in the hacked e-mails to?

Read more »

Dear readers, you are all wrong, just ask Fran O’Sullivan

Fran O’Sullivan looks like she has drunk the Dotcom Koolaid this morning.

She thinks that all of you are wrong and there is nothing wrong with the antics of Kim Dotcom and his paid hangers on.

‘Are you Red-dee for a Rev-Oh – Loo- Shin? Are you Red-dee to take down the Government? Are you Red-dee to extradite John Key?” The thick Germanic accent bellowing out these words will be burned into the brain of anyone with a compulsive interest in New Zealand politics after Kim Dotcom’s latest video went viral.

So too, the imagery of Christchurch students chanting “F … John Key, F … John Key, F … John Key” to the rhythm of Dotcom’s baton.

It’s important not to take too seriously the howls of outrage over Dotcom’s latest political orchestration. Or, for that matter the students’ antics.

Wake up people.

There is an election on after all.

There should be contest. There should be passion.

Read more »

Let’s do ‘The Cunliffe’ again

With both Matthew Hooton and Fran O’Sullivan picking up a step tot eh right by The Cunliffe, it reminded me of the time less classic from The Rocky Horror Picture Show “The Time Warp”.

Of course it is apt with The Cunliffe also apologising for being a man.

I’ve renamed the song “The Cunliffe”


 

(Riff Raff) It’s astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes it’s toll…

(Magenta) Ahh…

(Riff Raff) But listen closely…

(Magenta) Not for very much longer…

(Riff Raff) I’ve got to keep control.
I remember doing The Cunliffe.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.

(Riff Raff & Magenta) And the void would be calling.    Read more »

Fran on John

She’s in love I think

When the Prime Minister is on top of his game – as he was at yesterday’s post Budget luncheon – he is world-class.

John Key spoke without notes. He was completely fluent. No “ums” or “ahs” or stumbling Mr Average here. He was very much in the mode of a former top-flight international businessman. The guy who served on the board of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve. The persona that I prefer to the one that he has created to make him accessible to all New Zealanders.

He held the audience in his hand. Even the joke about his daughter Steffie being in the news again for “taking off another item of clothing” was delivered with sufficient panache to have the audience laughing with him rather than wincing.

Key has already launched the phony election campaign.

He did that in Parliament on Thursday afternoon when he slaughtered Labour leader David Cunliffe in a rambunctious speech designed to rally his troops, during which he compared the National-led Government’s record with Labour’s on well-chosen metrics ranging from house price inflation, interest rates, the number of Kiwis turning their backs on New Zealand to pursue their fortune in Australia – and more.

Slaughtered.

Nice to see the old media getting comfortable with Whaleoil adjectives.   Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on the Budget

Fran O’Sullivan notes that Bill English’s sixth budget will be causing anguish and pain inside LAbour.

Finance Minister Bill English’s sixth Budget has taken the wind out of Labour’s electoral sails. Labour is rather miffed that English has announced a $500 million “children and families” package as the centrepiece of the pre-election Budget.

But Labour has no monopoly on social policies.

More importantly John Key is also a practiced exponent of games theory.

His opponents slag him off for making a pile in forex trading. But his skills at picking inflexion points are just as transferable to raw politics.

That’s why the Prime Minister still confounds his rivals. They expect him to adopt a fixed ideological position. Not steal what they believe is theirs.

Key talks about progressive policies with nary a blush.

English’s rhetoric is more restrained and managerial.

He doesn’t oversell his position. But the election is not a zero sum game.

Multiple players will engage.

That’s why Key and English have kept enough up their sleeves to fund new policies closer to the September 20 election.

Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on the loss of Shane Jones

Fran O’Sullivan uses her column today to damn David Parker for a lack of courage. Oh sure she never actually says that but she alludes to it very cleverly.

Much has been made of the invitation that Foreign Minister Murray McCully made to Jones to be New Zealand’s first Economic Ambassador to the Pacific. The Labour MP certainly has the skill set to look at how best to balance New Zealand’s interests with that of the Pacific nations to better leverage resources such as fisheries either alongside or preferably with the involvement of other players like China and the United States.

The role is probably as big or small as he wants to make it.

But Labour will miss his courage and deeply grounded sense of reality. Who else will strongly make the case for a Labour-led Government to hold its ground and get openly behind the extractive industries and the jobs they bring? Who else will call time on the “BS” which holds Maoridom back from fulfilling its economic destiny and ensuring young people “get off their As” to work and take part in NZ society? (Hard to do as a Pakeha).   Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan on Kim Dotcom’s political foray

Fran O’Sullivan explores Kim Dotcom’s stable of bought politicians:

Kim Dotcom bought his New Zealand residency with a $10 million cheque; now he wants to buy off Hone Harawira to try to secure the balance of power at the September election.

That’s the most important development relating to the birth of the Internet Party.

It’s certainly not his pledge to bring internet equality to New Zealand. Who’s going fund that, Kim?

Nor the fact that Dotcom owns a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. So what? Mere ownership doesn’t make him a Nazi sympathiser. (I own a Chinese tract signed by the disgraced Bo Xilai and that doesn’t make me a Communist either).

This issue will remain a red herring unless evidence is made public — not merely hinted at — that Dotcom is a closet Nazi and anti-Semitic to boot.

Until then there is no game-changer.  Read more »