Rob Hosking on Hager and his motivations and failures

The mouth breathers of the left would have you believe that every prognostication of Nicky Hager is gospel…they are wrong.

Rob Hosking at the NBR explains the disconnect and why Dirty Politics failed.

This confusion over hats was also, ultimately, why Nicky Hager’sDirty Politics – which dominated so much of politics since August – was ineffective.

Mr Hager’s supporters claim the book is factual, rather like a documentary. “Nicky Hager has never been proved wrong!” is not an uncommon claim made by his more mouth-breathy adherents.

Setting aside the fact that anyone claiming this sort of perfection in  another human being is in the grip of religious fervour rather than arriving at any sort of rational assessment, it actually isn’t correct.

A number of the claims within ‘Dirty Politics’ turned out to be quite dubious: the result of Mr Hager getting a hold of communications from Mr Slater at a time Mr Slater was wearing his “I’m Exaggerating Through My Teeth” hat.  Mr Hager can’t be blamed for the blogger’s overblown fulminations but it is hilarious he took so many of them at face value.

But the problem with Mr Hager’s approach, politically, is it asked – nay, demanded – to be taken as something other than it was.

It was clearly timed to disrupt the election campaign and hurt National. Nothing inherently  objectionable in that – it is a legitimate political ploy.

But Mr Hager likes to pretend he is above such things. In his world, he doesn’t do political ploys, other people do. But if you are going to then maintain you are not trying to affect the election result, and indeed you are innocent of any political motivation – as Mr Hager does – people are going to jump to two conclusions.

One is the hat you are wearing is different from the one you pretend to be wearing and is nowhere near as white.

Secondly, they’re going to be a bit annoyed at having their intelligence insulted.  People really don’t like that.

Dirty Politics was the left-wing’s own Dirty Politics.

They employed a hacker/criminal to attack a journalist’s private communications, then used other activists to sift through them to feed an author (Hager, he isn’t a journalist) in order to create ‘public interest’, and then fed sympathetic journalists.

It was a political criminal conspiracy and it was an attempt to subvert an election.

It failed because the general public could see where the real dirty politics lay, and it was not with John Key and National it was with the left-wing and their assorted hangers on.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.