Hooton on Hager’s humongous hypocrisy

Matthew Hooton comments on Nick Hager’s humongous hypocrisy.

However much we may disapprove of Mr Hager, he deserves everyone’s support against these attacks on his privacy. Whether we are an extreme right-wing shock blogger like Mr Slater, or a far-left activist like Mr Hager, the police have no business searching our homes or workplaces unlawfully. Neither should any bank or airline hand over our private records to a government agency unless lawfully ordered to. It is not a question of “nothing to hide, nothing to fear.” Even the most virtuous tend to have doors on their bathrooms. Shame on the New Zealand Police.

That is the catch-cry of the left-wing too as they campaigned last election against “spying”.

Mr Hager, though, seems unable to apply a principled approach toward those he disapproves of, whether forestry companies, biotechnologists, intelligence agencies, centrist or right-wing politicians, or people using trusts in countries in which they are not resident.

Everything significant he has written in the last 20 years has been based on stolen or hacked documents to which he applies his own unique interpretation without bothering to establish background or context, and the scale of these ethical and legal breaches has reached industrial proportions.   

This week, Mr Hager defended the release of a quarter of a million names and addresses by the so-called International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) of which he is the sole New Zealand member. Among them will almost certainly be drug lords, tax evaders and other international criminals who should be drawn to the attention of authorities.

But also making the cut is the International Committee of the Red Cross, as did Greenpeace and Amnesty International in a previous Enemies List issued by Mr Hager’s friends. Several hundred New Zealand settlors, trustees, beneficiaries, directors and lawyers are among them, including some of my clients and friends.

All that links these people is that they are named in the stolen or hacked documents. We do not know the context for why they are mentioned and neither will Mr Hager’s friends give any of the documents to law enforcement authorities for review.

The smear was in, everyone inside the Panama Papers was dodgy, or in the words of Andrew Little, “grubby”.

This is absolutely despicable conduct and, if anything, it makes it worse that the ICIJ site includes a disclaimer that it does not “intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the … database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.” The least people with integrity would do before violating privacy on such a humungous scale would be to read the documents themselves, focus on those who do appear to have done something wrong and where necessary alert the authorities.

As it turns out, in the context of the ICIJ now holding nearly 12 million illegally obtained documents, the actual wrongdoing seems incredibly limited. True, there are serious political scandals in Iceland and Malta. But with Mossack Fonseca being the fourth-largest trust law firm in the world and no one suggesting it is the ultimate model of respectability, the hundreds of left-wing journalists who have been given access to all the documents have found surprisingly little to report. In New Zealand, the main attention has been a Tauranga Elvis impersonator’s links to a corrupt Iraqi, a perfectly legitimate Green Party donor and of course the prime minister referencing the inclusion of Greenpeace, Amnesty International and the Red Cross on the ICIJ database.

We cannot always say this but the New Zealand media have demonstrated near-exemplary integrity in dealing with the Enemies List. Not even TVNZ and RNZ have rushed around demanding people prove their innocence against the unspecified allegations of Mr Hager’s friends. Only he appears to be defending the publication of the Enemies List. Shame on Mr Hager.

Nicky Hager is a rat faced c*nt. He doesn’t have the guts to front me in public. He is a purveyor of stolen documents and he makes money fencing those documents.

He moans when police get a warrant to search his place, but he does warrantless searches all the time, and breaches the privacy of those he targets.

New Zealand’s biggest privacy breacher is Nick Hager.

 

-NBR

 


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  • john Doe

    In my industry, if I was to receive the number of stolen items Hager has, I would be put away and would likely never see the light of day. It consumes me that under journalist licence he continues to receive and make money from stolen information.

    • sandalwood789

      Agreed. Journalism must be the only occupation where it is legal to steal things (because of so-called “public interest”).
      I think that that exception is a huge mistake and it should be removed. Journalists should be subject to exactly the same laws as everyone else and they should have to obtain any material by *legal* means.

      • shykiwibloke

        Nope – if you count tax as a form of forced theft (at the rates we pay), then you would have to include the government!

  • shykiwibloke

    I do wonder if Hagar could have been charged with Sedition – Before the last Labour government removed the sedition from the crimes act.
    SEDITION:- In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

    • Edward M Blake

      Wasn’t the last person to be charged with Sedition, that clown who threw a brick through Helen Clark’s electorate office’s window?

      • shykiwibloke

        Can’t be sure – but thought that was not long after. I understand the Sedition charge was used in the 1951 Watersiders strike.

  • Crowgirl

    The other day the CBC put up the link to the database, told people to search it and then “tell the CBC what you find”. The sheer number of stolen documents, complete with the complexity of the arrangements, and the lack of comprehension and laziness of many of these “journalists” is most likely why not much has been found. I think they actually just published it in the hopes that members of the public would do the research for them, because serious investigation and concrete evidence seems beyond them. After all, they don’t even seem to know how to define a tax haven, so they’re already failing.

  • Graham Pilgrim

    I really do wish that the moderators would allow me to replace the asterisk in the third to last paragraph. It would only take a small, insignificant “u”.

    But for me, that short sentence sums up Hager completely. No more need be said

  • Usaywot

    Shame on anyone who filthied their hands with this. Radio NZ is an utter disgrace and should be called to account. They are funded by the tax payer and are not employed solely for the benefit the left wing, although you could have fooled me. I cannot express my loathing for Hagar adequately enough.

    • Left Right Out

      If RNZ or TVNZ had any integrity they would have looked at it and then walked away saying there was nothing in it….. but one feels they invested more than just 7 staff… and were throwing a hail mary in the hope of finding something

      • niggly

        RNZ and TVNZ must have thought that they were onto something big when Hager spun his “convincing” (conspiracy) theories to their them.

        Worryingly it sort of suggests that RNZ and TVNZ journos actually have no real idea about such tax and business issues (to be suckered in by Hager like that)?

        Alarm bells should have been ringing at RNZ and TVNZ prior when Hager has previously said that he’s had the documents for a considerable period of time (including having other “interns” comb the documents with him) but couldn’t find anything bad.

        Hopefully RNZ and TVNZ’s critcal thinking gets turned on next time and they are a bit more skeptical when Hager approaches them with another wad of stolen and hacked private information.

        • Anthony

          RNZ & TVNZ should be sold

          • Nermal

            I’d be happy if they were just given away to stop them receiving taxpayer funding.

  • Keeping Stock

    As I have noted elsewhere this week:

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Hager

  • Nechtan

    I said it before in a previous article, but Hager must have blown any credibility he may have had, Dirty Politics was a complete bust (in fact it helped those Hager was attempting to harm), these so called Panama Papers the same result. Give it up Nicky.

  • J Ryan

    I flicked on TV1, around 6.30am which I rarely do when the Panama papers came to light. And their was Vance reporting on burning the midnight oil as they trawled through the papers. A shot showed the battlefield, and there was Hager, sickening. As if he is some neutral player in this game, him and some other lackey working away through papers looking for the gold nuggets. It was pathetic. I simply thought what was TV1 doing to include such a weasel prick within their research team with his history? I simply thought I cannot receive balanced reporting here and switched to TV3. Never again will I watch TV1 breakfast until I know they will not include unwanted weasels.

    • geoff3012

      TV1 breakfast is rubbish…….

    • JLS

      Miriama Kamo inspired the same reaction in me on the TV1 Sunday evening news when she was busy editorializing each and every story with gestures and facial expressions, telegraphing to us how we should be feeling about each of them. She has irritated me for a long time doing this and it was the last straw- I usually avoid anything with her on it but do skim the news. Like you J Ryan, sorry, I can make up my own mind thanks- just give me the facts.

      • Nebman

        They seem incapable of recognising that what they tell us about the facts is not factual. It’s an opinion.

  • localnews

    Do we know the names of the seven journalists? There was Vance and Mutch, who were the others? I don’t agree with Hooton that all the media behaved well, those seven should be at least somewhat ridiculed

  • One of the most amusing things was Andrea Vance getting haughty on Monday saying “if you criticise one of us [seven journalists including Hager], you criticise all of us”

    Yeah. No kidding Andrea.

    We actually know the calibre of these journalists. I doubt they have taken it on board as a reality check. Once again, it will be our fault for being unappreciative idiots.

    • JLS

      Yes, if TV1 is Platos empty vessel, Andrea Vance is its greatest babbler. She takes herself so seriously, and I just can’t.

    • zotaccore

      Is Andrea Vance legally permitted to be in New Zealand? If not, then it is time a message was sent to her.

  • XCIA

    Hooten needs to have a word then to Simon Denny who employed Hager for the Venice Biennale in the belief that he “wasn’t associated with any political parties, was independent and had a massive international reputation.”

    • Oh come on now. David Fisher took the stand in the Hager trial as an independent expert for the defence.

      We wouldn’t want to raise the standards now, would we.

      • Dave

        Well there are only two glaringly obvious faults there, independent, and expert.

      • XCIA

        Standards? You can’t raise what you haven’t got, besides I thought the only standard they had was that outside dunny they call a “blog”. ;-)

  • Keeping Stock

    I’m sure the use of taxpayer funds on this sting by RNZ has not gone unnoticed by Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams. Nor will TVNZ’s shareholding Minister Todd McClay have been impressed by the SOE’s attempt to bring down the Government.

    The two state broadcasters have given the Government food for thought with regard to the ongoing funding and ownership of RNZ and TVNZ respectively.

    • benniedawg

      If Amy Adams approves any additional funding to RNZ it will prove she is a minister not doing her job, and needs to go. The appalling left wing bias shown on a daily basis by RNZ confirms that state funding of this leftist nest needs curtailing. What ever happened to their objectivity? It was there once, I remember. To publicly claim they and others are all in with Hager beggars belief. Nothing make sense anymore!

  • sandalwood789

    “… the release of a quarter of a million names and addresses by the so-called International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) of which he is the sole New Zealand member. Among them will almost certainly be **drug lords**, tax evaders and other **international criminals**… ”

    Hmm…… if any people like drug lords *are* named in the papers, I wonder if they would (in their annoyance) turn their attention to Hager?

  • Ross15

    I think the Mediaworks guys might be some what relieved. Hager froze them out of the big exclusive ( so Garner , Smalley and on friday Soper, all did not think much of the issue –it was a fizzer). So I think as time goes on they will be thinking they “dodged a bullet”
    Hager has failed again.

    • Teletubby

      I guess Hager sold the goods to the highest bidders and assumed the losing bidders would still toe the party line. Wrong!

      • Lux

        I wonder how much/if, the state broadcasters had to pay any money for them.. Someone should request an OIA (Official Information Act) for that info.

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/

  • Nebman

    By going full retard on this and at the risk of pointing it out to them, Labour is fast becoming (if not already) permanently associated with Hager and his antics.

    Middle New Zealand do not like Hager.

    Middle New Zealand will not vote for anyone who has links to Hager.

    Don’t associate with Hager.

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