Why are the journalists facing a dilemma?

There was an interesting post at the Kiwi Journalists Association Facebook group yesterday. Richard Harman of Politik posted: Quote:

I am seeking guidance here; This piece from Whaleoil publishes the text from Jami Lee Ross’s lover, the MP, to him. Like most political journalists, I believe I know who that MP is.
Should it be made public? End quote.

There is much handwringing, but most commenters suggest that the MP should be named, and yet she has not been…yet. 

Graham Adams shares his thoughts: Quote:

My view is that she should be named (and I think most of the media are waiting for someone else to do it first!). Until she is named, it casts suspicion on other female MPs who are not involved, which is unfair. Also, the female MP whose name has been frequently mentioned on social media represents a conservative electorate, is socially conservative herself and has promoted family values from her first days in Parliament. I think the public should always been told when an MP’s publicly professed values are at sharp variance to their own private behaviour. That is an obligation the media should fulfil. Furthermore, she has no right to privacy when she has anonymously and publicly shamed Jami-Lee Ross in the Newsroom piece by Melanie Reid. She’s an MP and a highly educated professional whose actions should be held to account. If she had any courage, she would come clean herself. End quote.

Rex Widerstrom supposes: Quote:

If someone elected to govern the country has the personality and lack of judgment to a) embark upon a workplace affair with a married colleague, plus b) sit up at 1am presumably drinking (how did that affect performance of her duties the next day?) plus c) send a text message encouraging a vulnerable person to commit suicide (whether or not the person has themselves committed reprehensible acts) then yes, the people who pay her wages and entrust to her their representation should know. While a isn’t enough to warrant (or even come close), in combination with b & c it tips the balance IMO. Plus as Graham Adams has said above, it throws doubt on every other female MP. End quote.

Then Regan Cunliffe adds some unpalatable questions to the mix: Quote:

As Slater appears central to this latest political drama, perhaps someone could answer why it is that there is such an ethical dilemma over the naming of an MP over a disgusting text while there were no such qualms in publishing over and over again the private messages of Cameron Slater et al? While politically connected, he wasn’t an elected official.

In the case of Dirty Politics it was claimed to be a public interest story very quickly and Nicky Hager never had any qualms, nor did the journalists who repeated his claims, so why the squeamishness now?

Furthermore, the Herald had no problem outing Bevan Chuang as Len Brown’s town hall “romance” after Slater had gone as far as redacting her details from the affidavit to help retain her privacy.

Aren’t we as journalists supposed to hold the powerful to account? End quote.

So, why haven’t the journalists named this MP? Is it because they’ve bought the narrative she is a victim? Can an older woman (by 10 years) be considered a victim when there is no power imbalance and both MPs were playing away? If it is public interest to smear Jami-Lee Ross then surely it is public interest to know who has been smearing, especially when one of the smearers is an MP herself and two of the others work for the leader’s office?

Why is it up to Whaleoil to once again show journalists how to do their jobs? Or is this a case of the journalists not wanting their own dirty laundry aired?

Personally I think the gallery is ready to go with this. But both Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett are refusing to answer questions from them. Instead they are feeding ‘Fake News’ Fisher quietly because the gallery sniff blood.

I hope that when Simon Bridges took the family to church yesterday that he sought God’s guidance and forgiveness for being economical with the truth. Let’s hope that both he and Paula Bennett start telling the truth, or I will have to continue with that, including naming the MP at the centre of all this. Someone has to do it, may as well be me.


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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.

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