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Herald on tea-tape – part 1

20/11/2011

Yesterday the NZ Herald editorial said this under an editorial headed,Teapot affair too trivial for raids on media :-

The question from a BBC journalist to a Wellington-based reporter this week spoke volumes. Was it true that one week before a general election, the police in New Zealand were about to search and seize material from the newsroom of the state radio service, at the behest of the Prime Minister? When “yes” was the obvious reply, it was received with evident incredulity in London.

Well let us look at this in more depth:-

1. Raids on media – heading was only mention of raids. Yet it is hardly a raid when the intent to execute a search warrant is signalled days in advance. Many might think that allowed plenty of time for evidence to be re-located, if they were cynical.

So raids is a misleading term. Deliberately chosen, Adam suggests, to create an emotive image of police with those door opening rams they use, battering their way into the newsroom of the oppressed, but noble journalists. This is not the case.

2. The BBC made their enquiry of a Wellington reporter re a warrant to be executed at Radio NZ. Yet the question was another loaded one and one which should have been answered differently from that reported. The police were and are responding to a complaint made by a NZ citizen, albeit the PM. How the police proceed is theri business, as the PM has made clear many times. The police are not searching and seizing any material at the behest of the PM. if they do search and seize any material it will be in accord with a search warrant granted by a judge in accordance with the law. Not as an arbitrary politically directed police action.

The reply to the BBC’s loaded question from the NZ reporter is wrong. Indeed a cynicmight think the NZ reporter had an axe to grind, perhaps one sharpened by the Herald?

3. Yes was not the obvious reply, as the Herald wrote. That is a manifest mis-direction at best and in this writer’s opinion an outright fiction.

So the first paragraph of the NZ editorial might well be read as piece of dramatic fiction, as opposed to any form of factual statement.

More and more it seems that ethics is a county in SE England, at least where NZ journalism is concerned.

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