Bradley Ambrose was the journalist whose recorder accidentally picked up the infamous Tea Pot Tapes conversation.
Key bizarrely ended up claiming taping conversations could lead to more youth suicide, and used bewildering power to send police into news rooms around NZ and seize the recordings. Throughout this farce, Key repeatedly defamed and denigrated Bradley.
Bradley is trying to take a defamation case against the Prime Minister, but it’s not cheap.
As I said, I’ve never met Mr Ambrose. But there are some things I know about him. He’s a journalist so he hasn’t a brass razoo to his name and needs his reputation intact to get work. He’s a journalist so the truth matters to him. He’s a journalist so it is his job to get as much public interest information out about electoral candidates, including the stuff they don’t want out there. And he’s a journalist so he won’t get much sympathy because people like Mr Banks and Mr Key do their best to make journalists seem untrustworthy (and, of course, some are).
But there are things I know about Mr Banks and Mr Key, too. They are politicians so they have both money and power. They are politicians so they use that power to repress opposition at every opportunity. They are politicians, and for many politicians what is true is less important than what is believable. And they are politicians so they should know better than to discuss private things after having invited the media to a publicity stunt. As the young would say, FFS.
I don’t know if the court will find in favour of Mr Ambrose but I do know that in seeking redress he will face huge personal and financial costs. So on his behalf, and in a way on behalf of journalism itself, I have started a Givealittle page to help fund his court costs. To even take the case requires a $38,000 filing fee, without which he can never have his day in court. If you want to help, click here.
It’s a very lonely road fighting a matter of principle on your own.
…this Government has done more to kill off critical media and intimidate journalists than any since the waterfront lockout. If we don’t stand with our journalists, then who will?