No, no, no! While I enjoy how much Damien annoys people with his fireworks display, his latest column is so wrong, so utterly false in its conclusion, I feel the deep urge to reach out, give him cuddle and explain how completely fucking wrong he is.
I’ll save you the time of reading Damien’s piece by paraphrasing it here.
“Hager has received an apology from the NZ Police for an unlawful search of his house for stolen emails and they lied about him being a criminal so they could exploit loopholes into getting others to hand over private information about him. However, because Hager has received leaked emails that were stolen it follows that if the Police have to apologise to Nicky for invading his privacy, then Nicky has to do the same to those whose privacy he has breached.”
“PS – I’m a libertarian who is wrong about most things”.
Ok, I added the PS, but it happens to be true.
What Damien is ignoring here, is what most right wingers like to ignore – the power dynamic and the hegemonic structure that empowers those dynamics.
Hager’s previous books that relied on leaked information were to do with abuses of power within the NZDF, the Don Brash leadership and the John Key leadership. Using whistleblower information to hold the powerful to account is a fundamental pursuit of the fourth estate that is protected in law.
Hager’s ethical decision to focus only on leaks that dealt with the abuses of power, and weren’t of a personal nature, shows that privilege has obligations and responsibilities that Hager has a long history of being trusted with.
That’s why Nicky doesn’t have to apologise to the political freak show cavalcade that Damien lists…
Dr Brash, Cameron Slater, Jordan Williams, Jason Ede, Judith Collins, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and a cast of many others
…highlighting their abuse of power trumps their own rights to privacy, that’s why you can’t compare Hager getting an apology for breach of his privacy to Hager apologising for breaching the privacy of others.
It’s like comparing oranges with pineapples. Sure, they’re fruit, but they are completely different fruit.
Damien also fails to compare the speed with which Slater managed to gain his search warrant and how the Police themselves became tools to prevent investigation of abuse of power.
The Right are so angry at how Hager has extinguished their moral high ground they don’t even have the decency to acknowledge Hager’s importance and service to journalism, preferring to claim hypocrisy because Hager did his law protected duty.