Why Damien Grant is utterly wrong on Nicky Hager

By   /   June 24, 2018  /   8 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

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.  

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.

Damien Grant: Hager has received his apology, perhaps he should say sorry, too

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.


Want to support this work? Donate today
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook


  1. Christine says:

    From what I can gather Hager was very compassionate and kind in withholding personal information e.g. about Cameron Slater in ‘Dirty Politics.” He exercised the discretion of a fundamentally decent man.

    What Libertarians are angriest about is not Hager utilising stolen material – that’s a complete oxymoron as far as Libertarians are concerned because they recognise few societal boundaries – receiving and utilising a stolen usb is peanuts – utilising it impacted on few people apart from the politicos it panicked.

    Any anger far-righters may feel, is that Nicky Hager named them, and he demonstrated their casual neglect of boundaries, and of normal mores, and of propriety, and of the correct way of doing just about everything.

    Hager exposed politicians and political groupies behaving in a disgusting way, and being pleased with themselves about it, and not one of them has instituted any sort of legal action over it, but they know that we know exactly what they are like, and that’s their problem.

  2. If Damian Grant isn’t a “Libertarian”, he certainly professes a prime belief from that political end of the spectrum: the 100% sanctity of property.

    If emails are considered “property” by Libertarians and assorted right wingers, then it stands to reason that said emails are protected – even if they reveal wrong-doing.

    God help us what sort of world would exist if journalists could not use leaked material because it was someone’s sanctified property.

    If Mr Grant can’t understand that, then his view of the world is purely black and white – 1% – whilst the remaining 99% is beyond his perception.

  3. phillip ure says:

    i have always found damien grant to be ‘utterly wrong’ about pretty much everything..

    do the right have a factory somewhere where they churn out these clowns..?

    • Christine says:

      Yes Phillip, the factory was Planet Key.

      And Hager was fortunate in being self-employed or he could have have found himself out of a job as did others who criticised the status quo on Planet Key.

      And the cruellest cut of all for the dirty people was that Rawshark, like so many whistle-blowers, is likely to have been one of their own who knew how filthy their brew had become and made the decision to expose it. I doubt it was just an idle whim that prompted him to hack Whale Oil. There was a tipping point.

      When Key was publicly expostulating ‘left-wing conspiracy theorists’, chances are he didn’t really know what he was talking about. It happens.

  4. Mjolnir says:

    Damian Grant is pissed off that the truth came out. Attacking a journalist for revealing dirty poliyics in NZ, and Key’s complicity, is best done under the guise of “fairness”. Bullshit. If Grant doesn’t understand the role of journalism then he should go live in a dictatorship. No journalists there.

  5. R.P Mcmurphy says:

    The police were looking for incriminating evidence to bang Hager up and put him away whereas Hager was merely trying to expose the dirty dealings of nasty people.

  6. mosa says:

    Nicky Hagar is a patriot and a standard bearer for the truth and his courage for exposing the corruption of the Key government should have been recognised and applauded , after all without ” raw shark ” we would have been totally ignorant of the abuse of power that Key , English and others were involved with.

    Like Watergate in 1972 i believe that more crimes and misdemeanours were committed but never made public during 2008 – 2017.

Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,