According to Andrea Vance snooping on journalists is an attempt to silence them. Where was she when Rawshark hacked a journalist?

That’s right, she was donkey deep in Hager’s mire, working very hard indeed to ensure a conservative voice was silenced. Her hypocrisy stinks worse than a sweaty rugby player who hasn’t showered for a month.

There’s no hiding from it. We snoop, pry, ask awkward questions and badger people who would rather not provide the answers. 

One of those people is Winston Peters. 

Over his 40 year career, Peters has made a career of ignoring or belittling reporters who have the brass neck to hold him to account.

He exploits public mistrust in the media. And long before Donald Trump’s frequent threats and hostile acts directed toward journalists, Peters made a theatrical contempt for the media part of his personal brand.

Considering how duplicitous journalists are, Winston Peters is actually on the money. Just look at the feeding frenzy over NZ First donations from ordinary Kiwi businesses and the lack of similar muckraking over National’s dirty Chinese donations.

Journalists like Andrea Vance were deep into the theft of Cameron Slater‘s emails, sniffing his undies with gay abandon. Not a care or a thought for his privacy or that of others. No, they were intent on destroying reputations and appeared to enjoy doing it. But Little Miss Pious (actually her shit stinks badly after being trained by the now defunct News of the World) thinks that taking a photo of a couple of indiscreet journalists who cared not a bit for protecting their source is attempting to silence those useless journalists’ voices:

But now Peters has gone a step farther than his usual tantrums. Last week he admitted NZ First was involved in the surveillance-style photos of Stuff journalist Matt Shand and RNZ reporter Guyon Espiner meeting former NZ First president Lester Gray.

In an echo of the Dirty Politics saga, the snaps ended up a right-wing political blog [sic], which appears to be the re-incarnation of defunct attack-politics blog Whale Oil.

No doubt Peters’ supporters are enjoying the irony of publishing paparazzi-style photographs of the reporters digging dirt on their party

For reasons that are unfathomable to me, New Zealand tends to minimise Peters more outrageous behaviour. But he is no lovable rogue – and this is straight-up intimidation.

Protecting the identity of journalists’ sources is an essential part of media freedom.

The threat of surveillance is chilling. It can have an intimidating and traumatising effect.

If protecting sources is sooooooooo important, one would think meeting them at a busy shopping centre and prancing around side by side with them in public would be a very bad idea. It is hardly protecting them, now is it?

She then goes on to talk about the invasion of her own privacy and that of her friends and family, and yet there she was wallowing around breaching Cameron Slater’s privacy along with all her pals in the media. The sanctimony of these fools is astonishing.

Snooping on journalists is an attempt to silence and shut them down. It makes you think twice about doing the work expected of you.

So what does Andrea Vance have to say about hacking journalists, then using that hacked information to run their own stories? What does she have to say about protecting the sources of that journalist, instead of going after them and attempting to destroy personal relationships, business and political careers?

What Andrea Vance has to say about hacking journalists and then using that hacked information to run their own stories.

She was the opposite of silence on the issue. She was donkey deep breaching those very same tenets that have got her knickers in a bunch.

What she is moaning about is precisely why Nicky Hager wrote his book based on stolen material. It was designed to silence powerful voices from the right. She thought that was just fine then, but it isn’t fine now. Consistency is definitely not her friend; neither is honesty.

We might be a troublesome and unlovable bunch, but good journalism and a free press is an essential part of a functioning democracy.  

This attack on Shand and Espiner’s privacy is an attack on the public’s right to know about who is secretly funding their Government partner. 


But Nicky Hager’s book was perfectly alright? That was an attack on a journalist, who ironically won an award at the then Canon Media Awards, the same night she won an award too. She is fine with that egregious illegal attack on a journalist, but upset about photos taken in a public space of two indiscreet idiots. One wonders if her outrage is because she might have been one of those journalists who were darkly threatened by Nicky Hager when he said he didn’t publish some journalists’ names because he wanted them to mend their ways. Cameron Slater has remained silent on those journalists’ names, protecting his sources far better than Guyon Espiner and Matt Shand managed.

Perhaps if Andrea Vance had some consistency on the matter her article might be something more than a screech of outrage that her pals got busted NOT protecting their source. Her article even has a photo of Lester Gray, thus failing to protect Shand’s and Espiner’s source, and even helpfully provides screenshots of the article without actually linking to it. I’ll just let that final irony rest beside any remaining semblance of integrity that died the moment she wrote her article.

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