Home > The Body Politic > Letter to the Editor – Our PM insults a world-reknowned investigative journalist

Letter to the Editor – Our PM insults a world-reknowned investigative journalist


Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking


Our esteemed Dear Leader must be in full panic mode when he insults a visiting investigative journalist of the calibre of Glenn Greenwald;


Radio NZ - PM says Greenwald's claims are wrong - GCSB - mass surveillance - Glenn Greenwald


Key went on to say,

“When you hack into people’s information and you steal it, sometimes you get part of the information but not all of the information.

Now, in the fullness of time we’ll respond to Dotcom’s little henchman, but mark my words, he’s wrong. There never has been mass surveillance and there is no mass surveillance.”

Which prompted me to pen this letter to the New Zealand Herald;


from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date: Sat, Sep 13, 2014
subject: Letter to the Editor



The editor
NZ Herald

John Key is becoming more Muldoonesque with each erupting scandal. His latest attack on visiting American investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, is simply beyond the pale.

Key says,“Now, in the fullness of time we’ll respond to Dotcom’s little henchman, but mark my words, he’s wrong. There never has been mass surveillance and there is no mass surveillance.”

Since when in a visiting journalist anybody’s “henchman”?

This is not the first time Key has abused investigative journalists who have uncovered unpleasant activities by this current government.

In May 2011,John Key derided Jon Stephenson’s research into NZ secret  activities in Afghanistan by attacking the journalists’ reputation and character;

“I’ve got no reason for NZDF to be lying, and I’ve found [Stephenson] myself personally not to be credible.”

In September 2011, Key attacked another investigative journalist, Nicky Hager, for his expose on  New Zealand’s covert military activities, in conjunction with the CIA,  in Afghanistan.

John Key dismissed Hager’s book;“I don’t have time to read fiction,”

That “fiction” Key referred to contained 1,300 footnotes of referencing documentation in Hager’s book.

In August this year, Key again attacked  Nicky Hager, for his expose in dirty dealings between Key’s office, a right-wing blogger, Judith Collins, and other right-wing extremists. Key was again dismissive;

“Mr Hager’s making claims he can’t back up and they’re not factually correct.”

“At the end of the day we’re five weeks out from an election, people can see that Nicky Hager’s made a whole lot of things up in his book, (they) can see he can’t back a lot of them up. People can see this is a smear campaign by Nicky Hager.”

If Hager’s book was “factually incorrect” and little more than a “smear campaign” – one has to ask the PM what prompted Judith Collins to resign 17 days after the launch of “Dirty Politics” and all it revealed?

John Key’s track record of transparency with the public has left much to be desired and attacking journalists who dare speak the truth says more about the PM’s character than the targets of his unwarranted attacks.

Thus far, Jon Stephenson, Nicky Hager, and Glenn Greenwald have a better track record at telling the truth than Mr Key.

-Frank Macskasy

[address & phone number supplied]


Every time Key behaves like this, whether it be with Nicky Hager, Jon Stephenson, or now Glenn Greenwald, he is abandoning his elevated position of a non-political Prime Minister and becoming just another politician in the eyes of the public.

Key will lose popularity.

National will lose support in the polls.

And National will lose on 20 September.

More importantly – is this the kind of sleazy government that Winston Peters wants to associate with after 20 September?  Because there is much, much more to come out.




Radio NZ:  PM says Greenwald’s claims are wrong

NZ Herald: PM attacks journalist over SAS torture claims

NZ City: John Key trashes Nicky Hager’s book

Radio NZ: Prime Minister stands by minister and staff

Previous related blogposts

The slow disintegration of a government; 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…

Other blogs

The Standard: Greenwald on the GCSB

The Paepae: John Key working the phones “at length”

The Daily Blog: Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Glenn Greenwald when he calls a far right hate speech blogger regularly?

The Daily Blog: Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB exposed doing mass surveillance

Special mention

The Jackal: John Key Naked




Skipping voting is not rebellion its surrender

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes



= fs =

  1. Kathy Lafferty
    13 September 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Well said, Frank. I’ve noticed that every time John is in a real jam, he’s not sporting a tie. When he announced Judas’s resignation, we wasn’t wearing a tie, and tonight, on t.v. when he was describing Glen Greenwald as dotcom’s little henchman, he was tieless again. Perhaps it might be his resignation next. Before the election? I would get down on my knees in gratitude.

    • 13 September 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Kathy.

      Yes, I’ve noticed the use of casual attire when he’s engaged in some kind of unpleasant activity. I suspect it’s a deliberate “look” to appear like he’s very relaxed and casual about what is transpiring. Simply saying he’s “relaxed” is now pretty much a cliche with many people – so he’s had to change tack. So now he doesn’t have to say, “I’m relaxed” – he just appears that way.

      • 13 September 2014 at 11:55 pm

        Interesting observation you two. I hadn’t noticed that before, but it fits with the tactical zigs and zags of the manufactured and constantly adjusted fake persona, that forms part of the “two-track” strategy we now know to be in operation.

        I also agree that Key often fails to recognise and manage his dual roles as both leader of a political party and leader of a country. The latter remains something for him to forever aspire to, when renown international guests are confronted with childish insults upon arrival, pre-empting any revelations of substance, and clearly designed to denigrate personally, rather than greet the issues as they’re presented – and respond as a true leader would. He’s embarrassed this country long and often enough.

        • 14 September 2014 at 11:04 am

          I think your analysis is spot on, Murray. And more and more, political commentators will be saying pretty much the same thing.

          The Teflon Man is gone – replaced by a very Political Prime Minister, whose temper is short, and propensity to Muldoonesque personal attacks is becoming more and more apparent.

          He is an embarrassment for sure.

  2. Mary Anderson
    14 September 2014 at 8:05 am

    Frank you are a star. Excellent work as usual and thank you for everything you do in trying to get to the truth. No easy feat, when we have a lying duplicitous PM!

    And Key virtually calling Glenn Greenwald a liar? Pot, kettle comes to mind here!

    So looking forward to Monday night.

    • 14 September 2014 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for your generous compliments, Mary. 🙂

      Key lost his teflon coating with Nicky Hager’s revelations of dirty politics emanating from the Ninth Floor and Judith Collins’ office. Now anything he says of a negative nature will stick to him, as much as he tries to make it stick to his critics.

      The days of relying on Slater, Farrar, and others henchmen, to do his dirty work so he can remain “clean”, is long gone.

      Yup. Looking forward to Monday night. We will be watching history in the making.

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