Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to interview people before publishing?

August 15th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Former ACT party leader says he ‘laughed out loud’ over allegations he was blackmailed into standing down as leader of the ACT Party.

Jordan Williams, the Wellington lobbyist who features heavily in Nicky Hager’s latest book, also says the suggestion is “utterly false”.

In his book Dirty Politics, Hager claims that Williams was part of a campaign to pressure Hide to stand down, including claims that he was blackmailed into resigning over him sending “inappropriate text messages to a young woman”.

The book published an exchange between Simon Lusk, a political strategist previously aligned with the National Party, and WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater.

Lusk to Slater: “Cam we an f… up rodney. …Jordan is talking to a girl that Rodney has been sending dodgy texts to.”

Slater: “Get the texts….I can get them to Jonathan Jarshall. Just the sort of grubby shit he would be into.”

“Trying. Problem is that Jordan needs to get them first, probably Wednesday night, but at the same time we can use this to our advantage.”

Slater: “Drop them hard this Fri. No coming back from that.”

Hide said he “laughed out loud” when he read the allegations and referred to Lusk and Slater’s conversations as “two guys who email each other sort of like they’re standing around in the pub talking bullshit…”

Rodney is right. I would have thought an investigative journalist, would follow up the e-mails, and ask if any of the stuff talked about actually happened. People often get boastful or hyped up on e-mails. The entire book is based on e-mails to or from Cameron (plus some material stolen from me), and they take as the literal truth everything said on e-mail.  Just because someone boasts that they will try and get the Minister to move a prisoner for them, doesn’t mean it ever happened – and in fact it can’t happen.

I doubt there are many people who can say they have exaggerated or boasted a bit on e-mail. The blackmail of Rodney never happened. If it had been attempted, he would have gone to the Police.

The book would have been far less sensational if there had been some actual investigating. Instead it is just a book of e-mails, and a theory wrapped around it. No actual interviews with anyone, or substantiation beyond the e-mails.

Ian Wishart points out the hypocrisy:

In his new book Dirty Politics, reprints allegations contained in stolen private emails – theories about a wide range of people. Among the allegations he has printed are that former Act leader Rodney Hide was blackmailed into quitting because he had been caught sending inappropriate text messages to a woman.

Additionally, Hager reprinted emails alleging Auckland mayor Len Brown was having sex with prostitutes.

Neither Brown nor Hide appear to have been asked to comment on the truth of the allegations. In fact, Hide has definitely confirmed he was not approached, and that the allegations are false and without substance.

Yet here is what Nicky Hager testified to the Wellington High Court in a defamation case last year:

“I believe the more serious the allegations we write, the more care that is required to ensure we have got things correct. I say to myself that no one can ever criticise me for things I haven’t written, so that if I am not absolutely sure of something, I don’t publish.

“Research is something that can take months or years. In this case the allegations were serious and personal. I would not include allegations like those in my work if there was so little time for proving the facts…

“I was struck by the fact that the sexual allegations appeared to rely entirely upon the words of the plaintiff’s ex-wife. As a journalist, I would feel very uneasy about publishing, let alone putting my name to, sexual allegations from an ex-spouse unless I had done a lot of work and found very strong corroborating evidence.”

In Nicky Hager’s new book, he has no witnesses at all; no prostitutes admitting to sleeping with Len Brown, no ex-spouse, no woman saying she was sent inappropriate texts by Rodney Hide. Hager’s entire ream of “evidence” is actually hearsay gossip, which is usually inadmissible in court.

“There are issues of logic in investigative journalism,” Hager told the High Court. “In particular we have to be careful that our evidence actually supports our conclusions…

You might not like Wishart, but he is quoting Hager’s own words.

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112 Responses to “Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to interview people before publishing?”

  1. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    Wow, so Simon Lusk is just some idiot who “stands around in the pub talking bullshit”?

    Sure Hagar should have interviewed the individuals personally, but I would have to wonder at what they would have said about the subject exchange.

    It seems pretty unambiguous.

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  2. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Wow, I agree with Rebaiter! What would Lusk and Slater have said – “No we didn’t say that”?

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  3. adc (588 comments) says:

    I love it how Phil Goff is so pissed off that he didn’t get away with lying.

    Should that information that proved him a liar have been left buried?

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  4. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  5. kaykaybee (151 comments) says:

    Where does the MSM sit in all this?

    I see that Slater has a piece today where Wishart has written an investigative analysis on “Dirty Politics” and in it quotes Hager as a witness in a recent court trial speaking to his stance on the necessity of source verification. This gives the lie to the manner in which Hager now accepts stolen emails, hatches them together – never seeking sender/receiver verification or context, never seeking explanations or actual outcomes, but simply throws together private correspondence into a book that is just another of his pre-election smear campaigns. Nothing about the book or the manner in which he sourced material show him to be balanced, let alone have any integrity as an author.

    Get to work MSM. Should some of you wonder at your eroding reputation ask when intellectual rigour and old fashioned, principled investigative journalism were replaced by dog whistle gossip and reaction. Ask why formerly respectable papers like the NZHerald would ever put Kim Dotcom’s biographer *cough* David Fisher’s name to columns on this issue, when he is personally compromised on so many levels. Then ask why you’re increasingly irrelevant and reflect on the collective fuss you made about Andrea Vance’s right to privacy with the way you’re slapping Hager on the back

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  6. labrator (1,844 comments) says:

    Like – there wouldn’t have been an injunction to help stop Dirty Politics being published?

    Translation: I don’t care about the truth, I just hate John Key and I don’t care how he’s gotten rid of.

    Did you just throw out those “anti-corruption” morals this morning or have they always been flexible for you?

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  7. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. tom1980 (41 comments) says:

    @kaykaybee “where does the MSN sit in all this?”

    Like the left, they’ve been bought by KDC. Don’t expect any actual journalism from them on this.

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  9. berend (1,699 comments) says:

    kaykaybee: Where does the MSM sit in all this?

    The NZ Herald has not hesitated to put the Rodney Hide sexts in every article (they had 6 on the front page yesterday). Because they now have found a reliable source :-)

    Nicky accusses whaleoil from attack politics (publish dirt on a blog, get the MSM to repeat it), but he himself does exactly the same thing. And at The Standard they approve of his tactics (these are serious allegations, he can deny them anytime he wants too…)

    Look, what goes around, comes around. What Nicky does, is what Whaleoil does. The only problem for Nicky is that the whale may prove to have been too big a bite.

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  10. Gosman (323 comments) says:

    Do you not think good investigative journalism should be attempting to get both sides of the issue or at least comments from those being the subject of the investigation?

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  11. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    It would be interesting if those that publicly judge what is said in private emails would agree to release their last six years of correspondence. I say all sorts of daft things in personal emails to friends that would look terrible out of context and without knowing the nuances, irony, hyperbole and humour associated with that email. It’s a dangerous precedent that private communication is now open season.

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  12. I Say Look Here (56 comments) says:

    Hager says he doesn’t interview people because he believes they would immediately injunct him, meaning he would not be able to publish his books.

    In other words, Hager believes he is above the law.

    Mind you, we already knew that. He’s happy to profit from the receipt of stolen property.

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  13. flash2846 (263 comments) says:

    Those types of emails make Cameron Slater look like a right prick. This right winger is not impressed. Time for National to take a step or two back from Slater. Leave all the childish jealousy to the left.

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  14. Other_Andy (2,577 comments) says:

    “Rodney is right. I would have thought an investigative journalist….”

    There is your answer.
    Not many of them left anymore.

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  15. Ian Wishart (69 comments) says:

    @miken…you missed the point of my critique…Hager was adamant about maintaining certain standards if subject makes defamatory sexual allegations. ..then he failed to walk his talk and made fundamental errors of the kind you would not expect a second year journalism student to make. It’s like Hager is six inches tall and suddenly not bulletproof. ..he hoist himself on his own petard regardless of our court disagreement. ..

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  16. kowtow (8,211 comments) says:

    “Investigative journalist”

    Seriously ,are there any genuine ones here in Aotearoa, formerly New Zealand?

    They all seem to have an agenda,one way or the other.

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  17. King Kong (39 comments) says:

    I have an interesting theory on all this stuff.

    I have been hearing a very explosive rumour about Cunliffe from some quite reputable sources in Wellington.

    If it came out (and it was true) he would be finished.

    Knowing this, the Labour party (or Cunliffes office) is behind ratcheting up the “dirty politics” rhetoric, by stealing emails and giving them to Hagar etc, in an attempt to get the public fatigued of filth, thus making the release of the Cunliffe doozy a politically uncertain call for the right. Public reaction could be anti the people revealing this stuff.

    This theory requires some intelligence and rat cunning by the left, so that probably shoots it out of the water right there.

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  18. KiwiGreg (3,234 comments) says:

    “Hager published emails: are you suggesting he needed to ask the authors of the emails whether they wrote them or not?”

    What as opposed to seeing if it was ok to publish their private emails?

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  19. kowtow (8,211 comments) says:

    “Those types of emails make Cameron Slater look like a right prick. This right winger is not impressed. Time for National to take a step or two back from Slater. Leave all the childish jealousy to the left.”

    Tell ya what. Slaters’ overtly bigoted hatred of Catholicism would have made me ,if I were associated with the Notional Party ,run a mile from the guy.

    I’m watching this to see who his MP friends are,cos they’re not my friends.

    You can tell alot about someone by looking at the people they chose to associate with.

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  20. Ross12 (1,391 comments) says:

    I think the problem here is that book was very quickly written and published –it appears Hager only got the info a few months ago. So standards ( if he ever had any !) went out the window because the ego , ideology and the pay packet were more important.
    I think Hager is going to end up with a lot of egg on his face before this finishes. Even the lefties in the MSM , while they are reporting it seem to be treading very carefully.

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  21. Yogibear (361 comments) says:

    @King Kong

    This has been my thought as well (though I was unaware of the focus) – posted in another KB thread

    Whale Oil has been hinting at a big story he will break before the election. Jordan Williams was on National Radio last night hinting at something big as well.

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  22. Ashley Schaeffer (460 comments) says:

    If Hager’s book has shown anything (and it hasn’t shown much) it is that Cameron Slater is more of a liability to the National Party than an advantage. Not being a fan of the current National Party or Slater, I couldn’t really care less about all this fuss.

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  23. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Hager did interview at least one person before publishing.

    @PeteDGeorge
    #Hagerbook: How did Martyn Bradbury know what was in “Dirty Politics”?

    Martyn Bradbury ‏@CitizenBomber
    pfft – Nicky contacted me months ago asking specific questions which helped my guesses – the lesson is read TDB

    Why would he ask specific questions of Bradbury and not of others who he has made serious allegation s or insinuations about??

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  24. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    If Hager’s book has shown anything (and it hasn’t shown much) it is that Cameron Slater is more of a liability to the National Party than an advantage.

    I agree. Yesterday slater repeated “Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people at all levels.”

    The Prime Minister should be highly critical of that rather than just trying to distance himself and fob off his connections with dirty politics.

    Dirty politics must be cleaned from the top

    Not being a fan of the current National Party or Slater, I couldn’t really care less about all this fuss.

    I don’t agree with that. There are important issues that need addressing. Slater does ” dirty, disgusting, despicable” too much but laws involving data and privacy apply to him as much as anyone.

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  25. Yogibear (361 comments) says:

    @Pete George

    How else do you confirm a set of aggrandised conspiracy theories other than taking to the one person more likely to inflate them than yourself?

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  26. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    The book would have been far less sensational if there had been some actual investigating.

    That’s gold, but he couldn’t do any actual investigation that might have tipped anybody off about the content for fear of an injunction that might have meant he missed getting it out in time for the election campaign.

    Dirty Politics
    By Nicky Hager.

    Dirty politics by Nicky Hager.

    And that’s my book review.

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  27. Tarquin North (256 comments) says:

    This book sounds more an more like a transcription of Campbell Live. All noise and no substance.

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  28. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    Ian Wishart is right – when trying to win a case in court Hagar paints himself as ever so careful with allegations of a sexual nature then promptly completely breaches his own ethical guide if its sullies the right. This is summed up easily in the prevailing modus operandi of the left: realpolitik-or the ends justifies the means. If grubby, dishonest and unethical conduct, that they shriek loudly about when the right strays remotely close to the edge, can bring down their opponent and elect one of their own, its game on.

    Hagar picked the wrong guy to have a mud fight with. Slater revels in this stuff plus he’s got more dirt on people on the left than anyone in New Zealand. Whale hasn’t even begun to get seriously dirty and when he does, its going to end in tears for the left.

    And as for you Penny, pay your rates!

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  29. PaulL (5,954 comments) says:

    I do find it amusing the suggestion that if he’d attempted to confirm any of it he’d have been injuncted.

    I presume you can only get an injunction to stop a book with reasonable legal purpose. So Hager’s view is that he’s doing something that legally could be stopped, so his aim is to publish before people know about it so that the cat’s out of the bag.

    In other words, he’s deliberately doing something he knows to be illegal, and relying on the fact that there’s no point in injuncting after the fact.

    Classy.

    The real problem for him is that he doesn’t know that he has unmodified e-mails. So really what he’s saying is “someone gave me these e-mails they claim to be real, but I have no way to know if it’s a complete set, of if any of them have been altered in any way, but I’m taking them all on faith.” Nice.

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  30. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Further to PaulL’s comment, Hager on the information he received:

    I was given a few thousand pages of material so naturally I didn’t use it all. Some was private and quite a lot did not meet the standard of there being a public interest in publication. But I did not leave out material because it wasn’t about National; it was virtually all about National and ACT. The only ‘left’ bits were a handful of comments about Slater’s dealings with bloggers on the left, of which I used two or three quotes. So my selection was only about choosing the parts I thought were most important for the public to know.

    There is of course no way of knowing if any of the data was filtered, modified or fabricated – unless you were the person who hacked the data in the first place..

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  31. unaha-closp (1,158 comments) says:

    In unrelated news Andy Coulson is to be moved from maximum security Belmarsh to a prison closer to his home, so his wife and children can visit more easily.

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  32. Redbaiter (8,371 comments) says:

    “The NZ Herald has not hesitated to put the Rodney Hide sexts in every article (they had 6 on the front page yesterday). Because they now have found a reliable source ”

    Is it true that they have found a reliable source or are you just facetiously referring to Hager?

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  33. Paulus (2,603 comments) says:

    Timing is important to take Hagar down legally for amongst other things Conspiracy – yes, still a crime.

    Let it continue to impact on the left wing until after the Election then let the dogs of war loose.

    Labour and the Green Taliban must be furious at Hagar and his accomplice Dot the Crim in taking all the wind out of their sails.

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  34. questions (196 comments) says:

    Of course Hide is going to deny sending sexualised text messages to a young lady, he had just got a new misses, what the fuck would you expect?

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  35. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    King Kong, its not a rumour. Its true, and the MSM have been sitting on it for weeks, not wanting to be seen to be tearing labour apart. Im certain that Slater knows the full story. The ‘person’ concerned is known to me, wants nothing to do with it, but is aware its likely to blow in the next couple of weeks, or, more likely, straight after the election. That person is most likely to be leaving the country soon.

    Im picking straight after the election it will break. Silent T will probably be at a very low ebb, and his leadership will be in question. Slater knows that to break this pre election will potentially harm National as a result of his alignment with them – better to steer clear of that pre election when the outcome is almost a forgone conclusion – thats the gamble I suspect.

    When it breaks, it will be a doozy. Silent T is literally on borrowed time. Given what he has done, he deserves everything he gets.

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  36. ShawnLH (4,483 comments) says:

    “@miken…you missed the point of my critique”

    Mike is good at missing the point.

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  37. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    hmmokrightitis – if true this holding and timing of news is ridiculous. News is supposed to be news. If the information Hager got was so terrible he should have released it straight away, not play politics with it.

    Have any details been revealed anywhere?

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  38. ShawnLH (4,483 comments) says:

    “Im picking straight after the election it will break.”

    I get that, but after the last couple of days it would seem strategically better if it broke before the election.

    Next week for example.

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  39. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    Dont think so Pete. Im told the ‘trust lawyer’ knows about it as well, who knows really.

    TBH, I dont care, but the hypocrisy of the MSM is staggering.

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  40. Peter (1,690 comments) says:

    King Kong, its not a rumour. Its true

    Oh go on. Give us a clue :)

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  41. Bandy (2 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, Questions,
    I heard Rodney Hide on the radio yesterday. He didn’t actually deny the texts but he categorically denied having been blackmailed about them. He said he would have gone to the Police if he had been.

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  42. hmmokrightitis (1,585 comments) says:

    No, time to change subjects. Trying to decide what to have for dinner tonight. Maybe indian, or Italian, or Japanese?

    Or maybe I’ll go Chinese. ..

    Maybe I should ask Clayton Cosegrove, he’s sitting in the Auckland Koru Lounge just across from me, eating lunch :)

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  43. Unity (493 comments) says:

    Yes, Hagar has certainly let himself down by not verifying if certain alleged facts were true or false. He’s obviously not the amazing investigative journalist he would like to think he is. I don’t want to read a book alleging all kinds of things that haven’t even been verified. Granted, emails speak for themselves, as far as the author is concerned, but what’s said in them may not be true.

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  44. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So you think Hager should have gone to the authors of the emails and asked them if that was what they really said?

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  45. Unity (493 comments) says:

    That’s not what I meant at all, Mikenmild. Hagar should have gone to the people at the centre of the allegations in the emails he received – not the person who wrote them.

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  46. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So you think he should have asked Rodney Hide, for example, whether he had been blackmailed?

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  47. ross411 (597 comments) says:

    mikenmild (11,074 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 4:26 pm
    So you think Hager should have gone to the authors of the emails and asked them if that was what they really said?

    It doesn’t matter if he should, he couldn’t. It’s illegally obtained data, so asking about it would have resulted in legal problems he didn’t want. Theft. Potential blackmail, depending on the wrong approach. I don’t know, but you get the picture. It’s not like he could go to them in any way.

    If he wanted to use the material, he needed to just get it out there with minimum attention. The problem he has now, is that he has rely on the hacked data which he just wrote up and published, not being modified by whomever provided it. Should they have modified it.. then he is in a real bad position. Which is why he should have gone to the authors, but again that was never an option if he wanted the book out.

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  48. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Wouldn’t it have been a good idea to interview people before publishing?”

    Wouldn’t it have been a good idea if John Key had read the book before he rubbished it?

    Wouldn’t it have been a good idea if John Key had read John Banks’ police report before rubbishing Grahame McCready’s private prosecution?

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  49. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “In unrelated news Andy Coulson is to be moved from maximum security Belmarsh to a prison closer to his home, so his wife and children can visit more easily.”

    He he, I like it.

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  50. sooty (62 comments) says:

    Isn’t it funny that Hager rushed out his book to write his book, at the same time as dot crim entered politcs.

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  51. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ jackinabox (712 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wouldn’t it have been good if Slater didn’t complain about having emails stolen, that his supporters claim don’t exist?

    Wouldn’t it have been good if Slater didn’t complain about having emails stolen, therefore confirming the emails are real?

    Wouldn’t it have been good if Slater didn’t confirm the existence of emails where he confirms he has 28GB of hacked data, harvested by his ‘hacker pals’?

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  52. ross411 (597 comments) says:

    Judith (8,071 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    @ jackinabox (712 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Wouldn’t it have been good if Slater didn’t complain about having emails stolen, that his supporters claim don’t exist?

    Wouldn’t it be good if you went and spent time with your family instead of trolling here, with questions that aren’t even interesting or that even make sense in some cases?

    You’re so desperate to paint National and John Key, who you hate based on past comments, as the only side who can be questioned, that you are not even making an effort any more.

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  53. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “Wouldn’t it have been good if Slater didn’t complain about having emails stolen”

    It would be good for Hager if he didn’t complain to the police I suppose.
    On the other hand Slater seems to be revelling in the attention and blog traffic, but I doubt that will deter him from nailing another lying lefty to his trophy wall.

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  54. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    When I see photos of Kim DC and Nicky Hager together I can’t help thinking Hager’s about to get eaten.

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  55. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    When are the Right going to stop harping on about how the emails were stolen and address the serious issues raised by them.

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  56. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Why is the self-confessed depressive Cameron Slater the holder of a firearms licence. I suppose his good mate and ex Police Minister Judith Collins has put a good word in for him. If she can transfer a prisoner to the boonies for him it would be no trouble at all for her to get porky pig to overlook the fact that Slater has a mental illness.

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  57. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “When are the Right going to stop harping on about how the emails were stolen and address the serious issues raised by them.”

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen from you jackinabox.
    Let me paraphrase it…
    “Forget about the crime that has been admitted, instead give some weight to the allegations made by the self-confessed criminal, he reckons they’re serious stuff”

    I’m not even planning to read the book, I’ve been reading Whaleoil for years, I don’t need a catch up.

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  58. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    There’s another one harping on, why don’t you make a complaint against Hagar, read the book and address the issues raised in it?
    Did you refuse to read the John Banks police report too RightNow?

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  59. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “why don’t you make a complaint against Hagar”
    I have no complaint against Hagar. That’s some funny stuff.
    And when I can download a pirated copy of Hager’s book I probably will read it. I think that should get me in the right frame of mind don’t you think?
    The Banks police report – what the fuck has that got to do with me?

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  60. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Right Now

    “It would be good for Hager if he didn’t complain to the police”

    Oh no it wouldn’t. Slater complaining to the police is exactly what we need. The police would then investigate and said emails would be available for all to see. Because the contents are already in the public domain, i.e. known by the general public – the defense of keeping them private would no longer apply. Hager was not the person that hacked the material – he does not have those skills, and there is a defining line as to whether he can be charged as a secondary party.

    Key won’t start an official investigation because he does not want that material to be released. That is why he is taking the casual approach. Key knows he is going to have to dump Collins – he’s trying to wait until after the election to do that. There is no way Collins can survive unfortunately.

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  61. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “I have no complaint against Hagar. That’s some funny stuff.”

    “Forget about the crime that has been admitted, instead give some weight to the allegations made by the self-confessed criminal, ”

    Me thinks you’re all talk and no do RightNow.

    “The Banks police report – what the fuck has that got to do with me?”

    More head in the sand stuff.

    “There is no way Collins can survive unfortunately.”

    Be a great day when she gets the arse.

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  62. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ jackinabox (716 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    The emails won’t be released before the election, not if the PM can help it.

    Those emails contain information that Slater organised the hacking of other peoples information, which he then used. That puts him in the same situation as Hager, only Slater did it first.

    If the information in those emails was false, and did not implicate any member of National, the police would already be involved, and the emails would have been seized by now. Key is letting people make up their own minds, because he does not want the evidence to do it for them.

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  63. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “If the information in those emails was false, and did not implicate any member of National, the police would already be involved, and the emails would have been seized by now. Key is letting people make up their own minds, because he does not want the evidence to do it for them.”

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  64. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    Judith, I don’t have a problem with all the emails coming out into public domain. Apparently someone with a grudge against Slater and National has already pored through what they hacked to deliver a potted version to Hager who has then picked out those he felt would be most damaging and called it investigative journalism.
    John Key has challenged him to put up : “Key said this morning he would welcome the release.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10386840/Hagers-claims-dissolving-Key
    So that bursts that little bubble you were floating.

    Collins is facing him down too.

    “The conclusions Mr Hager makes from selected private exchanges between friends in this book are wrong,” she said.
    “If Mr Hager were a true investigative writer, as he claims, he would have checked accuracy of the information he received with me prior to printing.
    “Instead, this book makes untrue claims based on stolen emails, what ifs and fanciful speculation. I strongly deny all allegations Hager infers against me in this book.”

    But I guess you and I are agreed on something at least, we’d both welcome Slater making a complaint to the police.

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  65. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “The conclusions Mr Hager makes from selected private exchanges between friends in this book are wrong,” she said.
    “If Mr Hager were a true investigative writer, as he claims, he would have checked accuracy of the information he received with me prior to printing.
    “Instead, this book makes untrue claims based on stolen emails, what ifs and fanciful speculation. I strongly deny all allegations Hager infers against me in this book.”

    Isn’t Collins on her second strike for telling porkies?

    “Collins had “utterly refuted” the accusations “so unless I have a particularly good reason” he would not look into them further.”

    Replace Collins with Banks in that Key statement and you have a glimpse of Collins’ future.

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  66. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @RightNow (6,752 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    The PM has made some verbal challenges, knowing full well they will fall of deaf ears, however, the PM has the ability to initiate an immediate investigation – which would have resulted in those emails being taken immediately. He didn’t do that for the reasons I gave. Key does NOT want what is in those emails being known before the election.

    The longer he can delay the inevitable, the better for him. Which is why neither he nor Collins have done anything but spout off.

    Collins only has to open up her computer to allow independent investigators examine all her records – to show how ‘innocent’ she is – she won’t.

    And it is the same reason why Whaleoil has also not gone to the police – he does not want the information being released either.

    Whaleoil still has his computer, he still has that information – if there was nothing in it, all he has to do is release all the referenced information in Hager’s book, and show that there is no ‘dirty politics’ – that is open up his Facebook archives etc, and let the public see that he is ‘innocent’. Let’s see the emails with Collins, lets see his face book conversations, and so on.

    Only problem is, how will Slater explain his own relationship with hackers?

    I’m sure eventually someone will lay a complaint and there will be action — but it will be timed to ensure that nothing is known before the election.

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  67. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    “And it is the same reason why Whaleoil has also not gone to the police – he does not want the information being released either”

    Isn’t he still in Israel?

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  68. pilgrim33 (3 comments) says:

    Blackmailed no.
    Bribed?
    I was told $2M.

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  69. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    Don’t shatter her conspiracy theory Nookin, I’m enjoying this.

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  70. Than (451 comments) says:

    mikenmild;

    So you think Hager should have gone to the authors of the emails and asked them if that was what they really said?

    Yes, given the unverified nature of his source. But much more importantly he should have asked them if they followed up their words with action, or whether what they claimed in the email was true, etc.

    What Hager has is effectively an 8GB pile of casual, unguarded conversation. There are clearly a lot of leads in there that could have been followed up and (if corroborated) would have been major scandals. But there will also be lots of it which is just bluster, ideas not followed up on, in-jokes, and flat out lies. In his rush to publish (because of course we know Hager wants the truth, not just to influence an election) Hager seems to have failed to do much if any follow-up investigation. As a result a lot of his claims are going to be proven wrong. Of course he’s made so many allegations in this book that the odds are some of them will be true, but taking a shotgun approach to the truth is hardly quality journalism.

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  71. Dazzaman (1,138 comments) says:

    Well……..I can definitely believe Len was tapping prostitutes…….

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  72. goldnkiwi (1,265 comments) says:

    Judith (8,077 comments) says:

    August 15th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    lol when did the ‘book’ come out? I suggest doing what you claim should have been done already would take some time. You are more impatient than Tanya Billingsley.

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  73. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    You want conspiracy theory, Rightnow? OK.

    Hager is a supporter of Greens causes. Indeed, he once stood as a Values Candidate. The Greens Party claim Values as the first Green party. Is Hager a member still?

    Slater has Russel Norman visiting Dotcom. He also has Hager visiting dotcom. The visits of course have to be verified (Norman has admitted his).

    Dotcom boasts of a pending bombshell. So does Bradbury. Bradbury is on Dotcom’s payroll. Hager makes sure that his story is under wraps till the last minute. He wants an ambush — devastation without chance to defend. No-one knows. Or at least almost no-one. Bradbury knows. The Greens are well informed. They are off to the police the minute the book is out.

    Join the dots?

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  74. goldnkiwi (1,265 comments) says:

    I personally take ‘Judith’s’ take on everything as gospel.

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  75. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “Join the dots?”

    You’ve got a book there. Can you get it out say early September? I know a guy who can hack us some emails and stuff, should just be copy and paste from there. He can drop them off on a USB drive.

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  76. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    You’re on. Meet you in the parking building , second floor , midnight Wednesday. Whistle the same tune .

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  77. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    Wednesday – is that O Tannenbaum?

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  78. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    Hard to deny the speed with which the greens laid their complaints Nookin, bit of a world record. Don’t know about the bombshell though, of course Hager was going to keep it under wraps. Also don’t follow why people necessarily needed to be interviewed if Hager is relying on leaked documents. But isn’t the thrust of the ‘dirty politics’, the use of supplying information to gain public opinion or disquiet in a way that breaches the normal processes. That’s what happened with Binnie and DB who was comparatively speaking the last person in NZ to read Binnie’s report by which time it had been spun to a tight knit. That is one example which may be included in the book which I have yet to read.

    Following that information has been passed along to manipulate opinion then that brings WO in the picture, a confidante and spinner. Unfortunately that seems to be where things have gone wrong because it is also revealed his feelings about the people of Christchurch, his apparent ‘compassion’ for a daughter to have contact with her imprisoned father. People are named who have brought ‘information’ to KB but not as media but as clearly partisan. Others have written on here about damage caused as a result of that to other nzers. So the question is if National is deliberating ‘spinning’ opinion, settling grudges or causing harm by the use of bloggers. If this all above board why haven’t they simply done what people expect the Government to do, release reliable and truthful information in person or through the media generally?

    We might never know (although it would be most useful) who the ‘contact’ was that shifted prisoners around the country at the behest of WO, or even if it happened – but we do know who was in charge of corrections at the time, also who was in charge of the Justice portfolio when an applicant was kept the dark while selected media, unsympathetic to his cause, were fed a ‘party’ line.

    Personally, I don’t care who leaked what or how – I simply think the whole lot should be explained, particularly as to how a person who is one minute not a member of the media, and the next minute is, got so inside a democratically elected Government to the extent is appears. Ideally, it would also be important to know what happened to ‘press releases’ and how they became the domain of someone who has broken court orders at will. Little things I know, but they go to judgement and honesty with the public.

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  79. Crusader (303 comments) says:

    Nicky Hagar is not an investigative journalist. He is not fit to wipe the asshole of an investigative journalist.

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  80. Anthony (789 comments) says:

    My left leaning friend is always sending me bullshit emails with silly statements trying to wind me up, a bit like some of the comments on here, and I often send him bullshit emails back. So, if Nicky Hagar hacked my gmail, would he assume we were telling the truth?

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  81. DJP6-25 (1,364 comments) says:

    RightNow 8:54 pm. No, it’s the Badenweiler march.

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  82. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    When is Prime Minister John Key going to provide EVIDENCE which PROVES that information contained in Nicky Hagar’s Dirty Politics or any of his other books is factually inaccurate?

    Come on Prime Minister – put up or shut up.

    (Meant of course in a caring respectful way :)

    Penny Bright

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  83. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    Why is Cameron Slater in Israel?

    Who paid for and organised this trip?

    (I’d ask him on his own blog – but he’s banned me. Seems that Cameron can’t handle the TRUTH and the HARD questions?)

    Penny Bright

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  84. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @nook in
    As you well know he can get an investigation started even from overseas. But john key is here and he could move to have things done real quick and we could all get to see those apparently harmless emails before we vote. Of course as there is nothing to hide I’m sure key will get onto it as soon as he catches that pig that just flew past his window.

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  85. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ public watchdog
    Slater couldn’t handle the Truth, they had to close it down after he’d tried to. ;-)

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  86. Rowan (2,074 comments) says:

    I think the following description from the daily blog seems to sum up whale quite well

    “Psychopath, bully, faux-Christian, convicted criminal, Right wing blogger, and germ-masquerading-as-a-human-being, Cameron Slater has finally had his arse nailed to the wall by veteran investigate journalist*, Nicky Hager.”

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  87. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    No Judith. Something like this isn’t done remotely. Slater wants to eyeball the police with all his info in front of them. Your theory went very weak at the knees when you put forward that argument.

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  88. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @nook in
    So what’s your excuse for key or Collins not doing it?

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  89. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    Hardly Nookin, according to the man himself he has taken complaints to the police at least twice recently because he claimed his life was threatened. His ‘eye balling’ of the police to this point has been cross eyed, to put it nicely, because they haven’t believed him. But he’s probably just misunderstood.

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  90. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    They weren’t hacked. Slater was. Usually it’s the victim who complains. Except when the good little greenies want to toddle off down to the police and tell on everyone.

    The way I see it, any issue of police action is out of Key’s control. The greens have complained. DPF says he will. Slater says he will. Assuming the police investigate, they have to open all cupboard doors, not just blue ones.

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  91. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    Difficult for them to disbelieve Slater when Hager has admitted that the information became available as a result of criminal activity.

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  92. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I guess I’m not the only one with a weak theory am I nook in? Because all Collins has to do is allow access to an independent official to view her Facebook account on the dates quoted by hager and demonstrate that there was no such conversations and it would be all over rover for Hager.

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  93. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    But nook in, slater also received his information via his hacker friends. Information he used to destroy his targets, so neither can take the moral high ground can they?

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  94. DJP6-25 (1,364 comments) says:

    Whale should complain to the FBI too. G.mail is domiciled there.

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  95. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    I can’t whistle the Badenweiler! What’s Thursday’s tune?

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  96. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Collins has been included in the book. Defamed if its not the truth. Therefore she has reason to complain, however as minister she also has a responsibility to the tax payer to address those accusations. Plus imagine the trump card she holds. All she has to do is show her Facebook page on those dates and she could wipe the opposition off the table.

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  97. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    So the focus of your attack is going to be Collins showing her Facebook page now? Have you gone cold on the idea of seeing all the emails?

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  98. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    I don’t think any complaint Slater might make would have anything to do with the moral high ground. He seems to enjoy the skirmish on the low ground. As you say, when he goes to the police, he goes warts and all.

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  99. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Nook in if those people were going to complain they would have immediately. If they are stalling its for a reason – probably doing some spring cleaning and synchronizing their poetry.

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  100. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @right now

    Oh I think Collins Facebook account would be a much more delicious entree.

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  101. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    If the woman has nothing to hide then she won’t mind showing her conversations with slater, it could only help national and make the opposition look bad. A month before an election is no time to be precious -

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  102. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    Collins has no reason to go to the police. Julian Myles QC maybe but not the police. Have you considered, maybe, that if the allegations were true, the most effective steps Collins could take would be a defamation action. It would shut everyone up until after the election and no-one would know whether she was bluffing or not. By not taking action, she is allowing everyone to talk.
    That seems to be the bigger risk, does it not?

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  103. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    But surely she is telling the truth, and would prefer national to win with a clean sweep. All she has to do is show that Facebook page on those dates and national would have everyone’s sympathy. The opposition would be totally destroyed and it wouldn’t be a maybe half half situation like it is now – it would be a cert. There is absolutely no reason not to – clear her own name and dispell any suggestion of dirty politics by the nats.- its the right thing to do. And it would clear dpf and WO at the same time. She’d be a hero

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  104. Nookin (3,274 comments) says:

    Maybe 15 september is the perfect date for that?

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  105. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Kim-Dotcom-Calls-Late-Night-Talk-Back/tabid/506/articleID/52300/Default.aspx

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  106. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Nookin (3,095 comments) says:
    August 15th, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    The 15th of September? Why would she play games with politics when National is clearly the open and transparent party? Why would she not behave in the manner that honours the value the party claims to adhere to, and simply put the public’s minds at ease now? Surely if she waits until the 15th of September, she is partially confirming the accusations that National is playing games and if not using dirty politics, is at least using muddy water.

    No, of course Ms Collins won’t wait, she’ll demonstrate within a day or so the enormous integrity she has and provide access to show she had no part in this – maybe even within a few hours.

    National is not into playing games Nookin, I’m surprised you are even suggesting it.

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  107. Nostalgia-NZ (5,101 comments) says:

    Hardly a proud moment to hear that Slater reveals Hager address in the ‘hope’ that ‘Chinese’ investors will sort him out in some way. Oh, I suppose it was a joke, just like the people of Christchurch being ‘scum’ along with the grieving family of the West Coast man, as well as the ‘directive’ that the prison inmate should know who ‘controls’ him and how he should try harder with his next suicide attempt. Never knew that Slater ran the prison system until the last few days – he’s a busy dude doing good work all over the place.

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  108. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Hager has admitted that the information became available as a result of criminal activity.

    Really? When the SIS spies on someone, is that criminal activity?

    And before you state quoting the legislation, ask yourself how it is that a criminal act could possibly cease to be a criminal act just because the majority decides that it shouldn’t be.

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  109. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    (plus some material stolen from me)

    Are you now saying that they deprived you of something?
    Slandering a political opponent is never a good look, DPF

    definition of LARCENY (Black’s Law Dictionary)

    Larceny: In criminal law. The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away by one person of the mere personal goods of another from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to his (the taker’s) use, and make them his property, without the consent of the owner. …. The felonious taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another. 4 Bl. Comm. 229. The unlawful taking and carrying away of things personal, with intent to deprive the right owner of the same. 4 Steph. Comm. 152. The felonious taking the property of another, without his consent and against his will, with intent to convert it to the use of the taker. Hammon’s Case, 2 Leach, 10S9. The taking and removing, by trespass, of personal property which the trespasser knows to belong either generally or specially to another, with the intent to deprive such owner of his ownership therein; and. perhaps it should be added, for the sake of some advantage to the trespasser

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  110. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    From Ian Wishart’s article:

    If true they are matters of public interest, but Hager had done no fact checking of any kind.

    Wishart isn’t omniscient – he doesn’t know what fact checking has been done by Hager

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  111. Rowan (2,074 comments) says:

    I would trust Hagar over Wishart who is a complete conspiracy theorist or the Whale, who is nothing but a big mouthed bigot

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  112. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Hey, don’t be talking down the conspiracy theorists thankyouverymuch.

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