Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sensing Donors

Today on her blog at the National Herald, Audrey Young pondered "Was NZ First's mystery donation from Glenn too?"
This suggestion was based on the facts that NZ First received an anonymous donation of an unknown amount last year and Owen Glenn has donated money to political parties in the past and denied donating to NZ First.

In the world of the new media that's more than enough information to run with a story, after all what other possible conclusion could one make by looking at those two facts in isolation?

Though to be sure no-one thought she was lacking in journalistic ethics Young cautioned that

It is important to get fuller disclosure on this, not least to ensure that mud does not stick where it is not warranted.

Having unwarranted mud thrown about would be a terrible thing, so naturally as a responsible mainstream media outlet the Herald exercised restraint by making it the main headline on it's website for the afternoon.

Hilariously, later in the day, Winston Peters (in Africa), furiously denied the suggestion of a Glenn-NZ First donation to TVNZ's Espiner the Boy Wonder. Young later graciously accepted Winston's denial on her blog and said it was 'unfortunate that this may not be cleared up in a hurry' as Peters is not back in NZ until Saturday.

She's right of course, it was unfortunate and perhaps even inconsiderate of Winston to be out of the country, asleep and not available for comment while a senior journalist interviewed her keyboard about his activities.
There is a real story in there somewhere, after all Owen Glenn hasn't denied donating to NZ First nor has he denied that he has stopped beating his wife.

New Zealand's mostly widely read newspaper now has the less credibility than that of New Zealand's most popular blog. At least David Farrar has a disclosure statement.

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