MP Jones Appalled At Attack On Media Integrity
List Member of Parliament
24 February 2008
MP Jones Appalled At Attack On North Media Integrity
National Party leader John Key should apologise for his attack on the integrity of the hardworking media in the North says Northland List MP and cabinet Minister Shane Jones.
“I am appalled that Mr Key should, along with his cronies in the National Party, should attack the integrity of the journalist (Greg Robertson) and the Bay Report publication for reporting accurately what he said,” Mr Jones said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Mr Key said: ‘we would love to see wages drop’ because the Northern Advocate, also publishers of the Bay Report ran the transcript of the question (by Kerikeri District Business Association President Carolyne Brooks-Quan) and Mr Key’s irrefutable answer in yesterday’s (Saturday February 23) paper.
“Mr Key repeatedly claimed he was ‘misrepresented’ or his comments were ‘light-hearted’ and referring to ‘Australian wages’ while, some of his colleagues have gone to great lengths to even question the existence of the paper.
“I can assure them the Bay Report not only exists, but it is doing very well in our area in the Bay of Islands.”
Mr Jones said he was dismayed by the numerous attempts by the National Party to force the journalist and the publication to retract the comments made by Mr Key, and having failed in that attempt, tried to discredit both the journalist and the publication.
“This isn’t just an attack on the Bay Report and the journalist concerned, but it is attack on the integrity, intellectual capacity and objectivity of the entire Northland media.
“In the North they work in very trying circumstances and cover vast areas, so when Mr Key treats them with the contempt he has done so, he is accusing them of being sub-standard and nothing can be further from the truth.
“His dim view of the media in the North is probably the same opinion he holds for all media who work in the hinterlands and regional towns.
“His denials do not wash with me and I challenge him to apologise for his arrogance. Let me remind him too, all it takes to ruin a Teflon pan is one scratch.”