The Dim-Post

April 30, 2010

Surely not

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 1:53 pm

I can’t believe any government Minister would walk into the old ‘make the accusation, wait for the denial then present the proof’ trap but I guess Paula Bennett is the least unlikely to fall for it.

UPDATE: Turns out TV3 did not have ‘email documentation’, they had a couple of Facebook messages between Fuller and one of her friends in which Fuller claimed she had been offered compensation. After meeting with Paula Bennett Fuller wrote:

Things went really well she wasn’t that scary… I dropped the tears a few times and she felt sorry for me – wont put me back in the media and get me hurt again and willing to talk settlement. I’ve got a tough choice to make have two days to come up with what I want as a payment I don’t want to sound greedy but its hard to put price on what iv been through

Fuller has said that the messages were untrue and a joke. Doesn’t really sound that way does it? Sounds like one of the criteria for payment was confidentiality and someone has explained to Fuller that she won’t get any money if she publically admits to a settlement.

The meetings between Bennett and Fuller were initiated by the Privacy Commissioner – I don’t have a problem with them mediating a cash settlement (if that’s what has happened): Fuller is the wronged party here, after all.

UPDATE II: My other theory is that Bennett didn’t explicity offer Fuller cash (Bennett: ‘Why don’t you tell us what you want out of all of this and I’ll see what I can do.’ Fuller: ‘You mean like a cash settlement?’ Bennett: ‘If you think that’s fair. Have a think about it and let me know, and I’ll make sure that the horrible media leaves you alone.’)

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27 Comments »

  1. s/least unlikely/most likely/

    Comment by mjl — April 30, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  2. If TV3 have more, it’ll be an exclusive tonight.

    Comment by Sanctuary — April 30, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  3. It’s fair to say TV3 went pretty hard out on it. News was all like ‘watch Campbell Live’s exclusive half-story!’

    I assume that means they have something proper, but I suppose it’s possibly they started the teaser machine before they realised they didn’t.

    And yeah, ‘exclusive interview’ with the Minister? She only talks to Campbell Live now?

    Comment by lyndon — April 30, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  4. Oh, and feel forced to applaud Bennett’s press release for not using the word ‘refute’ http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1004/S00430.htm

    Comment by lyndon — April 30, 2010 @ 4:07 pm

  5. And yeah, ‘exclusive interview’ with the Minister? She only talks to Campbell Live now?

    Comment by lyndon

    She found out Guyon was cheating on her with Steven Joyce.

    Yep. Guyon’s a chubby chaser.

    Comment by dontsurf — April 30, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  6. Or in TV 3’s case a complete fuck-up that makes Natasha Fuller and the pathetic reporter look absolutely pathetic.

    Comment by gingercrush — April 30, 2010 @ 6:12 pm

  7. OMG! People make shit up on Facebook! Who knew?

    Comment by Pat — April 30, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  8. Yep, Sounds like a meeting between two flaky personalities, looks like the bully gets to claim victory.

    Sort of Milhouse meets Nelson Muntz on the Crusty the Clown Show.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — May 1, 2010 @ 7:55 am

  9. [...] As Danyl points out over at the DimPost this doesn’t look like a joke so much as a breach of a confidential agreement that needed to be passed off as a joke. I only hope Fuller got a decent payment after what was done to her. [...]

    Pingback by John, it’s time for Paula to go « The Standard — May 1, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  10. On a serious-er note, it’s actually pretty fucking pathetic how crap and toothless privacy laws are in NZ. If she’d have pulled crap like that in the US, it’s likely Fuller could have found an ambulance chaser to work on contingency for an invasion of privacy suit; if she’d have done it in the UK, Bennett would be facing a court fine or even jail time for a breach like that.

    Instead what you get is a cosy little meeting between the offender and the offended-against in which the IC arbitrates an apology that quite often doesn’t have to materialise or even be genuine.

    If Danyl used my email to do something horrible to me because he didn’t like something I posted on here, there’d be no real repercussions for him because he wouldn’t have to pay any attention to what anyone said until I took it so far to be out of proportion to the original breach of privacy. Bennett’s example shows that holders of private information only have to care about their own reputation, and don’t particularly fear data leaks or breaches, and that extends to the highest level.

    On the other side, Fuller’s a total dickhead. But that doesn’t mean she deserves having her personal finances spread all over the media by John Key’s pet Westie.

    Comment by dontsurf — May 1, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  11. Sorry I don’t buy your explanation and neither do I buy the crap Irishbill is espousing. Both of you were convinced TV 3 had a real story. What they actually have is no story. No proof. Yet both of you are so desperate to still believe that story you’re coming up with crap to try to explain it. When there just isn’t a story here.

    Comment by gingercrush — May 1, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  12. with enemies like TV3 and The Standard, who needs friends.

    With no trace of irony that TV3 report opens with “More light has been shed…” and then procedes to give only snippits of emails with no clear timeline. Either they have no idea about how to write news or they’re covering theirs tracks for what has turned out to be a lot of BS.

    “Before it [the meeting], Ms Fuller’s emails show she was talking about money…”

    who exactly is “she” here? the meanig is very different depending. But that’s par for the course with the entire “story”.

    Comment by Neil — May 1, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  13. Both of you were convinced TV 3 had a real story.

    Read my original post. I had pretty massive doubts that TV3 had any story. I still don’t. Their original claim was that Bennett had offered Fuller hush money. If we take Fuller’s Facebook messages at face value it’s obvious that (a) the Privacy Commission encouraged them to mediate a settlement, (b) both of them wanted to keep it quiet and avoid the media, and (c) Bennett made no offer, she asked Fuller to make HER an offer.

    Comment by danylmc — May 1, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  14. @GC

    Did you have the same howling to the moon outrage when Fuller’s privacy was breached? Or was that a non story as well?

    Comment by andy (the other one) — May 1, 2010 @ 10:30 am

  15. I’d like to know …

    – If 3 News was shooting at Fuller’s place on the Wednesday or Thursday — as it appears — why didn’t they ask for her side of the story then? What did they tell her at the time? What did she actually have to say?

    – Were the Facebook messages passed on by a third party (Fuller’s friend), or did a 3 News reporter see them by virtue of being Fuller’s Facebook friend? It’s not clear, but if it’s the latter, then it’s an awful breach of privacy. And ironic, given the context.

    – Do we actually know whether there will be a public finding on the complaint, or will there be a confidential settlement?

    – Is any of this subject to OIA?

    Comment by Russell Brown — May 1, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  16. You’d have to be desperately naive or incredibly politically blinkered not to believe that Danyl’s assessment of the situation was not far and away the most likely scenario.

    Comment by IrishBill — May 1, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  17. “And ironic, given the context.’

    there was that Natinal Radio item, last weekend I think, on the media’s use of social network sites. irony all round.

    Comment by Neil — May 1, 2010 @ 10:58 am

  18. Is any of this subject to OIA?

    Yes. The question is ‘are there proper grounds to withhold any of it under the OIA?’

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — May 1, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  19. You’d have to be desperately naive or incredibly politically blinkered…
    Comment by IrishBill

    Oh, wow, that’s gold right there.

    Comment by Phil — May 1, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

  20. To be honest it sounds like nothing more than a journalist has oversold a story that has two-thirds of f-all to it.

    A lead news story based on a Facebook posting between one of the parties and a friend? If the story had come out of an email exchange between Fuller and Bennett, then it would have some meat – but as it stands TV3 has a story based on nothing more than one person gossiping to a mate. That’s desperation stuff, and unworthy of the title ‘news’.

    Comment by Ataahua — May 1, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  21. surely it would have been the Privacy Commision that outlined to Fuller, before the meeting, what a possible settlement could look like? From that TV3 item the Commision is quoted as saying –

    “Settlements include an apology, an assurance an action will not recur, modest compensation or personal gestures, such as flowers or vouchers”

    So Fuller may have had an expectation of money.

    But I can’t really see the story. Bennet and Fuller entered into mutually agreeed negotitation. To go from that to Bennet “buying” Fuller is pretty far fetched and not in particularly good faith.

    Comment by Neil — May 1, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  22. Danyl said “UPDATE II: My other theory is that Bennett didn’t explicity offer Fuller cash (Bennett: ‘Why don’t you tell us what you want out of all of this and I’ll see what I can do.’ Fuller: ‘You mean like a cash settlement?’ Bennett: ‘If you think that’s fair. Have a think about it and let me know, and I’ll make sure that the horrible media leaves you alone.’)”

    Oh FFS, why don’t you make up a few more stories and spot a few more black helicopters with National Party logos printed in dark grey in the side of them coming to get all the fearless working class warriors and supporters of ‘Waitakere man’. They are coming to get you all…

    Comment by x-pat — May 1, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  23. Bennet and Fuller entered into mutually agreeed negotitation. To go from that to Bennet “buying” Fuller is pretty far fetched and not in particularly good faith.

    Whereas Bennet’s initial spilling of Fuller’s detail’s was done in perfectly good faith.

    Comment by joe W — May 1, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  24. gingercrush:

    I actually think there potentially was a “real” story there, but one of my great journalistic heroes is Phil Kitchen — who lives the principle that it is better to take your time and nail the story than going for a quick hit. (If my memory serves, he working on the story that destroyed Donna Awatere-Huata’s political career for over a year before the first story appeared in the Dom Post. He can take a hell of a lot of risk because he’s earned a reputation for meticulously doing his groundwork, and making sure it can stand up to microscopic scrutiny by Messers Sue, Grabbit and Runne.)

    Unfortunately (for Three), Three News has developed a bit of a rep for going off with half-baked political scandals that over-promise and don’t deliver at all. And they were doing to the last Labour government as well, so I’m not even claiming partisan bias.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — May 1, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  25. I’m with Craig. Whether they had a story or not, 3 News needed to do a hell of a lot better than this.

    Comment by Russell Brown — May 1, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  26. Danylmc, your post is a conspiracy theory similar to the “faked moon landing” theory, or “the CIA orchestrated the twin tower” theory. Except you have no evidence. At least those other theories can point to some sort of evidence, even though the theories have been completely debunked.

    Let me ask you, what more could be done to refute the suggestion of Bennett buying off Fuller than:

    1. Bennetts full and unretracted denial.
    2. Fuller’s candid admission that she was making things up.

    If you won’t accept that as evidence of no wrong doing on Bennett’s part, then what would you accept?

    Comment by Tony — May 1, 2010 @ 7:33 pm

  27. It’s actually the job of the Privacy Commission to negotitate settlements between parties, but if you think that such a thing is ‘similar to the “faked moon landing” theory, or “the CIA orchestrated the twin tower” theory’ then go for it. I don’t really care enough about the subject to try and convince you otherwise.

    Comment by danylmc — May 2, 2010 @ 6:10 am


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