I've been listening all week to Nicky Hager telling us we have a "right to know" what was in Don Brash's emails, that the theft of these emails is in "the public interest," and how he has no regrets about publishing a book filled with someone else's mail. A book published as the result of theft.
According to Hager, if "the public interest" demands it, then anyone's private mail should be available to bottom-sniffers like himself to cherrypick and pull together into whatever story he can try and make from it all.
Now, Hager insists the emails weren't stolen (at least not by him), but refuses to give the name of the person who did, um, borrow this stuff. Don't we, by Hager's own reasoning then, have " a right to know" who the bottom-sniffer's muckraker is? Isn't the name of this thief and the means by which these private communications liberated a matter of"public interest" so we may judge for ourselves the context and provenance of the mails? In short, don't we have a right to the contents of Hager's own inbox, however unedifying the contents might be?
The answer, of course, is that we have no such right, any more than Hager had any right to publish a book based on receipt of private communications.
And here's something else Hager might like to think about: the story of the News of the World 'journalist' currently in the dock in London for intercepting and publishing private communications. Clive Goodman (right), who intercepted the calls of royals, MPs and celebrities, has been told by the judge that he faces jail time. Hager meantime has been led to believe by our own complicit media that he faces a best-seller.
UPDATE: How do you think Hager would look in court if one or others of the owners of Hager's stolen communications were to take him there?
LINKS: Goodman pleads guilty - Guardian
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