Judith Collins says she has stepped down because of an email that says she did something that she never did. Should we believe her?
It's a pretty safe bet that when a certain blogger whom we don't name came up with his "trophy wall" of individuals that he had "harpooned" through his work, he didn't ever think that the biggest head mounted on it would be that of the National Party's Minister of Justice, his close friend Judith Collins. If I were Chris Trotter, I'd probably reach to compare it to Actaeon being torn to pieces by his own dogs after Artemis turned him into a stag. But I'm not. So I won't.
Collins has, of course, vigorously denied that anything like the conversation the certain blogger whom we don't name describes in his email took place. He's also recanted a bit, saying that he was simply "talking up a big game" in the email, and that "[e]mbellished is a good word. It's better than a lie, isn't it?" And over on Kiwiblog, David Farrar has also suggested that the certain blogger whom we don't name should be viewed as an unreliable narrator by drawing attention to what the same email claims about his links to the much-derided and vilified "MSM".
The email stated that:
I am maintaining daily communications with Jared Savage at the Herald and he is passing information directly to me that the Herald can’t run and so are feeding me to run on the blog.
DPF responds to this by asking:
Now let me say again that what Cam says in an e-mail is his interpretation of events. I regard Jared Savage as an excellent investigative reporter. But the e-mail does lead to questions being asked. How is media giving Cam stories, different to a press secretary doing so?
I'll leave that last question to be answered by those with better and more experience-informed views on journalistic ethics (that's you, Tim). Because what is important is what DPF writes next.
Now again what Cam has written is his interpretation. It may not be the literal truth of what Jared was doing. But here’s the thing – you need to be consistent. If you accept everything in the e-mails written by Cam as the literal truth, then the NZ Herald was feeding stories to Whale Oil, which they could not run in their newspaper. If you do not accept those e-mails as the literal truth, then why would you accept the ones about interactions with people in National as the literal truth?
Is the Herald going to say that everything Cameron wrote about his dealings with us is incorrect, yet everything else is correct?
Good point! If that blogger whom we don't name was puffing himself up and lying about his links with the MSM, then why should we believe him about what he says Judith Collins said to him? And, by the same token, I assume that if it turns out that the blogger's account of his relationship with the MSM is accurate, then we ought to believe what he says about Judith Collins? If we are going to be consistent, of course.
Well then, we now have Jared Savage's account of his relationship with that blogger. And here's what he has to say:
At the same time, I received a few emails about what was happening inside the SFO office.
Most of it was flotsam and jetsam, interesting tidbits of unverified information or gossip which I decided against pursuing as angles.
I cut and pasted the content of some of those emails, to remove any possible identifying features, and forwarded them on to Slater. So information was shared, there was a bit of "horse trading", we talked about developments as the story rolled along.
Which appears to tally closely with what the certain blogger whom we don't name said about the relationship. Meaning that, if we're going to be consistent, shouldn't we accept what that this certain blogger wrote about his dealings with Judith Collins was "the literal truth"? If we're going to be consistent, that is.