Update: For reasons not completely know to me at this point this post mysteriously disappeared so I thought I’d stick it up again.
The amount of online interest in the posts on the teapot saga on this site alone seem to indicate that the New Zealand public is interested in what the two John’s talked about in that Epsom cafe. Are you likely to be disappointed by the contents of the tape? Sure you are… The public wanted some grand right wing conspiracy (a la the Exclusive Brethren) that would unfold before our eyes. The concept of schadenfreude seemingly has not escaped NZ and the one thing we apparently like more than John Key is seeing him crash and burn.
Will the contents of this tape take the sheen off ‘brand Key’? That’s highly unlikely. There’s nothing on the tape we didn’t already know. What is more likely to damage Key is the Crafar farm sale to the Chinese, at least it might if the opposition gets their act sorted, but only time will tell.
Will I be sued over hosting the tape? Probably not. I doubt I am anywhere near the government’s radar, and you know what? I like it that way.
As you all know by now the Teapot tapes were released and the media – both social and traditional have erupted with a mix of curiosity and giddy glee that they only get when they smell blood in the water.
Sadly for them, the tape itself will not provide the deathblow to the otherwise seemingly carefree existence of John Key. There really wasn’t anything in the transcript which we don’t already know (find me one person that doesn’t acknowledge that Winston’s main voting block is geriatric and I’ll buy you an ice cream), or would cause the National government much concern.
If anything the tape goes some way to dispelling the rumor that John’s ‘aww shucks’ folksiness is staged (at times John Key sounded like he was auditioning for Outrageous Fortune on the tape).
However, from a personal standpoint the tape has presented me with quite an interesting dilemma. One the one hand, people obviosuly want to listen to it and I don’t mind being one of the few blogs that is allowing people to easily do so. However, on the otehr hand I don’t particularly want to be sued.
Media lawyer Steven Price doesn’t reckon that’ll happen though and is more than happy to provide links to the tape. He wrote:
The question is whether the media (and new media) can publish the contents. Now, it is an offence to intentionally disclose an illegally intercepted private communication – but only if you know that it has been illegally intercepted. If anyone wants to prosecute me, they’ll have to prove those two things beyond reasonable doubt.
You can read his full reasoning on this here.
So what does that change for me? Nothing really. I’ll still provide a link to the tape (here), and if you’re at all interested you can check out the analysis I did on the tapes when the controversy first arose in November (here).