GORDON LIGHTFOOT | Politics
IT’S NOT A BRIBE
New Zealand’s media has had an absolute gutsful of our new deputy prime minister Winston Peters. From the moment the combative politician regained his position in government, he has been on the attack.
Peters has labelled the Ardern-era “public interest journalism fund” a bribe, mainly because it is taxpayers’ money that media organisations took from the government, under the condition that they would not question the new treaty partnership interpretation, and they would discredit anyone not saying the right things about Covid-19.
A few of the big players are so sick of the bribe-taking allegations, that they have pooled together a bag of cash to send to Peters, hoping this will keep him quiet.
“Oh nah that’s not a bribe,” said one journalist who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s just a gift that we’re giving to the deputy PM so that he will stop talking about bribing.”
When asked whether a bag of cash in exchange for silence was more like “hush money” for the deputy PM, the journalist was not happy with that either. “Well, I wouldn’t call it hush money. That makes it sound like we’re doing something wrong,” they said.
“We’re not doing anything wrong, we’re the media. We’re the ones holding the powerful to account. We’re the good guys that everyone likes and listens to.”
Peters, who caught wind of the scheme, poured cold water on the idea. “They want to try and bribe Winston Peters do they? I don’t want their money. These people are sick.
“They don’t get it. They’ve lost and there’s nothing they can do about it. The adults are back in charge,” he said, followed by his trademark grin.
Time will tell how long the headlines will be dominated by the media talking about how the PIJF was not a bribe.
More to come.