Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An apology

Yesterday's post about Phil Heatley ended with a poke at the media, accusing them of suffering from the same ethical sickness as our MPs due to their efforts to minimise and excuse Heatley's behaviour. Today, I got an email from Herald political correspondent John Armstrong, who pointed out that I was being unfair. Most of the press gallery, including himself, had unequivocally condemned Heatley's behaviour, and made it clear that those attempts to excuse it were bullshit. And he's right. I'd based my comments on the few who had made excuses for Heatley - notably TVNZ's Francesca Mold, who said it was "just a silly mistake" [video], the Herald's John Roughan, who thought it was a petty issue, and Vernon Small, who thought it was "at [the] minor end of the scale" and that he didn't need to resign for it. These commentators were in the minority - but their sheer outrageousness meant they were the ones that stuck in my mind.

Heatley is a thief, whose abuse of the public trust is inexcusable. Most of our political commentators recognised that. I apologise for misrepresenting them.