Wendyl Nissen leaves NewstalkZB | The Jackal

16 Sept 2014

Wendyl Nissen leaves NewstalkZB

Despite the Prime Minister attempting to downplay the serious issues raised by Dirty Politics, a month on from Nicky Hager's book release and we're still learning more about those who were adversely effected by the numerous Whale Oil smear campaigns that have badly undermined our democracy.

Not only did the ground-breaking book blow the lid off the inner workings of an unethically administered National led government, it also exposed the underhanded ways private business interests try to influence public opinion in order to promote their unhealthy and socially destructive products.

One of the main Dirty Politics players employing people like Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham and Cathy Odger's to smear academics and journalists on behalf of big business interests is Food & Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich.

Unfortunately this despicable individual appears to have avoided any repercussions for her deviousness, presumably because those who are meant to hold her to account are also corrupt!

Thankfully some of the people targeted by Katherine Rich's smears have come forward to tell their stories. This is a great way to heal the personal hurt and professional damage that has been caused, by exposing it to the unyielding light of public opinion.

Today, the courageous and levelheaded Wendyl Nissen wrote in the NZ Herald:

Tuning out: Dirty Politics and the blogs

Earlier this year I was on the receiving end of a concerted effort, including legal letters, to get me discredited through my bosses at the Herald.

The person behind it was Katherine Rich, the chief executive of the Food & Grocery Council, which represents companies who produce soft drinks and processed foods, some of which I have written about.


Last week I resigned from my regular Friday morning slot on NewstalkZB, which I have been doing for 15 years, because I didn't want to be on the same platform as Cameron Slater, another commentator on the station, while there are allegations that his views involve cash for comment.

I'm all for free speech when there are genuinely held views, but I believe that if you are paid to express them by big industry or politicians with an agenda, that is not fair.

To claim that all the opinion pieces on Whale Oil Beef Hooked were his own work when most of the time Cameron Slater was simply being used as a front for the National parties negative campaigning and big business interests is about as pathetic as it gets. At the very least Slater et al should go back through all those disgusting articles and update them with the author's real names.

Over the years I have been writing Wendyl Wants to Know for the Herald, I have been offered many incentives to write nice things about processed foods for food producers. I have turned them all down because my readers have to trust me. Objectivity is the first rule of journalism.

At least some journalists have the moral aptitude to do the right thing. Let's hope that more people come forward with their stories and reasoned thoughts on Dirty Politics especially in terms of how best to clean up what is assuredly the biggest mess in New Zealand's political history.