Will Dotcom's Sept 15 'Moment of Truth' pale next to Dirty Politics?
On Twitter, Kim Dotcom has denied he's Whaledump.
He should be so lucky.
The Dirty Politics hacker's release of leaked emails (and some right-wing infighting and forwarded emails inspired by the leaks) have caused fireworks.
Judith Collins has quit. John Key's senior staffers are being hauled up in front of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.
I'm wondering if Kim Dotcom's "Moment of Truth" event at the Town Hall on September 15 will pale by comparison.
Like Internet Party leader Laila Harre, I'm in the dark about what Dotcom will reveal.
Maybe it will be bombshell information that will end the Prime Minister's career.
But my suspicion is it will be an indirect allegation; something along the lines of: "This Wikileak document shows John Key attended a GCSB meeting on such-and-such a date before my arrest, and it defies belief the raid wasn't discussed at that briefing so he should resign."
The Great New Zealand Public will sigh and move on. Material like that won't have much cut-through compared to the juicy allegations about Ms Collins and involving figures like Cameron Slater and Mark Hotchin who are hot buttons for middle New Zealand.
And I suspect even if Mr Dotcom has irrefutable proof John Key knew about the raid – which the giant German will take to mean collusion with Obama and Hollywood – it won't move polls much (or at least its influence won't be detectable amid the Dirty Politics noise). Internet Mana and potential Internet Mana supporters already presume the prime minister is lying; others will see nothing particularly unusual about Mr Key knowing in advance about a major law enforcement action following an investigation that involved an intelligence agency he's responsible for. It'll be seen as a white lie. The prime minister and his credibility have definitely been put under pressure by recent events. But I'm not sure the September 15 rally will add to it.
Similarly, the minutiae of NZ's involvement with the Five Eyes network are not a vote-deciding issue for most voters. And for those that are, Internet Mana has to prove it's a more credible opponent to surveillance laws and treaties than the Greens and other opposition parties.
Tying the September 15 event to Dotcom's extradition case won't help on that score.
Self-interest is a bad look.
"His reasons for becoming involved in New Zealand politics in the way he has is one of retribution against people who he feels have slighted him," as Internet Mana candidate Georgina Beyer put it last night.
Drawing everything back to Megaupload and the Dotcom mansion raid undermines the wider debate that needs to take place about the security versus privacy.
The fact Julian Assange* has been added to the speaker lineup could be taken as Kim deciding his material's a bit weak, so a star appearance from the Wikileaks founder will help ramp up the hype. That's my suspicion. Though again, I'm just guessing. Maybe Dotcom's bombshell is enough to surprise and shock post-Dirty Politics. If it's not, better check if that Town Hall deposit is refundable ...
* Maybe if things get slow, Assange can use address by video link to explain why he's seeking asylum in Ecuador — a country with such a poor record for human rights and press freedom.