We're not going to try and reproduce vast tracts of this self-justification. But we reckon that this bit encapsulates the HoS's hubris quite nicely:
Key's comments were potentially extremely damaging to a fledgling newspaper - at the time, the Herald on Sunday was barely seven years old - and as events have transpired, the least that might be expected of the Right Honourable Member is that he would withdraw and apologise. That there has been no sign of such an apology is regrettable. Surely he does not still claim that we deliberately set out to bug a private conversation with no evidence to back that up (the paper's managers were not even interviewed by police)? The sole focus has been on the freelancer who handed us a tape.
That the HoS wants an apology from Key is telling. They seem to be forgetting Crown Law's advice to the police that Bradley Ambrose's actions were unlawful, and that even by the innuendo they published, they also acted in a highly questionable manner.
The comments about a "fledgling newspaper" are telling too. They suggest that this was much more about ratings than substance, and that the HoS was disappointed not to have scored a major coup over its competitors. Such is the nature of our ratings-driven MSM now that readership is far more important than actual content, or reporting of the facts.
The Herald on Sunday has made a big play for the moral high ground this morning. But in our ever-humble opinion, they've fallen well short. Or maybe the call for an apology WAS an April Fools' Day wind-up...