Affable TV3 rugby editor Hamish McKay is the latest to feel the Kremlin's icy blast as he had his accreditation pulled for the All Blacks test against South Africa in Dunedin last week.
His crime? McKay allegedly broke the embargo over the All Blacks team naming - a breach that carries grave implications for the nation's security.
Last Wednesday night Mike McRoberts turned to McKay, as he is wont to do on their nightly imposition into lounge rooms across the country, and posited the idea of changes to the All Black lineup for the team that was to be named the following morning across the daily newspapers and radio networks.
Yes, McKay's spies told him, they could expect some tinkering to the lineup and his "predictions" proved spot on. We are told this sent a number of high-ranking NZRU operatives and field men into a lather.
Threats were made, strongly worded emails were sent to TV3's experienced head of news Mark Jennings.
McKay was banished, quite literally, to the hills to report on the test (a robust, but hardly sparkling victory for the men in black against the Old Foe, South Africa).
All of which has been greeted with some amusement by the rest of the media.
McKay's backers claim he did nothing wrong and that the embargoed team wasn't released until well after 3 News was over.
He'd made inquiries and got information about the team from an independent source.
That being the case, the NZRU have zero rights to tell him, or TV3, what they can and cannot report on.
The banishment seems a disproportionate response from an organisation that sees spies behind every streetlight.By Dylan Cleaver Email Dylan