So they opened Pandora's box, and creepy-crawly things gushed out.
So it always is, and will ever be, with stolen secrets. There's nothing odd about that.
Eavesdroppers never hear good of themselves, and hacked email correspondence won't be any different.
People enjoy their instant nature, and may well show their silly - and malicious - sides to trusted friends there, and why shouldn't they?
We don't expect strangers will read them and interpret them according to their own agendas. We expect privacy.
But if hackers can get to Judith "Crusher" Collins they can get to anyone, and nobody's privacy is safe.
More seriously, we're being robbed of a real election thanks to a smear campaign enabled by technology we naively imagined would have no downside.
Nicky Hager and the big German, Kim Dotcom, are turning on sideshows so thrilling, or cynical, that they could swing the election. Nobody's talking policy any more.
It's all about dodgy Cameron Slater, the unpopular minister, and whoever has been in cahoots with them in manipulating public opinion.
It's called public relations, this sort of caper, it's been around forever, and it's astonishingly well paid.
Just who is Slater anyway, why should we hang on every word that drips from his well-nourished mouth, and who are the other players tied up in his web?
We now know that they shoot wildly from the hip, hired guns with no editor to curb them, and not even a responsible adult keeping watch. And blogs will replace newspapers? God help us. Democracy can't last.
Setting aside the nastiness from the Cameron clique, if possible, there are questions that could be asked of Hager, who allowed himself a small smirk of pleasure when Collins fell on her sword.
Aren't we entitled to know the source of the hacked correspondence that forms the basis of his book?
We can't just accept that it fell into his hands from nowhere, unsought, because he's who he is, a leftist writer with a nose for a right-wing scandal. Or can we?
Do we believe that he and his publisher took the material at face value, made no attempt to find the hacker's identity, and sprang into print just knowing the emails were the real deal?
I'm asking because Hager teaches investigative journalists, according to the internet, and surely doesn't assure them that this is acceptable practice.
When did the windfall of emails land? Apparently just in time to snarl up an election, the book printed so swiftly that nobody implicated in the nastiness was asked for an explanation.
A lack of any attempt at balance isn't good investigative practice either, but balance doesn't seem to concern Hager, and I expect he's not even slightly interested on what a similar trawl through other parties' attack dogs might discover.
If I suspect that he held the book back, timed for maximum impact, so that there'd be no time for official investigations to clear anybody's name (if that is possible) before the election, should I admire that?
I'm wary of saints of any persuasion, is all, especially those who are in the habit of springing scandals close to elections. And I've never voted National.
I have the impression Hager's windfall may have come from the West Coast, in retaliation for Slater's vile remarks about a young man's death.
Maybe that's so, and it's poetic justice, but then why is the hacker so coy?
Self-identified right-wing journalist Matthew Hooton wails on National Radio at the downfall of National, as if it's already happened. Reporters assure us it's all over for the government, and Labour and the Greens will romp home. And once again Winston Peters could be kingmaker. Hager and Dotcom, be careful what you wish for. It could turn out to be different, but worse.
Meanwhile, Gareth Morgan has found another conspiracy. Children's minds are being warped, he says, by the supermarket chain that gives away miniature pretend food. Gasp about hacked emails all you like. It's the plot of the plastic bananas that's got me shuddering.