Saying it with flowers

February 20, 2014

Cameron Slater sent Annette King a bunch of flowers for publicising his blog in parliament yesterday.

Her response was less than gracious:

. . . “I’ve always enjoyed receiving flowers, and it was nice to be thanked by Cameron for promoting his blog. But I think his blog must be in financial trouble because it’s the most miserable bunch of flowers I’ve ever received. The flowers will not require me to put them on my Pecuniary Interests register.” . . .

Ms King said it did show that Mr Slater at least had a sense of humour.

Apropos of flowers and humour, Duncan Garner attempted to end Gerry Brownlee feud, sends Valentine’s Day flowers:

The year started sour between Duncan Garner and Minister Of Lots Of Things Gerry Brownlee. The Earthquake Recovery Minister flatly refused to appear on Drive.

When pressed in Wellington, Brownlee replied there was no issue with Garner.

“I think it’s a lover’s tiff, I’m expecting champagne and roses any time,” he smirked.

So today, being Valentine’s Day, Duncan sent him a gift (picture 1 below). Gerry received the present and is very happy about the present.

He has also sent us a picture of him with his gift for Garner. Though, the gift itself is yet to arrive.

Happy Valentine’s Day Gerry!

The photos show the bunch of red roses and box of chocolates Garner sent the Minister and him with the single bloom and heart-shaped chocolate he was sending in return.

 

 


Blogger faces death and rape threats

January 29, 2014

The Whale Oil site has been off-line following a cyber attack and he has received threats against himself and his family on social media.

Cameron Slater’s is the most widely read blog in the country and almost certainly the most inflammatory.

He upsets and enrages people.

His posts can be irrational and he sometimes uses a scatter gun approach which hits the innocent as well as the guilty.

Nothing he writes justifies threats to his life and the safety of his family.

The Facebook post I saw is probably actionable and definitely stupid.

It gives him more publicity and will increase readership which will upset and enrage the people attacking him even more.

 


Another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes

January 16, 2014

The Internet Party hasn’t even been launched and it’s already getting headlines for all the wrong reasons - Whaleoil has a scoop revealing its strategy:

The strategy paper (below) reveals that Martyn Bradbury is working for Kim Dotcom and is charging him $8000 per month plus GST for political strategy, on top of a $5000 payment to allow him to upgrade his computer, cellphone and tablet devices. . .

Further, the strategy document, which Trotter so clearly expands upon, shows that Martyn Bradbury intends to stand in Auckland Central as the Internet Party candidate, and be paid for the privilege of doing so. His strategy document outlines the need to establish an office.

The media compromise:

However the subterfuge is deeper than that. Sources have revealed that Scoop Media’s General Manager Alistair Thompson is to be the Party Secretary and has already registered the domain names under the Scoop Media banner. Scoop Media is also the name server registrant for the domain name and also that of internetparty.co.nz . . .

Summary:

  • Martyn Bradbury to stand in Auckland Central
  • Martyn Bradbury on payroll for $8000 per month plus $5000 advance payment for technology upgrades
  • Graeme Edgeler produced a report, allegedly for $3000
  • Plans for so far unnamed candidate in Upper Harbour, reputedly a broadcaster.
  • Focus on Auckland Central and Upper Harbour
  • Plans to win at least 3 seats

If I was drawing up a long list of people to attract votes from the right in general and National in particular, Bradbury’s name wouldn’t be on it.

If he stands and gets any votes he’ll be getting them from the left.

This isn’t a party that is likely to threaten the right, it’s another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes.

It’s also one that can’t even get it’s launch right:

https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/423307834827100160

https://twitter.com/KimDotcom/status/423307985939492864

Presumably someone told Dotcom about that the party to launch his party would be considered treating which is an offence under electoral law.

The scoop though, is great for Whaleoil who has already  collected another scalp with it:

Journalist Alastair Thompson has resigned from internet-based news service Scoop this afternoon in the wake of claims he was to be Internet Party general-secretary and had registered a domain name.

Scoop’s controlling shareholder, Selwyn Pellett, confirmed he had not previously been aware of the extent of Thompson’s involvement with the party.

After the blog became public, Thompson tendered his resignation.

Pellett said that while he understood Thompson’s passion for internet freedom, there was a clear conflict of interest with his journalism. . . .

Cameron Slater is defending a judgement that he isn’t a journalist and therefore doesn’t have the protection journalists do in not revealing sources.

If publishing a scoop like this isn’t journalism, what is it?

Update: – tweet of the day on this issue:

https://twitter.com/robhosking/status/423290461747306496


What’s news?

December 2, 2013

Cameron Slater who runs Whaleoil has been ordered by a judge to reveal his sources because his blog “isn’t a news medium”.

But media law expert says he has a good case to appeal.

. . . Media lawyer Steven Price says he appears to have a good case because the act defines a news medium as one that disseminates news, which he says Whale Oil does.

And he said, a recent Law Commission report talks about bloggers being important to free speech.

A paper on media law at university while studying journalism more than three decades ago doesn’t make me a media law expert.

But I went to the dictionary and found the definition of news:newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent events.

Whale Oil breaks a lot of stories which appears to fit that definition.

 


Right and wrong not left and right

October 23, 2013

A former Labour MP who worked with people from across the political spectrum on a local body campaign said he’d come to the conclusion that left wing people were far more likely to see things through a political lens than those from the right.

Some people are trying to turn Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.

It’s not.

Cameron Slater, who broke the story on his blog Whaleoil, is from the blue end of the political spectrum.

But he doesn’t let that get in the way of his posts. He’d have run the story regardless of the mayor’s political affiliation.

That’s one of the reasons his blog is so popular. Like David Farrar on Kiwiblog, he’ll give praise and criticism where it’s due regardless of the subject’s politics.

Other people from the right had some involvement with Bevan Chuang but Jane Clifton points out:

There’s been much tut-tuttery about the fact that the source of the story was Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil, one of the country’s best-read blogs, which is aggressively pro-National Party to boot. Slater’s father ran the campaign for Brown’s closest mayoralty rival, a campaign Brown’s inamorata was close to through her friendship with another campaign activist. This has brought claims she was secretly working for the other side. Which just goes to show there’s plenty of hypocrisy, paranoia and self-delusion to go around. It’s common for journalists and political junkies in the twittersphere to denounce Whale Oil as “gutter” blogging. But not for the first time, the gutter-shunning media have piled onto Slater’s ruck without a second’s hesitation.

Allegations that this is a deliberate smear campaign generated from within the National Party to destroy a left-leaning mayor are somewhat ambitious. To the best of my knowledge, the National Party cannot make a married man have an affair. For two years. Or trick him into sending silly texts that might be kept and used against him. Or force him to conduct how’s-your-father in the Ngati Whatua conference room of the council chambers.

There’s also the inconvenient fact that the blog did not run the story till after the local body elections in which Brown was safely re-elected. He is unsackable. . .

But the political views of those involved in the affair and its exposure is irrelevant anyway.

This isn’t about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.

Andrew McMillan provides a timeline of events which show:

Brown, who portrayed himself as a loving family man  and committed Christian had a prolonged affair.

He had a sexual trysts in council premises on council time.

The woman with whom he had the relationship was on a council advisory board. That’s not a direct employee but as mayor he was in a position of power and she could be considered to be vulnerable.

He wrote her a reference, and as a side issue he admitted writing worthless references:

Was it an abuse of power to provide a reference for Bevan Chuang?

It was the very early stages of us knowing each other. I have provided many references in supports of lots and lots of friends and people that I know. The letter of support I wrote was a reasonable letter. I tend to be quite positive in my writing for the many people I write references for. It wasn’t a reference that was requested or provided for that was out of the norm. It was, for me, a fairly typical reference done at a time when, quite frankly, we hadn’t known each other all that long. . .

A reference from the mayor would carry considerable weight but his words suggest he dashes them off frequently and in this case without knowing the subject all that long.

Whether that is appropriate for a mayor might be moot but the impact on his family from his infidelity and what it says about his character is not.

Whatever his politics and those of the people who exposed him, he is in the wrong.

Whether or not it will require a resignation will depend on the outcome of a council inquiry.

But whatever it determines won’t make his behaviour right.


Slater Snr not part of story

October 18, 2013

Brian Rudman’s column in today’s NZ Herald is headlined sex, blogs and right wing plots.

It deals with the revelations about Auckland mayor Len Brown’s affair but only in a peripheral way.

It’s main target is John Slater who chaired the campaign team for Brown’s main rival, John Palino, and is the father of blogger Whaleoil who broke the story of Brown’s infidelity.

It is personal, nasty and completely unwarranted.

I’ve known John for more than a decade from the time he was president and I was an electorate chair in the National Party. I’ve never had any reason to doubt his integrity and I am sure he is often less than impressed by the tone, language and content of some Whaleoil blog posts.

But he can’t be held responsible for what his adult son does nor for not knowing about what he might be doing.

He had nothing to do with the story or the issue and it’s bizarre to attack him for concentrating on a positive campaign rather than rumours and mud slinging.

The column is despicable and reads as if the writer is using the affair to settle a personal score.

It’s the sort of nasty rubbish you might expect to read in a British tabloid, not in what seeks to be a serious paper.


Whale on air?

October 11, 2013

RadioLive might be looking for a new afternoon host to replace John Tamihere who is working towards a political comeback.

Rachel Glucina’s picks for his replacement to work with Willie Jackson are:

1. Cameron Slater – He’s polarising and partisan, but can cross-pollinate via his widely viewed website.

2. Linda Clark – Her school ma’am whip-cracking is TV gold, but she’s unlikely to forgo Chapman Tripp responsibilities.

3. Paul Henry – If he actually liked talkback he’d be a welcome return. He’s in the MediaWorks stable and his TV show is yet to have a start date, so maybe he can be persuaded.

4. Mark Sainsbury – He wants a job in media and is already a contributor to the station.

5. Grant Dalton – Does he have a job? He’s certainly got plenty of opinions, mostly sporting, unfortunately.

6. Anna Guy – She’s desperate to be a media star, but with a fifth kid on the way and limited views beyond motherhood and Feilding farming she’s an unlikely contender.

7. Rachel Hunter – She’s a bona fide media star with a big TV following. But can she make the transition to radio?

A bit of tension and strong differences of opinion between hosts can be good on radio.

You’d certainly get that with Jackson and Slater who are just about polar opposites on the political spectrum.


Truth will (sell) out

November 8, 2012

Has any newspaper ever had better publicity than Truth in the last week?

The appointment of Cameron Slater as editor received coverage that money can’t buy and that has tranlated in sales.

The grapevine tells me it has sold out in several outlets in Auckland and that extra copies are being rushed to Wellington where, if Twitter is to be believed, it has also sold out:

#nz_truth sells out in downtown Wellington. Who are the nervous pollies?

If I’ve ever bought or read a copy before the experience has been buried deep in the recesses of my memory but I found one in a dairy in Oamaru today and out of curiousity bought it.

A quick thumb-through confirms I’m not the target audience. Politics yes, adult content, no thanks.

That said, and while you can’t judge an editor on a single issue, selling out and getting coverage in other media for content is a very good start.


From black dog to editor’s desk

October 31, 2012

Blogger Cameron Slater has made no secret over his battle with the black dog of depression.

Mind you, he doesn’t make a secret of much. That includes hs disdain for much of the mainstream media and now he’s joining it.

Internet shock jock goes mainstream

“Wellington, you’re on notice – be afraid.”

New Zealand’s number 1 news and opinion blogger Cameron Slater has today been appointed Editor of the Truth.

Truth is New Zealand’s last remaining Kiwi-owned national newspaper which this year turns 125 years old.

Slater has been brought on board to fundamentally change the way newspapers deliver to their audiences. Newspapers worldwide are in decline, due, Slater says, to a tired old business model that no longer works.

“We’re not going to spend $4 million on a paint job and then deliver the same tired old paid-for shit.

“Most of the media in this country is weak, and it’s paid for. The integrity in news went ages ago.”

Slater is adamant that the backbone of New Zealand – the people who work – are not getting a fair shake from government or the system. He aims to change that.

“Each and every one of us has got an investment in NZ Inc, and the majority of the people in charge of the place are taking the piss out of our investment.

“We’re going to keep the buggers honest. There’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.

“To use a tired phrase – if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so Wellington, you’re on notice – if you’re having a lend, we’re coming for you!”

Changes will be rolled out over a period of months and will include both print and a 24 hour news website to support the paper. Slater aims to alter the approach to news presentation significantly.

“We took the pulse of the nation, and it had nearly bloody died.

“No bastard wants to read old news – they can get that online. We’ll be more of a views-paper that promises to deliver REAL news, REAL opinion.

“The people are numb from the eyes down with the diet of PR’d crap they get now. I will not do it to them anymore – it’s not right.

“I assure you – the little paper that could still can!”

There will be further announcements regarding contributors and editorial direction.

Slater’s first issue will hit newsstands on Thursday 8 November 2012.

This won’t be an easy job but you don’t get to be the country’s most-read blogger by doing the easy things.

And surely nothing he’ll meet in the editor’s chair will be harder to deal with than depression.

 

 

 

 

 


Radio Whale

July 2, 2012

Newstalk ZB’s talk back spot this morning has dual – and maybe duelling – hosts: Cameron Slater, of Whaleoil fame in the blue corner and John Pagani in the red one from 11 – 12.

If you’re in the lower North Island you’ll be able to listen on the radio otherwise you can tune in to Newstalk ZB’s live stream.


Whale’s a winner regardless of who comes first

August 21, 2011

Who knows what possessed Trevor Mallard when he challenged Whaleoil, aka Cameron Slater, to a cycle race which takes place this afternoon.

But challenge him he did and to Whaleoil’s credit he not only accepted, he took the challenge seriously and trained hard.

In the process he gave up anti-depressants and lost 15kg.

Regardless of who finishes the 60 kilometre race first, Whale is already a winner for that – and for distracting Labour’s campaign director.


One man’s word or the other’s

August 5, 2011

It’s one man’s word against another’s.

Phil Goff complained he wasn’t briefed on the Israeli tourists who were investigated after the Christchurch earthquake.

SIS director Dr Warren Tucker disputed that and responded to an OIO request from Cameron Slater with a record of the briefing.

Goff responded with a media release saying he hadn’t seen the briefing papers and said:

“I will not stand by and have my credibility questioned over this issue. In future, I will only meet with Warren Tucker or representatives of the SIS if there is someone independent in the room to keep a true and accurate record of what is discussed. . . “

It is most unusual for the head of any department, let alone the SIS, to release documents like this.

It is also most unusual for any politician, let alone the Leader of the Opposition, to debate with a head of department through the media in this manner. Goff is clearly saying that he doesn’t trust Tucker which means should Goff become Prime Minister, Tucker would have to resign.

Unless there was another witness to the meeting we have to accept one man’s word or the other’s. They can’t both be right.

 

 


Boot not so funny on left foot

June 13, 2011

Remember the glee with which Labour greeted the leaking of Don Brash’s emails by Nicky Hager?

Remember similar hilarity when someone sneaked into a National Party cocktail party and recorded a conversation without the participants’ knowledge?

The laughter isn’t so loud, in fact they don’t think it’s funny at all now the leaking boot is on the left foot.

Cameron Slater has received a letter from the Labour Party warning him not to publish information which it says might contravene the Privacy Act.


Deliberate sabotage or stupidity?

May 30, 2011

Campaigning 101: a) stay on message. b) don’t take attention from the leader.

You could excuse Labour MPs for ignoring the first rule when the party hasn’t got much of a message to stay on. But flouting the second is either an act of deliberate sabotage or plain stupidity.

Which is it with Labour’s campaign manager who was silly enough to challenge Cameron Slater and backed-off when he didn’t like the counter-challenge.

Then in another desperate attempt to gain attention he does a tabloid blog post. (I’m not going to link to it, but here’s  Keeping Stock’s reaction.

Did Mallard fall on his head when he fell off his bike?

That might provide an explanation for what is bizarre behaviour for a senior MP but it’s no excuse for taking attention away from his leader who whichever poll you look at –   NZ Herald, TV3, TVNZ, -  needs all all the help he can get.

If he can’t depend on getting it from the party campaign manager who else is going to give it to him?

UPDATE: – Cameron has accepted the bike challenge without requiring acceptance of his counter-challenge.

What’s going to get more interest in the next couple of months – Labour’s leader or its campaign manager preparing for the challenge?


Daring or desperate?

May 28, 2011

Why would a left wing MP challenge a right wing blogger to a cycle race?

Trevor Mallard did that to Cameron Slater.

Was it an act of daring or is he really desperate for publicity?

Cameron has accepted and issued a counter challenge – a boxing match.

Will the answer to that be daring or desperate?


There’s good reasons for returning to parliament . . .

April 3, 2011

. . . but the opportunity to deliver a valedictory speech and wanting to stick it up David Farrar and Cameron Slater  aren’t among them.

She might just take up the seat, she said. She would rather like the chance of a dignified retirement and to make a valedictory speech. . .

. . . So she says she has reasons to return: unfinished business, the salary, supporting colleagues in their first opposition election, offering institutional knowledge and support. Acting as camp mother, essentially.

Those reasons … and to “stick it up them”.

Stick it up who? Phil Goff?

“I was actually thinking of David Farrar and Cameron Slater, et al. I wasn’t thinking about my former colleagues,” she says. “I don’t think it’s a particularly worthy thing to say, but I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.”

Having no good reasons for going to parliament hasn’t stopped people before but to Judith Tizard’s credit she’s just announced on Q&A that she will not take up the list seat vacated by Darren Hughes.

Her interview with Guyon Espiner will be on the link above later and if you missed the broadcast it is worth a look.

Her comments are definitely not a vote of confidence in Phil Goff, Andrew Little or the Labour Party hierachy.


Still seeking support for two good causes

March 17, 2011

David Farrar and Cameron Slater are still seeking support for their bid to bid for the No sign which a failed politician used to confirm answers to such questions as could he be trusted? and was he telling the truth?.

Helping them will support two good causes:

 The more we get, the more likely it is we will win – plus the more money gets raised for families of those who died in Christchurch. It’s a win-win.

As I originally said, if the framed sign is won by Whale and me, we will ensure it turns up to as many of Winston’s meetings as possible. It will be wonderful. We’ll just have someone silently holding it up at the wave back of the room – no need to heckle or interject – it will be a silent reminder to people about how he lied to the media and the public repeatedly.

After the election, our intention is to then permanently loan it to the Backbencher pub opposite Parliament, where it can be displayed permanently – along with a statement providing context for it.

If you’re willing to help,  e-mail David with your pledge.

While on the subject of fundraisers, the $33,000 bid from  the AllFlex Platinum Primary Producers Group was topped up to $40,000 and won Colin Meads’ No 8 jersey which was auctioned on the Farming Show.

Jamie Mackay interviewed Sir Colin about that on Tuesday and Allflex CE Shane McManaway yesterday.

The APPPG intend to auction the jersey again next year and use the proceeds for charity.


Spot the contradiction

March 15, 2011

When John Key ruled out working with Winston Peters, Phil Goff said:

Mr Key was arrogant for ruling out NZ First prior to voters having their say.

“I’m going to let the voters make the decision.”

That was in February. Now, just a little more than a month later he’s saying he won’t work with Hone Harawira:

If the MP is re-elected in November this year, Labour leader Phil Goff says his party would not enter talks with him on forming a Government.

Mr Goff says Mr Harawira would not be a reliable coalition partner.

However, he is not ruling out working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters if he returns to Parliament.

It’s not just the contradiction between last month’s “I’m going to the voters make the decision” and this month’s refusal to consider working with Hrawira, it’s also his willingness to work with Peters when he’s been kicked out of three coalitions – including one in which Goff was a senior minister.

I could almost feel sorry for Labour supporters like Imperator Fish who posts:

I’m willing to cut the new leader of a political party a bit of slack. Even if they have been around the political scene for years.

But I can barely listen to or read a thing Phil Goff says without groaning. He really needs to be taken aside and given the hard word about gun safety. How can anyone shoot themselves in the foot so many times?

. . . But Goff’s happy to work with Winston Peters, despite Peters being at least as widely reviled as Harawira. The main difference between the two is that Harawira speaks from the heart. He may be unreliable and unstable, but you know where you stand with Hone.

Apropos of  where Peters stands, his infamous NO sign is being auctioned at a Press Gallery fundraiser at the Backbenchers.

John Key says he’ll bid $5,000 for it and David Farrar and Cameron Slater are asking for contributions so they can bid for it.

If we win it, we guarantee it will turn up to most of the public meetings that Winston attends during the campaign. E-mail me if you are willing to contribute towards buying it at the auction, and how much you are able to contribute. If we get it for less than the amount pledged, we’ll divide it up pro-rata. And remember it is all for a good cause – money for Christchurch relief.

Two good causes – the earthquake relief and the fun they’ll have with it at election meetings.


Local body election race gets dirty

August 23, 2010

One of the good things about local body elections in smaller districts is that they are usually devoid of personal attacks.

Not so this time.

Someone’s been throwing dirt at Waitaki mayoral aspirant, and sitting deputy mayor, Gary Kircher.

The culprit/s are making the accusations anonmymously which makes it worse.

Four people are seeking the mayoralty but I think it will be a two-horse race between Gary and the sitting mayor, Alec Familton.

I’ve been spectacularly unsuccessful at picking local body results in recent years so am not going to predict the outcome.

The ODT lists all nominees from Waitaki to Invercargill here. 

None of the contests is likely to be as entertaining as the one in Albany where Cameron Slater, AKA Whaleoil, is running.


Dogged by the black dog

June 1, 2010

“Can I ask you about the plight of Whaleoil?”  Jim Mora asked me on our discussion on the internet on Critical Mass today.

I’d been mulling over a post about him since reading Cactus Kate’s plea to Save The Whale in response to the Herald on Sunday story in response to this post by Whaleoil and comments from his wife on Gotcha.

I came across Whaleoil on the internet when I first started blogging and treated it with caution. I admired some of the posts, especially those which broke news which influenced the mainstream media. I was moved by the way he was so open about his struggle with depression but found other posts offensive.

Since then I’ve met him a couple of times. The first was at a National Party conference last year and the second, very briefly at another conference last weekend. The next day I read the HOS story and found Cactus’s post about it when I got home late that evening.

Several pennies dropped - clinical depression explains the contrasts between the intelligent and reasoned posts and the vitriolic ones.

Those who know him well have written on this. I don’t know enough to add anything on him, but I do know a bit about depression and other mental illness.

Most of us understand physical illness and have sympathy for those who are unwell.

Mental illness is different.

Those who’ve never experienced or been exposed to it find it difficult to understand and there’s often a feeling that people just need to pull themselves together.

Anyone who has been dogged by the black dog themselves, or had to cope with it in family and friends will tell you it’s not that simple and often that it’s not just the illness which is problematic, the treatment can be too.

Medication can help some people. In others it doesn’t and may cause side effects which can be as difficult to deal with as the problems it was supposed to treat. Working your way through the mental health system can be a nightmare and finding a mental health professional who can make a positive difference is another challenge.

I know stories, which aren’t mine to tell, of people’s battles with depression. From them I have some appreciation of  how difficult it is even for those who have loving and caring family and friends to support them; the frustration which even intelligent, articulate, positive  and assertive professionals who are used to dealing with complex problems in their work face in trying to help family or friends who are depressed  and how the system which ought to help so often doesn’t.

I hope Whaleoil and his family find the help they need and wish them the strength and love to tame the black dog and send it packing.

Related posts:

Keeping Stock on Helping a Fellow Blogger.

Roarprawn on Whales Tale  and Saving the Whale.

Kiwiblog on Cactus on Whale

Stepehn Franks on Whaleoil and Insurance.

Motella on Whale Wars.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,161 other followers

%d bloggers like this: