Whaleoil hoisted by his own harpoon


And it’s over for Cameron Slater.

Judge rebuffs Whale Oil, orders blogger to reveal sources
Slater blog site cannot claim to be part of the news media, ruling says

A blogger who broke the Len Brown sex scandal story has been ordered to reveal confidential sources after a judge ruled his site was not a “news medium”.

The landmark ruling was made in a defamation case against Cameron Slater, founder of the Whale Oil site, who is being sued by Auckland businessman Matthew Blomfield.

This now opens Cam up to multiple defamation cases against him from every Union, every left wing person, every right wing person, cat, dog, Nation, sexual orientation, you know what, screw it. If I list all the people who have righteous grievance against Captain Scumbag, we’ll be here till the election.

If you are going to, as a blogger, try and use Journalist protections, then you have to at some level show some type of threshold of ethical standards. Slater is so vicious and so vulgar and so malicious, he can not for one second pretend he has earned those source protections.

5 years ago, the Police approached me over a lost Corrections File I had seen and had blogged about. The Police threatened me with all sorts of crimes if I didn’t turn over my source. I refused point blank to do that and was very open with the Detectives of my desire to face contempt of court imprisonment before I revealed my source. That’s how serious I considered my source protection as a blogger. I agreed with Justice Minister Phil Goff at the time that the release of the file would represent a major negative impact on the possible rehabilitation of the prisoners mentioned in the file, so I helped the Police get it returned – and I did so without revealing my source.

Interestingly when the Police found the file, it was in the offices of the NZ Herald. The Herald were going to print large tracts of the file and showed no responsible journalism at all in their drive for the scoop. I on the other hand published a very responsible blog that omitted any of the details the Herald were salaciously preparing for publication.

In that case, not only did I stand for the ethics that I believed in, I acted in far better faith towards the subject than the bloody mainstream media were intending to.

If bloggers want the protections afforded the media, then they have to strive to be ethical. Slater has proven time and time and time and time and time and time again that he is more than willing to lower the threshold of gutter journalism to sewer journalism without a care for the consequences.

On one level I pity Cam and feel sad for his inability to control the anger that he lashes out with, and his depression seems to be a terrible trigger for this, but the Len Brown humiliation was just so needlessly cruel you can’t justify it. Cam faces those consequences now.

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  1. To be a journo i thought you needed:

    1 to have a level of intelligence.
    2 qualifications?

    That fat ass has neither

    • 1. What’s the objective measure for “a level of intelligence”? Are you saying anyone below a certain IQ should be barred from journalism? What other activities should be denied to those below a certain level of intelligence?
      2. Who decides what the minimum qualification is? How do whistleblowers find out who is and who isn’t qualified to protect their privacy?

      I’m not defending that ambulance-chasing opportunist Slater, as a person, he deserves exactly the instant karma he’s getting. I am pointing out however, that we would all be scandalized if this precedent was applied to the bloggers on this site, or Indymedia, or the Standard, or any other “Left” or “Progressive” blog site, or the books of Nicky Hagar et al, and they were similarly forced to reveal their sources. It’s hypocritical to defend the privacy of adulterer Mayors by violating the privacy of those who tattle on them.

  2. Slater is keen on ethics – he continually expects others to have them.

    He surely won’t mind the latest drama, readily accepting it as part of the game he is involved in. Being a champion of ‘all’s fair in blogging and politics’ is quite nice, especially when it comes back and bites you on the bum.

    The only downside is him wallowing in the martyrdom.

  3. Oh Martyn I’m Very disappointed with your article. Despite SLater being on the opposite side to us, we should be standing up for free speech and the right to anonymity for sources.

    • I don’t see that sides are at all important to this argument. It’s about ethics and behaviour, not Us vs. Them. Slater is an adult and capable of independent thought, and has consistently chosen to act in a spiteful manner, and what’s more, seems to relish it. His choice to invoke freedom of the press is understandable, but as Martyn stated, his ethical behaviour falls consistently short. The only part of this equation that is an insult or a threat to the integrity of the medium is the manner in which Slater repeatedly chooses to act. He has no-one but himself to blame for the predicament he is in, and speaking for myself, I don’t believe he is deserving of even a scrap of sympathy.

      • Indeed, richarquis, I concur.

        If Slater wants to be taken as a “serious journo”, he needs to start acting like one.

        Personally, I have no interest in respecting his call to be taken as a journo. Why should I? Just because he wants to be?

        By the same token, do we accept someone as a medical doctor – just ‘cos, y’know, they want to be?! Yeah, right.

  4. Whalespew is too much of an obstinate insider to be considered exempt from having to reveal his sources. Trash can peeking and underwear sniffing is the “beef hooked” house style because he does not so much report the story as participate in the story and outcomes.

    • His supporters are now trying to give credibility to his claims of being a journalist by saying that’s where they go first thing in the day for their news.

      I go somewhere for my health every morning. Does that mean my toilet is a doctor?

  5. I agree, this is bad for ALL blogs. If this is upheld then the NZ blog sphere will be curtailed and it won’t be just right wing blogs that get attacked it will extend to ALL.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,”

    Edit – in reply to Richard W above.

  6. … and his depression seems to be a terrible trigger for this …

    Please leave Cameron Slaters mental illness out of this.

    I have known many people over they years who live with depression. None of them are assholes, if anything they tend to withdraw from their social group and isolate themselves.

    That Cam is an asshole has nothing to do with his depression, its because he’s an asshole – some people just are.

  7. Cameron, like other most bloggers is not a journalist – and therefore should not be protected as though he were a journalist.

    Sources that go to bloggers should calculate the risk to their reputation carefully. You cannot reasonably expect the same levels of anonymity.

    If Cameron wants to ignore the court order to protect his source, he should. His right to ‘free speech’ isn’t in anyway under threat.

    Lastly, I am sick of all this Cameron bashing. He’s not the most pleasant online presence at times – but constant sniping at him from fellow lefties is just tiresome – and frankly feels a little like bullying a bully – futile.

  8. Surely such a rightist as Slater will have structured his corporate affairs so he faces limited liability, has an excellent lawyer and is beloved of his insurance provider? Surely?

    And we wouldn’t want him to go. There’s bound to be others of his ilk waiting to fill any vacuum left by his passing as a blogger…

  9. “Interestingly when the Police found the file, it was in the offices of the NZ Herald. The Herald were going to print large tracts of the file and showed no responsible journalism at all in their drive for the scoop -”

    Yet you wrote this article to show that “real” journalists have ethical standards? Looks like Cam Slater might have more ethics than the Herald and better writing skills than the author of this blog.

  10. A million visits per month, generating an increasingly dynamic news/opinion source. Watch print media and free to air tv wither. Few will morn the Auckland Herald, or TV3 political bias. Sell TVNZ now, it is only worth peanuts. I’ll give $10 to the sucker who buys TVNZ.

  11. I really don’t know what’s harder to watch: Slater’s hatred for the world, or Bradbury’s desire to be like him.

    Slaters success is undeniable.

    Him being a scumbag too.

    But legal decisions that mean that blogs aren’t media will hurt a lot more people than Slater.

    Time to get over our feelings for the man, and consider what is actually at stake here.

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