Cameron Slater, Press Gallery Hubris and bloggers inside the Press Council tent



I have a copy of Das Kapital by Marx that I’ve signed in my book case but I’m not sure owning a book makes me a monster. Sadly that hasn’t stopped the mainstream media jumping on Cameron Slater’s nazi smear and insinuating that Kim Dotcom goose-steps around his home.

Brian Edwards does an incredible job of highlighting just how vacant the criticism behind Kim’s ownership of a book is

I’m going to brand as ‘book-burners’ those who have made the leap from Dotcom’s ownership of a signed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf to his being a Nazi sympathiser. I don’t of course mean that they are actual book-burners, but that they exhibit the mentality of book-burners. They are people who believe that a man’s character may be judged not merely by the contents of his library but, in this particular case, by his ownership of a single book. Their logic, as I argued in my previous post, is that if the contents of a book are evil then the ownership of such a book is itself evidence of evil:

What staggers me about the kind of opinions erupting out of the Press Gallery at the moment is that they sound less like informed thought and more like the desperate grunts of a group of Journalists trying to find relevancy in a social media market that has left them behind. Their irrelevance was exposed by their farcical confidence backing Grant Robertson for Labour leadership, their unshakable faith in their own flawed landline polls and their surprise at Matt McCarten’s appointment as Cunliffe’s Chief-of-Staff.

That the 24 hour news cycle seems to be news to Tracy Watkins is amusing, as too is her misunderstanding of where the Standard ranks against The Daily Blog in terms of influence Espiner’s latest missive sounds as out of touch as Watkin’s but with far more personality. The shrill regurgitation of Slater’s smears by many in the msm has been recently scrutinised by Chris Trotter and John Drinnan, but what really makes me queazy is the ethical bankruptcy of it all.

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Having Cameron Slater sound off about who is bad and who isn’t is just extraordinary when you consider Cam’s own record. This is a man who promoted a doctored video maliciously edited to have Jim Anderton falsely claim an earthquake would be needed for him to lose the Christchurch Mayoralty. This is a man who was calling for ‘looters’ like Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp to be shot in the gut before his Asperger’s was made public. This is a man who illegally published the employment history of a wharf worker exposing his grief while nursing his wife to death from cancer. This is a man whose own involvement in the Len Brown scandal was never made clear with his father running the campaign for Len’s biggest challenger. This is a man who called a teenager who drank himself to death, “a toffee-nosed school boy, a dead thief and a liar who couldn’t handle his piss. I always said King’s boys were poofs.” This is a man who called a passenger who had no role in his own death in a car crash ‘feral’ for speeding EVEN THOUGH Cameron himself took a selfie speeding over 200km on an Australian holiday.

But none of that matters to Colin Espiner does it? None of that matters to John Armstrong or Bill Ralston, Patrick Gower, Duncan Garner, Leighton Smith, Mike Hosking, Paul Henry or any other mainstream media mouthpiece parroting Cam’s smears. The fact that Cameron has stepped over the line many, many, many times doesn’t pause for one moment their need to legitimise Cam’s hate speech by regurgitating his attack lines. How can someone with such a record of hate speech be allowed to prance around like he has the moral authority to judge any one else? How can the mainstream media be allowed to source a hate speech merchant and not be accused of a profound lack of ethics when doing so?

The need to legitimise blogging hate speech is being explored by the Press Council. Bloggers like Slater and David Farrar crave the ‘credibility’ of being a member of the corporate media club, but why a hate speech merchant like Slater and a polling propagandist like Farrar should be considered part of the legitimate facade of journalism hasn’t been answered. If a progressive person is doubtful of the back slapping old boys club that is the Press Council now, wait until Farrar and Slater are members.

Slater is currently in front of the Courts desperately screaming he is a journalist and as such has journalistic protections to hide correspondence that is being sourced in a defamation case against him by Matthew Blomfield. Blomfield wasn’t a public person, he wasn’t a politician, he was just some poor bloke that Slater decided to eviscerate when Slater gained information from him stolen computer

It was therefore a considerable shock to me to be directed to his blog site and to see the contents of my hard dive published therein. If Mr Slater had stuck to saying what he has in the last few days (with some exceptions), namely that I was a (now former) bankrupt and banned company director (I am now allowed to act as a director of the company I work for BTW) who took $3.5 m of other people’s (all institutions, no individuals) money with him when I went down, I could hardly complain.

Instead, he wrote a series of articles and published attendant comments which accused me of a series of crimes and then made disgusting and denigrating claims against my wife. As recently as Thursday this week she received anonymous text messages stating “Headhunters are waiting”. While the stories were running it was commonplace for her to receive updates of what atrocities were in store for her (all the detail is before the court and Slater knows it). His supporters then amused themselves with online hate speech. He mocked my attempts to reason with him.

This is the standard of ‘journalistic value’ that Russell Brown is rushing to defend Cameron Slater’s right to journalistic protections over?

Slater wants journalistic protections to be able to maim private citizens who have no public interest value whatsoever and the Press Council want to give him legitimacy for this?

That the Prime Minister is in regular phone contact with someone as violently abusive and vicious as Slater to push the agenda of the Government should be a national shame. The fact most of the mainstream media are desperate to copy Slater explains why it is not.

*Just to be clear. Kim Dotcom did not pay me for this blog. I criticise Slater pro bono.


  1. In fairness to Paul Henry in regards to Dotcom and Mein Kampf, Henry did actually defend Dotcom. But all in all these journalists need to either call a spade a spade or just say I support either left or right. In regards to Slater in particular, he is the ultimate example of a hypocrite. He bags beneficiaries yet when he wanted to be one that is fine, he bags people for infidelity yet has done it himself and so on and so on. There is no way he is a journalist and I also believe he is not an investigator. I want to see someone make a stalking complaint against him. Both Slater and Farrar are the masters of misinformation and they certainly have the art of propaganda down and look at how fanatically people follow them.

  2. In a media environment committed to fairness and democratic values Gower would have to apologize and resign. He was the key participant in this very ugly smear campaign.

    He was the one pushing it as hard as he could on 3 news, making all the connection he possibly could, like a true National activist.

    As to Slater … simply sick!

  3. “I have a copy of Das Kapital by Marx that I’ve signed in my book case”

    When you say signed… you mean you wrote your name in it so that it could be returned if it was lost?

    Or do you actually go around and sign all your own books?

  4. It staggers and me that the MSM gives credence to Salter. All fair minded Kiwis should be concerned by the bias of the MSM and that Bloggers like Salter and Ferrer have undue influence over the MSM and more concerning they have influence all the way to the PM s office.
    It’s also most concerning that extreme right wing ideologues like Henry, Williams, Smith, Hosking have access to large audiences to express their prejudices and vile opinions however they are not journalist and are open about their bias and political views, they just show no ability to have empathy with those less fortunate and propagate their extreme political views.
    It’s the so called journalist like Garner, Plunkett, Gower, Watkins, Armstrong, O’ Sullivan who seem to be only too happy to allow the PM and National to exert undue influence over them and as a consequence they have lost their ability to be objective with no bias.
    I despair at the low quality political journalism we now have in both the print and electronic media all of whom seem to be determined to do their best to influence the voters to keep the current government in power.
    I fear we are becoming an oligarchy.

  5. If Dotcom was pro-establishment, there’d be a Seven Sharp tour of his house, and admiring comments about his collectables such as that book.

  6. He who lives by the poisoned pen, shall die by the poisoned pen. Well we can only hope, can’t we!

  7. Couldn’t agree more, I’m stunned that anyone calling themselves a journalist (or even just a thoughtful person) would pay the slightest attention to this Hitler nonsense.

    One thing though, it doesn’t matter of a lot of people believe this Hitler nonsense, Dotcom only needs a small proportion of the population to see through it and I’m pretty sure there are easily more than 5% who think this media storm is a complete farce.

    * I also, am happy to criticise Slater for free and in fact will go one step further and state that I would pay good money for the opportunity to ciriticise him should it be necessary.

    Actually, does anyone know if there are any billboards near Slater’s house and what the going rate is to use one?

  8. The media in NZ is in a very ,very sad state of affairs at the moment.Something has to happen to stop the moral decline of reporting that is painfully,obviously evident.
    When I see the likes of John Drinnan claiming that Patrick Gower is a “press gallery phenomenon”.(Really?Who says so?),His boss,Mark Jennings I’m picking.Apparently it’s Gowers’ “aggressive tabloid persona” and “hyped delivery” that makes him an outstanding journalist.Really? And all along I was under the illusion that it was someone who had the ability to carry out deep well balanced research on a story and then be able to present it in an unbiased, impartial way, so as to enable the recipient to make an informed opinion.
    Surely this is journalism 101!
    So what has happened to these poor excuses for journalists after they leave Journo school?Well I can only come to two conclusions.
    Either they weren’t taught or skipped the ethics paper,or,they have sold their souls to their paymasters.
    No matter which ;the sad fact is, dear old NZ has well and truly lost its’ innocence and the way we are being informed is every bit as polluted as our rivers!

  9. Besides of the one sided views and comments by the MSM on the traditional media channels like radio, TV and now also the internet, they seem to have fallen in love with Twitter. In my view Twitter is the worst kind of “social media” there is, given the fact it only allows up to 140 characters to make a comment, statement, any kind of communicated message.

    But it seems so many in the MSM are now obsessed by Twitter, they use it regularly to tweet each other nonsensical and superficial bits of comments, that say little and mean next to nothing. You cannot have a quality and sensible communication about anything via Twitter, and that is why I use it almost NEVER.

    Yet the over inflated egos in MSM employment do the opposite, they use it 24/7 it seems, to inflate their egos, as their Twitter account seems to be more important than anything else. They use it to break stories and make stories. Twitter “news” are now part of the mainstream news cycle, and the blurred line between Twitter “quality” messages and headline news stories, that is a real worry. People are dumbed down, not informed anymore.

    They are with what they are doing reducing political and other discussion to a level or ridicule, none else. Journalists using twitter are to me nothing but tweeting twits.

    And you all know what a “twit of a brain” means, I suppose, or at least hope!

  10. I just read Fahrenheit 451 (talking about book burning), and watching the t.v now is like reading the dumbed down idiot t.v in the book, that includes the news on both channels. It is beyond a joke now.

    • The late, great Ray Bradbury also wrote a book called “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, which was set in Green Town, Illinois; let’s hope it’s not a prophetic vision of what’s in store for us with another triKEY dicKEY ill ‘n annoy gNatz government.

  11. I think “shrill regurgitation” might be a mixed metaphor – physically impossible, I would think. 🙂

  12. Things appear to be coming to a head. The further Mr. Slater sticks his neck into the limelight the more people will witness his brand of hate-speech (there are thinly veiled homophobic utterings on his site just today; an attempt to attack Tamati Coffey). The Prime Minister’s office has until recently kept an arms length away from Mr Slater while using him to do it’s dirty work but the secret is out. At the risk of creating further press for Mr Slater’s angry type of “journalism”, much more needs to be made of this link in the coming months.

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