I read this wonderful line in Michele Manelis’ preview of Skyfall, the latest Bond movie:

Javier Barden stars as Raoul Silva, and brings the sinister-yet-comedic element to the story. This over-the-top baddie is as playful as he is psychotic, but of course, underneath it all, he feels that he’s simply “misunderstood”.

Which reminded me of blogger Cameron Slater (how could it not?) …

Cameron has been trying to ‘walk back’ his apparent confession …

Cameron Slater on Media3 Nov 2012 (MP3 file here)

— broadcast on Russell Brown’s Media 3 yesterday — that he’d been paid to present ‘lines’ for PR companies, undeclared, on his blog. (boo, hiss)

Naturally, an admission of hidden influence in the media (even from a journalist-denier like Cameron Slater) prompted some a-twittering. You can hear the surprise in Russell Brown’s voice, above. Naturally, some, um, conjecture popped up, about WHO Cameron might be propagandising for … The NZ Herald‘s Fran O’Sullivan suggested Ports of Auckland …

@CitizenBomber Possibly the PR sleaze balls that were running POAL campaign – seeking others run their lines. Not honest.

— Fran O’Sullivan (@FranOSullivan) November 16, 2012

But I recalled Cameron had specifically denied receiving ‘one cent’ from the Ports company for his campaign smearing and denigrating the disputing port workers. He did that as a hobby, apparently. Or from conviction. (cough) See my post Of bloggers, dogs and fleas. The Ports of Auckland’s ‘ethical and legal breaches’ and reiterated here in ‘Negative credibility sux, eh @whaleoil? eh @dpfdpf?

Nevertheless, there are other possibilities. Knowing who exactly Cameron’s PR company sugar daddies might be would satisfy some curiosity … but it’s not an essential point. Cameron recently indicated the scale of ‘honest’ (to use Fran’s term) advertising income his blog generates:

Turning page views into dollars is not easy, even for Whale Oil. But $251? Ouch.

$251 per month is somewhat disheartening, huh? And that’s NZ’s “most-visted blog”.

No wonder Cameron was so pleased to get the anti-MMP banner advertising gig from his mates Simon Lusk and Jordan Williams prior to the referendum last year. I’m sure it was a coincidence that, unlike Cactus Kate and others who carried the VFC ads, Cameron seemed to eagerly regurgitate many of their ‘lines’, their Facebook media releases and ‘Play the ball not the man’ personal attack ad videos on his blog. (As a hobby. I’m sure.)

Now, echoing Raoul Silva, Cameron says those of us (Russell Brown, Fran O’Sullivan, Martyn Bradbury, others) who drew that ‘confession’ interpretation from his answer to Russell’s question on Media 3 … we have misunderstood him. Riiiiight.

No, he hasn’t been paid, he now says.
No sirree.
He just “absolutely” demanded money from PR companies in return for running certain lines on his blog.
But because they didn’t actually pay him, he says (at least that’s what I think he says) he’s in the clear?
Um. What do you think?

‘equating demanding with receiving …very silly’ – Indeed.

By Cameron’s fevered reasoning, he clearly feels there’s nothing wrong with him pumping undeclared paid ‘advertorial’ and PR propaganda through his partisan sphincter to his blog’s witless, er, half-wit, no, unwitting audience.

So long as Cameron agrees with the propaganda message, that’s Cameron’s integrity in action.

Just to be clear, I asked him:

Which he didn’t like. (He called me ‘whiny’. Is that an improvement on ‘Feedback from Cameron Slater: ‘gay’ ‘? Dunno.)

For someone who uses the phrase ‘In the interests of transparency’ (apparently without irony) it seems to me Cameron Slater has demonstrated once again he sometimes acts in a shabby manner.

– P

PS I did not use the word ‘batshit’ in this post.