PR attack blogger Cameron Slater has failed in his bid to stop the news media reporting material from his email and Facebook accounts.
He has, however, succeeded (perhaps) in silencing ‘Rawshark’ — the hacker who so clinically distributed evidence to support the allegations and narrative of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.
Cameron Slater, the book alleges, was immersed in dirty dealings and cold-blooded political smear campaigns against National Party and opposition party figures, as well as carrying out commercial ‘PR hits’ for lobbyist Carrick Graham and ‘political strategist’ Simon Lusk.
The fact that Rawshark had — almost as a hand from the grave — already passed his/her remaining ‘whaledumps’ on to genuine news media organisations (see below) — whose journalists remain unrestrained by the desperate PR attack blogger’s injunction application — greatly reduces the potency of today’s High Court action.
It was, in effect, little more than an expensive (QC-sized) fizzer.
In my opinion it’s a sensible and wise strategy for a leaker/whistleblower to feed information (however obtained) through ‘establishment’ media — just as Edward Snowden did, carefully selecting the media ‘outlets’, and as Wikileaks did initially via The Guardian , The New York Times and Der Spiegel.
This has the effect of ‘laundering’ the information through the news media’s (imperfect) ‘public interest’ filter.
In my experience, only the most callow and yellow journalists report prurient or needlessly private details. Rags like NZ Truth and other ‘reprobates and pond scum’ (™ Mike Hosking)
Cameron Slater and ‘mental distress’
I’ve been relatively circumspect about this issue. I’ll tell you why: I don’t want to be part of a ‘pile-on’ effort that pushes Cameron Slater over the edge.
I said some time ago in a post entitled ‘Cameron Slater’s defective moral calculus‘ that
Cam[eron Slater] reveals near-dementia levels of double standards and persecutional delusion. He really takes the ‘Our side is Good, their side is Bad’ fixation to breathlessly ludicrous extremes.
While I’m not really qualified to offer any such ‘diagnosis’ (my psychology degree is only a BA) from what I know, and what I have observed of Cameron Slater, he will be feeling the urgent strain of these events and the wide negative effects of his … exposure. (“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” he says. But it can really burn too, eh?)
Cameron may talk tough, and threaten ‘utu’, to ‘Give back double’, ‘NFWAB’, yada yada, but this line reported from his affidavit in support of today’s failed injunction rings true:
“I believe the hacker and associated persons are setting out to destroy my reputation and cause me the maximum amount of mental distress possible.”
Now there are plenty of people who say that Cameron Slater has been on the giving end of ‘mental distress’ and laughed about it — and that strikes me as an argument that has merit. (i.e. it’s true.)
It’s also no coincidence that Slater is being sued for defamation as the result of his protracted derogatory campaign — breaching privacy and using a massive trove of leaked personal and business emails, documents & private photos against an Auckland businessman. Remember this?:
The irony of Cameron Slater arguing both sides of a media privacy issue — as ‘breached’ and ‘breacher’ — is not lost on me.
To be fair, Slater argues/has convinced himself (deceived himself?) that the documents he systematically plundered then extensively published on his blog to embarrass, mortify and destroy Blomfield weren’t ‘stolen’ — a transparently vacuous argument, IMO, whatever he or his enablers say. There’s much more to come out about that campaign.
But of course, giving shit isn’t the same as receiving it, now is it?
Reminding me of a cat continuously, convulsively coughing up hairballs, Cameron hacks and splutters his ‘product’ — enmity — onto the internet in prodigious quantities. We’ve already established he suffers from an acute, perhaps chronic case of ‘can-dish-it-out-but-can’t-take-it’-itis.
Cameron clearly can’t stand being on the receiving end of even the mildest public criticism … even though he himself so readily dishes out abuse and name-calling (‘cock smoker’, ‘twat’ and an range of edgy sexual and homophobic insults). If I may say so, he does this far more than one might expect from someone who espouses his religious views and quotes a Daily Proverb from the bible.
Rather than criticism, Slater seems to prefer the supportive brow-mopping he receives from loyal acolytes like pseudonymous bloggers Cactus Kate, Barnsley Bill and Inventory2, others too afraid of him to tell him the truth about his actions, and any number of anonymous cheerleaders, enablers, sock-puppets and co-abusers. Any suggestion that Cameron might be mentally unstable is met with howls of outrage about ‘lack of empathy’ for his struggles with depression etc. — invoking political correctness that in any other context Cameron would spit on. (Is mental health the new ‘last refuge of a scoundrel‘?)
— from ‘Calling out haters like Cameron Slater‘
So, yeah, all that is still true, in my opinion.
But — and this is an important but — it’s not my desire or outcome to see him mentally incapacitated.
I have frequently disapproved of Cameron Slater’s tactics and methods, and I still do. It is ghastly, horrible stuff. Dreck.
Further, Slater’s ‘values’ and attitudes, as exposed through the release of material apparently hacked from his email & Facebook accounts, discredit him (and not just him, obviously).
And (maybe I’m wrong about this) along with the collateral damage he’s done, to me one of the saddest things about all this is how comprehensively used he has been by the people he’s seemed so keen to impress: his [alleged] paymasters Carrick Graham and Simon Lusk, and of course Judith Collins.
Call me melodramatic, but a part of me observes those transactions as Cameron selling his soul — the things he’s done in pursuit of approval.
Personally, based on the material released in Dirty Poltics and by Rawshark/@whaledump, I’ve come to see Simon Lusk and Carrick Graham not as Cameron Slater’s friends, co-conspirators, fellow ninjas or ‘partners in crime’ but as cynical users of a damaged man with impaired judgement and a fragile psyche, someone cut adrift (for whatever reason) from his own core values.
The fact that John Billington QC pleaded for injunctive relief today partly on the basis of Cameron Slater crying out about his “mental distress” seems to confirm that. Put that alongside his perfectly understandable alarm and concern at the possible exposure of personal information “including exchanges with accountants, doctors, lawyers, psychiatrists and personal communication with his wife”.
Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t say his actions are OK. Far from it. His actions are a disgrace. They seem to me to be a perversion of political activism.
Also, I have seldom observed a person whose modus operandi and online persona seems so reflexively and thoroughly nasty — no matter how kind he is offline to kids and animals (er, …animals that he’s not hunting, that is).
But, and this is my point: it seems to me Cameron Slater has been used as a tool.
I spoke to a long term and senior National Party figure (not a politician) today who was very blunt in his view about Cameron Slater’s (lack of) future in the Party. If anything, the revelations around Dirty Politics — the damage and tarnish they’ve inflicted on National — have further enhanced his ‘radioactive’, pariah status in the wider National Party. He is, in short, seen as ‘toxic’.
But he’s not the devil.
You may also be interested in reading:
Implications of recent internet gagging attempt (2012) and Is this what we want? Internet ‘take down’ and indefinite gagging orders? (2013)
UPDATE: There seems to me some confusion (or spin?) about interpreting the effect of the order. See this:
(@TweetfromtheHip is Pete Belt, the whale oil blog’s moderator, and, obviously, one of Cameron Slater’s cheerleaders.)