The Left’s handling of Key’s hair pulling

Labour and the Greens have had a bit to say about John Key’s hair pulling but this is a look at how left wing blogs have handled the hair story.

It began with EXCLUSIVE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress at The Daily Blog, and was introduced:

This is a guest blog from an anonymous waitress about the way John Key kept touching her when he repeatedly visited her place of work.  The waitress contacted us with her story, The Daily Blog did not seek her out or pressure her in anyway to write this blog. We are protecting her identity so she is not punished by her employer or social media victim blaming.

The question to ask after reading her words is if this bullying behaviour is acceptable from the Prime Minister of NZ.

It was entirely predictable that protecting her identity and preventing social media victim blaming was never going to succeed. Was ‘anonymous waitress’ duped and used by The Daily Blog, or were they really that dumb that they thought they could protect her?

The post has a date stamp only – April 22, 2015. It shows Last Modified: April 22, 2015 @ 6:02 am. The first comment was posted at April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am.

Two days later, on Friday evening, Danyl posted The story behind the story at The Dim-Post:

The other interesting (to me) thing about ponytailgate, or whatever we’re supposed to call it, is how the story broke.

If you take it to a blogger then that check for a balancing comment doesn’t happen. Bloggers don’t play by the rules. But what they do – and I’m thinking of Cameron Slater here, as well as his homologues overseas – is insert themselves into the story. They write it up, in imitation of a mainstream media story and then accompany it with commentary and interviews on the MSM outlets they affect to despise, and attempt to frame the story and promote themselves. In Slater’s case that tends to dilute the story since the attack is so clearly partisan and motivated by malice.

Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

Except that this isn’t The story behind the story, it’s only the first chapter.

If Whale Oil had posted an exclusive and David Farrar had picked up on it (or vice versa) possibly Danyl and certainly many on the left would have been shouting ‘two track Dirty Politics!’.

At 9.49 am on Wednesday morning there was a post at The Standard – My Little Ponytail. It looks well researched and carefully written post (not a rush job) by Te Reo Putake. He may well have been able to put that together in three hours. But he probably wouldn’t excuse a time lag between posts on Whale Oil and Kiwiblog. The concluding paragraph:

I simply don’t know if it’s accurate, but I do think we should be told Key’s side of the story. Or be presented with his head on a platter if it’s true.

So ” if it’s accurate” TRP wanted Key’s political head on a platter. And comments that followed feasted on a similar diet of downfall.

The Standard has been busy since then. Related posts so far:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

Dirty politics was a common accusation – directed at the ‘attack as defence’ from Key defenders. The left forbid calling it dirty politics when they do similar.

And Danyl is wrong when he claims “Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account ” and “And Bomber kept himself out of it all.”

That may apply to the initial post but on a blog you can’t look at one post in isolation.

Bradbury posted a follow-up statement from the waitress: UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics? While he introduced it with this…

I think the young woman at the centre of the Prime Minister’s bewilderingly abusive and arrogant privilege is a hero. She has shown courage and fortitude that is pretty rare. To tell the Prime Minister to his face to stop touching her took enormous strength when you consider the power dynamics.

I did not believe her bravery should be denigrated by a mainstream media who look to get a victim blaming ratings kick. That was why I said I wouldn’t confirm her identity to any of the media who contacted me.

She thanked me for this but accepted that her name might be made public. This understood,  she was determined to direct that voice and allow it to be her narrative and her story told on her terms.

Out of her genuine concern for the reputation and economic ramifications her possible outing might have on her employers, she met with them Wednesday afternoon and was left in a position she had not agreed to.

She also challenges some of the comments the Prime Minister has made.

These are her words. She raises hard questions about the NZ Herald.

…the use of Dirty Politics in the headline and two photos, including this one…


Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

…make it fairly clear that Bradbury is far from keeping himself out of it. As far as I have seen Farrar has had nothing to do with this issue, he has commented a little (two posts) but has kept out of it far more than Bradbury.

I’ve seen no evidence Farrar had anything to do with Glucina’s hit job on the waitress in The Herald. Linking them like this is disingenuous. Some would call it dirty.

The Daily Blog currently features that same photo in it’s headline post. Dirty.

The Daily Blog (that Bradbury is a very prominent part of) has also been busy with other posts that aren’t ‘keeping out of it':

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

26 April:

Danyl himself has also been busier than usual, beginning with this:

I’ve already printed this out and posted it above my desk


I wonder what else he has posted above his desk. It’s easy to see what else he’s posted at Dim-Post:

Left wing blogs have been very busy on this story. The haven’t simply let the waitresss story speak for itself. They have promoted and exaggerated the hell out of it.  They have made all sorts of claims, assumptions, accusations and demands.

Like Psycho Milt encapsulated::

Which left-wing prime minister has been bullying service staff and then getting their friends in the media to do a hatchet job when the person complains?

That’s blogging.

I’ve posted a few times on this myself. But I don’t claim one side does Dirty Politics while trying to pretend the other side is squeaky clean.

There has been a concerted effort from the left to bag Key and damage him as much as possible. Some of them think that at last they have found the straw they can break the back of his Prime Minister-ship with.

As I’ve shown in Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power Key accepts that what he did was “very very silly”.

But left wing blogs – authors and particularly commenters – have been overplaying their hand, as blogs often do.

They saw blood and scratched for all they were worth.

It could all be completely uncoordinated spontaneous series of attacks. And every attack and perceived from the right could be orchestrated by John Key and his minions.

But both sides will be somewhere in between those extremes, despite their screams.

And amongst that there’s a bit of Dirty Politics Derangement Syndrome

Slaters threatening O’Sullivan

Cameron Slater, in a highly ironic campaign against Herald journalist, continues to threaten Fran O’Sullivan – while accusing the Herald of Dirty Media and after many attacks on Nicky Hager for revealing private emails.


I first thought of Fran O’Sullivan. She’s been writing some odd stuff (different to her usual) in the last few months

You are right, and O’Sullivan got herself caught up in the email trail with Cathy Odgers etc when all that went down and wrote a bizarre column covering her own backside that was highlighted on this very blog. Surely that qualifies as embroiling themselves in matters that they shouldn’t have.

Edit: here is her original piece of butt-covering.…

There are plenty more emails that haven’t yet seen the light of day. If she continues her jihad they will.

And in a post today where he attacks O’Sullivan’s appointment in DIRTY MEDIA APPOINTED IN “NEW” ROLE – AS FIRST BROKEN ON WHALEOIL he plays ‘dirty media’ again.

And Slater’s wife joins the attack:

Let us not forget that Saint Nicky Hager kindly chose to leave out of his book all the Herald journalists who regularly were in contact with Whaleoil. He told the public that he felt that they deserved a chance to mend their ways but it also was a public declaration that he now owned them.

How hard would it be to say no to Saint Nicky when he wants a story run when you know that he has the power to destroy your career by revealing that you were involved in so called Dirty Politics?
Even worse imagine if you were someone really important, like I don’t know…Fran perhaps?

Oh baby!

Another threat.

There’s more attacks against O’Sullivan today in:

(I haven’t bothered checking every post put he often uses a blunderbus approach):

And so it goes on. His anti-Herald obsession as usual. Dirty politics as usual.

Who would risk trying to do anything with Slater if he is likely to throw a hissy and throw around threats against you some time later?

Whale freed from Economy

I didn’t know until now but Cameron Slater and his Dad are off to Gallipoli.

As you will all know Dad and I are on our way to Gallipoli.

We decided to fly Emirates and stop off in Dubai for a week to see my brother and his family.

Good for them. His finances can’t be so bad now.

We arrived at Auckland airport and were pleasantly surprised to find we had been upgraded to Business Class the whole way. We didn’t even realise we’d been upgraded until the check-in staff handed over the boarding passes and directed us to the lounge.

What a pleasant surprise.

He then goes on to praise Emirates to a fairly extreme extent. Not like the usual Whale Oil post. Except the promotional ones not written by Slater perhaps.

I guess this post now makes me a travel blogger like David Farrar…but who cares I am on a bucket list trip and Emirates just made it an extremely enjoyable one.

It doesn’t sound much like Farrar’s travel blogs – he’s being posting a few about his current trip around Australia on Kiwiblog.

Comparing Farrar’s Stanley to Slater’s EMIRATES A380 –  AUCKLAND-BRISBANE-DUBAI is like comparing the Travel Channel to the Shopping Channel.

But here’s a funny thing – one of Slater’s other revenue earners is the prolific advertising on Whale Oil. While he gushes about Emirates his blog is advertising Singapore and Malaysia Airlines.


I guess Freed won’t be launching over the next week or two.

Mark Weldon, Medaworks, Campbell Live, John Key

Highlighting some interesting things in relation to the reported ‘review’ of Campbell Live by MediaWorks, and especially about the relationship between Mark Weldon and John Key.

Curious to see Rex Widerstrom do a guest post at The Daily Blog. In the past this sort of post would probably have been reposted at The Standard, but Prentice and Bradbury are feuding. As it’s done it’s dash at TDB It’s worth a repost here.

Rex Widerstrom – Thirteen things you (probably) didn’t know about Mark Weldon (CEO of Mediaworks)

1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009

2: He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution.

4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”

5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”

6: He’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki.

7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government.

8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement.

9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill.

10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley.
MediaWorks parts with more executives

11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”.

12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”.

13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”.

WeldonKeyWeldon was also appointed by Key, or one of his Ministers, the Capital Markets Development Taskforce in 2009/10; the Tax Working Group in 2009; and the Climate Change Leadership Forum in 2007.

Key gave him a QSO in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Now remember that Slater, Odgers and Cresswell are all considered right wingers. They’re certainly not the type of people who’d be found cheering John Campbell’s advocacy journalism on behalf of the less fortunate.

Generally, you might expect them to be quite supportive of a man with Weldon’s background who’s chaired the NZX and is friends with the Leader of the National Party.

So, you be the judge… is the move to axe Campbell Live motivated by ratings (it’s not advertising revenue, as advertisers strongly support the show) or by something else altogether?

– Rex Widerstrom, as posted at The Daily Blog, with functional links located and added.

Your NZ is reviewing my position

Not everyone will know that late last year Cameron Slater had a secret meeting with Your NZ and as a result Pete George Live is under review.

Slater has posted at Whale Oil:

They came to learn.  It appears those at the meeting picked up the major points.

It is pleasing to see that things are working out as planned.

One by one I will make people who executed Dirty Politics against me realise that there are consequences for their decisions.

I’m extremely annoyed he had a meeting with me without me knowing and has conspired to fulfil “I want that centre bastard gone” but c’est la blogging.

More details in the next post.

Slater does dirt on Joyce and Bennett

When Cameron Slater runs sustained attack campaigns against anyone it’s not unreasonable to be suspicious, given his past admissions and behaviour. Natural reactions can be “who is he attacking on behalf of” and “who’s paying him for that?”

Yesterday ‘Missy’ brought attention to another in a series of attack posts at Whale Oil:

I see Cam Slater has another hit job on National today, this time attacking Paula Bennett and Stephen Joyce. He has written it in the guise of critiquing a story be Andrea Vance.

He talks about how Paula Bennett treats her staff like scum, however, I knew someone who worked for Paula Bennett, and that person left due to health issues (receiving treatment for cancer), but that person said they would happily go back and work for her, even better Paula Bennett was willing to accommodate the fact the person had moved to the South Island as well. That view of her as a boss does not tally with what Cam Slater is saying about her. To be honest I don’t know either of them, but also from what I have heard they are not the most difficult Ministers to work for, so it is suspicious he is targeting them, or not

Se was referring to this post – THE VACUITY OF ANDREA VANCE’S ANALYSIS.

Slater (presuming it’s Slater who has written the post, that’s another suspicion that arises whenever he posts anything like this) attacks Steven Joyce and Paula Bennett, regarded as potential leaders-in-waiting in the National caucus.

Anyone talking regularly to the back benchers would know that Joyce is impossible to get into your electorate, impossible to get time with to discuss policy and employs difficult staff who treat back benchers like they are scum. Anyone running a tally of back bench support for Joyce finds it hard to count more than one or two loyalists who are inside his camp.

Paula Bennett has a different reputation than Joyce, but one that is perhaps worse for an aspiring leadership candidate.

She personally treats staff and backbenchers like scum, rather than leaving her staff to treat them like scum as Joyce does. She is fond of a drink and is known to get very familiar with much younger men or do the rounds with donors sitting on all their knees, or worse all of that with Labour staffers. The tally of Paula supporters on the backbench is even lower than the tally for supporters for Joyce.

Alan Wilkinson responded:

I guess Cam would know since he treats his readers like scum.

This is typical smearing from Slater. He tried similar attack lines in relation to National’s Northland candidate selection.

Dirty politics hasn’t disappeared – but it now raises instant suspicions.

It’s well known that Slater has been promoting Judith Collins as a future leader. Expect attacks like this to increase as Collins recovers her last year setbacks. She’s expected to be re-appointed to Cabinet and ministerial duties at the first opportunity this year.

It would be interesting to know what back benchers thought of a candidate for leadership with Slater’s taint hovering.

Slater is the whale in Collins’ room.

And he would willingly take down the government to achieve his longer term aims – which are seeking power by subverting democracy. And revenge.

And when it was put to him Slater denies it’s a leadership move:

No one is counting…there is no move, but Joyce had to shore up support after his appalling stuff up in Northland.

Just groundwork.

It’s interesting to see him continually connecting Bennett to his attacks on Joyce. Perhaps she’s doing things well if Slater is trying to discredit her.

Freedom of expression – Whale sized irony

I see at Whale Oil  in FACE OF THE DAY there’s some rather ironic comments (having just posted “I wonder if Cameron Slater is losing the plot?”):

I strongly believe in Freedom of expression. I cannot expect to have the right to criticise or mock those in politics I disagree with and on the other hand try to silence those who want to criticise or mock the party I support.

I disagree with those who claim that Freedom of expression should have limits. We all should have the right to disagree and to criticise and to mock. This right is integral to a democracy.

It is sadly ironic that those who exercise their freedom of speech in a democracy are sometimes the exact same people who are agitating to stop others from exercising that exact same right.

That’s not from Cameron Slater or Pete Belt though, it’s under SB (Spanish Bride, Slater’s wife).

That last paragraph in particular is, yeah, sadly very ironic on a Whale scale.

“I wonder if Cameron Slater is losing the plot?”

The only question mark may be on the tense “is losing”. BMarsh1 said in response to Blog rankings – March:

I wonder if Cameron Slater is losing the plot. During the by-election he posted a series of reminders to people to not comment on the by election during voting day. On the same day he published a couple of articles which the Electoral Commission required him to withdraw apparently.

While I was not privvy to that correspondence I had earlier asked Cam in the column whether the said articles did or did not follow his advice. This was by way of clarification and not a complaint.

I find however that I have been blocked from any further comment by his blog site Whale Oil. All I can say is that was not a rational response in the circumstances, and advise the over 1000 people who have supported my comments in the name of bjmarsh in that blog that I will not feature on the blog ever again.

That’s been a commonly expressed experience from ex-Whale Oil commenters. Also:

I have no doubt that my departure will soon be followed by others unless he moderates his policy. He can’t blame his moderator as he takes great trouble to tell all that it his blog and his views will prevail. I believe that no person has the monopoly on the truth and Cam is included unless he ranks with Christ or Mohammed!

The purges have been happening at Whale Oil for nearly a year with only occasional signs of moderating the policy when the site stats hit home – there’s been some amnesties of sorts, with offers but no guarantees of reinstatement if you grovel enough.

This Alexa trend chart shows the effects of this:


The dip last June/July was when Pete Belt started purging commenters. There was a bounce back with ‘Dirty Politics’ in August and for the September election but with ongoing mass banning the inevitable slide set in.

In January Alexa Whale Oil ranked Global 62,870 New Zealand 141 so they have dipped since then.

And this is from a post on November 9:

Alexa Whaleoil trafficSo the BMarsh1 experience is nothing new, it just confirms that the draconian message control at Whale Oil continues, as the site ranking continues to slide.

“I wonder if Cameron Slater is losing the plot?” – the plot looks like it has been lost.

Blog rankings – March

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031
  • November: visits 1,776,421 page views 2,981,810
  • December: visits 1,764,050 page views 2,999,841
  • January 2015: visits 1,549,207 page views 2,771,035
  • February 2015: visits 1,697,269 page views 2,947,932
  • March 2015: visits 1,497,906 page views 2,669,703

A surprise to see that down. Last month ‘Whaleoil Staff’ posted: “February is always the last month of slow results”. March may have been affected by cricket (but there were busy comments on cricket posts) and boxing distractions.


  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637 page views 604,405
  • November: visits 301,119 page views 522,519
  • December: visits 278,787 page views 515,827
  • January 2015: visits 232,512 page views 447,489
  • February 2015: visits 299,472 page views 541,919
  • March 2015: visits 322,036 page views 579,501

In comparison that’s up a bit, and the highest since October/November.

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 page views 561,703
  • November: visits 194,646 page views 431,100
  • December: visits 182,211 page views 392,090
  • January 2015: 163,164 page views 356,129
  • February 2015: 189,833 page views 417,128
  • March 2015: 232,651 page views 490,905

Little cricket, no boxing but the by-election will have helped lift here significantly.

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736
  • December: visits 126,534 page views 203,1264
  • January 2015: 116,155 page views 188,868
  • February 121,994 page views 205,870
  • March 163,445 page views 274,075

Some recovery there after a post=election slump.

Note that these are a rough measure. They can be useful to monitor trends on a blog but the value of comparing blogs is debatable.

Sitemeter can vary significantly from other measures. For example No Minister was ranked 11 with 23,215 page views but their own counter shows:

Last 30 Days Pageviews

Sparkline 92,048

The 30 day count was similar yesterday. That’s a huge difference to Open Parachute.

Note: not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address and Pundit.

Open Parachute sitemeter rankings:

Lefty blogs – Standard, Daily Blog, Whale Oil

I think No Minister may be a fairly right leaning blog. They too seem to have noticed how anti-National and anti-John Key that Whale Oil has become.


While Chris Trotter at Bowalley is prepared to debate, and Red Alert (the Labour Party blog) is defunct, there’s something in common with a number of the other lefty blogs – they all seem to have an intolerance of views different to their own. That’s not just a lefty blogroll, it’s also a list that contains all the blogs who have banned me (but not No Right Turn bans where all comment except from it’s author is blocked).

Whale Oil, The Standard, The Daily Blog, Dim-Post and Public Address have all had hissy fits at being challenged or having alternatives to their controlled message being expressed.

I’ve never tried commenting on No Minister so don’t know whether their ‘moderation’ is Goebbels inspired or not.


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