Whale Oil still in message control mode

NZ Herald reported this morning: Len Brown scandal journalist Stephen Cook on P charges

The journalist who broke the story of the Len Brown and Bevan Chuang sex scandal has appeared in court on methamphetamine charges.

Stephen John Cook, 46, came before Manukau District Court this morning on charges of possessing the class A drug and a glass pipe used to smoke it.

Cook gained publicity last year when he teamed up with WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater to publish details of the mayor’s high-profile affair.

The alleged offending which brought him before the court today stemmed from an incident in Auckland on Saturday.

Tonight there was a comment on Whale Oil’s Backchat that was presumably related to this. It asked that as Slater was so opposed to drunk driving what he thought of P.

Soon afterwards the comment disappeared.

If the journalist charged was someone like David Fisher it would be likely to feature in at least one prominent scathing post on Whale Oil.

Slater said recently:

I am very happy with where we are placed, and very happy with where we are going.

Big things are going to happen soon, and then you will see why it is that we have headed in this direction.

Going in the direction of suppression of discussion about unfavourable news is not a good lead in to a new media enterprise.

Leave a comment


  1. Sponge

     /  20th November 2014

    While I now dislike the manner in which the message is managed at WO to be fair to Cameron he does not have any duty to shit on his mates/sources.

    • It’s not shitting on them allowing discussion about them.

      If he wants to establish a credible media alternative filtering out anything that could be embarrassing to him or any friends or business partners is shaky practice.

      If you start that, even with reasonable intent, where do you draw the line? Where do others draw lines of criticism? Any suspicion gives them a free shot,.

      • Sponge

         /  20th November 2014

        Sorry, I didn’t word my post well Pete.

        What I meant was that he had no obligation to create a post about Cook though if it was Fisher he would be all over it like a rash.

        The deletion of the comment about Cook is what I have come to expect now though. Managing the message appears to be more important than integrity.

      • Karen

         /  21st November 2014

        That’s true Pete, they’re acting like a very low level personal blog. Not a media source at all. Apparently in the not too distant future he will flick some magical switch and expect us to treat him and his venture with total credibility. Don’t think so.

  2. Frank May

     /  20th November 2014

    The comment sections at the Whale, have been nothing but “Smoke’n’Mirrors”, long before my arrival there on 16th July 2014.

    When I saw last night’s BackChat statistics this morning, I was shocked because they were in such sharp contrast to how many comments normally get written in there.

    So I decided to do a tally up of how many people wrote how many comments.

    Out of about 275 comments written, 189 were written by only 15 user names.

    It came as no surprise to me whatsoever, that Belt wrote the most (34 comments).

    “Wendy” came in second place with 24.

    And Nige and Isherman and Nechtan and Don W were third equal with 14 each.

  3. Farmerpete

     /  21st November 2014

    And that Gentlemen is why the new media venture at WO is already down the toilet. To be a credible news source, followers need to trust in the outlet. With WO now pretty much the domain of syncophants and luke warm followers they will not be able to sustain the followers they need to survive. Harsh but thats the way I see it. All this is a direct result of loss of trust stemming from ‘opinion for hire’ and banning dissenting comments.

    • Mike C

       /  21st November 2014

      I couldn’t agree more, FarmerPete.

      Anybody with even a modicum of common sense and intelligence has been able to see the sad lack of integrity thats within Whale management.

      I do not trust Cam Slater and Peter Belt as far as I can throw them, and even if I could remember what my password used to be, I shall never write a comment on there ever again, because I’ve lost all desire to do so.

      • FarmerPete

         /  21st November 2014

        If he had just come clean and said that it was a mistake and that in hindsight they shouldn’t have done it, then they could have salvaged some credibility, but to savage the NZH for paid opinion pieces by their journalist whilst doing worse himself is rank hypocrisy.

        • Mike C

           /  21st November 2014

          Pete Belt has been the driving force behind the major changes in the Whales content and post topics over the past year or so.

          There’s a lot more to Peter Belt than meets the average persons eye.

          I believe that Cam Slater is going to take a very big fall, as a result of choosing to go over to the Dark Side, Farmer.


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