Slater freed from Whale Oil

It was announced on Whale Oil yesterday that Cameron Slater is leaving Whale Oil (for a month or two or something) and Pete Belt is completely taking over (Belt has been holding together and propping WO up for a year or two anyway).

But there were confusing messages, apparently prompted by news leaking out that it was happening quietly.

Bryce Edwards@bryce_edwards

Cameron Slater is reported by @RMAHarman to be stepping aside from the Whaleoil site (for a new news site), and some MPs have been informed.

A few hours later a post appeared on Whale Oil – From the Driver’s Seat: Cam Slater is no longer with Whaleoil by Pete, Editor.

I used to write columns “from the passenger seat”, providing insight into Whaleoil as a close observer.  From today that changes for a while. No doubt this will come as a shock to many, but Cam’s no longer here after the weekend.

That’s a bit confusing. “No longer with Whaleoil” versus “no longer here after the weekend”.

UPDATE: There is a post under ‘Cameron Slater’ up at 7.30 am this morning so it seems to be the latter.

But it isn’t a shock to me. Slater has been a shadow of his former self as blogger. He has been isolated and has sounded jaded. Blogging is relentless, especially at the level WO has been operating and especially if ongoing income is essential.

The good news is that it is only for a little while. I’m not allowed to share with you what he’s up to, but the choice had to be made: Was he going to do two things poorly, or one thing well?

So Cam will be back in a month, perhaps two – depending.

Uncertainty about whether this is a temporary or a permanent change.

Some would probably claim Slater has been doing more than two things poorly.

Slater in comments: “I will just be taking a bit of a sabbatical after 11 years with no break.”

Fair enough, if that is the case. But there are indications that may not be entirely correct. What is he going to do well?

NBR have some suggestions in Slater to take sabbatical from blog site – ‘like Andrew Sullivan’.

According to Mr Slater, his decision to take a break has been prompted by two things: “a couple of other projects that need some attention” and his “need [for] a rest after an intense couple of years.”

In response to “I hope this means we’re gonna be a step close to being freed or soon to be reading Dirty Politics – The Other Side” in WO comments Slater replied “I will neither confirm nor deny both of those”.

Of the latter, he says, “Having blogged constantly for 11 years this will actually be my first real break.

Fair enough on that. Blogging at his level and fighting related legal actions and initiating legal actions are all time consuming and would wear anyone out.

As for what those projects entail, he declines to comment.

It is believed, however, that one of them is the long-in-gestation news site Freed, plans for which NBR first reported in July 2014.

So Freed, announced by Slater two years ago with a claimed start up date of ‘before the election’, may be about to get off the ground.

At the time Mr Slater confirmed his intention to start a news site to “complement and run alongside Whale Oil,” one that would not be “right or left, but … a properly resourced new media venture with all the news, all the time,” but wouldn’t comment on whether Instra managing founder and Kim Dotcom-supporter-turned-detractor Tony Lentino was bankrolling the idea.

That was confirmed, however, in April this year in a piece published on Whale Oil by Regan Cunliffe, the founder of former television fan site Throng who is understood to be Mr Slater’s business partner in the venture.

Curiously this NBR article was quoted in a later post on Whale Oil – NBR’s take on Whaleoil’s change in direction , without comment from ‘Whaleoil Staff’.

Was there an agreement not to reveal what project Slater was going to working on while on sabbatical?

Belt had previously posted “I’m not allowed to share with you what he’s up to”, but he’s just reporting what someone else said, right?

So Slater is no longer at Whale Oil, either now or after the weekend.

He is on a sabbatical and taking a well earned rest – “my first real break” – while working on a project or two.

And he may be back at Whale Oil in a month. Or two. Depending.

In the meantime, what now for Whale Oil? It looks like this is a sudden change as Belt is suggesting things he might do, so doesn’t yet have plans in place. See next post.

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26 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  30th June 2016

    Knowin g how resourceful, determined and proud he is,I suspect he has gone into an intensive boxing, training camp,preparing for a rematch with Jesse Ryder.After the first total annihilation and humiliation and knowing how macho Slater is,his ‘give back double’promise is going to have Ryder shaking in his boots.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  30th June 2016

      At least Righties front up and take their lumps like a man ( or woman). There seems to be a dirth of Lefties getting in the squared circle. Do you know why that is…. Blazer? Because in the ring there is only you, and none of the collective to hold your hand.

      Personally I would like Paula to call out Jacinda and that foul mouthed earth mother Jan Logie. Two against one. I bet Paula would bitch-whip both of these ” sweeties” without raising a sweat.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  30th June 2016

        what evidence have you that ‘righties’ front up and take their lumps?There is a plethora of evidence,that they don’t and it trumps your imaginary…dearth!

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  30th June 2016

          Me. And dirth is an accepted misspelling of dearth.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  30th June 2016

            correction….’common’ not ‘accepted misspelling of dearth.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  30th June 2016

              Correction…..not accepted.

            • Blazer

               /  30th June 2016

              no need to take my word for it…..dirth is not accepted ,period.

            • Corky

               /  30th June 2016

              You win….kind of.

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              Kitty can rule on it when she gets here and that will be the end of the matter.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th June 2016

              As far as I know, dirth is not a word. It’s a misspelling. I checked it in my wonderful Annandale’s Dictionary….not there. I didn’t think that it would be. What is the point of ‘dirth’ ? One might as well try to spell earth as ‘irth’.Dearth is related to dear, which makes it very unlikely that it would ever be correctly spelled dirth. QED.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  30th June 2016

            How can a misspelling be accepted ?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              It shouldn’t be. I wooden put up with it either Kitty.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  30th June 2016

              Methinks you are mistreating the language KC. In this context the use of the term “accepted” is unacceptable. More correct would be the term “acceptable”

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              No, she’s correct c. She’s simply querying Corky’s brave but ultimately futile defence that “dirth is an accepted misspelling of dearth”.

            • Gezza

               /  30th June 2016

              (This leaves an opening for Corky to substantiate the claim by sourcing an authority which accepts it)

  2. Steve Taylor

     /  30th June 2016

    Sabbatical, or mea culpa?

    Time will tell.

    Reply
  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  30th June 2016

    I bet that the MPs who were favoured with this thrilling news were excited.

    Reply
  4. Which Auckland Mayoral campaign is he working on with Simon Lusk?

    Shit could get nasty in that race… no love for the Goof in Mr Slaters heart.

    Reply
    • John Palino for Mayot: http://www.palinoformayor.co.nz/

      Palino’s launch got some less useful media coverage due to his links to the players in the Brown hit job led by Slater after the last election.

      And Palino doesn’t seem to be given exposure alongside the chosen top contenders.

      So all Slater has to do is try to knock the others down. I don’t know how that will work away from Whale Oil though. Perhaps his sabbatical is to spend time on Palino’s campaign.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  30th June 2016

        Palino is raising funds atm.Albany yesterday meeting influential chinese donors.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  30th June 2016

        Why even speculate? How long can he keep quiet (except about some Court matters)?

        Reply
  5. jamie

     /  1st July 2016

    Is there any truth to the rumour I just started that he is finally following his dream and [Deleted. That’s an unfair insinuation. It might be the sort of thing that Slater has done, and I have been the target of many false claims put out as ‘rumours’, but I don’t want it here. PG]

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  1st July 2016

      It’s gone viral.

      Reply
    • jamie

       /  1st July 2016

      Sorry Pete, was intended as a joke but I accept it was a thoughtless one. I’ll have a coffee before I do anything else stupid 😀

      Reply

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