More dirty blogging at Whale Oil revealed

Another court case has revealed more mercenary dirty blogging at Whale Oil by Cameron Slater. This was mentioned in comments here recently from news reports. A court judgment on costs reveals more details.

Stuff reported: Ex-Kristin principal recoups costs from ex-wife who judge said tried to ‘destroy’ him

A former top principal has been awarded $145,811 in court costs after his ex-wife allegedly tried to ruin his reputation.

Former Kristin School head Peter Clague was last year hauled to the Auckland District Court to answer a charge of assault – to which Judge David McNaughton quickly put an end.

in July last year Judge McNaughton threw the charge out, saying a jury would have been unable to convict and that the case had been brought in bad faith.

Clague has since sought costs for the court exercise, with his lawyer arguing that aside from bringing the prosecution in bad faith, Denham had also failed to respond to court directives or provide disclosure.

She had also allegedly launched a “sustained vicious and untrue media campaign on the part of Carrick Graham and [WhaleOil blogger] Cameron Slater”. 

Carrick Graham featured significantly in Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’, for example in the paragraph named ‘Cash For Comments’ :

Cameron Slater willingly published years of pro-tobacco company spin as his own writing, some written by Graham…He then used the payments he received from Graham…”

And from the chapter titled ‘Chaos and Mayhem Limited’:

It is likely that Graham used the Whale Oil blog for various other clients…

An example of this was  the executive principal of a North Auckland private school who was in a matrimonial dispute with his exp-wife in late 2012. She hired Carrick Graham ‘to whom she was referred by her lawyer’ and a concerted character assassination began on Whale Oil.

The first post appeared on 24 October 2012, marked ‘via the tip line’ and hinted about a complaint made by the ex-wife…Posts followed on 28 and 30 October, then 3, 4, 6 and 8 November.

When a student tried to stick up for the principal in the Whale Oil comments, Salter responded ‘Is he running one up you too?’

That last comment was on the November 4 post titled ‘You Read it Here First’. It appears that the other posts are also still on public display.

Details of the Court judgment (made on 1 March 2016, published 11 July 2016) are available at Jackman v Clague [2016] NZDC 3266. This includes these paragraphs.

[9] In addition, Mr Lloyd sought to emphasise what he described as a sustained vicious and untrue media campaign on the part of Carrick Graham and Cameron Slater culminating in articles in the UK press as the defendant arrived there in August 2014 to take up a new position. He emphasised the collateral damage to the Kristin school community and submitted there was a very strong need for deterrents of bad faith prosecutions of this sort.

I would add bad faith blogging to that.

Paragraph [33] quotes from an earlier decision:

“I also observe that at the same time the informant was saying she was unable to remunerate a legal adviser and therefore required “pro bono” assistance, she was quite prepared to pay substantial fees to Mr Graham for his assistance in her approaching the media. She has also apparently decided to continue with these proceedings despite no doubt having been warned of a very serious cost implication should the defendant be found not guilty.”

In TOP SCHOOL HIT BY POLICE INVESTIGATION, CTD Slater (or Graham?) wrote:

Whenever I expose an issue that others are trying to keep quiet, the tip line literally explodes with new information. As I have always said, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

I don’t think Slater has ever explained that ‘tip line’ might refer to tips paid to him for posting dirty attacks, but I don’t think he has denied being a mercenary blogger, doing paid for online hit jobs.

And Whale Oil is, or at least was, a dirty mercenary blog. Pete Belt appears to have been directly involved at least later in the campaign against Clague.

From BET HE WAS REGISTERED, NOW HE’S RUNNING AWAY, which led with “Escaping New Zealand and a history of domestic assault means the UK now get a wife beater” Belt wrote in comments (note the use of ‘we’):

Fair call. The beating reference was because we call these people “wife beaters”, but you are absolutely correct. He is reported as having grabbed her by the throat and thrown her onto the stairs. No reference to beating.

So I should have said “Maurice doesn’t strangle his wife and throws her onto the stairs either”, to be fair.

‘Corporate refugee’ in response:

Well we don’t know that he did that either, it was “reported” (alleged really) by the person that is trying to bring the prosecution against him. Hopefully the court might be able to find out if it happened or not.

Belt:

Oh, don’t be pedantic. Apart from the fact that we do know. Whaleoil has direct knowledge in this case.

Whaleoil has a direct witness that was there when it did take place. What are your credentials beyond having a contrary opinion.

‘Corporate refugee’ was allowed to make a number of comments (this thread was in May 2014, just before the Belt driven purges began at Whale Oil).

The importance obviously attached by Ms Jackman to ensuring that the story (i.e. that she has taken out a private prosecution) was made public before any name suppression could be obtained speaks volumes. It would appear that the main (sole?) objective of her actions is to create maximum negative publicity and damage to Mr Clague.

I suspect that she already realises that the outcome of the hearing is likely to be the same as the police investigation (inconclusive), but of course it does give her the opportunity to create a bit more humiliation. But only with a media mouthpiece.

If her motive were genuinely to seek some sort of personal justice for herself through the courts for what was a private incident, why would it be so important for her have as much publicity as possible about it in the media?

There’s a number of quite familiar aspects in all of this. As well as a number of what appear to be campaigns with commercial interests involving Slater and Graham, Whale Oil has been used in a number of attempts at character assassination. The campaign against Blomfield is one – that is still going through the Court, with incremental legal and financial losses mounting for Slater.

There are other well publicised defamation cases under way targeting Slater – Graham seems to have been able to escape direct legal attention so far.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more sunlight yet to shine on dirty blogging and associated abuse of legal processes involving Slater, Whale Oil, and others.

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38 Comments

  1. Graham

     /  11th August 2016

    Pete:

    It’s not quite correct to say: “There are other well publicised defamation cases under way targeting Slater – Graham seems to have been able to escape direct legal attention so far.”

    See: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/81194202/Public-health-researchers-fighting-back-against-lobbyists

    “On Monday, Boyd Swinburn, Doug Sellman and Shane Bradbrook announced they were suing blogger Cameron Slater and PR consultant Carrick Graham, over material posted on Slater’s blog WhaleOil. “

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  11th August 2016

    Graham,Lusk,Slater,Odgers,the 4 ponyriders of the prolapse.

    Reply
  3. duperez

     /  11th August 2016

    I posted on here about the decision in the Peter Clague case when it came out as I remembered what had been on Whale Oil at the time.

    On the surface what was said about him and the way that it was presented was simply an effort to destroy him. In some senses it was no better, no worse than meeting him on a dark night and smashing him with a hunk of wood in my opinion.

    In the movies it’s usually men in suits who employ some desperate individual to deal to someone in such a fashion. Of course in real life things wouldn’t be like that.

    One thing I’ve learned through this sorry episode is some people have interesting jobs. On his Linked in page for example, Carrick Graham is described as [being] “…recognised as an industry leader providing strategic communications advice. He has extensive experience in management of corporate affairs, government relations, media and stakeholder issues.”

    I suppose he’s suitably qualified.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  11th August 2016

      Translation : Works in a call centre, taking calls for businesses, government departments and newspapers.

      Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  11th August 2016

    another …dirty,rotten….blogstard!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  11th August 2016

      💡 I’ve written that one down, Blazer. Reckon as a neologism this could very well catch on if more people get to see or hear it. Check out whether you can trademark or copyright it, I reckon. ⭐

      Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  11th August 2016

    Poor Cam. Dunno how far away he lives – but if it’s quite a distance, might pay for him to look into the possibility of renting a room down at the Courthouse.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  11th August 2016

      He might get free accommodation in Mt Eden under the HDCA if he continues cheque book character assassination journalism. Probably a failed business model.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  11th August 2016

        Well, Mt Eden’s quite an expensive suburb, so living there free as ‘a tenant of the Crown’ as one ex-con wittily put it. might well be a real perk of the job.

        Reply
  6. Pete Kane

     /  11th August 2016

    And just remember who it was that suggested he have his own personal carpark at Parliament Street Mr G (before you Blaz. start claiming rights). Carrack, i mean what a piece of work he’s turned out to be. And the Party still keeps going to the Tobacco Industry for its candidates Bishop and Barclay).

    Reply
  7. Goodness me, not again – I’m losing count of how many of these cases Slater el al have been exposed as having been involved in.

    More to come, I suspect.

    Reply
  8. Joe Bloggs

     /  11th August 2016

    This from the same slithery mob which is shamelessly touting Freed because :

    The media landscape has continued to decay with their shameless pursuit of clickbait, and idle and malicious gossip. Much of what passes as headlines and “breaking news” now is paid-for content

    #yeahright #whatever #duplicitoushypocrites

    Reply
  9. Conspiratoor

     /  11th August 2016

    Just to be the devils advocate for no other reason that I’m an contrary bastard…

    Slater haters will lap this stuff up. Impartial, dispassionate observers not so much. So Nicky Hager that paragon of virtue offers up the following as statements of fact…

    “He then used the payments he received from Graham…”
    Where is the proof he received payments from Graham and what did he use them for pg? Why stop with an ellipse?

    “She had also allegedly launched a “sustained vicious and untrue media campaign on the part of Carrick Graham and [WhaleOil blogger] Cameron Slater”

    …and from the chapter titled ‘Chaos and Mayhem Limited’:
    “It is likely that Graham used the Whale Oil blog for various other clients”…

    So there we have it – a bunch of open ended statements. Claims of “allegedly”, “likely” all cleverly linked to a ‘mercenary blogger’

    I love this stuff!

    Reply
    • Read Dirty Politics for more details.

      And there’s a lot more on it around, like:

      Material provided to Fairfax Media by Rawshark, totalling 50 megabytes, includes invoices, corporate pitch documents and hundreds of pages of Facebook messaging. The information relates to Slater’s commercial and corporate links, chiefly through Slater’s long-time friend, tobacco lobbyist and Facilitate Communications managing director Carrick Graham.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/10417726/The-hacker-revealed

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  11th August 2016

        I deal with facts pg not sentiment. But I would be happy to read it. Can you direct me to a free copy? Cheers, c

        Reply
        • There’s a lot of apparent facts on it in the public domain.

          I don’t recall seeing Slater deny being a paid mercenary blogger. Have you?

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  11th August 2016

            I haven’t seen him deny he is a serial axe murderer. Have you?

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  11th August 2016

              …and what is an ‘apparent fact’ pray tell? New legal term?

            • Things like that have been stated as facts by a number of sources, including relatively reputable sources. I haven’t seen the actual evidence.

            • Gezza

               /  11th August 2016

              Never mind that – if he is a serial axe murderer, shouldn’t we be trying to find out from him where the bodies are buried?

            • I don’t think there has been any claims or evidence on that one so that’s quite a bit different.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  11th August 2016

              @G, he told me where the bodies are buried. If you really must know…

              -41.278453, 174.776640

              Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Cheers, c

            • Gezza

               /  11th August 2016

              Shite! Hope he’s not caught for a few more months c. 😀

            • Conspiratoor

               /  11th August 2016

              Priceless G;) 120 would be some kind of a record!

        • Jeeves

           /  12th August 2016

          Conspirator: here’s a fact for you- If you haven’t read Dirty Politics, and you haven’t trawled through the megatranches of Rawsharks brilliant whaledumps, then your opinion on these things is pure sentiment, devoid of the ‘facts’ you claim to deal in.

          Reply
    • And see Carrick Graham: Without Apologies

      He was probably the darkest character in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. A man who was paid to attack anyone who stood up to his wealthy inter­national sugar, tobacco and alcohol clients. A shadowy figure who fought behind the anonymity of social media and wrote some of the more virulent posts on his friend Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog site.

      And yet, Carrick Graham isn’t about to become a reformed man. He’s not retreating from anything he’s done. In fact, he’s proudly announcing things are about to get a whole lot dirtier in the future – not for any reason other than this bloody battlefield is, in his view, the new reality of commerce, news and politics in New Zealand.

      Like Slater, apparently unapologetic. More:

      Graham and Slater have both pretty much refused to confirm or deny the chain of events that’s detailed in Dirty Politics. They say the emails used by Nicky Hager were stolen, so they won’t comment on what they claim is a criminal project. Here’s what Graham will say about his friends Slater and Rich, and Hager’s book.

      Does he pay Cameron Slater? “He sends me invoices for social media consultations,” says Graham. “His knowledge of social media is at the cutting edge of New Zealand and he’s done exceedingly well over the last 10 to 15 years to develop Whale Oil into the medium it is.”

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  11th August 2016

        The darkest character in ‘Dirty Politics’ was……………(drum roll)………Nicky Hager!

        His decision not to ‘out’ the MSM people involved with Slater (because he needed them in his pocket to help peddle his book & political message), and the left-wingers that would also use Slater showed he was the real practitioner of the dark arts of dirty politics.

        Cut and paste random emails without allowing anybody to read for themselves the full text for context and you can create any story you want.

        Reply
        • Conspiratoor

           /  11th August 2016

          Exacury Pants. You have taken one of the points I was trying to make and polished it to perfection. Cheers, c

          Reply
          • Jeeves

             /  12th August 2016

            Translation: Even when someone else manages to articulate my malformed thoughts, they still come out as garbage.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  12th August 2016

              Stick to downticks, Jeeves. They are just as meaningless.

          • Blazer

             /  12th August 2016

            Peanuts spends his day trying to polish ,Nat Party …’turds’!

            Reply
        • Blazer

           /  12th August 2016

          usual uncompromising defence from a die hard right winger.In denial…what a life,what a fan.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  12th August 2016

            No question Hager out-dirtied Slater hands-down. Doesn’t make either of them clean.

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  12th August 2016

              Al, we appear to have a couple of angry little lefties in beige cardies and enough idle time on their hands to give those downticks a good billy bunting. At least the burning man has a sense of humour. The other fellow is just plain nasty. He should have taken the advice you gave him a few nights ago. Cheers, c

            • Gezza

               /  12th August 2016

              Disgraceful behaviour. Oughta be a law….

  10. The judgment makes it pretty clear who did what to whom, how, and why.

    Reply

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