Whale Oil – political analyst or arsonist?

Whale Oil “critically analyses politics”? Or just trying to burn people?

Blog statistics show that Whale Oil is the most viewed New Zealand blog, by a wide margin. Credit is certainly deserved for Cam Slater’s efforts to achieve that. This success is partly due to Slater’s often hard hitting political agenda, but it is bolstered by the blog diversifying into a proliferation of click magnet pulp posts.

Whale Oil has changed substantially over the past couple of years as the blog has tried to compete with ‘mainstream media’. Slater frequently attacks mainstream news sites for lack of substance and over egging stories, which is somewhat hypocritical.

It’s difficult to know where the blog is headed from here. This is how the blog self promotes itself:

Whale Oil Beef Hooked


Whale Oil Beef Hooked is New Zealand’s number one news and information blog site where Cam Slater critically analyses politics…

That’s an interestingly respectable claim for someone who often looks more like a bull in a political china shop. And the red rag was flying yesterday Slater attempted a smear of Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne.  In response to Vance tweeting a scenic photo Dunne replied with “that’s a classic photo!”. That prompted a Bradbury flop type blog post

Cam and his blog assistants are happy to dish up shit but they aren’t so happy being held to account for it. When challenged they launched into a bout of defensiveness and attempted lash backs on the blog.

And I also challenged Whale on Twitter:

Is Peter Dunne a fool or a silly old fool? http://wp.me/p1TsC6-rRA 

Is @Whaleoil trying to bully politicians he doesn’t like using harmless Twitter banter as an excuse? A potentially insidious direction.

.@Whaleoil Funny. You have your troops busy trying to defend the indefensible. Are you too soft to fight your own battles?

@PeteDGeorge pigs, wrestling, dirty…blah blah blah loving it

@Whaleoil That mallardy is why you’ll always limit your political ambitions.

@PeteDGeorge I don’t have any political ambitions, I wreck them for others

@Whaleoil That’s not what you’ve said before now, or is you longer game ambition to totally wreck NZ politics?

@PeteDGeorge some men just want to watch the world burn

Recently on his blog Slater claimed to have long game political goals, so this is confusing. “Cam Slater critically analyses politics” conflicts with this, where Slater seems more intent on lighting fires under politicians so he can watch them burn.

Critical political analysis? Or crappy political arsonist?

It’s difficult to see him as the former when he seems more intent on the latter. In politics people who keep playing with matches burn bridges, and are likely to burn themselves out.

UPDATE: today’s critical political analysis begins with:

The kindling looks damp this morning.