What Whale Oil says about us

With a face only the most one eyed mother could love and an oral orifice that delights in spewing forth personal bile, Cameron Slater is either a very clever, self promoting narcissist or a self loathing creep looking for attention. Maybe both. The saddest thing Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics causes us to reflect on, is how many damaged “ugly” people there are in this country. People like Slater and his regular readers and supporters seem to delight in being bigoted, misogynistic and vicious. It’s as though blogs like his give a vehicle, a legitimacy to those who for whatever personal reason are seething inside with resentment and anger and want to vent. Slater may be doing it for attention and notoriety but his followers are not. It exceeds even talk back radio in its ignorance and callousness as it is essentially unmoderated. A pack mentality where one dire comment begets another.  That these are kiwis and they walk among us is genuinely alarming. That Slater is so closely integrated into the party of government is beyond belief. As Russell Brown presciently put it in a Tim Hume Sunday Star Times article on Slater in 2009,

“He strikes me as an arrested adolescent. I think he’s got a real problem with women. Given the apparent degree of his role within the National Party, I wonder if at some point they should be called on that. I don’t respect him at all, frankly.”

Indeed it is hard to respect anyone who aspires to be influential but openly admits;

“It’s not what you write, or how you write; it’s not even the content,” he says. “It’s about getting attention.”

That so many kiwis do give him attention and appear to support his style, says something ugly about us as a nation, a nastiness that may always have been there, but now seems more prevalent and which blogs like Whale Oil celebrate.


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