I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m going to miss you

Although I can’t – and don’t – respond to everything that I receive, I do read it all.

Most of the negative stuff is just hit and run insults.  I frequently get asked to do things to myself that, if I were capable and willing, would form the basis for a good career at a carnival.

Occasionally, someone sits down and has a deep think and writes to me.  I respect that.  I may not always agree, but they get my time, I think it over, and sometimes I also respond.

I’d like to share this example with you.  The email was titled “One man’s thoughts”.

Hi Cameron

I used to read your blog now and then, I won’t be anymore.  Journalism is like restaurants or any form of business I come into contact with as the customer, they do things I like, I’m their customer, they do things I don’t like, I simply walk and no longer remain a customer.  I am not a highly political person Cameron although I vote at national and local elections without fail, do nothing get nothing is what I believe.   I don’t elect people based on what their sex life is like, only very dark states and organisations would have those measures in place before they elected their leaders.

I don’t know Mr Brown apart from the fact he is the Mayor of Auckland and seems to be doing OK at that job and has done for some time now, someone finally spending money on critical infrastructure so the place can function and grow and even the National Government begrudgingly agrees with Auckland’s Labour backed Mayor.   So from that standpoint for me as a Ratepayer he’s doing well compared to some previous examples. BTW I voted National in our National elections and for Mr Brown in the local body elections.      

Cameron, people make mistakes in life, it’s part of being a normally functioning human being. It doesn’t mean that’s each time you become aware of someone making a mistake that its an invitation for you, or anyone else for that matter, to dig up the intimate details of peoples sex life, no matter who they are. That is a matter for the people involved in the various relationships that will be affected. If that is the case you have a pretty sad existence in my view.

Should you become aware of some well-known or public figure in New Zealand having a sexual relationship outside of marriage, by all means let your readers know once you have irrefutable evidence of that happening.  Becoming aware that the Mayor was having a sexual relationship outside of his marriage is probably news and by all means front up to the Mayor face to face and put that to him as part of you testing the evidence you have.  Ask the man face to face for a response, however there is a world of difference between having the maturity and good sense to do that, and lacking the maturity and common decency in what’s loosely called “Journalism” these days and printing every intimate & private detail of sexual acts between two consenting adults.

You seem to lack the maturity to know where to stop, and also not to understand the immense and long term hurt that you’re reporting of such personal and private matters, is going to cause the innocent members of at least one family in this matter probably both families ?  They are people who are already in very tough places as they deal with closely personal and intimate matters being made public in great detail.   Sitting back and simply following the right wing style of puritanical, immature US styled media rubbish that seems to seep out of the US in ever increasing volumes, masquerading as “NEWS” as you have, in my view reads like something adolescent’s would write on dunny walls at school.  It only serves to hurt the Mayors family even more than this affair would be hurting them all already. So the way the matter was reported by you really serves no purpose unless you are in the pocket of the Mayors political opponents or it’s all been done to press the knife into the families, in the emotional sense, just that little bit harder ?

It would be bad enough that Mr Browns wife and daughters have to deal with this as a private matter, without this self-righteous sort of stuff out there Cameron.  Just because people today live in an instant and somewhat thoughtless digital “it’s all about me” world, where it seems as if it’s OK for anything and everything to be out there, doesn’t make it right and you may realise that one day.

Wait till you’ve been on the earth a while longer Cameron and see if you still have this misguided attitude of hanging everyone else’s lives out on the line and kicking it for all its worth to keep it going for a few bucks, me old mate ?  If you attain old age, I would venture to say you will not look back on this period in your life and say “man I’m proud of doing that”

Let hope we all (yes you as well Cameron) become model human beings from here on in and never transgress in our private lives, if your behaviour in respect to this matter is a measure of what should and shouldn’t be published I can see how journalism is in such trouble today.  An old saying springs to mind Cameron, “be careful for what you wish for”  because the future is yet to happen to all of us and no one knows what we may face as we go forward in life.

Cameron, when I was about 23 or so and my private life was in all sorts of trouble (a good few years back now) a good friend of mine was having a drink with me at a function and some people present were commenting on someone else we all knew, who was having an affair outside of marriage and they were very critical.  My friend who was 20 years my senior said to those who were so quick and strong in judging someone else about a private matter: –  We should all be cautious in our judgement, because often the mistakes of others could easily have been ours if we’d had the same opportunity to make them. I never forgot it, I urge you to remember it.

Cameron I won’t be a reader of Whale Oil any longer, I wish you well as a person and in closing all I would say is, Try thinking of other people with as much energy as you currently think about yourself and what you want to do. Apply that principal to your work and see what good comes of it then, it can still be hard hitting and sell what-ever it is that makes you money.  Should you do that Cameron, I would suggest the maturity you currently lack that I alluded to previously, will come and then you may be able achieve things in terms of reporting newsworthy events that people will regard your work as real journalism and be you may be able to look back on your work and say “Man I’m proud of that”.

Of course, I did reply to that

That is a good long email, but ignores one major point.
Everyone is quick to shoot the messenger, as you have done, and yes people can and do make mistakes, including me, but once is a mistake, two years, plus the involvement of other women is a problem…a bad habit, a pathology of lying, deceit and subterfuge. This was not a mistake from Len Brown…it is a continuing pattern of behaviour and poor judgement from the man who wants to lead the city…if his judgement is so poor with regards to women god only knows what he is doing with our rates.

For the record I did put this to the mayor…he declined to comment and instead hid behind his multi-million dollar ratepayer funding team of spin weasels.

He conducted an affair with his first wife…with his now second wife…and there are other women as you will find out in coming days.

I am glad you think that is the behaviour that is acceptable for our leaders. But it is not something that I will ever subscribe to.

It is not my fault that people got hurt. It is extremely naive to even suggest that it is my fault. To suggest that is my fault is like blaming the rocks at the bottom of the cliff for the fatal injuries sustained by the rock climber who fell because he didn’t use the right climbing equipment or safety equipment.

The person responsible for the all the hurt, sham and derision the mayor and his family faces is only one person…Mayor Len Brown. The man who also used his spin weasels to pimp his children and family to the media just two days after demanding privacy and respect for them. The man barely shows the same toward his own family and and the cheek to demand it of others.

Hope you enjoy life without reading Whaleoil.

Cheers

Cam

Much as I would like to tie my readers to a chair and put match sticks under their eyelids to make them a captive audience, each and every one of you are here out of your own free will (excepting the few poor souls that are told to read Whaleoil for their job! *chuckle*)

So I get absolutely no joy from receiving emails that tell me some boundary of tolerance has been reached by someone where they now have reached the limit and are no longer interested.  I realise that for every person that sits down and takes the time to tell me how they feel, there are more I’ve lost along the way.

Of course, that’s not a process that happens in isolation.  As people feel Whaleoil is no longer a place to spend their disposable time, others discover it and find a new place to direct their attention.

If you’re leaving, thanks for your time over the years. Be assured your absence isn’t shrugged off.  And in a sense we will miss you.

And to those that have recently joined – welcome.  I don’t expect you will always agree or feel entertained.  You may feel outraged and angry.  Some readers even feel disappointed and let down at times.  But this is part of the relationship between blog and its readers.   If I can make you feel something, then don’t be scared to hang around.

We’re communicating.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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