Dominion Post political editor Tracy Watkins flails about wildly for relevance


Tracy Watkins, via Twitter

Tracy Watkins, via Twitter

Key’s wise-cracking has a new edge.

He used to call his opponents muppets and it would come across as disarmingly friendly.

These days it sounds more like a profanity than an affectionate put-down.

And to say National’s third term began disastrously would be an understatement.

Key continues to be wrong-footed by the toxic fallout from Dirty Politics.

He is badly tainted by his association with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, whose brand is repugnant to most voters.

I’d love Tracy to back that up with some fact.   My brand is so repugnant that I continue to build an ever-increasing audience.  But hey, don’t let facts get in thew way of trying to damage Freed by association.

The Dominion Post reaches nearly half of Wellingtonians aged 15 years and over and has an average daily readership of 234,000 people aged over 15.

I just have a little old repugnant blog with a similar following Tracy.  Wait until we start Freed!

[Key’s] lack of candour about their ongoing relationship, and the care with which he and his office have tip-toed around Slater, is fertile ground for ugly speculation that Slater must have something over him.

I have something on most people Tracy.  The thing is, your colleagues used to quite enjoy it when they phoned me to ask what the ‘latest’ was, and were quite happy to use my “repugnant brand” for their own purposes.  Now that Freed is on the way, I am a threat to media and must be dealt to.

Too late, by the way.

Meanwhile, Key and his ministers are doing their best to cement in the perception that arrogance and hubris have struck early in National’s third term.

Witness Key’s black-is-white defence of the damning inquiry into links between his office and Slater.

There was a time when someone telling the PM that Phil Goff broke the law by releasing the SIS report to media before it was allowed would be a story about Phil Goff, and not about me telling the PM.    But we all know your motives, and we all can see through your attempts to try and drag down the best thing in media that will happen to this country for a long time.

The readers can see through the general attempt to paint me as a monster.   All you are doing is turning them off.   They are looking for media that speaks in their voice.


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.