Ben Rachinger, Cameron Slater and the journalist that wanted to pay in blow jobs

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Ben Rachinger, Cameron Slater and the journalist that wanted to pay in blow jobs

Ben has had a rocky ride with media in New Zealand.  As it appeared he had information about Cameron Slater that was going to be negative, media were drawn to him as a moth to a flame.  Cameron Slater stories sell papers and get people to tune in.

After he released intimate private photos of a New Zealand journalist however, that relationship between Ben and the NZ Media turned sour.  Nobody wanted to be anywhere near him, with the exception of Lisa Owen and Tim Watkin of Mediaworks/TV3/The Nation.  

Dragging up the history of Ben doing something that low is an easy way to fill a blog post, but I decided not to do it.  In spite of the journalist’s feelings about me, which are hostile to the extreme, I saw no reason to rip that story back open just to kick Ben in the shins.

That story was dead, buried and irrelevant.  And yet, here we are.  What happened?  

A few days ago, Ben, anticipating that some of his correspondence with me would end up on the Internet (what a clever boy!), decided to go into damage control mode.   Now, if you haven’t understood the basic problem:  Ben is responsible for releasing intimate photos of a journalist, and I have Ben’s own words describing his feelings and thoughts as he talked to me about the journalist and the photos.

He decided to blurt all this out in public.  On twitter.   Just a few days ago.

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Him being me.  And you being the journalist.  

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I’ve needed to repeat this a number of times now, and it appears I need to do it again:  I did not send the pictures to another web site.  I did not send the pictures to other journalists,  especially not David Fisher!  So let’s cut the “I/he” rubbish. They were Ben’s  pictures, he sent me some.  I didn’t send any to anyone.  They were widely distributed among media and none of them got the photos from me.

And guess what?  The journalist knows it too.

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How dramatic.  At this stage it should be clear to readers we can’t believe anything written down or said by Ben.  It may be that he’s genuine, but who can tell?  I mean, this sounds so good, until you put it all in context of all the other stuff he’s said and wrote, and more specifically, the timing of this outburst:  days before he knew that suppression would come off the material that I wanted to publish, including the logs that prove he sent them to me.  So his contrition seems a little “well timed”.  He had months to do it, but chose to do it a few days before it all went public.  Well done that man.

Selection_135Yes.  The police have evidence of Ben sending erotic photos of a journalist to me.  Because I gave this evidence to them.  Amazing, eh?  It’s also part of what I filed in court Ben.  So I could defend myself from your wide-ranging theories.

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Ben claims he also sent the police “full and unredacted” chat logs.   I don’t know if this is true.  Because when I tabled my logs in court a few weeks ago, there was what you might call a “mild panic” from the police prosecutor.

Some of these Threema logs have now been suppressed.   I can’t report on those portions, or allude to whatever they contained.

Had Ben truly provided “full and unredacted” evidence to the Police, I really would not have expected the police and the court to react so surprised and then subsequently order the whole Threema conversation sealed.

I then pointed out to the Court that with the suppression being lifted and the evidence sealed, I had nothing left to defend myself with in public.  The judge then changed his mind a little.  I now am allowed to use it, quote from it and publish it, as long as I do not mention the suppressed portions.

But back to Ben’s attempt at damage control, and his attempts to reverse the damage he had done to a journalist.  A journalist who he acted for as a source telling her about Hager’s secrets.  The journalist also was part of the plan to get Ben work at a media organisation to consult on security matters (oh the irony!  I wonder how long their networks have been compromised since…)

I of course knew the reason for this sudden public outburst of “contrition”, but nobody else understood why.  And why now?

People on Twitter weren’t impressed.  And when you apologise, I would imagine you’d do it to that person’s face – if they’ll see you.  Or on the phone, if they’ll talk to you.  And at least through an email.   You don’t have a stream of consciousness on Twitter about it unless your true motives are for the public to be informed.

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People on Reddit that are clearly smarter than I am commented on this affair 11 months earlier, and had his measure.

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I’m not sure who Ben hasn’t upset by now.  Family won’t have anything to do with him.  The left won’t have anything to do with him.  The right won’t have anything to do with him.  The media (apart from the complicit The Nation crew) won’t have anything to do with him because of this matter here, and Rangi Kemara and other “security consultants” and “hacktivists” also have seen that Ben talks too much and leaks too much.  He even managed to put the police off-side, and says he will sue them for not looking after him properly.

Plenty of “evidence” behind the hacking scandal.  Goodness knows if any of the crap he created along the way has any veracity at all.  Although I do believe the police hold much more valuable information – information gathered directly from other people through direct engagement in encrypted chat rooms while they still thought Ben could be trusted.

 

One thing is clear:  if you talk to Ben in private, you have no idea where that conversation will end up.  It could be hackers, the media, politicians, the police.  Anyone.  Some of our evidence was made public by Ben before I was even allowed to release it.  If there is one thing that’s hurting my head it is this:  just exactly what side is Ben on, and what is he trying to achieve?

 

But back to defending myself against Ben’s allegations that I am part of damaging “the journalist’s” career.  Below are portions of conversations as they pertain to the journalist.   Most of it has nothing to do with the photos.  Here’s the first bit.

Although I’m aware the identity of the journalist is already out and publicly known, I don’t want my  defence against Ben Rachinger on my own blog to add to the volume of searchable material on that journalist’s name.  As such, I have redacted the name from the logs.  Unlike Ben, who dumped a load of documents on the Internet yesterday with all sorts of people’s names in them, including someone that has blanket name suppression (where does this end?).  So this is the best I can do under the circumstances.  As I said during my opening remarks, I had already decided not to cover this part until Ben made it all current again by implicating me in something I haven’t done just a few days ago.  

 

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Ben essentially lays a link between the journalist having had a boyfriend that people have accused of being Rawshark.  So not only is the journalist spying on me through Ben, and on Hager through Ben, she’s also linked to someone who is being speculated about as Rawshark… according to Ben.  Trust me, it doesn’t make any more sense if you look at it longer.

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And a knife in the back.  Notice to Lisa Owen:  Ben has a history of back stabbing media.  Just an FYI there.  Before you get all excited over Ben’s credibility.  Look at my reaction: “Oh ok”.  Not, “great”, or “let’s do it”.   I wasn’t impressed, and it never happened.   But somehow, setting the journalist up was very important to Ben

6 days later, Ben reminds me, once again.

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I had no interest in running disinformation campaigns.  All I wanted was to see the people responsible for the hacking and dissemination of my emails to be charged and walked into a court.  Whatever games Ben wanted to play, I kept pushing for information that could help me solve the hacking case against Whaleoil.

It’s time to warn you.  The next two conversations is where things get nasty.  I thought long and hard about it, and in the end I don’t owe Ben nor the Journalist any favours.

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John being John Key.   But note that I don’t bring up the subject of the journalist.  Ben is the one that opens up.  Again.   Where it says [IMAGE] I received a photo.  And those two were just to prove it was the journalist, but it contained nothing inappropriate.

You may also note I didn’t immediately beg for the photos.  I didn’t ask for the ones that were sent, and I didn’t ask for more.  Yet Ben was keen for me to have them.  It seems to me now that was “revenge porn” on Ben’s behalf, and he expected me to ask for them all and spread them around.   Ben shouldn’t believe what people say about me.  The Bevan Chuang photos never got released.  I have other photos, never released.  It’s not my style unless it is relevant to the news piece.

Let’s carry on:

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I finally ask for one naked photo.  “For insurance”.  It’s a side of politics you may not like or respect, but I trust you can clearly see my mindset is one of information gathering and not about getting salacious photographs to use for a story.  Ben had already told me that the journalist was trying to use him as an informant on me.  To have one photo is definitely “insurance”.

 

 

And there you have it.  The truth that Ben Rachinger knew what was coming out because I tabled it in court, and the court sealed all of it, and then I had to fight hard to get it back.

Imagine if I couldn’t tell my side of the story, and just Ben’s was allowed to stand?

The point to take away from all this is that Ben Rachinger presents himself as a friend and cooperative ally to people while at the same time screwing the same people over when he talks to and works with others.   I have no doubt he had the journalist on the end of leash with promises about information about me.

I really don’t think the journalist would have flown to another city to “rape him” and “pay him in blowjobs”.  What you can be assured of is that he had spun a story that he had all the dirt on Cameron Slater, and what sane journalist wouldn’t want that scalp?

They clearly did have a parting of the ways, a quite ugly one where Ben tried to use me to inject the intimate photos into the public. He tried a number of times.  “Don’t share these, wink wink!”. As that had failed, they made their way to the media before they ended up on another web site. Even [self-redacted while checking timeline] claimed he had seen these awful, personal photos, and [self-redacted while checking timeline] is also on public record having seen them.  You can be assured that I wasn’t the source there either.

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Ben was getting operational information from his police contacts about the Hager Raid, and he was blurting them to the media.  Some informant.  Basically, whatever you tell Ben ends up somewhere else.  You just never know where.

He was even trying to get to Andrew Little.  Nope, not kidding.

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But, readers, it’s all my fault.  Or John Key.  Pick one.  

Remember folks: The Media Party have all claimed that what Ben Rachinger has said about me is all true, and so if that is true then they must start believing that this is true too.

 

More about Ben and back stabbing media tomorrow.


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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.

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