A rare treat: David Fisher interviews Cameron Slater (EXCLUSIVE!)

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The New Zealand Herald’s David Fisher invited me to an interview about the Ben Rachinger The Standard Hack story.  My first inclination was to do what I always do with David’s emails:  chuckle and delete.   However, I have subsequently invited people to ask for interviews so I thought, “why not?”.

David and I have a tumultuous history, and it is no secret that I consider him to be hostile to me.  I don’t believe he can be trusted to take my words and represent them honestly.  I also have good reason to believe that he was complicit in the Whaledump saga, and directly connected to Hager and Rawshark regarding my hacked emails and data.

So I will do David’s interview, but I’ll answer the questions on my blog.  That way I can be assured that the answers won’t get re-engineered.  That said, I have no doubt David will subsequently quote from this and manage to make black look like white anyway.  Such is the game.  

From: David Fisher <[email protected] co nz>
Date: Mon, May 9, 2016 at 2:10 PM
Subject: NZ Herald – questions
To: “[email protected] com” <[email protected] com>

Hi Cameron,

Hope you are well. I was hoping you might speak to me about the charge you face in relation to attempting to access The Standard website through Ben Rachinger. As you will be aware, Judge McIlraith’s decision did not support your desire for permanent name suppression. I understand, too, that the charge will be resolved by way of diversion.

With the lifting of suppression, I will be writing about the case and your admission you attempted to illegally gain access to The Standard’s computer system. The matters on which I was hoping to speak to you follow.

  • Why did you want to get into The Standard’s computers?
  • Are you sorry you did so?
  • Will you ever try to do so again?
  • Would you like to offer a personal apology to Lyn Prentice?
  • Did you ask Rachinger to access the computers of others, such as Matt Nippert or Keith Ng, as is alleged in Ng’s Public Address post?
  • The information Rachinger passed you about Dirty Politics – as it appeared on Public Address – appears to match up with your theories of a conspiracy around Dirty Politics. Do you still believe there was a conspiracy, and if so, why?
  • At what stage did you realise it was wrong to attempt to illegally access someone else’s computer or computer system?
  • Did Ben Rachinger pass you images of [journalist – WO]? Did you send those to someone which then resulted in them appearing on the [suppressed by court order – WO] website?
  • Why did you try so hard to get name suppression given your strong public opposition to it in the past, including this post immediately after you appeared in Manukau District Court?
  • The court judgment says you have changed your view on the importance of name suppression – could you please explain why and what your current view is?

Should you not wish to take part in an interview, you might like to send written answers. As an alternative, you might like to answer the questions in the blog post you likely have planned around this issue and I can source information from and attribute it to there.

Thanks,

 

 

David Fisher
Senior writer
P: 09 373 6400 xt 98214  M: 021 347 154
E: [email protected]  SM: https://www.facebook.com/David.Fisher.Journalist

______________________________________________________________________

NOTICE
This email and any attachments are strictly confidential and subject to copyright. They may contain privileged information.

 

So, Hi David, I hope you’re not well. (See, at least I’m honest).

Before we start David, let’s get something in the right context.

  • It was the police that originally sought suppression to stop grandstanding by Ben Rachinger.
  • Diversion has been completed, I was acquitted and no conviction entered.

 

Ok then.  Here we go, one by one.

NZH:  Why did you want to get into The Standard’s computers?

I wanted to know who is writing for The Standard under pseudonyms and how it is connected to the Labour Party.  I never wanted to “get into” The Standard.  The idea I “ordered it” or “asked for it” is one floated by Ben Rachinger and not backed by the facts presented to court.  It’s something I have not spoken up against because there was a court case involved.  Now that suppression is over,  I can explain that Ben Rachinger convinced me he had access to non-public information he obtained himself.  I never offered to pay him money if he would hack for me.  That never happened.  We did negotiate over the data he made me believe he already had access to.

NZH: Are you sorry you did so?

I’m sorry I ever met Ben Rachinger.  I’m sorry I allowed him to lead me by the nose.  I’m not sorry for wanting to know who hacked my emails, who they were distributed to, who was running Whaledump and how the Labour Party, bloggers and other people had an active hand in all of it.  I am sorry my need to want to know what happened caused me to cross the line of asking Ben to show me what he got from The Standard for a fee.

NZH Will you ever try to do so again?

Seriously?  You’re asking me to admit to planning a crime?  What sort of a question is that?  I do want to make a point about the “again” part of the question.  A hack did not take place.  I did not order it.  I was discussing payment with Ben to get access to the material he already said he had access to.   That’s what I am guilty of.   That’s what I regret.  And no, I won’t ever pay for evidence again.  That’s the life lesson out of all of this.

NZH Would you like to offer a personal apology to Lyn Prentice? [The Standard ‘owner/operator]

I doubt it would be accepted, be believed or make any difference.   I have not changed my mind over The Standard’s involvement in the hack of my data, broadly speaking, so I will reserve any apologies until it is clear they really had nothing to do with it.

NZH Did you ask Rachinger to access the computers of others, such as Matt Nippert or Keith Ng, as is alleged in Ng’s Public Address post?

No.  I haven’t asked Ben to access any computer on my behalf.   Nippert did come up in conversation many times.  Here’s a choice quote from Ben

Conclusive Proof of WD [Whaledump] = Ng and Nippert

1.  IP leakage
2.  Semantic analysis of the two blended has a 92% probability of a match
3.  In emails, Ng alludes to having inside knowledge of hack and RS [Rawshark]
4. Ng is, ofc [of course], very close to Kim [Dotcom].  Who’s a prick.

Low on net [data allowance]. When I get going today, will dump the Ng and Nippert files to you.

Ben made me believe he already had information.  It didn’t need to be hacked, just dumped.  It didn’t need to be asked to be hacked.  I simply had to pay money to get it.   But more about that another day.

NZH The information Rachinger passed you about Dirty Politics – as it appeared on Public Address – appears to match up with your theories of a conspiracy around Dirty Politics. Do you still believe there was a conspiracy, and if so, why?

Yes.  I’m going to let the police continue to work on the why.  This interview is about the Ben Rachinger hack of The Standard, that never happened, and that I never asked for.

NZH At what stage did you realise it was wrong to attempt to illegally access someone else’s computer or computer system?

I have always known it is illegal to do anything illegal.  You really need to ask Ben this question, as I never attempted to access The Standard illegally.  For one, I clearly don’t have the skills.  Two, I didn’t ask Ben to do it on my behalf.

NZH Did Ben Rachinger pass you images of [journalist – WO]? Did you send those to someone which then resulted in them appearing on the [suppressed by court order – WO] website?

Yes.  The photos were widely distributed by Ben himself to other journalists as well.  You would need to ask the website about the eventual source.

It is worth noting that it was you, David, that ran the only story about this in the media.  How did you get these photos?  I didn’t send them to you.  And why was that article deleted by your editors?  Was it because of the outrage of your colleagues from across the industry?  Or the legal threat from Mediaworks?

Why did you try so hard to get name suppression given your strong public opposition to it in the past, including this post immediately after you appeared in Manukau District Court?

I didn’t.  I never asked for name suppression.  It was the police that did because of Ben Rachinger’s close working relationship with Mediaworks, including Jessica Williams, Lisa Owen and Tim Watkin.   Both Ben and I had no choice when suppression was ordered over the case.

NZH The court judgment says you have changed your view on the importance of name suppression – could you please explain why and what your current view is?

The question should be:  why did you try so hard to KEEP name suppression in this case considering your public views?  Two reasons.  One, my family are punch drunk when it comes to all the media attention.  My children remember the threats that came with the last lot of attention.  One person is currently locked up because of it.  We had to move house to feel safer.  But I knew suppression wouldn’t be granted.  Politics is a grown-up sport, I am a public figure, and the last thing that would happen would be for me to get name suppression over something so trivial it was addressed through Diversion.  I in fact agree that in situations like mine, it would be inappropriate.  But it presented an opportunity to generate substantial cost to Mediaworks who hired legal counsel to try and overturn it.  I was being deliberately obstructive to make life difficult for Watkins and Owen and their bottom line.  There is a reason for this beyond mere petulance.

I used the appearance to introduce new evidence.  This evidence is now public, sans a small court ordered suppression.  This too was part of strategy, as you will come to see over the next days and weeks.  Evidence of substantial suppression breaches by Mediaworks producer Tim Watkin, Law professor Andrew Geddis, Martyn Bradbury, Lynn Prentice and Peter George, all of whom are now under police investigation for not respecting court orders. You know this David, but I doubt you will choose to publish that.

The Police complaint was part of the documents that the Media lawyers sought and were granted access to.   Lets see which of them is honest enough to publish that several bloggers, a TV producer and a Law professor are now under investigation for suppression breaches of their own?

 

 

Thanks for caring about my well being and wanting to catch up.  Always good to hear from you David.  It puts a smile on my face every time I click Delete.

 

 


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  • Nige.

    What a fantastic exercise. A truely open and transparent way to conduct and interview. At the very very least newer readers will be able to compare the herald published answers and see comparatively how much of an interview is actually used.

    • Isherman

      It remains to be seen if it will grace the pages of the paper of record at all yet, though if it wasn’t, I’d love to understand the authors/ editors reasons for ditching it all.

      • Nige.

        If you can understand them then you’d be a worthy recipient of a PhD in Repeatology.

        Don’t even try. We aren’t looking for that type of audience

  • D.Dave

    Thanks Cam,for allowing us to read your reply to David. It clearly removes any opportunity for a journalist, who has previously had the tendency to fire low level smears at you, to use the facts to bend the truth. I applaud you for replying, rather than deleting, as it is probably the least likely response expected from the Herald. Given the openness of your response, it may be doubful that they would even print an article. Keep your chin up,mate.

  • Catriona

    Well, it’s going to be interesting to see David Fisher’s spin on the your reply to his questions, Cameron. Well done. Journalists don’t seem to be able to report the facts – merely innuendo I fear so I’ll be watching with interest where he goes next with this.

  • oldmanNZ

    those were really heavy loaded questions. As if he already made up his mind what you did.
    I can see why sometimes it better to not to interview with him at all

    • Dog Breath

      A bit like when did you stop beating your wife type questions.

  • Dave

    Perhaps there is a thawing there, perhaps mr Fisher sees an opportunity to finger MediaWorks as sponsors and enablers of Bens actions. The NZ MSM is crumbling, we shouldn’t lose sight of a quite possible of the Herald and Fairfax to become the Ferald, so a few points on the board might assist Fisher to retain a job. I just hope he attributes, and references “our questions were answered in full at the WO blood (address)”

    • Teletubby

      Haha. I see breaking news is that NZME and Fairfax are in merger talks, please God let them call it the Ferald

      • Ross15

        The point about this merger that seems to be forgotten is that when first announced it was said the newspaper parts of the merged business would be spun off separately ( presumably left to die). If it goes ahead as suggested earlier, people like Fisher might need a few friends —karma !

  • Murray Pratt

    Clearly you should encourage Fisher to corresponded with you more Cam in this manner and answer him just like you have. Honesty doesn’t sell newspapers and it’s something a fictional reporter doesn’t like. The beauty of having written commutation is, it restricts what Fisher can report to a certain extent.

    • venator

      And reduces further congestion on the motorways. A good interview Mr Slatter. Thank Christ I am semi retired as I couldn’t keep up all this news and gossip otherwise.

  • Mrs_R

    It will be interesting to read how DF presents the facts in his yet to be written article. Because those interested enough to read that article will also have taken the time to read all that you have said on the matter, so if DF is skimpy on fact and truth it will be apparent to all. All eyes will now be on DF, and we will decide for ourselves what sort of journalist he is based on what he writes – no pressure David.

  • contractor

    Are Fisher and colleagues capable of changing tack to seeking and reporting the truth of matters? Pigs will fly first.
    They simply do not care for the truth.

  • shykiwibloke

    Imagine some kind if website where everyone can place written responses or recordings of press interviews and see how the finished article uses/abuses that material. Some of this could be automated. Sort of like filming the police at work for journalists!

    • Boondecker

      The technology and software already exists in place (with the likes of educational institutes worldwide) to stop or pick up on plagiarism. I think There are in fact quite a few programs that do it and are well used and extremely accurate. I’m sure it could be tweaked easy enough for this sort of media interview usage, I’m sure.

      Great suggestion though.

    • PersonOfColor:WHITE

      I recall watching 55 minutes of Australian television interviewing of David Evans and Jo Nova on the climate change topic (thoughtfully captured themselves) and the 1.5 minutes that made it into the finished broadcast.

      Despite ignoring almoist everything they said, they still chopped parts of sentences together in order to undermine and twist their views!

      If anyone thinks the MSM is anything but evil, think again..

      • shykiwibloke

        Such a website would be solid evidence in a defamation action. Possibly even have a pool of eager lawyers ready and waiting…. The ultimate media watchdog. Be interesting how many Hagers and mates suddenly decided not to be a journo.

  • Eiselmann

    His questions were very loaded weren’t they.

    Obviously not after ‘the facts please guv’nor just the facts’ and more ‘just the stuff that fits into the planned article and if you don’t have the facts I want, I’ll fall back on my creative writing course.’.

    Generations of journalists past, are spinning in their graves.

  • CLARIFICATION: These replies were not sent to David Fisher. Fisher wrote whatever he wrote up to this point without the benefit of these answers. I see the impression some have is that these answers were sent and then Fisher wrote what he wrote. Not so.

    As Fisher stated, and expected, he would take the answers from the blog post(s) he expected on the story.

    As an aside, it was considered sending Fisher these answers a few minutes before publishing so we could claim he had them, but -believe it or not- we have no time for such games.

    The next part of this story will unfold tomorrow. See you all at 0800, and possibly 0900 as well.

  • JohnO

    David “tainted” Fisher still seems to be trying to prove Whale oil is the originator and main perpetrator of the dirty politics of the 2014 election despite knowing full well that the political press/TV news people , Kim Dotcom and Mana, The Labour party, McCarten and Bradbury all were totally implicated in behind the scenes attempted manipulation of public opinion. The public court of an election gave the “not guilty” verdict to the Right and “guilty of a huge fail” to the Left in that election.

  • Steve kay

    Sorry but I can hardly keep up with the back fires. Now have I got this straight?

    Not only is “vote positive” aka dirty politics overshadowing the Panama papers (many layers of hilarity just there, talk about bite you in the bum), but out of the dust comes a green party donor with connections to proper tax havens. Now we know why they’ve been a bit cagey on this one.

    And I thought we’d peaked with the Elvis impersonator.

  • Curly1952

    Well it has been worth the wait, the problem being of course is that the greater public won’t see this version so they will probably believe what the “professional” hacks write.
    Great reading and also good to get an understanding of the devious nature of these people.

  • ExPFC

    You’re first line is Gold! “I hope you’re not well”… Wetting myself!

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