I’m glad that at last there is a focus on the low-level, hateful, dishonest work of Cameron Slater. He is an embarrassment to bloggers and journalists everywhere.
I am glad the focus has turned to him allegedly being paid to share ghost-written blog posts done by others such as the tobacco lobbyists where he just add his name to the end and pretends they are by him.
Lots of money.
I am glad people are finally being forced to consider just how far and how deep his spiderweb goes into government.
I am glad the mainstream media has been forced, in some cases at least, to confront the reality that bloggers and journalists of this ilk are unreliable at best and, at worst, dangerous to democracy and free speech.
The irony is immense
This is not just whimsical pondering from me. I was “oiled” myself. Thousands of the “Whale Army” came, sent by Slater, to my blog. What they wrote was revolting. Nothing like it has been seen on SOSNZ before or since.
It was truly upsetting.
And then Slater publicly and falsely accused *me* of being in the pay of others to write blog posts.
Maybe he thinks everyone has the low standards it appears he does?
On My Integrity
Regarding the accusations Mr Slater made about me, I will be clear: No-one has ever paid me a bean to write a thing. Not on SOSNZ, not on any other blog. Not once.
I pay my own flights, parking, babysitting costs, internet, and had to buy my own SOSNZ t shirt and business cards.
And unlike Mr Slater, if someone else writes content that I share on my blog, I make clear they wrote it.
It costs me tens of thousands of dollars in lost wages to work as a full time activist. I do it because I believe our public education system is valuable and is under carefully planned attack.
If I were ever paid, I’d be honest about who was paying me and for what.
And no-one could ever get me to change my views or pretend to believe something I do not for money. Not a hope.
Being Targeted is No Laughing Matter
It’s very frightening being “oiled”.
Everyone knows Slater’s tactics are nasty, liable to look into any aspect of your life or past and try to smear your name. It takes a lot of bravery and a fair few anxiety pills to carry on standing up for what you believe in once he has targeted you.
I know it gave me a few sleepless nights.
People contacted me privately warning they too has come a cropper at the hands of this man, telling me to be careful, scared for me.
Some had lost their jobs – their life-long careers.
Because of a blogger with an agenda. A bully. A cyber bully.
What a terrible state of affairs when someone intimidates others like that.
And what an utterly outrageous state of affairs when his behaviour is not only allowed to happen unchecked, but is apparently sanctioned, encouraged and, in some cases, assisted by people in the Beehive.
That is not a democracy. It is not safe. It is not honourable.
On Bloggers and Journalists
Please be aware, though, that not all bloggers and journalists are of the same grimy stripe: Some are honest and honourable.
You may not agree with what we write, but we are genuine and up front about what we believe and why.
We do not always get things right, but we own up when we are wrong.
You can disagree with us without fearing retaliation, because we believe in honest discussion and debate.
And we believe it is not too much to expect others, including our government, to uphold those same standards.