What Is A Whale Oil?

As a change of pace from Callum’s usual dogged endorsement of rightwing doctrine, this week’s political pages will have an “everyman” flavour. No longer will you be subjected to the ranting of a man whose self-awareness and balance is as poor as your Alzheimer’s-riddled Aunty Dot that time she escaped the home and stumbled onto the Mornington bowling green.

This week we answer a simple question: What, or rather who, is Whale Oil? This is a question that has been nagging away at the back of my brain ever since I heard it/him mentioned in passing last Tuesday.

Whale Oil (or Whale Oil Beef Hooked to use its full title) is the personal blog of Cameron Slater. Slater is a staunchly rightwing political commentator who blogs mostly about politics but also about whatever he chooses. His favourite trick is outing offenders or people facing trial who have name suppression. He does this to either a) protest against name suppression and censorship laws in New Zealand (as he claims), or b) attract more readers to his blog. Slater has been convicted and fined multiple times for breaching suppression orders. His own facts report that his blog receives 600,000 page views a month and he claims to update content around 20 times a day. Oh yeah, he also likes to do that thing like Perez Hilton and draw crudely on pictures of people for lols.

A quick Facebook stalk reveals that Slater is a fan of the E! entertainment channel and also likes “yelling at inanimate objects”. So if he hadn’t lost his family home to insurance problems a solid Khloé & Lamar marathon could keep the man happy for hours on end. Despite all the blog views and media screen time, happiness has been hard to come by for Slater. He talks openly about his battles with mental illness and self-loathing to anyone who will ask or listen.

The basic purpose of Cameron Slater aka Whale Oil is to be inflammatory and push his (usually National) agenda. While being almost universally loathed can be a tough way to live your life, the attention Slater gets from his own followers, the mainstream media and the politicians he takes pot-shots at is a fair indication he’s doing a pretty good job of … whatever it is he does.
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2012.
Posted 12:51am Monday 7th May 2012 by Gus Gawn.