BlogWatch: Keeping an eye online

9:24 am on 1 September 2014

In the first column in a new series inspired by the revelations in Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics, Radio New Zealand journalist Peter Fowler looks at the bloggers' take on Pam Corkery's verbal castigation of journalists, National's housing policy launch, Kim Dotcom, and worries that trolls are dominating the blogosphere.

In breaking news today a police officer was shot in the line of duty in a Hamilton supermarket, which commentator Paul Brislen saw as an opportunity for a joke.

Ex Twitter

Photo: Ex Twitter

WhaleOil highlighted a report suggesting the Internet Party president was threatening to sue Cameron Slater, who was apparently avoiding danger in Israel.

"All the crap being dumped on me by criminal hackers pales into insignificance when rockets are raining down on you," said a story with Cameron Slater's byline.

Kim Dotcom revealed he considered hiring a private investigator to monitor Cameron Slater.

Meanwhile Herald Investigative journalist David Fisher, who wrote a book with Kim Dotcom, confirmed Cameron Slater was a source of his, and that it was "warm and cosy" in Mr Slater's tent. "Slater kept journalists like he would have kept hunting dogs - hungry, leashed and fed with morsels until they are ready to be unleashed after whatever game he was hunting."

Deborah Hill Cone, who judged Mr Slater best Blogger at the Canon Media Awards, has followed up on her moving post last week about suffering from depression saying "part of my depression seems to be a deep feeling of self-loathing" and kindness doesn't seem to help.

Meanwhile some bloggers appeared to be getting a touch nervous about "trolls "


Photo: Ex Twitter

And it was not just bloggers getting nervous.

Ex Twitter

Photo: Ex Twitter

"Once was a journalist" Bill Ralston spotted this trend last week and decided to do something about it.

Tweet from Twitter.

Photo: Ex Twitter

On Public Address, Russell Brown said he "really, really" didn't think Kim Dotcom was @whaledump and gave an account of the "intriguing affair" which was the Internet Mana party launch.

The No Minister Blog enjoyed the "totally awesome spectacle of Pam Corkery giving the assembled journalists a right bollocking" at the Internet Mana Party launch, while saying that its "National Party mates" housing policy was "terrible."

Gordon Campbell appeared to agree, saying as much as $218 million might be spent on the housing policy "yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant."

The Dominion Post's political editor Tracy Watkins said the housing policy at least gave Prime Minister John Key a platform from which to wash his hands of days of negative headlines.

The Standard posted a number of questions it would like John Key to answer over Nicky Hager's book "Dirty Secrets".

But the Herald's chief political commentator, John Armstrong, said "Whalegate" had probably inflicted as much damage on National as it was likely to.

Gareth Morgan asked in Gareth's World which political party would help you live longer?

Grant McDougall speculated on Public Address about what brand political parties would be if they were beer.

Finally, Martyn Bradbury, who appeared upset with Mike Hosking, wrote in the Daily Blog his reasons why New Zealand needed a public broadcaster.

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