On the eve of his Internet Party launch, Kim Dotcom has admitted owning a rare copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
The Internet Party launches its online push for members today, but in an interview with 3 News last night, the German internet entrepreneur said he had bought a rare signed copy of Hitler’s autobiography at an auction four years ago.
A spokesman for Mr Dotcom told the Herald the Megaupload founder, who is fighting a US bid to extradite him on internet piracy charges, decided to go public over the book before his adversaries did.He and his camp were aware of “insinuations” that Mr Dotcom owned the book which were “part of an ongoing smear campaign that’s been fomented by various bloggers and opponents” including Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
“That’s where it’s been coming from by and large. It didn’t take a lot of rocket science as it were what the general thrust of these things were. It’s something that we thought we should front-foot.”
Cameron Slater and David Farrar both blogged not-so-cryptic hints (‘What sort of person buys a copy of Mein Kampf?’) about this a few weeks ago which in retrospect was rather foolish since it tipped Dotcom off and let him get the story out when he wanted instead of during the election campaign or the Banks trial.
This stuff comes from Dotcom’s ex-bodyguard, presumably, who was recently slapped with a gag-order preventing him from speaking to media about his time in the Coatsville mansion. Obviously that doesn’t stop him from giving stories to the media on background or as an anonymous source. I’ve always thought the Internet Party was a daft idea and going into an election campaign with the founder’s former personal aide leaking stories against him make it look even more doomed.
Slater has more allegations here. You never know with him but it all sounds pretty unlikely: if there was a Nazi flag hanging up in Dotcom’s mansion when the police raided I’m pretty sure we would have heard about it before now.
Meanwhile Mickey Savage at The Standard calls the story a ‘distraction’ writing: ‘I can’t help but think that our main stream media and blogosphere are being manipulated by some pretty skilled operatives.’
I don’t know if you’d call Cameron Slater a ‘skilled operator.’ His handling of the Len Brown story turned a resignation-level scandal into a media witch-hunt focused on Slater’s family and their connections with the Palino mayoral campaign, and the Prime Minister is currently in Europe, where he met with Obama and initiated a free-trade deal. As far as National is concerned right now, any story that isn’t making the Prime Minister look like an international statesman in an election year is an unwanted distraction.
Finally, there’s a famous Stephen King story called Apt Pupil about a young boy who gets obsessed with the Nazis, and in it one of the characters comments that many people have a ‘dark fascination’ for that period of history, which is detached from any kind of ideology or values. Having a fetish for this kind of paraphernalia doesn’t make someone a Nazi but it does make them pretty creepy.