The Dim-Post

November 17, 2015

Shorter Ng/Rachinger/Slater/Key

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 3:30 pm

Keith Ng has a fascinating post up on all of the strange things that were happening regarding Cameron Slater and Ben Rachinger and their hilarious and dysfunctional search for ‘Rawshark’, the mysterious hacker that gave Slater’s emails to Nicky Hager. You should go and read the whole thing, but because Keith is so comprehensive its easy to miss the absurdity of what happened here, which is:

  1. Slater told Rachinger he wanted proof that various enemies of his (mostly journalists, but also Kim Dotcom, Rangi Kemara and Keith himself) were involved in the hack. He agreed to pay Rachinger for the proof
  2. A brief time – sometimes a matter of hours – after each enemy was named Rachinger got back to Slater and assured him that he had obtained this proof. Slater then paid Rachinger who provided with very questionable-looking chat transcripts or encrypted files that Slater couldn’t open. Then onto the next enemy!
  3. Slater then repeated the names of the people that Rachinger had ‘proved’ were involved in the hack to senior journalists, senior police officers and the Prime Minister, and police and journalists started running around the country investigating or trying to interview the people who Slater had named.

One of the strangest things about the WhaleOil phenomenon is that someone who was pretty obviously a troubled fantasist briefly became one of the most powerful people in the country by drawing a lot of our most senior political and media leaders into his fantasies.

49 Comments »

  1. Bonus content via Keith Ng: https://twitter.com/keith_ng/status/666446685950705666

    Comment by Sacha — November 17, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

  2. Even more funny is how the left is so obsessed with him

    Comment by rjs131 — November 17, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

  3. John Le Carre or Neal Stephenson could never have made any of this up.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — November 17, 2015 @ 4:53 pm

  4. Even more funny is how the left is so obsessed with him.

    Re-read points 1, 2 and 3. Slowly. With lips moving if need be. Try to grasp what Slater did.

    That’s obsession for you, right there. Got anything to compare, then share. Otherwise – diversion fail.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — November 17, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

  5. So who is this Ben Rachinger? Any background article about him or does noone care?

    Comment by Dan — November 17, 2015 @ 5:15 pm

  6. regarding how he became “powerful”: my take is that the political figures involved didn’t really understand the internet. but whale is a national party Delta Minus, seems to have a lot of traffic, and access to the “dark web”.

    so we end up with kemara taking slightly crazy rachinger for a mook, who was in turn exploiting an angry and patently crazy whale for cash, who was inadvertently taking key government ministers for mooks.

    it would make the best farce on TV.

    Comment by Che Tibby — November 17, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

  7. It probably explains why BR has been spamming Pete George’s blog with similar “I’ve got a big secret and I’ll tell you but only if you’re nice” posts http://yournz.org/2015/11/16/ben-rachinger-speaks-again/

    Note that it’s only supposition that ” the Prime Minister, and police and journalists started running around the country investigating or trying to interview the people who Slater had named.” No evidence is provided by Keith except police interest in an email from a convicted person found at Hagers place. That interest is hardly surprising. The back story is though…

    Comment by insider — November 17, 2015 @ 5:42 pm

  8. John Le Carre or Neal Stephenson could never have made any of this up.

    Le Carre writes serious novels that interrogate the moral shades of grey involved in the world of espionage. This is a farce that Michael Fryan would be proud of.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 17, 2015 @ 5:46 pm

  9. regarding how he became “powerful”: my take is that the political figures involved didn’t really understand the internet.

    Slater did generate a lot of news headlines if Dirty Politics is to be believed.

    Danyl’s said before that Slater’s now irrelevant. Judging by Slater’s constant attacks on the media, he’s clearly not getting the cooperation from journos he did before. But is he irrelevant? Are his readers still paying attention to his politics and paid advertorial, and do politicians still give a sh!t about blogs in the way they do talkback?

    Comment by Richard — November 17, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

  10. Is it libellous to say someone is “obviously a troubled fantasist”?

    Comment by poled — November 17, 2015 @ 7:02 pm

  11. “Slater did generate a lot of news headlines if Dirty Politics is to be believed.”

    true. outside of DP there was a bit too. didn’t he expose winston refusing to return a ministerial car or something?

    Comment by Che Tibby — November 17, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

  12. “Is it libellous to say someone is “obviously a troubled fantasist”?”

    I guess we’ll find out, if Slater can afford a lawyer.🙂

    Comment by Sacha — November 17, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

  13. didn’t he expose winston refusing to return a ministerial car or something?

    Quite a bit of stuff like that. He was the prime recipient for leaks for a while. Also the muck that’s fit to take us always been his byline.

    Comment by Richard — November 17, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

  14. Note that it’s only supposition that ” the Prime Minister, and police and journalists started running around the country investigating or trying to interview the people who Slater had named.”

    I talked to several journalists who looked into it, and Rangi himself named others who directly approached him. It is, however, pure supposition that the PM thinks Rangi is RS.

    Comment by Keith Ng — November 17, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

  15. ” Are his readers still paying attention”

    It’s becoming increasingly clear that he never had that many readers . He was courted on the basis of his stellar stats, but they always seemed implausible to people in the business. Now that Slater’s on the outer with the journalists who used to love running his rumours (many of whom have yet to repudiate him) his remaining readership is irrelevant in terms of influence. No doubt the dirty tricks rumour pipeline from the 9th floor is still operating in some form, but the Slater conduit is useless, if all it has to offer is the ordinary non-media people who still read him.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — November 17, 2015 @ 8:57 pm

  16. I think it is a telling that Danyl’s statement could read:
    One of the strangest things about the [insert name] phenomenon is that someone who was pretty obviously a troubled fantasist briefly became one of the most powerful people in the country by drawing a lot of our most senior political and media leaders into his fantasies…

    Comment by Lee Clark — November 18, 2015 @ 7:02 am

  17. Anyone with half a brain could see Slater was a complete nutcase since way back when. However a surprising number of people, including plenty in positions of influence who tell us their experience matters, needed to have it spelt out to them in the same way Hollywood has to spell out the plot so the dumbest audience in middle American understands what is going on. The whole sorry episode of Slater’s brief zenith is a savage condemnation of the lack of basic common sense, morality, decency and ethics of many in our elite media ideological state apparatus.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 18, 2015 @ 7:40 am

  18. @Sanctuary,

    Why do we assume that those in influence didn’t know Slater was a nutcase? Didn’t Dirty Politics show that, nutcase though he was, he was very useful for their purposes?

    That goes for the Beehive 9th Floor and the nation’s journalists both – one got an outlet for things they couldn’t say directly, the other got both a source of dirt that made for a good scoop and a place things could be first said “publicly” and reported on thereafter. Everyone wins (except the country, of course).

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 18, 2015 @ 8:08 am

  19. “but the Slater conduit is useless,”

    – oh look! – a brand new gossip web site! (but that doesnt seem to be panning out that well either)

    Comment by framu — November 18, 2015 @ 8:16 am

  20. Why do we assume that those in influence didn’t know Slater was a nutcase?

    Key would never have used a quasi-poetic phrase such as “force of nature” except as a euphemism.

    Comment by Joe W — November 18, 2015 @ 8:42 am

  21. Could Slater sue Rachinger for fraud??

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — November 18, 2015 @ 9:17 am

  22. If you came into possession of the communication data from that “troubled fantasist”, you would expect that communication data to portray a “fantastic” yet “troubling” premise. Perhaps one where the individual is “one of the most powerful people in the country” linking with “our most senior political and media leaders”. But would you believe it?

    Would you:
    A – attempt to find corroboration, from the other parties supposedly involved, to see if this is reality or “fantasy”?
    B – publish the communication data in a handy book form to a ready market of people opposed to “our most senior political […] leaders” without going through corroboration?

    Comment by unaha-closp — November 18, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  23. @unaha-closp,

    Which bits of said book were inaccurate and so could have been corrected by “corroboration”? Was it not the case that the PM’s office directly leaked material to said “troubled fantasist”? Or maybe Jason Ede was simply a figment of the imagination … ?

    As the said troubled fantasist is so fond of quoting, “if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”. So why attack the vet that tells you about the problem?

    Comment by Flashing Light — November 18, 2015 @ 9:46 am

  24. Could Slater sue Rachinger for fraud??

    Maybe. But:

    (1) He’d need a lawyer, and lawyers (usually) expect to be paid;
    (2) Rachinger is broke, so you won’t get anything off him;
    (3) If this went to court, then discovery kicks in (opening Slater’s communications up to examination), plus the story gets told in a very public forum (which does not reflect well on him).

    Same thing goes with the earlier question of Slater suing in defamation anyone calling him a “troubled fantasist” … plus there is the additional matter of the defences of “truth” and “honest opinion”.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 18, 2015 @ 9:52 am

  25. “you would expect that communication data to portray a “fantastic” yet “troubling” premise”

    If they are that big a fantasist you would also expect other parties to said comms to ask “what the hell are you smoking?”

    but you would also expect there to be some fact based stuff in there that is corroborated by things already in the public domain. eg: “i just accessed the labour party members list” followed by comments from both parties to the conversation admitting they knew they were in the wrong

    unless your saying that everyone from the PM down to WO fits this description of course

    Comment by framu — November 18, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  26. “…Why do we assume that those in influence didn’t know Slater was a nutcase? Didn’t Dirty Politics show that, nutcase though he was, he was very useful for their purposes..?”

    In my opinion, the idea that our political masters are so deeply morally corrupt that they’d manipulate a desperately ill paranoid-delusional is profoundly depressing.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 18, 2015 @ 9:59 am

  27. [Redacted – Danyl]

    Comment by King Kong — November 18, 2015 @ 10:20 am

  28. @Flashing Light

    I’ve never read the book.

    Comment by unaha-closp — November 18, 2015 @ 10:33 am

  29. Rachinger is broke, so you won’t get anything off him

    Really? I thought IT paid well…

    Comment by Ross — November 18, 2015 @ 10:45 am

  30. What a shit soup. All these people deserve each other.

    Thank goodness the PM’s office has returned to the normal practice of feeding dirty leeks to journalists rather than Slater.

    Comment by Wurble — November 18, 2015 @ 11:15 am

  31. King Kong @27: Nice attempt to derail the conversation by re-victimizing one of Ben Rachinger’s harassment targets. At least it’s a change from trolling my blog leaving comments about how I’m fat and ugly. *high five*

    Comment by Stephanie Rodgers — November 18, 2015 @ 11:22 am

  32. Really? I thought IT paid well…

    It does. Difficult to gain lucrative employment though if your’e a (potentially unbalanced) spiv with a recognisable name.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 18, 2015 @ 11:23 am

  33. “…What a shit soup. All these people deserve each other.

    Thank goodness the PM’s office has returned to the normal practice of feeding dirty leeks to journalists rather than Slater…”

    Shit soup? Leeks? No wonder that fecal potato Paddy Gower finds the government so irresistable!

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 18, 2015 @ 11:30 am

  34. @Stephanie If the result of harassment is the harassee sending semi nude sex selfies to the harasser, the please, for the love of God, don’t for one minute think I am harassing you!

    Comment by King Kong — November 18, 2015 @ 11:35 am

  35. Why I find myself losing interest in NZ politics. The left have won, and this kind of deranged and pointless stuff is one of the outcomes. All that remains to do is watch as the country continues its destructive trajectory.

    Such a shame, but John Key was the worst possible man at the worst of times. NZ really didn’t need another dopey LW prog after eight years of Helen Clark. Not much will change here (apart from reactions to overseas events) until the left wing takeover of the National Party is repaired, probably by the rise of another party.

    Comment by Redbaiter — November 18, 2015 @ 11:41 am

  36. Oh gee whizz Red. I thought you were only half way through your ten year plan to rebuild the NZ body politik. Or was it twenty years, I forget. But still, did Brave Heart run away? Did Payback run away, Red?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — November 18, 2015 @ 11:50 am

  37. Victory is ours!!!

    Now … what was it we wanted to do, once we’d overcome the last bastions of resistance to our cultural marxist progressivism? Could someone send me the memo again?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 18, 2015 @ 11:58 am

  38. Well, I tried PB, but when the left own academia, the media, the bureaucracy and as a result both political parties, there’s only so much one can do. The “political class”, progressive soldiers half educated and ignorant of history, and sent forth by their Marxist university professors, have won the day in the West. Thirty or forty years of corrupt education has brought the intended result.

    Funny thing is that far overseas, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz now offer the best hope. The establishment wants Hillary or Jeb Bush or as a fall back Marco Rubio. Who knows who will win, but if its Trump or Cruz, might even breathe some new life into the turgid swamp that is NZ politics. For it will prove that the people can, if they try hard enough and have the right leaders, defeat the all powerful political class.

    A Trump or Cruz win will be a real smack in the eye for one party state progressive totaltiarianism right across the West.

    If not, check out Greece for an example of where the West is going otherwise. With the Islam thing thrown in just to give it a bit of a twist. Meantime, keep hand wringing over Slater/ Rachinger. What’s that thing about fiddling and Rome?

    Comment by Redbaiter — November 18, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

  39. you never fail to disappoint red

    Comment by framu — November 18, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

  40. @Redbaiter: “Funny thing is that far overseas, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz now offer the best hope…”

    Americans do love to periodically elect an idiot. So, fingers crossed!

    Comment by RJL — November 18, 2015 @ 12:51 pm

  41. I agree that a Trump victory would be great! His support for socialised medicine is just what the US needs!!

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2015/09/28/donald-trump-on-obamacare-on-60-minutes-everybodys-got-to-be-covered-and-the-governments-gonna-pay-for-it/

    Bit surprised at ‘Baiter being such a big fan, but.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 18, 2015 @ 1:15 pm

  42. BTW, ‘King Kong’ won’t be joining us in the DimPost comments section anymore

    Comment by danylmc — November 18, 2015 @ 3:17 pm

  43. Someone has to make the trains run on time, right?

    Comment by Sacha — November 18, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

  44. Crikey, Danyl.
    You ‘Pete Georged’ him?

    Comment by Gregor W — November 18, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

  45. “BTW, ‘King Kong’ won’t be joining us in the DimPost comments section anymore”

    Good. Deserved, dude has a problem with women pretty clearly.

    Comment by Stephen J — November 18, 2015 @ 4:18 pm

  46. Good call Danyl.

    Comment by Wurble — November 18, 2015 @ 4:54 pm

  47. Thanks, Danyl.

    Comment by Stephanie Rodgers — November 19, 2015 @ 9:45 am

  48. Sanctuary:
    our political masters are so deeply morally corrupt that they’d manipulate a desperately ill paranoid-delusional

    I’m not how I feel about medicalising Cameron Slater’s defects of personality. What’s wrong with just judging him?

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — November 20, 2015 @ 12:49 am

  49. That feel when Rachinger keeps promising a grand reveal that never happens.

    Comment by Trouble Man — November 20, 2015 @ 10:31 am


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