The Whaleoil blog does some good work. Cameron Slater takes pride in claiming the odd political scalp, and this pride is justified. However, it should not declare itself to be NZ’s Breitbart.
The site has an entirely different style to Breitbart, and the essence of that difference is that no one at Whaleoil is a Conservative.
Breitbart is a conservative blog, and Andrew Breitbart was a Conservative. As such he knew where the political battle needed to be fought.
Whaleoil has never been capable of producing a focused political message. Its all over the show really, and could not in any way be described as Conservative. Its most often Liberal Progressive.
The blog often attacks Conservatives and Conservative ideas. For example, farmers, Family First, the Conservative Party, have all been targets of Cameron Slater, Pete Belt and Slater’s wife, who are the prime writers at the blog, and all are hostile to Conservative ideas.
Discussion is tightly controlled by Belt, and Conservatives are banned frequently, being told their style is not wanted as it is not helpful in raising visitor numbers.
They even lie about popular conservative commentators in an attempt to discredit them, and of course, like cowards, do this under the cover of the ban, so that no response is possible.
Donations or subscriptions to the site are mainly designed to pay Belt’s salary. Its ironic that the man who by his rabid censorship has discouraged so many from patronising Whaleoil, is a prime reason Slater needs to raise funds. If Slater was any kind of business person, he would fire Belt for the negative impact his management has had on site traffic.
Belt’s authoritarian censoring style led other helpers at the site to quit in disgust, and they related their experiences there in comments to other sites.
“It is sad to see so many former loyal readers tossed aside like a bag of shit, readers that the blog built it’s base on. Intelligent people, business owners, all sorts of decent people. I have witnessed on several occasions now in recent weeks where people have been banned or severely warned for dissenting views. To be treating adult humans as though they are children that need behavioural control and told what not to say is patently wrong.”
Breitbart does not of course censor conservative commenters.
And when does Breitbart post daily clickbait videos that are mostly pointless non-political nonsense? If this trivia is what is needed to keep the visitor numbers up then Whaleoil is obviously failing in its prime market.
Breitbart is successful because it targets Conservatives and writes stories and presents news designed to appeal to that political faction. Its a serious source of opinion and news, and not a silly censoring backwoods clickbait enterprise unable to drag itself from the gutter of progressive political ideology.
Whaleoil deserves to continue as a rating NZ blog for political comment, but it should not claim to be Breitbart, or even The Rebel as at the core of both of these sites is a commitment to Conservatism. Whaleoil can never provide that commitment because its writers just do not get Conservatism, and are innately hostile to that ideology.