A non denial

November 9th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

NBR reports:

’s story quotes unnamed sources close to the King family claiming the Dom Post contacted Mr King on Friday, November 2, allegedly informing him they were running a front-page story based on an accusation made by one of their snitches in jail.

The story has information which could only have come (directly or indirectly) from family members.

editor Bernadette Courtney told NBR ONLINE the Truth story was wrong and she had no further comment.

That’s the sort of response you normally get from politicians, not media. It is called a non denial, denial.

Saying a story is wrong, and saying nothing else, means that one word could be wrong. It is not saying that the substantive allegation is incorrect. A proper denial would be “There was no investigation and there was no contact with Mr King or his family that week”. Of course you can only make a denial like that, if you are sure that no one can not prove otherwise.

Also rare to have an Editor to refuse to comment beyond a non denial, denial. If you worked for Fairfax and were doing a story on the ethical conduct of a business, would you accept such a statement from the CEO and regard it as the end of the matter?

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76 Responses to “A non denial”

  1. Viking2 (11,147 comments) says:

    Where there’s smoke there is fire.

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  2. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    The first thing I thought when I saw that statement was exactly what you say, it’s not a total denial, it’s a weasel denial.

    Interesting to see Truth’s first big target under Cam is a one of the old media (when everyone thought it was a story about Greg King).

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  3. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    There must be a misunderstanding here.

    Surely the tabloid media would normally be frank, honest and professional in its conduct, at all times?

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  4. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    The DomPost has some explaining to do, I think. Or at least the coroner has something interesting to look at.

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  5. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    “Pretty sure marriage between newscasters was the closest we ever got to penetrating journalism.”
    Well done that commenter!

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  6. iMP (2,247 comments) says:

    “Trooth” taking on the mainstream media over integrity, accuracy and professionalism? King Herod running a Kindy.

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  7. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Where there’s smoke there is fire.

    Please, now you’re being childish. What a storm in a tea cup over a non-story…

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  8. Scott Chris (5,884 comments) says:

    You don’t suppose the Courtnay might be being a bit coy out of sensitivity to the King family’s mourning. What ever this story was, it got pulled and the only one dragging it out into the open is Slater.

    Sordid. ~Who’da thunk it.~

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  9. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > The DomPost has some explaining to do, I think…

    What explaining exactly?

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  10. peterwn (3,168 comments) says:

    The matter is before the Coroner, so it is sub-judice. Therefore the Dom-Post editor may well be hog-tied in what she can say about the matter. Interestingly the lead story in last Saturday’s Dom Post was about Colin Carruther’s QC (Winston, where should I put the apostrophe please?) drink drive charge and there seemed to be nothing of immediate occurrence which would have triggered running that story – it allegedly occurred in May and the wheels of justice have been creaking since. It seemed a typical back-up story for a slow news day or if the intended front page story imploded at the last minute.

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  11. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    You don’t suppose the Courtnay might be being a bit coy out of sensitivity to the King family’s mourning. What ever this story was, it got pulled and the only one dragging it out into the open is Slater.

    OR…

    The Dom Post realises that their actions towards King might be considered as pushing him over the edge, and the public may hold it against them. They haven’t pulled the story out of sensitivity to the King family, they’ve pulled it cause they think the back lash on them will be greater than the UK phone hacking scandal.

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  12. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    Probably the kind of thing you’d say to get a moron off the phone.

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  13. Barnsley Bill (978 comments) says:

    King was found many hours after the dom was printed. Why did they pull the story before he was found? Who called who? who was freaking out on Friday night?

    All the answers to those questions are known and will be revealed over the coming weeks.

    And APN better get some hard hats too.

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  14. Chi Hsu (87 comments) says:

    There is a great deal of sensitivity over King’s death right now. As many posters have said, subject to there being any substance to any allegation by Truth, any calls for The Dominion Post to explain themselves must be prima facie presumed to be frivolous. Bear in mind that if there is substance, then it was serious enough to push King over the edge (if he did in fact commit suicide), and accordingly it is unwise to automatically allocate blame on The Dominion Post as being the cause of his death as if they are guilty of wrongdoing without further information.

    Not all suicide victims are ‘victims’. I state that to make a point on people who commit suicide in general – not to refer to this case in particular which I do not wish to be involved in commenting specifically on. To each person who commits suicide, in their family and friends’ eyes they are most certainly victims, and deserve absolute sympathy.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > their actions towards King might be considered as pushing him over the edge

    There is a major flaw in your timeline. Assuming King committed suicide – and that’s a big if – the DomPost would have needed to be aware that he was suicidal and pressed on anyway. Your comparison with the UK phone hacking scandal is way off. A young child there had been murdered…a fact that the media was aware of and tried to capitalise on. I am not aware that the media here had advance knowledge or warning that King was about to kill himself (if indeed that is what occurred).

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  16. Nick R (497 comments) says:

    Um, the Dom Post may regard Truth as a competitor and may not want to give it information or help it publish stories?

    Just a thought.

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  17. Harriet (4,529 comments) says:

    “…..[Dom Post] allegedly informing him they were running a front-page story based on an accusation made by one of their snitches in jail….”

    Is that a police snitch?….journo’s don’t have what are called snitches….they have what are called ‘sources’.

    So it now looks as thouigh King really has done something seriously wrong since the Dom Post used the word ‘snitch’.

    So why didn’t Truth then go to the police for more information?

    I smell a rat! :cool:

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  18. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Having closely watched the Scott Guy murder trial from afar here in Oz I like everyone else was stunned at King’s apparent suicide. My news sense told me there was much more to come from this story but not in a light year could I have imagined this scenario, not that I think the death of King is the end of it. I believe Cameron Slater does know something, despite the credibility factor of his so-called newspaper. I guess it’ll all come out in the wash but if the Dom Post did tip King over the edge there will surely be one hell of a backlash and not just against the Dom Post either.

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  19. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    There is a major flaw in your timeline. Assuming King committed suicide – and that’s a big if – the DomPost would have needed to be aware that he was suicidal and pressed on anyway.

    Thats kind of like a school bully saying they can’t be held accountable for their actions when the person they are bullying kills themselves. The public might have a different perception.

    Your comparison with the UK phone hacking scandal is way off. A young child there had been murdered…a fact that the media was aware of and tried to capitalise on. I am not aware that the media here had advance knowledge or warning that King was about to kill himself (if indeed that is what occurred).

    I’m comparing the likely backlash, not the actions of the news agencies.

    Nice post btw – amounted to basically nothing, but 2 points for trying.

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  20. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Just wondering if the fact that the late Greg King had a long involvement in boxing is relevant.

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  21. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Thats kind of like a school bully saying they can’t be held accountable for their actions

    Oh so the DomPost are bullies….while you’re engaging your psychic powers, what are tomorrow’s winning Lotto numbers?

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  22. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I’m comparing the likely backlash, not the actions of the news agencies.

    So you admit that you shouldn’t have brought up the UK phone hacking scandal. Given that there is no evidence that the DomPost has acted inappropriately, I imagine the only backlash is one you have invented for your own ends.

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  23. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Both of these can be rebutted with the reply – I was making analogies, you intelligence quotient deficient buffoon.

    Oh so the DomPost are bullies….while you’re engaging your psychic powers, what are tomorrow’s winning Lotto numbers?

    I wasn’t saying the Dom Post ARE bullies, I was making an analogy of your argument to show you what a completely idiotic statement you were making.

    So you admit that you shouldn’t have brought up the UK phone hacking scandal. Given that there is no evidence that the DomPost has acted inappropriately, I imagine the only backlash is one you have invented for your own ends.

    Then why did they pull the story? Why have they not rebutted the Truth article with facts and evidence. And I’ll make any damn analogy I wish to make.

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  24. lastmanstanding (1,210 comments) says:

    They dont call them the gutter press for nothing.

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  25. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Bevan, ross69 can believe more impossible things before breakfast than the White Queen.

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  26. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I think his issue might be that hes such a complete moron that the only way he can win an argument is to bring others down to his level then beat them with experience.

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  27. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Then why did they pull the story?

    Bevan, this is a longshot but maybe it was pulled (if there ever was a “story”) out of respect for King’s family. It’s a pity the Truth doesn’t show some respect for King.

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  28. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “I wasn’t saying the Dom Post ARE bullies”

    So what are you saying? “The Dom Post realises that their actions towards King might be considered as pushing him over the edge…”? Yeah thought so.

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  29. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Wow, ross answered his own question. Mind you, the answer was written way up the thread, so I can only give him 1/2 for it.

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  30. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I’m wondering, should I have limited my words to two syllables or less….

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  31. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    I suspect even two syllable words challenge our friend.

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  32. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Guys, your arguments are nitpicking, petty and personal – cut it out please. Does anyone know any more about the DomPost story? I am sure there is something behind the Truth account and am waiting for the explosion when it comes.

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  33. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I am sure there is something behind the Truth account

    Why?

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  34. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    I’m a highly experienced, award-winning journalist who has learned to rely on his ‘nose’ for stories. There’s more to come; you can count on it.

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  35. Sandy (47 comments) says:

    Jayel I am equally sure there is nothing behind the truth story. An investigative story was pulled likely as it didn’t check out and you don’t gun for lawyers without a leg to stand on. I imagine it was some loser hooker in Arohata who has tried to blackmail King by threatening to go to media and allege an affair, and that some such sordid business was then judged by legal to be a load of nonsense. Likeliest sort of scenario with the types King dealt with, an open door can get some rough trade.

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  36. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    And you think the DomPost would have attached even the slightest credence to that? Get real. I suspect it’s much bigger that that. The story mentions a person – a snitch (yes, a police description) – as being the source. What if it was Ewen Macdonald? One of the prime reasons King did not put him on the stand was that Macdonald tended to ‘run off’ at the mouth. What if Macdonald has admitted the murder to other inmates in order to impress them (he was an adulation junkie it seems)?

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  37. Sandy (47 comments) says:

    That would put McDonald on the cover, not his lawyer. Besides which King had been convinced, apparently by matters disclosed under legal privilege, that his client did not personally do it. There is underworld talk – yes more will emerge. Slater should be explaining how his article is inaccurate, telling he has locked his threads.

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  38. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Interesting you should say that, Sandy – very. King did promulgate a view that another person – by inference Simon Aspling – may have been involved in the actual shooting. After all (from memory) at least two neighbors heard THREE shots fired and Aspling did own a pump action shotgun which could have explained that. What if Macdonald colluded with Aspling to murder Scott Guy? My view (alleged) is that Macdonald did not murder Guy but was deeply involved in the killing. Remember that Aspling hated Guy, a hatred that went back their school days at Feilding Ag. It was exacerbated by Aspling being taken off his beloved tractor driving job on the farm by Guy (he was later reported as saying that one good thing from Guy’s death was that at least he was ‘back on the tractor’). Don’t forget too that apparently Aspling arrived for milking some 15 minutes early that morning. That in itself is very suspicious; why would he do that? Aspling’s alibi (that he wasn’t there at the time of the shooting) was provided by his heavily P-addicted girlfriend. As if she would know.

    As I say, there is seems to be much more to come.

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  39. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    Ross69 said “Bevan, this is a longshot but maybe it was pulled (if there ever was a “story”) out of respect for King’s family. It’s a pity the Truth doesn’t show some respect for King.”

    Think about that for a second and realize what you said. For the dompost to have pulled the story out of respect they had to know king was dead before the paper was sent to the presses at approx 9pm on Friday night. Kings body wasn’t found until 10am Saturday morning…….there was a story, my sources are rock solid, the dompost has damned themselves with silence, I stand by everything Truth has printed and I challenge the Dompost to come clean.

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  40. Sandy (47 comments) says:

    Sensible Sentencing had private investigators on the Guy case. I should think any legal ‘findings’ should have been presented to Police, not to others ‘for comment’.

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  41. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    “I challenge the Dompost to come clean.”
    Ha ha ha. Sure, the DominionPost is accountable to Truth for its editorial decisions. I’m just looking forward to Truth’s next bold move – printing on super absorbent tissue paper to make it more suitable for toilet use.

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  42. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil, thank goodness you’ve surfaced on here. So what next? Will you run more next week? Or do you think the DomPost run it now that King’s funeral is done and dusted? I can’t access the Truth story on the website – how do I get to read it in full?

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  43. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil, the King story aside, are you sitting on a major racing scandal at the moment?

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  44. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil, I ask that question advisedly.

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  45. Nostalgia-NZ (4,914 comments) says:

    The mind boggles at the suggestion that Greg, or anyone else of worldy experience would be concerned about what a ‘snitch’ was going to say. ‘Snitches’ say what benefits them and do it for favour. Potential ‘snitches’ in this case would have been promised the world before the trial. Imagining, or proposing, that there is any weight behind this which would have in anyway impacted on Greg is bizarre and the work of a fevered mind.

    Greg’s reputation was never on the line over any case that he took to Court and even if he was somehow deceived by a client, so what. I expected a ‘snitch’ in the MacDonald trial because the evidence was so weak, there would have been an enormous search for one. I think El Jayel is an agent working for the Truth to push the story along? More concern than the stupid ‘allegation’ that has surfaced here is whether The Truth is engineering something likely to hurt the King family. El Jayel claims to have a nose for news, maybe he or she may have been better suited to have had a nose for potential law suits.

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  46. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > What if Macdonald has admitted the murder to other inmates in order to impress them?

    For an award winning journalist I am amazed you don’t have a well-tuned bullshit detector.

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  47. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “For the dompost to have pulled the story out of respect they had to know king was dead before the paper was sent to the presses at approx 9pm on Friday night”

    That’s fantasy stuff, Cameron. Try to use your imagination – there may be a host of reasons why the DomPost pulled any story. I am sure you can think of a few.

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  48. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I think El Jayel is an agent working for the Truth to push the story along?

    Yeah I wouldn’t be surprised. They certainly don’t come across as a “high experienced, award-winning journalist”.

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  49. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    An agent for Truth? Wow, paranoia runs rampant here! I am exactly what I say I am but I live in Oz not NZ (and I do not know Cameron Slater). I followed the trial closely not least because I grew up not far from Aorangi Road where Guy’s murder took place. Whaleoil’s claims ring very true to me not least because whatever the DomPost’s story was it seems it was possibly big enough to tip King over the edge, maybe ruin ruin him. Why else would a sane, accomplished man with everything to live for take his own life?

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  50. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “…whatever the DomPost’s story was it seems it was possibly big enough to tip King over the edge, maybe ruin ruin him. Why else would a sane, accomplished man with everything to live for take his own life?”

    You make many assumptions…I am not sure a highly experienced, award-winning journalist would do that. First, you assume there was a story. Second, you assume the story was big and you infer King was being accused of something. Third, you assume that King was suicidal and that the DomPost somehow knew that. Fourth, you assume that despite knowing King was suicidal, it was going to run the story anyway. Of course, you don’t have a skerrick of evidence to make any one of these assumptions, let alone all of them. I think it would be useful to wait until the coroner has reported his findings before going any further off the deep end…the truth might end up being quite boring.

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  51. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    If anyone wants to read a fine piece of journalism, they could do no worse than read Richard Webster’s account of the death of David Kelly, who many people believe was murdered. The truth turns out to be more mundane.

    http://www.richardwebster.net/riseofaconspiracytheory.html

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  52. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    they could do no worse. Or even no better :)

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  53. rachett (2 comments) says:

    If the Truth story turns out to indeed be true (which I am highly inclined to believe it is) then your comment above makes little sense Sandy. If the allegation against him was something small (or even false) then why would he kill himself? Common sense is that he would simply brush it off and move on. No, it would have had to have been something serious, and something that he knew would ruin his life if it got out. I also doubt it has anything to do with the Ewan McD case.

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  54. questions (170 comments) says:

    The Truth and Cameron Slaters smears on Greg King reminds me of the ranty paranoid guy wandering round town, yelling and screaming, while every one else tries to carry on their daily routine in a polite and ordering fashion.

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  55. Nostalgia-NZ (4,914 comments) says:

    ‘I grew up not far from Aorangi Road where Guy’s murder took place.’

    And if you had grown up somewhere else what would that mean? Or more superficially you’re claiming to be an expert therefore it should add to your credibility to say you once lived in the area. Sure.

    ‘it seems it was possibly big enough to tip King over the edge,’

    It seems and possibly, also try: maybe, could have been, I spoke to the guy next door, my award winning instinct tells me, believe me it’s true, trust me because I know…..buy Truth next week for more details.

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  56. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Nostaligia-NZ: For goodness sakes, I don’t mean that at all. It’s my home patch and of course it interests me for both personal and professional reasons. I make no claim to be an expert but in this case I do sense quite an amazing turn in what is already and extraordinary tale – and I do believe what Cameron Slater has written. Conversely, if I am wrong, I will gladly acknowledge it when all the facts emerge, if they do.

    In the meantime, I suggest you settle back down in your basket near the kitty litter and make nice.

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  57. Sandy (47 comments) says:

    Rachett I see no reason it could not have been something small or false that as you say ‘put him over’ the edge. It’s called kindling effect. Like imagine if you had career fatigue or burnout plus a new troublesome illness requiring regular jabs and lifestyle change. Maybe you find out the illness is caused by say pancreas cancer for example with say 6 painful months to live, then with impeccably bad timing some twerp comes along with some rubbish story that will make those final months a cleaning up their shit exercise. It would seem to me that finishing it NOW is perhaps looking like a good rational option during a highly stressed moment.

    None of this would be a journos fault, just an unfortunate confluence.

    Alcohol is often involved in reducing inhibitions too with perfectionist type overachievers. Those who suicide often have a cognitive flaw in so far as they see some successes (if imperfect) as fails. King had put much effort into advocating management courts. Met with derision from the liberals, and his large article published on Justice Hot Tub only got one comment. Gutting mid life self appraisal + other stressors? Doctors have high suicide rates for similar reasons to the possible contributants rearing their heads here.

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  58. Nostalgia-NZ (4,914 comments) says:

    El Jayel.

    Now your ‘sensing’ things too much!
    Maybe you could have a TV show called ‘Sensing Ghosts,’ or set up a company to find water using a ‘divining stick.’ I bet you picked the winner of the Melbourne Cup and you already have tonight’s winning lotto numbers.

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  59. questions (170 comments) says:

    “his large article published on Justice Hot Tub only got one comment”

    Only because those idiots don’t know what to do when someone expresses and educated opinion.

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  60. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Another good article, this time about the Jimmy Savile scandal and the actions of Phillip Schofield. Whale Oil should read it lest he make a fool of himself like Schofield has.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2012/11/phillip-schofield-and-danger-treating-internet-rumours-news

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  61. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil: Seeing you know the details of the DomPost story, why don’t you publish it yourself in Truth?

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  62. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    It’s time for the large pelagic mammal to think about next week’s inventions.

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  63. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > Whaleoil: Seeing you know the details of the DomPost story, why don’t you publish it yourself in Truth?

    Why do you assume he knows the details of a DomPost story which was never run?

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  64. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Ross69: Read his words carefully – he knows pretty well all the details of the DomPost story. I don’t have any doubt he has an inside ‘source’ at the DP.

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  65. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Villagers: You should understand the mindset of journalists, especially when they obtain an exclusive story, a really big one. The story is all and its publication is paramount. Publish and be damned, yes. To have your story ‘pulled’ is the ultimate frustration. If the DomPost story did exist and it was pulled, you can be sure the journalist and his journo mates would have been up in arms about it. This would explain how Cameron Slater got hold of it in the first place; journalism is very clubby.

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  66. Sandy (47 comments) says:

    Either that or (if devoid of friends in Boulcott St) he has access to key logging malware. Wonders if anyone ever opened one of his attachments – not to be done if they come from Pullar or other Nat geek sneaks. A Kitchin stalker and no holds barred journalistic spy of sorts… ?… one must wonder given the phoenix like nature of the whale. I think he needs to distance himself from the story content for it must press buttons for him, his own prior struggles being well aired. Surely some legal issues may arise if Slater starts just lifting Dom weekend stories and getting the Truth out first. Crystal ball says job loss for big mouths or those tasked with computer security of Doms intellectual property. Oh to be a fly on the wall at Boulcott St.

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  67. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil: That’s better (today’s update). But how a story about legal aid could impact so profoundly upon Greg King beats me (so far anyway).

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  68. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    El Jayel,

    Maybe it didn’t impact on King because it was a non-story? There may have been many things going on his mind which caused him to do what he did. The most plausible explanation is usually the most banal.

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  69. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Ross69: The known facts do rather point to King facing something catastrophic. Otherwise why didn’t he do what he purportedly did earlier in the week? I think you’re being naive.

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  70. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Mind, if Slater’s job was to revive Truth he’s doing a great job in his first few days. When opposition media start publishing your front page in their publications it’s brilliant marketing.

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  71. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil: So where’s that racing scandal story I mentioned earlier?

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  72. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil: the story that involves Tea Leaves. Sorry to be cryptic but if you are sitting on it you will know what that means.

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  73. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Whaleoil: Surely you wouldn’t suppress a story because it might upset your racing mates?

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  74. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    It’s so quiet in here I heard a fish fart

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  75. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    RightNow: Or a whale?

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  76. El Jayel (21 comments) says:

    Anyone read Rod Vaughan’s take on the death of Greg King in today’s NBR?

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