His role model may surprise you

As you all know I am now the editor of Whaleoil as Cam is working full time on his rehabilitation since the stroke that hit him like a truck more than 8 months ago.

It occurred to me today that many readers will be unaware of who inspired Cam to build Whaleoil into New Zealand’s number one largest and most read blog.

Cam closely followed Andrew Sullivan who started blogging in late 2000. His blog was called The Daily Dish. He considered himself a traditional conservative, which meant fiscal conservatism, limited government, and classic libertarianism on social issues.

In 2007, Sullivan moved his blog from Time to The Atlantic Monthly, where he had accepted an editorial post. His presence was estimated to have increased the traffic to the website by as much as 30%. It was proof that a traditional conservative viewpoint mixed with classic liberalism on social issues was a real crowd pleaser.

In 2009, The Daily Dish won the 2008 Weblog Award for Best Blog.

Whaleoil won Best Blog in 2014 at the Canon Media Awards. It also won two Best Blog awards from Netguide winning two years in a row, 2013 and 2014. We then stopped entering to give the other blogs a chance as our fan base was such that the number of votes in support of the blog were unbeatable.

In 2011 Harvard Magazine called Andrew Sullivan the World’s Best Blogger. He left The Atlantic to begin blogging at The Daily Beast in April 2011 and in 2013, he announced that he was leaving The Daily Beast to launch The Dish as a stand-alone website funded by a subscription revenue model. As you all know Whaleoil followed suit many years later adopting a subscription model as well.

The other day I came across a recent article Sullivan wrote for New York magazine. I realised that some of the things he has experienced are very similar to what Cam has experienced as an editor, writer and blogger.

“It’s not fun to be called names. But as a cab driver once told me, “Butch it up, honey. It’s gonna be a tough decade.” I’ve been openly gay since 1987 and an openly HIV-positive writer and editor for 23 years. The sheer scale and ferocity of the hatred and abuse — from right to left — I have absorbed during that time is hard to describe.

There was close to a decade at the Dish when I was emailed almost every day by someone saying I had AIDS dementia. I’ve been called every variety of “faggot” you can imagine, been assaulted in public by a political foe, been picketed, heckled, and am now routinely described as an anti-Semite, a white supremacist, a eugenicist, a misogynist, a transphobe, and just the other week was compared to Ernst Röhm, an actual gay Nazi.

None of this is pleasant, and there are times, I confess, when it gets me down, as it is intended to. But the idea that I would go running to the big-tech muckety-mucks and try to get my verbal abusers punished or canceled for it? Not in a million years. I’m a grown man. This is a free country.”

“You need to learn how to ignore abuse in the public square; you need to live with the fact that people will lie about you; you have to set boundaries and stick to them. I don’t care about what people say about me as long as it isn’t true — and if it is true, and I’ve fucked up in some way, I’ve learned to be grateful for it, even if that takes a while.

Maza is young, so maybe this desire to shut down other voices or run crying to the authorities because mere words hurt his feelings will wane. I sure hope so.”
I have been lied about for so long, by so-called truth-tellers that I’ve given up caring.
I put it down to petty and pretty pathetic jealousy
That I and we by extension have a bigger voice than they do.

Andrew Sullivan