Kiwi’s Insensitivity Goes Viral

A NZ Campbell Live TV interview (above) with a brash young Kiwi caught up in the Oslo bombing has attracted worldwide condemnation for the astonishing degree of insensitivity he showed to the atrocity and for bragging about finishing a weight lifting set before evacuating the gym he was in.

Proud Kiwi, Cameron Leslie, appeared relaxed and was sporting a neatly pressed black shirt and prominent hei matau.

Every inch the iconic Kiwi abroad he started off his interview with a cheerful Kia Ora! to his friends and family back home in New Zealand. The sales rep, who’s been living in Norway for three years went on to tell Campbell the blast was quite overwhelming for a couple of reasons, one of which his proximity to the bomb twenty minutes before and the other

“I was on my eighth repetition of a 165-kilogram benchpress. Ahh, you know that’s quite a lot of weight,” adding “naturally I finished my set and then made my way to the second level.”

The interview has spawned heaps of ridicule, much of which has gone viral, including a range of T shirts, blogs including Tosh.O on which over 260 replies were made, parody videos and a fake twitter account

''naturally I finished my set" T shirt now essential gym wear

“Bragging weightlifter’s bad taste Oslo ‘joke’ goes viral

A New Zealander in Norway who jokingly bragged about his weight-lifting prowess while giving his account of the Oslo bombing has been ridiculed on a new range of T-shirts.

Cameron Leslie went on live television in the days after the deadly terrorist attack to give his first-hand account of the bombing, but instead of details of the blast, he explained how he was loathe to interrupt his gym workout…” more here in the Sydney Morning Herald

Cameron Leslie hit back at Mr Vintage, the company producing the Naturally I finished my set t shirts, leaving this message on their Facebook site

Message from Cam to Mr Vintage

Someone claiming to be Cameron Leslie has published an apology of sorts on Blogspot. We don’t think it’s much of an apology and we think his call to remove Anders Breivik’s image from the tabloids is rather contrived, clumsy and ill-timed. This boy desperately needs the services of a good PR company, if only he’d stop digging long enough to engage one. This is what Leslie wrote


I do apologize to all New Zealander’s and others for making a joke in bad times. Yes I was within 50 meters during the blast. Yes I was in the gym and using the bench press at the time. No I was not lifting 165kgs.
Why did I lie? The joke was supposed to be subtle and focused to friends and family but due to little preparation and nerves of live TV I took this a bit too far without thinking. I do apologize and now wish to make good of this. On the bright side: negative news spurs attention and creates publicity. It seems I have unintentionally succeeded in this and want to make good from this situation.

What now?

Here is what now. For all the people following these threads and using their energy to voice themselves, here is your chance to HELP!

For anyone that watched the whole interview you will see one important point was made at the end. We don’t want Andres (sic) Breivik to be remembered! We want his pictures removed from the tabloids!
Please please channel your energies here:

Massive appeal to world media by email

Perhaps this sounds stupid but this is the power of negative publicity. Use your noise for the better cause. I have sacrificed my reputation for it and now I ask you all to sacrifice 5 minutes of your time to write to these tabloids and help us.

For those that still think I don’t care, know this:

-I am a Norwegian resident
-I have lived in Norway for 3.5 years
-I have family in Norway
-I work and pay taxes in Norway
-I speak Norwegian
-I have represented Norway in sport.

Hvor mange av dere kan si det samme? (ed: How many of you can say the same?) Point made, I do care!
I will continue to post this on every forum or write up I come across.

My sincere apologies and regards,

Cameron Wickham Leslie

Comments from around the net

Junior Torres · San Diego, California (Tosh.O)

That was really annoying when Cameron went completely went off topic and started talking about some sort of explosion. I wanted to know what other types of exercise did he do? What type of bike did he use to go to the gym? Trek?

6 thoughts on “Kiwi’s Insensitivity Goes Viral

  1. I was in Auckland not long ago, and with a half hour to kill before my bus left, I stopped in a pub for a beer. I am aware that you do not tip as a general practice in New Zealand, but have seen it done in a few circumstances. I was not certain about which circumstances you tip in, and which you do not. So I left the bartender a small tip. He said loudly to the other bartender, “Those people have too much money”. Pockets it anyway.

    Now it is clear to me from his response that a tip was not warranted. I almost asked for it back (THOSE people?) but decided to shrug it off, lesson learned. I drink my beer while quietly reading in the corner, then leave. I bring my glass to the counter so someone doesn’t have to fetch it, thank him, and tell him to have a good day. No sooner is my back turned and I am heading out the door, then the bartender makes a remark to his mate and they’re laughing, watching me leave.

    I have a few abrasive encounters of this sort every month. Some rude remark treating me as if I am not standing right there listening, and the laughing at my back before I even leave the premises. I am never anything but polite to them. I intend to leave New Zealand when I can manage it.

    For Kiwis who wish customers to come back (and maybe these did not – they wanted the pub to stay “KIWIS ONLY”,in which case you should put a sign up and make it easier on everyone), a nicer way of acting would be the following.

    “We don’t tip in pubs here, mate, hang on to your money, ok?” and give it back with a smile.
    When someone does you the favor of bringing his glass or plate back to the counter, saving you trouble (which you obviously would prefer, there being no tips for service?) say “thanks” and if someone wishes you a good day, say “you too”.

    It is really not that hard.

    I do relate these anecdotes to others back home. And New Zealand drops a few notches on their list of places they will visit one day. If it catches up with them eventually, they will deserve it.

    One migrant who moved back home after a few years here calls it New Shithole (in his letters to me) and says it’s still being marketed as The Lost Paradise back where we come from. Some of us know better. Lost it may be. Paradise it ain’t.

  2. Hey Cameron – bad time to “joke”.

    Isn’t it amazing how much the word “douche” is being thrown around?
    If the shoe fits, Cameron…or rather, if the bag fits…assume the position! LOL

    The Kiwi press news story about it is entirely straightfaced, “Kiwi tells of horror in Norway”:

    They must have been shocked by it going viral. Didn’t they even realize how this would be taken? NO, they didn’t! That’s the shocker right there.

    If the Kiwi press had any concept of the way this self-absorbed person would come off internationally, they would not have given him a sober slot to showboat in, as above. They took him entirely seriously at that link. If indeed he was “joking”, then all it shows is how isolatedly and unpleasantly weird Kiwi culture is, how different it is from warmer and more connected societies.

    Nowhere in the Kiwi press do they give a single indication that they take this guy anything but seriously. No nudges, no winks.

    These site trolls are full of shit, more apologists excusing, attacking and backpedaling so their nasty little “Paradise” won’t show its real face to the world it sucks a living off of. Too bad, this one got away. Run Cameron run!

    There’s in-your-face – and there’s just poor taste. If he were a shock jock, or even Paul Henry, you would sort of expect it. But a random witness to a human tragedy is supposed to mirror the average person’s horrified response to that. That is what people expect and desire to hear as non-witnesses. They want their own normal reactions expressed to them in a spirit of community. It is not about how cool the witness is when he gets his 5 minutes of fame. It is not easy to be an ambassador on the spot, but at the very least he revealed an appalling level of immaturity and did not rise to the occasion. The clip should not have passed muster in the press. If anything, the fact that it was released at all reveals how oblivious Kiwi culture is to the concept of empathy as a foundation of human relationships, and how insular their society is. Kiwis have drifted far from the world, shipwrecked on their little Lord of the Flies island here.

    Don’t you love it when distressed migrants’ perceptions of New Zealand are validated by “slip ups” like this? More! More!

  3. Another gym-junkie, self-centred, bone-headed, kiwi douchebag….naturally!
    I’ve never seen someone so self-centred (apart from reality tv clowns and johnny bravo cartoons) on an interview, about a major tragedy!!! (notice how Campbell is trying to contain his laughter at this t**t) but have witnessed plenty of people like this here (and only here!)

    only NZ…..

  4. Thanks for elucidating on what passes for a sense of humour in New Zealand.

    In summary you saying it’s ok for a man of his age to be inappropriate in front of an international audience and then expect people to excuse him because of what you call youth and naivete?

    No doubt if he’d been of British descent like Paul Henry you would’ve blamed it on his heritage.

    Most people outside of New Zealand will realise that this story isn’t about one Kiwi being a bragging poseur and showboating. It’s his total lack of empathy for the loss of so many lives and the impact that is having on the country where he’s just spent the last three years that stuns people.

    an interesting last few days” really?

    The Huffington Post has got hold of the story – Cameron Leslie, Oslo Bombing Witness, Weightlifting ‘Joke’ Slammed (VIDEO) (see quote below)Have you ever thought that the rest of the world may not be wrong about this.

    A New Zealand expat has become an international punchline after boasting of his weight-lifting prowess while being interviewed about the deadly Oslo attacks.

    As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Oslo-based sales rep Cameron Leslie gave an on-camera interview to a New Zealand’s TV3 News, where he complained of having to interrupt his gym workout in the minutes following the deadly blast.

    “I was on my eighth repetition of a 165-kilogram benchpress” at the time of the attacks, Leslie says, before noting, “Ahh, that’s quite a lot of weight.” While other members began leaving the gym during a subsequent evacuation, Leslie adds, “Naturally I finished my set.”

    Though Leslie has since called his commentary “a bad taste joke,” the subsequent furor has inspired a line of printed T-shirts with a “Naturally I finished my set” slogan, which the New Zealand native has since decried, the New Zealand Herald is reporting.

    Watch Leslie’s offending comments here:

    We liked this comment left on Mr Vintage’s Facebook wall

    Jason Lawno idea why the idiot lied and said it was a joke.. rather than a mistake in using the wrong units which it obviously was.. i do that all the time, but im not arrogant enough to say it was a joke when on tv talking about a tragedy.. douche!!”

    • The comments to “Get a grip” “Mountain out of a molehill” “Waste of space”,
      sound suspiciously close to that platitude “Harden the fxxk up”.
      Don’t they have any faith in the idea of “She’ll be right, mate?”.

      A camera to the face unmasks a lot of boors. And also a lot of “staunch” people.

  5. Oh for god’s sake! Making a mountain out of a molehill again? He was making a joke, it was inappropriate – Kiwis & others around the world know this. It is more about his youth & naivete than the fact he is a New Zealander. Get a grip seriously! This blog is a pathetic waste of space. Are you associated with Fox News by any chance? The sensationalism & misinformation on this site is astounding.

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