Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Of Course I Finished the Set" 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?
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