Kim Dotcom dominated 2012, will repeat dose in 2013

Dotcom has overplayed his hand by becoming politically divisive, and appeared megalomanic in his disturbing Christmas video, which came as he compared himself to Jesus Christ during the holidays.
Written by Darren Greenwood, Contributor

Looking back on 2012, Kim Dotcom was certainly the tech story of the year. Not only that, he was "the big story" of 2012, as recognised by Kiwi media outlets in their year-end reviews.

Nothing much happens in New Zealand, so such a situation is perhaps understandable.

There was that infamous Hollywood-style raid, along with the glamour of Kim Dotcom's fast cars, fast women, and lavish lifestyle to give him mainstream appeal.

Furthermore, there was also that political angle, with his arrest challenging the government and Prime Minister John Key over issues of immigration, relations with the United States, the funding of politicians, and matters of competence and honesty.

And for the geeks, Kim Dotcom is at the centre of some of the most innovative download technology, which, in addition to global issues of copyright, also has implications for major projects like New Zealand's ultrafast broadband (UFB) project, Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), and the Pacific Fibre link, which Dotcom sought to fund.

By mid year, Dotcom became such a central figure in New Zealand life that he was often seen as a celebrity, but I and others warned that he might overplay his hand, which could cost him dearly in public support.

This has certainly become true since then, with opposition politicians and partisan journalists using Kim Dotcom as a stick with which to beat the government. But by becoming a political figure himself, Kim Dotcom has lost support from the right-wing blogs, and in turn from other media.

The right-leaning National Business Review reported how Dotcom's Pacific Fibre plans were fantasy, and, in contrast with a supportive TV3, the state-owned TVNZ broadcast a special program revealing that Kim Dotcom might not be the lovable figure so often presented.

In the run-up to Christmas, we saw a divisive figure overplay his hand. Kim Dotcom is a technology entrepreneur with a chequered past facing some very serious charges — but he appeared as Santa Claus in a Christmas play. He also turned on the famous Franklin Street Christmas Lights in Auckland with Mayor Len Brown, who notably defeated John Banks in his run for the city mayoralty — remember that Banks is the politician who Dotcom once controversially donated to.

Over the festive season, Kim Dotcom attracted ire for comparing himself to Jesus Christ in a Christmas tweet. He also issued a most disturbing Christmas video. If viewed in full, you can understand why it is not just critics like Whale Oil's Cameron Slater, who now also edits a national newspaper, might question Dotcom's sanity.

With such increasingly erratic behaviour, the publicity-seeking Megalomaniac Kim Dotcom looks no longer to be as "good for this country" as the New Zealand Herald opined in its review of 2012.

Either way, as we enter 2013, with his recent claims about the FBI, the launch of a new business venture on January 20 at his mansion — the very same day and location as last year's raid — and the extradition hearings now due in August, Kim Dotcom looks set to dominate 2013 as he did 2012.

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