If you’re going to drop a “bombshell,” it probably pays to bring the explosives.

Kim Dotcom at New Zealand rally

Even with two microphones, Kim Dotcom fails to deliver his message | Image Credit: Peter Harrison

Unsurprisingly that was the key oversight missing from Kim Dotcom’s self-described – well, self-hyped – “Moment of Truth” this past Monday, when the exiled poster boy of piracy failed to deliver on a publicity-stoking promise. Expected to deliver a smoking gun email linking current New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to Hollywood-backed efforts to expel him, the former head honcho of Megaupload

Ahead of a general election in his adopted home of New Zealand on September 20th, Dotcom had hoped his shock-and-awe campaign would sway voters to side with his motley crew of piracy apologists, privacy advocates, and any other digital citizens he could hope to hoodwink. As so often occurs with the man of many aliases, however, the reality proved to be far less newsworthy than his own hyperbole.

While the presence of media-friendly heavyweights including Julian Assange of Wikileaks and Snowden publisher Glenn Greenwald initially afforded the event an air of legitimacy, the failure to produce any concrete evidence of collusion between John Key and Warner Bros or the MPAA quickly became the headline. Far from damning the powers-that-be in New Zealand on the eve of their, Dotcom’s antics prove to voters that his political maneuvering is little more than a sideshow; his “Internet Mana” less a party, more a circus.
The debacle continues Dotcom’s year of boom and bust publicity, veering from overblown interviews and photo opps to questionable “business” launches and artistic endeavors. All designed to shift his public image from the reality of profiteering content thief to some confused mix of prolific entrepreneur and champion of technological creativity. All linked by the fact that they failed to deliver the intended message, whether exploring the bizarre wonderland of Kim’s luxurious New Zealand mansion “exile,” or revolutionizing the music industry with a service that remains on no one’s lips (Baboom, anyone? Thought not.)

The end result conjures more of a cartoon villain than the real world tech wonderpreneur he’d hoped for.  Onlookers still see the Kim Dotcom that stole millions from copyright holders, not the freedom-fighting hero that seems to exist solely in Kim’s own mind.

But the sideshow(s) can only last so long. With authorities in the U.S. and New Zealand continuing to ratchet up the pressure to answer fully for his crimes, the man from Mega is living on borrowed time. Care to hazard a guess as to how many pointless publicity exercises he’ll squeeze in before those real headlines hit?