Friday, October 27, 2006

I knew I was Special.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

However there are 60 Wayne Kerrs. Which is a bit of a surprise as I was expecting more.

There are no Hugh Jarse's either. Again a surprise given the obesity epidemic in the USA. However I am reliably informed that there is at least one Hugh Janus.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Ian Wishart is a Hypocritical Twat.

Now I'm not normally one to lay criticism at another journalist's door, but just this once I'm going to make an exception.

Recently Mr Wishart gained a lot of attention in his Smoking Gun issue of his Investigate Magazine. It titillated and promised undisclosed juicy details about Peter Davis, the husband of Prime Minister Helen Clark.

In the magazine was a picture of Peter Davis being embraced by an unidentified man. Who was this man Mr Wishart demanded, and what did it all mean. Needless to say the connotations centred very much on whether or not Mr Davis was gay and it sparked a media frenzy.

Dramatic eh!

It would be a fair enough evaluation to say Ian Wishart, by his approach was probing into the personal life of a public figure. Unequivocal in fact.

So why am I maintaining Mr Wishart is a hypocrite?

Well the other day I came across a very old copy of Investigate Magazine, one of the very early ones in fact. For those who are curious I refer you to the issue released in July of 2000 and recommend you look at an op-ed piece written by Mr Wishart on page 79. Actually as it's probably reasonably hard to find I'll transcribe the full article here for your edification.

Sex, drugs, a horse, and a teenager. IAN WISHART wants to know whether the media realise they're in a glass house.

Sex sells. And nowhere more so than on the desk of some bored news editor whose own life is so tedious they have to get their titillation from writing about other people's pecadilloes.

So what if Mark Todd uses cocaine? If the Sunday Mirror had revealed that his horse had snorted the Colombian marching dust I'd probably be more concerned, but I can't just get excited about Todd's personal habits, if any.

In my career as a radio/TV/print journalistI have seen so many of my colleagues stoned, drunk or both in varying stages of moral decay. I don't need to name names. They know who they are.

Narcotics are not something I've ever wanted to indulge in - apart from a brief fling with marijuana as a 20 year old radio reporter, which I quit because I felt it was fuzzing my short term memory.

But my fellow journalists not only went with dope, they progressively got stuck into harder narcotics like speed, ecstasy, cocaine, and even heroin.

In some places I worked, the sight of manic reporters with horribly glazed eyes and sinus problems was one of the amusing highlights of my day.

Hell, at Radio Hauraki in 1984 I came to work one day only to find that half of my fellow employees had been picked up in a dawn raid by police investigating a cocaine ring - the same investigation that saw a National MP left untouched by police because arresting the MP would have upset the Muldoon Government's one seat majority and caused a snap election.

Now in the latter case had Iknown of the the MP's involvement at the time I would have run it as a news story for obvious reasons - but not simply because the MP was using cocaine. The only news value in the story for me was that police allowed political pressure to influence their judgement.

And so back to Mark Todd. I, and I'm sure most New Zealanders, don't want to know what he does in his spare time or who he does it with. The only legitimate news value in the Mirror story was whether or not any alleged drug taking would affect Todd's equestrian performance.

As for the Dover Samuels affair, spare me! Regardless of wheter he showed stupidity in getting involved with a teenage girl, unless it is shown that she was underage then he has done nothing illegal, no matter how much any of us may find it repugnant.

For the Prime Minister to sack him, before all the evidence is in and without allowing due process to be followed, shows how hollow the Government's words are on our employment law - any employment lawyer worth his salt would have a field day with this on a personal grievance/unjustified dismissal basis.

Given that some MPs have paid out sums of $90,000 or more to extortionists to cover up sexual misdeeds, one wonders how long before the lid blows on that one.

Again the news value is not the sex, it is the fact that some of our MPs have been compromised and could be blackmailed into committing treason or corruption.

It is time for the media to watch the ball, not the balls.

Investigate Magazine,
July 2000.

Pot, kettle, black. Utter hypocrisy wouldn't you agree?

Actually what is more disturbing is what is written in paragraph 12. The allegation that some MP's have paid hush money to cover up their sexual misdeeds. Does this ring any bells for anyone? Have you heard something very similar recently? For example, private investigators hired by the Exclusive Brethren.

Now Mr Wishart has categorically denied having anything to do with the Brethren or the private investigators and maintains they've had no role in stories (you'll have to search his blog for specifics) he's run about Dunedin based Labour Cabinet Ministers David Benson-Pope and David Parker. But coincidentally one of the private investigators contracted by the Exclusive Brethren, Mr Wayne Idour, also lives in Dunedin.

Maybe it's just happenstance, maybe the PI's have based their stories on old Investigate stories, maybe they and Mr Wishart have been digging in the same areas ... I don't know for sure. But something certainly smells here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


This is an annual food festival held at the, now trendy, town of Kaikoura on the South Island's east coast. From small beginnings it's turned into a major event. When I first went (more years ago than I care to remember) there were only about 1200 people there and only a bare handful of stalls. Now they have to restrict tickets to 6000 and there's around 50 different outlets selling a wide variety of food an alcohol.

All in all it's a good day out. Though you have to choose the year you go pretty carefully. For a while every second Seafest was a wet one, creating the tag mudfest for the exceptionally slushy years. Fortunately this year was in the dry cycle.

Word of advice to those who intend to go next year. Any beverage called Liquid Fire, which involves vodka and tequila laced with chilli, will be like drinking a bonfire. The problem is it's just as hot (if not hotter) on the way out as many blokes at the urinal's discovered. To see a bloke going crosseyed, wincing in pain, muttering "cor, bloody hell" while having a pee is a sight to behold.

Oh and a word of advice for the organisers .... more toilets next year please! Somewhere up in the distance in the photo above you will see a glimpse of an orange portaloo. Suffice it to say many of the female patrons were not best impressed at the wait. (Lots of crossed legs and expressions of extreme concentration)