Twas Jadis

July 4th, 2011 at 11:27 pm by David Farrar

TVNZ reports:

Many people have also commented on the book’s timing, including prominent blogger David Farrar who said it was “appalling in itself” and that “Wishart has chosen to market the book during the coronial inquest into the death of the twins”.

In a statement to ONE News, Wishart also said the book’s timing was “appalling”.

However, he added it was not intentional and that “the only positive is that it has created a strong national debate on child abuse”. The story broke after ONE News contacted Wishart following a tip-off.

Wishart said it was not true that the publicity for the book, which is being published by his Howling at the Moon company and is due for release at the end of the month, was deliberately timed to coincide with the inquest.

My guest bloggers do not post often, so it is an easy mistake to make. But those quotes in questions come from Jadis, not me. If you scroll down the main page, you’ll see her listed as the author for the posting on 29 June at 10.26 am.

The site doesn’t list authors on individual archive pages, only the main page. I have on my to do list to get that changed.

Should booksellers stock the Kahui book?

July 1st, 2011 at 5:32 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

New Zealanders are angry that Whitcoulls will not confirm whether it will stock Macsyna King’s exposé about the death of her twin boys are taking their frustration to the book seller’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

That should read “Some New Zealanders …”

Yesterday PaperPlus announced it would not be selling the book Breaking Silence: The Kahui Case  following overwhelming feedback from their staff and members of the public.

But Whitcoulls head office is refusing to confirm whether it will stock the controversial tell-all.

In a post on the company’s Facebook page the book chain says it is taking “all views into account” before deciding whether or not to stock the book.

“We want to make a balanced decision and will let people know the outcome as soon as possible.”

The online update has prompted more than 80 messages in response.

Many of the messages in response support Whitcoulls in (so far) not banning the book.

As a general principle I do not like booksellers deciding on my behalf what they think I should or should not read. However I respect their right as a private company to only stock whatever they want.

It seems to me there is a logical halfway step. Why doesn’t Whitcoulls stock the book for those who want to buy it, but not advertise or promote it in any way. Don’t have it on display. Just have it filed away in the appropriate section where people can find it if they want it.

UPDATE: Having now read the Q+A at the Herald with Ian Wishart, I don’t see what the fuss is about. If King was profiting from the book, I could understand the reluctance to stock the book. But she isn’t. So I don’t see why it should be different to any other book – buy it or don’t buy it based on your preferences.

Macsyna King and ‘that book’

June 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am by Jadis

As we have all heard by now Ian Wishart has produced a book about Macsyna King.  Perhaps memories are short but through Chris Kahui’s trial we got a picture of Macsyna’s life. Yes, Macsyna has had a hard and awful life, but she has had several opportunities to make a difference to the lives and memories of her children.

  1. If Macsyna was so concerned about the environment she was introducing her twins to she could have adopted them out to a family that could have ensured a safer and healthier environment.
  2. If Macsyna suspected abuse or neglect from herself or others within her household she could have spoken up for her babies… yes, she could have spoken anonymously or otherwise to CYFS, the Police, a Not-for-profit, Plunket, and others.  Her previous children are cared for by others, why not these babies?
  3. She could have kept her eyes open.  Macsyna either never noticed or didn’t care about injuries caused to the twins in previous “attacks” or incidents.
  4. After the hospitalisation of her babies, Macsyna could have spoken to the Police fully about what she did know.
  5. Macsyna could have encouraged others in her family to speak to the Police.
  6. Macsyna could have told her story to the court throughout the trial. Indeed she did do this, but why not the whole story (as suggested by Wishart)?
  7. And, she certainly could have told her story to the coronial inquest.
  8. Macsyna has even had multiple opportunities to talk to mainstream, sensitive interviewers where she could have told her story in a non-confrontational way.

Macsyna has had multiple opportunities to put this right, and she has chosen the one forum where her words can be edited, where her words can be put in a better light, and where she can release her guilt.  Or, she’s decided that she can make money and perhaps fame from the deaths of her children.  I would be very interested to hear from Ian Wishart if Macsyna has received any ‘gifts’ or ‘expenses paid’ during the production of the book – and what about the marketing of the book?  Will Macsyna be involved in that?  Will she receive an appearance fee?

Putting aside the rationale for the book, the timing of the book is appalling in itself.  Wishart has chosen to market the book during the coronial inquest into the death of the twins. The moment where the media interest in the twins is at its highest.  It is important for Wishart to talk about the book now as, potentially, when the inquest is over the media interest will also wain.

To say that it is ghoulish and unsympathetic is understatement of the year.

Those babies deserved to have a good Mother, a good Father, people that cared for them.  They deserved to be fed, to be held and most of all, they deserved a future.  Macsyna, Chris and the wider whanau may not have been able to do that but there were otehr options.  And, let’s be honest that Macsyna has had plenty of opportunities to atone herself, to tell her story and to put her children before herself.

Wishart says that any profits from the book will be given to charity.  Which one?  Which charity CEO or Board in their right mind will accept money made from this book, effectively guilt money (if not blood money)?

Of course the book should not be banned.  Banning books is a horribly, slippery slope.  We, as consumers have the freedom to buy the book or reject the book.  That means we can boycott the book, and any other books by this publisher – Howling at the Moon.  Wishart could have redeemed himself.  If he had published this book with the intention to bring justice in this matter or to hand over the guilty killer.  Sadly, Ian Wishart has positioned himself as sensationalist, and undermined any previous reputation he had for investigative reporting.