Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ashamed to be a New Zealander - from a correspondent

OK, so here's the story of what actually happened at the conference today.
Lindy Chamberlain wept when she talked of baby Azaria in her speech; Tipple choked when he described his battle for her; Ochoa got distinctly wobbly-voiced when he described how his mother was stressed to the point of a stroke by his false conviction; Estelle Blackburn had to pause and wipe her eyes describing her fight for John Button; Rubin Carter and John Artis choked up describing the way their lives changed for ever and so many years were stolen from them; Barry Scheck got emotional when talking about the great numbers he has helped and the horror of the even greater numbers needing help.
David did his speech, and the whole room was in tears; everyone was enormously moved by the love and courage David showed, and by the enormity of what this man had gone through. It's been a day of sadness in some ways: of loss and betrayal by the system that is supposed to be there to protect us
So David was no different. What was particularly shocking was that not only did he get wrongly convicted of a heinous crime, but that was on top of finding his family dead and the profound emotional devastation that caused; it was on top of not being allowed to attend his family's funerals and say goodbye. What was different, and silenced everyone listening, was the enormity of what he went through. Lindy Chamberlain lost a baby and then in effect her other children. But David lost his whole family.

In his speech, David went through his family, delivering a eulogy for each person, with great love, respect and affection. He had to stop regularly to gather his composure, frequently his voice became choked and his jaw worked as he tried to regain control. David described the shock and sheer terror of what happened that morning in painful detail, having to pause to calm his voice and his indignation palpable at the end. The delegates were all, without exception, enormously shocked by what he had said; deeply sympathetic, and respecting his fortitude in being able to speak about it.

And then, as soon as his talk was over (and the journos had all been sitting in the back) they went off for the press conference. The first question asked was 'David, did you kill your family?' Then "David, why did you say you hated your father?'
Everyone at the conference was shocked at the crassness, cruelty and blatant stupidity of the questions. Hotel staff wre gossiping about it in shocked disbelief. One of the bars decided that they would not serve the journalists. Delegates accosted and asked for their opinions refused to answer, treating the journalists with the contempt everyone felt they deserved.

And then? Off they went. They had had their opportunity to savage David, to kick at him when he had spoken so eloquently and movingly. They took it, spitefully and callously, and then left.

Did they avail themselves of the opportunity to inform themselves about the conference, about the common features of miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions? Apparently not. Did they take advantage of the opportunity to talk to international lawyers, forensic scientists, criminal profilers, and all the others working for the sake of true justice? No, but they did spend time in the casino. And they asked a man who had just spoken for an hour of the pain, grief and suffering he had experienced and obviously still feels at finding his beloved family dead; who had described in detail what had happened....whether he had killed them.

Would those journalists' mothers be proud of them? I think not.
I was ashamed to be a New Zealander today.

(My footnote, one of those journalists was Martin Van Beynan, associated to the hate-sites at least by being quoted and lauded there. He has a support base of hate-siters, and his question was about hate and it was a distored lie, I'll include the name of the other 'journalist' when I have it confirmed.)


  1. Did van Beynen have to stand, and to state his name, and employer, when he asked his question?
    It's helpful, at least, that more people, who had never heard of him(and who never will hear his name again) now will know what a jerk he is.

    1. He has to be some kind of sicko to listen to David's eulogy about his father only to then ask that question. Some kind of idiot, no wonder he rises to be at the forefront of all the hate-siters say and do.

    2. No, he didn't have to identify himself like that, but he along with other journos had had accreditation from the conference - that is, their credentials had been checked and verified. Everyone knew who he was and who they all were.

      But during the conference he HAS been challenged on his brother, and he has openly admitted that his brother worked for 15 years high up in Police Operations.

      His views, therefore, are not surprising: they are just a continuation of the tunnel vision and wierd media manipulation that everyone here has been speaking about.

      As a journalist, however, it shows he has a lack of intelligence and integrity that is a real worry. Is this a family failing?

    3. I don't know anything about his brother. But I do know that mvb has for many years left out critical evidence favourable to the conclusion that Robin suicided. Leaving that evidence out, whilst campaigning against David and Joe, is inexcusable and it leaves the opportunity for an informed pubic to view him as a host or provider to other persecution raised from the hate-sites on the back of both mvb's distorted reporting but also what he hasn't revealed. I'm beginning to see little difference between the work of mvb and that of the hate-sites in persecuting David. No wonder the people from overseas are surprised, I can imagine they wonder how the authorities have let him get away with things, particularly harassing the jury and attacking them in print.

  2. It is a very sad day for New Zealand journalism, because this was not just within our shores, but was at an international conference. Martin Van Beynen's story has usually been based on a very biased 'truth' but I never thought he'd be so stupid as to prove himself to be a liar, to an international audience. Shame on him, and shame on New Zealand for allowing him to work his poison for as long as he has. His family won't be ashamed, it's those connections, I suspect, that make him so biased.

  3. It has to be remembered that Van Beynen is a active member of the hatesite JFRB. He has sought out some of the jury from the Bain retrial, is in contact with the likes of Stockdale and has absolute tunnel vision when it comes to the Bain case.

    1. I would appreciate you sending me any proof that mvb is part of that group. I know they support him and that the support is mutual, but it would be interesting to know if he was actually a member.