UPDATE 1: Lou Reed on gossip: "Don't believe half of what you read, and none of what you hear." On that score, Russell has this sober observation :
I don't find it hard to believe that Wishart would make reckless claims, because I've personally studied one Investigate story in which he made allegations against an individual (as part of an alleged feminist-communist-government conspiracy) that were quite simply baseless and slapdash - and had no success in prompting an acknowledgement, let alone an apology from him...As I'm sure many people defamed in Wishart's conspiracy-ridden rag have asked themselves, "Why give publicity to the publicity-hungry?"
We have lately discovered some unhappy things about police culture in the 1980s, and for that reason it's hard to summarily dismiss further allegations with respect to that culture. But we shouldn't place much weight on the oft-voiced claim that if no one has sued Wishart, then everything he says must be true. Entering litigation is not a pleasant thing, and it may simply be the case that Wishart is not worth suing.
UPDATE 2: An old post at Bottomless Soup outlines the Wishart modus operandi:
There's an old story about columnist Walter Winchell, who was asked by a young colleague just starting out, how do you become a well-known and influential columnist. Winchell replied, "Attack someone more influential than you, until he notices you. When he notices you, he makes you important." The young columnist thanked him and promptly went off and began a series of attacks on Walter Winchell.UPDATE 3: Craig Ranapia makes the reasonable point below that,
This is the trap that any public figure falls into -- not just your work, but eventually your personal life as well, becomes a subject for others to chew over. In public. If you respond, you dignify not only the subject, but the person who raised it. If you don't respond, the rumor, the gossip, the allegation, the accusation, the smear stands unchallenged.
In 1967, Paul Krassner printed [a vile piece attacking LBJ] in his magazine The Realist... Krassner was attacked on the floor of Congress for publishing such a vile piece. Perfect. That was what he wanted. Krassner said in the next issue that once you get a politician denying that he's a pig-fucker, you have everybody in the world asking why he felt the need to deny it...
"I thought this would be an opportunity for any libertarian with a historical sense to note the irony that 'a group of twenty-somethings watching a porn film twenty-six years ago' were the same people prosecuting hookers, queers, streakers, and other offenders against public decency."Irony so noted. Lack of historic sense recorded.
It could also be pointed out the irony of laws that impose christian so-called morals on non-christians is that everyone involved starts looking like a hypocrite in somebody's book.
UPDATE 4: WishHard is on Newstalk ZB talking to Larry Williams, touting Howard Broad's "confession." In Wishart's words this afternoon, echoing those of his press release yesterday with the allegations against Broad at the head:
...Broad has now confirmed 1) that a bestiality video was definitely screened at a police party, and 2) that Broad felt so intimidated by the prevailing police culture in Dunedin at the time that he didn't do anything about this criminal act.
Or as the official police statement puts it:
Compare the distance between those two statements and you'll understand the difference between a journalist and a muckraker.
The Commissioner confirmed that a Police Rugby Club fund raising party was held at his place around 1981. About 100 people turned up. Old rugby films were shown in the lounge. Late in the evening while he was elsewhere in the house someone put a pornographic film containing bestiality on the projector.
Mr Broad says that when he was told about it he was annoyed and irritated and said so to members of the Police Rugby club present.
"The fact that I didn't take any further action probably underscores the standards applying at that time. Twenty five years on it is obviously a source of embarrassment having regard to my current position and the context of police leadership today.