UPDATED; (from an article first published on the 1st January 2011 @ 20:08 and republished @12:35 on the 29th July 2013):
The late Warren Berryman was a complicated and colourful individual. A man of mystery, or so his mates would have you believe.
The reality is he was a sloppy hack with no history or formal training in journalism. His first job at the age of 37 was with the New Zealand National Business Review.
The man had no ethics and preferred rumor and spin doctoring. His own history, a mixture of self promotion and an enormous ego fuelled by cheap wine.
Berryman actively promoted a culture of bawdy bullshit and cheap booze. He ran a newspaper that was fueled by a bulging fridge full of alcohol. Well that’s according to his mate O’Neill.
Berryman’s history depends on who you speak to and whether or not they had their snout in the office bar fridge (the one that’s full to the gunwales with piss). According to his old boss Hugh Rennie QC he was an ex gun runner, illegally supplying guns to the Afghani’s
According to his old mate Rob O’Neill it was Iran and the Iranian authorities who caught him and gave him a tickle up, for unlawfully crossing their borders with a truck load of guns…. I am no expert on the mad Mullahs but from what I have heard you don’t get out of Iran after being caught running guns, with all or any of your appendages, let alone alive.
Then again poor old Wog may have been misquoted; he is, perhaps, more likely to have said:
“I was gun running in Afghanistan; I almost got caught by the Russians so I ran “
Mr Rennies version of running guns to the Mujahedeen against the Russians is even more colourful, the mystical Khyber Pass, the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Maybe Berryman had seen to many movies or recently read the ‘Far Pavilions’, an American fluent in Farsi – yeah right – more likely Farcical. I think that particular story, like all of Berryman’s drivel, was an invention born of the addled mind of a man whose abuse of alcohol was legendary – To quote Rob O’Neill:
“ As the day wore on Wog would lighten up and as the focus moved away from writing and onto production he would sit down at one of the macs and start to pump out pages, singing bawdy songs and reciting rude rhymes as he went, with a coffee mug of wine by his mouse”
“Everyone would sit around and imbibe for some time after the paper was sent or maybe head down to our local the Rose and Crown.”
“The fridge at the Indy was always full and mostly the staff and various drop-ins would sit around helping themselves, brainstorming headlines while the last couple of pages was finished”
Repeating tall tales and untrue from the legendary past Mr Rennie alleges he brought back Afghan jackets to sell to Londoners.
You might think dragging a mule train of cheap Afghani jackets across a border like the one between Afghanistan and Pakistan with Russian Hind attack Helicopters buzzing about is just plain incredible and by incredible I mean ‘not credible’ then you would be right.
Rennie QC was continuing to ‘spin the spiel’ on Radio NZ after Berryman’s death, according a degree of ethics to Berryman and McManus that was just spin doctoring once again. Apparently Berryman and McManus believed:
“Firstly, if you got something wrong correct it. Secondly, if it was appropriate apologise. Thirdly you never just took one particular course and imagined it was right, you had to go out and check three different directions to put something together. “
Berryman and McManus never adhered to these ethics. Rennie is spouting a whole lot of shite.
According to the McManus tapes, Jenni confesses:
“We normally start with the premise that there is at least two sides to any story, but this one”
“I got the distinct impression that these men were scumbags of the worst order”
Berryman and McManus recklessly repeated criminal liable, accused innocent men of intimidation, drug running and stand over tactics at the behest of very corrupt New Zealand police officers the likes of Malcolm John Thomas and one sergeant Alan Davidson; and of course also to protect themselves and the NBR paper from a massive damages tort (covertly tape conversations with McManus and Chief Inspector Ratahi of the New Zealand Police force below)
Of course Berryman didn’t have the benefit of seeing or hearing the evidence of the then “Criminal Defamation”, the criminal interference with financiers and the inciting of fraudulent creditors to seize goods; forcing the closure and collapse of family businesses (as it soon became apparent that Berryman wanted it buried) and subsequently went to any lengths to have the injustice and, at the time “Criminal Defamation” [211 Criminal libel and publishing defined [Repealed] soon after the event], buried by exploiting his relationship with two corrupt ex police officers and now mates; Lew Proctor and his (at the time) business partner Ron McQuilter – McQuilter having written many NBR stories that, during the late eighties-early nineties, Warren Berryman (we have now established) had at the time claimed credit for.
Subsequent to, and as a result of, the McManus,/Berryman /NBR articles the Gisborne brother’s bank accounts where closed and all their insurance policies cancelled – “unfit moral character” the NBR and Gisborne Herald cryed.
What was even more amazing was the level of stupidity displayed by McManus and Berryman….Evidenced by their taped conversations with Jonathan Egglestone – all caught on tape for your listening pleasure.
Despite the content of Berryman’s and McManus’s terrible articles the men defeated RSL in an injunction application before the learned High Court Justice Chillwell.
This forced the RSL liquidator (John Tuck) to settle the court case with the men by reducing the amount owed from 1.7 million plus interest at 31% to just 500k with no interest.
If the men could have arranged finance then everyone would have been paid However as is evidenced by the tapes the NBR articles had done enormous damage, so much so that it had become impossible to arrange finance for the paltry $500’000.00 required – These same men, prior to the involvement of corrupt officials and McManus’s criminal slander, had raised millions without any difficulty whatsoever
As a consequence of McManus’s Malice and incompetence the men and the creditors lost absolutely everything. The men’s Christchurch properties where sold down and they narrowly escaped bankruptcy. One of the brothers forced to pay off various creditors to the restaurant by installment.
One of those paid, John McLaughlin of Gisborne Glass according to McManus was particularly vociferous and a source of the much of the defamatory material. His actions in conspiring with bent police caused other creditors to lose thousands of dollars
But wait there’s more….more tapes to come, McManus lying and advising the illusive Mr Jonathan Egglestone that the men had threatened her, they were apparently going to “come up to Auckland and sort her and Berryman out”
At the end of the day, when all is said and done and when the fat lady has sung, Warren Berryman was a drunken, self promoting criminal gun runner with no formal training or experience who had a particular brand of shite shoveling which was on most occasions to much for his employers to swallow.
He was sacked in short order from the NBR, TV3 and virtually every other media organisation; forcing him and McManus to launch the Independent.
Berryman and McManus’s much touted claim to fame, if any, was the wine box expose’ – that turned into a phizzer but the name attributed to it was more than apt.
Fiona Rotherham, media hack, also had a lot to say about the level of alcohol abuse at the Independent. According to her Berryman was pissed when he hired her at McManus’s 40th Birthday. Which is a relief, that is, at the very least, an excuse. Berryman apparently was wondering around drunk, impersonating a pirate. According to Fiona his exact words were “ Argggh Fingers” whilst desperately slugging on a bottle of bourbon.
Apparently the birthday party was full of media types. By ‘media types’ she means, cheap, freeloading, drunken, obnoxious, egotists, who make up for bad pay cheques by getting their jollies defaming those that don’t. Rotherham alleges the Independent got the bullet because of changing media dynamics, of which the internet is but one. That and they were sick of coming second. Second is only second Fiona when there is more than two in the race. Any other time it’s called last!
The sad fact is that Fiona has the same thing to say about Warren Berryman and the Independent as the other staff and management. It was all about bullshit and booze for Berryman “ Optimism flowed, as did the bourbon from Berryman’s bottle “hidden” in his desk drawer for his breakfast coffee”.
One of Berryman’s greatest achievements was to sell himself as a real live Indiana Jones, a gun running, Paua poaching, deep sea diving, CIA operations head of station, shite shoveling, bad sunglass wearing, hung over tosser. OK I added the tosser bit. Let’s raise a glass…or a bottle…or a cask to Warren Berryman and the not really that “Independent”.
The Independent is no more and its demise was a source of much merriment and laughter in our office. We all raised a coffee mug of ‘chateau de cardboard’ on that auspicious day.
McManus has trained her own cadre of shite shoveling suck holes posing as Journo’s who still love hanging out with her – peddling lies and misinformation with gay abandon.
It costs Fairfax the odd cheque or two; settling the defamations, but it still goes on. McManus can no longer expect, what is left of the illusion that was Berryman (her Husband) not to be exposed as a pure fiction – a fallacy worthy of a Tui’s advertisement – Berryman a journalist? Yeah Right!.
Below are the letters referred to in the Warren Berryman Tape which we will be publishing again some time soon 😉 – youtube had it pulled (courtesy of Jenni McManus’s TVNZ’s affiliations):
- Phil Kitchin, Jenni McManus – Detective James Kenneth Cunningham – where is he now? (laudafinem.com)
- Cook Strait earthquakes reminder to be prepared (national.org.nz)