Monday, September 01, 2008

Caroline Kisko is a Liar

Back on August 22nd, I wrote a post entitled "The Kennel Club: When Truth is Inconvenient, Lie," in which I noted that:

Ms. Caroline Kisko of The Kennel Club is a liar, and she's not even a very clever or smart liar -- merely a blatant and bold one.

But don't take my word for it. You can read The Kennel Club's own web site and find the results of their own breeder's survey (PDF).

In that survey The Kennel Club notes that "Health information was reported for 36,006 live dogs, of which 22,540 (62.6%) were healthy, and 13,466 (37.4%) had at least one reported health condition."

More than 37% of dogs had "at least one" health condition???


When you consider that the average age of the dogs in question (healthy and unhealthy dogs combined) was just 5 years old, what you are looking at here is an extraordinary level of disease, deformity, and misery in Kennel Club dogs.

But apparently, Ms Caroline Kisko does not care about that truth.

No, she is paid to do a job, and never mind the dogs. She has been given her marching orders.

Now, for the record, I do not use the term "liar" recklessly.

Sometimes people are merely misinformed.

Sometimes people get the number or story wrong because memory is not perfect, or they have relied on a defective source, or they have transposed something.

Sometimes, people exaggerate a bit for effect.

These folks are not liars.

Neither is a "bullshit artist" according to Harry G. Frankfurt who notes in On Bullshit, that the bullshit artist does not care whether what he or she is saying is true or not -- they simply "fire for effect."

No, a liar is someone who sits in a very narrow chair: someone who knows the truth and then tries to lead people away from it.

Which is why Ms. Kisko is a liar.

Ms. Kisko knows the truth. And instead of acknowledging it, she has taken money to try to lead people away from it.

And the truth, just to set the record straight it NOT that 90 percent of all Kennel Club dogs are healthy, as Ms. Kisko has been telling the press.

The truth is that 37 percent of the 36,000 dogs surveyed by The Kennel Club have "at least one" health condition --and this in a population of dogs with an average age of only 5 years.

Ms. Kisko, of course, objects to being called a liar. She sends me the following email, which I reprint in full:

Dear Terrier Man

I would very much like to enter into a sensible debate with you about the matters raised in your recent blog regarding the health of pedigree dogs. However I am not able to do so until you remove from your site the libellous statement that I am a liar. I am no such thing and I expect you to remove this immediately. I have little doubt that you will hide behind the fact that you are in another continent but your nastiness and threats do you no credit.

It would be more meaningful if you depersonalised your remarks and recognised the fact that I am representing an organisation – if you wish to attack then I suggest you aim correctly in the first place.

However if you wish to make things personal, I would be very happy to meet with you. You would be very welcome to come to my home, to meet all 23 of my dogs and to come out training with my huskies. Then we might have a sensible conversation about what does and does not affect a dog’s ability to enjoy a long and happy life.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Kisko
Kennel Club Secretary
Tel: 020 7518 1056
Mobile: 07718 896492

Now, if you read Ms. Kisko's missive carefully, you will notice two things right off:

  1. Ms. Kisko does not seem to know what a terrierman is (it's one word, not two), and;

  2. Ms. Kisko does not actually trouble herself to correct the facts, which remain right as rain, and are there for anyone to check.

Instead, Ms. Kisko says that she is merely representing an organization
(The Kennel Club), and I should direct my ire at that nameless, faceless organization rather than hold up any one individual, such as herself, who is actually doing the lying to the public.

No names please!

Ms. Kisko's defense, then, is not that I got it wrong, but that she should be given a pass because she is a professional "liar for hire."

She does not want her name attached to the word "liar" even though she offers no defense for her lie.

Sorry, Ms. Kisko, but you are going to have to do better than that.

And as for legal action, bring it on. Truth is a perfect defense of libel, and the truth is that you have lied about the health of Kennel Club dogs. You know it, and I know it, and anyone who checks The Kennel Club's own health survey summary can see it too.

For More Information


  1. I think it's important to question Ms Kisko over the spin she's putting on the statistics. Well done. The KK is clearly looking to counter some of the negative PR the documentary generated and she isn't coping with the true savagery of Social Media and the blogosphere.

    I see now from Google that your comments that she's a Liar are now ranking very highly. If you search Caroline Kisko you get your "liar" post as the fifth result. No wonder she's prickling under the pressure.

    Nevertheless, I'm not sure it's worthwhile quoting a private email in public as, in effect, you're saying that any correspondence with you is likely to end up reproduced on your blog.

    Let's hope, though, that from such an political attack (because the personal IS political), the KK will look more closely at the spin it puts out and genuinely work harder for the good of all dogs.

    At the very least you've taught Ms Kisko and the Kennel Club a lesson about the blogosphere; more importantly, the scrutiny you've put them under will hopefully force them to be more accurate and honest in their PR.

  2. Correspondence is private if there is a reasonable expectatation of privacy; i.e. if you know me and we have had previous correspondence. If you do not know me, and are writing in an official capacity, are spouting nonsense, and are making generalized threats, then you can hardly expect your correspondence to be private.

    And, for the record, I did not edit a single word -- I have produced her note *exactly* as written, and entire.


  3. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Jontus --

    If I remember correctly, you don't live in the US?

    If a letter in the US contains the word "libel" and "remove from your site" and "apologize" -- that's official notice and you can show the letter to whomever you wish.

    In community gardening, we get these letters all the time when a developer decides they want the land where the community garden is and thinks that intimidating the gardeners is a stragety that will actually work.

    Patrick was much more succinct than I was -- with the advice of 2 super-conservative Republican commmitteemen/lawyers, a Greenpeace organizer and a Philadelphia community activist who helped fed the information that has brought a State Senator to court (isn't community gardening great in how it brings different folks together? ;-D), I crafted a two-page letter that basically said if you do that again, your entire organization is going under the microscope in court -- and you'll get to pay my legal fees for the whole process to boot because of what you said here, here and here! Organization has thus changed tacits.

    Ms. Kisko must know less about dogs that we thought -- why anyone would send such an e-mail to someone who is nuts about Jack Russells is beyond me. "Show" JRTs must have completely lost their personality!



  4. If being called a liar bothers Ms. Kisko so much, perhaps she should represent an organization that doesn't require lies to hide such an appalling truth.


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