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Saturday
Sep292012

Reader's Call to Donation Agency About Kate Gosselin Book: Robert Hooo?

My reader Mickey McKean got some surprising information when she called the non-profit agency the Robery Hoffman book "proceeds" are supposedly going to.  Here's what happened, in Mickey's own words:

I have been associated with various charities and I know from personal experience that sometimes an organization must distance themselves from someone or something due to "guilt by association". In other words that their reputation could be tarnished by negative publicity.

That being said, I called the [agency name deleted by blog owner] to ask whether or not they were aware that a book was released yesterday where it is advertised that proceeds are going to be donated to their organization. I made the point that it does not say 100% of the proceeds but I was sure there were people who were buying the book assuming that ALL of the proceeds were going to [the agency] which is about child advocacy.

I gave them a brief outline of the contents of the book and that it talks about specific child abuse, that the author himself saw the abuse and wrote this book.

I gave them the gosselinbook web site address so they could check this out for themselves.

I said that in my opinion the cover of the book would be painful for the Gosselin children to see one day, and considering what I have read about their organization online I was a little surprised that they would sponsor or necessarily want to benefit from this book.

Their response was that I was not their first call about this very subject, that they have never heard of Robert Hoffman, they do not know anything about the book, there is no agreement in place but under the circumstances they probably will need to have their legal department look into this matter.

Please understand that I am glad Robert Hoffman wrote his book, not because he exposed Kate to the world, but by doing so it just might help save the Gosselin 8. Robert has the right to make money off the book if he so chooses because he has the right to make a living, or he can donate all or part of his proceeds to a charity -- as long as it will not harm the charity and of course with the charity's knowledge and permission to use their name.

                                                                    ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

Thanks for the information, Mickey.  I agree with you.  The more information we can get out there about the grifter Kate Gosselin the better, but it's important to do it responsibly.  It's standard professionalism to have an entity's permission before you publicize that you are associated with them in any way, because it implies you have their endorsement when you actually don't. 

(To read Mickey McKean's original comment go to the second page of comments under the last entry, fourth comment on second page.)

Reader Comments (27)

It concerns me that there is so much energy being focused on Mr. Hoffman when the focus should be on the (apparent) abuser! Whether or not a penny of the proceeds go to a charity is really not the issue is it? It is my opinion we ALL want help for ALL involved so I hope and pray whatever Polly and Al and Robert have done via their books will address the concerns we have about the kids. Shall we ALL get behind that effort?

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalifornia Suzy

California Suzy,

You are correct, it really does not matter whether a penny goes to any charity, and IMO Hoffman has the right at this point to keep ALL proceeds since he most definitely has legal issues that he is going to have to immediately address.

I hope everyone understands that my concern was for the charity after I researched it online. If anyone writes a book about an abuser of children who was at one time a celebrity so there is no doubt that the book is going to get noticed by the National Enquirer, Radaronline, THE VIEW etc., the author should not align himself to a non profit organization without their prior knowledge or permission.

For obviously reasons the organization would need to know of a conflict of interest or if there is the possibility of any negative press of any kind.

Now that Amazon has suspended sales of the book -- whether it be temporary or permanent -- I am glad I made the call to Opportunity House because they really have the right to know what is going on. I hope that Robert himself will make the call to the charity in question to discuss this matter further.

I also agree that Al, Robert and Polly have all tried to help the Gosselin kids by writing their books. It is just unfortunate that Al and Robert did not do a book together like it was originally planned back in 2009 -- not only would it have probably have been a best seller and maybe made into a movie by 2012, but the 8 Gosselin children would not have to walk on tip toes around the McMansion in fear of a spoon for the past 3 years.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

I agree Mickey, Robert sticking with Al and them collaborating on a book together would hsve been a good thing. I'm afraid that now that Hoffman's book is gone this whole thing will blow over and everything will go back to normal. It was so exciting to think that maybe his book would have brought the degree of attention to this issue that it truly needs. Hopefully he'll find a way to bring it back. Good luck fighting the bigwigs. He'd stand a much better chance with the legal teams and other supports that go along with having a traditional publisher. This should have all been avoided by him doing his homework properly, but it's very hard to do that by yourself. I had Al and some good friends supporting and helping me with my book and we were very thorough as a result.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

I posted this on 15, but thought I'd discuss it here as well:

1) I would have like more of a narrative. The book is very choppy and does not flow very well. I respect RH's decision not to use a copy editor but I disagree with his decision. I think the book could only have benefitted and may even have been more accessible to the general public if he had worked with someone. Surprising given his wife is a writer. I wonder why she didn't at least help him polish it.

2) I give Robert points for disclosing his friendship with Jon but it will ultimately discredit the book for those inclined to be dismissive and gives Kate's press team ammunition in the PR wars. I think Jon has made an effort to change but unfortunately our past can still haunt us. This will be spun as "RH is just a mouthpiece for Jon's sour grapes."

3) Stylistically, the writing is very similar to Al's book. IMO, out of all the books Polly's was the best written. What elevates this book above the other two is the evidence that Robert includes. I agree with you, Mickey, that the book should have been published 3 years ago. I'm not sure when Robert acquired the documentation he has(i.e. Kate's garbage), so perhaps that didn't happen until more recently. However, I think both Al and Robert's writing styles are poor and it really detracts from the message of both books. My husband made the comment earlier today as I read some parts to him "Man, the guy is really snarky!". I had to explain to him that this is a tone that many Kate haters use, so I put it down to him trying to appeal to his target audience.

4) The evidence in this book is a sad testament to the mental illness of one woman and it's effect on her family and the destruction of her marriage and other meaningful relationships. It also demonstrates how reality television is not reality and how cold and calculating Discovery, TLC etc. truly are.

Regarding the charity: I am going to give Robert the benefit of the doubt here. I think he made the decision to donate his profits to this charity, much in the same way that my husband or I make decisions to donate to charity. I don't think it occurred to him that he should see the charities permission before using their name on his blog. I think Robert's heart is in the right place. I agree that, like Jon or Beth or Jodi or Kevin or anyone else that knew Kate's temper and how she went too far in her corporal punishment, Robert should have spoken up as soon as he had Kate's diaries. Only he can answer why he chose to wait.

Regarding the current lawsuits by Kate: It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I hope Jon remains silent, frankly. I don't think him coming to Robert's defense at this point would help the situation any.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersilimom

Good points, silimom. About the charity, many of us give to charities but it's not good form to name the charity without their permission as happened in this case because like I said it implies endorsement. The proper way to go about it would be to tell the agency you would like to donate a percentage of the profit from your project and ask their permission to state so in your literature. Otherwise anyone can ue the name of any charity they want to endorse anything. Not good if you happen to want Kate Gosselin draped in your agency's logo blanket on her web site, for example.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

WG, please stop commenting on the cover of the book and how the kids might see it. Is it any worse than the real face they see, up close and personal, every day?

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Question: Would Robert Hoffman be able to put his book on his website and charge people to download it?

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIrene

Hi PJ, My objection to the cover is not the picture, it's the words. Yes, we've all seen that face. It hurts my heart for the kids to have those words shouted in capitals describing their mother in such a public venue. I'm not saying the words aren't true. I'm just saying having them shouted from the cover of the book is embarrassing and humiliating for the children.

Irene, I got the impression Amazon took the book down because of pending legal consequences, which means anyone, including the author, would be subject to the same legal consequences for selling it. Did others get the same impression?

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

I am a bit confused. I thought Kate's lawyers tried unsuccessfully to block the publication...so who now may be trying?

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi Rachel, that may be true, but we don't know who had the book removed from Amazon.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

It is Kate lawyers who filed the intellectual property infringements with Amazon causing them to pull the book. This is separate from the initial C&D they sent that caused the book to be delayed. At this point, I suspect they are complaining over his use of excerpts from her books, which were probably used without her/the publisher's permission. He may have to remove those parts or pay her a fee but he could go to court and argue fair use.

The legal question regarding the journals deals with chain of custody and the law is pretty clear that once it's in the trash it's fair game. If Jon actually gave him that information (like he happened to back up her hard drive and then throw the backup away) she'd likely have to sue Jon not Robert. Again, It's a digital rights chain of custody issue and it's a complicated area of law.

Discovery is suing because Robert published their contracts in the book which are considered trade secrets but they may not have a leg to stand on there as Robert had no NDA with Discovery. Rather, Jon and Kate are liable for that as they should not have thrown the contracts away. Why is this important to Discovery? Ok, think of it this way - If you're TLC/Discovery, do you want Honey Boo Boo's family to see what kind of a deal other people have gotten? It has nothing to do with protecting Kate, it's just protecting their ability to negotiate.

Hope this helps make it clearer.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSilimom

Thanks for the info, Silimom. Do we know for sure it was Kate's lawyers who had it pulled from Amazon? In other words, has the connection been proven? I'm asking because it looks like there are potentially many examples of copyright infringement in the book, for example the VF article isnprinted in it's entirety. There's no notification in the book that VF gave permission to print the entire article and it would have been unlikely for them to do so. So it could have been the VF article or any number of other copied materials in the book which caused the removal on Amazon.

FYI, several readers have told me that comments they submit on the other blog you mentioned aren't approved when they contain positive information about me in them, and earlier this afternoon someone wrote to me that your comment above, in which you praised my book, hasn't been approved there either. So in case you don't see it there, that may be why.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Come on Polly, I've read and commented here in the past. I bought both of yours and Als books. I said then and continue to say Als was a bunch of crap and his true colors were clear that he was aligned with Kate and he trashed Jon unmercifully. Now he is at it again with his hatred for Robert and defending this wicked witch. Why are you now trying to trash Robert? Aren't we all on the same side of wanting to get help for those innocent children? So why this bitterness and pettiness where this book is concerned. It would seem you would support each other. You had something to contribute and he has as well. Who cares how he got it? He got it and it has all kiinds of information in it that is so much worse than any of us suspected. It sounds like sour grapes and jealousy. But I just can't understand this from you. I supported you when you went to the corn maze and wrote and put up pictures about it. I read here all the time knowing you were someone in the area and saw things that those of us cross country had no idea of. But this is just boggling my mind that deflecting from the information he has, which is unbelievable and I don't for one moment believe like the sheeple do that he went in and changed all those emails and journal entries, my God, that would take forever. He has just too much information and documentation for it to be made up. So why in heck would you not be behind him on this rather than you and Mickey lookiing for ways to trash him. What does that say to Kate? God, it just gives her more power to continue to abuse her children. Why would you do that? Is it a case of Shoot the Messenger? Or is it really a case of jealousy because he got this information where you and Al didn't? I just swear I don't get it.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

IMO any writing on this topic that can reach the masses is good, and the more the merrier. There are many perspectives and they all add up to completing the whole picture. My opinion on this book is not black or white just as it wasn't on Al's book or even my own for that matter. It's good this book got the word out there somewhat but it appears the author made some mistakes that may cause the whole thing to backfire, if it hasn't already. If he isn't taken seriously, then what? An even more pissed off Kate and eight little ones at her mercy. And as we all know it's not good when that happens.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

What Silimom posted above as to why Discovery would want to pull this book, it is exactly what I thought -- how can they negotiate in the future when everyone knows what they are willing to pay, not only per episode but in perks too?

Oh well the horse has already left the barn and I can think of 8 reasons why I don't feel sorry for Discovery whatsoever that Hoffman spilled the beans. If Discovery only thought of their shareholders and their profit margin versus being concerned for 8 little kids who were being abused, then Discovery deserves information getting out to the viewing public.

I can sum it up in one word: Karma.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

Hi Werny - My original comment complimenting your book went through just fine. In fact, that's where I copied it from to bring it over here. I know many people complain that their comments disappear or never show up in the first place but I can honestly say I've never experienced that at 15. There have been many times where I have disagreed with a position the Admin or someone else has made and my comments always go through, no matter my position. Perhaps it's because I've been posting there a long time. Or it could be that, because there are so many comments posted there, it's easy to lose track of yours in the maelstrom. I often have to do a "command-F" and search for my name to find my comment.

Yes, there are a great deal of comments from people who feel that you and Al are attacking Robert Hoffman because you're jealous that your books weren't as well received. We've already discussed that when both of the first two books were released. My take on it at the time was that neither book was the expose that Kate's detractors were anxiously awaiting.

I never thought your book was intended to be an expose and I always felt you made that perfectly clear. I think Al was a little more ambiguous and I understand the frustration some people felt. I've often wondered why, specifically, he dislikes Jon so very much. His book was extremely skewed towards attacking Jon. I realize it's probably because that's the person he had more contact with but I always had the feeling that there was more to the story. I could be wrong, it was just my impression.

In any case, as I said before,neither book were the "Hate Kate Fest" that most of her non fans have wanted for several years. They did not present any real new information, at least not for the people who have been following the story since the beginning. Robert's book has done that, although it will be interesting to see if he's able to reissue it.

As for whether it was Kate's team that shut down the Amazon book, yes, it was. The letter is signed 'LAVELY & SINGER" who are Kate's LA attorneys. But I understand why you might think it would be VF or any of the other magazine authors quoted in the article. However, again, I think Robert can mount a "Fair Use" defense.

As has been mentioned on a lot of the gossip sites, it should be noted that Kate's team is not filing libel charges. And her claims of copyright or intellectual property infringement would affirm that the material in question is true and factual.

Kate, if you're reading the blogs today, you may want to consider that before pressing your case any further. In addition, please bear in mind that if Robert chooses to take this to court to defend himself, all the documentation in question will be submitted as evidence and will be a matter of public record. In addition, his defense team can subpoena additional information for discovery purposes, including medical records.

There are many attorneys who would take this on as a "First Amendment" case and would likely work pro bono. Ken White at Popehat.com and Marc Randazza would probably be more than willing to put Robert Hoffman in contact with attorneys who would be willing to help him. (Google them if you'd like - you'll find their credentials are impressive).

Do you really want to go there? Your choice, but I would urge you to think in the long term best interest of your family. Is it worth spending down your assets to fight this battle? Your children would suffer. You can't change the past but you went on in your journals about your desire to be a good mother.

You are not contesting the validity of the information presented, only Robert Hoffman's right to include it in his book. Is it worth jeopardizing your children's futures just to prove that you can do what you want, whenever you want?

A real celebrity would have ignored the whole thing. A real mother would let it drop.

Just saying.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersilimom

More great input, Silimom. Yes, I always have to laugh at the jealousy theory. Why is it that when people disagree within this community they're accused of jealousy? In this case it doesn't even make sense because no one knows how Al's and my books have done except Al and me. But I've come to accept that this accusation is just one of the quirky things that happens in the strange Gosselin world, and it may very well happen in other online communities as well.

Knowing Al I don't think he really disliked Jon more than Kate, but he had more material on Jon because Jon made himself much more accessible than Kate did. Jon went down to the fence to talk to the paps while Kate often walked right past them without making eye contact or even acknowledging their presense even when they spoke to her. Jon also became friends with Bob who was Al's partner at the time so Al got to hear first-hand about some of Jon's bungles. It was never anything personal against Jon with Al, nor wasnt in defense of Kate. Al's book sure did piss off people who were rabid for nasty information about Kate though. They were very disappointed.

September 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

Great Post Silimom!!!

I think you have hit the nail on the head when you said above that neither Al nor Polly's books were the tell all expose that the Kate's detractors were anxiously awaiting. Fact is, I was one of those detractors who will admit to being a little disappointed in Al's book because it gave some new information but not nearly as much dirt as I really, really wanted. Still I enjoyed Al's book and even his writing style which means that I was impressed that he pretty much summed up his entire book with the first line: it is a story about bullshit.

Then when it comes to Polly's book, and knowing her educational background, you have to keep in mind it was written from the point of view of educating the public in regards to what happens when you sell your family for fame and fortune. Sure right off the bat you have a lot of material things, but at what long term psychological cost to your family? Suffice it to say that I am proud to have volunteered my services as an editor to my friend that self published a book that has gone on to be required reading at the college level!

Because I have the advantage of being friends with Polly offline, I have some knowledge when I say that there are NO sour grapes or even any jealousy issues with either Al or Polly when it comes to the books they have written being compared to Robert Hoffman's book, and I can say this because I have been privy to information over the years that will never be posted. But I will share this tidbit: Al and Polly have known each other for several years because they have a mutual interest/connection in their community, so when Al was writing his book he was telling her some of the crazy things that were going on which was fun to hear, but as the happy horse shit got crazier and more intense, then Polly decided to write her book in the hope of helping the Gosselin family -- yes this included Jon and Kate, not just the kids. Polly told me that even Al did not realize while he was working as a reporter and covering the stupidest story of the universe that it does in fact have a dark side when it comes to what is happening to the 8 children because there were no child labor laws in PA to protect them.

Now comes Robert Hoffman's book, a whole year after Kate Plus 8 has ended, and it is the "Kate Hate Fest" that her detractors have been waiting for years and oh my goodness, Robert did not disappoint!! I have enjoyed the confirmation of many things and the revelation of new tidbits, some of which drove me to tears because of the kids, but geez, a couple of times I kinda sorta felt a little sorry for Kate as to what private information was published but that only lasted just a millisecond before I justified it as Kate wanted to be a celebrity, this is part of that lifestyle, so she gets what she so richly deserves!!!

KATE GOSSELIN -- I refer you to Silimom's comments above. End this now because some (not all) attorneys will tell you up front that you can spend A LOT of money because you feel that you are entitled to sue, but in the end all you will have accomplished when the dust settles is to guarantee employment and a high end lifestyle for your attorneys even if they were NOT able to win your case, and of course your bank account will be missing some zeros.

September 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

WG, I know we all ask you questions here since you live in the same town as the Gosselins, but Im trying to read between the lines on the new book fiasco. Were Jon and the author "buddies" like radar.online is trying to push? I know you dont know all these people personaly, I don't go into 15 or other sites, just here . Today was the first time I've been to Kate's twitter in a long long time and she has been sort of quiet in there. I hope everything will be ok for the kids , thats my main issue here. We have said for years and years Kate needs help, now more than ever do I truely believe this!

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

Hi Julie, as Robert says in his book, he met Jon when he was covering the Gosselins as a photographer for US Weekly. He actually only covered them for a brief period time during that summer of Gosselin wackiness. Bob was the photographer and Al was the reporter for the magazine so they teamed up together. Bob was never a reporter for the newspaper or for US. I keep calling him Bob because that's the name I knew him under because that's what Al called him that summer. Apparently he goes by Robert now.
Polly

October 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

The Gosselin Book site has changed the wording. It now say "ALL proceeds" will go to the charity.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoCal

Thanks for the update SoCal. Good for Hoffman for clarifying that.

October 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterWerny Gal

*NEWS ALERT* .......... according to radar.online
they are saying Jon helped Hoffman get his information.


Your thoughts?

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie B

Julie B

I think ROL is basing their article on the following article by Al Walentis:

http://greaterreadingonline.com/2012/9/28/whoi-is-robert-hoffman-and-why-is-he-writing-those-terrible-things-about-kate-gosselin

At the end of Al's article he points out some interesting questions and for the record I happen to be one of those "reasonable people" to which he refers.

BTW, I just want to state for the record that I did change my wording in paragraph #3 above in my post above in regards to "sour grapes" (I added "when it comes to their books").

I certainly know this to be true especially about Polly because we talk on the telephone all the time. However I made this change after reading the Al's article because I see that he refers to his friendship with Hoffman "soured" over a photograph and quite frankly I think that Al deserves to be pissed that Robert has yet to pay him the money that he is owed.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMickey McKean

These kids are living with this abusive woman and know first hand what she is. The book will not shock them. They will be relieved that people know the truth.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

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