TV host clashes with MH370 author

Last updated 14:38 22/05/2014
The Age

Today host Karl Stefanovic asks author Nigel Cawthorne some pointed questions regarding his MH370 book.

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Australia's Today host Karl Stefanovic has clashed with the author of the first book to be written about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - labelling it insensitive and disgusting.

Flight MH370: The Mystery, by American writer Nigel Cawthorne, touches on all the conspiracy theories to have surfaced since the Boeing 777 carrying 239 people, including five Australians, vanished.

Quizzed by Stefanovic about the timing of the book, Cawthorne rejected claims its release was too soon.

"I think it's actually good timing because the initial phase of the search is over," he said on Nine on Wednesday. "It's time to re-evaluate what we know already."

In the book, Cawthorne claims that the plane could have been shot down by US-Thai strike fighters as part of a training drill that went horribly wrong.

"You can understand why some of these families might take an issue with it when you don't know what happened in terms of that plane?" Stefanovic asked.

Cawthorne responded, "I'm not pretending to know", to which Stefanovic said: "Do you concede that it may be insensitive?"

"Any more than you giving me the oxygen of publicity is insensitive," the writer retorted. "You don't have to get me on to talk about it.

"I'm sorry you're being insensitive by having me on. Everything that's been written about this is insensitive. All the theories are insensitive, any publicity about it is insensitive.

"It's what I do for a living. I get paid to write books."

Stefanovic concluded the heated interview with, "We've got victims' families here in Australia and I can't imagine this does them any good whatsoever when they don't know what's happened to their loved ones."

Flight 370 vanished on March 8, just an hour into its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Of the 239 people onboard were six Australians and two New Zealanders.

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