Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So-called celebrity justice

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  • andrew llewellyn,

    Heh. So-called celebrity. Somehow that seems apt. Well, now that we've run out of stars for dancing with anyway.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Kim_Wright,

    Me, I'm more in favour of celebrity supression

    But I see the whole discussion around this issue as part of a wider trend; how depressingly big and important court news is on TV and in newspapers these days... cheaper to have a reporter stake out a court room all day for titbits than engage in investigative journalism about shit that really matters?

    Wellington • Since May 2009 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ironically, had he actually been named, the man would have been guaranteed a sympathetic run from the same media organisations who have been pursuing him -- in exchange for an interview. The Sunday Star Times was, for example, only too happy to softball Clint Rickards in exchange for pictures with his daughter.

    Or the Herald on Sunday running a double page softball "interview" with Tony Veitch by Paul Holmes -- while just happening to forget to disclose that Holmes was giving media advice to his "close friend". I regret that I didn't follow through at the time and lay a formal complaint with the HoS, with one eye on the Press Council.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    For me it comes down to deciding who has the best knowledge and experience to make the correct call.

    Do you want a reporter or newspaper editor making that call or do you want a judge to make that call.

    I personally think we have too many laws and too many lawyers. But that doesn't mean I don't have a great deal of respect for the effort and knowledge that judges put into making what sometimes are very hard decisions. I don't think I'd be comfortable taking the decision out of their hands.

    Yes you can argue that sometimes name suppression doesn't work, but that isn't a reason to throw away a system that actually does work pretty well for most of the people whom judges decide are in need of name suppression. It is only when the media deem someone a celebrity that suppression struggles, perhaps the solution isn't to regulate the suppression system but instead to regulate the media?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3414 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The man involved pleaded guilty to a charge of "performing an indecent act with intent to insult" ... If you haven't heard that charge before, you're not alone – either no one is ever charged with it, or, more likely, it is never regarded as newsworthy in the media.

    It's what you can be charged with for publicly mooning someone (though they'd usually just go with offensive behaviour - max fine $1000) rather than this, with its maximum of two year's prison.

    There are some awesome offences still on the books - denying or impugning the validity of a marriage is among my favourites.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I reckon a "discharge without conviction" should *only* be given when the defendant broke the law, but in a technical fashion that means that a conviction isn't justified. It should never be given when there's a justifiably aggrieved victim (as in the above case). If no punishment is indicated, then the defendant should be convicted and discharged.

    Based on that, I'd say that there should be a clear framework for name suppression:

    - before a trial finishes, there would be automatic name suppression unless the defendant elects to waive it, it would interfere with a just outcome of the trial, or it would cast suspicion on a third party who might be thought to be the accused.

    - after an acquittal or discharge without conviction, name suppression would continue except on the above grounds.

    - after a conviction resulting in a substantial sentence (jail, community service or a fine over $1000) name suppression would only be available to protect the identity of the victim.

    - where a minor sentence is imposed, name suppression would be at the discretion of the judge on the grounds of disclosure imposing a disproportionate additional penalty.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    But what exactly should we take from his observation that the fact he was told the man's name shows suppression orders don't work?

    If it was a SIS problem, I could understand his knowledge and would have no problem with that. I presume his being told, wasn't in the interest of national security, so I take from his admittance that, he has been gossiped to and that suppression should be respected moreso. I feel we need to respect a Judges decision to suppress because that is part of their job and they are supposed to be the expert in their field. To change this is just another slide toward 3 strikes...
    If the judge is questionable then there are already avenues for that. Let it be.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6265 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    denying or impugning the validity of a marriage is among my favourites.

    Your mum.

    (Is that it?)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    SIS problem...he has been gossiped to

    Isn't the SIS just a very expensive agency for the passing on of gossip?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Isn't the SIS just a very expensive agency for the passing on of gossip?

    I did think it was gossip for the benefit of our country, but now you mention it, maybe we could have John Key for Judge, jury and executioner. he did campaign on more transparency. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6265 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Miss Scarlet in the Library with the candlestick

    I personally think we have too many laws and too many lawyers

    Due to lack of civilization.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1685 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    ...PLEASE DO NOT BREACH AN ORDER OR TRY AND BE CLEVER IN A WAY THAT MIGHT LEAD TO A NAME BEING DISCOVERED.

    Funnily enough, I reckon that's what today's Herald did.

    Great post today, Russell. You really made me reconsider my opinion on this.

    Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    The obvious argument against name supression is the "all tarred with the same brush" one.

    When I was trying to identify the person concerned, a few other feasible names were also mentioned. These people should not have to put up with derogatory innuendo about themselves, I reckon.

    I also thought it was amusing that Key said the person who told him didn't work in politics (or words to that effect). I expect it was as simple as asking his teenage daughter, for him to find out.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 612 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I just reported a comment for naming a name, but it's gone now. Just as well.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1861 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    the man appears to have had cause to believe he was getting a consensual blow job from the complainant's friends, who had accompanied him into an alley at 3.30am.

    Because getting consensual blowjobs in alleyways is the norm.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1685 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Because getting consensual blowjobs in alleyways is the norm.

    Not yet, but I'm willing to put my body on the line to make it so.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I just reported a comment for naming a name, but it's gone now. Just as well.

    surely you would only report a comment if it were the name, not just a shot in the dark?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1685 posts Report Reply

  • Gen,

    Either way, mark taslov, you just breached a name suppression order thereby committing contempt of court, or you defamed someone.

    And yes I know which it was.

    Idiot.

    Since Nov 2009 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Because getting consensual blowjobs in alleyways is the norm.

    Ooohh! Is someone about to break out 'normal people don't do those kinds of things'?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    There are so many celebrities, but outside of professional PR and the media on one is interested in all of them. I follow just a few, so when a celebrity commits a crime and the paper screams "Celebrity commits indecent..." I look for clues to see if its someone I have admired. This sells.

    In some subsequent story, if supression is not granted, their name will be revealed. Most of the time it will be some talentless, pointless git I have never had time for, the sort followed obsessively only by the (insert derogatory group term here) demographic whose tastes as a group are unfathomable. Once I know this, I know the story - idiot behaves like idiot - which is not news and does not sell to me. Or it will be that marvellous person who I have enjoyed following and I will devour the unfolding story with interest - this sells. Celebrity stories sell, depending on the degree of celebrity the person has.

    Suppression orders are a godsend to the newspapers, because they get to run the first story over and over (the one that sells unconditionally). I never get to find out* if this is a git or a talented individual.

    * Except in this case, because the only current NZ entertainer celebrities I have much time for are not ever going to be in the market for blowjobs.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Either way, mark taslov, you just breached a name suppression order thereby committing contempt of court, or you defamed someone.

    And yes I know which it was.

    Idiot.

    I did neither. I don't know the name, I said nothing defamatory. This is playground stuff.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1685 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    I did neither

    Sorry Mark, you either defamed or breached. You may not know for sure which, but in putting forward names it was one or the other.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    so let me get this straight? typing "i love [name]" is illegal in NZ?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1685 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Because getting consensual blowjobs in alleyways is the norm.

    Not yet, but I'm willing to put my body on the line to make it so.

    May I suggest you wear knee pads, those alleyways can play havoc on your trousers.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    so let me get this straight? typing "i love [name]" is illegal in NZ?

    Being a douchebag is illegal on Public Address.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1861 posts Report Reply

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