Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So-called celebrity justice

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Ask the family of the old indian fella that was knocked off in a road rage incident if they agree with you that what people do with a rush of blood to the head should not have any bearing on the rest of a persons life.

    I'm going to guess that the incident of road rage didn't involve being drunk and then getting totally the wrong end of the stick and doing something inappropriate and stupid with a unconsenting young woman and then admitting it was wrong and offering restorative justice afterwards.

    Do people convicted of road rage offences even get name suppression?

    Not really a valid comparison.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    getting totally the wrong end of the stick

    I'll avoid channeling Finbarr Saunders at this point.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Rik, as Kyle says, that's not a valid comparison at all.

    For a start, a man died. You're running the risk of trivialising that by even making the comparison.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    But the offence with which he was eventually charged took place in the course of about 10 seconds. If, indeed, it was to ruin the rest of his life, that would be quite a punishment.

    different if he was a teacher though aye.

    Well, he didn't think about it, clearly. He was very drunk and went down an alley with a couple of young women to get a blow job in the middle of the night, and appears to have drunkenly believed their friend was joining in too. It's pretty gross.

    But the offence with which he was eventually charged took place in the course of about 10 seconds. If, indeed, it was to ruin the rest of his life, that would be quite a punishment.

    oxymoronic paragraphs. incongruous attitudes conveyed there i feel Russell. Either it's no biggie or it's gonna ruin his life. Can't imagine it would ruin his life more than all this speculation and the guys coming up after gigs and giving him shit for being the artist formerly known as---

    As someone said, press like this could do wonders for a celeb's career in this day and age.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    By comparison, the Dr who admitted mutual fondling of genitals with a 16yr old babysitter & then continued an e-affair 15yrs later. Subsequently agreed to pay $50K in compensation, but didn't cause she went to the media.
    Has name suppession currently and still maintains he "did not have sexual relations with that girl" after the above admission- from RNZ.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1144 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    It probably was a bad comparison - I certainly do not want to trivialise a man's death.

    However I was attempting to make a valid point and that point is that you appeared to be trivialising the act that occurred by saying that he was drunk, that he didn't know what he was doing, that he didn't think hard enough, that it really wasn't that big of a deal (who are you to judge?).

    I do not agree with your viewpoint.

    I have no problem living with the consequences of my actions. I don't see why anyone else should not do the same.

    Since Jun 2007 • 124 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Most celebrities actually make money from being known by a wide number of people-

    After his falling out with law, we didn't all of stop buying Michael Jackson's stuff. Neither did we forget him.

    Say it were to ruin his life, the thing that concerns me are those 'aspiring entertainers' hoping to get a break who wouldn't get name suppression because they're merely aspiring rather than fully fledged real deal shiznuts. Shouldn't there be a job vacancy sign up somewhere? Won't there be a newcomer ready to fill those shoes? What are these safety nets hanging beneath the lives of New Zealanders? How do they benefit rational decision making?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Can't imagine it would ruin his life more than all this speculation and the guys coming up after gigs and giving him shit for being the artist formerly known as---

    His lawyer will have offered evidence to the judge that conviction and publication would cause him damage out of proportion with the severity of the offence. The judge will also have taken into account the views of the police, who did not oppose name suppression. That's a kind of judicial discretion built in to the system.

    Given that the Herald has repeatedly chosen to characterise the defendant as a "sex offender", it would seem that fears about the nature of media coverage were well placed.

    And now the Herald, with the Law Commission report on on suppression orders freshly published, is running the following on its from page:

    "Public want entertainer named after PM says he knows identity VIDEO" (that's the vox pops)

    "What do you think of name suppression laws in NZ?"

    It leads to a Your Views which even asks people to say how they knew the guy's name; all the better to make it look like a fair accompli.

    Nowhere is there a discussion of name suppression laws or a balancing voice. They're basically using the guy to drive a campaign, I think.

    I actually suspect the guy might soon just have to play the game: seek the withdrawal of the order, line up a couple of soft interviews for print and TV, give them what they want.

    I just find it a bit creepy that we're seeing a decision handed from the judge entrusted with it by statute, to people who want to sell papers and drive ratings.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    After his falling out with law, Not all of us stopped buying Michael Jackson's stuff.

    The slight difference I see there is that Mr Jackson was perceived as an established fruit-loop long before he fell out with the law. Therefore the shock value (and subsequent damage to his career) when the allegations started flying, may have been diminished.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    But seriously guys, if this dude were an artist you supported, would this information prevent you from getting down and shaking your ass to the funk? If the dude is an entertainer, then what more do they need to do than entertain, surely this alley way move is a surefire sign of a slight shift in stylistic direction and the entertainer should get hip to market whims, I see similarities with releasing a crap album or any other commercially unsound decision.

    I just find it a bit creepy that we're seeing a decision handed from the judge entrusted with it by statute, to people who want to sell papers and drive ratings.

    Yeah, what they're doing seems politically motivated, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a reworking of the legislation, which would inevitably lead to lower ratings for a story like this.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    You know, it would be possible to modify the t-shirts sold for a well known charity with some words like "I've got [redacted] on my tits"?

    Would one get busted for weariing such a garment in public?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4413 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    However I was attempting to make a valid point and that point is that you appeared to be trivialising the act that occurred by saying that he was drunk, that he didn't know what he was doing, that he didn't think hard enough, that it really wasn't that big of a deal (who are you to judge?).

    The first words you put in my mouth are a matter of record, the second is a reasonable supposition and the other two I didn't say. I said it was it was "gross and drunken, and shocking and unpleasant for the victim." I don't apologise for trying to put it in context, given some of what has been said about it.

    You, on the other hand, took such leave of a sense of proportion that your first thought was to compare it to the beating to death of an elderly man.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke,

    If the dude is an entertainer, then what more do they need to do than entertain

    Aren't they also meant to be positive role models, or somesuch?

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    However I was attempting to make a valid point and that point is that you appeared to be trivialising the act that occurred by saying that he was drunk, that he didn't know what he was doing, that he didn't think hard enough, that it really wasn't that big of a deal (who are you to judge?).

    Actually the judge was the one who judged that it didn't warrant a conviction or the consequences of a trial by media. Your position seems to amount to the idea that "celebrities" should wear heavier consequences for their actions simply because they are celebrities. What it amounts to is that you seem to think the media and the public are in a better position to judge the man's actions than the judge and the police. I can't agree with that.

    Since Sep 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    Your position seems to amount to the idea that "celebrities" should wear heavier consequences for their actions simply because they are celebrities.

    No - my position is that "celebrities" should wear the same consequences for their actions regardless of whether they are celebrities.

    You, on the other hand, took such leave of a sense of proportion that your first thought was to compare it to the beating to death of an elderly man.

    Correct, however you must have missed this:

    It probably was a bad comparison - I certainly do not want to trivialise a man's death.

    Someone should remind me not to tangle swords with an accomplished wordsmith such as yourself. I do have a different viewpoint to yours and wish I was better able to express it.

    Since Jun 2007 • 124 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    No - my position is that "celebrities" should wear the same consequences for their actions regardless of whether they are celebrities.

    It seems blatantly obvious to me that there is no way that celebrities wear the same consequences when the media get involved. So who gets to decide whether the media attention would be out of proportion to the offense? I say it should be the courts. The Herald (and I guess the rest of the media) think they should decide. I think that your belief that the public should decide is unworkable and unfair since it amounts to a trail by public opinion.

    Since Sep 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    IMO John Key breached the suppression order as he announced that he came to know the identity of the "mystery" celebrity through unofficial channels (as well as the "channel" is in breach of course).

    Not meaning to pick on anyone in particular, but the lack of understanding about what exactly an order suppressing the name of an offender means frequently surprises me.

    It is not a breach of a suppression order to have a private conversation with someone over who the prominent entertainer is. It is not a breach of a suppression order to tell your mother who it is in an email.

    A suppression order:
    [prohibits] the publication, in any report or account relating to any proceedings in respect of an offence, of the name, address, or occupation of the person accused or convicted of the offence, or of any other person connected with the proceedings, or any particulars likely to lead to any such person's identification.

    There's no statutory definition of "publication" in the Criminal Justice Act, but the courts have held that publication involves publicly disclosing or putting material in the public arena.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    From what I've read here, it appears that the 'entertainer' needs to consider how getting seriously drunk is foolish. I would expect the judge to pointed that out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    From what I've read here, it appears that the 'entertainer' needs to consider how getting seriously drunk is foolish. I would expect the judge to pointed that out.

    I wouldn't need a judge for that, perhaps a room,then those that didn't follow would be out of range from this person.Fwiw if nothing else, lesson to be learnt here.
    I'll get me coat,( but not meant in a crude way for those thinking like I just saw).

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5972 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Someone should remind me not to tangle swords with an accomplished wordsmith such as yourself. I do have a different viewpoint to yours and wish I was better able to express it.

    Fair enough. But you did oblige me to personally defend myself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18666 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    I do, however, wonder whether this case would ever have got to court if there hadn’t been a “well known entertainer” involved.

    Probably, given that he admitted he was guilty and there was more than one witness - both things that most cases involving sexual offending don't have, and part of the reason it's so difficult to take many of them to court.

    I think he acted like a sleazy drunk, but usually, if you tell a sleazy drunk to fuck off, they do.

    Perhaps that's not so easy to do if you're a 16 year old girl who has realised that she's in way over her head with someone she's a bit in awe of and twenty years older?

    I've been tremendously disappointed to hear whispers of the old victim blaming in this case as well - people saying "but oh, she led him on". I'm all for context, but gosh, there's context and there's taking responsibility for your own actions. Lord knows I've been drunk and flirtatious a thousand times but never felt like the next step was pushing someone's face into my naked crotch.

    However, I'm disturbed by this trial by media and assumption that if you don't play the game and sell your story to the Sunday rags, you're fair game.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • quentin c,

    Was it 'the entertainer' or the judge who made a gagging order?

    Since Nov 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Was it 'the entertainer' or the judge who made a gagging order?

    The judge of course. Defendants don't get to make orders, and even if they did they certainly wouldn't have the strength of law behind them.

    Since Sep 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    But you did oblige me to personally defend myself.

    Ooh, as long as we're marching to bring back belting the kids... let's bring back duelling!

    Sir, you have obliged me to demand satisfaction.

    (like Steve Barnes, I just want to bring threads together).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    >Was it 'the entertainer' or the judge who made a gagging order?

    The judge of course. Defendants don't get to make orders, and even if they did they certainly wouldn't have the strength of law behind them.

    I think quentin was actually making a crude pun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

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