Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: So far from trivial

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  • simon g,

    Has anybody from the sport/media circles spoken out on this? I haven't seen any, but would be happy to be wrong.

    A simple "if he stays in his job, I won't be appearing with him, joshing around and pretending it's all good", or words to that effect.

    It's not exactly the most important issue here, but if this means less matey chat between newsreaders and "Veitchy" (because they're all friends, and ours too!), then that's one small gain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1213 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Hasn't his house been on the market for a while? Does he owe someone $100k or something?

    (dunno, might be putting the boot in a bit much myself here).

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Hasn't his house been on the market for a while? Does he owe someone $100k or something?

    (dunno, might be putting the boot in a bit much myself here).

    Ouch. Kick a man while he's down eh...

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    I'm just looking through Steven Price's wonderful book Media Minefield and here's a key point in the advent that you have to prove truth to avoid being found to have defamed someone.

    If you've promised your source confidentiality, then they may not want to back you up publicly. One way around this is to try to get the source to agree at the outset to surrender confidentiality if the matter ever goes to court.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    That's John N. Gray above in case you suspected astrological gender polarization...

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    What possible mitigating circumstance could there be for knocking someone to the ground and kicking them until their back broke?

    For knocking someone to the ground? Assault, a reasonable fear thereof, give me a while and I can come up with some more.

    Kicking them until their back breaks? That's a little more challenging.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    I suspect that if a contract has been entered into between two parties, with full disclosure of an action on the part of one of the parties, which if brought to public attention might damage the reputation of the other party, then unilateral termination of said contract without full payout might be quite difficult.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yes, Simon, so how long they knew becomes a deciding point in who will pay to terminate him - Veitch or his employers.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    am i a total Pollyanna for hoping that people are able to be rehabilitated?

    :( ........
    apparently in this world of understanding and compassion, anti death penalty, prison systems don't work because it a punishment, (not a remedy), war on drugs is a war on personal freedom, mental health is a real issue and should not be marginalised and shamed, etc etc....... pollyanna maybe

    looks like there's gonna be a lynchin', stand back so's you don't get run over by the posse

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    Surely a big problem for TVNZ is that they'll have to start tailoring their news hour to avoid squirm-inducing situations like Simon Dallow crossing straight from a report on the Govt's new anti-violence campaign to "And now here's Tony with the Sport ... how about them All Blacks?" Or having him front a story on a sportsman charged with some violence incident (as happens all too often). Just what do they do - run such stories and know a great many viewers are sitting there thinking "I wonder how Tony's feeling right now?", or drop it to avoid the problem. In which case it is the presenter setting the news agenda - surely untenable?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    I am staggered at the extent of condemnation expressed by the responses to this blog. There is so much hate and contempt expressed for an issue when so little is known for fact. Speculation is based on media reports feeding opinions. Would a single blow be the same as a "prolonged vicious beating"? We do not know. Was it true that the "compensation" (more than any restitution) was a long time after the event rather than a condition of medical treatment as some of you suggest. I am deeply concerned at the mob thirst for punishment expressed on these pages and feel discouraged that the usual fairness in the discussions on PA have been undermined. The cartoon in the Herald says it all for me. (The judge can't get his place back on the bench because the Media has taken over!) I would add a lynch mob mentality!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    When Veitch came out with the Serena Williams slur, I was so annoyed, i sent an email to his TVNZ email address advising him to read about Jackie Robinson, the first black professional baseball player to player Major League baseball.

    Robinson faced terrible racism - institutional and otherwise - in 1940s and 50s America.

    And you've got someone like Tony Veitch belittling a black athlete like Serena Williams without having a clue about the kind of barriers that black sportspeople had to break through.

    Even more recently Tiger Woods was banned by his local golf club when he was a boy because he wasn't white.

    How someone even with a limited number of braincells could think the y were making a funny remark by likening Williams to apes, beggars belief.

    He did have to apologise on air for that comment but it was hard to like or respect him after that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Whichever way you look at it - revictimisation, harm to the TVNZ brand, juror selection if/when a case comes to trial - it's better for all parties he's off the air.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    There surely can't be any question about what his employers do next. Clint Brown was sacked for an offence that, while despicable, was nowhere near as abhorrent as this. To keep Veitch on would be to condone domestic violence. His dismissal is a matter of when not if. Can't see how he could keep living in the goldfish bowl that is NZ after this.

    Morally 100% correct.... but legally? Employment law may not let them do that, if they were already aware of the issue... This is why so many of us want to know WHEN his employers became aware....

    It was part of the problem of getting rid of Clint Rickards, remember.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Ian - Distaste for violent assault isn't the same as circumventing the law and you'll notice much of the discussion has been on the legal issues.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Kicking them until their back breaks? That's a little more challenging.

    Oh, just a little, huh?

    looks like there's gonna be a lynchin', stand back so's you don't get run over by the posse

    Yeah, gee, it's really sad how everyone gets all het up over minor incidents like this. I mean, the guy said he's sorry, right? On national TV and everything! What more could we possibly want?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    Would a single blow be the same as a "prolonged vicious beating"? We do not know.

    Ian, for all the assumptions being made, it is at the very least reasonable to presume that it was not a "single blow" that fractured a woman's back in four places.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    I predict a parting of the ways - with a huge payout. Which will generate another furore.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ian, a single blow is never going to produce the injuries described and not denied. The intersection of extreme personal violence and ingrained sports-jock culture is bound to produce strong feelings in any forum. The discussion here is very reasonable compared with most others.

    Redemption is possible - but it will take more than a stage-managed apology a couple of years after the fact, and it will involve stuff that as Craig noted earlier is out of the public eye.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    There surely can't be any question about what his employers do next. Clint Brown was sacked for an offence that, while despicable, was nowhere near as abhorrent as this. To keep Veitch on would be to condone domestic violence. His dismissal is a matter of when not if. Can't see how he could keep living in the goldfish bowl that is NZ after this.

    Morally 100% correct.... but legally? Employment law may not let them do that, if they were already aware of the issue... This is why so many of us want to know WHEN his employers became aware....

    It was part of the problem of getting rid of Clint Rickards, remember.

    Fletcher, I think it was mentioned earlier that media personalities generally have written into their contracts something around bringing their employers' reputation into disrepute by association. Hence Clint Brown's dismissal, Darren McDonald etc. So legally, both TVNZ and Radio Live would be well within their rights to give him the boot (pun not intended).

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Thom James,

    reputation into disrepute

    'Scuse my syntax

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Bee,

    Please Thom, think hard about your use of the word "cunt" as the ultimate insult for a male.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 67 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "Ian, a single blow is never going to produce the injuries described and not denied. "

    I don't know what happened but there are many cases of guys falling over and banging their heads ending up dead.

    A friends brother ended up on deathrow in Texas after one punch, a badly placed bold and being black in Texas.
    He's off deathrow now but not sure if he's out.

    That pisshead Ozzy cricketer who took on the bouncer and was thrown out of the pub, died when his head hit the ground.

    Littlest actions can have very bad results. TRhat's why no violence is good & we no-longer use the 'rule of thumb'.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Isn't Clint back on TV at Prime - thought I saw him on there.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    __What possible mitigating circumstance could there be for knocking someone to the ground and kicking them until their back broke?__

    For knocking someone to the ground? Assault, a reasonable fear thereof, give me a while and I can come up with some more.

    Kicking them until their back breaks? That's a little more challenging.

    Reasonable fear of assault isn't a mitigating circumstance, it's a defence.

    Mitigating circumstances might include: being stressed, being provoked, extreme tiredness, bad reaction to medication, finding the person in bed with someone else, losing one's job ad infinitum.

    Does the fact that these might mitigate a bad assualt seem bad? Contrast the alternative:

    I was angry because I'd lost my job, was having financial difficulties, and hadn't slept for more than a couple hours a night for a week and just let fly

    vs.

    I'd just gotten a promotion at work and felt like celebrating.

    Mitigating factors aren't there to excuse you. We've got defences for that, but they are they to point out - when considering sentencing - yes this was bad, but it wasn't as bad as it would have been in other circumstances.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3185 posts Report Reply

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