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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's Not OK.

Yesterday's DomPost had a large front page article reporting that TVNZ sports presenter Tony Veitch had assaulted former partner Kristin Dunne-Powell, who needed hospital treatment and was confined to a wheelchair.

The Dominion Post also revealed that Veitch later agreed to pay her more than $100,000 to guarantee her silence. Whether or not she was the one who broke the silence or not has yet to be revealed.

And then last night on TVNZ news during the sport their was Veitch doing his thing.

This morning Stuff is reporting the TVNZ knew of the assault and that they are treating the matter as a private one for Veitch. So he will be keeping his job.

Now, if we assume everything we've heard is true (and currently there is nothing that would suggest otherwise) I'm quite surprised Vietch is still on-air. Because you know what this reminds me of? Clint Brown.

Clint Brown was an arrogant, loud mouth television sports presenter whose ego gave him a character that made him popular (not unlike many other sports presenters). He wasn't great, you might not want him to be your friend, but he was alright as a sports presenter.

Then, one night in Taupo, he got drunk, got punched, abused a taxi driver, and was subsequently stood down from TV3 news. He later resigned and the last we saw of him was this (now infamous) shot of him peering out the door at a reporter. He now does radio and some minor television work.

So why doesn't TVNZ stand Veitch down? He's obviously got some stuff to sort out now so why do I have to see him presenting sport to me? (Of course I could just switch to TV3 and I may do).

Like everything in television this is a PR exercise. And currently I don't think they've handled it well. And, as evil as this sounds, sports presenters are a dime-a-dozen. Throw this one under the bus and get another one. Or run those "It's Not Ok" family violence ads directly before the start of the sports news.

8 comments:

stephen said...

First of all, please for the love of god don't think I'm condoning domestic violence, or anything? Ok, read on..

1. I'm interested in why you think that TVNZ should take him off air. Can you elaborate?

2. Clint Brown fucked up in public. Tony Veitch, if the stories are to be believed, fucked up in private. Is there a difference?

3. Do you think that there's a range of offences for which a similar punishment could be meted out? Any offence? Or is there some kind of threshhold?

4. If TVNZ were to stand him down, do you think that there's anything in Veitch's contract that could be brought to bear in this situation? Should there be?

5. If there is, should there be a similar clause in my contract? Yours? Would the same rules about degree-of-seriousness of offence apply?

stephen said...

Oh, and 6. Perhaps there's more to the story than we are assuming. Like, for example, he threatened to slap her, she ran away, and in doing so fell down the stairs and broke her neck. It's not the same thing as "He gave her such a beating that he put her in a wheelchair for six months", is it? More of an accident. Perhaps he's a good guy, and the money was because he felt so terrible about what had happened. And no charges were pressed by her because it was just an accident? Like I say -- we don't know the facts do we.

Hadyn said...

1. I'm interested in why you think that TVNZ should take him off air. Can you elaborate?

TVNZ should take him off the minimum reason that it damages them in some way to have him on. Removing him and replacing him with another giggling sports presenter will cause a fuss for (at most) a week. And that's why I can't understnad why he's still there.

My own personal opinion is that he should be removed until all teh allegations are cleared and if any are true he should be fired. But that's purely a moral decision on my part.

Then again I'm willing to entertain bets on how long it takes before one of teh female presenters to tell him to "shut the fuck up little man!" on air.

2. Clint Brown fucked up in public. Tony Veitch, if the stories are to be believed, fucked up in private. Is there a difference?

Clint was the recipient of violence after drinking. His "crime" wasn't even an actual crime. Beyond that Veitch's crime wasn't public only because he paid for that to be so.

3. Do you think that there's a range of offenses for which a similar punishment could be meted out? Any offense? Or is there some kind of threshold?

In the real world this would be at the discretion of the network. I would set my threshold at "could possibly cause harm to someone other than him/herself". So: caught in possession of marijuana = stays. Drives drunk = goes

4. If TVNZ were to stand him down, do you think that there's anything in Veitch's contract that could be brought to bear in this situation? Should there be?

I don't know if you mean to save him or to get rid of him? To get rid of him, I imagine it would be something like a "code of conduct". To keep him I imagine it would be something along the lines of a formal warning system.

5. If there is, should there be a similar clause in my contract? Yours? Would the same rules about degree-of-seriousness of offense apply?

yup.

6. Perhaps there's more to the story than we are assuming. Like, for example, he threatened to slap her, she ran away, and in doing so fell down the stairs and broke her neck. It's not the same thing as "He gave her such a beating that he put her in a wheelchair for six months", is it? More of an accident. Perhaps he's a good guy, and the money was because he felt so terrible about what had happened. And no charges were pressed by her because it was just an accident? Like I say -- we don't know the facts do we.

I think we know a lot of the facts. Especially considering we haven't had anyone deny this yet. And TVNZ have almost admitted it did happen and that they knew about it. I don't know if your example holds even if it were true. For example we have seen a number of cases where the assault didn't injure the victim but the subsquent actions did (ie. someone gets punched, falls back hits their head and gets concussed)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Stephen on this one. The full details of this seemingly grubby incident are still unknown. And until all facts are known, he should keep his job. Having worked in the mainstream media, I know how easy it is to beat up what few facts are available into a "sexier" story. There's a lot we dont know. Let Veitch have the benefit of the doubt. Suze.

Hadyn said...

Yeah but why not suspend him (with pay) until then. They're only hurting themselves by having him there.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess the truth is out now. I hope never to see him on our screens again.

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