Veitch vs Veitch

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

Tony Veitch

Sky TV should have been enjoying kudos this week for launching a sports show fronted by a woman — Bernadine Oliver-Kerby.

Of course, it didn't play out like that. One of the show's guests, Tony Veitch, took it upon himself to do his own bit of thoughtlessly-worded promotion on Facebook. And then all hell broke loose.

The episode illustrated two things.

1. Veitch is his own worst enemy. He couldn't help but put himself at the centre of New Zealand press box publicity. He seemed compelled to test the waters to see if public sentiment toward him had shifted.

2. The ever-growing power of social media. It took less than 48 hours of Facebook and Twitter maelstrom for Sky TV to announce Vetch had pulled out of the new show. Mainstream media coverage of the controversy took its cues from social media.(as it did with its accounts of Gareth Morgan and Sean Plunket's efforts to shoot themselves in the foot on social).

The controversy is probably not over yet. Sky TV referred to its panellist as "NZME's Tony Veitch" – a clever diversionary tactic and a pointer to where fire could be directed next (Veitch enjoys a lot of screen time, airtime and column across several NZME properties, including NewstalkZB, Radio Sport and the NZ Herald).

As for Veitch himself: I think everyone deserves a second chance if they've paid a price for their crimes, and have shown genuine remorse and empathy for their victim.

And I instinctively dislike the lynch-mob, pile-in mentality that can wash over social media for even minor infractions.

But Veitch got off very lightly in legal terms.

And in an op-ed on domestic violence for the Herald, the broadcaster was big on self-pity, barely mentioned his victim, didn't cover his attempt to keep her silent, and gave a minimised account of his offending compared to the police file.

If Veitch is to ever make it back on to mainstream TV screens on a regular basis, his public rehabilitation will start with a more genuine attempt to front up to his actions.

 


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32 Comments & Questions

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It was our usual Friday lunch at Soul Bar yesterday...and needless to say this was the main topic of conversation! As Amanda said, "It's time to get Tony Veitch off our screens forever and let other talented people who aren't abusers have a go instead. The strength of the reaction to Sky hiring Veitch, shows just how strongly people still feel about him".

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And I thought we lived in a tolerant society ........I trust you publicly persecute all criminals after they complete their sentences for domestic violence. Even I believe in second chances....

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My thoughts entirely. Not a fan of Tony but there were two sides to the story of his downfall. However, he lost the moral side. But you’re right, Chris, everyone deserves a second chance of sorts.
The social media instant witch hunts are getting worse. I prefer to call it Facebook pack rape. It’s the domain of the self righteous and easily offended overlaid with a willingness/desire to always been seen as a victim because it deems the accuser as deserving special rights above all others. It’s an addictive strategy. The downside is that it lessens the impact of people whom are victims of much worse.
This continual attack strategy is the reason I left Facebook. Sure, I still use it for work (even then I’d question the numbers), but it’s no longer a fun place.
Last month there was a telling article in The Guardian (the home of the self righteous) which paints a poor picture of Facebook and the impact it’s having on younger generations. The article is here:
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/05/growing-social-media-backl...
In many ways these constant trials by social media are a form of societal bloodletting. When will it end? Only when it stops working and we all get victim fatigue.

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It almost sounds like you condone what he did. No wonder domestic violence is still epidemic in NZ. As someone that grew up watching my mother being dealt to on numerous occasions in the sixties and seventies. I can tell you that it isn't a pleasant experience for anyone that has had to go through it. You need a change of attitude pal.

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You are wrong and assumptive. I too grew up in a house of regular beatings, to myself and my mother. So, please Ivan, reread what I wrote and stop acting like the very people who made Facebook the miserable place it is.

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Many people enjoy socialising on Facebook. So maybe your assumption that it is a miserable place is also wrong. Possibly you could be overthinking things, and need to lighten up a bit.

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Well-written article, as with Mr. C's comment.
I'm glad, that Veitch was able to resurrect his career, albeit in a more restricted medium. However, I'm not sure if the guy understands that showing a little humility is also a sign of contrition; and a lack of self-awareness is a grating conceit bordering on self-aggrandisement.

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Great honest article Chris

The disgusting assault Tony Veitch undertook on his defenseless girlfriend will never be forgotten or forgiven by the majority of Kiwi's. Ofcourse there will be some male chauvinistic sports freaks who still think Veitch is a good bloke and has done his time but fortunately most Kiwi guys are now more worldly and humane than this minority.

Tony Veitch is his own worst enemy and could easily re earn some respect by quietly going about his business. But the jerk has such an ego that his bipolar way of life keeps him at the forefront of least respected Kiwi's

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Couldn't agree more with wot you say there Scribe! My hubby is having a few of his mates over for a barbie this arvo, before they head off to his corporate box at Mt Smart As usual, they'll all be standing round here with the trannie tuned into Veitchy, shouting agreement with everything he has to say.

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It'd be a good day the blokes you know (and the blokes I know) actually decide that following a person of the ilk of Tony Veitch is presenting pretty bad form to the women in their lives, eh Nelly.

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I have never agreed with any of the myriad of comments you've made on here Scribe, however this comment from you is absolutely spot on.

A criminal that is yet to show remorse / repent is still doing their time IMHO, hence why the NZ public is still yet to forgive Veitch's heinous crimes

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There should always be the opportunity for redemption in some shape or form, but that doesn't mean things going back to the way they were.

As others have remarked it seems too soon for him to be back on TV - and that time may never come. Personally I struggle with even hearing him on Radiosport in the weekends. Between him and Mark Watson (who sounds and reasons like a 12 year-old) I just don't bother listening anymore.

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This is what happens when the media is consumed with trivia - both the actor and those who bother with it

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Back breaking is never trivial Graeme. Veitch never learned that either.

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settle down here.....Veitch is a clown both in his private life and his so called career.
That said, he pleaded guilty at court...and took what the court considered to be just punishment for the crime...There it needs to rest.
Veitch must redeem himself....not the public and certainly not a bunch of women seeking authority and attention on social media where they are neither seen nor available to be judged.
This crap needs to stop and the Courts authority needs to be re- asserted as the final judge and Jury where appeals and other remedy is available.
A bunch of women screaming from a roof top who think they can be the final Judge and Jury is simply not acceptable.
Put a face to a name if social media is the new Court house so redress can be had where needed and proof of name is matched to the face.
Willful destruction by unidentified social media is simply unacceptable and should have the same redress as the Court meter out.
Veitch....I have no time for....but even less do I have time for loud mouthed unidentified goody goodies who have quite likely taken pleasure from not been seen but been loudly heard.

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So why no name 'Anonymous' ?

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Because unlike Veitch I do not intend to allow the faceless social media to be in a position to attempt to crush opposition from a field unseen and unidentified.
The balance of Justice needs to be first a level playing field and second a sound voice of reason.
Not a hit first and see what comes of it.
Social media ( so called) has become a toxic pit of hit first and see what comes next....so too has facebook.
There appears to be no social use for either.

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Excellent Anonymous. I don't condone what Veitch did, but neither do I condone the attempt to prevent him from earning a living. How contrite do these people want him to be? He may not be the brightest cookie, but we live in a supposed civilised society and those calling for the equivalent of flaying his back in public need to back off

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"A bunch of women screaming from a roof top who think they can be the final judge and jury is simply not acceptable."
Hell, they might even want to vote. Whatever next!
The audience for this show has spoken. Leave it there.

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I have always found Veitch to have a most irritating manner on both Tv and radio. For that reason I do not watch or listen to him. I put John Campbell in that category as well. I doubt I am missing anything as a result.

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There's absolutely no doubt that Veitch is his own worst enemy. But the far bigger, and far scarier, enemy faced by the rest of us are the witch-hunting lynch mobs on social and traditional media. To complete the picture, all they need are white sheets and burning crosses.

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What Veitch did was deplorable. but what the baying mob and the screeching sisterhood are doing are equally as bad.

For them nothing less than hanging drawing and quartering are going to serve their blood lust.

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What you say is certainly true for one section of society. The simple fact of the matter is, that Veitch is now looked at as damaged goods, and his chances of fronting one of these type of shows is a thing of the past. He now has to live with the consequences of his actions. A job behind the scenes is maybe what's best for this guy, because as you say, some are never going to let him forget about his past.

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You are kidding of course.
Your comment Re voting is nonsense as is the screaming from roof tops

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Trial by social media is unjust and a growing concern but.... I can't understand how you think it's equivalent in this instance to what veitch did. It is not. He beat her and broke her back. He has never apologised to her. His 'apology' blamed her for his own violent actions. Thank god this attitude is not seen to be tolerable any more, as the market is demonstrating. The forgiveness extended to him by so many people baffles me - often the same people who'll howl for blood in the comments section when a Maori or Polynesian man is convicted of domestic abuse and is unrepentant - just like veitch.

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Methinks this is overblowing what many in social media are actually saying. Most comments I have seen make the point that given Veitch has never been repentant, it's a little much to expect he should be welcomed back into everything just as it was before.

People would still like to see a repentant Veitch before a full return is considered. Rather than one who seems still to seek to blame others rather than himself.

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Completely agree
Veitch unlike Mel Gibson never publicly demonstrated contrition or acknowledged his actions to reprehensibled (whether Gibson is genuine is debatable)
Worst still is the media industry so hungry for anyone else's blood (Len Brown, John Banks, etc.) seem so ready to instantaneous forgive one of there own, Sue Woods interview with Veitch was disgusting

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He just wants to be loved....by everyone.

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Veitch fronting (in his own words) a "hard hitting" show, a Freudian slip if ever there was one

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What sort of culture is there at Sky, that a number of senior staff thought that hiring him was a good idea?
Amazing really.

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Not sure how Bernadine Oliver-Kerby should feel, second choice to a wife beater and getting this billing due to a public backlash, why wasn't she first pick?

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I'm surprised at the amount of support his getting here. This was a pretty big assualt on a woman. What a forgiving society, no wonder domestic violence doesn't change.

Nevertheless I can forgive him after he steps into the ring for "fight for life" against a man who can hit back. I'm sure thousands of men in NZ will want to get in the ring with him. After 3 rounds of charity boxing, I can consider forgiving him or NOT.

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