TVNZ, the very same media organisation that recently ran anti-domestic violence commercials is the very same media organisation that knew for nearly two years that its high profile sports presenter Tony Veitch had violently assaulted his ex-partner. Such was the ferocity of the assault that the unfortunate woman was in a wheelchair for several months and she also had a nervous breakdown.
But Veitch, scared of the story leaking out and thus ruining his career, paid the woman he assaulted some $100,000 to say that she got her injuries from accidentally falling down a flight of stairs, a variation on the ‘I bumped into a door’ story.
In normal circumstances a person like Tony Veitch would find himself facing criminal charges and a possible prison sentence. But Veitch has lots of money and often the rich can remove their 'problems' through splashing the cash.
Not this time though because the story, apparently circulating for some months, has got into the media
'Veitchy' has decided he's going to try and brazen it out - and there he was on TV1's Six O'Clock Mews tonight presenting the sports news and engaging in some light banter with Wendy and the other fella. The big elephant in the corner of the studio was 'domestic violence'.
This was the man that just some months ago was decrying violence in rugby.
Tomorrow morning he'll be doing his breakfast show on Radio Sport. It was on this station in 2005 that Veitch said about tennis player Serena Williams: 'Do you know where the apes come from? She is a reminder.'
Neither his two employers TVNZ and the Radio Network have mentioned the allegations against Veitch in their news broadcasts. You have to wonder what basis this editorial decision was made on because it certainly wasn't based on ethical journalism.
On the ZB Network, a Radio Network station, talkback has been conspicuously absent of any talk about Veitch. Indeed the station has been refusing to allow callers to go to air if they wanted to talk about the violent Mr Veitch. So much for media freedom.
Veitch is a thug - and a thug who tried to conceal his violence with money. It’s an insult to us all that both his employers are allowing this man to carry on in his two media jobs as if nothing had happened.
It’s up to the general public to tell both TVNZ and the Radio Network that ‘violence is not ok’.