Holmes on Veitch: the final word

In yesterdays NZ Herald Paul Holmes gave his view on the affair.  Holmes is a personal friend and colleague of Veitch, he interviewed Veitch a week after the official press conference when Veitch admitted to “lashing out” and it is rumoured that Holmes penned the statement given at the conference.  I am determined he shouldn’t have the last word.

Holmes likes a dramatic phrase, and his opening comment is indicative of this…

“It is over. His battle is lost. Tony Veitch’s career and perhaps his life lie in ruins this weekend.”

Holmes goes on to reveal how shocked and amazed all of Veitch’s friends and colleagues are, how Veitch has so suddenly lost everything.  As far as I am concerned, the last part of that sentence is telling.  Veitch like Holmes, is/was a celebrity, known because he was on tv, not because he was a philanthropist, a great inventor or for his wonderful contributions to society, but because he was a sports journalist with a pretty face.  Like all celebrities, his fame was in the hands of his public.  Holmes and his colleagues would do well to have a reminder as to how fickle the general public can be. 

“I do not remember a more savage, more frenzied, more complete media consumption of anyone in the public eye. I do not recall anything as ruthless, as relentless, as coldly pitiless. In fact, I believe, and I am not alone, that Tony Veitch has been the victim of a highly organised campaign.”

And here we hit the crux of the matter, Holmes begins his thinly veiled attempt to smear the victim. 

“There are serious questions. What happened that night? What are the facts? Why did it take the woman well over two years to complain to police? This is of fundamental importance. Why did the whole sorry saga start in a newspaper? Why did it take it so long to emerge? And why now?”

Evidently he’s no Sherlock.  It doesn’t take much imagination to conject that perhaps somewhere amongst Kirsten Dunne-Powell’s friends and acquaintances, is a person who believes that Kirsten did the wrong thing.  Someone who thinks that $170,000 is nothing compared to what Veitch got away with.  Or perhaps it was Kirsten herself?  Last week Veitch in the Holmes interview, admitted that he’d had subsequent contacts with Dunne-Powell following the assault, making it seem as though following his “lashing out” they were on friendly terms.  Then we had the revelations that he left her laying on the floor for up to 6 hours, that she approached him for money and made serious demands after he kept attempting to negotiate a lower number.

“I do not minimise the evils and brutality of domestic violence. Men who bash their families serially are contemptible brutes. Yet, as the kinder part of my heart tells me, those men are victims too, victims of their inner selves and the lives that led them to it.

But this has been a carefully orchestrated plan to end a career and the life a man has built. A valuable broadcasting performer has been taken out of two prime broadcasting slots, the Radio Sport Breakfast Show and One News. Instead of us seeing justice, we may have been seeing revenge. Instead of journalism, we may have seen commerce.”

Holmes states he doesn’t minimise the evils of domestic violence, then proceeds to do exactly that.  If Holmes had Derek Fox on his show for an interview about the allegations of domestic violence against him, how sympathetic would Holmes be on air? Do you think Holmes would see Fox as a victim of his inner self and former life? No, I can’t see the self proclaimed hard hitting interviewer who chased Dennis Connor off set showing his sympathetic side at all.

A valuable broadcasting performer has completely lost his value and you can’t tell me that there isn’t a queue of young journalists with equal or greater talent, just waiting for an opportunity to spread their wings.  No doubt dying to become the face of TV sports, wanting the love and attention of the people of NZ.

“Did events in Tony Veitch’s life provoke them?”

You betcha events in Tony’s life provoked them, he allegedly beat a woman into a wheel chair!  What really annoys me, is that Holmes thinks it’s awful that Veitch can’t defend himself for fear of incriminating himself.  To me that’s self explanatory, if he’s going to incriminate himself by speaking up, then obviously the odious little man is guilty!

The rest of Holmes article is self serving, trying to extract pity for himself and others who are friends, colleagues and acquaintances of Veitch, it’s been a harrowing time for them.  Interestingly, he expresses not one jot of empathy for the victim in this matter, a woman who was beaten and kicked to the point of hospitalisation.

To my mind, this self serving pile of poo, Holmes has penned is yet another nail in the coffin of Veitch’s career.  You cannot defend the indefensible.  There is no excuse and whether or not there is a conspiracy against Veitch, his own actions were the cause.  Holmes should shut his trap, before the people who allow him, his lifestyle and fame, turn on him too.


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