"The continuing media frenzy over the Tony Veitch affair has left me uneasy, even faintly nauseated. When journalists turn on one of their own with the ferocity of jackals tearing at the throat of a wounded pack member, I'm glad I'm out of the game full-time.
Day after day I cringe as I read the results of reporters racking their brains to find new people to spout more opinions to try to give the story additional legs.
Every woman and her dog from the Prime Minister to the woman in the street has been invited to have a say - and even a few men, too.
Much of what they have had to say is hypocritical hogwash and politically correct piffle."
He's certainly right about the feeding frenzy when journalists turn on one of their own! Last Sunday's papers were abundant evidence of that. However, George compliments Herald cartoonist Rod Emmerson and Finlay McDonald from the Sunday Star-Times for their contributions to the debate. He is less complimentary towards SST edior Cate Brett:
"Cate Brett concluded: "By colluding with Veitch in keeping this matter 'in the family', these men [note the gender] have reinforced the pernicious belief that violence inside relationships is nobody else's business."
I've seen some long bows drawn in my time, but that one's so far out as to have a broken string, for there is no evidence that Veitch's employers knew the full details of the incident until now.
And as for this brouhaha setting back the anti-violence campaign, men who hit women will continue to do so and men who don't won't, no matter how many ads there are on TV. Domestic violence isn't a superficial problem to be dealt with by cryptic catch-cries; it goes far deeper than that."
George raises an interesting point here. The "It's not OK" advertsements have certainly shone the spotlight on domestic violence. But are they enough to change the culture and attitudes in which domestic violence occurs? Somehow, I don't think so. Let me bu straight here - domestic violence is NOT OK under any circumstance. Laudable that the TV campaign is, it in itself will change little. And the Veitch case debunks the myth that domestic violence only happens in places like Otara, Flaxmere, Castlecliff or Aranui.
But George's strongest message is in his conclusion, so I will give him the last word:
"Then there are those who are fretting about TVNZ's public image. I don't know why. The only public image I see of that outfit is that it is generally held in contempt. And if television personalities are role models, God help us.
Paul Holmes and Brendan Telfer get my respect for sticking with their colleague. They obviously understand that real friendship means a friend is a friend no matter how deeply he might get himself in the shit.
As each day goes by and as each new triviality is added to this sorry example of modern journalism, I am reminded of that scene from the Bible in which a mob gathers to stone to death a woman caught in adultery, until Jesus Christ said: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."
And one by one the accusers slunk off."