A public service to a broadcaster and journalist who seems to have lost his way, if this interview is anything to go by. In part inspired, and informed, by this epic thread at Public Address System.
Questions you should have asked your friend Tony Veitch:
1. Why didn't you ring an ambulance?
2. Have you already received more in payments for selling your story than you paid your victim?
3. Was this the first time you had hit your partner? Was it the last?
4. Do you think "lashed out" accurately represents what you did? Why?
5. You told me that "[this last week has been] the darkest period I think I've ever had..." Yet in your apology statement to the media you stated that at the time when you hit your former partner "I was at the lowest ebb of my life." Which is it?
6. Do you understand why some people might find the implication that this incident was a moment of madness a bit hard to reconcile with the timeline that your partner "fell" down the stairs, you followed her down them and kicked her while she was lying on the ground, and then you waited several hours, while she lay there unconscious, before seeking medical help? Seems like quite a long moment to me. (Ok maybe that's not a question!)
7. Are you going to hand yourself into the police, or at the very least cooperate fully with any investigation they might mount?
8. What type of counselling did you have? Did it involve anyone specialised in dealing with violence? Did it involve accepting what you had done and taking responsibility for it?
9. Do you see any conflict between saying things like "no excuses" and "it was inexcusable" and then offering a list of excuses?
10. You've stated that many of the reports in the media have been inaccurate, but you haven't actually given any detail about what did happen. Don't you think this tends to give the impression that you are hiding behind an excuse of respecting your former partner's privacy to give you the ability to fudge what did actually happen?
11. What did you tell your bosses at TVNZ and Radio Sport had happened? Did you tell them the extent of your former partner's injuries? And what was their response?
Questions Mr Holmes should have asked himself before doing the interview:
1. As Tony is a friend of mine, can I really do a fair job of interviewing him? Do I have any conflicted loyalty going in to this?*
2. And is it really appropriate for me to be interviewing one of my mates about a crime he has admitted committing, particularly given that I (allegedly) advised him on his (not really an) apology?
3. Am I prepared to ask any hard questions? (Does the Herald on Sunday's agreeement with Veitch even allow me to?)
Other writers here have been focusing on rehabilitation, redemption, and what we do next about domestic violence. I'm still a bit too angry to be able to think about that fairly yet. For some reason this situation really enrages me, particularly the way some people (Holmes, Garth George, Lindsay Perigo, many of the commenters at Kiwiblog) seem to be validating and feeding Veitch's idea that he is the victim here. This is summed up pretty well in his resignation statement, which echoes his apology attempt last week and his interview with Holmes, and makes it clear that the counselling hasn't worked yet - he still doesn't accept responsibility or honestly face what he has done, he still grasps for excuses, and he still focuses on what a crap time this is for him.
* Eg, Holmes states, preceding the interview itself " I remain loyal to Tony Veitch, I have a job to do." What exactly was the job he had in mind? Being a friend to Veitch or being a journalist? Because it's pretty obvious here that to do a fair job of the latter was to risk botching up the former, and vice versa. I actually don't think everyone should excommunicate Veitch, that isn't going to help him learn from this. But surely there is a way to be someone's friend and still say unequivocably it's not OK?