Monday, February 15, 2010

Media non grata

If anyone doubts the prohibitive harm that the War on Drugs can cause, have a read of this story on former journalist Peter Verschaffelt, who hasn't been convicted of a crime yet:
He had been a beneficiary for nearly four years and had applied for more than 200 jobs in the media but no one wanted to employ him while he faced charges.

Now four TVNZ staff are under investigation after a NZ Herald leak following that Close Up story. Dakta Green fears for their careers:
"Nobody in New Zealand should be ever punished by their boss simply for smoking cannabis on their own time", said Dakta Green today. "So long as no-one is being hurt and no disturbance caused, what goes on outside of the job is no matter of the company or the employer".

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to get a grip of the events surrounding that fateful trip from an eye witness. They corroborate Dakta's words:
"Any claims of wrongdoing alleged against the TVNZ staff in question are nothing but hearsay", he said. "We enjoyed their company and I believe they enjoyed ours, but I can categorically say they never smoked cannabis with us on the CannaBus."
So fearful are media companies of some imagined damage to their brand, they are not above destroying careers on the hearsay of intoxication. While it's acceptable practice to pickle themselves at Toto or Prego, they will rain down a shitstorm of poison if there's so much as a hint of alternative social intercourse. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not just hypocrisy, it's wildly disproportionate and wrong.

Yeah, I'm not happy how Close Up skewed the show, but there's no way anyone's job should be on the line because of it. Hell, even Tony Veitch has been given another bite at the apple. Let them alone.