Newspaper Publishers' Association chief executive Tim Pankhurst said yesterday that media companies should challenge the suppression to protect the principles of open justice.Unlike Tim Pankhurst, I am not an expert but I think him wrong. It was the media, not the name suppression, which has put pressure on other 46-year-old entertainers. It is the media which has been tying to find out who is 46, has a wife, a car and an anger management problem. It is the media which is demanding a public right to pry. The media wants to know, because content of this kind sells product. A public domestic argument is not an issue of media freedom. Or, to put it another way, here is a high horse and look: the chief executive of the Newspaper Publishers' Association is in the saddle.
"The courts in this country are far too ready to offer suppression. A justice system operates the most effectively in full sunlight and any sort of suggestion that people of influence ... are protected, undermines the system."
Mr Pankhurst said the name suppression put pressure on other 46-year-old entertainers. "We've already had other so-called celebrities saying `it's not me'."
Disclosure of interest: what I want to know is not the identity of the celebrity but those of the so-called celebrities saying `it's not me.' I think we should be told. Who are these men? Who did they call? What was the response?
"Look, I just want everyone to know that it was not me. My wife and I have a loving and mutually supportive relationship. We have had our ups and downs but we have worked through them together, and our marriage is the stronger for it. She's not just my wife; she's my best friend. The kids are devastated by these rumours. You can put that in your article."
"Um, who are you?"
Meanwhile, stage right, enter a visitor from Hawkes Bay:
Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar urged the man to be accountable for his actions and not hide behind name suppression.I think you will appreciate the subtle distinction made here: they (the teeming hordes of Sensible Sentencing Trust members) are against name suppression [Oxford comma - pause for effect] and more against it for celebrities. Nonentities should be afraid, and celebrities should be very afraid. Why? Because they are role models and icons in the community, that's why. If you allow Mr Personality to get away with this sort of thing, then every man and his wife will be doing it. The only people who will benefit will be the panel-beaters.
"We are against name suppression, and more against it for celebrities," he said.
"Like it or not, they become role models and icons in the community. I believe they should stand up and be accountable for their actions."
So, stand up, whoever you are, so we can speculate on your marital difficulties. You, sir, are an icon and a role model. We demand the right to know everything about you. It is, I am sure you will understand, for the good of the community.