Abusive email exchange costs Braunias Sunday column
Fri, 21 Jan 2011 11:01a.m.
An abusive email exchange has seen Sunday Star Times columnist Steve Braunias axed from the newspaper's Sunday magazine.
Editor David Kemeys would not confirm the reasons behind Mr Braunias’ exit, saying the matter was “private”.
“Columnists come and columnists go,” he said.
But Mr Braunias wasted no time ripping into his former boss, whom he says has wanted to axe his column for some time.
“Editors come and editors go,” he told the National Business Review.
“I expect the paper will soon enough despatch the mediocre hack back to where he came from – which I understand is nowhere.”
Mr Braunias is also a features writer for North & South and Metro and has appeared as a panellist on television books show The Good Word.
In 2010 he received a $35,000 grant from Copyright Licencing to publish New Zealand: The Biography.
His last column in the Sunday magazine will run on February 5.
The story has already provoked an interesting online debate, with some readers claiming it was an email sent to a police prosecutor that lead to Mr Braunias' dismissal.
"From what I understand, he called the reader in question the C-word," writes Stephen Stratford.
"Possibly justified, possibly not. But the first rule of journalism in my book is that you don't insult the reader. Even if they write in green ink."
"It's a big disappointing if in responding to (probably rampant) abuse that as a writer you cannot use the "c" word," writes blogger Cactus Kate.
"Let's hope Steve used the "f" word in front to get value for his dismissal."
Cactus Kate then offers to republish the "uncensored" email exchange on either of her blogs, should Mr Braunias so desire.
Failing that, broadcaster Bill Ralston sheds a little more light on the exchange.
"I am given to understand the reader had already emailed him describing him, quite accurately but somewhat rudely, saying; 'You're an ugly f***er' to which he replied 'And you're a c**t'.
"What makes it interesting is the reader, a woman, is a police prosecutor who sent the email from a Police email address. Can you say c**t on the police server?"
Mr Stratford questions what the pair could have been discussing and how quickly the tone descended.
"Wouldn't we all like to see a transcript of the preceding conversation," he writes.
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2/02/2011 5:11:08 p.m.
I've always loved Braunias writing and will always do. Even a great writer can sometimes hit a brick wall when pushed to describe an offending party - in this case Braunias clearly thought the "C" word described her best and obviously had no other more polite or diplomatic way of saying so. Take it on the chin, as advised - at least you've been called a "c..." by a great writer. Something to be proud of and to tell the grand kids....
24/01/2011 2:35:45 p.m.
What's the problem here? All that's happened is that two people have described how they view each other. It's highly likely that one is an "ugly f....." and the other one is "a c...", so take it on the chin and carry on with life. No one needs to go losing their job over it. Harden up and deal with it, instead of crying about hurt feelings. How old are you people?
23/01/2011 3:57:40 p.m.
Paul Smith wrote:
Steve Braunias is a man of limited talent who thinks he is far more clever than he actually is. This columns in the SST were a load of egocentric drivel. This is so NZ though, isn't? People of limited talent thinking they are far better than they actually area. Probably something to do with being at the back-end of the planet. Anyone who uses the c-word in such a way deserves the bullet.
21/01/2011 6:52:43 p.m.
Steve is a wonderfully refreshing writer an columnist. Any editor who heavy-handedly sacked him is surely threatened by his talent and popularity. And don't call the editor Surely or he will surely sack you! Susan, another lightening rod in the workplace.
21/01/2011 11:52:35 a.m.
John Robb wrote:
While it's a bit juvenile and schoolyard, it's fair to say from the report that she started it.Anyway I would think it's a breach of police policy to send abusive e~mails from a police computer if that's what happened, maybe that's part of the bad police culture we hear so much about.Give Steve his job back.
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