Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: A Whale of a Tale

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    And that Russell and Damian defend him is no credit to either of them. He may well have positive character and professional traits but his bullying is an overwhelming negative and you guys ought to come out and oppose it. It's not OK.

    And who's saying otherwise? I'd like to think that Russell finds me a pretty agreeable chap, despite the ample evidence around here that I'm perfectly capable of being a noxiously cranky prick when my dander is up. I also believe some readers also think I'm a running sewer of potty-mouthed vulgarity who needs to get his mind out of the crotch-gutter. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Bart - I didn't mean to be glib, but honestly I despair sometimes.

    Did you actually view this morning's comment on the source of the cat wee smell, before proclaiming it a textbook example of workplace bullying? Or did you just assume?

    Because I did see it, hence my original comment: that it was childish but otherwise not offensive. To link it in one step to suicide is, I believe, melodramatic in the extreme. Hence why I say, lighten up. It was a comment about cat wees, and how his co-host WAS NOT the source of it, nor was she every likely to be.

    (Sorry, posted at the same time as Russell's comments above - yup, what he said)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And who's saying otherwise?

    One does wonder though about the relevance of "he's a really talented broadcaster" or "he's really funny in person". Who cares? When are we going to start to demand more of our broadcasters and newspaper editors than not being babbling idiots or punching children in the mouth in the street?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Just wondering -- a staple of the "morning zoo" radio format is the loopy caller who may or may not be a hoaxer in cahoots with the host. If Breakfast deliberately had fake guests every now and then to provide a comic foil for Henry, who could tell?

    The real test will be if the media now keeps going back to this guy for pro-whaling comments in the same way they keep going back to McCoskrie, who also has a website

    I love this observation so much I want to marry it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, I do wonder if your perception is slightly skewed.

    By virtue of having met and (in my case) worked with the person in question? It does make it harder to demonise an individual, yes.

    I'm actually quite pissed off that Bart can declare that me speaking about someone on the basis of experience does me "no credit". Presumably if I didn't tell the truth but validated his preconceptions that would be creditable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One does wonder though about the relevance of "he's a really talented broadcaster" or "he's really funny in person". Who cares?

    Pardon my observation. The question was whether Henry is "an unmitigated right-wing nut-job", which I don't think he is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    See, Bart; you mess with the media mafia, this is what you get. </joke!>

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It does make it harder to demonise an individual, yes.

    So: when can we start to demonise what they do? You had the editor of the Dominion Post on your show a few months ago, and I get why you couldn't ask him the only sane question - "So, when are you going to stop hurting New Zealand?" - but it made the interview slightly surreal. The media in this country are in a parlous, embarrassing state. It never gets attacked, we only nibble at the edges. One does wonder if part of the reason for that is that you all know each other and like each other personally and work in the same buildings.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    where is the pas love? Bart has some logic there guys , henry wants (ed) to be a bully and we the taxpayer fund him in his dream, qualified by the ad revenue supplement that is mawning breakfast , presenting to an audience with no alternative but to switch the bugger off.

    Which is fine except when he presents views that get in the way of normal media,become media, sometimes political, sometimes in election years , and then that's when I despair because voters do listen to him, especially the ones who decide elections, the floating ones.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    It never gets attacked, we only nibble at the edges.

    Really? 'Cos believe me, it doesn't feel like that.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    OK, time to lighten the mood. Here's an idea for Jono's Next Project.

    Step 1: Find a Kingswood panel van.
    Step 2: Spray paint it pink.
    Step 3: Fit it with hydraulics & loudspeakers.
    Step 4: At the next 'March for Democracy', play "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" over the loudspeakers.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    For the record, I haven't really met Paul Henry, and my brief encounters with him have been unremarkable. They certainly didn't endear him to me.

    Therefore my enjoyment of him on television is if anything slightly reduced by my personal experience. And I still enjoy him. But apparently I'm 'wrong'. When I say I think he's a talented broadcaster, that isn't some insider speak. That means I think he is, when he is at his best, thoughtful, intelligent, charistmatic, quick and witty. This is my perception. Others don't agree, I accept that, and I also accept that he is not always so.

    If he were given a role such as hosting a more primetime current affairs show, I think we'd see a lot more of that, and less of the boredom-induced childish musing we get from him at the moment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Pardon my observation. The question was whether Henry is "an unmitigated right-wing nut-job", which I don't think he is.

    Lets agree on nut-job then.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    'Cos believe me, it doesn't feel like that.

    Can you point me to these sources of strong, sustained, coherent media criticism? It seems to me that the only outlet that is coming under actual attack is the only one that does a good job - RNZ.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Is Shaun Hannity a talented broadcaster?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Disclaimer: I think Paul Henry is a talented broadcaster. He pushes it, and he goes too far at times, but he's got talent.

    This is almost word for word what Russell wrote about Veitch way back then and I'm still buggered if I understand what it means.

    I don't recall saying that and I couldn't find it with a quick search -- feel free to spend time doing it for me if it's important to you.

    I thought I'd made my feelings about Veitch abundantly clear in every medium at my disposal.

    FWIW, I personally found Veitch's broadcast presence unbearable, but it seems evident that he must have had some talent for the job, given that he kept getting work. I don't see why this is a difficult concept.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    where is the pas love? Bart has some logic there guys , henry wants (ed) to be a bully and we the taxpayer fund him in his dream, qualified by the ad revenue supplement that is mawning breakfast , presenting to an audience with no alternative but to switch the bugger off.

    Let's not let the facts get in the way Jeremy... like:

    a) Breakfast makes lots of money for TVNZ. It more than stands on its own.

    b) TVNZ is not taxpayer-funded, it is actually forced to return a dividend to the Government (something most media companies have been unable to do in recent years). Some programmes do receive NZ On Air Funding, Breakfast is not one of them.

    c) There was an alternative. It was called Sunrise. It rated awfully. Something like a 10th the audience of Breakfast.

    d) Switching off is a very real alternative, it's not like Breakfast TV is some human right. There's some radio out there too... or the internet if you're really stretched.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Can you point me to these sources of strong, sustained, coherent media criticism?

    No. Other than here. But what I can point you to is how every second person who meets me, and finds out what I do, feels free to criticise my job, my organisation, and my industry. Feels free to tell me how bad the television news is. Despite the fact that I don't work in it. And doesn't listen when I talk about things like, as Damian says, sustained budget cutting, shrinking newsrooms, and basic human frailty.

    No one would argue we are perfect. But I don't think I've ever met a doctor, and spent ten minutes lecturing him or her on the state of the health system.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    It seems to me that the only outlet that is coming under actual attack is the only one that does a good job - RNZ.

    Ironically the only one consistently criticised - and IMO not completely without merit - for being a bastion of the left.

    But yes, RNZ does solid work. But while we're talking about breakfast show bullies...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    but it seems evident that he must have had some talent for the job, given that he kept getting work.

    or perhaps he just paid off the right people.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The media in this country are in a parlous, embarrassing state. It never gets attacked, we only nibble at the edges. One does wonder if part of the reason for that is that you all know each other and like each other personally and work in the same buildings.

    Wow. You're actually getting quite offensive now.

    Can you point me to these sources of strong, sustained, coherent media criticism? It seems to me that the only outlet that is coming under attack is the only one that does a good job - RNZ.

    Really, Gio, get out more. In what sense is RNZ "coming under attack" from critics to the same extent as TVNZ, the favourite whipping-boy of every TV reviewer, commentator and blogger?

    Would you like to go and count the unflattering references to either organisation in any medium over the past month? I think the picture would be very lopsided -- and not in the direction you suggest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18961 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Facts, man no is disputing the existence of the present model but it does have , has had , large government assistence.We built it, trained its broadcasters and funded its programmes.

    The commercialisation of t.v is another debate Mr Christie, all we can observe is the present model is pretty poor in terms of quality and usefulness. Do you really want the whims of corporate marketing departments to run your industry, provide your salary, as your ad men drop their prices everywhere, desperately trying to get big bucks from the next bmw campaign.

    We need a bbc model, stop this facade.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    what sense is RNZ "coming under attack"

    In the sense the govt is seriously considering ways to cut RNZ's budget. They are critics with big teeth.

    Ironically the only one consistently criticised - and IMO not completely without merit - for being a bastion of the left.

    Yeah? I'm not very familiar with this criticism. I do know some people who work there are lefties. But I know a few of those at TVNZ too...

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No. Other than here. But what I can point you to is how every second person who meets me, and finds out what I do, feels free to criticise my job, my organisation, and my industry.

    Could it be because there is no other outlet than the entirely misguided one of losing your rag at the first available journalist?

    And doesn't listen when I talk about things like, as Damian says, sustained budget cutting, shrinking newsrooms, and basic human frailty.

    See, I question that it's a budget issue. Does the TVNZ news arm have more or less money than the RNZ news arm? Okay, I get it has to produce pictures and that it's more expensive, but it also pays much higher salaries to its newsreaders. And yet why, oh why, does one news organisation produce garbage and the other... the opposite of garbage?

    (Seriously, Justine came to NZ for a trip in 1995, brought a tape of the TV One evening news back to Italy and I thought it was satire. I took some convincing.)

    I also don't think it's a question of individual journalists being good or bad at what they do, rather what is asked of them. Except for those few personalities that help in fact define the profession. Because finally:

    I personally found Veitch's broadcast presence unbearable, but it seems evident that he must have had some talent for the job, given that he kept getting work.

    Wasn't the reason why Veitch had talent for the job, that the job was defined as something that somebody like Tony Veitch would be good at?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    But what I can point you to is how every second person who meets me, and finds out what I do, feels free to criticise my job, my organisation, and my industry.

    Amen. Even when I check in at Air New Zealand, the woman behind the counter decides it's appropriate to tell me what bugs her (in this case it was someone calling the PM by his first name).

    If we're going to get back to basics - I think TV news and current affairs could be improved in any number of ways. Adding a hundred million people to our population wouldn't hurt. If you want a service like the BBC offers it's going to cost about $10 billion per year, give or take.

    I don't know whether this is a good analogy or not, but I compare the food we get here vs bigger cities overseas. The choice is extremely limited - a quick trip to the markets in Melbourne showed me that. Is that because the people who work in the industry here are lazy, arrogant or what have you, or simply because we only have so much population, so much investment, *and* need to return a profit on what we produce?

    That's not to say there aren't bad decisions being made, but I'd blame the commercial model and the demands it creates first.

    Just down the road from me a retail space recently came up for rent. A few friends thought it would be great if someone opened a decent cafe with yummy wholesome food. The signs have just gone up - it's another KFC. True story.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1130 posts Report Reply

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