Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • Matthew Poole,

    One thing that I'm very puzzled about is the Sheila Dikshit thing. I worked with an Indian guy at my last job whose surname is Dixit, and he said it's pronounced Dik-shit in India. In NZ, to avoid having deal with the likes of PH, he goes with the Dix-it pronounciation.
    So have the NZ media got horribly confused, or is the Dixit/Dikshit thing actually a common transposition in India?

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Even if it is, Matthew, Dikshit in India hardly means the same things as it means here. I just thought, when he said how funny it was because she was Indian, that he wasn't just being racist, he was being unbelievably sexist. Oh sack the bastard, and be done with it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Update:

    TVNZ broadcaster Paul Henry is best known for his role as a simple handy-man in the British soap Crossroads, according to an Indian newspaper.

    The story of Paul Henry's comments about the Governor-General, Sir Anand Satyanand, has been covered extensively by the Times of India.

    However, its website yesterday got the wrong man from a Wikipedia article, saying Henry was born in Britain in 1947 and trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama.

    A Paul Henry did indeed play the character Benny Hawkins, "a bumbling semi-rustic handyman" from 1975 to 1988 in the soap opera, but it wasn't the New Zealander.

    It added that Ronnie Barker revealed late in life that he had suggested Henry should be cast as the character Lennie Godber opposite him in Porridge.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    That's quite funny, 3410.

    In fact, as everybody knows, Paul Henry was a fine Kiwi rugby league player who switched allegiance twice, first to rugby, and then to England.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Oh, well that's an easy mistake to make.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 859 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Stop Press: Big client reviews its TVNZ advertising after Henry slur

    If only there was some way we could round up these racist scum and put them on a special train to a re-education gulag on Stewart Island or somewhere else unpleasant and remote.

    I've never liked Social Darwinism or reality/snuff TV, but in this case, I'll make an exception.

    And here's the pitch:

    The Henryites and the Iti-sheviks are put on a one-way flight to somewhere remote like the former Woomera detainment camp. A parachute drop of Colt M4A1's, live ammo and supplies is flown over the area. The rest is self explanatory.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4158 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    n fact, as everybody knows, Paul Henry was a fine Kiwi rugby league player who switched allegiance twice, first to rugby, and then to England.

    That was Henry Paul.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    And in other news, the chicken didn't actually cross the road.

    Lawyers, eh? Get the facts. Not the jokes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Now McCully is claiming to the Indian government that these are the actions of only one man. Let's ignore the other enablers like the bosses who kept him employed on the only morning TV show and the PM who mugged along with the latest 'joke', shall we.

    But Mr McCully said the TVNZ operated independently.

    "Any action against Mr Henry is entirely a matter for the company, or for the Broadcasting Standards Authority should a complaint reach that body," he said.

    I'm sure words by government representatives had no effect on TVNZ's 24 hour about-turn from condoning Henry to sending him on leave. And no doubt they came up with the recently-popular length of two weeks all on their lonesome.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Not that I'm surprised a right-wing dolt like McCully would regard a social issue like racism as a matter between individuals.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Paul Henry was Benny in crossroads? Figures.

    Apparently the Falkland Islands garrison used to refer to the islanders as "bennies" after that character. Once this became known to their commanders, this derogatory term was promptly banned. The squaddies then began calling the islanders "stills". When asked why, the answer was "because they're still bennies, sir".

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Graeme, isn't it galling that even Australians broadcasters appears more sensible, barely, than our mob?

    Simple matter of fact that an endless stream of Labour politicians have been perfectly happy to go on Breakfast while Paul Henry's racism, misogyny and homophobia has flowed like a backed up urinal for years. OK, blah blah it's fucking different for everyone except John Key -- I get that you hate the man and I'm not exactly over-impressed with him myself.

    Craig, I still think you're comparing apples and pears. It might be undesirable to go on breakfast TV with the major broadcaster but I accept that politicians feel they must. I said essentially this in my first post.

    However, to not call him on being a racist when you're on air with him is wrong. I don't watch TVNZ often as I don't live in NZ. I don't know what Jacinta does, I gather it's a regular thing, but are you suggesting that she has ignored racist, sexist or homophobic comments by Henry in his interviews with her? If not, then I simply don't think the situations are comparable.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2215 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme, isn't it galling that even Australians broadcasters appears more sensible, barely, than our mob?

    No. Why would it be?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Craig, I still think you're comparing apples and pears.

    See I never understood this. What's so difficult about comparing apples and pears? Pears are awful. I'd much rather have an apple. There. Done.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I thought you were supposed to compare apples with oranges.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I thought you were supposed to compare apples with oranges.

    You could be right, it'd be easier to differentiate.

    No. Why would it be?

    Srsly, Australians are far more gauche; it's a true fact!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2215 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    They don't like our apples

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Gordon Campbell asks:

    Should Henry be yellow carded, or red carded? Three strikes of racism of in one week would normally mean the state broadcasting employee in question was out the door. Some people are calling for Henry to be sacked, and an even larger number of people seem to be rallying to his support. At the least, TVNZ now has to put Henry on formal warning that any future racist comments by him will end in dismissal. Unless that step is taken by TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis, the whole structure of programme standards at state broadcasting – ie, all those rules and guidelines about pronunciation, diction, political neutrality, screening of adult material etc etc – is being brought into disrepute.

    Because at the moment, state broadcasting seems to operating with one set of standards for everyone else, and different rules for Paul Henry. Maybe the Broadcasting Standards Authority legislation needs to be amended, to make it clear that any offenders who attract a certain level of ad revenue fall outside its ambit.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    Coming to your TV soon, I expect:

    Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Petra,

    Damn. Those hillbillies are having too much fun. I want a mud pool and a pick up truck pulling my toboggan! That's awesome.


    It'll be interesting to see how things play out when Henry returns. I'd love to see him make some bitter bigoted gaffe, and have his fellow presenters take a stand and walk out. I know it's just a pipe dream, but it would be GREAT television...

    Rotorua • Since Mar 2007 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I don't want him back - how many sixth chances do others get? He's an embarassment and a waste of oxygen.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    It'll be interesting to see how things play out when Henry returns.

    Paul Henry may not find much work after this dies down.

    TVNZ's advertisers haven't had a chance to react yet and this won't be over until at least one and possibly several heads have rolled - I don't think that has sunk in at TVNZ yet.

    Maybe Paul Henry says what some NZers are thinking, but his bosses have badly misread both the public mood and how seriously this kind of thing is taken everywhere else in the world - and the social, diplomatic and economic repercussions that something like this can have.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't want him back - how many sixth chances do others get?

    I put that question to my producer at PA Radio, and I was left in no uncertain terms that my contract would be run through the office shredder by the close of business. :)

    Should Henry be yellow carded, or red carded? Three strikes of racism of in one week would normally mean the state broadcasting employee in question was out the door.

    Forget about on-air, would Henry be fired if he talked to a co-worker like that? I suspect so, because I'm pretty sure TVNZ would like to avoid any more hideously embarrasing high-profile visits to the Employment Court. (Ahother thought -- this a pretty fucked-up way to encourage workplace diversity when the media landscape in New Zealand is still rather monochromatic.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    It'll be interesting to see how things play out when Henry returns. I'd love to see him make some bitter bigoted gaffe, and have his fellow presenters take a stand and walk out.

    If they don't, they might want to remember that we've just watched Wendy Petrie (newsreader) introduce the story featuring a clip of Wendy Petrie (Breakfast host) sitting next to Paul Henry and indulging him in his 'Dikshit' performance.

    Karma TV, it's a must-see.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Oh, and this is the same botoxed genius that called Ian Morris's solo act "Text Pistol".

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16493 posts Report Reply

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