Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Time to get a grip

126 Responses

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  • Sacha, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    So TVNZ 'didn't step up with a good enough offer'

    I'd take anything that particular 'writer' says with a sack of salt - including this gem of "I interviewed my typewriter" classiness:

    It has been suggested it was Anderson, who has personal links to Indian cricket, who was not in favour of keeping Henry after the Sheila Dikshit saga. If this is true, questions need to be asked about the nature of board interference in management decisions at TVNZ.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    I’d take anything that particular ‘writer’ says with a sack of salt

    Ah yes, Rachel "Glaucoma" - the willfully blind leading the dimwitted "majority"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to nzlemming,

    ... And just as much a media "professional" as Henry is.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 854 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Who the frak voted for Little again?

    Um Labour Party members?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Um Labour Party members?

    Oh, well, like they matter. Pffft.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Oh, well, like they matter. Pffft.

    Well, they actually don't matter any more than I and my fellow National members do when it comes to who gets to enter Parliament. Whether you believe me or not, if Pansy Wong has been a list MP I would have been severely unimpressed if Peter Goodfellow has been running around expressing a "preference" for who would replace her. And I suspect you'd be here fuming about arrogant, unelected Tory pricks with no respect for democracy.

    To bring this back on topic, yeah... I don't blame Tizzard for being a wee bit pissy about the media (and the President of her own party) trying to monster her. Like her or not -- and I'm not Judith's biggest fan -- it's not been an edifying spectacle watching her being treated like some unhinged mash-up of Madame Defarge and Kenneth Widmerpool.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    I'm genuinely intrigued that Mediaworks has hired Henry. It's really disappointing. I can see how it makes smart financial sense, but morally, how can they justify it? Henry is literally a racist. There's no "well, he's just controversial", or "he just speaks his mind", or "he's anti-PC" covering here, he was exposed as a racist and got fired for it. Now the competitor snaps him up? He's very likely come out of this with more money they he had before his racist comments. He's being rewarded for his intolerance.

    It makes me wonder, what is the level where money trumps morality? What if Henry makes racist comments about Maori (he likely already has, I never watched his show)? What if he comes out as a Holocaust denier? Is that too far? What if on his brand new TV3 current affairs show that's rating through the roof he tells viewers that it's okay to rape your wife? Would he be fired then? Maybe someone can ask the head of Mediaworks.

    I'm not saying a private company can't hire him. I'm saying they shouldn't.

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James W,

    I'm not saying a private company can't hire him.

    Red herring.They are subject to the same broadcasting standards and laws. Which Henry breached. Repeatedly.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    BTW, I'm aware Henry will likely continue to say thinly-veiled offensive things (like when he called homosexuality unnatural and compared gays to filthy monkeys) and not be as stupid as to be blatantly racist again, so Mediaworks' PR spokesperson can always cover for him, so we'll never find out the level. But it would be interesting to know how far you're allowed to go in capitalist society, 2011, New Zealand.

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Sacha,

    I’m not saying a private company can’t hire him.

    Red herring.They are subject to the same broadcasting standards and laws. Which Henry breached. Repeatedly.

    That didn't get him fired, though, right? And it doesn't stop Mediaworks from hiring him. Henry got fired for PR reasons. The BSA is largely toothless, and his hiring shows that.

    I'm specifically talking about a private company choosing to hire a racist. (I say private because a government-owned broadcaster, being ultimately responsible to its shareholders, the NZ taxpayer, operates under a higher bar.) I'm not talking about specific laws to stop someone working somewhere. I'm talking about the ethics of the decision.

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James W,

    Henry got fired for PR reasons.

    What, you don't think the BSA-regulated complaints process played any role in that?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James W,

    operates under a higher bar

    You may believe that, but I doubt TVNZ does

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks,

    On air Paul Henry plays the role of the bloke who "just says what everyone else is thinking" and those of us who don't like it can and do complain - I suppose MediaWorks think that any publicity is good publicity. I suspect they're not too bothered about any BSA-regulated complaints process - that's just more publicity. However he does seem to have a few fans so maybe they just want to cater to them.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Sacha,

    Henry got fired for PR reasons.

    What, you don’t think the BSA-regulated complaints process played any role in that?

    Paul Henry "resigned" 20 October 2010. The BSA decision came out 18 March 2011. They found in favour of TVNZ's handling of the situation. They had nothing to do with his letting go.

    From that Herald story announcing the resignation, TVNZ chief executive Rick Ellis:

    If the situation had continued as it had, advertising might have been affected, he said.

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Sacha,

    operates under a higher bar

    You may believe that, but I doubt TVNZ does

    I don't believe that, really, but because TVNZ is taxpayer-funded, it is subject to political pressures that Mediaworks isn't.

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    On air Paul Henry plays the role of the bloke who “just says what everyone else is thinking” and those of us who don’t like it can and do complain – I suppose MediaWorks think that any publicity is good publicity. I suspect they’re not too bothered about any BSA-regulated complaints process – that’s just more publicity. However he does seem to have a few fans so maybe they just want to cater to them.

    Yes, I know. I know exactly why Mediaworks have hired him, I know he will rate well, I know people will complain. Henry is not going to surprise anyone. We’ve all been here before. But I’d love to know where Mediaworks draws the line from a moral point of view, rather than a monetary one. Surely there are boundaries, right?

    (I’d also love for all these “saying what's on people’s minds” euphemisms to stop and for people to call a spade a racist.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    What, you don’t think the BSA-regulated complaints process played any role in that?

    Actually, I don't, except as part of a wave of criticism, especially from advertisers.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to nzlemming,

    I’d also love for all these “saying what’s on people’s minds” euphemisms to stop and for people to call a spade a racist

    I am proud to say that Paul Henry has never said anything that was on my mind before he said it.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Ken Sparks,

    However he does seem to have a few fans so maybe they just want to cater to them.

    One of the most depressing sentences I've read today.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James W,

    BSA-regulated complaints process

    That includes the internal first stage of complaints directly to the broadcaster, not just to the BSA. The whole process is set down in the law.

    I doubt TVNZ's management were unaware of the hundreds of complaints when they made their decision. Nor were their advertisers. And it was hardly the first time.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James W,

    I’d love to know where Mediaworks draws the line from a moral point of view, rather than a monetary one

    I agree. I'm just not expecting they'll tell us. I guess we'll find out when fatuous Mr Henry attacks the next disadvantaged group. He made the mistake of having a go at migrant doctors, forgetting they were doctors and therefore subject to establshment protection. Maybe he'll slip up again.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James W,

    what is the level where money trumps morality?

    For most people there are specific thresholds but for some people there appears to be no threshold essentially more money is the only moral decision. And it's a decision they can spend ages rationalising.

    What seems to happen is that our current method of choosing people to manage companies selects for that small percentage of the population that can abandon morals for money. As a result our companies all look like they have no morals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to James W,

    genuinely intrigued that Mediaworks has hired Henry

    He joins Lhaws, I mean really that station has defined a special place for itself in the market.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Sparks, in reply to nzlemming,

    I am proud to say that Paul Henry has never said anything that was on my mind before he said it.

    +1
    I have rarely heard any of his utterances live on air - I don't watch that kind of TV if I can help it - but anything contentious or offensive gets reported and then reported some more to the point where you need to have your head in the sand not to hear it. It's all good publicity - until the advertisers start getting uneasy.

    Pt Chevalier • Since Apr 2011 • 46 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    What seems to happen is that our current method of choosing people to manage companies selects for that small percentage of the population that can abandon morals for money.

    It's almost worse than that. Who said "a corporation cannot blush"? Companies exist to make money for their shareholders. They don't exist to make moral decisions. Expecting them to is like expecting shampoo to do your homework :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

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