Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • dc_red,

    In some ways I think Henry's latest "apology" is worse, in that it defames Gypsies (lower on the racial pyramid than true British stock, y'know) ... for no reason in particular.

    It's one thing to say something stupid and racist live on air. It's another thing to follow it up with a considered statement that is also stupid and racist.

    Two wrongs make a...?

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    It's one thing to say something stupid and racist live on air. It's another thing to follow it up with a considered statement that is also stupid and racist.

    It's only stupid if you don't think TVNZ has a deliberate strategy to use racial controversy as a marketing tool to generate publicity and increase ratings.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    They really should change their name to Weasel TV and drop the pretense.

    How about Prolesec?

    When the lesser (but only just) "cheeky darkie" issue flared up, Mitsubishi, among others, withdrew their sponsorship of Holmes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    John Key would hate to see Henry and his softball questions go, I'm sure.

    Oh yeah, and I'm sure Helen Clark did her weekly turn as the Third Stooge for the intellectual and journalistic rigour? I'm just bemused that TVNZ insists on calling Breakfast news and current affairs rather than bad comedy.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    @Graeme:

    Are you seriously suggesting that "people who think like me, and talk like me, and agree with me" have greater claim on being a New Zealander than people who don't? Why can't Paul Henry be every bit the New Zealander that Anand Satyanand, Matthew Reid, and Graeme Edgeler are? How do any of our views on anything change this?

    I suppose Matthew is suggesting that tolerance and inclusiveness are fundamental qualities of New Zealanders. We may like to think so, though if anything the "defining" characteristic is a sense of "fair go" that all too easily translates into a kind of white male entitlement. When it comes down to it, it's fairly easy to define what it takes to be a New Zealander: permanent residence.

    Certainly I expect Paul Henry to be a cock*.
    ...
    *this term carefully selected for Craig Ranapia, who chastised me earlier for using "twat."

    To keep things balanced, let's call Paul Henry a twatcock.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • jo kerr,

    "A switch and bait apology" thanks nzdodo, that's exactly it.

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And Paul Henry's no Billy T, he's a try-hard at best.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    Aaaand Henry goes for gold in the Oppression Olympics...

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Sadly, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition

    I think that's a little unfair to both Key and Goff. My impression was that they both disagreed with what Henry said.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Yep. To be even more accurate, a switch-and-bait "apology."

    And note how he invokes his alleged heritage not to demonstrate empathy or anything, but just to be a dick.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Given that the ratings seem to suggest Paul Henry is popular despite the provocative offensiveness, perhaps I am somewhat deluded in my thinking about what New Zealanders are like.

    That's the interesting place that its leading us.

    Given that he puts his foot in his mouth on a regular basis, being racist, sexist, and generally a git in other ways, and yet TVNZ still thinks he comes out on the positive side of the ledger.

    What does that say about 'us' and what we like to see on TV?

    All my facebook wall is filled with comments about what a moron he is. Presumably there are other people around whose circle of friends are a lot more approving of his actions.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    @ Tom Beard
    "Twatcock" must be in the running for PAS Word of the Year...cracked me up anyway.

    I can't understand for the life of me who watches Breakfast...the last thing I want to do that early in the morning is watch that trainwreck of soft 'news' bollocks. I'd rather, I dunno...get on with my day?

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think that's a little unfair to both Key and Goff. My impression was that they both disagreed with what Henry said.

    I think the pokes at Key for not doing something about it live are unfair. If that had been me I probably would have laughed weakly and tried to move on. You just don't expect that sort of crap and you're on national TV and you're not used to making a scene. Ten minutes later as I was leaving I'd be pissed as hell and going over in my head what I should have said.

    Afterwards I wish both Goff and Key had come out much stronger. Even if they don't want to do it publicly, I hope both of them have sent a clear message to TVNZ that they would like a different interviewer when they appear in future.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I can't understand for the life of me who watches Breakfast...the last thing I want to do that early in the morning is watch that trainwreck of soft 'news' bollocks. I'd rather, I dunno...get on with my day?

    Same here. Radio seems much more suited to multi-tasking: you can get updated on the day's news while going about your ablutions, making breakfast etc. But perhaps a family environment is different? Would people have time to kill while waiting for other family members to get ready? I dunno: it's so long since I had anything to do with family life.

    I think the pokes at Key for not doing something about it live are unfair. If that had been me I probably would have laughed weakly and tried to move on. You just don't expect that sort of crap and you're on national TV and you're not used to making a scene. Ten minutes later as I was leaving I'd be pissed as hell and going over in my head what I should have said.

    Well, most of us would have been dumbfounded and struggled to find the right words. But Key's a professional politician for chrissakes! If he can handle question time (big "If") and campaigning, surely he'd have the savoir faire to say something. Even something as bland as "You know, Paul, NZers come in all shapes and colours, so Sir Anand looks like a NZer to me" would do, though someone with more integrity could be expected to say something like "Do you realise what an outrageously racist statement that is?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Goff says it was "Paul Henry being Paul Henry"; but TVNZ said it was Paul Henry being me, and you, and everyone we know.

    They're wrong that he just says what "everyone" is thinking, unless by "everyone" they mean the minority racist underbelly of NZ.

    But they're right in the sense that he is the early morning televisual "face" of New Zealand's state broadcaster.

    Which is precisely why he should be handed his arse on a plate for breakfast, along with the address of the nearest dole office.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    I'm pretty much with Kyle on this one ("You just don't expect that sort of crap...") - I would have come up with an appropriately scathing response 10 minutes later.

    I would hope the PM's office has had subsequent "discussions" with TVNZ though. Something along the lines of: "The PM's not going on that f7cking show again..."

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I think that's a little unfair to both Key and Goff. My impression was that they both disagreed with what Henry said.

    If only we had politicians with spine and values. But no our politicians care more about the exposure that being on breakfast TV gives them than in doing what is right. Clark was just as bad. You're right, Key would have had to think on his feet (heaven forfend that our PM be able to do that) Goff has no such excuse.

    No surprise of course.

    As for Henry himself, my opinion is unchanged, he is a disgusting stain on our society and it is abhorrent that he is given such a public stage. I know he isn't paid for by our tax dollars, he brings in more advertising revenue than he costs and so the accountants running TVNZ will keep him on.

    Now if only some advertisers displayed their disgust by withdrawing their business...

    Finally big ups to Ben G who showed that having a spine and real values is indeed possible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    *this term carefully selected for Craig Ranapia, who chastised me earlier for using "twat."

    I think that could be acceptable in your circumstance after reading this wiki explanation.

    "The trouble with Twitter, the instantness of it – too many twits might make a twat."

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    You just don't expect that sort of crap and you're on national TV and you're not used to making a scene. Ten minutes later as I was leaving I'd be pissed as hell and going over in my head what I should have said.

    Yes, I think this is how he gets away with it, TBH. It's not because people agree with him, it's because they either can't think of a witty rejoinder, or they think that even doing that would encourage it. I see real discomfort in the faces of Wetzel, Mau and Williams, but it's rather like a slobbery old uncle making borderline lewd comments about your girlfriend, making a scene seems OTT, and giving him beans back is just encouragement.

    I can't understand for the life of me who watches Breakfast...the last thing I want to do that early in the morning is watch that trainwreck of soft 'news' bollocks. I'd rather, I dunno...get on with my day?

    Hey, it used to have some cool gadget reviews, until the twatcock presenter pissed the reviewer off too much. I don't mind it while I'm eating my cereal, although every time Henry starts talking, I do something else.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Gracewood,

    And how cool is Ben Gracewood, eh?

    Not very. Seriously now: how does one deal with the feedback I'm getting? 99.9% positive and wonderful, but the reason I quit was because my thought process went:

    1. What a cock. (twatcock, as Tom said, to be balanced)

    2. Oh god, I can't say that because I'd risk the awesome gravy train of free publicity and loaner gadgets.

    3. Fucksticks. Time to "grow up". (Ironically, just like all the anti-comments are now telling me to do)

    So really, it was a simple decision on a slow news day, and suddenly I'm awash with admiration. I guess it's just a lightning rod for the zeitgeist?

    Fuck I hate being a kiwi sometimes. Mustn't make a fuss.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Fuck I hate being a kiwi sometimes. Mustn't make a fuss.

    Until we must, then you fuss hard.

    I read once that during WW1, reading Kiwi troops was an art form. It was easy to tell when the Australians were pissed off because they got louder and louder. But the officers learned that the Kiwis became silent, sullen, then a noise rather like buzzing bees began, followed shortly by explosions of rage, by which point the opportunity to calm them had actually passed.

    TVNZ, I hear buzzing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    I also find it mildly interesting that Key pulled out of his regular slot with bFM (which I've heard has a lot to do with Matt taking over B'Fast) - not that he was particularly regular with it - but will subject himself to associating with a twatcock mug like Paul Henry...go figure.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • octopusgrrl,

    Ben, I hope you're right. It’s kinda funny (in a "not-really-but-totally-expected" way) – I can see some of the ppl I know going from “Oh, Paul Henry? I like him, he says all the things others are too PC to say”, to “actually I think he went a bit too far this time”. But it's not so much in response to what he said, but more from the bad reaction that the comments are getting from the majority opinion.

    Unfortunately it seems that most Kiwis are sheep, and as much as they like the idea of being considered all rebellious and un-PC, they draw the line at being seen as being racist or endorsing racism. If it was, as has previously been the case, just us left-wing-feminazi-lunatic-fringe-types protesting what he said it would be different, but “even that nice man John Key said he was in the wrong” so now Henry’s suddenly unacceptable?

    I used to get stuck watching Breakfast while breastfeeding first thing in the morning, because I could see the news headlines on the ticker, but seriously I'm amazed I made it through with sanity (mostly) unchallenged. Mind you, those were the Kay Gregory days when the only-just-fettered loathing between the co-hosts was almost palpable, and you could watch for the possibility that one day she would just let fly and open that can of whoopass - sadly, it never occurred.

    Dunedin • Since May 2009 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Thanks for confirming you're all a bunch of cocks,

    I forgot this. this is not true. I know people working (and past) at TVNZ that do not think any of what bile Henry comes up with, to be acceptable, or believable or secretly thinkable and I'll add that Mr R Brown works there too and certainly doesn't seem to be secretly thinking that. He is being quite loud about the exact opposite.
    To be tarred with the same brush just because you work for TVNZ is really unfair.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But Key's a professional politician for chrissakes! If he can handle question time (big "If") and campaigning, surely he'd have the savoir faire to say something.

    But he should be expected to think on his feet in this circle of competence. As PM that circle is quite broad, but I'm not sure if in his job description to bat down racism - any more than its in everyone's job description as a decent human being. I suspect Lange could react to anything on their feet, I know Grant Robertson would have eaten Henry up if he'd been interviewed, but I think it was a natural skill for them, not easily taught. Key's not a natural or even taught debater.

    I still with being appalled at their later statements - Key's was weak-arsed, Goff's was appalling - he didn't even condemn the statement in the quote I saw.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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