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Are we going to get a Breakfast that looks like New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, October 11th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: tv - Tags: ,

Last time I saw Breakfast I saw:

Paul Henry trying desperately to offend someone. Spent most of the time talking about what to do when you have a bad tenant.

Some blonde who smiled and looked pretty while Henry talked.

Another blonde (Australian).

Some old Pakeha geezer. To be fair, he clearly hated Henry.

A younger Pakeha bloke from down South doing the business news.

A collection of airhead blondes from the major centres.

Tamati, filling the roles of token brown guy and token gay while pretending to know what an isobar is.

White, middle-class, blonde. Just wondering, now that Henry’s gone, if we’re going to get a Breakfast that looks like real New Zealand.

24 comments on “Are we going to get a Breakfast that looks like New Zealand? ”

  1. Oscar Kightley FTW !!!

    and you’d never know Pippa was part Samoan eh ?

    • Bright Red 1.1

      I’ve wondered about that, because her surname is Wetzell and her dad is European-looking. I’m wondering if the family is German-ethnic, from the days when Samoa was a German colony. Does she have any Samoan ethnic ancestors?

      • pollywog 1.1.1

        Bound to i reckon. Cant see any sourkraut being able to resist the feminine wiles of your average young Samoan lady of the Poula (night dance) or young man either.

        The ‘one drop rule’ in reverse produces some interesting combinations. One of my Samoan uncles looks Samoan as, but has skin fairer than a blue blooded aryan due to his Kaiser ancestors and I’ve also got a bit of Schmidt in me through my Samoan grandmother.

        • Kevin Welsh

          She does. There was a doco a few weeks ago about her return to Samoa to visit rellies after the tsunami.

        • Draco T Bastard

          ne of my Samoan uncles looks Samoan as, but has skin fairer…

          One of my nephews of Maori descent is the same. Blue eyed, blond and fair skinned. Quite the contrast to his brother who’s got brown eyes, brown hair and dark skin.

  2. Alwyn 2

    Oh dear this does come across as being a sexist rant. All blondes are dumb. repeat 50 times.
    Are you male and and nervous of attractive BLONDE women?
    Or are you female and wish that you were blonde beacause you think that, as in that wonderful film of the 1950’s “gentlemen prefer blondes”?
    In either case why do you have to go on about the fact that the women were blondes except in an attempt to imply they are therefore stupid? That is as silly, and as racist and sexist as Paul Henry’s remarks.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      I don’t see it that way. I just see it as pointing out that the news media promotes a certain look for presenters – females are overwhelmingly blonde on Breakfast and they’re overwhelmingly Pakeha – and you have to wonder if that’s down to favouritism.

      It doens’t mean all blondes are dumb at all, and Zet doesn’t say that they are. It might mean that these particular women have gotten in ahead of other women because they tick the right boxes for appearance though.

      Did you see that one from Christchurch who couldn’t stop giggling the other day? There are lots of talented young reporters who would excel if they got a break like being on Breakfast, instead it goes to yet another pretty blonde – and you can’t help wonder if that’s coincidence.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      You missed the point. There just isn’t that many blondes in NZ which leads back to what PH said about looking like NZers.

      Although, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they were all Bleach Blonds which would more likely to relate to your movie reference.

    • prism 2.3

      Alwyn it does seem that TV management gentlemen prefer blondes and young woman who can be used as clothes horses wearing summer tops to show off their shoulders in the middle of winter. The whole choice thing is weighted against the plump, the ugly, the hairy lipped (if on a woman). Paul Henry was only saying what his bosses are quietly thinking.

  3. hateatea 3

    whilst it would be wonderful if there were more apparent diversity in the frontpersons for all television programmes on our State Owned broadcaster, I would settle for people with intelligence, professionalism, commonsense and warmth of personality. No more negativity or inanity would be a real bonus.

    BTW It is perfectly possible to be naturally blonde with intelligence just as it is possible to be a white, male bigoted idiot

    • Bright Red 3.1

      “BTW It is perfectly possible to be naturally blonde with intelligence”

      of course. but when you see a lack of proportional diversity in a group, you have to wonder if it’s intentional. Kind of like how National is virtually all pakeha businessmen, with a few token candidates thrown in for appearnences sake.

    • people with intelligence, professionalism, commonsense and warmth of personality

      Yeah but broadcasting executives think of themselves as a terribly clever, powerful and all-knowing elite of the elites. Inevitably that causes them to consider their audience is a bit thick.

      They then put crap on every channel, and when that audience resigns itself to watching one flavour of crap more than another, they say it’s a “ratings winner” and assume that doing more of the same will feed the audience’s undoubted appetite for stupid.

      So, faced with an empty radio or TV slot to fill, they don’t think “let’s get an intelligent, professional person with some experience as a journalist because, after all, this is news” they think “let’s find a guy who has a record of making a complete cock of himself (aka “is controversial”) because that’ll keep the slack jawed morons who make up our audience watching”.

      Now there certainly is an audience of slack jawed morons out there, as is proven by the “Bring back Paul Henry” pages on Facebook.

      But there’s also a more intelligent audience. One who would respond to the kind of thing you’re talking about. But with the present executives in charge, it’s never going to happen.

      If any broadcaster can afford to take a risk that I’m right, it’s a state owned one. I can understand TV3 being a timid “me too” follower, but TVNZ could be a real leader. Time for a change well above Paul Henry’s pay grade, methinks.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        If they put something intelligent on I may go back to watching TV. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

        • Lanthanide

          I don’t think they’ll put someone intelligent on a show like breakfast, because a large part of their target audience will be out at work and therefore won’t be available to watch it.

      • hateatea 3.2.2

        ‘If any broadcaster can afford to take a risk that I’m right, it’s a state owned one. I can understand TV3 being a timid “me too” follower, but TVNZ could be a real leader. Time for a change well above Paul Henry’s pay grade, methinks.’

        I agree that TVNZ could do it, I even believe that they should but that would mean the shareholding minister would need to rewrite the contract between TVNZ and the Government, I imagine. Still, a woman has a right to her dreams

        • Rex Widerstrom

          I don’t think the contract stipulates for the hiring of a quota of mentally subnormal employees into on air positions, though one could be excused for thinking that it did 😀

  4. comedy 4

    Can’t say I care what people on the idiot box look like or don’t look like.

    Perhaps it’d be easier if the human race was blind …. suppose we’d then complain that people sounded odd or didn’t have diverse enough accents.

    What a small minded and immature little country we are at times.

    • hateatea 4.1

      You may think it small minded to care whether or not there is diversity in television but it isn’t any different to diversity in teaching, healthcare professionals, police officers or politicians. Of course, the most important thing is that they are good at whatever it is that they are doing but it is also important that there is a reflection of society as a whole and some parts of television are doing less about being inclusive than others.

      Mind you, having had to sit beside Paul Henry on the couch must have been like losing the toss of the coin rather than winning.

      As for the diversity in accents – I would settle for clear diction and a real attempt at accurate pronunciation. Don’t they send broadcasters to speech training any more?

    • T 4.2

      It’s not about appearances (or accents) really. It’s about perspective. Someone who is judged a certain way (for being an immigrant or being blonde for example) or lives a certain way (because they are poor, or gay for example) is probably going to have a different perspective on a range of issues than someone who is judged or lives differently. That diversity of perspectives is worth airing.

  5. Jagilby 5

    The hypocrisy and absolute absurdity of “positive” discrimination.


  6. Ten Miles Over 6

    I think now is the time for Maori TV to put up a rival in the breakfast slot.
    I also think it’s past time that TVNZ was privatised.

    • hateatea 6.1

      Tika to whakaaro. I agree with your thoughts but given that TV3 found it unsustainable financially, i doubt that Māori Television would be able to afford to offer such a service. That said, given the quality that they produce for ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day each year, perhaps main stream New Zealand might actually enjoy the difference and switch over in their thousands.

      The difficulty might be meeting the te reo quota while marketing to non-speakers

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