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Breakfast bigot suspended

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, October 5th, 2010 - 91 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Paul Henry has been suspended from TVNZ. Rick Ellis the CEO of TVNZ said:

We give Paul a lot of freedom with the Breakfast programme and he does a magnificent job. But as we have said before, with that freedom comes responsibility.

Paul is one of New Zealand’s best broadcasters. He is a provocative host who speaks his mind and that is what many New Zealanders like about him. He often pushes the boundaries and that’s important in a country that values freedom of speech. But I consider his latest remarks to have well and truly crossed that line.

As Editor-In-Chief I have today suspended Paul without pay effective immediately. He will return on air on Monday 18 October.

When Sir Anand returns from the Commonwealth Games I will be personally apologising to him.

I’m afraid that I’m in agreement with Mike Treen of the Unite Union when he says that Henry needs to be sacked.

However Paul Henry legitimizes racism and bigotry in the workplace. I deal every day with problems associated with managers and even co-workers abusing staff because the look or sound different. Workers can end up tormented and bullied out of their jobs by the so-called humour being practiced by Paul Henry. When we try to do something about it, when we try to protect the workers, the inevitable response is ‘well, Paul Henry is allowed to use this language on national TV why can’t I. Paul Henry has become the poster boy for bigotry. He has no place on a national broadcaster paid for by taxpayers – taxpayers who include many of the people he humiliates.

John Minto sums up my attitude

It is a case of ‘three strikes and you’re out’ Paul Henry is a serial offender. He has abused women, people of colour, gay people, people with disabilities and all migrant Kiwis who don’t look like him. This is not a case of a broadcaster exercising free speech. This is a broadcaster legitimizing bigotry and hatred in the community.

Quite simply Henry is a recidivist offender who appears to quite deliberately set out to offend people. Having him fronting a news and current affairs show is a travesty. He has long since worn out my patience.

I’d suggest that people need to go to the protests today to ensure the objectionable bigot doesn’t return to the screen in a few weeks.

91 comments on “Breakfast bigot suspended”

  1. Indeed. He has to go, he’s been given more chances than Andy Haden.

    If TVNZ think a couple of weeks of him off air will do the trick, they’ve got some nasty surprises coming.

    BTW, anyone notice how completely over-it and uncomfortable Pippa looked on set this morning?

  2. nzfp 2

    Hear hear LPRENT,
    I still haven’t heard a general apology to all New Zealanders who don’t fit Henry’s definition of a real New Zealander. Let’s not forget – Henry said:

    Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time … Are we going to go for someone who is more like a New Zealander this time?

    Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678313

    Whether or not Henry and TVNZ apologise to Satyanand is irrelevant (although warranted) as the insult was to anybody who isn’t somebody that “looks and sounds like a New Zealander” where Henry implied that Satyanand – and consequently anybody who may look or sound like Satyanand – wasn’t.

    The majority of my family are darker then Satyanand, so I guess that puts me in the same pot as the rest of those somebodies who aren’t “like a New Zealander”!

    I’ll be at the Protest!

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    Yes LP, but let me ask you this. Your friends visit your home regularly and bring their child. A strange looking little boy with a pronounced overbite, the child runs amok in your house, knocking over vases, scribbling on walls, emptying all your flour and sugar onto the kitchen floor. And despite being able to walk and talk he doesn’t seem to have been toilet trained.

    When you get grumpy at the havoc he causes, the parents smile wanly and shrug. This is noticed by their attention-seeking child (who, by now, you’re beginning to wonder if he isn’t a little… retarded, as he himself would say), who realises he has carte blanche to wreak havoc without fear of repercussions.

    Eventually, (to misuse one of my favourite lines from “Californication”) he [sprout: deleted on the grounds that it sounds too much like a Craig Ranapiaism] your cat.

    Only then do his parents discipline him, by sending him to his room for “time out”.

    Wouldn’t they be at least as much to blame? Or even more so? If they’d spanked the little sod occasionally he’d know there were boundaries well before it got to this stage, and your cat’s modesty would be safe.

    Rather than solely wishing the snotty nosed little serial pest would be adopted out, you’d also be rightly incensed at his doting and tolerant parents, and perhaps might even think they were unfit to be raising children, and ought to be neutered.

    • wat 3.1

      What is this I don’t even

    • Blighty 3.2

      good point.

      as far as I’m concerned, Henry’s ‘apology’ only made things worse. It was insincere and dog-whistling.

      • Ari 3.2.1

        Even if it wasn’t insincere or otherwise problematic, Henry has already had three chances to clean up his act, and none of them made the slightest difference. He’s already used up his allowance of leniency and suspension is insufficient.

        I went ahead and re-complained that this wasn’t enough, and escalated my action to simply not watching TV1 at all, which is only a little harder than not watching Breakfast 😛

    • lprent 3.3

      I’d agree. TVNZ (the parent) and the culture of only really looking at the ratings means that Henry has never been socialized adequately. He doesn’t look to potential consequences enough.

      At least that is what I took from your homily….

      But I hardly think that he is irreplaceable on the only TV morning news program we have. Let him learn those limiting lessons on radio talkback, or hosting a game or comedy show that he appears to want to run.

      • Rex Widerstrom 3.3.1

        Let him learn those limiting lessons on radio talkback

        While agreeing with everything else you write (and yes, that was the meaning of my homily), I’d point out that Henry had plenty of time to learn these lessons on Radio Pacific and, before that, on other stations* during which he interacted with listeners while spinning records.

        Behavioural modification, in other words, has been tried and failed. Personally, I think it’s time for a heavy dose of Ritalin. Or do I mean Rohypnol…

        * Perhaps it’s time to repeat my “Paul Henry’s embarrassing break up” story. But I don’t like to kick a man when he’s down. Specially not kick him there

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.4

      deleted on the grounds that it sounds too much like a Craig Ranapiaism

      Should I be flattered or insulted? 😛

      And if Craig claimed that without attribution (note: I did attribute) it’d be blatant theft of IP!

      • the sprout 3.4.1

        it’s where the prose is so graphic and provocative that it threatens to overshadow the rest of the content.
        neither flattery nor insult 😉

      • lprent 3.4.2

        Especially for the cat people amongst us. I did look at it myself, but my cat died of old age. The sprout is protective of their current household parasites warm caring fridge watchers

    • bobo 3.5

      TVNZ is that irritating parent that when their kid throws a tantrum they say “ah isn’t he cute” and the naughty chair stand down is just another ratings stunt, just like the fake mistake on aussie top model.

      There should be a Paul Henry filter button I can press somewhere, along with a Justin Bieber one.

  4. Treetop 4

    If TVNZ are waiting for Paul Henry to resign do not hold your breath. The insight and judgement of Paul Henry is too risky for TVNZ. See how TVNZ are going to deal with any complaints into yet another impulsive derogatory remark. The PM is not far behind Henry as he too thinks that the public are going to stand for immature behaviour. Not everything is a joke in life.

    • Well both channels are becoming vehicles for Nat propogander,
      TV1 has Paul Holmes plus the ghastly Henry ,much worse is the Plunket/ Garner duo on TV3.
      .They are so Nats friendly that one wonders if they are getting a sling- back .
      Every bloody week The slimy Garner makes a crack at Labour.
      It time the public demanded a decent unbiased current affairs programe.

      • Vicky32 4.1.1

        Absolutely true about TV3! Living in a valley where I couldn’t get TV1, means I always used to miss TV1 News, but it’s hard to believe it could be worse than Plunket/Garner! (And Garner’s clone, what’s his name, Scott someone?)

        • Carol 4.1.1.1

          One of the justifications given (by TVNZ) for allowing Henry to spout his strong (and bigotted) right wing views, is that he says what many Kiwis think and don’t say. But where on mainstream TV is the equivalent of a left wing person, fronting a TV programme and being outspoken about strong left wing views – views that rarely get heard in the MSM, but that many Kiwis think?

          • Ari 4.1.1.1.1

            Let’s be a bit careful here. ‘Extreme’ leftwing views to the MSM are things like “Hey, we shouldn’t eat meat given that it’s factory farmed in cruel ways and not very good for us” or “maybe we should stop polluting the planet” or “the government shouldn’t behave like a dictatorship”. None of these are inherently offensive, so it’s actually a whole different class of extreme to have bigots like Mr. Henry on the TV- it would be like having a revolutionary communist on who uses eliminationist rhetoric against the rich. Not even marxists necessarily count for that 😛

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            I’m waiting for the NZ Jon Stewart to appear. Even Rachel Maddow would do. *Twiddles thumbs*

            • Kjanz 4.1.1.1.2.1

              how AWESOME would our own version of rachel maddow be !?? OMG i would love it. Paul Henry is kinda the Glen Beck of nz tv, haha

        • kirbya 4.1.1.2

          You in Aro too, Vicky? There’s a lot of great things about living there, but TV reception isn’t one of them!

          • Vicky32 4.1.1.2.1

            I so wish! When I did live there, I didn’t have TV at all, as my sons were small, and I didn’t want them to be exposed to it…
            No, this bad reception was in Mt Eden in Auckland – but I would be in Wellington in a heartbeat if I could (I’m going there on Sunday but sadly only for a flying visit…)
            Deb

  5. roger nome 5

    Paul Henery is dog tucker. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a breakdown and require assistance from a benefit ala Cameron Slater. On the other hand ……

    National looks set to adopt treasury’s suggestions re welfare slash and burn. Funny that treasury’s suggestions mimik the National Party’s policy document on the issue. What the hell’s going on there?

    I have posted on it, so anyone who wants to flog anything from my blog post re this can do so with impunity of course.

    http://rogernome.blogspot.com/2010/10/of-deception-and-class-war.html

    • nzfp 5.1

      Hey roger – do you know the names of the Treasury economists who introduced the Chicago School economic practices via Sir Roger Douglas in the 1984 Labour Government?

      • roger nome 5.1.1

        nzfp:

        Yep – it’s in a book called “new right’s new zealand”. Can’t recall the page. It was Roger Kerr (he jumped between the business round table and treasury as it suited him).

        http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/journals-and-magazines/social-policy-journal/spj27/new-rights-new-zealand-myths-moralities-and-markets-27-pages202-206.html

        There are others but i forget. Cabinet MPs Caygel and Douglas worked closly with Kerr, and i beleive they were the key “ideas men” behind it.

        • nzfp 5.1.1.1

          Cheers – I’ll find it and read it!

          • anarcho 5.1.1.1.1

            Flogged ‘bulk lot’ from an ancient indymedia post by “K”

            http://www.indymedia.org.nz/article/78563/employee-burnt-bank-speaks-out-yesterday

            “Geoff Swier and Doug Andrews were the main achitects of Rogernomics, Andrews was a key player in the World Banks uptake and support for the privatisation reforms of the Pinochet Government in Chile and Geoff Swier was and is a devotee of Milton Friedman and Chicago school of economics trained.

            But it was Doug Andrews more than anyone else that proselytised Douglas into the Chilean privatisational economic reforms being a key player in the World Banks promoting of such reforms following the Pinochet dictatorship. So in my thinking it was inevitable that Douglas’s think tank would come up with the final result we refer to as Rogernomics.

            The key to understanding this little hijacking by these Chicago Boys economists was that neither Douglas, or Richardson who followed on with some of Douglas’s devastating reforms had any clue to the roles that they were appointed to do in economics. This put them both in the hands of and in debt to people like Andrews in Douglas’s case, and Chicago Boy – Iain Reenie in Richardsons case.

            Both Andrews and Reenie worked as puppet masters in order to make sure that the only options on the table at that time were the extremist privatisation and free market economic reforms that were being sold to NZ by them under the guise of “generally accepted world wide accountancy practice”.

  6. bingo 6

    White bread TV just doesn’t hold sway in my house. Doubt that the seven people living in one room a few kilometers to the southeast of me have a TV to be outraged over either. They’re probably out working by the time P.Henry clips on his microphone. Not everything in life is a joke, but TV sure is. Whoever you are, you will always find a situation where you aren’t white enough, aren’t dark enough aren’t fluent enough, aren’t rich enough, aren’t good looking enough, aren’t educated enough…

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    As Editor-In-Chief I have today suspended Paul without pay effective immediately. He will return on air on Monday 18 October.

    TVNZ still don’t get it. He should be gone and not returning.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    I thought that surely “the Standard” contributors would be the first to defend due process and employment contract law. Not defending what Henry said, but I think it is probably likely that TVNZ encourage him to assume a role as a “shock jock” because it is good for the ratings.

    If this is the case, then they have little choice but to show more leniency if Henry steps over the line. Under contract law it is only acceptable to sack people immediately for gross misconduct. In this situation if Henry has been merely trying to meet the expectations of his employer (although in a misguided way) then I don’t think he could be accused of gross misconduct. Thus a lower level of penalty is appropriate, such as the one that has been given.

    In short, TVNZ also need to take responsibility for Henry’s behaviour if they have set an expectation for him to act in the way he does for the sake of ratings. So, not all the muck should stick on Henry.

    • roger nome 8.1

      tsmithfield:

      That kind of racisim makes terrorist targets of nations. So if Henry wants to behave like that, he can kindly leave for somewhere more appropriate.

      Tell me – how would you feel about losing a loved one in the cross fire between Meathead Henry and some desperately deluded terrorist? Fuck that i say.

      • Interesting 8.1.1

        “That kind of racisim makes terrorist targets of nations”….

        Talk about sensationalism!

        Yes, He should have refrained from saying it.

        But come off it…saying that his comment will make us a terrorist target is the biggest load of turd i have ever heard.

        Keep things in perspective. I think that most peoples comments on here are incredibly tainted by their hate for paul henry.

        how about having some real conversation without the OTT sensationalism that some of these comments are being written with.

        It is often claimed by people posting on this site that “righties” are blinded by their “ideology” but i also see that “lefties” are just as blinded by their “ideology”.

        Yes, it was right to suspend him.

        Yes he does push it too far sometimes.

        but honestly, cut the drama.

        • felix 8.1.1.1

          Yep, I’m the first to admit that I’m blinded by my stubborn ideological belief that nasty hateful bigots shouldn’t be on the telly every morning spewing filth and picking up a fat check from the state for the trouble.

          Ideological hardliner, me.

    • freedom 8.2

      ts, it is my understanding, from various people whom i trust to know these things that….in all TVNZ contracts there are clear rules about on-air and off-air behaviour, the use of racist language is definitely grounds for an immediate right of dismissal ….

    • nzfp 8.3

      Hey TS,
      Try “instant dismissal” on for size! Every contract has it. Hah hah be great to see Henry try out a new job with a “90 day trial period” and get sacked for nothing at 89 days in.

      • freedom 8.3.2

        sadly there are already more than enough vaccuous prats, who naturally doublethink like Henry, that he will always be employed and even more depressingly, he will always be getting exposure for whatever discharges from his bile filled brain

    • Ari 8.4

      TVNZ needed to suspend him the first time, so no, I don’t really get why it’s acceptable to be lenient after he’s worked his way through directly offending most New Zealanders by adding overt racism to his list of bigotry.

  9. Stuff poll on whether Henry should be sacked or a 2 week break is sufficient punishment.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv/4197611/Paul-Henry-suspended

    • NickS 9.1

      Heh, it seems the sewer’s inhabitants have been getting script-kiddie happy with that poll. Or it could just be stuff hasn’t bothered to use anything as simple as registering each IP that votes, which means by hitting F5/refresh and then voting again ad nauseam it’s quite easy to wang the poll.

      Mind you, given the number of “nice” racist morons I’ve seen, it could be that there’s easily 6000 odd racist gits who’ve voted…

      • Ari 9.1.1

        What’s funny is that it’s still a greater number of people who think he ought to have been punished more.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he also got a bit more support because right-wingers tend to be an easier demographic to find via online poll, too.

  10. tc 10

    Recyling Rick sticks his head above the plush executive turret to make a meaningless announcement about rent a rant PH….whooppdee doooo.

    I think the spoilt kid and doting parent analogy nails this situation…..I mean if you hire a known pyromaniac then you should take some responsibility for their actions.

    Recycling Rick/Henry/Holmes all peas from the same egotistical pod and empitomise what a public broadcaster is not.

  11. William Joyce 11

    Why does PH deserve so much vitriol? Surely there are other more pressing things to worry about. He says things because he is an adlib performer. He thinks off the cuff and says things that he things might be funny and before his more rational side kicks.
    5 days a week of adlib entertaining and you’re sure to say something dumb.
    This was dumb and I have no idea why he said it. We should expect him to get things wrong and apolgise, even be suspended but calling him a “A Bigot”? Come on!
    Let’s remember, he’s a performing seal not the pope.

    • Interesting 12.1

      I am certain that not all who sign up to this page will actually stop watching all TVNZ channels. Most people hit “like” on these pages for the sake of it.

      • Rex Widerstrom 12.1.1

        Better (and more realistic) to pledge to boycott TVNZ’s advertisers I would have thought.

        Speaking of which, I think in the interests of fairness (and since I couldn’t be bothered independently checking the assertions made here) to note that Heritage Hotels has posted:

        Heritage Hotels is not a sponsor of TVNZ’s Breakfast show and has not been for some months

        Some Facebooker (I’m not one) should ask them if that means they will continue to do so in future, of course.

        • the sprout 12.1.1.1

          If they aren’t sponsors then they have an awful lot of branding associated with Breakfast.

          Here’s what TVNZ’s Breakfast page looks like today, with Heritage logo incorporated in to the Breakfast logo.

          /wp-content/uploads/2010/10/TVNZ-Breakfast-screengrab-5-Oct-2010.jpg

          I don’t think it’s at all unfair to target Heritage as a sponsor.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1.1.1.1

            That logo and graphic is dated from 2004. ?

            • the sprout 12.1.1.1.1.1

              the page update date is, but the screengrab is from about 2 hours ago today, hence the 2010 ads in the banner and today’s date in the RH column.

              Just checked, they’ve pulled the graphic from the page! i thought that might happen.

              http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/breakfast-419540

              glad i got a grab

              • Rex Widerstrom

                Then it sounds like TVNZ are slack in updating their graphics. I doubt Heritage would deny a link if it couldn’t produce a paper trail showing sponsorship stopped x months ago as they claim.

                Which is interesting because if a sponsor had stepped in to take over, I’m sure the marketing people would have made damned sure the old sponsor’s logo was removed and replaced with the new one’s.

                So is Henry already damaging the “Breakfast” brand, I wonder?

                • lprent

                  I doubt Heritage would deny a link if it couldn’t produce a paper trail showing sponsorship stopped x months ago as they claim.

                  So do I, which is why I popped that update on The Spouts post. Bit of a pity because I was really ramping up towards hitting the money.

                  But as The Spout said, the Breakfast site this morning looked like it was still sponsored by them.

        • lprent 12.1.1.2

          I send a rather irritated e-mail their way this morning asking them to comment on my proposed post title with their name in it (and a pile of links to other posts both here and elsewhere). I pointed out that the main sponsor was directly responsible for supporting the Breakfast bigot, and that it’d be fun playing with the google page associations.

          That was in their response

    • freedom 12.2

      hey sprout all i could see was the ‘like’ button.
      Are you sure you set it up as a group and not just a page?

      eitherway some top comments amongst them that dropped in

  12. Tigger 13

    Key says the suspension was the right thing to do.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10678344

    But yesterday you showed no outrage at the time and just giggled at the comments. Then you refused to label them as racist. But now you think right has been done. STFU you watery lettuce leaf of a PM.

  13. Sean Brooks 14

    Im guessing he is going to have the highest ratings in breakfast show history when he comes back.

  14. gobsmacked 15

    With all these threads it’s hard to keep up with the ongoing demolition of the Paul Henry apologists and Rightist Diversion Squad, but for the record …

    Here’s just some of the myths busted in the past 24 hours:

    “Protesting’s a waste of time”

    So the storm of protest, in all its forms, leads to Henry’s suspension. And the protest outside TVNZ is the lead story on the news. Plus – record number of complaints to TVNZ.

    “This won’t go international, won’t be noticed …”

    So Melissa Stokes on One News reports that it’s definitely a story on Indian TV, huge export market, pop: one billion and counting …

    “Paul Henry just says what Kiwis are really thinking”

    All evidence points to the opposite. Feedback, in all its forms, running strongly against Paul Henry, across all media except far-right blogs.

    And so on …

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Thank you for the list gobsmacked. Much more to be done.

      Labour – please pay attention to what happens when you mobilise mass action in the cause of fairness and equity for *all* NZ’ers.

    • Hennie van der Merwe 15.2

      Why is nobody commenting on his statement (during the same show) that he would love for something to go wrong during the Commonwealth Games? Can you imagine how he (and the rest of the country) would rant and rave should an Indian journalist wish the same fate on the Rugby World Cup next year?

      • Ari 15.2.1

        Because there are conceivable reasons other than racism for that sort of comment, like say, respecting that athletes have a very physically demanding job and need good facilities if they’re going to be expected to perform at peak?

        Sure, the statement is suspect because he said it, but it’s not really notable compared to his more extreme statements, so throwing it in might just confuse things and make it sound like we’re trying to cast aspersions as opposed to having good grounds to object.

  15. Dan 16

    Henry’s advocacy of Act policies over the years should come into play: three strikes and he’s out! Good riddance.
    I no longer watch TV3 news with Garner’s bias on board. Channel 501 has some merit!

  16. Dylan 17

    Just a small point that constantly bugs me – “He has no place on a national broadcaster paid for by taxpayers” – TVNZ is not paid for by taxpayers at all. The only public money TVNZ receives is through NZ On Air, which is a contestable fund available to all free-to-air broadcasters. They also received pilot funding for TVNZ 6 and 7. No public money pays for Paul, on any of the general operation of TVNZ. In fact TVNZ contributes money to the government in the form of a dividend to their single shareholder.

    I don’t know if Treen suffers from the same misunderstanding as many people seem to, or is being deliberately misleading – but he’s completely wrong on that point.

    • marco 17.1

      Perhaps if public money was used to fund TVNZ we would have an impartial news source that presents a balanced arguement, which is vital to a modern functioning democracy.

      I defend Mr Henry’s right to say what he did, but I don’t agree with what he said.

    • Ari 17.2

      If TVNZ is owned by the government, Dylan, all its funds are inherently public money. Don’t be obtuse.

  17. Kola 18

    Why do any of you people still watch TV? Don’t you have a DVD player? Don’t you have friends, pets, a garden, a library nearby? Dont you know how to find things on line? I stopped watching TV about 5 years ago and never looked back. Seeing NZ TV presenters in action now is a bizarre experience on the odd occasion I see TV at a friend’s house. Why are they grinning, shouting, so pleased with themselves… It’s like a remote tribe whose customs are strange and nonsensical to me. Do yourselves a favour and switch off – leave the lame, self congratulatory, boring wankers to it, nothing on offer is worth your time when you could be reading or watching on line something that is actually intelligent/funny.

    • Vicky32 18.1

      I watch very little TV, kola… (and in fact, most of the time when I am “watching” I am listening… I rely on radio for news, and I don’t even know who half of the presenters are, having never actually *seen* them!
      However, our not watching, doesn’t alter the fact that Henry did a wrong thing, and I for one, have a heap of 20-somethings in the family who do watch TV, and who are not bright enough to realise when they are watching a bigot! (The rest of the 20-somethings don’t watch TV – and they are the bright ones!)
      Deb

  18. Rodel 19

    John looked pretty relaxed in the interview. Can’t turn down a chance to be in accord with with NZ’s most admired TV celebrity presenter, can we? Giggle & grin John

    But I blame the bimbos (and that includes Peter) who giggle at Paul’s audacity and make him think he ever says anything of importance- .

  19. George.com 20

    I am not sure whether I’d use the term rascist to describe Henrys comments. That term gets used quite often and sometimes loosely. I’d use the term ignorant and stupid. Here’s my line of reasoning.

    What does ‘looking & sounding more like a NZer’ actually mean? Does Henry mean someone who is Pakeha looking? Or maybe someone who is polynesian looking? Currently the majority of NZers are pakeha looking however that ‘look’ is shifting as both our polynesian population and our asian population grows.

    150 years ago a “NZ looking & sounding person” would have been polynesian. We are all immigrants, at the moment the greatest % ‘look & sound” pakeha. That’ll be subject to change. A ‘NZer looks and sounds’ like someone whose forefathers came here on a boat or a plane.

    If Henry does actually want a pakeha GG then he should have just come out and stated it and being prepared to state why he held that view. I would imagine such a statement would have given strong grounds for an accusation of racism. I am only speculating however on what his motivation was for saying what he said.

    My personal opinion is that Henry is reflecting, what I consider to be a fairly prevalent view that being pakeha is somehow a little bit better, that as we live in a pakeha dominated country that everything should be bent toward maintaining this staus quo, and somehow pakeha NZers are being discriminated against when some preference is given to other cultures/colours. You could describe this as a rascist viewpoint if you chose, I prefer to view it as ignorant – a hang over of white centric/”Rule Brittania” views of the world. Stupid and ignorant.

  20. Interesting 21

    At the risk of being told i can not post here anymore….

    I notice that this sight often uses the term Bigot alot when describe those whom are of opposite views to others on this sight.

    So what is the meaning of bigot?

    http://www.freedictionary.com gives this defintion: “One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.”

    or this definition from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry which states bigotry is: “A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, irrationality, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.”

    or this definition from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bigot which states: “a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.”

    Based on those three definitions from three seperate sites which all basically say the same thing…..aren’t a lot of people on this site, by definition, Bigots?

    People seem to be intolerable of others opinions. intolerable of others beliefs. animosity towards those of differing beliefs. strongly partial to ones own group?

    I see all of these things displayed by people on this site who support views of a left persuasion against anything and everything from the right of politics.

    I guess what i am saying is, at the end of the day, we can all be labelled as bigots if we use the term with its correct definition.

    just a thought.

    (If my past experiences on this site are anything to go by i will now receive comments attacking me, rather than looking at the statement and making considered discussion about the what i have said. Also, i will be called a right winger. For the record, as i have stated in past posts. i am currently a fence sitter with my vote, looking at where it mught go at the next election)

    • felix 21.1

      Ah, the trusty old “if you don’t like racists then you’re a kind of racist yourself ‘cos you’re prejudiced against racists”

      etc etc.

      • Interesting 21.1.1

        Felix

        i wasnt actually referring to the PHenry incident. just the use of the word bigot in general on this site. it just so happened that since it was used in the heading of this post that i felt stirred to comment.

      • pollywog 21.1.2

        yup…I’m on a roll ‘cos i’ve been called a bigot by both standardistas and bogheads, just in the last 2 days.

        Now i’m all confused.

    • Interesting 21.2

      that last line was meant to say Might not mught

    • lprent 21.3

      Everyone is a bigot, with a population size of one. It comes with being a species of individuals.

      However the usual usage is about the degree of tolerance towards alternative creeds. The standard here is about agreeing to disagree. However that doesn’t mean we should all be nice and sweet. If we wanted that then there are pharmacopoeia available for the purpose. Usually around here we’re interested in exploring differences, usually by arguing with other people quite ‘robustly’.

      The enforced boundaries are enforced by the moderators and are generally to do with bad behaviours that shut down debate. With a few exceptions for some things that most people here tend to find distasteful like extreme racism, sexism, and a few other ism’s we don’t care much about what views people hold and express.

      If required, then as sysop I really enforce whatever measures are required to exclude people who only come in to disrupt debate. If I have to exert effort then I always attempt to exert enough effort to try to ensure that the experience is memorable enough to operate as a learning experience for the recipient. This usually reduces my workload in the longer term in conformance with the principles of a BOFH mode. It isn’t a perfect system, but it is pretty effective in making an agree to disagree zone without too much work.

      I deliberately picked that title for this post because in my view Paul Henry from his current and previous episodes is intolerant of any group apart from the small percentage of the population that are male european descended hetrosexual and well off. In short, like him. To me that makes him a recidivist bigot

    • Ari 21.4

      What you’re proposing when you call out people who don’t tolerate bigotry as bigots is called moral relativism, and it’s a self-contradictory idea. Why? Because if you believe all ideas have equal merit and shouldn’t be criticised, then you have no grounds on which to criticise people who disagree with moral relativism- we’re just people with a different opinion.

      I don’t really think anyone needs to attack you to show that the point you’re making doesn’t even resemble sense. I’m not required to stand idly by if someone promotes hatred, and centrist, right-winger, or greenie, I expect better from ANYBODY than to enable bigoted remarks that incite hatred of people just because they don’t “look like New Zealanders,” and I hope you’ll live up to those expectations.

  21. happynz 22

    –VNZ spokeswoman Andi Brotherston had put out a statement defending Henry’s remarks.

    “The audience tell us over and over again that one of the things they love about Paul Henry is that he’s prepared to say the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud,” said the statement.–

    Wow. That’s one nasty demographic – bigoted but too cowardly to front up with their views.

    • Ari 22.1

      I prefer my bigots cowardly, because I don’t have to hear what they’re thinking.

    • Vicky32 22.2

      The latest news is that Andi Brotherston has apologised, and tendered her resignation though it wasn’t accepted.. Or so I just heard on 3News
      Deb

  22. I am saddened by the whole Paul Henry affair along with the many hundreds of thousands of others who have chosen to make NZ a home.

    Here’s my blog from a leadership perspective: FYI – http://bit.ly/9eD7kl

  23. kriswgtn 24

    The guy needs to go
    he is an opinionated right wing piece of scum

    Failed @ being a Politician,and fails as a presenter.

    Get freeview and watch Al Jazeera was my solution

    I miss SUNRISE,bring back Ollie I say

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