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Is it OK for a woman with an opinion to host TVNZ’s Breakfast?

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, January 16th, 2018 - 128 comments
Categories: greens, journalism, Media - Tags: , , , , , ,

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It’s great news that Hayley Holt has landed a cool new gig hosting TVNZ’s Breakfast show. It’s not so great that before she even gets on the air we have to endure the pontification of some pundits about whether or not it’s “OK”, given she stood as a Green Party candidate in the 2017 election. As if she needs their permission before it can go ahead.

And methinks some people doth protest too much.

How is this even a question?

We on the left have had to put up with the likes of Paul Henry and Mike Hosking, one of whom ran for Parliament as a Tory and the other might as well have, unapologetically spouting their right wing nonsense on the issues of the day, largely unchallenged in front of their audience, every day for the last 20 years or more.

Now it looks like we are finally going to see a semblance of balance and all of a sudden we are deemed to need a tiresome public debate on whether or not it’s OK to have a woman with an opinion hosting Breakfast.

Sure, there was a public debate on whether or not it was a good idea to have John Key’s biggest fanboy host the leaders’ debates last year, but Hosking has a long and well documented track record of being incapable of keeping his opinions to himself. Holt hasn’t even had a chance to show us she will do the job with even handed professionalism yet. Double standard much?

Whether or not someone has stood for a political party in the past should not be the test of an appropriate person to front political content. The test should be can they do the job without fear or favour?

Kim Hill is an example of someone who has had a long career as the premier interviewer in New Zealand giving both sides hell. I’ve listened to her for 20 years and I have no idea who she votes for.

Maggie Barry also had a distinguished interviewing career and surprised me a little bit when she turned out to be a Nat.

Objectivity is the ideal model, but there is also room for bias as long as it’s up front so we can take it into account, and as long as it’s balanced with an equally strident opinion on the opposite side of the debate.

But rather than be a cheerleader for the left as Hosking and Henry are cheerleaders for the right, after all this commentary, I suspect Hayley will feel a strong urge to overcompensate and be harder on the left than the right. And that is more than likely what right wing commentators are shooting for in taking aim at her now.

128 comments on “Is it OK for a woman with an opinion to host TVNZ’s Breakfast? ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Agreed.

    Hayley has the further advantage over Hosking and Henry that she is sane.

    • Ed 1.1

      And further advantages over Richardson and Garner that she is intelligent and not a misogynist dinosaur.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      Do you have any evidence that Hosking and Henry are insane?

      • Robert Guyton 1.2.1

        Great question, Puck; do you suspect that to be the case?
        Can we do an informal vote on the issue?

        • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1

          I ask because Hayley Holt does have a mental illness so maybe not the best line of attack for mickey to use

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1

            Hayley Holt does have a mental illness

            [Citation Needed]

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.1.1

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoholism

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/94322454

              “‘I’m an alcoholic and I go to AA meetings because it’s the only way I know I’m going to be able to stay sober,” she told Sunday.”

              • Seems to have her addiction under control.

                Many don’t – like John Key and his tendency to pull pigtails.

              • North

                Attendance at AA ? Well that might suggest she’s au fait with the matter of ‘resentment’. Which Hosking and Henry vaunt unashamedly all the time…….to your feverish clapping PR. Piss off with your cheap and nasty pejorative.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Have I said theres anything wrong with being mentally ill? No I have not.
                  Have I knocked Hayley Holt for being an alcoholic? No I have not.

                  mickeysavage suggested that Holt has an advantage over Hosking and Henry as she is not insane yet Holt is an admitted alcoholic so actually does have a mental illness

                  You should take your ideological blinkers off every now and then, it might help you gain perspective

          • Whispering Kate 1.2.1.1.2

            If that is the case, then most New Zealanders will a mental disorder of some kind. Fear of flying, enclosed spaces, the dentist, spiders, smoking ciggies, over/under eating, hypochondria. God almighty , fear of the future with climate change – its endless.

            Leave Ms Holt alone – she will do a good job and is a helluva lot more rational than some jocks we have on the airways.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not knocking Hayley, I’m suggesting that calling Hosking and Henry insane maybe isn’t the best thing to be doing

              • Well, I must admit that psychopath is probably a better descriptor for those two.

                • JohnSelway

                  Throwing around terms like psychopath is unhelpful and wrongheaded.
                  Psychopathy is an extremely specific mental illness and not “someone who has views that are the opposite of yours” which is the manner you seem to be using it in.

                  Hosting and Henry are psychopaths? I’ll use a phrase your fond of:

                  [citation needed]

                  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/non-fiction/spot-psychopath/

                    You’ll find that many of the traits listed there are mirrored in those two and many other RWNJs.

                    • JohnSelway

                      So no citation for Henry or Hosking being psychopaths.
                      Just armchair psychology from someone I assume is a) not qualified to make said diagnosis, b) has never had any contact with either hosking or Henry outside of catching them on TV and c) hasn’t met anyone who has either been qualified to diagnose, has diagnosed or even knows either person intimately enough to make such a bold claim.

                      So yeah – making such claims is specious at best

                    • ropata

                      Yeah DTB, Hosking will run you over in his Ferrari for saying that.

                      Hosko is a hero of the poor oppressed property owners of Parnell in their fight against those smelly poor people making the place look untidy.

                • Ankerrawshark

                  Or in Hoskins case narcissistic

          • Brigid 1.2.1.1.3

            What do you call it when a pretense is made to show concern and also uses the issue to insult the other?

            That’s what you’re doing Puck isn’t it.

            • North 1.2.1.1.3.1

              Brigid you characterise PR magnificently. PR is sneaky.

            • Puckish Rogue 1.2.1.1.3.2

              What do you call it when someone is so one-eyed that don’t see a problem with throwing about terms like sane as long its done to “the other side”

      • Ed 1.2.2

        They are certainly bullies.

      • Yes – they vote and support either National or ACT.

      • McFlock 1.2.4

        What’s the clinical term for being a fuckwit with more ego than sense?

      • Chris 1.2.5

        Most of their appearances on TV.

    • jcuknz 1.3

      Doesn’t worry me as I do not watch TV. Talk about pontificating about nothing.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    I have no doubt that if the shoe was on the other foot there would be howls of outrage from the other side of the aisle.

    Who really cares – I say good on her for finding a fine trough to gorge at.

  3. adam 3

    The right wing in this country are a bunch of pc moaning idiots.

    Did I say that out loud enough.

    • cleangreen 3.1

      “The right wing in this country are a bunch of pc moaning idiots.”

      Keep saying it Adam; – as the line becomes truth after one says it long enough,

      That’s what the right wing-nuts do as they say things over and over repeatedly until they hope the line is adopted as the truth.

  4. Ed 4

    This is the wretched Neandarthal level at which Henry operated.

  5. Bill 5

    The intent of some, by slamming anything even remotely associated with the left, is precisely to “encourage” compliance with supposedly neutral right-wing attitudes.

    It works at the political party level too – so NZ Labour are “reminded” which side of the bread they ought to see as being buttered.

    It works on the feint hearted.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Good luck to her. Between that and the project on 3 current affairs is worth watching again

  7. mauī 7

    She’s been on tv in one form or another for what probably almost 10 years now? I can’t remember any political issues she’s been involved with in that time, she very much comes across as apolitical if anyone has seen her.

    Meanwhile Hosking and Henry have been able to dish out their own party propaganda however and whenever they liked.

    The mainstream media is so lame stream as one commentator puts it.

  8. savenz 8

    Have absolutely no idea what all the fuss is about. About time they actually modernised at TVNZ and tried to appeal to people over 65.

    Clearly they can work out that more people in this country voted for Labour or Greens and they outnumber 50%, then work out those voting for NZ First (which was less than it should have been for a variety of reasons including the ‘superannuation’ expose right before the election). Therefore the right wingers TVNZ champion are not suitable anymore.

    Take off those who don’t speak English as a first language from Asia and probably read news in their own language and those who are Maori and (hopefully) get news from Maori channels then it seems pretty clear, why they needed to pick a more left leaning person for the role.

    Finally a commercial decision rather than a political one, from TVNZ.

    It would be great to see John Campbell back on TVNZ on prime time if they want to actually get some new viewers who will otherwise just turn to social media to get news (if they have not already).

  9. savenz 9

    In fact, it actually is almost inspired.

    TV3 used to be the ‘younger’ hipper TV station but Natz loving Mark Weldon destroyed that with his political based decisions like axing the most popular guy on TV, John Campbell that made viewers switch off.

    So it is clear that if TVNZ actually managed to switch it around and grab the centre left viewers as well as their loyal aged base then they can actually compete better and wipe off TV3.

    They may actually need to get some sort of social media presence though. But I guess one step at a time for the dinosaurs.

  10. Matthew Whitehead 10

    Ben Thomas, who works with Matthew Hooton, was also complaining, which is the height of irony given Matthew Hooton’s firm won’t disclose his clients, and thus has undisclosed conflicts of interest, which is a far bigger deal. Hayley Holt’s positions are well known, and like Henry and Hosking, her lean can be arbitrated by public opinion and weighed against the quality of journalism she brings. (Being a leftie, she’s likely to do good journalism anyway, because it’s something we believe in. Of course, Henry and Hosking were both rubbish, and neither were moved on from news-related positions despite being terrible at them, and were kept on purely for ratings with older bigots, cementing their existing audience at the cost of any potential future growth)

    I think it absolutely does make sense for the ‘shub to try to grab a younger, more progressive demographic with their news. I used to be a loyal watcher before Mark Weldon, now I basically just don’t turn on the TV.

    • Ed 10.1

      RNZ should never be using Hooton if this is the case.

      • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.1

        It definitely is the case, and I wish they wouldn’t. There is no reasonable disclaimer you can give to Hooton, Thomas, or anyone at that PR firm, that allows you to proceed with their commentary without having a potential conflict of interest. They should be blanket-banned from all political media until they disclose their clients.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 10.1.1.1

          Or at least everytime they are on air, there should be an introduction that makes clear they have undisclosed clients, and therefore potentially undisclosed conflicts of interest. Just tell it like it is so people know.

  11. The Fairy Godmother 11

    Interesting that the top comment on Stuff’s face book page got 128 likes against the actual article on 80. It stated
    “Paul Henry was a National party candidate. I didn’t see this sort of
    article when he hosted breakfast.”

    It seems that a lot of the readers saw through the nonsense.

  12. Chris 12

    I look forward to seeing the hard hitting interviews with Shaw and whoever the new co-leader turns out to be.

    Or any subject remotely associated with the Greens involvement with the government

    I think I might be waiting a while

    Seems like a pretty cool chick though

    She should do alright

  13. tc 13

    “Now it looks like we are finally going to see a semblance of balance…” serious optimism there which is nice but undeserved IMO.

    TVNZ has zero track record in providing quality objective content by inserting shills like Hoskins and suck up’s like Corrin Dann who fell in line with the $11Billion billshit in the campaign rather than do his job and expose the knowing lies.

    This has nothing to do with hayley Holt IMO and everything to do with a dead in the water management trying to look relevant by changing the wallpaper.

    The house needs a total renovation or be smashed down and replaced by a public broadcaster ! The management needs to be purged.

    I’d still give her the gig but the problem at TVNZ remains….it’s management.

    • Chris 13.1

      At least Hosking is open with his bias.

      On the other side so is Campbell.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        Hosking’s bias is obvious. That’s not the same as being ‘open’. To look at it another way, if what Hosking does is ‘open-ness’, I doubt Holt will ever cross the line.

        Meanwhile, have you found that reputation lying around anywhere? I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

        • Chris 13.1.1.1

          I have zero idea of what your second paragraph is on about and you ignored Campbell in your post

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.1

            My second paragraph concerns TVNZ’s reputation for the hard-hitting interviews you’re looking forward to*. Where is this alleged reputation?

            I didn’t question your characterisation of Campbell’s position. Would you like me to?

            *at comment 12.

      • ropata 13.1.2

        The difference is that Hosking is uneducated and thick as 2 short planks. His kneejerk reckons are not based on any facts or research, effectively making his listeners dumber

  14. SPC 14

    There are those who call for the sale of TVNZ (now there is no Henry or Hosking they will call it left wing) and RNZ (they already call it left wing, even before their guy removed Campbell from TV3).

    Why

    1. to promote their own right wing social media
    2. to disparage state owned media as biased (this appointment is being used to
    dog whistle)
    3. to frighten the state media into fearful compliance (if this media offended National
    they might get sold off) – as with the funding management of charities (too activist and …).

    Note how effective the National threat to abolish Maori seats was in forming coalitions with the MP – the gloved fist and the docile partner indeed.

  15. Sanctuary 15

    Farrar’s bleating about Ms. Holt, coming after his creepy obsession with Golriz Ghahraman, has nothing to do with her skills as a journalist. Rather, it informs us yet again of the rather troubling pattern of behaviour from the political right of misogyny and barely repressed sexual jealousy towards attractive and powerful young women that they cannot control.

  16. James 16

    Good on her for getting the job.

    Hope she makes a good go of it.

    If she ends up being viewed by people unfavourably I assume people on here will be ok that she gets the same level of abuse that hosking etc get (all is fair right?).

    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      It’s not a matter of being viewed unfavourably – it’s a matter of meeting basic journalistic standards. Hosking was wont to editorialise – a very poor habit for a journalist and in no way made up for by any of his other professional abilities. Had he worked as hard on stories as Campbell the left might’ve have had reason to fear him instead of merely loathing his lack of professionalism. Remember who got Metiria’s scalp – not one of your rightwing pretenders – Campbell, the only real journalist in the hunt.

  17. Hornet 17

    “Kim Hill is an example of someone who has had a long career as the premier interviewer in New Zealand giving both sides hell. I’ve listened to her for 20 years and I have no idea who she votes for.”
    Kim is the ideal. There are very few like her in that regard.

    “Objectivity is the ideal model, but there is also room for bias as long as it’s up front so we can take it into account, and as long as it’s balanced with an equally strident opinion on the opposite side of the debate.”
    Indeed. And that is why Hayley should be given a chance to do her job before being judged. Everyone knows her political leanings, which if anything may make her more cautious about showing any bias. Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out.

    • NZJester 17.1

      The right had a bias player center stage for years on TV spouting out right wing rubbish. A left-wing voice on the TV will be refreshing. She is unlikely to spout out things that can not be backed up with facts, unlike someone who made an incorrect political statement on air before the last election that was factually wrong and easy to check on.

  18. Gristle 18

    Castle your mind to America where if you are the slightest bit critical of the Right then you appear ineligible to undertake so many roles. For example, the FBI, the Mueller investigation and certain agents are thought to be corrupted because two people texted each other that Trump (and Sanders) would be disasters as POTUS. Where as when Investigations of Pres Clinton (and Democrats had control of the legislature) it was deemed necessary to Republican (rabidly Republican) to control the investigation.

    It as though an Overton Windows operates for the Right in that any movement away from a strong pro right view is unacceptable.

    In this light the opposition to Ms Holt’s appointment can be understood.

  19. NZJester 19

    The fact she was a candidate for the Greens is likely just small reason the right doesn’t want her on air. What a lot of right-wing males don’t like the most is a woman with opinions.

  20. TB 20

    Is any one else feeling any sympathy for “Sir” David Farrar? He has gone from unofficial cabinet minister, and adviser to the Prime Minister, to a demented political hack, second only to Slater…,

  21. Jackel 21

    Treating her like a car, looking at her like a b****h and begrudging every concession you feel you are forced to make is the way of boys not men. Should she have an opinion that deviates from brutally jack booting the workers, then every tory in the land will be earnestly praying fire and brimstone upon her gallant head.

  22. Doogs 22

    1. Hosking, and probably Henry too, do not have mental disorders. However they present with symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder with touches of paranoia. Yes, I have looked them up and in both instances it fits.

    2. Hayley Holt is a competent young woman whose sporting and terpsichorean skills are not in question. She has also been a media presenter for some time without her competence in this area being questioned. Suddenly, before she even begins her new role on TV, she is in the gun for having been a political candidate. Where from? Hah! Do I really need to ask? Hooton, Henry, Hosking, Garner, Farrar, Richardson et al continue to purvey their lines of neo-liberalist rubbish untrammelled by the burden of criticism.

    3. Television in NZ is in serious need of a complete shake-up. I won’t go into detail, because we all know it – reality (which are not reality at all) shows, low grade journalism, stupid shows masquerading as journalism (TV3 at 7), rubbish sit-coms, etc.

    • ropata 22.1

      Hooton, Henry, Hosking, Garner, Farrar, Richardson et al continue to purvey their lines of neo-liberalist rubbish untrammelled by the burden of criticism

      BAU for the Dirty Politics machine. All the players are untouched except for Ede and Slater.

  23. millsy 23

    The problem that Farrar has is that she is left. He would much prefer National supporters and members in every echelon of the media.

  24. R.P. Mcmurphy 24

    Hayley Holt is turning into a superior journalist and hopefully she will ready for the next election. The knockers are pissed of because they resent her personal and intellectual development.

  25. Ed 25

    Steve Cowan, as usual, gets to the heart of the issue.

    I have no real opinion about Holt’s appointment other that she strikes me as being yet another ho-hum presenter who will provide little new political insight for her viewers. She will be a safe pair of hands and that’s all that is required of her. She ain’t no Abby Martin. Or Laurie Penny. Or Naomi Klein. Some will say she is eminently suited for the Breakfast audience, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    My complaint is that TVNZ, once a public broadcaster in the real sense of the word, has become a vehicle directed by commercial objectives and a perceived deference to whoever its political masters happen to be at the time. It leads to a narrow range of political views and opinions that leave the neoliberal status quo unquestioned and unchallenged .

    Hosking. Henry. Holt. Barry. The names are interchangeable. It doesn’t matter who is hosting the shows and appearing on our television screens every weekday, the logic of the system remains intact.

    • weka 25.1

      If someone thinks there is no difference between Holt and Hosking/Henry, then I think their politics are suspect. By all means bring on the revolution, but in the meantime, having someone who gives a shit and isn’t a RW shill on the national broadcaster is useful. It starts sending out different messages to the people who will be the ones that the revolution depends upon.

      • Ed 25.1.1

        Cowan’s politics are not suspect.

        http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.co.nz/

        • Sam 25.1.1.1

          It dosnt mater who they are who represents TVNZ. They still represent TVNZ…

        • Ed 25.1.1.2

          Here is his most recent offering.

          ON OPTIMISM AND PESSIMISM

          We live in scary times but NZ Herald columnist Rachel Stewart has concluded that the fight must go on.

          IT WAS ONLY a few months ago that Rachel Stewart was writing that, in the aftermath of Jacinda Ardern’s elevation to Prime Minister, she was basking in the glow of a new found optimism. It appears though that Rachel’s optimism has been shortlived. The new year finds her in a more sombre mood.

          ………

        • weka 25.1.1.3

          “Cowan’s politics are not suspect.”

          Yes, they are. For the reasons I gave. They get lots of things right, doesn’t mean they’re perfect.

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