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Paul Henry case now a diplomatic incident

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 am, October 8th, 2010 - 147 comments
Categories: broadcasting, International, Media, tv - Tags: , , ,

I wasn’t going to post on Paul Henry, the topic has been well covered here (and besides, not having a TV, I’ve never seen the guy in action). But he has now hit the status of a full fledged diplomatic incident, and that needs noting. Here’s India’s response as reported by TVNZ:

India calls in High Commissioner over Henry remarks

New Zealand’s High Commissioner Rupert Holborow has been summoned to India’s Ministry of External Affairs over Paul Henry’s mimicking of the name the chief Minister of Delhi. …

The ministry said in a press release it told Holborow the Indian Government “strongly and unequivocally denounces the racist remarks” Henry made. “It is shocking that such bigoted views have been aired by a representative of a mainstream media organisation of a multi-ethnic democracy like New Zealand,” the release from the ministry said.

“These remarks are totally unacceptable to India and should be condemned by all right-thinking people and nations. “It is hoped that the government of New Zealand would take immediate demonstrative action against the said individual to send out a clear signal that such behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

OK that’s very clear. If the government does not take “immediate demonstrative action” then it is effectively giving the finger to India, huge market and emerging regional superpower. As if that wasn’t enough, the Wall Street Journal (online) has labelled this “the first full-blown diplomatic incident of the Commonwealth Games”. [Update: now also on the BBC, now worldwide…]

The New Zealand High Commission in India has released a press statement:

The New Zealand High Commission has been made aware of comments made by a New Zealand broadcaster directed at the Delhi Chief Minister, Smt Sheila Dikshit.

Rupert Holborow said that, “as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, I would like to convey my deep regret for the hurt these comments have caused.” “These remarks were culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar. They reflect the views of only one media commentator (who has already been censored for other racist and unacceptable comments), and certainly not the New Zealand Government or people”.

Fine words indeed. But are we going to match them with actions — actions that show that Henry doesn’t represent “the New Zealand Government or people”? There’s only one way. Henry has to go.

Back home in NZ our own migrant and multiethnic communities have been quick to speak up. And in case anyone is wondering what our Indian community thinks:

He’s had breakfast – now put him out to pasture

If Kiwi Indians have been outraged by Paul Henry’s racist comments against India and Indians throughout the run up to the Commonwealth Games these past few weeks, they are appalled by Prime Minister John Key’s pitiably lame and unconscionably delayed response to Henry’s mindless insult to Governor General Anand Satyanand on Monday’s Breakfast programme.

The Prime Minister seemed to merely smile and generally go along with the offensive comments without so much as even the feeblest of protests. Hours later he said that he was taken aback but also added that he would go back to the show next Monday. This has sent all kinds of signals to the Indian community’s highly sensitive political antennae. …

Note to John Key – that smile and wave shtick really is starting to wear thin isn’t it.

147 comments on “Paul Henry case now a diplomatic incident ”

  1. M 1

    It may take diplomatic pressure to rid the airwaves of Henry which will only serve to show TVNZ has no moral fibre, oh and neither has Key.

    If Henry wants to sling mud he’d better be ready to get some – I’ve often wondered how he persuaded a female of our specie to breed with him – it really must have been a lie back and think of England moment, hope she was a royalist like him.

    Everyone just needs to keep pestering TVNZ with complaints and boycotting the channel – imagine the dip in advertising revenue.

    • NZ Groover 1.1

      Paul Henry is a prat. I don’t think there’s been a single occasion where I’ve watched breakfast and haven’t ended up thinking “this guy’s a twat”.

      Still, I don’t quite understand what Paul Henry said that justifies the level of villification he’s recieving here for racism.

      He made fun of someone’s name. Purile and immature definately, but hardly racist. Sure they happen to be of a different race but that doesn’t make it racist. He’s not saying, or indeed implying, that Indians are any better or worse than anybody else and he quite obviously hasn’t excluded her for comment based on race

      His comments were insensitive but I struggle to associate them with the racist tag that’s being bandied about by all and sundry.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Have a look in the search for Paul Henry, using advanced to just select posts. You’ll find that he has been a total arsehole to various people and groups numerous times and various authors have been calling for him to get sacked for years.

        This episode is hopefully what will get him off my screen, and so I can start watching the morning news without that idiot giggling and drooling all over the news.

        • ZeeBop 1.1.1.1

          There is such a tight circle of what passes for okay on television, that National has managed to punish us with three strike laws, crime levies, tax hikes, all consent manufactured ny a few choice editors.

          Sorry you are completely barking mad when it takes our foreign ambassador to tell the truth, which won’t
          get wide airing here, ‘culturally insensitive, inappropriate and vulgar.’. Because tomorrow the same people
          will once again be sanction yet more bizarro world edicts like Banks is such a nice man for telling us like it
          is how bad S.auckland is. Or Hide suggesting that 24 years ago Garrett did something bad, when in fact
          he wasn’t caught until three? years ago.

          We routinely have the editors of television news allow the right to get their lies consented to.
          This is why we will have no real discussion about a capital gains tax, its been self-censored.
          Its why we told GST is too complex, despite Australia and the UK doing fine, even in the
          US I had to pay funny state taxes at the airport.

          Its simple people, Henry is just the tip of the censorship nightmare that is NZ TV. The
          gutter television that debases itself rather than have any depth or detail analysis, Holme’s TV
          if you like. No, you don’t like XYZ, yes, you do like PQR, I’m Paul Holmes your voice
          for the evening.

          Its called fascism and its the same people everytime, saying Greens are unelectable, Goff
          is, yet let Garrett run off his rightwing mouth and Hide stuff Auckland city up royally.
          Geez, its creepy how bad this country is run, when people think ratepayers ranting off
          the top of their heads isn’t goo for the economy, its bloody brilliant that unpaid people
          research livingability problems in Auckland and tell their councilors! Unpaid added value
          work that will never happen because people can’t inform the new bureaucrats.

          If you want better TURN YOUR FRIGGING TV NEWS OFF, unsubcribe to Sky.
          And remember the left can win hands down if half of Labours voters vote Green on
          the list vote. Goodbye Key, and maybe some news executives as well. The world
          has changed economy aren’t going to grow, politicians can’t sit on their behinds
          and tell us that they did it, it was their neo-liberalism. It never was, it was cheap oil
          and cheap finance building cheap crap that doesn’t solve the human condition.

      • A Nonny Moose 1.1.2

        You have no right to define what is or isn’t racism. The person or people the bigotry is affecting get to do that. And denying their experience or cogniscence is perpetuating that racism.

        • NZ Groover 1.1.2.1

          So to clarify, if I made comment about someone that isn\’t the same race as me and that has nothing to do with their race then I would be a racist just because they percieve it that way.

    • Logie97 1.2

      Have we missed something here?

      Yes, the “Dikshit” episode is appalling. No question. However, it was not the incident that caused TVNZ to suspend Henry. And just quietly Key must be rubbing his hands that the issue has been deflected away from him – indeed he has recently stated that he does not need to apologise – the High Commissioner has done that.

      Key, however, played no small part in the disgraceful “Governor General” episode. Read Audrey Young on that.

      But while we are on the Dikshit incident, the whole Breakfast session needs to be viewed because in that programme Henry was longing for a mishap to befall the games, to confirm his belief that India should not have been awarded the event in the first place.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Can someone please tell me why the ‘Bring Back Paul Henry Now’ facebook page has 20,000 likes.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Back-Paul-Henry-NOW/123680317686085

    In contrast the boycott Paul Henry page has a relatively paltry 2700 likes.

    Maybe New Zealand isn’t really the frakkin intelligent, fair minded, multi-cultural country I thought, nay I hoped, that I lived in.

    Pains me to think that Andi Brotherson might have actually been correct when she said that Paul Henry just says what most NZ’ers think.

    WTF.

    • In large part because most of them just syphoned across from the PH fan site, which had twice as many fans than the bring him back site, and was built up over years.
      The boycott site on the other hand has had to draw members from across the net in just the last 3 days – it’s rate of growth has vastly exceeded the PH fan site.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Thank you Sprout. That’s almost reassured me that we’re not living in a completely xenophobic country.

      I am amazed that people use the justifications of ‘democracy’ and ‘free speech’ to defend Henry. Its like these people don’t even know what those concepts mean when they mention them.

    • bingo 2.3

      It has 20,000 likes because if you haven’t noticed, adversarial attitudes in political matters cause polarisation. You say wrong, they say right; you say black, they say white. The whole issue could have been solved 20 minutes after it happened. I’m waiting for just one “leader” to do the right thing to promote harmony between the fragmented bodies of society, but I won’t hold my breath. We have no visionaries who have seen and no leaders who have learned. What holds NZ culture back from achieveing our idealistic goals is our love of shame, blame and parental attitudes. Once we let that go, we’ll be free to move forward.

      • BLiP 2.3.1

        It could have been solved on the spot if we had a Prime Minster with a sense of fairness and understand about our country not some Crosby/Textor manufactured mascot. Imagine if Key, upon hearing Henry’s nonsense, had just sat back and asked, “okay, Paul, tell me, what does a New Zealander look and sound like?”

        Game over.

        But no. Instead, our Prime Minister giggled and tried to show how clever he was by saying the New Zealand GGs have all been locals since Porritt. So, sure, he’s a clever dick but he ain’t God’s brightest little candle, is he? Either that, or he was genuinely amused by the antics.

        • bingo 2.3.1.1

          And that’s just it. We don’t know. Key is reknowned for listening, disagreeing, saying nothing about his disagreement, smiling, and getting back on message. He’s a politician, a message man, he has no time for fighting battles that are lose/lose. Had he said, “What does a NZder look like” he would still lose because the papers would say: “Key says NZders XYZ”. He couldn’t even fake a message of multiculturalism and social egalitarianism because it is not part of the National Strategy. How can you promote egalitarinism if you’re constantly talking about climibing ladders? Even Clark would have stayed on message. Neither Key or Clark have the skills or vision. They’re both managers.

          Further down this thread the hate grows. It seems now certain people should be laid off, socially shunned. Why not herd them into slums? Get them to wear stars for identification? Put into camps for re-education? A united country must deal with it’s issues, not push them aside and segregate what doesn’t fit the nice neat ideals. Whether you’re brown, white, left or right, no one must be left behind. All the lofty ideals of the left are dissovled in these discussions about P.Henry. The left, all tolerance, until their ideal is challenged. All inclusive, until it must deal with those who differ. These are the opportunities our left cannot tackle because it lacks leaders and enjoy adversaries. Give up the hate-fest, hold true, even when it’s hard work. Since when was socialism a mask for laziness?

          • Zorr 2.3.1.1.1

            Godwin called…

            And by the way, hate is an ugly word. I would not attempt to ascribe it to someone/something and only use it to describe a personal opinion – it is at the extreme end of the scale. I should like to think that ultimately the “left” (a poor word to use to describe the plethora of philosophy’s that can come under the banner) is about empathy. Attempting to understand one another and working towards a common success rather than seeking to be personally raised above all others.

    • pollywog 2.4

      Maybe New Zealand isn’t really the frakkin intelligent, fair minded, multi-cultural country I thought, nay I hoped, that I lived in.

      Welcome to my world
      won’t you come on in
      miracles I guess
      still happen now and then…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQl5Raj-Ic

      captcha : reality (is not perception)

    • RedLogix 2.5

      You’re totally right CV…in the last two days I’ve had to listen to several groups of both colleagues, commuters and extended family …all give Henry their total support. I’m ashamed to say I’ve more or less wimped out, all I could do was silently stare off into the middle distance and pretend it wasn’t happening. You can’t defend yourself against a mob like that…you just get shouted down and then shunned.

      Yes ugly racism is alive and well in this country.

      • jbanks 2.5.1

        All I could do was silently stare off into the middle distance and pretend it wasn’t happening

        This isn’t a prison man-love moment. If you don’t like it then man-up and say something.

        • The Voice of Reason 2.5.1.1

          What an ill thought out comment, jb. I don’t expect much from you anyway, but RL explained clearly why he, or she, wasn’t inclined to ‘man up’. Macho bullshit means nothing in this context, indeed I’d say TVNZ’s ‘fuck ’em all, Paul’ atitude has clearly contributed to his racist outbursts. So, no to ‘man up’, yes to ‘grow up’.

      • PC Brigadier 2.5.2

        Yes, I am astonished at the level of support I have seen from people I considered a little more understanding. It’s PC gone mad (gone mad).

        http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/political-correctness-gone-mad-gone-mad/

        And, here is a great link to the relative improvements, despite this bizarre incident seemingly throwing us back to 1970.

      • BLiP 2.5.3

        Yep – same here. After getting it in the neck in the lead up to the 2008 election, I pretty much keep my mouth shut these days and save the rage for The Standard – thanks people, you’re my de facto support group.

        A couple of the Indian guys at work had an interesting angle, though. They actually feel sorry for Henry from the point of view that he is so burdened by his decision to live in ignorance that he unaware of the hate he is fostering and the damage he is causing. Bad karma, they reckon.

      • Mac1 2.5.4

        Racism is alive in this country.

        And yet that this man Henry was beaten in a parliamentary election by a Maori trans-sexual in a rural electorate also says something about the common decency of ordinary New Zealanders.

        Doesn’t it?

    • AndyB 2.6

      because, to be honest, outside of your political bubble, not many people care. most people from time to time enjoy making fun at someone else’s expense. Some people take offence and jump up and down, but most people don’t and carry on with life.

      Comedians take the piss out of all manner of people, religions, races, and there are no mass displays of faux outrage, and calling for them to be publicly flayed.

      The unions seem to be the ones making the biggest song and dance about this, which, i must say is surprising. calling for someone to be sacked without due process. Oh well, i guess it only matters when there on the other team eh?

      just my thoughts.

      • RedLogix 2.6.1

        There’s a complete difference in context. Comedians do have an important role in subverting our expectations, taking the piss using black humour, satire and a faux offensiveness to force us to examine our predjudices. They do all sorts of things that are not normally socially acceptable, and for this we give them a special space.

        But the Prime Minister is not meant to be a comedian.

        • the sprout 2.6.1.1

          And indeed the Prime Minister’s cowardice over Henry’s racism is now costing NZ’s international reputation and economy big time.

      • gobsmacked 2.6.2

        Is this a big deal? How can we know?

        Well, here are three pieces of evidence.

        1. Paul Henry was the lead story in India last night, incuding TV news bulletins.

        2. Paul Henry is the most-read story on the BBC’s website this morning.

        3, The “thoughts” of Andy B.

        Hmmm … so hard to decide.

      • Vicky32 2.6.3

        Henry is meant to be a comedian? Making fun of the names of people from other cultures is an intermediate school thing, and a boy thing. I am shocked that someone as old as Henry hasn’t grown out of it.
        As an example, when I was in form 1, a shy boy of about the same age as me, 10 years old, arrived at our school from England. Not only was he shy, and soft-spoken, he was small compared to the big hulking New Zealand boys – but the worst crime he committed in their eyes, was to be called Robin, and his first 6 months at this school was a hell of being followed and taunted with “ya got a girl’s name, ya Pommy bastard!” He didn’t stay, I don’t think, and I often wonder what became of him…
        Deb

    • BLiP 2.7

      School holidays too.

    • Vicky32 2.8

      Certainly some of them, which is scary! I ‘invited’ a teenager to the Boycott Henry page, and was horrified when he started abusing me, saying Paul Henry was his idol… and this is an intelligent 18 year old (or I thought he was intelligent!)
      Then I got seriously worried when he went to the boycott Henry page to slag me off using information I had told him in confidence! Seriously, his generation of litle pricks worry me!
      Deb

  3. Rijab 3

    I cannot help feeling somewhat ashamed for the actions of Paul Henry and the response of our state broadcaster.

    More so, I find it difficult to understand the disturbing trend towards supporting Paul Henry within the social media occurring as of late.

    Is there any point attempting to alleviate this issue, or do we merely accept it as fact and hope that at least there is a portion of our society who bother to consider the views of those outside of our immediate political environment? Will this suffice?

    • illuminatedtiger 3.1

      Is there any point attempting to alleviate this issue, or do we merely accept it as fact and hope that at least there is a portion of our society who bother to consider the views of those outside of our immediate political environment? Will this suffice?

      Every country has it’s bigots for which there will never be any hope. They were bought up to laugh at people who are different to themselves and will never know any different. But we shouldn’t just accept it, we need to make it loud and clear that we do not support Paul Henry and his racist comments and that those who support him are not representative of the New Zealand population.

  4. BLiP 4

    Pssst . . . that TV3 link in your post goes to TVNZ.

  5. Maynard J 5

    Remember this, those who support Henry – ‘PC gone mad’ doesn’t provoke this reaction. Blatant, overt obnoxious racism does.

    Make no mistake, this stuff wouldn’t be ok if your kids did it to other children, but you’ll defend an adult for doing it. Maybe the rabid right (apologies for those among the right who aren’t supportive of racism) need to recalibrate their moral compass and figure out what PC really means, and what is genuinely not ok.

    • To righties – A situation occurs.

      So in the homes of the “PC gone mad” folks, a child comes home from primary school with a note from the principal.

      “Dear Parent, little Johnny was given detention today for making unacceptable racial comments about one of their classmates. We would like you to reinforce with Johnny that such behaviour is unacceptable…”

      Do you really expect me to believe that the Parent will say:
      Parent: “Johnny, don’t worry – its not your fault – its this damn PC gone mad?”

      • HitchensFan 5.1.1

        Policy Parrrot – if the comments on Kiwiblog and the vile support Henry Facebook page are anything to go by, I’m afraid the answer to your question would be “yes.” Sad and very very worrying….

        • gobsmacked 5.1.1.1

          I disagree.

          It’s better than 15 years ago, when Winston Peters zoomed up in the polls (over 20% at one stage) by attacking Asian immigrants.

          Unscrupulous politicians will go where the votes are, and there are still votes in Maori-bashing (as Orewa showed). But nobody from any party of any relevance is migrant-bashing now. If there was 5% in it, ACT would go there tomorrow.

          So no, it’s not good. But over time, it is getting better.

          • mcflock 5.1.1.1.1

            Stewart Lee does a nice standup routine on that, as well as the phrase “PC gone mad”.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGAOCVwLrXo&feature=related

          • Rex Widerstrom 5.1.1.1.2

            It’s better than 15 years ago, when Winston Peters zoomed up in the polls (over 20% at one stage) by attacking Asian immigrants.

            While Peters (under Laws’ tutelage) went on to attack Asian immigrants, that in fact contributed to a decline in his polling to 13% by the election, then down to 3% shortly thereafter and finally (though not soon enough) to oblivion.

            When NZF reached 29% (higher at the time than Labour) it was because we were talking about foreign ownership of NZ assets by all sorts of nationalities. We were also advocating a significant increase in the refugee intake and a simultaneous clamp down in “business” migrants who were doing nothing but buying a house here and using it to get their offspring into private schools whilst they themselves were living overseas.

            I recall several avowedly left wing journalists admitting privately that, try as they might, they could not find references to race in the speeches I wrote… either directly or by implication. We simply talked about non-New Zealanders, and even then only those who wanted to exploit our resources, our land and our workers without making a home here themselves.

            That may be xenophobia (though I’d deny that it is, as it’s based on an arguable philosophy not an irrational fear) but it’s certainly not racism.

            As soon as the message became racist, more than half the support vanished overnight and the rest followed soon after.

            All of which leads me to hope that the “bring back Paul Henry” pages are in fact representative of almost everyone who thinks that way (i.e. less than 100,000 people) and that even some of them think they’re condemning Henry’s remarks while supporting his right to make them (the “PC gone mad” argument).

            • Vicky32 5.1.1.1.2.1

              I am not so sanguine about Peters, unfortunately. I met a mad old lady at the bus stop last week or the one before, someone I had used to know, and she sat me down to tell me why she supported Peters – apparently, he has secret information that all these Asian immigrants are connected to an Illuminati plot! Before I could think of something to say (I am when I can get the work, an ESOL teacher of those same Asians, and I could have assured her that the girls think about fashion and boys and the boys think about food and cars!) her bus came, thankfully.
              She is a ‘born again Maori’, having climbed her family tree – which is one of the most shameful things – the most anti-immigration people I meet are Maori, some of them squabbling over victim status with PIs. It makes me very sad.
              Deb

  6. Dear John Key

    Your country is facing a major diplomatic crisis. You have to do something.

    capcha “bothers” …

  7. illuminatedtiger 7

    He has gone too far and has no place as a public broadcaster. He needs to go.

    • We need to stop this happening again.

      Sell TVNZ 🙂

      • Anne 7.1.1

        No Graeme Edgeler. Are you playing devils advocate 😉

        We need to change the culture of arrogance and superiority that has plagued TVNZ and it’s predecessors for more than 40 years. How do I know? I worked there in the mid to late 60s.
        How do you do it? You change the leadership, and the example they set will be picked up by the rest of the staff. To be fair there are good employees with integrity too. Eg. newsreader, Peter Williams.

  8. toad 8

    Maybe a fitting punishment for Henry (the sleazebag, not the tuatara) would be for TVNZ to require him to travel to Delhi, without security detail, to apologise in person to Chief Minister Dikshit.

    Henry will now be instantly recognisable to millions of Indians, and the experience of having to travel there may give him some idea of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the hatred, abuse and ridicule he seems only too happy to dish out.

    • I reckon he would be perfectly suited to cover Afghanistan from the inside.

    • just saying 8.2

      What an excellent idea.

      With the proviso that in the apology he admits the behaviour was racist and flat-out wrong, acknowledges hurt and outrage as an appropriate response, and expresses a desire to learn more about how people are harmed by racism, to ensure that he won’t reoffend.

      I think the repeated request by the Indian community that Henry be made to undergo counselling, might be partly about a desire that he be forced to face the fact that his behaviour is cruel and harmful, and that brushing off the legitimate grievances of those he hurts is a further compunding insult.

      Humiliation hurts – Henry might be irredeemable, but at least he’s experiencing a bit of what he dishes out himself at the moment.

  9. Carol 9

    Meanwhile some Breakfast advertisers are considering withdrawing advertising for a Henry Breakfast. They say they are monitoring the situation:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4209546/India-condemns-Henry-comments

    Meanwhile, major supermarket chain Progressive Enterprises, which owns Countdown, Woolworths and Foodtown supermarkets, has revealed it reviewed its advertising with TVNZ after Paul Henry’s comments about Sir Anand.

    “Along with many other New Zealanders, we felt offended by Paul Henry’s comments about what it is to be a New Zealander,” a Progressives spokeswoman said.

    “We note that TVNZ has disciplined Paul Henry by taking him off air, and in the meantime advertising will continue. We will be closely monitoring this issue and the placement of our advertising on behalf of our customers, our staff and our suppliers.”

    The statement suggested that Progressive could pull any advertising it may schedule during future Breakfast programmes if Henry made similar racially-charged comments again.

    So, maybe such advertisers need to be a bit more convincing that Henry is already unsupportable?

    • A Nonny Moose 9.1

      Ugh. That’s Action Without Action, with a little PR Hand Wave if ever there was one. If they were really that concerned, they’d be looking at Henry’s previous behaviour and taking decisive action.

  10. Paul Henry MustGo 10

    Keep Up the Pressure. Write to Progressive and tell them you won’t shop at Countdown, Woolworths or Foodtown until they actually pull advertising from Breakfast or until Henry is sacked. Write to them at customerinfo@progressive.co.nz. Don’t buy groceries affiliated with hate speech!!

    Sample email. Send to: customerinfo@progressive.co.nz
    Dear Progressive Enterprises – I normally shop at your stores. However, because of Paul Henry’s recent racist comments about Sir Anand, I have decided to boycott all Foodtown, Woolworths and Countdown stores until Progressive Enterprises actually pulls its sponsorship of the Breakfast Show or until Paul Henry departs that show.
    Regards,
    Your Name Here

    • Jilly Bee 10.1

      PHMG – I have just written to Progressive Enterprises, having shopped with Foodtown for the past 30+ years. Back to our local Pak N Save, which is OK but the range of goods are fairly limited. I also haven’t watched any TV1 or TV2 for several years now and fear for the 2 digital channels which are good value.

  11. BigSigh 11

    I don’t support Paul Henry in this, but I also think making this a diplomatic issue and the Govt getting involved is ridiculous. Indian politicians, go focus on your massive pile of internal problems. Govt don’t make SOEs political. TVNZ, fricken drop Paul Henry already.

  12. Peter G 12

    Time to sew the Banana onto the NZ flag and be done with it !

  13. roger nome 13

    I see that DPF can’t bring himself to blog on this issue. Instead he distracts himself and his readers with soothing naturalist pictures. Poor David.

    Peter/dad4justice – you’re banned from this site. Piss off.

    [lprent: I don’t have him on the watch/kill lists at present. He has been pretty restrained recently and living within the boundaries. ]

  14. nilats 14

    What about John Tamihere calling Key ‘Jew Boy’, why no outrage?
    Maybe next time Key sees JT he should greet him as ‘nigger boy’?

    Or is it ok to slur white anglo saxon males/Jews in the PC country? After all they don’t make a mountain out of a molehill like ethnics do.

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      I would certainly be outraged by anybody calling Key “Jew Boy”. That’s disgraceful.

      When did it happen? Got a link?

      • nilats 14.1.1

        Was said on Radio live in the past week or so. No link

        • gobsmacked 14.1.1.1

          So how can people be outraged about something if they don’t know it happened? Duh!

          No link“.

          Funny, with all the right-wing blogs around, you’d think somebody might have picked it up. Perhaps there was nothing to pick up, eh?

      • aj 14.1.2

        Tamihere was using examples of name calling to demonstrate racism and asked if calling Key ‘Jew Boy’ would be racist. Nilats, your post is so out of context it isn’t funny.

      • I think (though I admit I could have been misinformed) that on Campbell Live Tamihere asked whether Henry will “call John Key a Jew-boy” next time he’s interviewed.

        So it seems Tamihere was being critical of Henry and, by implication, Key’s vapid response.

        A provocative question, but not, as nilats implies, a slur by Tamihere against Key.

    • Vicky32 14.2

      In my experience, re Jews, oh yes they do! (I am involved in pro-Palestinian causes.)

  15. tsmithfield 15

    The humour over the name “dikshit” is nothing to do with racism. Its just humour about a funny name. If anyone came onto this blog under the name “dikshit” they would be ridiculed as well; I have seen plenty of examples here where people have gone and used people’s identities against them.

    [lprent: I haven’t seen “plenty of examples”. I have seen a few and usually they consist of either saying how appropriate the pseudonym is or suggesting a ‘better’ one. That is amongst 204,000 odd comments. There is a great search engine here (if I do say so myself). Find 50 which would fit the categorization you’ve selected that actually take the mickey out of a name. ]

    • the sprout 15.1

      yep blogs/national broadcasters, same levels of profile, accountability and influence, therefore same standards of propriety.
      entirely convincing argument tsmith

    • Lew 15.2

      How about the comment (to the effect that) the name is “so appropriate because she’s Indian”?

      Nah. Not racist at all.

      L

    • The Voice of Reason 15.3

      Been away, TS?

      “It’s so appropriate coz she’s Indian”. That’s racist. Saying its a ‘funny name’ is as well, you tool, because it’s only ‘funny’ in English and if you are twelve years old.

    • aj 15.4

      ridiculing people with unusual names normally stops at the age of 6. After that it’s no longer humor, it’s pathetic.

    • Colonial Viper 15.5

      tsmith, lots of darkie haters would no doubt find Henry’s statements hilarious. Plus find his comments that Dick-Shit is a very appropriate name for an Indian a laugh and a half.

      So yeah, of course its comedic humour, more specifically good old racist, bigotted colonial comedic humour.

      You know, from when the Brits owned India.

      Your stock on The Standard just dropped big time my man.

    • felix 15.6

      I have seen plenty of examples here where fuckwits like tsmithfield claim to have seen plenty of examples of thing here.

      Strangely they never seem to be able to produce any though.

  16. Bright Red 16

    This from McCully:

    “The Minister said he would indicate to the Indian Government that the comments were the actions of one person, made in a country in which freedom of speech is an important foundation principle.”

    jesus. No-one’s saying that the guy can’t be racist if he wants to. The problem is him being employed to be a racist on state-funded TV.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      Cool. Apparently we are all entitled to a daily rant on the teevee. It’s freedom of speech man.

      • Policy Parrot 16.1.1

        n the last two days I’ve had to listen to several groups of both colleagues, commuters and extended family …all give Henry their total support. I’m ashamed to say I’ve more or less wimped out, all I could do was silently stare off into the middle distance and pretend it wasn’t happening. You can’t defend yourself against a mob like that…you just get shouted down and then shunned.

        Certainly is embarrassing – wouldn’t want to be a Kiwi in India now – are our athletes getting booed?

        From a political perspective, I’m not particularly worried to be honest – because it seems pretty evident to me to that 99% of people that back Paul Henry in this instance would always be National/ACT voters. Infer what you want from that.

        Key’s lack of smackdown will cost National votes among educated urban liberals and racial minorities.

        The best punishment for Henry would be to see Key, someone he has helped build up chucked out after a single term in part because of his antics. Oh, yeah – and then Brendon can sack him.

        • mcflock 16.1.1.1

          99% of Henry’s supporters probably can’t fill in the enrolment or voting papers properly.

        • Murray 16.1.1.2

          “it seems pretty evident to me to that 99% of people that back Paul Henry in this instance would always be National/ACT voters.”

          Isn’t this type of low brow bigoted attempt at humour usually associated with the great NZ working class In this case most of Paul Henrys supporters are more then likely to be labour voters

          • Vicky32 16.1.1.2.1

            Not necessarily at all! It would be nice if all working class people were Labour voters, but I know from my ex-husband’s family the kind of people who think this kind of idiotic remark such as Henry made is funny, that they’re not! Solid National cos solid wood between the ears…
            Deb

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.2.2

            Isn’t this type of low brow bigoted attempt at humour usually associated with the great NZ working class

            You means as opposed this kind of low brow bigotted humour:

            You dick-shit! Why don’t you look and sound more like a real New Zealander? Hahaha!

            However, I suppose this particular kind of “low brow bigoted” humour is usually associated with the elite white National ruling class, right?

    • gobsmacked 16.2

      the actions of one person, made in a country in which freedom of speech is an important foundation principle.

      Is the person’s name Russel Norman?

      • BLiP 16.2.1

        What kind of cockwomble comment is that?

        • outofbed 16.2.1.1

          what is a cockwomble?

          • BLiP 16.2.1.1.1

            I was probably being a bit harsh but gobsmacked is a local.

          • billy fish 16.2.1.1.2

            A cockwomble (wombouswimbledonia urbanus) is the urbam offshoot of the commom womble (wombuluswimbledonia major). With the encroachment of urban development into the natural habitats of the womble the new offshoot species cockwombke has started spreading to recycling bins, wheelie bins and skips

            • Bored 16.2.1.1.2.1

              Sounds hairy. The recycle bins…..perhaps Henry can replace Oscar G (who probably needs a holiday, Henry seems to have a similar temperament). He would only be moving from one kids show to another.

          • A Nonny Moose 16.2.1.1.3

            OH lordy, I know it’s a gendered insult, but that’s the most wonderful collection of letters I’ve seen. I’m crying with laughter…and I shouldn’t…

            Anti-spam: Clock (womble)

        • gobsmacked 16.2.1.2

          Pointing out McCully/Key’s double standards. They seemed more indignant about Norman’s protest than Henry’s racism. Key apologised to China.

          I think you kinda missed my point, but it was a very short one, so you’re forgiven … 🙂

          • BLiP 16.2.1.2.1

            Ahhh – I take it back. Carry on. : )

            • mcflock 16.2.1.2.1.1

              you can’t take it back! The cockwomble has been released into the community!

          • Colonial Viper 16.2.1.2.2

            I suppose with China, Key thought he’d amp up the volume to discredit an opposition party. With this, well, there’s no way he wants to turn the volume up on himself or his mates.

            Bill and John, so transparent.

  17. outofbed 17

    I wonder if Georgina Beyer would make a better breakfast tv host the the racist Paul Henry
    The Wairarapa electorate obviously thought she would be a better MP

  18. the sprout 18

    NZ Herald: Henry’s remarks the actions of one person – McCully

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10679015

    Rubbish Murray.
    He’s done this again and again and again, implicitly endorsed by Rick Ellis and TVNZ, who have continued to pay Henry $300,000+ per year of tax payers money.

    TVNZ have continually defended him despite being found against by the BSA.
    TVNZ keep him on and encourage him to behave like the bigot he is.

    His remarks are the actions of TVNZ.

  19. BLiP 19

    Eeeeek!! Has anyone else noted that most “popular” posts this week have been about a celebrity? Whatever you say about Henry, his name does seem to attract an audience.

  20. locus 20

    why are we apologising to the Indian government about a remarkably inconsiderate kiwi saying foul things based on his prejudiced view of what constitutes a kiwi? If we had to apologise for every racist comment made by someone in the NZ media we’d have to set up a new government department.

    • BLiP 20.1

      Heh – you sound like you’ve strayed over from the “Bring Back Paul Henry” Facebook page. Here’s a comment fresh from there:

      Melissah Kate Morrison: why is India envoled? isn’t he a NZ? plus Dikshit is half fijian!!!!!!!!!!

      How on Earth did those people get past the lifeguard and into the gene pool?

      • Policy Parrot 20.1.1

        “Melissah Kate Morrison: why is India envoled? isn’t he a NZ? plus Dikshit is half fijian!!!!!!!!!!”

        This comment made Mark Zuckerberg, the lord of all creation, cry.

      • Vebee 20.1.2

        How can you write something like that? You’re going on about how wrong one man was for publically insulting someone and you go and do the same thing, for the same reasons maybe? Maybe you think you’re funny?? But it’s ok for you to say whatever you want about another person because you’re not on TV, you’re sitting at home hidden behind a fake name and a random picture.

        Most people say what they think when they like without thinking of who they’re hurting, PH included and now apparently you as well. All I can say, is practice what you preach.

        • The Voice of Reason 20.1.2.1

          BLiP didn’t make that post up, someone called Melissa Kate Morrison did. When you post on the interwebs, you have to accept that people may be critical of your opinion and say so. That’s what BLiP did, but that’s not at all what Henry did.

          His racism came out in unprovoked, random dribbling at targets who had no opportunity to defend themselves, and was solely based on the colour of their skin, their ethnicity and their accents and his own prejudices. BLiP has simply exposed an illiterate and ignorant idiot by publicising her own words.

          .

        • BLiP 20.1.2.2

          Was I racist?

          • mcflock 20.1.2.2.1

            I think it was a variation on the “you’re intolerant because your intolerant of intolerant people” line.

            Although it’s generally expressed as “your intolerrint coz your intolerint of real NZrs so nyah”

    • “If we had to apologise for every racist comment made by someone in the NZ media we’d have to set up a new government department”

      Paul Henry alone needs a whole department – its called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

    • grumpy 20.3

      I see on Closeup’s poll, 85% of respondents think the govt should not have apologised – eat that!

      • Murray 20.3.1

        doesn’t mean to say they’re right it just means that 85% of the people who responded are bigots like Henry

      • Anne 20.3.2

        You can eat it grumps but all it tells most of us is that the people who watch Close Up are the red necks, racists and intellectually challenged (the three go together) who don’t have anything better to do.

  21. Seti 21

    Has John Key’s name ever been parodied (don-key, shon-key etc) by commentors on this site?

    captcha: course, how apt

    • Armchair Critic 21.1

      Parody and racism are two quite different things.
      I agree that the use of the phrase “don-key” is demeaning to donkeys, and thereby inappropriate. After all, donkeys are genuine, honest and hard-working.

    • bbfloyd 21.2

      S… and why wouldn’t you parody his name? considering how he insults our intelligence every time he speaks, it’s only fair we get some back.

    • felix 21.3

      “Has John Key’s name ever been parodied (don-key, shon-key etc) by commentors on this site?”

      You mean like “John Key, Donkey! And it’s so appropriate because he’s a Jew!”

      Seti you’re a moron.

  22. Draco T Bastard 23

    Gordon Cambell’s arcticle over on scoop is an interesting read.

    So far, the best analysis of Henry’s style and personality would still be Linley Boniface’s brilliant column from last year:

    …should further staff redundancies be necessary, [TVNZ] could seamlessly replace its current Breakfast host with a freshly captured gibbon without significantly lowering the quality of its journalism. Indeed, watching a jungle creature let loose on the set of Breakfast would give viewers roughly the same frisson of appalled fascination that many of us already experience while watching Paul Henry in action. Will the set be trashed? Will there be humping of the furniture? Will guests have their hair lovingly combed through for nits, or be spat at?

    and

    Ironically, is Henry were not a New Zealander, he might be facing charges under our security legislation. Security being defined – for instance in our Immigration Act 2009 – as including:

    …capabilities, intentions, or activities in or relating to New Zealand that affect adversely New Zealand’s international well-being, reputation, or economic well-being:

    Only migrants and asylum seekers though, tend to suffer negative consequences for allegedly ‘adversely affecting New Zealand’s international well-being, reputation or economic wellbeing.’ When Paul Henry does it, he is largely protected by dint of being a New Zealander. Perhaps it is time he started talking like one.

    • Zorr 23.1

      Well, if mine (and other’s) struggles against coworkers/colleagues/family are anything to go by… he is x_x

    • grumpy 23.2

      God save us from woofters like Linley Bonniface. I’ve seen it all now, Draco (usually quite astute for a lefty) quoting vacuous airhead. Who’s next – Sarah Palin?

  23. Big Bruv 24

    “Paul Henry’s racism on state funded television”

    All the more reason to sell the state funded television network…

    • Vicky32 24.1

      Yeah, so it would end up like the truly fascistic far-right TV3 – that will help!
      Deb

      • grumpy 24.1.1

        I think the Govt should sell TV2 to FOX so we can get some “fair and balanced” reporting.

        • hateatea 24.1.1.1

          The very last thing New Zealand needs is Faux News. Shame on you for even suggesting the possibility. The majority of television news reportage in New Zealand is already fairly average.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      All the more reason to send Henry down the river without a paddle.

      You Righties have no common sense.

    • lprent 24.3

      Actually I’d agree. But just break it up and destroy it. It has no value..

  24. BLiP 25

    Second thoughts, and I’m just thinking out loud here: if one considers the context around which the “dick shit” comments were made, Paul Henry wasn’t actually being racist at that time.

    The wider subject under discussion was the lack of preparation for the Commonwealth Games and, if you take the position that all politicians are dicks then, albeit puerile, it does kinda make sense that it is appropriate that the politician (a dick) was in the shit? The name Dikshit is, if nothing else and considering the circumstances, an odd confluence of facts.

    Also, how clever to move the spotlight away from the real racism in regard to the GG and John Key’s enabling of that outburst. So, while the masses are being fed Henry on a stick in regard to the dick shit tirade, our Prime Minister is off smiling-and-waving with Gertrude.

    • Carol 25.1

      Apparently Henry said it was appropriate to make fun of Sheila Dikshit’s name because she is Indian.
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/10/08/3033561.htm?section=justin

      Presenter Paul Henry ridiculed the name of Delhi’s chief minister Sheila Dikshit, saying: “I’ve known about her for a while and I’ve been laughing ever since.”

      He added: “It’s so appropriate because she’s Indian.”

      I think there’s an element of making fun because “foreigners”, and/or people from other cultures are being judged to have “funny” names. Which makes it pretty “culturally insenstive” at the very least. I can’t see the humour in making fun of someone’s name, whatever their nationality. Some people take it very personally because it’s so strongly linked to their sense of identity.

      • BLiP 25.1.1

        I’m just wondering if the “appropriateness” was to do with the fact that the topic of discussion was India’s preparations (or lack of) for the Commonwealth Games and not just the fact that the person was Indian . . .

        • mcflock 25.1.1.1

          Could you be putting more thoughtful analysis into it than Henry did? I don’t think that’s a particularly high bar to clear (to continue the CGames theme).

  25. Kevin Campbell 26

    I think Paul henry has been relatively evenly balanced.

    He said that new Act MP Hilary Calvert looked like a \”wild horse\” and that Act number 7 Peter Tashkoff must be odd because he rides covered in motorcycle.

    I dont mind a bit of fun but when the person doing the poking doesnt actually know the people involved from a bar of soap it is offensive. I think utu has been sweet, a good hard kick up the arse is well justified in his case, but a public stoning or beheading is a bit over the top.

    • Mac1 26.1

      Kevin Campbell, isn’t one of the justifiable criticisms of Paul Henry that he does this sort of thing often? And quite frankly I don’t care if he distributes his largesse evenly- it’s all bovine in character.

    • lprent 26.2

      It is too many times. He has been warned about his problem for the last two years. I have run out of patience – this time he is going down. If he isn’t then TVNZ is up for disassembly. It is their choice

  26. Gazza 27

    A couple of points of interest, Mrs Dikshit’s name is pronounced as you see it and how much of a problem would it be if it was Dipstik secondly it never seems to be a problem when some westerner(nz)comments on India’s short falls over the Games(which were true) there were riots,effigy burnings and general abuse against westerners.
    Did we get up in arms when in all honesty most people knew that they would fuck up because most of their population are poor and lazy and dont give a shit about the games as they couldn’t afford to go anyway and the rich class castes wouldn’t be paying for it.
    Further more a large portion of the funding would have gone into politician’s pocket and only a small % paid to what can only be called slave labour. And what about the Brahma class caste Mrs Dikshit sounds like a lot of bull to me.
    So who is calling the pot black .

  27. Gazza 28

    Afterthought, What is worse Paul Henry’s comments or The INDIAN electoral fraud attempt in Auckland???
    Maybe NZ should make a diplomatic complaint to the Indian high commission.

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