Paul Henry must go

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, May 6th, 2008 - 53 comments
Categories: Media, spin - Tags: ,

This morning’s performace on breakfast TV by Paul Henry was a disgrace. His complete lack of objectivity on the rail and ferry buy-back was even more biased and partisan than we have come to expect from him. Despite Guyon Espiner’s best efforts to provide some objective analysis of the government’s decision, Henry simply shouted about the government being idiots who can’t be trusted, and then proceeded to turn the show into the shambles it so often becomes.

This is election year, and there are obligations on all media to provide balanced coverage of issues. Henry is quite simply not capable of this. It is interesting to note that the biography of Henry on the TVNZ website neglects to mention his failed run as the National Party candidate in Wairarapa in 1999.

He is obviously entitled to his opinion, but he has a number of options for exercising that. He could have another go at running for the Nats, or he could be a political commentator ( al la Hooton, Trotter et al), but what he can not continue to be is any kind of objective journalist or presenter.

53 comments on “Paul Henry must go”

  1. big bruv 1

    Let me get this right…so Trotter is OK, Campbell is OK, Comrade Espiner is fine, Mcarten is fine but Henry is not?

    You guys are a joke, is it really your intention to control all media in NZ?, this is the type of thinking that gave birth to the EFA, silence all those who dare speak out against dear corrupt leader.

  2. Why don’t non-National MPs on the show, keep pointing out his failed National candidacy when they are on the show, as Winston so brilliantly did a few months ago? Completely neuters him.

  3. vto 3

    good point big bruv.

    But I gotta agree that Henry is a bloody dill sometimes. Makes a fool of himself.

  4. Tane 4

    I find Henry quite frequently lets his National Party bias get in the way of his journalism.

    Others may remember recently when he interviewed Maryan Street about state housing he barracked her like an opposition politician. When she quite reasonably pointed out in answer to a question that Labour was rebuilding stock sold off by National in the 90s he screamed at her “Don’t you bring the last National government into this!” or words to that effect. The man is a disgrace.

  5. higherstandard 5

    He is a twat but the show is just fluff.

    Got to admit he hit it on the head with Jonathon Hunt as the “Fat Controller”

    Failing that Gerry Brownlee would be a good back up.

  6. rjs131 6

    What about his comments on Friday suggesting that Judith tizard didnt work constantly and relentlessly from 7am to midnight each day, everyday 365 days of the year? I thought his implied allegations that she is useless and lazy were disgraceful and so far from teh truth they werent funny

  7. Aj 7

    “Got to admit he hit it on the head with Jonathon Hunt as the “Fat Controller’

    He stole that from Campbell Live last night . . nothing original in the man

  8. Santi 8

    C’mon guys don’t be soft on Henry. Surely, you can invoke some obscure clause in the EFA and get him fired from TVNZ.

  9. higherstandard 9

    Rjs

    Implying that Judith Tizzard is useless and lazy . Yes an outrageous suggestion.

  10. Tane 10

    Surely, you can invoke some obscure clause in the EFA and get him fired from TVNZ.

    Last time I checked the only people to have invoked the EFA to try and suppress free speech were the National Party.

  11. Unbelievable, the only Journo at TVNZ who doesn’t toe the Labour party line and you guys want him fired.

  12. ghostwhowalks 12

    Radio Live in a news report ( the same station that Henry moonlights at) indroduced a voice item from Prebble as a ‘ former labour cabinet minister’
    Surely to be accurate they could have said ‘former ACT leader’, and mentioned as a sideline he camapigned as a Labour cabinet minister to save rail but reneged on what he said then.

  13. IrishBill 13

    I don’t want him fired! He is an unending cause of great hilarity and entertainment for me.

  14. Phil 15

    Wow, it took a whole 14 comments before Hoolian mentioned the “D-Word”

    Are we right wingers starting to slip or something?

  15. Hoolian 16

    I tried to get in quicker but my fingers just couldn’t type fast enough.

  16. uroskin 17

    Mr Henry’s ranting and raving – especially against lesbians like Ms Street – obviously stems from his humiliating defeat by Ms Beyer in the Wairarapa electorate. The man is a walking advert for psychoanalysis.

  17. Matthew Pilott 18

    Phil – quite the opposite – I thought there might be a bit more intelligent comment coming through. Hoolian to the ‘rescue’ eh?

  18. gobsmacked 19

    A talkback host, or a professional journalist?

    Chalk, cheese.

    If Paul Henry wants to be a shock-jock, he can do it on Radio Live. Or he can rant on blogs. But he is supposed to be TVNZ’s answer to a Dimbleby or a Cronkite. It’s not about politics, it’s about basic standards. He doesn’t measure up.

    The depressing thing is, we are so starved of professional, high-quality current affairs broadcasting in NZ, we forget how third-rate Paul Henry is. He simply wouldn’t get this plum TV job in any other English-speaking country. They’d laugh him out the door.

    We hear about the importance of “excellence” in areas like sport and business – and yet we settle for mediocrity in broadcasting. We have ego instead of insight or depth, and it’s a national embarrassment.

  19. Paul Henry should go back to talkback radio – at least over there most of the callers and presenters would be in ideological sympathy with him.
    Or better yet, he can become a guest blogger on Kiwiblog.

  20. higherstandard 21

    He simply wouldn’t get this plum TV job in any other English-speaking country.

    Couldn’t agree more unfortunately it’s not just in the broadcasting arena that we’re struggling – management and the civil service in NZ is in similar strife and one looks at parliament and wonders if some of them would even get jobs as inmates in an asylum at times.

  21. rjs131 22

    I guess if TVNZ hadnt made 160 people redundant last year then there might be some more people to replace him with…I guess they could always bring back Brian Edwards

  22. Higherstandard 23

    Anything but Brian Edwards please anything but that.

  23. big bruv 24

    What on earth would be wrong with Perigo?

    Personally I think that TVNZ should bring in a totally independent jounro (one of the many excellent independent BBC journo would be my choice) to facilitate this years leadership debates, there is not one Kiwi who is brave enough to make sure that Clark actually answers the questions put to her by the journo’s or the public.

    The other reason we need an independent journo is that our media has a sickening left wing bias.

  24. Bearhunter 25

    “The depressing thing is, we are so starved of professional, high-quality current affairs broadcasting in NZ, we forget how third-rate Paul Henry is. He simply wouldn’t get this plum TV job in any other English-speaking country. They’d laugh him out the door.”

    true enough. But by the same token government ministers wouldn’t get such an easy ride on TV in any other english-speaking country either. Paxman, Day, Frost, or Brian O’Farrell would have them gutted, filletted and lying on a slab inside a minute.

  25. big bruv 26

    Oh yes, how wonderful it would be to see Paxman carve Clark to pieces and can you just imagine what Paxman would do with Peters!.

  26. Bearhunter 27

    I would dearly love to see a genuine political interview with a genuine interviewer crossing swords with a genuine politician. Sod all chance of that down here though.

  27. big bruv 28

    Bear

    Then the only way you are ever going to see that happen is if you blindside the sods, do not tell them the length of the interview and do not tell them that there are not going to be breaks for advertisements.

    The reason the BBC can and do “fry” politicians that are being less than truthful is because the politicians cannot play the usual game of stalling until the next ad break or waffle as they know the segment allocated for the interview will soon be over.

    I would love to see Winston and Clark put under the blowtorch by a real journalist, given that we will never see a Paxman or Day here then the best option might be somebody like Fran or Perigo.

    [how about this interview of Clark on Hardtalk? SP]

  28. big bruv 29

    I did say “independent” journo not some hand picked pinko asking soft questions.

  29. Felix 30

    When did Paul Henry become a “journalist”? I missed that memo, sorry.

  30. illuminatedtiger 31

    Glad I’m not the only person with a problem here. It was absolutely disgusting!

  31. simon coffey 32

    I’ve never been a fan of Paul Henry’s, whether radio or tv, but really he does act like a buffoon a bit of a clown and really unlike King Lear’s Fool, he has no real insight, just the same old menial neo con drivel.

    I’ll even go so far as to say bring back Holmesy!

  32. big bruv 33

    Seriously chaps, what is so “disgusting” about a journo asking questions of this corrupt govt?

  33. illuminatedtiger 34

    The Producers,

    I don’t expect this to be aired nor do I want it to be (this is the only email address I can find in regards to the show). I’ve always liked Paul Henry but I think his antics today on air were downright disgusting. It’s good to have an opinion but he turned today’s show into an absolute circus with zero objectivity! Perhaps it is time the serious interviews particularly those involving politicians be moved off to Peter Williams or Pippa Wetzell as Paul Henry has clearly demonstrated a serious lack of objectivity.

    I trust that you will give these comments some consideration especially since Breakfast no longer has a monopoly over the early morning current affairs slot.

    Sent to breakfast@tvnz.co.nz

  34. redbus 35

    Simply horrendous commentary by Henry this morning. Wetzell seems to tag along with everything he says – what’s the point in having a second host when she offers no perspective?

    I find it particularly humorous that some commenters on this website are suggesting that TVNZ’s political coverage is left-wing! Absolute rubbish! One commenter even went so far as to group Guyon Espiner in with the likes of Matt McCarten and Christ Trotter!

    Meanwhile Fran O’Sullivan, Matthew Hooton, Paul Henry and the likes opine messages direct from National party press releases!!

  35. gobsmacked 36

    It’s good to see BigBruv supporting the idea of a commercial-free public broadcaster. Not a very right-wing view, but welcome nonetheless.

    The crap we get served is the direct result of not having a public ethos – our television serves the advertising dollar rather than striving to “inform, educate and entertain” (BBC). In the end, you can aim higher or lower, to be intelligent or infantile. One has a long-term national benefit, for healthy public discourse; the other is all about the fast buck.

    Fortunately Radio New Zealand still does have in-depth interviews, without the tiresome “we’re running out of time” refrain. So we can be better informed … thanks to the taxpayer. If you doubt the value of publicly-funded broadcasting, I give you one word:

    Talkback.

  36. big bruv 37

    Ha ha..I love it when the left wing work themselves into a lather about the free press.
    No wonder you lot love the EFA.

  37. big bruv 38

    There is none so blind…..

    Really, you lot are hilarious, a few weeks ago dear leader was under the cosh from Comrade Espiner and co, she launched into them with the dire warning that it was time they took a look at the Nat’s and the did exactly what dear corrupt leader told them to do.

    TVNZ and National radio have been a mouthpiece for this disgusting govt and disgusting PM for the last nine years (as has the Herald until recently) yet all that time the left said nothing, now when they finally start to point out the failings and lies of this corrupt govt you don’t like it.

    What NZ needs is a totally free media, the state has no right owning a broadcast network when it is open to the abuse we have seen from dear corrupt leader over the last nine years.

    Yes Gobsmakced I would support a commercial free public broadcaster if we were developed enough to allow it a free reign, sadly we are not mature enough and this govt has proven time and time again it will not let the media do its job without interference.

  38. randal 39

    what a load of twaddle bigbruv…how can you perjure yourself so easily. the manques at teevee1 have been on the governments back since day one and the press have just been biding their time. now they just forswear themselves with the polished ease that would make a harlot blush.

  39. sorry bruv, i think youll find its john key whos been interfereing with the media, wage-cut-gate if you will?

  40. Jum 41

    big bruv

    If you think Henry is an example of fair commentary, you really are lacking in objectivity.

    Bring back Hosking. He could give the PM a hard time and still be objective and entertaining. I’d love to see him interview Key.

    Henry is cringeworthy. Pippa started off being independent but is now just the same as Kay, the straight guy for the queer guy.

  41. green future 42

    heres paul henry actually on form slipping up john key..

  42. green future 43

    helen clark deserves a good ripping, do does key. its not paul henry’s job to back the national party line and attack the greens. if he was an mp… yah thats what he would do. but he is a tv presenter.
    ————–
    Let me get this right so Trotter is OK, Campbell is OK, Comrade Espiner is fine, Mcarten is fine but Henry is not?

    You guys are a joke, is it really your intention to control all media in NZ?, this is the type of thinking that gave birth to the EFA, silence all those who dare speak out against dear corrupt leader.

    [we don’t want to control anything, we’re just critiquing the media. It’s perfectly legitimate, indeed it’s important. SP]
    [lprent: At various times I seen all those you mentioned critically in posts on this site, except maybe Espiner (which one?). Engage your brain – try a search, then write. Also while you’re at it – read the About at the top of the page and look for the comments on media.]

  43. Dim (was dime) 44

    heh i cant stand henry… just a buck toothed nerd.. is he really right wing??

    cause he is wayyyyyyyyyy too nice when talking to the fuhrer every monday morning.

    whenever he has an opportunity to hammer her, he plays nice. i guess he has to our she wont come on anymore?

    i did however see a bit of him going ape about the trains.. was the first time he ever impressed me!

    in regards to the railways..

    i think the problem with you lefties is youre so far down the food chain when it comes to business, you dont quite understand whats really going on.

  44. lprent 45

    Assumptions – sign of a shallow mind. My second degree was an MBA from Otago. My family profession is running factories, as was my first career. My second career has been writing software for export, usually forming the company to sell it. I know business reasonably well, and I’m a ‘leftie’.

    Oh, and I’m the sysop here. Your assumptions are rather naive.

  45. jh 47

    There are more of us (chaps down the bottom)than there are of them ponces up the top “Up I’m”. Copy righted.

  46. jh 48

    and can I just add “Off with their heads”.
    [thanks]

  47. cm 49

    Paul Henry certainly wouldn’t want to lose his luxuries such as the showers he goes on about, even if it means some girl down the road starves to death!! That man makes national party look like a bunch of prats and he has swayed my vote alone!!! Should keep his big nose out of it

  48. ebug 50

    Big bruv. How can you say the Herald towed the labour party line when they put in the full front page complaint about the electoral finance act? Paul Henry is a disgrace. If he could be objective he would have all the traits that a journalist needs in that he is articulate and charasmatic etc but he obviously cant get off the National Party band wagon and until he can do that, he shouldnt be interviewing polititians.

  49. TimeWarp 51

    It’s a breakfast show. It has a veneer of news to it, but it’s really entertainment in terms of the core presenters and content. That’s why they have to cut to Peter Williams/Ali Mau/Corrin for news every 10 or 15 minutes in between the banter and “interviews”. There is commentary – but not analysis.

    At one level he’s an opionated git, but he’s like that on many things, not just politics, and is generally highly entertaining with it.

    I watch Breakfast for both news and entertainment. The news can sometimes be entertaining, and the entertainment sometimes is around news issues, but nonetheless there is no point in getting too serious about it in confusing the two.

    Anyway, TVNZ needs to take this approach to their programming or after 5 mins all the viewers would be tired of the TV “telling them what to do with their own family” and feel like “it’s just time for a change”. 😉

    Choose a brighter viewing image…

  50. randal 52

    well when he goes will he take the gayone with him?

  51. Mr Shankly 53

    Henry is easily one of the most entertaining presenters in New Zealand. Just contrast breakfast with sunrise on TV3 – Paul Henry is streets ahead.

    What is good about Henry is he makes it very obvious where he stands – so you know where his opinion is coming from. This strength is shared by Tamihere and Jackson on radio live.

    Unfortunately many on television are scared to tell you what they actually think.

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