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Paul Henry’s jokes about women, deaf people and infant deaths, proudly brought to you by TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, October 9th, 2010 - 56 comments
Categories: accountability, Ethics, families, feminism, health, Media, racism, Satire, scoundrels, sexism, Social issues, tv - Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s a compilation from TV7’s Russell Brown from April this year, highlighting the value for money taxpayers get from paying Breakfast Bigot Paul Henry $300,000+ per year: ridiculing the appearance of guests whose opinions he disagrees with, ridiculing deaf people, women, and the disproportionate rate of infant deaths in developing countries – “but they’ve got enough babies to take care of that, don’t worry about that, we’ve got six others out the back!”. Hilarious Paul.

And special thanks too to TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis because without him none of this would be possible.  Ellis is continuing to hire this guy just for the sake of ratings and a few advertising dollars, even though he takes pleasure in ridiculing, hurting and humiliating people – again, and again, and again – even though he’s costing this country’s international reputation, economy and racial harmony. Top work Rick.

So congratulations TVNZ, you can be really proud of what you’ve become with Paul Henry and the fine judgement of Rick Ellis.

On another note, here’s a pretty good piss-take of Paul Henry’s anti-Indian racism from TV3’s Ali Ikram.


56 comments on “Paul Henry’s jokes about women, deaf people and infant deaths, proudly brought to you by TVNZ”

  1. freedom 1

    “Media in India have widely covered the issue, including reporting that Indian ministers boycotted a dinner with Sir Anand, who is in India. ”

    Spend a minute with those words.
    This quote from today’s Herald is a very clear and highly disturbing statement.

    Instead of a humane showing of solidarity for the offensive comments made against him, Sir Arnand is now exposed to further insult and all beacause our PM could not Govern his way out of a wet paper bag.

    • JAS 1.1

      Our PM just showed once again how spineless he is, dismissing it as a joke that got out of hand, when you look at Henry’s repeated offensive “jokes” it ads up to one extremely bigoted person.

      As for the comment I have heard and read many many times this week, “hes only saying what we think and are too scared to say” …. who’s we? and if the majority really do think that way, I would be ashamed to call myself kiwi.

      This used to be a country that fought strongly against racism and bigotry, what the hell has happened?

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        I’m not sure that too much has changed for die hard bigots, JAS, but slowly, the country is getting more tolerant. In 1981 it was said we were a country evenly divided on the tour question. I’d say that now, we have a solid majority who are liberal in their approach, but the shrinking minority of bigots are shrieking louder and louder as they slowly disappear up their own fundamental orifice.

        In 1981, there were many who tacitly supported South African racism because they thought sport was more important. In the Henry case, there are many people equally confused about humour’s relationship to race. Paul Henry’s funny, so what’s the problem?

        All things pass, with time, education and understanding. For example, Whanganui will look a nicer city today, as one more racist git finally loses his grip on power.

        • JAS

          The saddest thing for me personally this week, has been seeing close friends openly support Henry, and go further by agreeing with his comments. It’s certainly changed my level of respect for a number of people, who I never imagined to have such attitudes.

          I guess since I have been vocal in my own disgust with his behaviour (not just in this latest incident, but in his prior ones as well), their attitude towards me may have changed too, but so be it, unlike our PM I do stand up for what I believe.

          • the sprout

            I’ve had that too JAS, but I’ve found that if you spell-out the enormity of what PH has done and the damage he’s doing to us all, they tend to eventually agree that he’s a knob and shouldn’t still be on the payroll.

            It’s just that for a lot of people their first response is “oh that’s just Paul Henry” because they haven’t bothered to get all the story and think about what his comments on a state broadcaster imply about NZ. A bit of gentle persuasion and calm explanation can turn people on this one quited easily.

            • rosy

              The best thing about this for me has been watching my teen niece FB thread, from your average, everyday fun-loving young adults….
              “Why the hell is everyone supporting Paul Henry. He’s such a racist wank”.
              “Well it’s generally just very rude and insensitive, I don’t care too much about the PC stuff but it’s like whoa. What a dick”.
              “It’s not the fact about the last name either, it’s about how the last name was “it’s appropriate cause she’s Indian””.
              ” its not blown out of proportion at all he intentionally went out of his wy to insult that indian lady and then two weeks ago all those rasict comments about indians in servos being bloody idiots. the guys an absolute cock”
              “I have never had the same thought as that cock head”

              Proud of them, I am 🙂

              • Ari

                Well, that’s because the younger generation brings a fresh perspective untainted by the meaningless bigotry of yesteryears. Makes it easier to see clearer- but absolutely no reason not to be proud of them for doing the right thing.

                • rosy

                  “Well, that’s because the younger generation brings a fresh perspective untainted by the meaningless bigotry of yesteryears”
                  Not so, both the old and young may or may not be bigots.

                  There were lots of comments from their peers supporting PH. I’m proud because the comments above are from young people who 1. Don’t think like PH and 2. are willing to stand up to their peers in a forum that is often about conforming.

        • Irascible

          One of the play actors in the Paul Henry play, John Key, doesn’t recall where he was or what he thought about the events of 1981 even when pressed. Probably explains his wet fish, scuttle & run reaction when Henry dropped the signal for the prat-fall line on him in the expectation that Key could ad lib a smart’ “funny” retort for Henry to show his “smarts” on.

    • Lazy 1.2

      The scaryiest part is Key’s behaviour.

      He excuses his lack of response at the time by saying he was taken by surprise. This clearly demonstrated his inabilility to think on his feet.

      Now nearly a week later he’s still to a large extent fence sitting. Where’s the leadership? Like it or not Mr Key you are the PM of a multicultural society – there is no place for racism here and certainly not on state television.

      Perhaps Key’s just scared of missing out on those cosy chats on the sofa, and Henry’s cheerleading in the run-up to the next election. Sorry Mr Key but I suspect from Ellis’s comments in this mornings Herald you are going to have to find yourself a new playmate.

      Henry must go.

  2. Laraine Barker 2

    I’ve never seen Paul Henry before but from what they showed on the News he appears to be a pretty bad comedian and certainly lacks taste. However, being in public life (especially political) automatically makes you a target for comedians, not to mention verbal “rotten eggs and tomatoes” from the people. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! The mildest thing we ever called a politician was probably “Piggy Muldoon”, which was actually a gross insult (the grossest one could ever make) to a noble animal. These days I would call him the contents of the a***hole of the Devil. We called Jim Bolger Blodger (once again too mild for him) and Jenny Shipley was Shitley, while Ruth Richardson was Ruthless Bitchardson. We considered these two women a disgrace to their gender.

    [sprout: I’m pretty sure that ‘we’ didn’t include one of our highest paid figures on our state broadcaster, and I’m pretty sure those insults directed at our political elites (note that doesn’t include the disabled or dying third world infants) didn’t cause our international reputation, economy and race relations the same sort of damage that Paul Henry’s bigotry is doing]

    • Ari 2.1

      Being a public figure is no excuse for people making bigoted or immature jokes. None of the nicknames you’ve mentioned are exactly tasteful, and frankly, if you’re going to give a politician a nickname, it might as well be directly related to your problems with them, and Richardson’s problem, for instance, was far bigger than whether or not she was a ‘bitch’, which by the by? Can totally be about trying to shame women for having careers.

      If Paul Henry wants to engage in that kind of stupidity, he’s welcome to do it off the airwaves. But we have broadcasting standards, that specifically mention decency for a reason.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I should clarify: the state owns TVNZ, but TVNZ has to generate the revenue itself from which to pay Paul Henry; in theory Henry does not get paid by the tax payer, but the state broadcaster is the one who decides to keep him on.

  4. Lazy Susan 4

    The scaryiest part is Key’s behaviour.

    He excuses his lack of response at the time by saying he was taken by surprise. This clearly demonstrated his inabilility to think on his feet.

    Now nearly a week later he’s still to a large extent fence sitting. Where’s the leadership? Like it or not Mr Key you are the PM of a multicultural society – there is no place for racism here and certainly not on state television.

    Perhaps Key’s just scared of missing out on those cosy chats on the sofa, and Henry’s cheerleading in the run-up to the next election. Sorry Mr Key but I suspect from Ellis’s comments in this mornings Herald you are going to have to find yourself a new playmate.

    Henry must go.

    • Tigger 4.1

      Key is being careful to keep the focus on Henry and TVNZ and not himself. But make no mistake, his actions actually made this entire thing worse. If he had nailed Henry at the time, like any half-decent leader would have, we wouldn’t be here.

      • the sprout 4.1.1

        Key hasn’t even started to pay for this yet.
        Henry on the other hand is about to have his long-overdue account settled.

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        It needs to be made very clear that for some time this Monday morning ‘joke along session’ with Henry has been our Prime Minister’s prime media interview of the week.

        Key has deliberately been turning down regular and serious interviews with almost everyone else… except for ex-National Party candidate Paul Henry who has been the annointed ‘channel to market’. Key and his handlers have handed serial bigot Henry a strong and tacit endorsement and for this choice they have total responsibility.

        This is a noose Key has willfully stuck his neck into.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    Just watching some clips of JFK on telly reminded me of a speech I gave in my intermediate’s annual competition. Ironically, I came second to a kid who gave a ‘greed is good’ talk and I’ve been trying overturn that decision ever since.

    My effort was heavily based on this recording made by an American radio DJ, Tom Clay, in the early seventies. It’s an interesting artifact just for its early combination of music and speech, but the effect it had on me then still resonates to this day. Even now, it still brings tears to my eyes.

    My question to Paul Henry supporters is this: if a little kid can understand what prejudice is, why can’t Paul Henry?

  6. ianmac 6

    Campbell Live ran a poll last night. Sack Henry? 59% No. 41% yes. A bit strange?

    • gobsmacked 6.1

      Ignore TV text polls. They are moron-magnets.

      Every four years they have one, asking “Will the All Blacks win the World Cup?”. 93% say Yes.

      It doesn’t seem to help.

    • jbanks 6.2

      Most people realise that the dikshit comments are being blown out of proportion by the media.

      • The Voice of Reason 6.2.1

        That’s Dikshit, jb. And Henry is part of the media, for the time being at least, and it was he who blew the comments out of all proportion by giggling like a helium huffer while repeating them over and over and over.

        • jbanks

          You still don’t get the real reason why this has become a big deal in India. Idiots like you are making such a big deal of jumping up and down, seeking a response out of all proportion to the offending, that the media has seized on this overblown reaction and it keeps the story in the headlines for longer than it is worth being there. Do you understand this? The bleaters are fueling the media fire. Instead of letting the disciplinary action run it’s course, the bleaters are keeping it in the headlines. The strategy of the idiots has been to keep bleating about it until something happens. Well, something has happened alright – the whole bloody thing has gotten out of control and it’s caught the eye of India and now they’re fucked off.

          • The Voice of Reason

            Dude, I am not seeking a response out of all proportion to the offending. If TVNZ had responded appropriately by sacking him, this would all be over by now (and TV3 might be reviving Sunrise with a new presenter!). But they didn’t and hence, worldwide outrage. Not my fault, not yours, but TVNZ and Henrys’.

            Anyway, nice to see you’ve got my point that the disciplinary process has not ended. Was it my well reasoned argument or just the coffee?

            • clandestino

              “Hamblin, Newdick win silvers.” – Could this headline be any more perfect right now, and it’s the Comm games!

              I feel sorry for all those whose political sensitivities have caused them to forget how to laugh.

              • RedLogix

                Nah…you’re supposed to grow out of sniggering at jokes about people’s names in primary school. Sooner preferably.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Classic jb.

            This is nothing coz I sez so and I’m not pissed off about it so no one else has a right to be and people are only pissed off about it because of the damn media writing stories about all the people who are pissed off about it and they shouldn’t be coz I sez so and now the bloody Indians know about it they’re pissed off about it but they might have a right to be pissed off about it but it’s so unfair and we would’ve got away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids. waaaagh waagh. sniff.

          • Draco T Bastard

            What you describe is what NACT, with the MSMs help, did with Winston Peters and what should have happened with the Gerry Brownlee Enabling Act. It is, interestingly enough, not what happened here. What we have so far is a reasonable response and the media are doing their job. A large number of people have been hurt by the bigots words.

    • Lazy Susan 6.3

      Agreed Gobsmacked. These polls are meaningless. Close Up ran a similar poll and it came out 80% in favour of keeping Henry.

      Now if you think TVNZ are a bunch of incompetent morons who are completely out of touch are you likely to want to respond to a meaningless poll and donate them 50c/text. Probably not. Better to do the harder but more effective thing and write to BSA, TVNZ, advertsisers etc. and complain.

      On the other hand if you support Henry’s schoolboy antics…send..send..send..send..send..send…send…send. See that was easy!

    • bbfloyd 6.4

      considering the majority of people who can still bother to watch campbell, it would be surprising if the poll came out differently.. i’m surprised you bothered to even comment on it.

  7. Julie 7

    Thanks for the mash up, we do indeed have a weiner. I hope someone updates it for the last year or so of hideousness. It’s also worth considering that Paul Henry’s unaccepable behaviour is also brought to us by Breakfast’s advertisers. Hopefully the work this blog and others have been doing recently, along with past efforts to encourage complaints and lobbyingadvertisers to rethink their spend, will have the desired effect.

    • planning on launching the boycott campaign the day Henry goes back to TVNZ.
      if he doesn’t, no campaign.

    • lprent 7.2

      I’m pissed off with Henry, TVNZ, and the advertisers. I’m not intending to stop until the breakfast bigot is gone, along with the culture inside TVNZ that allowed him to flourish. The advertisers are the place to target. We’d want advertisers to actively specify that they don’t want their ads in that slot. A series of quite unreasonable opinions associating advertising with supporting Paul Henrys bigotry with a lot of cross linking is the best technique. Companies get quite sensitive about what comes up in google pages

  8. tea 8

    Ali Akram > Asif Madvi!

    We want satire! we wante satire! we want satire!

  9. Has anyone here protested Willie Jackson’s racist comments on his show?

    sprout: keep to the topic or join the spam queue

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    Yes. And if you want to write a post about it, there’s a ‘contribute post’ button near the ‘search’ button. The latter is useful for finding out the answer to questions such as yours, BTW.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    John Key is in the poo on this.

    If Henry returns as scheduled next Monday (my guess is he won’t, but let’s see) then Key has to make a decision. Oo er, a decision!

    The obvious decision is not to appear on TV with Henry. (If the Henry Fan Club can’t understand why, they must have carefully avoided all global media all week, and I can’t be arsed explaining to idiots).

    But then Key would be slagged off by his base, called spineless, PC, wimp, blah blah. And he needs to keep nodding and winking to them.

    So really, Key needs Henry to fall on his sword, or TVNZ to dump him. But then the questions and the OIA requests will come flooding in – who told who? check for fingerprints, Coleman, McCully, etc.

    And then there’s 100,000 pissed off Indian Kiwis, in marginal seats, and … so it goes on.

    Sooner or later, Key’s approach of pandering to everyone and dodging and shrugging was going to get him in trouble. It’s here.

  12. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    The excuse that Henry is ‘half gippo’ seems to be an attempt to make himself a victim too.

    Funny thing though, the Roma are thought to have originated in India.

    A bit like his excuse that he an ardent royalist but takes pleasure in kicking the GG.

    Could another earthquake occur and Henry disappear into a hole in the ground.

  13. mcflock 13

    my guess is that one or the other of PH/PM won’t be there on the Monday Henry is due back, so Key has 4 days to watch the reaction.

    Actually, Key might claim “official business” and be elsewhere, sending some other tosser a minister in his stead to better gauge the reaction.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    It’s looking more and more likely that he won’t be back

    TVNZ’s chief executive will consider Paul Henry’s future over the weekend as pressure mounts for the presenter to be axed.

    The state broadcaster’s head, Rick Ellis, last night suggested Henry’s future was far from certain, despite his earlier stand that Henry’s job was not on the line.

    Go down a bit firther and you can find the arse covering though

    Asked if he thought Henry was racist, Mr Ellis said: “I’m not sure I’m going to answer that question because I don’t want to be drawn into this whole debate about whether Paul Henry is racist or not.

    “Certainly the comments that he’s made have clearly been of a racist nature and they could only be interpreted that way … as a person deep down I think he’s a very decent human being.”

    Mr Ellis said he had taken steps to tighten editorial guidelines.

    “From time to time you do need to revisit the discipline around the implementation of editorial policies and that’s what we’re going to do.”

    And then there’s the normal it was a joke line from the PM

    Prime Minister John Key yesterday continued to dismiss Henry’s mockery of an Indian minister’s name as a joke which got out of hand.

    No, it wasn’t a joke – it was outright mockery.

  15. Treetop 15

    Should name a breakfast cereal after Paul Henry: “Bigots breakfast” supplier TVNZ.

  16. freedom 16

    “Key has deliberately been turning down regular and serious interviews with almost everyone else ”

    the quote above, from RedLogix, is as we all know quite accurate, unless you are John Key giving a post cabinet press conference on Monday last.

    He had the gall to stand there and say he accepts almost all interviews and events he is invited to.
    What is worse is not one member of the media has confronted him on this lie. If people are not made to commit to what comes out of their mouths, why should anyone bother telling the truth in the first place. It is no wonder the festering scabs of NZ’s social distress never heal.

    • felix 16.1

      Yep. Every journo in that room knows first or second hand that Key is telling the complete opposite of the truth re accepting interviews.

      Why do you think they keep quiet about it? Are they scared he’ll cancel the post-cabinet press conferences too?

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      Way too many mice have press badges.

  17. Ian 17

    Ali Ikram? I’d feel a sight happier if someone with a name like John Smith was taking the piss out of our lovable little gypo.

  18. Sprout:

    Just asking, how can Henry is the only Journo people want fired, despite others making racist, immature bigoted comments. It cant be one rule for one and one for the other.

    • felix 18.1

      Who are you thinking of in particular?

    • the sprout 18.2

      Harawira is elected to office. You can’t fire MPs except by election, you certainly can’t fire them for saying things you don’t like. The unfirability of MPs is one of the reasons Bill English didn’t lose his job for defrauding tens of thousands of dollars with false domicile declarations, which is actually a lot more illegal than what Harawira says.

      Paul Henry is employed, not elected. He can be fired and in his contract will be a clause that he can be fired for gross misconduct, especially where it persists and worsens over time, despite repeated formal censure.

      This is not one rule for one and one rule for another. It’s one rule for one set of circumstances and a different rule for a different set of circumstances. Now I appreciate you may find that difficult to understand, but give it a try.

    • lprent 18.3

      We work on them one at a time

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    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago