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Toxic commentators 2

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, May 20th, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: accountability, Media - Tags: ,

Well that didn’t take long. Paul Henry, chucked off the telly here in NZ, left for a new TV presenting role in Australia in March. Predictably:

Paul Henry slammed for asylum seeker comments

Australian TV viewers and media critics have slammed Paul Henry for “sick” remarks about asylum seekers including a suggestion they could live in linen cupboards.

The former TVNZ Breakfast show host, now a host on Channel Ten’s Breakfast programme, was commenting on a Daily Telegraph story that Australia’s federal government will pay families to temporarily house asylum seekers in their homes to help deal with increasing arrivals.

Henry said the idea could be broadened out. “I mean if this is all about saving money you could broaden it out. Why not criminals? Not murderers, but low level criminals. You could – the jails could be smaller and you could put them in homestay situations. The mentally ill. The mentally ill could go into homes.” Co-host Andrew Rochford interrupted, describing the comments as “a classic demonisation of asylum seekers”.

When Rochford said people who don’t have the room would not invite a refugee to come and live in the linen cupboard, Henry said: “That’s a good idea, 300 bucks a week for the linen cupboard. You could put – you’d want to get the linen out, wouldn’t you? Otherwise (inaudible) ‘oh, these sheets are dirty. Ergh’. “Don’t ask. These towels… (sniffs) oh no, don’t ask. We’ve got someone living in the linen cupboard kids, just don’t go in there.”

ABC TV’s Media Watch show described Henry’s comments as “sick”. “What’s sicker still is that Henry’s bosses at Ten will be delighted that their struggling little breakfast show has featured on Media Watch. If they’d had any shame, they wouldn’t have hired him in the first place,” host Jonathan Holmes said in this week’s episode.

That last paragraph contains the essence of it. Controversy makes money (just like “sex sells” and so on). Trouble is that it does so only for some (the media organisation), and it does so at a cost to society (the cost of beating up hatreds and tensions). Like a polluter making money while passing on the costs of pollution to the rest of us, a media organisation can make money while passing on the costs of hatred in the same way. It’s a tricky balance with free speech and all, but why do we put up with toxic commentators? Why don’t we demand better?

26 comments on “Toxic commentators 2 ”

  1. McFlock 1

    Although it would appear that his cohost at least criticised his initial statement, rather than grinning uncomfortably alongside. Australian light entertainment hosts have more guts than our PM.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1

      “Australian light entertainment hosts have more guts than our PM.”

      LOL +100

      • bbfloyd 1.1.1

        which isn’t saying much…… johnny sparkles would be the softest cock ever to have a prime ministership handed to him on a plate ever….

  2. Jackal 2

    I recall some predicting it would only be a matter of time before the Aussies said; “don’t come the raw prawn with me mate” and kicked Henry out. Where oh where will the poor media celebrity refugee go then… Siberia?

  3. Jimmie 3

    I actually don’t read it as Henry mocking boat people. He was mocking the Aussie’s government’s plan of housing boat people in peoples homes.

    He mocked it by the use of hyperbole by extending the example to say why not include crims and mentally ill people as well? (By mentally ill I take it to mean those who are currently in secure care)

    To be honest its not really a big deal – what he said in NZ was a lot worse.

    A lot of satire posts on here aimed at John Key contain a lot more extreme language/examples than what Henry said.

    Hardly worth taking the time out to post on I would have thought

    • “Hardly worth taking the time out to post on I would have thought”

      Quite right. Don’t you fucks have anything else to complain about?

      I, for one, think Paul Henry is damned funny. Troll away.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        Henry’s divisive comments made the news here and in Aussie… but I guess a post about how many sunglasses somebody stole is far more worthy of your “qualifications”… Paul the pillock Henry has the intellect of a five year old, perhaps why you find him funny The Contrarian.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        I, for one, think Paul Henry is damned funny. Troll away.

        Mate, you’re so predictable.

        • TheContrarian

          “Mate, you’re so predictable.”

          Oh really..Lets see…

          I am thinking of a number between 1 and 10. What is it?

          Its not 7

          • McFlock

            “so predictable”, not “perfectly predictable”.
            As in whenever someone calls you on being an unoriginal predictable troll, you slightly misinterpret their comment (as above) in order to be able to make a trite, smug and irrelevant response.

            Keep up with the caricature.

    • prism 3.2

      Jimmie – Henry doesn’t know how to be satirical and takes the piss out of anybody vaguely vulnerable. And grading and comparing unpleasant denigrating remarks isn’t on. You are showing classic case of brutalisation of the mind when it comes to standards. Henry is completely there, please don’t try to excuse him.

  4. captain hook 4

    here is a select audience and its politics.
    thats different to airing prejudice and bigotry on the mass media.

  5. Wairua 5

    I get the impression he has been hired by Lachie to stir up the ratings. There is quite a long tradition of that. Nevertheless, he will have to watch his back if he walks down a dark alley after a few drinks.

    There is a name for people like him over there – ‘a comet’ .. shines brightly for a while then disappears.

  6. North 6

    Paul Henry………the closest thing to Glen Beck this side of the USA.

    Unashamedly vicious and possessed by an extraordinary narcissism.

    The wicked thing is that were he to read this likely he would clap his fine wee hands together in a breathless, exhilarated way and effeminately screech/giggle like a schoolgirl bully, pleased as punch at the hurt she’s caused.

    Giggle on Pauline.

  7. Murray Olsen 7

    I think Paul Henry will ultimately fail in Australia because they have their own brand of brain dead racism and bigotry which they prefer to his schoolgirl bullying type.

  8. Raa 8

    With friends like these, who needs enemies ?

    Act backer Crimp: ‘I’ll get a gun’


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