Brian Edwards Media

Time for Paul Henry to Go

TVNZ

TVNZ

Someone recently accused me of being judgmental and cruel in comments I had made about some of the leading lights in the recent ‘march for democracy’. I took the criticism  to heart. I abhor cruelty to anyone or anything. If I make an exception it is to be strident in my criticism of those whom I see as advocating or practising cruelty themselves. I can appreciate that there’s a contradiction in that, but I’ve not yet reached that Christian or Buddhist state of consciousness where I can readily  extend compassion to those lacking in compassion.

I’m about to criticise Paul Henry whom I defended in the very first blog which I published on this site. My thesis was that, despite his occasional gratuitous, offensive and personally hurtful comments about other people, his exceptional talents as a broadcaster justified his continued employment by Television New Zealand. That is no longer my view. Henry is a bully who is abusing his position as a public broadcaster. He should be sacked.

Reading the report in today’s Sunday Star Times of Henry’s most recent remarks about Susan Boyle, it occurred to me first that the three examples of his obnoxious on air comments, cited in the paper,  all involved abuse of women – Stephanie Mills for her ‘moustache’, a teenage mother for being ‘a slapper’ and Susan Boyle for being ‘retarded’.

One is tempted to conclude that misogyny lies at the core of Mr Henry’s personality. Like most misogynists he appears to like pretty women, but has no time for those who do not conform to his superficial ideals  of beauty and femininity. Ugliness seems  anathema to him. Even the supposed ugliness of obese children who should ‘be taken away from their parents and put in a car compactor’.  The Nazis would have been comfortable with that one. They had their ideals of beauty too.

They would have  been comfortable with his comments about Susan Boyle as well. The singer, he told viewers, was ‘starved of oxygen at birth… If you look at her carefully, you can make it out. Here’s the interesting revelation: she is in fact retarded. And if you look at it carefully, you can make it out, can’t you?’

You might have to wonder at the intellectual or emotional maturity of someone who looks at people ‘carefully’ to determine whether they are retarded. Henry says his remarks about Boyle were ‘light hearted’, which may explain why he laughed when he said she had been ‘starved of oxygen at birth’. But there is absolutely nothing ‘light-hearted’ or funny about a child being ‘starved of oxygen at birth’ or about intellectual disability of any sort. That sort of prejudice has no place in a civilised society.

Hosting a television programme endows the presenter with considerable power. And with that power goes the responsibility not to abuse your position by disparaging those with less power and less opportunity to respond.

 Henry seems unaware of that responsibility. He responds to criticism with the crass bluster, so typical of the bully:

‘To be honest, this is water off a duck’s back to me… There’s a question of free speech here… I’m just saying what’s on my mind, what I think, I’m trying to be entertaining.’

And there you have the real issue: not freedom of speech which can never be unlimited in a civilised society, but the freedom to increase your ratings and advance your career by tapping into the deep-seated prejudices of your audience.  

There’s an element of cowardice here too. I doubt that Henry would have described anyone in New Zealand, anyone he thought  likely to see  his programme,  in the terms in which he described Susan Boyle. What he said was massively defamatory and would almost certainly have attracted a writ and a claim for substantial damages, naming him and Television New Zealand. But Henry doesn’t expect Susan Boyle or her producer, the enormously powerful Simon Cowell, to have heard of some jumped-up breakfast host with a tiny audience in New Zealand.

I think I’ll remedy that. I think I’ll contact Simon Cowell and draw his attention to Henry’s remarks. I’d find the outcome of that very entertaining.

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66 Comments:

  1. I’m not sure whether you had Simon Dallow’s name in your head or you wanted to make a comment about the British pop music industry, but her producer’s name is Simon Cowell, not Callow.

  2. Thank you for saying this Brian. He is a disgusting bully.

    It is symptomatic of gross failings at TVNZ that he is allowed to continue on in this manner with nothing more than a slap with a wet bus ticket for his repeated actions of this type.

    One minor correction – it is Simon Cowell that you meant to refer to.

    • One minor correction – it is Simon Cowell that you meant to refer to.

      Thank you George – an elderly moment. Error now corrected.

  3. Very well said.

  4. I am embarrassed to be called a fellow NZer with Paul Henry. He has crossed the line with his comments about Susan Boyle and deserves to be fired from his job. H emay see this as light hearted entertainment, but it is best to keep these thoughts inside his own head so as not to insult others. To get your kicks from hurting others is the ultimate form of bullying. In this case it is ‘media bullying’.

  5. I’m torn between wondering if Paul Henry’s periodic “outrageous” comments are quite deliberate, as a means of staying in the headlines, or if they’re puerile Tourette’s-like outbursts.

    Either way, I’d beware of making nasty comments about Susan Boyle in the national media. Look at what recently happened to Sharon Osborne when she did just that: the public was furious with her and she had to back down VERY quickly!

  6. Brian, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Paul Henry is a charmless, cowardly misogynist.I don’t find him at all entertaining, let alone smart, because a smart person would know that being obnoxious about harmless women in no position to respond to his taunts is ultimately self-defeating. I don’t belong to any anti-PH group (he claims there are groups ‘out to get him’)but I’m fast reaching the stage of wanting to join one to get rid of him.

  7. A ‘Beauty and the Beast’ pic.

    There’s something quite conked about him. It’s one thing, to poke borax because of a perceived character flaw; but, quite another, because of a real disability. Paul Henry, just gets the perverse gigglies over it. He seems to revel in his own bile, not knowing that it’s hateful and hurtful to the unfortunate targets.

    After his last remark re the mo’, you’re left thinking if he really does have a malignant strain running through his DNA, and is manifest by way of his repugnant behaviour, especially noticeable with that satanic grin of his. He just can’t see it, proving, that not only is he really nasty, but he’s a congenital idiot, to boot.

    His lovely co-presenter should be wary of not becoming tainted by her association, with him. (I bet: she feels like taking a shower, once ‘Breakfast’ finishes.

  8. What he said was massively defamatory

    Calling someone “intellectually disabled” is defamatory? I wouldn’t have thought so … do you (or anyone you know – save perhaps Mr Henry) think less of the intellectually disabled?

    • Calling someone “intellectually disabled” is defamatory? I wouldn’t have thought so … do you (or anyone you know – save perhaps Mr Henry) think less of the intellectually disabled?

      The core issue in defamation is whether the comments made would lower the individual referred to “in the eyes of right thinking people”. If that is established, then the next question is whether the comments were true? If they were, then the action for defamation fails. Truth is an absolute defence in defamation actions. To call someone “retarded” is certainly defamatory and could only be defended if it could be proved to be true. Even then, there might be an issue of malice.

  9. I coudn’t agree more.When he made the comments about Ms Mills I was so disgusted by his behaviour and treatment of an invited guest that I stopped watching his show and sent an email of complaint to his producer. I was further dismayed at the time to find that many of my colleagues did not share my opinion and in fact thought he was funny and liked his style. I am not sure what it will take for more NZrs to agree with your/our opinion of his character but in a country with a major problem with bullying I hope this is the turning point.

  10. The core issue in defamation is whether the comments made would lower the individual referred to “in the eyes of right thinking people”.

    Agreed. This is what I was getting at. I think I consider you a right-thinking member of society … do you think less of the intellectually disabled?

    “Retarded” is certainly now considered a rude way of describing the intellectually disabled, but (for example) I think if I found out you had an intellectual disability that you’d go up in my estimations, not down. Sort of “wow – even with an intellectual disability, BE has lead an incredible life with a successful business and career in journalism”, etc.

    To call someone “retarded” is certainly defamatory and could only be defended if it could be proved to be true. Even then, there might be an issue of malice.

    I just don’t see how being called retarded/intellectually disable is defamatory, but I’d note that truth is an absolute defence to defamation in New Zealand, and malice doesn’t come into it. I understand that until recently, this wasn’t the case in some parts of Australia (and doubtless in other places in the world), but it certainly is here.

    • Agreed. This is what I was getting at. I think I consider you a right-thinking member of society … do you think less of the intellectually disabled?

      I’ll bow to your expertise on the ‘malice’ issue. But your second paragraph really misses the point. If I did suffer from an intellectual disability my achievements might well be all the more significant. But to describe someone who does not suffer from such a disability as “retarded”, a term which, in its popular use, has thoroughly offensive and derogatory connotations, would in my view certainly qualify as defamation. My impression to date is that ‘right thinking people’ tend to share my view. But one thing is certain: Mr Henry did not intend through his various remarks to make any of those three women go up in people’s estimations. He set out to disparage them.

  11. Henry is an ignorant, egotistical, petrol-headed buffoon Whenever he makes another of his asinine comments he giggles like a naughty child. Because of his unfortunate molar configuration he reminds one of the Disney character Goofy. (Note the style Henry!!)

    • Because of his unfortunate molar configuration he reminds one of the Disney character Goofy.

      Now, now Baz, if we start making unflattering comments about Mr Henry’s appearance, we will simply end up as the pot calling the kettle black.

  12. I think the problem lies in the programme itself.

    I seldom watch television in the morning, I have a job to get to, what has overwhelmed me about ‘Breakfast’ when I have seen it is how little they have to screen. There seems to be a high proportion of fluff to news, and then it merges into product advertising.

    The producers need a commentator to do what Henry does, otherwise nothing much would happen on Breakfast for months on end.

    Obviously that isn’t a reason to watch the programme, it is a good reason to listen to Morning Report.

  13. As the parent of a child who is both physically and intellectually disabled, I find the attitude Henry displayed disappointing.
    I try very hard to make my sons way through life as pleasant as possible. Being disabled is not an advantage in life or any society.It has taken a huge shift in attitudes to just have disabled children in mainstream schools rather than shut away in an institution…let alone assume their place in the more general society.To have a broadcaster such as Henry invite folk to stare at the disabled, point and giggle at them puts all this hard work back years and years.
    I suppose some folk found his wee insight into his soul humorous. Were Henry to stare and point and giggle at my son on stage, live in the studio one day…I wonder if they still would,for this is his bequest to my son as every day he negotiates his way through life.

  14. Well said, Brian. I could not have expressed it better.

    Regardless of the reasons for his outbursts, which are known only to Henry, the effects of them are to spread hurt.

    We have enough unchecked bullying in this country as it is without putting official bullies on the state payroll. It’s time he was pushed because he sure ain’t going to go voluntarily. And no, I don’t watch him and I won’t.

    Why can’t we have role models of civilised behaviour and kindness on our media? Those I WOULD watch.

  15. As the person who accused you of being cruel and judgemental, I’d just like you to know that I’ve regretted my post ever since making it, and I am even more regretful now. At the time I perceived you to be expressing contempt for a person simply because he was a political opponent. In hindsight I realise there might well have been more to it.

    My own view is that contempt should be reserved for the truly contemptible, not for hardworking opponents with respectable positions in the marketplace of ideas. Those people deserve respect. In the great majority of cases anyway.

    When it comes to Paul Henry, I am not quite sure where I stand. Although his comment that he has never regretted anything he says is perhaps pushing me toward your camp.

  16. “Now, now Baz, if we start making unflattering comments about Mr Henry’s appearance, we will simply end up as the pot calling the kettle black.”
    Silly me. I thought that irony was alive and well in NZ!

    • Silly me. I thought that irony was alive and well in NZ!

      Silly you indeed, Baz. The one thing to avoid in New Zealand is irony. Kiwis just don’t recognise it. Write an ironic letter to the papers saying life imprisonment is too good for violent offenders, it’s time we brought back hanging, drawing and quartering, and you’ll get 20 letters expressing outrage and 200 saying ‘good on you’. Maybe I’ ve turned into a real Kiwi.

      Though I’m not entirely convinced that your comment was ironic. An amusing comparison perhaps, but not ironic.

  17. While I do occassionally find Henry entertaining, I have to agree with most of the above.
    And it’s just a little bit rich that someone who’s a dead-ringer for Austin Powers (albeit with a number one haircut) has the bare-faced temerity to take-the-piss out of other people’s looks. (Yep, BE, I realise I’m in very great danger here of “calling the kettle black”, but let’s also remember your axiom: “If I make an exception (to making cruel/judgemental comments) it is to be strident in my criticism of those….practising cruelty).

    (WRODYL EGGYOKE) “….you’re left thinking if he really does have a malignant strain running through his DNA”.
    Well he did once stand for the National Party so I would have thought so :-)

    (SEAN) “There seems to be (on ‘Breakfast’) a high proportion of fluff to news”.
    Sounds like TVNZ/TV3 “news” and “current affairs” in general – pure infotainment. Like you, I prefer Morning Report.

  18. I have always felt confused by your previous stance on Paul Henry, and perhaps in the light of his most recent verbal ‘foot in mouth’ antics you would perhaps find televised replays of his past indiscretions less tolerable …
    … he has always displayed elements of an anti-social personality disorder, but at a cynical sarcastic pseudo-wit level that (superficially) many blokes (and blokettes) might find ‘hilariously irreverant’. His lack of empathy and remorse point to the same, and he has exhibited these traits from the very beginning of his career. Misogyny? You’ve spotted that one well, and it extends to all women including the attractive ones who co-host morning TV – if his eye rolling and squirming body language are anything to go by.
    As bullies go, he is a ‘natural’. Surely he should have been raddled and culled years ago?

  19. Hello again Brian.
    The Compact Oxford Dictionary defines irony thus…
    ” • noun (pl. ironies) 1 the expression of meaning through the use of language which normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous effect. 2 a state of affairs that appears perversely contrary to what one expects.”
    Perhaps, next time i have a rant I should include an Irony Alert! Or maybe an Amusing Comparison alert.

    • Perhaps, next time i have a rant I should include an Irony Alert! Or maybe an Amusing Comparison alert.

      OK Baz – wanna fight? Well, as we say in Belfast, ‘Put up yer dukes!’

      You took me gently to task for not recognising the ‘irony’ in your comment that Because of his unfortunate molar configuration he reminds one of the Disney character Goofy. Following the Compact Oxford definitions which you quote and which precisely reflect my understanding of irony, you really meant the opposite, that is to say, Because of his unfortunate molar configuration he does not remind one of the Disney character Goofy.

      And I thought that what you were saying was that someone who looks like Goofy shouldn’t really be commenting on other people’s appearance. Silly me. (Irony! I don’t think I’m silly at all.)

      Anyway, I think the ‘irony alert is a great idea. After all, it was good enough for Nigel Latta, who, as you know, I greatly admire.

  20. Brian I think it is too simplistic to call the ego that is Paul Henry mysogynistic. I stopped watching Breakfast after realising just how often, for a cheap laugh, he belittles and humiliates news’ presenter Peter Williams. Am assuming other male presenters who share Henry’s on air time suffer a similar fate.

    • Brian I think it is too simplistic to call the ego that is Paul Henry mysogynistic. I stopped watching Breakfast after realising just how often, for a cheap laugh, he belittles and humiliates news’ presenter Peter Williams.

      Haven’t noticed that but you may be right. Perhaps just a general contempt for lesser beings.

  21. OK Brian
    I will bring the gloves, heavily padded!

  22. Well, at least Mark Sainsbury has a more fitful night’s sleep, now.

  23. Well, whaddya know: you’re right. Up until now, I always thought “fitful sleep” to mean ‘sound and uninterrupted sleep’. But it’s the opposite. The good doctor done corrected me.

    • Well, whaddya know: you’re right. Up until now, I always thought “fitful sleep” to mean ’sound and uninterrupted sleep’. But it’s the opposite. The good doctor done corrected me.

      Welcome. The pleasure is entirely mine.

  24. I couldn’t agree more, Dr E. What upsets me is that he doesn’t say these things directly to his victims: Susan Boyle is in Britain, Stephanie Mills had long since left the studio. So, not only is he some kind of eugenics bully, weeding out the people (women mostly) he sees as imperfect, he’s a coward too. Can you imagine if he’d had Susan Boyle in the studio? Would he have dared to call her a “retard” to her face, or would it have been the kind of grinning pr fluff he seems to reserve for the “celebrities” he “interviews” in person?

  25. Meanwhile, anyone got any idea what the ratings for Breakfast are like when Henry’s attention-whoring idiocy isn’t being confused with news?

    Serious question, because it seems to me that he is a schoolyard bully — and like most small children who act out, it’s really important not to send a message that their negative and destructive behaviour will get them what they want. In Henry’s case that’s obviously attention and an ego-stroke that feeds his self-image of being the brave speaker of truth to the politically correct panty-waists.

    I don’t think sacking Henry will do a damn thing; but if there’s anyone out there who will admit to watching Breakfast, and tell me who its advertisers and sponsors are, I’d be quite happy to boycott them — and explain why to both the companies concerned and TVNZ.

    And here’s a parting thought: If Susan Boyle’s such a retard, why does she have the #1 record on both sides of the Atlantic this week, and Paul Henry is filling otherwise dead air until the next weather report on a widely ignored breakfast television show at the bum-end of the Earth?

    • And here’s a parting thought: If Susan Boyle’s such a retard, why does she have the #1 record on both sides of the Atlantic this week, and Paul Henry is filling otherwise dead air until the next weather report on a widely ignored breakfast television show at the bum-end of the Earth?

      Excellent point. Another option might be for the “retard” Susan Boyle to buy Television New Zealand with the small change she’ll have over from her record royalties. A slight exaggeration I admit, but a delicious thought nonetheless. She could certainly buy and sell Mr Henry.

  26. “If Susan Boyle’s such a retard, why does she have the #1 record on both sides of the Atlantic this week”

    Ohg Craig, you don’t really think that intellectual capacity has anything to do with having a hit record do you? Really?

    • Ohg Craig, you don’t really think that intellectual capacity has anything to do with having a hit record do you? Really?

      There are of course many different types of intelligence. We’re well past the idea that Intelligence is all about book learning. Talent and skill are also expressions of intelligence. In the musical sphere, Susan Boyle clearly has both.

  27. This critter should have been left behind years ago. That he is not TV road kill is probably the result of ratings-starved management allowing him to continue to fester.

  28. There’s also a rich irony here: Susan Boyle’s personal stocks are soaring to stratospheric levels; while Paul Henry’s fortunes are plummeting into a waste pond.

    Both have a high value human-interest quotient, though. The former, and her “rags to riches” journey from obscurity to international fame and acclaim. Dowdiness to Darling. The latter, a once-promising irreverent TV personality, and his burning quest to head down a path of wanton self-destruction. Jocular to Joke.

  29. Ohg Craig, you don’t really think that intellectual capacity has anything to do with having a hit record do you? Really?

    Based on a rather delightful half hour I spent chatting to a gentleman by the name of Dave Dobbyn about everything but music, yes I do. It certainly requires a damn sight more intelligence — and discipline — than being a half-wit shock jock.

    I’d also suggest that, contrary to popular opinion, a certain Madonna Louise Ciccone hasn’t sustained a stunningly successful career for almost thirty years just by rubbing her crotch and having a great stylist. You don’t have to like her music to acknowledge the intelligence and ferocious self-discipline of the woman.

  30. I’ve long since detuned that bozo. Sneering and snivelling is not permitted at my breakfast table, however remotely. Nevertheless, sufficiently intrigued, I went to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pmpThn0su4 and now can’t believe he’s held on to his job. Utterly without merit, utterly irredeemable.
    Disgraceful.

  31. Hi Brian
    Exactly my thoughts regarding Mr Henry being a misogynist. I’ve always figured him for ignorant – after all Ms Mills has been in and out of the media for years and anyone who has watched the news in the last 20 years or so would be surprised had she not had a mo’.

    Additionally when bully’s like him disguise their rantings under the term “free speech” or his opponents as being “P.C. and out to get him” it really only solidifies he should be shunted off to talkback radio 1am to 4am slot

  32. @ Craig and Brian: I’m not saying you have to be thick to be a successful “recording artist”. I ma merely pointing out that intelligence (and talent and ability) and chart success are utterly unrelated. It doesn’t take talent to cobble together something that appeals to the lowest common denominator and makes a shedload of money. Mr Blobby anyone? Crazy Frog? Fat Les’s Vindaloo?

  33. But to describe someone who does not suffer from such a disability as “retarded”, a term which, in its popular use, has thoroughly offensive and derogatory connotations, would in my view certainly qualify as defamation. My impression to date is that ‘right thinking people’ tend to share my view.

    I think I can see where you’re coming from, but still not sure I agree. If he’d called a liar, thief, philanderer or hypocrite, I can see how she’d go down in my estimations (and those of right-thinking people).

    But after this, I don’t think any less of her, and have assumed other people would be the same.

    Offensive and derogatory – yes. Defamatory – no. As far as I’m concerned, the only person whose reputation has suffered in the eyes of right-thinking members of society is Paul Henry.

    • Offensive and derogatory – yes. Defamatory – no.

      Well, I think there might be a bit of Jesuitical nipicking going on here now. The Shorter Oxford – so called for its enormous length – offers this definition of derogatory: Lowering in honour or estimation; unsuited to one’s dignity or position;depricatory, disrespectful, disparaging. I would have thought that ‘lowering in honour or estimation’ might come pretty close to ‘lowering in the eyes of right-thinking people’.

      Having been involved as plaintiff, defendant or witness in a dozen defamation trials, I’ve enjoyed this debate. But I’d now like to suggest that we agree to differ. It isn’t really the main point, on which we do agree, that Henry’s remarks were offensive and derogatory.

  34. He can be funny though.
    He’s English isn’t he? They’re always being insulting to anyone and everyone, aren’t they?
    I would agree he’s misogynistic – if only he had a woman next to him who gave him as good as he dishes out.
    Surely an entertainment factor rise would ensue and PH put in his place as required! I say get rid of that Pippa – she’s boring as.
    Someone call the producer.

    • if only he had a woman next to him who gave him as good as he dishes out.

      You may be right. I’d nominate that Judy Callingham. That’d put the frighteners up him.

  35. (PF is a national self-advocacy org for people with intellectual disability) – we actually prefer to use the term ‘learning’ disability because we have trouble learning, but there is nothing wrong with our intelligence)
    Hi – we at People First in Ch.Ch agree with most of what has been said here.

    Paul Henry is a bully and we would love to have the chance to come on his programme so he can apologise to us and so he can see that we are not ‘retarded’ or stupid.

    We made a complaint to TVNZ and to the Human Rights Commission. Thanks for your support, on behalf of The PF Ch.Ch Group – this is a great debate to be having

  36. After looking at most comments (including other sites as well), it seems Paul Henry’s attitude is akin to the mass-majority of people in New Zealand. These kind of antics would not be acceptable anywhere else that I know of. Anywhere else this might be some sort of parody on bad taste, but not from a serious, professional journalist. Maybe it is time for New Zealand to look at what encourages this kind of “bully behavior” instead of passing blame around. Ms. Boyle is not the issue, Mr. Henry is.

    • After looking at most comments (including other sites as well), it seems Paul Henry’s attitude is akin to the mass-majority of people in New Zealand.

      I would be reluctant to judge the majority New Zealand view from blog sites. With some notable exceptions, most discourse on these sites rarely rises above the level of talk-back. It’s a bit like radio – you’ve got the National Programme and the rest. You’ve got to take both into account to get a balanced picture.

  37. So once again the giggling fool Henry pokes fun at someone who has obvious talent along with respect and honours from the international community.
    Poor wee fellah pulling focus once more – bit of a pattern there.

  38. Isn’t it interesting that people supporting him label as ‘PC’ feedback received opposing his behavior?

    Do these people understand what PC means?
    Are they saying that anyone can make any comment about another (especially on public TV) and expect no feedback? What if they used the terms like ‘Courage’ or ‘Decency’ instead?

    Some have written ‘build a bridge and get over it’ without realising their comprehension of the offensive term is so outdated, and belongs in the early 20th century! Is this also an example of retardation?

    • Do these people understand what PC means?

      In general, when people dismiss something as PC, it indicates that they have no argument to offer.

  39. “In 1999 he ran unsuccessfully for the National Party in the Wairarapa and lost the seat to Georgina Beyer, a Labour MP renowned for a gender change.”

    Says it all.

  40. If you look at him carefully, you can make it out. Here’s the interesting revelation: he is in fact an ugly misogynist. And if you look at it carefully, you can make it out, can’t you?

  41. Peter Martin’s comment above:
    “As the parent of a child who is both physically and intellectually disabled, I find the attitude Henry displayed disappointing…”
    Peter, I marvel at your restraint. As the parent of a child who is physically (but fortunately not intellectually)disabled, Henry’s comments fill me with hatred for him. Perhaps he would like to come round here and giggle at my boy to his face? I would then do my level best to beat the crap out of him. It’s the same old empathy deficit typical of right-wingers

  42. Here, here, Brian. I find Paul Henry self-opinionated, smug and rude. At least Susan Boyle has got courage and TALENT, which is something Mr Henry will never have. There must be scores of more presentable presenters available to entertain us.He is certainly an older look-alike version of Austin Powers.HE HAS TO GO!!!!!!!!!

  43. Re: “In general, when people dismiss something as PC, it indicates that they have no argument to offer”.

    Martin Luther King put this similarly:
    “Nothing pains some people more than having to think”

    There is evidence of this in many responses defending Paul Henry. These miss the point completely, and like him, expect people like Susan Boyle to fit their concept of ‘value’.

    The description I have for this is:
    “In prejudice, what should be a stopover for the intellect becomes a final destination. Materialism is the key ingredient”.

  44. As one without a TV and without first hand knowledge of this yo-yo I hesitate to comment. 60 comments = 60 people watching? Turn him off, destroy his ratings and he will go from your screens.

  45. Upon viewing the short video clip my first puzzled question was “what on earth is he swallowing with his coffee?” He appeared inane and ill-structured.

  46. Cath, perhaps you are right in ascribing a robust sense of humour to the English.

    But Mr Henry is neither very English nor at all funny. He’s just a gross and preening attention-seeker, probably over-indulged in early life by his still doting mother.

    Ricky Gervais he ain’t.

  47. Google “Paul Henry” (restrict to nz google only) – 133,000 hits

    Google “Susan Boyle” (worldwide google: she, after all, is a global phenomenon) – 40,000,000+ hits

    Someone’s a little jealous, methinks.
    Ignore him and he will go away…

  48. “Ignore him and he will go away…”

    If only!

  49. if only he had a woman next to him who gave him as good as he dishes out.

    That pisses me off a bit — it’s not bloody Pipa Wetzel’s or Alison Mau’s responsibility to do the producers’ job. Or, dare I say it, Rick Ellis or whoever is pretending to enforce ethical standard in TVNZ’s news/current affairs operation nowadays.

    And to be honest, I don’t think another Paul Henry, but this time with a uterus, is really going to do much for the idea of public broadcasting worthy of the name.