Brian Edwards Media

I Return Reluctantly to the Topic of Paul Henry

Herald On Sunday

I am reluctant to return to the topic of Paul Henry. In talking about him at all one pays him a degree of attention which he almost certainly does not deserve. But he is employed by the state broadcaster as an entertainer and is well rewarded for his efforts. And it is this aspect of the debate that I wish to address.

The central question concerning Henry, it seems to me, ought to be: Does Television New Zealand accept responsibility for Henry’s regular abuses of his privileged position as a broadcaster on national television? Or does it take the view that his ratings – and potential ratings if he is given his own prime-time show – more than compensate for the insult that he so cheerfully pays to so many groups and so many viewers? And is the censure of the generally weak-kneed Broadcasting Standards Authority, with its totally inadequate penalties, actually a convenient way for TVNZ to absolve itself of responsibility for Henry’s uncivilised opinions?

It might be thought that none of this matters since Henry is the co-host of a breakfast show which, by definition, has a very small audience. But common sense dictates that the only reason for TVNZ to put up with the regular fallout from their host’s disagreeable utterances is the substantial future revenue which it might expect to generate from the high viewing figures which any show designed to offend public sentiment will be guaranteed to attract. For the simple fact of the matter is that if the mooted prime-time Henry programme proves to be inoffensive, it will disappoint and fail.  

Tolerance of the things Henry says appears to be based on the view that he’s a bit of a larrikin and a colourful character and we have too few of those in New Zealand. I’m inclined to agree with that as a general proposition. But Henry’s throwaway lines also wound individuals and groups and validate moral positions which are damaging to an enlightened democracy.

When Henry expresses the view that it would be less troublesome to slit the throats of Afghani prisoners of war than to hand them over to Afghanistan’s infamous National Security Directorate, he advocates the murder without trial of prisoners of war, in breach of the Geneva Convention to which this country subscribes. But more importantly, he expresses a view which must surely be anathema to any civilised person. In so doing, he reduces, albeit in a small way, the moral integrity of New Zealand society as a whole.

I am a debater and I love to debate. I am an arguer and I love to argue. I approve of and welcome the forceful expression of ideas. But if a guest at my table were to express the view that slitting the throats of prisoners of war was an acceptable and convenient way of solving a difficult diplomatic problem, I would show them the door. There are some people, however clever, however talented, however amusing, however charming in person,  who are simply not worth knowing.

Or having on our screens.

,

67 Comments:

  1. Agree 100%, Brian.

    Worse, he used Guyon Espiner as his ‘straight man’. When their Political Editor is put in the position of tacitly accepting Henry’s disgraceful comments, if TVNZ don’t see the problem here, they really are a lost cause.

    • Worse, he used Guyon Espiner as his ‘straight man’. When their Political Editor is put in the position of tacitly accepting Henry’s disgraceful comments, if TVNZ don’t see the problem here, they really are a lost cause.

      Good point.

  2. You could interpret Henry’s statement regarding Afghan prisoners in a different way. If they are handed over to the NSD they will NOT get a fair trial and they wil be dead anyway; probably in a very painful manner. Henry’s statement is a cynical but true comment that you may as well kill them yourself if you are going to hand them over; it would be more humane. It is a similar view held by many in Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany; if you were handed over to the NKVD or Gestap you were dead anyway.

    If you are concerned about the moral integrity of New Zealand you should be advocating that POWs should not be handed over. You surely do not believe that those handed to NSD get a fair trial. Do you think the NSD observes the Geneva Convention? If New Zealand observes the Geneva Convention it should not be handing prisoners over; full stop.

    As for Henry he does come out with some shcking comments, but at least he puts a bit of life into the grey mediocrity that is the New Zealand media. If the ‘fearsome Michele Hewitson’ is an example of robust journalsm, God help us.

  3. I fully agree with you Brian, but what you and other commentators write about Henry seems to matter not. He does seem to have a long rope around his neck. and he is really like a planted joker, and viewers shouldn’t really take him seriously as a journalist/broadcaster. For this reason, what and whom he offends doesn’t really bother me because I cannot take him seriously. In saying that, I have to challenge Ben re- “at least he puts a bit of life into the grey mediocrity that is the New Zealand media” well in this case Paul Henry works for TVNZ and as a state broadcaster, shouldn’t this faction of the media present a balanced unbiased view of issues, not allow one of it’s highest paid employees to play devils advocate and spokesman for the right. It is these influences in a democracy that really bothers me about Paul Henrys’ form of entertainment.

  4. @ Ben: “If the ‘fearsome Michele Hewitson’ is an example of robust journalsm, God help us”.

    And together with PhilBee’s stark admission as to his fear-and-intimidation of Michelle Boag; you really, do wonder, if the topic: “Unaccustomed As I Am – Why Most Kiwi Blokes Can’t String Two Words Together”, is redundant.

  5. I find exercising my ability to change channel when he appears is my most effective way of removing any possibilty of his limited popularity becoming mainstream.

  6. Paul Henry – a a tedious middle-aged bore who hides behind a tiresome “tee hee, I’m such a naughty little boy” facade. The single reason I can’t bring myself to watch Breakfast! Just wish he’d grow up and demostrate some of this vaunted ‘intellect’. have never witnessed it.

  7. “wound individuals and validate moral positions which are damaging…”

    Mainstream media has been doing this since the advent of Fox News. At least P Henry is honest about it. Dont get me wrong, I dont agree with his bigoted observations and shallow appreciation of complex social issues, but I wouldn’t want to discourage him from expressing his honestly held beliefs. If the viewer accounts for his right-wing sympathies then I think his interviews are remarkably even-handed.

    • Mainstream media has been doing this since the advent of Fox News. At least P Henry is honest about it.

      I’m really not sure that the ‘honest’ expression of wounding or offensive opinions makes them any less wounding or offensive. The racist’s views, for example, are no less repellant because he or she expresses them openly.

  8. The Comedy Channel is the only honest channel when it comes to ‘commentary’. John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are there under the comedy label. They aren’t pretending to be balanced. Why don’t we ask TVNZ to call Breakfast the the ‘breakfast and reactionary fun’ show or BARF?

  9. Frankly, if you’re watching tv at breakfast time, you deserve what you get.

  10. Unfortunately TVNZ has long been a lost cause. Anyone who heard Andrew Shaw this past week on National Radio will know what I mean.

  11. Brian.While I agree with you re the repellent views of any racist i find myself openly laughing out loud watching Henry some mornings.He is silly childish and egotistical but he is also provocative,simple,straight-forward and not afraid to tackle matters that most journalists run a mile from.His viewpoints are often outrageous but probably not out of line with middle New Zealand.I know that is no excuse for his excesses but i feel his ability to cut to the truth and say what many people feel is something that is missing in NZ media.I also get tired with the “offence” industry.If I was to change profession I would become an “offence ” consultant for today for every public comment,cartoon ,poster,banner and advertisement there seems to exist a group who find it offensive.Free speech is important and while Henry pushes his luck at times ,I find him refreshing

    • Brian.While I agree with you re the repellent views of any racist i find myself openly laughing out loud watching Henry some mornings.

      Hmmm. Trouble is that humour can be a device to make racism/sexism/agism/xenophobia etc palatable. I didn’t find Paul’s comments on the ‘retarded’ Susan Boyle any less offensive because he was giggliing at the time. And, in this latest case, which involved a discussion with a political commentator, I have to assume that his comment about slitting the throats of Afghani prisoners were intended to be taken seriously.

  12. WOW Great post from “Mark”.

    I don’t watch Breakfast. But we, most definitely, need someone to articulate counterintuitive viewpoints to rattle our State-conditioned sensibilities, that will rark up the PC Brigade. We really do. Maybe, Paul Henry is our Boy.

    The country needs to fully exorcise ourselves of those Ugly Helen Clark Years. That suffocating, all-controlling mindset; which, she and her fellow wimmin Ministers tried to inflict upon us.

    Sometimes, you just have to use a bit of harsh solvent to wipe away malodorous grime.

    • WOW Great post from “Mark”.

      Same old, same old, Merv. No argument so trot out all the usual slogans of people who have no argument – PC brigade, nanny state and the rest. Perhaps you could give me just one example of the ‘suffocating, all-controlling mindset which she and her fellow wimmin (bit of sexism there for good measure) Ministers tried to inflict upon us.’ Stopping us hitting children maybe! And just for the record, the vast majority of Helen’s ministers were men.

  13. As I think you said Brian, Henry is similar to one Paul Holmes, i.e. he is an “Entertainer” The sooner the management of TVNZ get rid of him and his “show” the better!!

  14. Good Morning Brian, Couldn’t agree more with the whole Paul Henry thing. Reading this column and your replies to comments restores my faith in humanity on some level. Ego centric behaviour daily on prime TV is more than vaguely alarming. And more alarming is the number of condoners. Couldn’t agree more with the reply to Mark and Merv. Sometimes it feels like an intellectual desert in the suburbs of everyday NZ.

  15. Merv, I think the reason you like Mark’s post is because – like yourself – you admire his carefree and casual abuse of punctuation. Frankly, it makes my eyes hurt.

  16. I tend to agree with Mark. Society needs people like Paul Henry who say things that are unpopular and at times offensive. He acts as a safety valve. Like it or not I suspect a large number of people agree with his statement. We are too ready to take offence usually at the most trivial things. I am surprised we have never established a Commission of Wounded Feelings; we have commissions for about everything else, most of them totally useless. Merv also has a point. You have to think twice before expressing any sort of opinion for fear that there is someone who is going to take offence.

    I would be surprised if Henry truly believes that the throats of prisoners should be cut but at least his outburst has sparked some lively debate unlike most of the media that is more likely to induce narcolepsy.

    Of course I do not advocate slitting the throats of prisoners but lets be blunt. I doubt whether they have much time for the niceties of the Geneva Convention. Neither do they have much time for the niceties of normal human decency when it comes to the way they treat women.

    But of course we are better than they are; we only think what we would like to do with people who cut the ears and noses of women. We do not actually do it because we are civilised.

    Finally when are we going to see the evidence that Carter is actually ill?

  17. Don, you see what I mean; you have taken offence at the abuse of punctuation!

  18. Why the desire to remove Paul Henry’s stall from the “Marketplace of Ideas”? He will just put it up somewhere else anyway, either on radio, newpapers or the internet. As someone once said – sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    • As someone once said – sunlight is the best disinfectant.

      I like that as an idea. I sometimes say, ‘A bad idea looks worse in the light’. But there are limits. Encouraging violence against certain racial groups for example is against the law in this country. The potential downstream damage of allowing such ideas to see the light of day also has to be taken into account.

  19. Ben, not so much the abuse of punctuation as the inability to construct a simple declarative sentence without littering it with ill-placed obstacles.

  20. @ Donny: “Merv, I think the reason you like Mark’s post is because – like yourself – you admire his carefree and casual abuse of punctuation. Frankly, it makes my eyes hurt”.

    I think, we can improve on this, Don. But I won’t highlight your punctuation errors by way of the three-lettered predicative preposition. I’ll rewrite it, in its more precise form. Here goes, Dude:

    “Merv, I think, the reason you like Mark’s post, is because – like yourself – you admire his carefree-and-casual abuse of punctuation. Frankly, it makes my eyes hurt.”

    Comma required after “I think”, otherwise you are thinking only “the reason”; interpose comma after “post”; “carefree and casual” should be hyphenated, to form the compound — or phrasal — adjective (being attributive to the noun, “abuse”). There! You’re halfway to becoming semi-literate.

    But, seriously, why punish yourself by way of self-inducted pain? Avert your gaze to something more in keeping with your disposition; something, less-challenging. Maybe, a still-life watercolour of a haystack?

    • @ Donny: “Merv, I think the reason you like Mark’s post is because – like yourself – you admire his carefree and casual abuse of punctuation. Frankly, it makes my eyes hurt”.

      I haven’t really been following this squabble. But I have to say that I could find nothing wrong with Don’s original punctuation. Your ‘corrections’, if they were serious, Merv, would have made the sentence incomprehensible. But nor can I understand ‘…. is because – like yourself – you…. ‘ Makes no sense at all.

  21. Isn’t P Henry the poison dwarf who lost in an election to the worlds first transexual MP?

    • Isn’t P Henry the poison dwarf who lost in an election to the worlds first transexual MP?

      Paul lost to Georgina Beyer in 1999. ‘Poison dwarf’ is offensive and inappropriate. I recall meeting Paul at a birthday party for Helen Clark. He seemed quite tall to me.

  22. The Television wasn’t called “THE IDIOT BOX” for no good reason. However, sometimes one may be enlightened.Selective viewing is the answer.
    When I visited my parents in the USA nearly 20 years ago I was treated to a choice of 46 channels of cable TV that seemed to be broadcasting crap simultaneously. New Zealand has now caught up with this trend.

    • The Television wasn’t called “THE IDIOT BOX” for no good reason. However, sometimes one may be enlightened.Selective viewing is the answer.

      Quite right. Different media have different strenghts. Television, in the area of news and current affairs, is a headline medium. Newspapers and magazines provide more discursive and in-depth coverage. So the sensible thing is to make the best of both.

  23. I reckon his childish cheap shots are the behaviour of someone who was mercilessly bullied as a kid.

    • I reckon his childish cheap shots are the behaviour of someone who was mercilessly bullied as a kid.

      You can’t make that assumption, which, in addition, defames his parents. It’s perfectly clear that Paul and his mother are devoted to one another. It’s a lovely relationship.

  24. Does anyone take Paul Henry seriously. I dont!!

    • Does anyone take Paul Henry seriously.

      Well, a number of people and organisations have taken Paul seriously. They include the Broadcasting Standards Authority and, most recently, the New Zealand chapter of Amnesty International.

  25. He often makes me cringe but I find him hilarious with it. God help us we need a bit of a laugh and not to take everything so seriously all the time. Henry is what he is and if you are thin skinned listen to the wireless instead, better for your blood pressure.

    • Henry is what he is and if you are thin skinned listen to the wireless instead, better for your blood pressure.

      It’s got absolutely nothng to do with being thin-skinned. It’s got to do with broadcasting standards and whether it is acceptable for the host of a daytime television programme to be able to say whatever he wants, regardless of how offensive it is to ordinary people and how wounding and upsetting it is to the groups he mocks. The argument ‘if you don’t like it, don’t watch’ is similar to the argument, ‘If you don’t want to be raped, don’t wear a short skirt’. The onus for potentially being raped is placed on the woman rather than the rapist. In this particular case you’re arguing, ‘If Henry behaves badly, don’t watch any programmes he’s on.’ So my choice of programmes to watch is restricted by his bad behaviour. That hardly seems reasonable.

  26. Maybe I’m missing a point here, but it seems there is a theory that Paul Henry’s statements, good, bad or offensive, are his own to make.

    I would have thought that when Paul Henry says something while being broadcasted by TVNZ, Henry’s statements aren’t his own. Henry is paid to talk in public by the state broadcaster. Therefore, aren’t his statements the property of his employer? Just as a newspaper that publishes one of its journalist’s articles, own the content of that article.

    If I was an employer of someone publically associated with my organisation, and he stated he favoured slitting the throats of POWs, I would at the least look for a way for my employee to clarify his statement in public so I would not look like the employer of a callous idiot.

    TVNZ has made Henry what he is, they have to own his comments, or get Henry to publicly disown them.

  27. @ BE: It’s perfectly clear that Paul and his mother are devoted to one another. It’s a lovely relationship.

    It would be, if you — genuinely — meant it. But I’m more inclined to believe, that: you’re casting an Oedipal-type slur, upon Paul.

    When, you made this observation:
    “And just for the record, the vast majority of Helen’s ministers were men”.
    I didn’t raise the debate as to whether the majority of Helen’s ministers weren’t so
    much “men” as they were eunuchs.
    I bit my tongue, and maintained a respectful “Silence”.

  28. Whos the one dragging Mrs Henry into this?
    ‘Fox’ wrote “I reckon his childish cheap shots are the behaviour of someone who was mercilessly bullied as a kid.”
    Brian then goes – “You can’t make that assumption, which, in addition, defames his parents. It’s perfectly clear that Paul and his mother are devoted to one another. It’s a lovely relationship.”

    How does Fox’s comment defame the fragrant Mrs Henry? I gather it references the kids at Pauls school who undoubtedly were repelled by his younger self and instinctively rejected him from their imminent looming gene pool….. Was Fox really saying The Henrys Snr were a bit hard on the lad? I don’t see it, with respect. C.J

  29. BE: I haven’t really been following this squabble.

    I’ll back my punctuation over ANYBODY elses’s, any day of the week. Period. Take it to a — respected — lecturer in English.

    I have made the remark, that: Modern Written English is trending away from commas. But it’s still a personal preference.

    • I’ll back my punctuation over ANYBODY elses’s, any day of the week. Period. Take it to a — respected — lecturer in English.

      I have made the remark, that: Modern Written English is trending away from commas. But it’s still a personal preference.

      I’m sorry, Merv, but your punctuation gives me bilious attacks. The ‘trend away from the comma’ only exists in the land of advertising, where the dash has become king. It does not yet extend to normal written prose.

      And lose the comma after ‘remark’. It has no purpose and is therefore redundant. (I’m not going to dignify this by taking it to the English Department, unless you really infuriate me.)

  30. OK: “elses’s” s/be else’s. And a hyphen is req’d for, “Written English”. I’m as prone to typo mistakes, like anyone else, is. Note: comma req’d after, “else”.

    • OK: “elses’s” s/be else’s. And a hyphen is req’d for, “Written English”. I’m as prone to typo mistakes, like anyone else, is. Note: comma req’d after, “else”.

      A hyphen is not required; the hyphen is purely optional in English. No comma after ‘ after’. Redundant. No comma required after ‘else’. Redundant.

      Don’t take me on here, Merv. I’ll enjoy it far too much.

  31. Correct Cnr Joe, I wasn’t suggesting Henry was the victim of domestic child abuse. I just have a vision of him getting the sh*t kicked out of him at school. Its the old bullied becomes bully scenario except instead of resorting to physically abusing people Henry has managed to get in to a position where he can verbally abuse people in public (not too their face I may add) with his boorish idiocy. I have a similar feeling that Rodney Hide suffered the humiliation of being on the receiving end of the more than the occasional schoolyard wedgie. If only someone would repeat the performance for us all to witness now. Maybe one the brave members of the press gallery could oblige the next time Hide is doing a live interview to camera at parliament.

  32. Judy, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, here: “Judging by the fumes eminating from his office,”

    The hyphen is used to create compound adjectives. It’s used before a noun, as in: “well-known” speaker. But, the hyphen is removed, if it’s written as: the speaker is “well known”. Now, take that to your English Dept.

    Are you good enough to explain illustrative literary phrases, such as: “Black as Night”, “By the Skin of his Teeth”, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers etc, etc — and whether the phrase is metaphoric, synecdochic or metonymic? They are very similar, but slightly different. Please, let’s not engage in a battle of Literary Conceits. I’ve mentioned, before — I am singularly unimpressed by people, who flaunt their degrees. Often, I read what they write, and it’s very average, indeed.
    I’ve had my English tuition from the Best. I kid you not.

    • Stop showing off, Merv. I’m sure your tutors were excellent, and you write very well. But this debate is about punctuation, fuelled by your bizarre and apparently random use of the comma.

      “The Best” have by now probably shuffled off this mortal coil, and are unable help with revision. Your trusty Fowler, however, is always helpful and succinct.

      Edward is is right. We’re being tedious pedants and should leave it. Sprinkle your commas freely where you will.

  33. Who bloody cares as long as we can understand what you have to say. Stop being boring pedants. Stick to the subject.I thought this blog was about the payed fools and clowns on THE IDIOT BOX.

  34. I don’t watch Paul Henry’s program, so all I know about it are his reported comments about facial hair, calling Susan Boyle a “retard” and slitting prisoners throats – presumably these are unscripted asides, jokes or off-the-cuff comments and not intended seriously. Even so, I guess they reveal a personality with a nasty streak running through it, perhaps a contempt for many people.

    At what point does this reach a level that is unacceptable on the airwaves, that the delicate ears of the public must not be exposed to such outrages?

    Your point is that he’s encouraging violence, crossing the protected free speech line of falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre.

    I think NZ soldiers in Afghanistan, if they even get to hear of Mr. Henry’s opinions, are sufficiently well trained and mentally robust to make their own decision and not be swayed. The rest of us are unlikely to be in a position to act on his advice.

    You state that its unreasonable that your viewing choices are restricted by his “bad” behaviour – not really a cause worth fighting for, compared to that of free speech.

    What happened to “I disagree with everything you say but defend to the death your right to say it” !

    • What happened to “I disagree with everything you say but defend to the death your right to say it” !

      What happened to it is that it’s a fine sounding phrase that allows the Hitlers and Mugables of this world to disseminate hatred and promote violence.

  35. You state that its unreasonable that your viewing choices are restricted by his “bad” behaviour – not really a cause worth fighting for, compared to that of free speech.

    What happened to “I disagree with everything you say but defend to the death your right to say it” !

    Why is it considered free speech Steve? Paul Henry isn’t making these statements in his own time, with a platform he paid for. Paul Henry is making statements while on salary, at his workplace.

    Henry called Boyle a retard, critised the appearance of one of his programme’s guests, talked about slitting the throats of POWs, while using the platform his employer provided.

    Henry’s job is to talk in public: its a job, he is speaking for his employer. His employer has to own the statements he makes, or rein him in.

  36. Of course Henry’s TVNZ’s problem.

    If a zookeeper passes a loaded machine gun to a gorilla, who gets the blame for the piles of dead visitors? But of course, if you KNOW there’s an armed ape in the zoo and you still want to take a peek…..

  37. 50 comments, now 51. Well done Paul Henry and TVNZ.

  38. If its true, and I’m not sure I’ve understood it correctly from the discussion above, but from my limited comprehension, Paul Henry is bad at using commas ? If thats the case then obviously he should be sacked immediatly.

  39. In days gone by Im sure it was a hanging offence.

  40. I’m 56 ! Hurrah!

    Umm … at risk of (again) sounding patronising (a ‘nanny’?) methinks that:

    Cheap abuse is a criminal waste of your potential intelligence. It (sadly) makes the writer sound like a ‘fuckwit’…

    [but being of an irrationally optimistic bent on the topic, and also fervently praying the Subject isn’t a belligerent Grey Power bigot, I’m ever hopeful that there is room for staving off any potential vulnerability to dementia.]

    … Jo et al., please would you define and clarify: “Fuckwit”.
    Then, you could provide evidence to support your insult (prove your case).
    Submitting your case in plain unambiguous English that a ten year old can understand is always helpful. It is accessible to all readers.
    If feeling really bold, you might care to declare any biases you hold that might influence your writing.
    That would be intelligent opinion, in the absence of wit or sparring.
    Even a simple statement of your opinion, without abuse, pays a compliment to your intelligence. Abuse hides it.

    Sorry to lose the plot Brian, I’m feeling old and jaded tonight. Cool excuse, huh?

    Jo’s comment has been removed from the site. Pour encourager les autres? JC

  41. i took the message from the pow comments as being a serious comment that those poor afghanis who would be put in a detention centre are going to be treated with unbridled brutality and be better off dead. the words were a judgement on the detention centre in question.
    when presenters play devil’s advocate it seems they make themselves prey for their detractors.
    henry can be a prat at times. he knows it. his co workers know it, the audience know it. also-he is on 5 mornings a week over a 2 or 3 hour show duration so he’s bound to say something that upsets occasionally.
    you take the thing he said – in this instance though -out of context and present it with an unintended meaning. not fair.

    • you take the thing he said – in this instance though -out of context and present it with an unintended meaning. not fair

      Maybe you should take another look at the story and see how he described the prisoners for whose welfare you say he had so much concern. Get real.

  42. I’m not sure what to make of all this, Brian. TVNZ not only makes no secret of the ratings appeal of Henry’s behaviour, it positively encourages it. Henry is simply a prop, as far as I can work out. I’m sure that he thinks it’s about him, like all ego maniacs, but he is just being used, like the fool in any good play.

  43. BE I am somewhat surprised you of all people would resort to the :short skirt/rape: chestnut. TVNZ will show a documentary tonight on the penis, they have replaced sunday theatre with a very graphic US murder fest, they have eliminated most current affairs except for sunday morning when NO advertisements are allowed and NZonAir provide the funding. Its a rubbish station aside from the occaisional gem. Paul Henry fits perfectly for TVNZ, sure he isnt Katheryn Ryan but its light entertainment while having a coffee before heading off to work.
    Its a commercial enterprise and dont delude yourself it is anything differrent. The days of your reporting on quaint local events are a byegone era.

    • BE I am somewhat surprised you of all people would resort to the :short skirt/rape: chestnut.

      Thanks for those helpful insights, David. I will add them to the dozens of articles and the odd book I’ve written on this topic. Always good to have a wiser head around.

  44. David

    “The days of your reporting on quaint local events are a byegone era.”
    Good heavens David, no-one but no-one who has run a room full of journalists would regard BE’s overall reporting as you have. Utter piffle. Do your research boyo.

  45. Tap and Hum: I think, you have to give “David” the benefit of the doubt, with this:

    “The days of your reporting on quaint local events are a byegone era.”

    I suggest, the writer is using the second-person pronoun as opposed to the actual author. To be real safe, David could’ve opted for the third-person pronoun. But it would have made his writing, sound overly formal and awkward. Tell me, someone: what’s a “byegone” era?

  46. agree merv- about the second person pronoun.
    and i think it’s a byegone error.

  47. bje

    I bow to the Master’s wit. Boasting an agility of intellect, I can only hope to aspire to :)

  48. thanks merv- must be the blog company i’m keeping!

    sorry be- maybe i missed something. the part i viewed was paul hennry with a angry look in the eye, saying something like ‘let’s face it, they may as well have their throats slit as be sent to the detention centre”. was there something else said i didn’t hear?

  49. TVNZ’s hands-off approach to Henry’s unfortunate and often nasty rants is symptomatic of the organisation’s intellectual bankruptcy. In return for the holy grail of good ratings it would appear they’ve given him carte blanche. Let’s hope he doesn’t get worse, or we’ll end up with our own Bill O’Reilly (or worse Glenn Beck).

  50. In today’s SST, Rosemary McLeod offers her thoughts about Paul Henry’s irreverence. I think, it’s valid.

    And let’s face it: the more you criticise him, the broader his ebullient demonic grin becomes. Just grinning from ear to ear.

    He does have many fans, no doubt about that.