Brian Edwards Media

Off with his head!

All that was missing yesterday  was the tumbrel, the rattle of the snare drum and the delighted shrieks of the harridans knitting, as the advocates of fairness and equity in the workplace, the mass media and the baying lynch mobs of the anti-social networks celebrated the sacking of a late-middle-aged man for making an unguarded and inappropriate remark. “Celebrated”! What a sad, sick, punitive, unforgiving little country we live in.


  1. When a well media-trained public figure makes outrageously unthinking, sexist comments he should be fired.

    If its all about productivity, why was his organisation also so keen to re-instate the youth wage? Ie. legislating un-equal pay for equal work.

  2. But, but, but, Brian – didn’t John Key say that his dismissal was inevitable?

  3. I don’t think AT was dismissed so much for making “an unguarded and inappropriate comment” as he was for making a complete pigs ear of explaining himself the next day and thereby bringing his the organisation he represents into disrepute.

    Seriously, given your expertise in PR and media training, was AT’s response the style and manner you’d recommend?

    BTW I’d be interested in your thoughts on demands of freedom of speech and the responsibilities of power of speech. By his very role AT was in a position where his views/opinions/utterances have far greater power than those of ordinary people.

    Does that not bring with it some requirements?

  4. Brian …

    Thompson had a highly-paid job with a public profile. In that role, he participated in a discussion where he made odd, offensive claims he was unable to back up with evidence, and which did not represent the view of the organisation that paid him all that money.

    To quote EMA board member Laurie Margrain: “”I’m extremely disappointed that the statements made by Alasdair would be regarded as EMA policy, which it categorically is not, never has been, never will be.”

    Thereafter, he attempted to defend his claims, but was still unable to offer any real evidence for them. He conducted at least two interviews in which his odd — and in one case, frankly unacceptable — behaviour significantly damaged the image of his employer. Although he was paid as a CEO, he presented as an unprofessional trainwreck.

    (Yes, I know you believe it was Campbell Live’s solemn duty to actively play down or conceal this actual behavior and instead show Thompson reciting the soothing media lines he had devised with the assistance of his communications staff. I respectfully disagree.)

    It was notable that he sought to excuse his own performance by explaining that he’d been out late the night before and had not been fully on form for his 7am interview. It was not really a smart thing to say in the context of a discussion about gender productivity.

    Thereafter, one major employer, Air New Zealand terminated its membership of the organisation he led and, it appears, others made their great unhappiness known in private.

    Thompson was eventually sacked by his own board, the actual decision being delayed largely by Thompson taking ill (yes, there is an irony there) and the haggling over the terms of substantial exit payment.

    Thompson screwed up. He compounded his screwup, damagingly. Acting in his official capacity, he brought his employer into disrepute, and there a part in his contract that says he can’t do that. And when his own board weighed up the deficit he caused against the benefits of keeping him on … they sacked him.

  5. Brian, Thompson was not sacked because of his initial “unguarded and inappropriate remark”, as you put it.

    Had he fronted up and publicly accepted his initial comments in the interview with Helen Kelly were anecdotal, inappropriate, and not supported by evidence (note use of Oxford comma) all would have been good.

    But Thompson went on to do a train wreck of an interview with Mihi Forbes, in which he ranted, rambled, and (Oxford comma again) attempted to intimidate the interviewer.

    Russel Brown above has got it right on this one.

    Brian, do you enjoy being in the bunker with Roger Douglas, Karl du Fresne, and Garth George; who seem to be the only commentators taking the same line as you on this?

  6. Pretty much nails it, Russell. I can’t see anything you’ve left out.

  7. In my view it was not so much the actual comments – which I think it is widely accepted have some validity – which was his downfall.After all,women do have to take more sick days if say,the children are unwell.My husband certainly never stayed at home to look after them,it was just assumed that I would.

    I did watch the extended interview on TV3’s site and was disturbed by the intimidating manner in which after he briefly left the interview he suddenly re-entered the room and walked quickly up to Mihi Forbes all the while ranting away at her.Thompson looks to be a large man,the reporter is a slightly built woman.He was right into her personal space and I am certain that he would not have done this if the reporter was a) male or b) an older woman(although they are few and far between on TV news).This went on for some time.I found his manner both aggressive and not befitting a CEO in an organisation representing or employing many women.His views are like something out of early last century as were the quaint phrases he employed.At the very least,why on earth was he not given media training?

  8. alisdair thompson is only a symbol or lightning rod of a past generation who mistakenly enunciated his thoughts as surely as murray deaker described someone as “working like a nigger”…there was never any malice aforethought in thompson or deaker but i guess it highlights two things.

    1..dinosaurs must know and ensure that they’re extinct before going to air.
    2..don’t tangle with the sisterhood
    and ( why not) the nz media is so lacking in anything other than the voracity for the spurious headline that the dinosaurs don’t really stand a chance ?

    sort of like inverted ethnic cleansing really ??

  9. Don”t agree Brian. The man came across to me as a sexist bully and he certainly could not continue in that role as the spokesman for employers. It has nothing to do with social media and all to do with the man not having the skills to do the job he was paid to do.

  10. Russell Brown is right, but I would be interested in Russell Brown’s reasoning behind his three cheap sneers about how much Thompson was paid….highly paid/all that money/haggled….?

  11. AT can be proud of the fact that he has brought the debate to the forefront of peoples consciousness and the EMA will be happy that they have unwittingly helped in the cause of achieving equal pay for equal endeavour!
    In the Vietnam war thay had an expression for what happened to AT. He got Fragged. Shot by his own people. The days of team loyalty and falling on your sword are both long gone

  12. 12

    Good job, shows how out of touch he was. That kind of mindset in that kind of job is bad news, it’s right to let him go.

    I hear he could be joining ACT next.

  13. “Yes, I know you believe it was Campbell Live’s solemn duty to actively play down or conceal this actual behavior and instead show Thompson reciting the soothing media lines he had devised with the assistance of his communications staff. I respectfully disagree”.

    And I agree with you, Russell Brown. Brian, first Nazi book-burning, now an analogy from the Reign of Terror? I respectfully suggest your judgement is astray, and maybe you have for too long become poacher-turned-gamekeeper.

    Thompson the private individual is entitled to his (mistaken) opinions and speculations. But his role was propagandist for an organisation requiring public credibility to function effectively. I’m not offended by what he said, and I think that is a red herring. Instead he damaged his employer’s (another irony) precious brand by incompetence. In his role, would he not need the credibility to advocate for an employer’s right to dismiss an employee in similar circumstances?

    Doesn’t make him a bad person. If we are foolish, we are all capable of the same thing. But then few of us have the same level of responsibility, nor power to shape public policy, based presumably on accumulated wisdom and experience, nor are we rewarded by an attendant substantial financial remuneration. The spokesperson for the EMA of all organisations knew the score: metaphorically lock yourself in a room with a bottle of whisky and a loaded pistol, and do the honourable thing

    …hmmm. Is that a third misapplied analogy?

  14. 14

    BE, you are much more intelligible when you take your tongue out of your cheek.

  15. shane jones could use tax payers money to watch enslaved women being shagged to blazes then carries on in his parliamentary capacity.hurrah.
    alasdair. it’s not actually what you said or did. your crime is that you’re a middle class white male. intolerable. propagandist. shame.
    man. those white middle class males are always letting us down.

  16. Agree totally; and for the role of lead harridan…roll of drums, “step forward, Helen Kelly; and careful you don’t trip over your knitting darling.”

    And, Russell I had not realised you had had a sex change.

    What Thompson said did not warrant the lynch mob mentality. If the EMA wanted to sack him that’s their prerogative but there was no need for the slavering mob to relish the public execution. Pathetic and so typically New Zealand.

  17. “step forward, Helen Kelly; and careful you don’t trip over your knitting darling.”

    Kelly is simply doing her job: adopting a public pose to gain an initiative over her members’ primary rival in setting public policy, the EMA.

    Thompson may be collateral damage, but make no mistake – he knew the score, and if, in any way the situation had been reversed, he would be doing the same to Kelly – or he would have been sacked for failing to do his job!

  18. All that’s missing from this pompous, whining vignette is the strain of spittle-flecked lounge suits, the creak of leather, and the acrid stench of urine, brandy and cigar smoke. What sad, pathetic caricatures we assume when we choose to defend arrogant, bullying, propagandists for privilege.

  19. And, Russell I had not realised you had had a sex change.

    Feel free to expand on what I am sure will be a sophisticated and erudite argument.

  20. Russell Brown is right, but I would be interested in Russell Brown’s reasoning behind his three cheap sneers about how much Thompson was paid….highly paid/all that money/haggled….?

    It’s not a sneer. You get paid well as a CEO, with an expectation of performance.

  21. What a sad, sick, punitive, unforgiving little country we live in.

    on the contrary, we live in a country where employment law has (in this instance) worked perfectly well to remove an employee who brought his employers into disrepute and who disclosed personal details of his employees during an interview intended for public broadcast. it’s a great little country we live in.

    [as an interesting aside, i see none of the commentors here have told you to go back to your own country (which is a great thing, i’m certainly not complaining!) for making that statement. but it does contrast with the sort of comments i get on my blog when i’m perceived to have said anything critical of nz. i guess you happen to be the “right sort of immigrant”, unlike me.]

  22. “What a sad, sick, punitive, unforgiving little country we live in.” B.E.
    Wtf? Thompsons employers are sick, punitive and unforgiving?
    Mr Thompson helped himself to the shovels and you defend his right to what? Be a moron?
    I don’t live in the country you describe Brian. And neither than you, but boy!, do you feel let down by the strangest things.

  23. geez ak – sexism in 3D.

  24. “Feel free to expand on what I am sure will be a sophisticated and erudite argument.” (Oh, the biting sarcasm!)

    Harridan: haggard old woman; vixen. You give the impression of wishing to accompany Helen kelly and others to the ringside seats.

    All of you who so gleefully cackle at Thompson’s downfall, cause me to believe that if we still put malefactors in the stocks, there would be no shortage of those eager to throw rotton vegetables. And we think of ourselves as civilised.

  25. “In my view it was not so much the actual comments – which I think it is widely accepted have some validity – which was his downfall” …
    Interesting that this comment was posted by a woman. I can’t believe anyone is discussing whether or not what Thompson said was true. The issue was never whether women take more sick days than men as a result of menstrual complications. There is reportedly some (contested) research that suggests there may be a statistical basis of truth in that but if that is relevant to the discussion about pay equity it would only be as the basis for a cogent argument that women should be paid MORE than men. The point is that menstruation (something a woman does not choose to undergo) is a function of reproduction, an evolutionary duty that women (in the general, not the particular) undergo ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE SPECIES (sorry to shout but some people can’t hear. To suggest that they should endure some financial penalty because of it is absurd. In many parts of the animal kingdom, and in so-called primitive societies, females are nurtured and privileged because of this role – given the best food etc. The thinking that underpins comments like Thompson’s – although I doubt he would be aware of it – is that it is all right for women to carry, bear and raise our [the species] children and when they take on some of our [males’] role as well, they should have crappier jobs, be underrepresented in senior positions and be paid less. If someone working as a knifehand at the freezing works thinks that, he’s just a prick; if an employer’s advocate thinks that – and then brings his employer into disrepute by acting like a thug and a bully when called to account – he deserves the bullet.

  26. Good bloody job i say!!

    Helen Kelly for PM…finally someone with intelligence….and old Alistair was so out classed!

    PS if i were Mihi forbes I would laying a complaint about his agressive behaviour during the interview.

  27. “There’s nothing so ridiculous as the public in one of its periodic fits of morality” – Macaulay

  28. I used to enjoy this blog more when BE was more engaged with it. Each post would signal that the “game was afoot” and he would argue tirelessly, passionately, and skillfully with anyone whose opinion was contrary. Latterly he seems to engage less reliably, and even then he often steps away prematurely. Can’t blame him though, arguing with strangers on the internet is something of a benighted hobby. Nobody ever pins a winner’s medal on your chest.

    Incidentally, the person who suggests that BE should be ashamed of being in the same camp as Roger Douglas, Garth George and Karl du Fresne is not being helpful. I would commend the latter’s blog in particular as a nice counterpoint to BE’s. People can disagree without getting all uncivilised about it, and the corollary to that is that there’s nothing wrong with agreeing with someone you usually disagree with!

    BE: I’m going to reply to this, Bill, because you’re absolutely right that I have stopped debating with people making comments and you, and they, are entitled to know the reason why. First, because I don’t see blogging as my profession or principal activity. Second, because replying and engaging in what can be protracted debates is very time-consuming and Judy and I have a living to make. Third, and probably most important, because issues like the one people are currently commenting on, are often extremely complex and the arguments often hang on nuances of meaning, interpretation and logic. This requires any response from me to deal with these nuances, and in turn to deal with the nuances of people’s responses. Even this attempt at an explanation of why I’ve stopped answering comments, may well lead to a debate about the logic or validity of what I’m saying. When you write something that makes people angry, you can also expect to end up like someone playing a game of tennis against an army of opponents. I’m not complaining about that, just saying that it’s rather exhausting. Much easier to say what you think and let everyone else get on with letting off steam.

    In the case of Alasdair Thompson, my only way to deal with the lengthy responses of Russell Brown – and one or two others whom I admire – would be to describe in detail what I see as having happened to Thompson from the moment he made a comment that offended so many people to the moment he was sacked. I see that as a journey on which he was buffeted by forces that he did not understand and had no idea how to combat. He was “all at sea”. In matters of media in particular he was a drowning man whose desperate attempts to save his life simply made him sink faster. I feel sorry for him, a sentiment which most respondents to this post seem to find unacceptable. Anyway, that’s plenty of ammunition for further comment. Except to add that I stand 100 percent behind what I said in “Off With His Head” and nothing that I’ve read in the comments to date inclines me to change that view. Quite the opposite in fact.

  29. Russell,

    Thanks for pointing out the facts behind this fiasco, but I think most of us alreadly knew the facts. The issue is, was Thomspon treated fairly? I don’t think he was.

    There is much research which supports or is consistent with what Thompson said. You seem to believe that all he had to do was offer some evidence and all waould have been ok. Surely you’re not that naive. But for the record:

    Biological Gender Differences, Absenteeism and the Earnings Gap. See

    Chawla et al. (2002). Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Is There an Economic Burden of Illness? See

    Borenstein et al. (2003) Health and economic impact of the premenstrual syndrome. See (PMS prevalence varies based on criteria used to define illness. However, PMS is associated with reductions in health-related quality of life and work productivity impairment regardless of the criteria used.) (Moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD seems to be associated with work productivity impairment and increased absenteeism, and thus poses a potential economic burden.) (Results indicate that PMS leads to substantial im[pairment] in normal daily activities and occupational productivity and significantly increased work absenteeism.)

    Bekker, Marrie H. J., Rutte, Christel G. and van Rijswijk, Karen(2009) ‘Sickness absence: A gender-focused review’, Psychology, Health & Medicine,14:4,405-418. See

    Arne Mastekaasa and Karen Modesta Olsen (1998). Gender, Absenteeism, and Job Characteristics: A Fixed Effects Approach. See

    Harlow, S.D. & Park, M. (1996). A longitudinal study of risk factors for the occurrence, duration and severity of menstrual cramps in a cohort of college women. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103, 1134-1142. (Forty-two percent of the participants reported missing either work, school, or another activity because of menstruation at some point during the study; however, an activity was missed during only 9.8% of bleeding episodes. Similarly, 37% of the women indicated that they had remained in bed during at least one bleeding episode, but bedrest only occurred during 10% of observed menstrual periods.)

    “According to the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (sic), up to 85% of women have one or more symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome. About 5-10% of women report being debilitated by severe symptoms (ACOG, 2000). This equates to approximately 2.5 million American women. Some of the more intrusive symptoms include pain, headache, tension, mood swings, depression, and fatigue.

    Absenteeism due to the severity of PMS and menstrual pain is “underappreciated” (Harlow and Park, 1997) and is a leading cause of absenteeism for women under thirty (Daugherty, undated). One-third of women affected by dymenorrhea have an average of 9.6 days of bedrest and lost productivity annually (Kjerulff, Erickson, and Langenberg, 1996). A 2002 study estimated that heavy bleeding alone contributed to a 6.9% reduction in annual employment (Cote, Jacobs, and Cumming, 2002), while a 1984 study reported the annual indirect costs of dysmenorrhea at $2 billion in lost productivity, and 600 million lost work hours (Dawood, 1984).”

  30. Peter Calder,

    I can see quite a lot that Russell left out.

  31. cpw,

    On the one hand you say that his comments have some validity and on the other they are “like something out of early last century.” Could you be more contradictory if you tried?

  32. Peter Calder said: “To suggest that they [women]should endure some financial penalty because of it [menstruation] is absurd.”

    Except, Peter, nobody has said that (except you). Surely you don’t have to make things up to get your point across? If you’re going to have a go at someone, have at go at what they’ve said and not what you think they’ve said.

  33. Ross, do you actually propose to actually say anything original yourself at any stage? Just asking. You could start with listing the stuff that Russell left out. I’m interested. Really. Meanwhile …
    You correctly note that Thompson did not say: “I think women should be paid less because they menstruate”. But he raised women’s absences from work due to menstruation as an explanation for their lower productivity and suggested that may go some way to explaining the pay gap. Now – stay with me here; I know it’s complicated but I am sure you can manage – since he did not lament that state of affairs, he is – and he’s an employers’ spokesman, remember – conniving at it. The difference between doing that and “suggesting it” is a little too fine for my head-of-the-pin-dancing skills so I fear you will have to dance alone.

  34. I’m with Brian. Said some dumb things and could have handled it better. My commentary on most things I do. Same with most of you were you “man” enough to admit it.

  35. On the one hand, your complete misrepresentation of the whole event(s) as a middle-aged man making “an unguarded and inappropriate remark” seems mind-boggling (and Russell Brown has summarised the reasons why so adeptly that there is little to add). On the other hand, your use of phrases like “shrieks of the harridans knitting” gives the immediate impression that your understanding of the gender politics that underpin this debacle is about as sophisticated as that of the commentators on websites like Stuff, who are so outraged at this victory of the “femininazis”. Why not just be done with it, and entitle the post “PC gone mad”?

  36. Slightly off topic:

    While there is a gender pay gap, it’s worth noting that there are other pay gaps. Partnered gay men earn less than partnered straight men, while partnered lesbian women earn more than partnered straight women. This is despite the fact that both gays and lesbians are generally better educated than straight men and women.

  37. Peter Calder said: “since he did not lament that state of affairs, he is – and he’s an employers’ spokesman, remember – conniving at it.”

    Thompson stated as fact that women earn less than men. He also mentioned that menstruation was a “tiny” factor explaining that gap. How is that conniving? And I think you’ll find his job was not to lament that state of affairs. The pay gap has been with us for a very long time and will remain us for a very long time. That’s because it’s a complex issue. Sorry if that wasn’t the answer you were looking for.

  38. Peter Calder – As it’s a function of reproduction, an evolutionary duty AND because it might be ON BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE SPECIES, men should now take insemination leave and perhaps even involuntary erection breaks.

    In my experience the ones that do pay when working with menstruating or pregnant women are their colleagues who have to pick up the slack and cover for them.

  39. Please, can we talk about the News of the World now?

  40. Yes indeed – Brian, Russell, Peter et al I’d like to know if you think Murdoch (father & son) or Rebekah are toast now?

  41. “Feel free to expand on what I am sure will be a sophisticated and erudite argument.” (Oh, the biting sarcasm!)

    Clueless irony 1

    if we still put malefactors in the stocks, there would be no shortage of those eager to throw rotton vegetables. And we think of ourselves as civilised.

    Perspective 0.

  42. I see that as a journey on which he was buffeted by forces that he did not understand and had no idea how to combat. He was “all at sea”. In matters of media in particular he was a drowning man whose desperate attempts to save his life simply made him sink faster. I feel sorry for him, a sentiment which most respondents to this post seem to find unacceptable.

    Actually, I broadly agree with this part of your description, and I also feel sorry for him to a point. I feel a little sorry for him (you can tell from the interviews he’s obviously under stress and not handling things well) and I feel sorry for his family. I can still criticise his performance, however, and acknowledge that he had to go from his position.

    Indeed, it’s the fact that he was so obviously out of his depth in dealing with the scrutiny his initial comment brought that was largely the problem. The media isn’t here to baby sit the Chief Executive of an organisation like the Employers and Manufacturers Association when he says something controversial.

  43. AT ws pursued because he was a white older professional male who had a job with Employers, and was considered allied to the conservative faction in New Zealand life, and to the National Party. He was of the right. The attack was done by people in the media and elsewhere have views that are the opposite – from the Left wing, liberal, post feminist (and probably live in areas like Grey Lynn). This was a political attack. Other figures who have suffered the baying for their blood and removal from their public roles have generally been from the right side of politics. David Garret is another example. Their withdrawal invariably changes nothing in terms of policy development in their organisation. The howling crowd (led by female journalists and feminist commentators in the media and academia) do not attack left wing figures to try to ruin and remove from their job. But generally they are happy with one right wing head on a stick. Then they are satisfied. This changes nothing of complex social processes such as wage negogiation. There is such complete focus on getting individual people and forcing them to resign. Gotcha! It reminds me of Maoist China where educated people were forced to be removed from their academic or professional roles, re-educated to rethink their ways, and repent publicly until they accepeted “right thinking”. The right thinking in New Zealand includes being supportive of “women”, but not of men as a grouping. You are allowed to make sweeping positive generalisations about women, but only negative ones about men. A good example was seen in the Herald this week in the busines pages where a woman who was profiled made generalized statements about how women make better workers,based on herself. Imagine even one successful businessmen being profiled in an article saying things like “Men make better workers because they …”. It would not happen. They dare not say it for fear of being attacked and ridiculed.

  44. Aline,

    Why would Murdoch be toast? I imagine he’ll be around for longer yet, which is good for Mihi Forbes if she ever needs a job. Her lack of journalistic ethics would look great on her CV.

  45. AK said “AT was pursued because he was a white older professional male who had a job with Employers, and was considered allied to the conservative faction in New Zealand life, and to the National Party. He was of the right.”

    That’s true but criticism of him was quite broad. Dame Jenny Shipley had a go at him, notwithstanding that she has had made the odd public howler in her time. She effectively told him to resign. But I also think it’s true that if a female public figure had made the same comments, she wouldn’t have been vilified. Indeed a female doctor, Frances Pistilis has made comments about menstruation on TV and on her website. She says that:

    “…women have committed crimes, lost their jobs, had accidents, and made serious mistakes when they were premenstrual. Husbands and families usually know it’s ‘that time of the month’. When you consider that around 75% (in some studies higher) of women in the child bearing age group get symptoms of PMS, this is a condition that has a major effect on quality of life and productivity.”

    I’m not aware that she has been attacked for making these comments.

  46. AT ws pursued because he was a white older professional male who had a job with Employers, and was considered allied to the conservative faction in New Zealand life, and to the National Party. He was of the right.

    Many of you rightwingers are very insecure.

    The attack was done by people in the media and elsewhere have views that are the opposite – from the Left wing,

    Like Jenny Shipley?

  47. Thanks for replying Brian. Your explanation makes perfect sense. Of course this doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing. I am sure you realise that this blog may lose much of what makes it special. Anyway, for what it’s worth I dislike the pitchforks and bonfire mentality as well, and I feel sorry for AT.

  48. absolutely true AKD.
    generators of these cases become despotic because they try a person- and they sentence a person – over the failure to follow a set of rules they don’t even apply to themselves. and they laugh the mugabe laugh- cos they are immune by declaration of the local media.

    reality t.v. (aka – the ‘news’)-the way we see the world..

  49. The Mihi Forbes interview was a nice little earner for TV3. More than 10,000 texts at 50c a text. And according to the show’s producer, Pip Keane, more texts “rolled in after the show and after the interview”. Wow, so even after the show had finished, TV3 continued to make money. I’d say TV3 will be disappointed that Thomspon has resigned – they’ll have to look for someone else to exploit.

  50. I wonder if you would defend Thompson when he starts calling for Jews to be exterminated, etc.

    Not that you would publish this post, of course, I have noticed that you have failed to publish certain posts that I have made on here, especially if they differ from your view point.

    BE: I never refuse to publish comments because they differ from my viewpoint. You won’t find many comments approving of my post on Alasdair Thompson. I do refuse to publish comments where they are expressed in an offensive way, use offensive language or are defamatory. I’m even happy to publish utterly silly arguments as the publication of this comment shows.

  51. Wow – all this emotion in the wake of the Paul Henry lynching! And it seemed to be the same old crowd too. The feeling amongst most middle class New Zealanders I know was that in both cases, both men made foolish thoughtless unwarranted comments, but the frenzied response (in both cases) was shockingly brutal and in some cases just plain nasty.
    Was it just me, or did I detect a hint of glee in those knitting around the gallows?

  52. > I’d say TV3 will be disappointed that Thomspon has resigned…I mean sacked!

  53. Im not sad hes gone.It would have been nice to have a more in depth appraisal of his work.This may have been the tip of the iceberg in his case. We may never know.

  54. it’s weird saying to the host that you are missed- but you are BE.

  55. Wilson Owen – re Paul Henry and AT ‘lynching’,
    I have no interests in media or these individuals, so I am just coming at this with normal everyman bias, but in the case of Henry (who I Love as an entertainer and journalist)I was dumbfounded at his exclusion of the Governor General from being ‘one of us’, based entirely on his ‘looks’. Now I know that PH considers himself sincerely and truthfully not a racist or a bigot -but I sincerely beg to differ strongly when it came to that statement.It was pure racism, even if it was entirely without malice.Henry seriously needs to examine his worldview to understand how his mind could have produced such a thought.It is particularly compounded by the fact that it was live t.v, the Prime Minister was present, and the subject matter was the G-General!!
    Being ‘not a racist’ is not in fact a passive state-it is an active requirement which needs to take into account our own cultural,historical and personal (and physical) prejudices.
    In the case of AT, his own belief that he was not being sexist was not enough – you must actively think through what you are about to say and how it will be received by the subject, not by your own cohorts.
    I feel very sorry for them both, but it is the bewilderment they both demonstrate at the injustice of the backlash which betrays them profoundly.

  56. henry and thompson- no comparison. henry is fluff. entertainment fluff who courted touble and egged on by reality t.v. to so.
    thompson is genuinely remorseful if he’s upset anyone – he immediately apologised.
    we have employed people to work with us and you can’t sack people like that(well apparently you can). it’s double standards. and it’s legislated against.there’s a clear procedure to follow.obviously there’s a loophole?? strange.

  57. Brian, sometimes you are just too egalitarian ! X

  58. Callum V, if you think the average 16 year old performs as efficiently as the average 32 year old, may I suggest you’ve never employed either and paid the wages yourself?

  59. Im sure the average 16 year old can perform as well as a 32 year old on a stop go sign.There will always be arguments for both sides.As some one who has employed people over the years I have had some extremely crappy older employees(cant be bothered) and some extremely good younger employees 18 +(enthusiastic and willing to try).I think 16 is a bit of a red herring as in my experience 18 is a better starting point for the full time workforce.16 year olds should be still at school or at an intermediatry position preparing for the workforce.

  60. Millsy, do you actually know what Alisdair Thompson said? I suspect you and plenty of others don’t. So here’s some examples – I note that none of these comments have been broadcast by TV3. You can draw your own conclusion as to the reason why.

    “I believe that in life most women are more productive totally than most men. Absolutely believe that.”

    “It [the gender pay gap] is a complex subject and there are a lot of issues here.”

    “…what EMA stands for and what I stand for is equal pay for equal work, equal pay for equal productivity, advancement of the women in the workplace, we promote it to our members, we act on it ourselves, equal opportunity in the workplace, flexible workplaces, we strongly support it, balancing work with family responsibilities, are strong ideals for us.”

    “…all of the things to do with equality are very important to me and I’ve worked a lot of my life on this issue.”

    “Anything that affects [the] productivity of any employee – man or woman – ultimately affects their pay.”

    “[Reducing the gender pay gap] is absolutely a good objective.”

    “The [gender pay] gap officially is 12%. What is not known is what causes the gender gap, some of it is discrimination, some employers I think feel they can pay a woman less and they may do so…some of it is discrimination for sure but there’s lots of other reasons too.”

    “We’ve already got legislation, we’ve got the Employment Relations Act, we’ve got the Human Rights Act, we’ve got amendments to both of those acts – all of which outlaw discrimination, absolutely outlaw discrimination.”

    “We’ve got to do much more in education, we’ve got an Equal Opportunities Trust which is doing a lot of that, we’re a member of it, we support it. Sure, there’s more work it can do, it’s great that the issue is raised so that we can have the debate…”

    “What we need to do is find out what we can do to fix any discrimination that might be there…”

  61. Millsy’s comment was obviously idiotic, but if we are to post something for those who still may not have heard what he actually said, let’s just put the link up to the full interview…—full-interview-with-Campbell-Live/tabid/367/articleID/216251/Default.aspx

    …and let those people make up their own minds.

    As I said on the earlier thread about this topic, there’s basically two schools of thought: those who think that the full interview shows how reasonable Thompson was and how dastardly Campbell Live was in its broadcast presentation; and those who consider the full version was still not favourable to him, that he made some further inappropriate comments, and crucially that he didn’t have an answer for the key question.

    I’m in the latter camp.

    While I’m at it, here’s the other 3 News interview in full:—full-interview/tabid/309/articleID/216243/Default.aspx

  62. Steve,

    You’re defending dishonest journalism. That’s your prerogative of course…and you’ll find that AT did have answers for the questions asked of him. What you really mean is that you didn’t like his answers, a subtle difference.

  63. I didn’t say “questions”, I specifically said “the key question.” What research did he base his claims on? He didn’t have an answer. This point is surely clear to all of us.

    That said, it’s true I didn’t like some of his answers – at least, I didn’t feel his answers involving details of his two highest paid lawyers were appropriate. Nor the answer where he basically said he’d get an employee on camera if he had to, to back up his anecdote. Not appropriate responses – but hey, they were left out of the edited interview.

  64. To be honest, I am not really into all this defence of people who get away with slagging off minorities and the vulnerable.

    Essentially the message is that people can go off slagging off the poor, single mothers, women, gays, Jews, workers on min. wage, young people, fat people, maori, etc and so on and its OK because they are ‘un-PC’, and calling a spade a spade and crap like that.

    That’s what I mean, thats why Hitler rose to power, because he was just like people like Paul Henry, Law, Tamihere, Thompson and Smith. All want to demonise and incite hatred toward these groups. This must be stopped and resisted.

  65. Steve,

    I’m surprised you are happy to defend dishonest journalism. I see that TV3 has just been fined $16,000 regarding an item Campbell Live showed last year. Would you like to defend this story too?

  66. Huh? What story is the fine for? And why do you assume I would defend them in that particular case?

    You seem to have a chip on your shoulder about Campbell Live.

    I’ve criticised Campball Live before, and I’m not defending it per se. I am arguing against some of the points that you and Brian Edwards have raised in this particular case.

  67. This is the story over which TV3 has been fined.

    You’ve consistently attacked Thompson without addressing the message, and you’ve essentially given TV3 a free ride on the basis that you didn’t like what he said. The two issues are quite separate. It’s like saying that US forces in Iraq are entitled to torture insurgents because Saddam was a bad man. The two issues shouldn’t be confused.

  68. The BSA’s ecision is here:

    Ironically, Cambpell Live’s producer at that time (Pip Keane?) told the Authority: “We were not looking for sensationalist viewing.” Right, that would explain why the show featired hoardes of rats. And Pip has already admitted that in the case of Alisdair Thompson, the interview shown on June 23 was all about sensationalist viewing.

  69. I haven’t seen that feature on CL, but it sounds like the right decision by the BSA in that case. But so? I refer you to my previous comment.

    Also, the issues are not “quite separate”. When a person in such a position is being interviewed over a controversial matter, factors such as whether he could answer the key question the interview was about, and how he reacted and behaved, can most certainly affect judgments about what to be included in the main broadcast story.