Brian Edwards Media

I suffer insult on the radio, but am defended in the supermarket – a true story.


I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m the supermarket shopper in our family. It struck me as a rather nice example of serendipity, when Judy and I got together some 29 years ago, that she hated supermarket shopping and I loved it. It’s always been my view, you see, that women don’t understand the purpose of going to the supermarket, which is not to buy one of each item you need, but to stock up in anticipation of your future needs. What is the earthly point of buying one small can of baked beans when, within a month or less, you will certainly need another can, or quite possibly two? I rest my case.

Anyway, the regularity of my visits to the local supermarket have produced the result that I am reasonably well known there and, I think I can say without  exaggeration,  know and like several of the staff who know and (seem to) like me.

This accounts for an experience I had about half an hour ago in the aforementioned supermarket. I was approached by a member of the staff who was quite clearly in high dudgeon. This is how the conversation went: 

‘What’s the matter?’

‘What’s the matter?! Didn’t you hear that little shit?’

‘What little shit?’

‘Paul what’s his name?’

‘Paul who?’

‘You know, on Radio Live.’

‘Paul Henry?’

‘Yeah.  He was talking about you with some other joker. Duncan somebody. I think he’s on the TV.’

‘Duncan Garner?’

‘Dunno. Anyway, they were really getting stuck into you. This guy was saying you were working for the bloody Labour Party and Henry said you were just a has-been. Christ, it made me angry. The little shit!’

I suppose you could say I had mixed feelings about this information. It’s not great being called ‘a has-been’ on the radio. But it’s really nice that it made a staff member at my local supermarket so bloody angry.

I don’t really mind Garner and Henry having a bit of fun at my expense on the radio. And I’ve no intention of swapping insults with Paul who, I suspect, can do it much better than me.

And he’s probably right: where fame and celebrity are concerned I probably am a has-been.

You Paul, on the other hand, are soon to get your own show on prime-time television, and even greater fame, celebrity and notoriety than you had before are no doubt just waiting in the wings. But should you broadcast from now until kingdom-come, I predict that one thing will always elude you, as it has eluded several of your predecessors – respect.

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  1. He also said something similar on TV3 this morning, FYI. It seemed petty. I think he’s annoyed with you about something.

    Otherwise, he was fine. I agreed with the gist of his points.

  2. Better a has-been than a never-was or a never-will-be.

  3. elude

    BE: Yes, the mot juste eluded me. Others have alluded to my error.

  4. Allude or elude?

    BE: Yep, a really stupid mistake. Now fixed.

  5. Paul Holmes and Duncan Garner are nothing like you Paul Henry. It would be nice to have you back on Breakfast show.

  6. The problem with working for the “bloody Labour Party “is?Still an apt description of Paul Henry .

  7. Having had my grammar corrected by you in the past, Brian –

    verb (used without object),
    to refer casually or indirectly; make an allusion (usually followed by to): He often alluded to his poverty.
    to contain a casual or indirect reference (usually followed by to): The letter alludes to something now forgotten.

    Or perhaps

    to avoid or escape by speed, cleverness, trickery, etc.; evade: to elude capture.
    to escape the understanding, perception, or appreciation of: The answer eludes me.

    I think, perhaps, the latter.

    BE: You are of course completely right. Not really a matter of grammar, however. More some sort of brain hemorrhage on my part. Even more astonishing: my good wife, who proofs everything I write, didn’t spot it either. Thanks anyway. It could have stayed there much longer without your eagle eyes.

    JC: I was trying to cook dinner. It plays havoc with my proof-reading!

  8. I’m not annoyed so i’ll write a couple hundred words about how not annoyed I am..

  9. Insecure people need to denegrate others to give them confidence.
    So sad!

  10. Pretty much the epitome of the unpleasant, personally denigrating and downright nasty side of modern commercial radio I would say.
    Garner should at least be making a pretence of objectivity, even if Paul Henry has shown he is irredeemably partisan and rude.
    I only listen to the Coast or National Radio nowadays – the ignorance and vitriol of most other radio is a turn off.

  11. And that is the reason I don’t bother listening to Radio Live. The ignorant holding forth as if they are of importance, filling empty air time at any cost.

    I’m not that desperate for empty opinion that I’d listen to that.

    Your opinion, on the other hand Brian, I actually purposely seek out. It’s worth reading, even if I don’t agree.

    Are you serious that Paul Henry is going to be back on telly? He is the only talking head on New Zealand that has ever caused an international incident that I know of. What madman would put him back infront of a camera?

    That will be must-not-see-TV!

  12. I think I heard this (Live Drive last night?) & interpreted it differently. PH was discussing the debate and agreed with your (valid) criticism of the format. They moved onto the hosts & who could have done it better & your name was mentioned. PH said something like ‘He’s too old for TVNZ, even Guyon [Espiner] has a few grey hairs now so he won’t be there much longer’. It was as much a dig at NZ TV News anti-age policy as anything.

  13. …nice one Brian – “Henry is a prejudice prick” to quote one of our respected politicians…

  14. For the sake of fairness, you’ve poked the borax at PH on more than one occasion, so he can’t be blamed for not endearing himself to you. He has quite a following and it makes sense for him to return to the screen.

    If I had a choice between PH or the current crop on TV One, to front the political interviews, I know who I’d opt for. Mind you, Sainsbury’s in his element at this time of year, with Christmas close at hand.

  15. A flash of insight from an aging pre baby boomer.
    Once upon a time we,occasionally, went to circuses and A and P Shows.

    Television is the present day circus and sideshow combined.

    Paul Henry can feel proud.

  16. We’re talking about Vic Park New world right?

  17. It seems churlish to make these comments based on the hearsay version of a supporter who couldn’t name either of the announcers and so seems unreliable – if Robin Capper above is correct then it would seem PH may have been actually complimenting you.

    I may well be incorrect, but don’t some broadcasters who are initially criticised as opinionated attention seeking grandstanders, through longevity and perhaps a little mellowing with age, eventually become widely respected elder statesmen of their profession, appreciated by shop assistants and prime ministers alike.p

    BE: Well, I don’t think you need to have people’s names on the tip of your tongue to be able to remember a term that particularly offended you. And I’ve now had other similar reports.

    But I’m going to partially agree with you Steve. I don’t think my response was ‘churlish’ but it was an over-reaction. I get particularly incensed by the ageism which seems so prevalent in debate these days and crops up constantly in these comments. I’ve posted about it. But I should probably have counted to ten and left it.

    If it turns out that Paul did not call me ‘a has-been’ or was actually agreeing with my views on the first debate, I will of course apologise on the site, as I have done before.

  18. I think you are being a bit thin skinned over this matter. Firstly, imagine the situation if your name was Dr.Dikshit and not Dr.Edwards. Secondly, by Henry’s definition you look like a New Zealander,therefore you could well be in line to be the next Governor General. Henry can be very entertaining, admittedly, often at someone else’s expense. But why worry, he is a failed National Party candidate beaten by a transvestite prostitute. Not many people can boast of that on their CV.

    BE: “I think you are being a bit thin skinned over this matter.” I agree. See my answer to Steve.

  19. @ Merv
    “Mind you, Sainsbury’s in his element at this time of year, with Christmas close at hand.”
    Is that because you think he’d make a jolly Santa?

  20. Fair enough about the over reaction to inferred ageism Brian – its hard enough to be facing your own mortality let alone have some young turk snapping at your heels. Reckon you should allow yourself a few outbursts – good sign of elder ship.

    Funnily I have been noticing an increased respect for age – for elders – from the much younger generation (20+ ), reckon they are hungry for some greyed wisdom and its hard for them to find.

  21. @ Robin Capper

    I also heard the remark Paul Henry made to which you refer, and heartily concur.

    Don’t know if he made any others about BE, but you’ve nailed the gist, context, and target of his barb. Thought he was actually generous of spirit towards BE, as I’m sure he’s well aware of the critiques that Brian has directed his way in the past. Fits the general insouciance of Henry, which causes you to either love or hate him.

    Must say, and I’ll quickly duck for cover after saying this, having listened to Henry for the first time over an extended period the last month or so he has been on air, I actually quite like his style. And his biases are up-front, so he makes no pretense of “objectivity”.

    But good on you, Brian, for being big-enough to acknowledge the possibility of an over-reaction…

  22. No P H would not be good at the circus and sideshows,
    not well co-ordinated, also
    I do not remember a tradition of laughing at your own jokes there.

  23. 23

    Bandar Seri Begawan

    Unless the info comes straight from first-person, adhere to the maxim: “Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you read”.

    And no need to apologise: Love is never having to say you’re sorry.

  24. To those questioning the nature and target of Henry’s alleged comments, I’ll just point out he did indeed call Brain something to the effect of has-been on TV3 ‘Firstline’. Maybe this person heard/saw both broadcasts and conflated the two? Dunno.

    PH said Goff was apparently taking advice from Brian, and that wasn’t a good idea because if anyone was past their use-by date it was Brian. (Paraphrasing, of course.)

  25. Steve…”To those questioning the nature and target of Henry’s alleged comments, I’ll just point out he did indeed call Brain…” Hold it right there fella! This is absolutely unbridled sycophancy. Everyone knows Dr.Edwards is far too old to also be intelligent.

  26. I only listen to the Coast or National Radio nowadays – the ignorance and vitriol of most other radio is a turn off.

    Ditto Natty. One for pleasant relaxation and the other for information. Re- the other radio stations, it’s hard to tell sometimes who is the most ignorant and vitriolic – the radio host or their guests and callers.

  27. Bullies always put down those they fear.

    It makes them feel important.

    Hitler, Muldoon, Plunket, Henry…………..etc.

  28. @ peterlepaysan

    Prat deserving of the “Godwin’s Rule” prize goes to you…

  29. Paul Henry? He appeals to certain folk…

    Would I take him seriously, as a professional interviewer. Yeah, nah. I’d be expecting him to make a silly remark, and so would be hard to take him seriously.

    Each to their own, I guess.

    As for why Henry had a go at you, Brian – envy of your long career in broadcasting? That folk take you more seriously than him?

    BE: Not sure that’s fair. If you look back over this site, you’ll find that I criticised him on several occasions, praised him on others, but after his comments on Anand Satyanand called for him to be sacked. He’s entitled to be aggrieved.

  30. Oh, forgot to add…

    When folk speak of Henry’s career, they usually refer to his “humour” and “Dikshit” comment.

    When folk refer to you, Brian, it’s usually in reference to “Fair Go” and other serious broadcasting.

    ’nuff said.

  31. John Key knows that politics is show business. Labour is merely trying to be ethical, the business of Aristotle and his successors; they need some Elvis.

  32. Just be thankful you don’t live in Cartoontown (Carterton) or you could have had the opportunity of actually electing him into office, along with such other public spirited and astute luminaries as Georgina Beyer and Winston Peter’s ex wingman! Talk about abandon hope all ye who enter . . .

    BE: Some of the other people you refer to without naming are recognisable from your descriptions. I’ve deleted them because your remarks are potentially defamatory.